Sweet Bella Vita

a dash of motherhood… a sprinkle of homeschooling… and a pinch of photography ( with a side of compassion )


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hello little bird

A few days ago I spent a good part of a day hearing a bird singing and walking to my window, pulling aside the curtain only  to NOT see any bird there… then finally I left the curtains open and I discovered I have a new friend!

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he / she spends the day on my windowsill singing away … and peeking into the house

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My pictures are not the best , as my windows are a tad dirty ( with 2 dogs and three kids) , and if I move too much my little friend flies away.

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but I  am totally loving the company 🙂

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even in the pouring rain my little friend was there

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On another note, I have another little friend coming to visit me this week… I am meeting my niece for the first time!!! I am so excited … and I get to see my brother, my sister in law and my nephew… my kids have no idea they are coming and will absolutely freak out tonight when they see their cousins!

oh and my husband was on a cookie roll this past weekend! mummmmm

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I wish you all a fantastic week!

Lisa


8 Comments

homeschool … what ?!?!

 Yes, we homeschool! 

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I get one of 2 reactions… 

WHAT?!?!? You homeschool??? Why would you do something like that ? Is that even legal?  Are you insane?!?

or

oooh that is soooo cool!!! Tell me more!!!

ok, I do get reactions in the middle range  but not very often

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Yes, it is legal …  and yes we actually enjoy homeschooling… and no, we do NOT spend our days at home. And when we are home, no my kids do not watch tv… in fact we don’t even have t.v. ,  to which I usually get a GASP !!!! no t.v. ??? are you from this planet look (or some people actually come out and  verbally ask me that ).

a peak inside my homeschool, art, creativity, reading, and play room …

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So what do my kids do all day ???  well, when they don’t have  planned class outside the house (such as swimming/ art/ music  etc…) or when we don’t have an outing to a museum/ library / theater or other really neat place)   they play !!!  Yes play; legos and snap ciruits, are 2 of their favorite toys.

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My oldest who would only be in grade 2 does curriculum  work. This year he has been working on geography of Canada and the world, we have done science, enviromental studies, ethics studies, art, french, italian, cursive writing,  lots of math and tons, did I say TONS of reading.

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My 5 year old is now learning to read, has started doing math, is learning to tell time, tie his shoes,  and loves to color and write me love notes such as this one 🙂

          note from my 5 y.o.

And my 2 year old … well she loves to do everything ! She copies her brothers  and plays pretty much all day . What else should a 2 year old be doing besides playing?  She is learning her shapes, colors, numbers and letters along the way  all while taking in 3 languages.

the word “it” can be soooo exciting! 😉

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So how did I come to this decision?

Well I was pregnant with my first and having already embarked on a ‘crunchy granola’ road long before my pregnancy,  homeschooling  seemed to just fit right in with my lifestyle.  I have say that the first time I did hear about it, my reaction was is this legal?  But the more I researched it the more I felt like it was exactly what I wanted to do.

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There are many reasons we homeschool , but I will list a few here

I think learning happens every day, all day … and not in a classroom from 9 to 3.

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I also feel that kids have a natural desire to want to learn and are naturally curious  … and I think school can kill this desire at times .

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I think that a classroom with lots of kids is not an ideal learning environment for a child and I like the one to one ration way more.

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I  believe the world is full of learning opportunities everywhere, from the grocery store to museums to the beach  to a hike on a mountain there is always something to learn.

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I like that my kids are growing up together , my oldest shows the younger ones stuff he knows, and he reads to them a lot.

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I like that my kids interact with all sorts of people and not just kids their own age or teachers.

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I like that my kids are getting more time to be kids instead of being pushed to grow up faster (by peer pressure).

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I like that they don’t have to worry about what they are wearing while they are reading or doing math or simply being creative.

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I like that I don’t need to worry about bullying.

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Okay and now a few of my selfish reasons;

I am not tied to a school year calendar and schedule …

I don’t need to wake my kids up to get on a school bus at the crack of dawn …

I get to spend more time with my kids (they grow up way too fast as it is ) …

and I love seeing them learn 🙂

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I have some friends who tell me they don’t know how I do it … honestly I don’t know how they do it…either way, raising/educating  kids is a lot of work.

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Oh and for those who really want to know … we are eclectic homeschoolers

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I started a facebook group to network and connect with homeschool families from around the world, so come and join us if you are homeschooling.

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And if you homeschool and have a homeschool blog, please share 🙂

see you soon!

Lisa


1 Comment

organic vegan hazelnut spread

so the thing with being an organic nut  and thriving to be vegan, nutella doesn’t quite make the cut … so we made our own version

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we mix maple syrup and hazelnut butter together… and you can add cacao powder to add the chocolate flavour, but just the maple syrup and hazelnut taste amazing

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and although it has been years since we have had nutella, I can say it tastes better then nutella , my kids love this … and my 2 year old likes eating it with a spoon

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it tastes amazing spread on top of pancakes 🙂

can it get any more simple than that ?!

hope you are having a great weekend!

Lisa


5 Comments

organically obsessed

Today I will talk about my OCD with food

                   organic bananas, grapes and strawberries 

I have a crazy obsession about organic food ( and that is putting it very lightly )

                                    organic apple orchard

My food journey started long ago … having been vegetarian, I was already in a state of heighten awareness as to what I was eating  … and then I got married and we started to try to get pregnant and I suffered many miscarriages and with each loss I  researched everything from food to toxic chemicals around me and cleaning products and well the list doesn’t end…  (will talk about the other stuff in future posts) but for this post I will stick to food.

                                      organic salad

I discovered that food that was not certified organic contained terrible stuff. Chemicals that no one should be near, much less inhale or consume.  This was really scary to me, coming from an italian farmer family… who’s passion was all about gardening,  growing and cultivating foods.

                   yup, that’s me and my dad 

Through 10 + years of personal research, I can no longer walk into a grocery store the same as I did 10 years ago.

The items that are sold in a grocery store are not meant to be eaten, but sadly that is what is sold and that is what people buy. I have weaned myself and my family off of all foods that are not organic… and very importantly GMOs . If you don’t already know what GMOs are, I strongly encourage you to drop everything you are doing and go research it… and I am not kidding… they are extremely dangerous and they are basically hidden in the foods that are sold in your local grocery store. One way to avoid GMOs is to buy certified organic, or look for the non gmo project seal.

                  organic cherry tomatoes

You know the old saying “you are what you eat” … well, you are infact what you eat … the foods that go in your system affect you.

 a few strong quotes that I really like :

“the longer the shelf life the shorter yours ”

“the way we eat has changed more dramatically in the past 50 years than in the previous 10 000 years.”

“you can chose sickcare, or healthcare ”

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~Hippocrates

“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.”  ~William Shakespeare

                                organic blueberry muffins
                                 buns in the oven

and go see this comic.. worth a thousand words!

                              raw  organic almonds

No, we do NOT eat out very often … in fact I can probably count the number of times we eat out in a year. We don’t order pizza on a friday night or go to  any fast food restaurants, and YES it isn’t easy … with so many ready to eat meal ideas at the grocery store and so  many conveniently located fast food restaurants … making the choice to eat ‘real’ food is quite challenging. But with small changes every day … they all add up  and help in a big way.

                          at an organic apple orchard 
           boys picking organic apples

Educating my kids about what they eat and the choices they make is very important to me … and seeing all this pay off, when they are offered junk food and they decline to take / eat it is a proud parenting moment for me.

                                         brussel sprouts 

So, yes we are vegetarian … but our diet isn’t just about NOT eating meat but also about eating REAL foods … that do not contain any unwanted stuff.

             homemade veggie burger on homemade bun 

So what do we eat ?  well , we eat loads of greens and vegetables ( kale, spinach, chard, broccolli, carrots,  kholorabi, cauliflower, salad, potatoes, cabbage, and so many more) fruits ( avocadoes, tomaotoes, bananas, and all the other typical fruits ) we also eat LOADS of nuts ( walnuts, cashews, pecans, and my husband makes awesome breakfasts with nuts in muffins and other yummy treats, (will post more awesome stuff my husband cooks in later posts ). we also eat lots of quinoa, pasta  as well as tons of different beans ( chickpeas, black, kidney, lentils, pinto, ect ) .

                          pasta and veggies

Our diet changes seasonly, depending on what is available or in season.

                    organic asparagus 

We are not very main stream,  if you haven’t noticed yet 😉

                       hot oatmeal 

If anything, with this post,  I hope that I have opened your eyes to food and what  you are eating… and if you read this and you have already begun this journey of searching for real food like we have been doing, or if you have “slight” organic ocd like I do 😉  I love connecting with like minded people, so drop me a message 🙂

                             organic green and red apples

go check out my friends’ newest blog about real food recipes here

and this onehealthy family is really awesome as well

please do share your blog if you are a real foodie too 🙂

                             yum

till next time

Lisa

the information above is by no means health advice, and I am not a doctor, I am a  MOM and a concerned shopper … and these are my points of view from reaserch that I have done over many, many years.


6 Comments

here I am

hi and welcome

I am so excited you are here!

I have been wanting to start a blog for a long time … and well here I am; and here you are!

🙂

Okay, so what’s this blog about ?… Well, it’s about life … and right NOW, my life, revolves around being a mom, homeschooling, following a vegetarian organic lifestyle, living as naturally as possible and photography,  capturing those moments in my ‘vita’.  All these ‘tags’ are so much more then just tags… for example  homeschooling encompasses parenting and coaching and so many other ‘tags’ that come along with the territory.

I like connecting with like minded people.  I also want to do something creative for myself while making new friends and so came the birth of this blog. Through this blog I hope to motivate you ( and keep myself motivated)  to be more conscientious of the food and lifestyle choices you make,  and I hope to improve my picture taking skills with practice  🙂

So let me start this first blog post with a little about myself …

If you haven’t already you can go see some random things about me 

I am a stay at home mom to 3 great kids. They are 7, 5 and 2 years old. we decided very early on to try the homeschool route and so far, so good. (Will tell you all about my homeschooling journey in a post coming very soon … will also share a typical day in our homeschooling life ).

I have been a vegetarian for most of my life… and thrive to be vegan in my lifestyle as much as possible. We do still eat eggs and some  members of the family enjoy dairy products sometimes ,     but being vegetarian / vegan is not just about diet , but also about lifestyle, and so I am a very compassionate shopper… although it can be very challenging at times … but I do like the  leaping bunny seal .

                                             yummy

Which brings me to my next point… I have an infatuation towards dolphins and elephants.  They are incredibly intelligent animals that sadly are being harmed and captured. I am extremely opposed to any kind of circus that includes any animals and despise zoos. There are alternatives to seeing animals, such as sanctuaries, such as this elephant sanctuary or PAWS as well as some others, that I will post another time. But animals are NOT here for our entertainment.

We have 2 very sweet and crazy golden retriever dogs, who are 10 going on 2. Which I am sure you will see lots of pictures of .

this is the pups when they were just a few months old , they are inseparable  and oh so sweet 

I am very lucky to have an amazing husband who happens to be an awesome cook, and yes he does most of the baking and cooking when he is home…(oh, who am I kidding, he does all the cooking and baking when he is home and sometimes even makes stuff for us to just warm up when he isn’t home ) told you I was lucky 😉  I will share some of his delicious creations that are mouth watering as well as mostly vegan 🙂

sweetbellavita
                         our special day
                                             bubbie

so I do hope you will come back and check out the next blog post !

see you next time

Lisa