Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reconnect with Your Kids




"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning....They have to play with what they know to be true in order to find out more, and then they can use what they learn in new forms of play." 
~ Fred Rogers


Now is the time to reconnect! 
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  As we settle into the middle of the cold and darkened winter - it's time to breathe life back into playtime.

Connect with other mothers around the world as we begin another session of 
our Connecting Family through Creative Play e-Workshop!

There are so many ways to play. To bring laughter and fun back into your everyday ordinary routines.  Throughout the workshop, you'll find ideas for:

~ artistic expression
~real world experiences
~ collaborative projects
~ games
~ sensory play
~ ways to share your memories and passions together

If you're looking to bring balance back into your day.
If you're looking for fresh ideas
or meaningful ways to connect...


 Next session begins February 17th, 2014!
Price: $30


Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.

Monday, January 13, 2014

{Free} Prompts to Help You Savor the Beauty and Cherish the Ordinary





If you've been following along for awhile now, you may have heard about the free 2-week photojournaling course that I led in October, called Moments in Focus.  Ten days of simple photo and journaling prompts geared for Mamas wishing to find peace in their days and connection to their children.

The prompts were designed to be a gentle reminder to stop and find beauty among the disarray.  To care for yourself during those little pockets of time during the day, while caring for those around you.

If you missed out on the course the first time around, then you won't want to miss this opportunity.  You can receive all 20 creative prompts (10 photo + 10 writing) to sample at your own pace.  In your own time.  Simply subscribe to my newsletter in my new online space (ginakimmel.com) and you can have them all sent straight to your inbox by using the Promo Code: SEOUL.

When you subscribe to my "Missives of Beauty," an (almost) bi-weekly newsletter, you will sink into a place of realness. Of truth. Into real discussions about life and connection. You'll be the first to hear about future ecourses, and (shh!) virtual mini-retreats + along with a few extra surprises. 

PLUS, you will also be entitled to exclusive offers and discounts that 
are ONLY for subscribers!

Subscribe here to receive your free prompts!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Where You Can Find Me in 2014!


Just yesterday, I shared a bit about what I wished for the new year.  How adopting a new guiding word (PRACTICE) will help lead me into the coming months with intention and clarity.  With the realizations that came from this excavation of sorts, also comes a new spark of inspiration.  Not only will there be positive shifts within my personal life, but also in my life as a writer.   

I feel as if I only touch the surface when writing about the everyday happenings of my life as a mother. Skimming the surface of my thoughts, worries, and revelations. When I became a mom just 2 and a half years ago, my world changed and I adjusted accordingly.  It hasn't always been an easy transition, but with it came a stronger sense of self.  A peek into the person that I always was, but never quite knew. In order to share what I've discovered, what keeps me feeling at peace with my role as stay-at-home mom, I've created a new space with room to grow.  A place to share all of the layers that make up "me."
  
This new conception is how I hope reach out to other women who wish to find that balance.  To find themselves. To find beauty in their everyday connections.


This space was birthed with the desire of sharing the beauty that I encounter and soak in everyday. The beauty right that is right in front of me as I look outside my window or into the depths of my son's dark eyes.  The beauty in which I can see, and that in which I can only feel.  I invite you to step inside, as I capture the wondrous sights during my continued journey to not only find myself, but to discover a life that I love.  

I will still occasionally update this space with photos of activities that we do as a family, but ginakimmel.com will be my sacred space that allows me to go deeper.  To open myself up to others and share the beauty of connection that I've found with my family, my self, and Mother Nature.  To discuss the struggles and the progressions. The unexpected with the mundane.  My life as a creative dreamer and cloud-gazer. The thoughts that keep me up at night and those that make my soul sigh with contentment. All of this and more as I begin to take my practice of Moments in Focus to the next level...which will contain many surprises and offerings in the future.




I would be incredibly humbled if you chose to follow me along on this journey that is forever a work-in-progress.  My life as it flows from the inner workings of my mind onto the page. You are more than welcome to subscribe to my (mostly) bi-monthly updates, my Missives of Beauty, by signing up here.      


Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.

Friday, December 27, 2013

How the New Year will Guide Us...





Over the past couple of months, I have been doing a lot of soul searching.  

Even more writing.  

And a lot of time combining them both to sort out where the next year will be leading me and my family.  

It is no secret that I have been trying to find focus in my life. A clear vision of how I wish our everyday to look as a family.  I've been honing this practice for a while now, and each step further on this journey I can see the pieces beginning to come together bit by bit.

As the new year is coming closer into view, I wished to take this path of self-discovery to a new level.  In an effort to do just that, I set aside time to create intentions for the new year that would help bring more joy into our home, peace within my heart, and electricity into my written words. 


     
You see, over the past year, I struggled.  Struggled with the many layers of motherhood that sometimes overshadow the equally numerous layers of Self.  What I've learned, however, is not to try and peel away one or the other, but to allow them to intertwine.  To meld together, without pushing aside any that make up who I am from my core. 


Being a mother and caring for your Self doesn't have to be a battle between the two. Instead, it should be a marriage of give and take.   
  
That union, is what I focused on as I sat down one evening to begin the process of finding my "Guiding Word" for 2014.  I wanted to think more deeply about how to bring more ease into my life as a mother, while allowing the creativity within me to flourish in other areas of my life as well.  And I started here...

Digging Into 2014 Banner: 200x 200
   
By digging into 2014.  This workbook, created up by the lovely Tara at The Organic Sister, helped me realize that I want to feel more free in the year to come.  Free to grow, free to manifest, free to strengthen the connection with my family while taking my time discover my own version of happiness.  As I dug deeper into the pages and the delicious prompts of this workbook I realized that...  

My desire for 2014 is to see a family where everyone is being taken 
care of as best as possible.  

With that I mean, continuing on our road of peaceful parenting.  Nurturing our bodies and our minds.  Setting aside time for Mom and Dad to connect.  Cultivate each other's interests.  Gifting each other with time to disentangle from the stressors of day to day living. Dreaming big. Writing without abandon.  Doing all this, at a pace which feels natural for my family.  How might this vision come to be in the new year?

               
Through PRACTICE.  This new year will be lead through deepening this practice of letting go and following my intuition.  By trying again and again, until we find our natural family rhythm.  Through reworking what we've found to bring us contentment and connection, until we all feel heard...respected.  The list could go on and on.


Life has been trying to tell me to slow down.  Pay attention. And take all the time you need to find this balance you crave.  It's time I started to listen.  It's time to deepen this practice.    

With this insight, this excavation that begin by Digging Deep into 2014, comes a new spark of inspiration.  A new conception for how I will reach out to other Mamas who wish to find that balance.  To find themselves. To find beauty in their everyday connections. That spark has led to a new space and room to grow...

Stay tuned for the big announcement!


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Friday, December 20, 2013

Homemade Christmas ~ Tree Ornaments

The beauty of a tree decorated with handmade ornaments...



Twinkling Lights

The small joys of the holidays.

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Homemade Christmas ~ Winter Art

The holiday season is in full swing, now. Two weekends ago, we began decorating to bring a bit of warmth and celebration into our home.  Prior to dragging out all of the holiday bits and baubles, I took some time to think about how I would like our home to look and feel this season.  I had a vision of creating an air of 'handmade magic' in our home.

We began by picking out our Christmas tree one snowy afternoon and went from there.  Over the next couple of days, we put up about half of what we normally do, in anticipation of decking our halls with art created by my 3 year old, along with a few additions from Mom and Dad. 


Our first day was spent creating a hand and footprint reindeer, along with a couple of stamped pages using cookie cutters.  We selected red and green washable paints, then added a bit of glitter for shimmer. 


Another afternoon, I used masking tape to create snowflakes on a piece of construction paper.  My son and I found some white and silver paint, mixed in a bit of silver glitter, and used brushes to paint around the tape.  Once it dried, I removed the tape and hung the painting up in the living room.


For Family Art Night, the three of us created our own snowman family.  Using a toilet paper roll, the lid of a canning jar, and a plastic cup we made three different sized circles for the bodies by dipping them in white paint.  Each of us took turns gluing on buttons and creating faces for our snowman.


  
To bring a bit of science to our holiday decorating, we also grew snowflake crystals on the first week of Advent.  You can find a simple tutorial here to grow your own out of borax!  We hung the flakes on a tree that we added to our Advent Nature Table, along with a few finds that we had (seashells, rocks, and crystals) and ones that we collected over the past couple of weeks (feathers, pinecones, and evergreen). We're looking forward to adding more in the last two weeks of Advent, as well!




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Monday, December 2, 2013

Finding Joy Amidst the Pain + A Free Gift


Over the past couple of years, I've shared several moments that our family experienced...  

moments of laughter,

moments of exploration,

moments of discovery,

Now, I would like to take you behind the scenes a bit.  Back almost one year ago from today, to the moments that began a season of heartache for my family.  The ones that left us wondering to whether we would ever recover.  Moments that forced us to find "joy to burn out the pain."

Last year, our family suffered from two failed adoptions.  One in November of 2012 and another in February of 2013.  We fell for each of the tiny little boys that we were hoping to welcome into our home. We named them, held them, loved them, and celebrated their births.  We even brought one of those miracles home to live with us and my oldest became a big brother. 


  
When our social worker told us that we would have to give him back, tears were shed.  Many.  Repeatedly. The second time this happened, we not only lost a baby boy, but we also lost a bit of hope.  It took us months to find our "normal" again. Through it all, I focused on one quote that carried me through the toughest of days: 


"Find a place inside where there is joy, 
and joy will burn out the pain. " 
~Joseph Campbell.


I'll admit that there were days in which I did not want to get out of bed.  When it was difficult to find the strength to put breakfast on the table for the beautiful toddler that we are blessed to have in our lives. But just like they say, time did heal.  I took time to weep, but also made time to find joy in the normal, everyday routine of our lives.  To be there for my family who needed me, while they also allowed me to lean on their shoulder.  I couldn't have done it without the support from my husband, my parents, and a small circle of women that allowed me to share my pain.  To feel it from inside and out.  To allow the pain and the joy to heal me.



So, now from that glimpse into our struggles, I'd like to share a gift with you.  I was extremely honored to be featured in the {free} ebook, "Heart Centered Living: with intention, growth, and grace" that was edited by Deb from Home Life Simplified. Deb graciously took her to time to gather women who had a story to tell. I, along with 18 other women, share a piece of my story within its pages.  A piece of my heart.


   

To read more about how I took an empty space ~ an empty room to be exact ~ and turned it into a place to connect with my son, you can download your free copy by clicking here.  You can experience, not only how I found a bit of hope and solace among the pain, but how other women became open to learning and change, or finding their path.  How they committed time for self care and self love, and embraced mindfulness by celebrating the everyday.  You won't want to miss out on this special piece of work.

Thank you all for listening.  For hearing my words. For taking the time to see them.

xx,
Gina   


Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.
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