At some point in our lives we have to make weird decisions; such as going on a long road trip with four kids and a husband!
When my husband first told me about the move from Ottawa to Calgary I was so thrilled, However, that didn't last longs I started to worry when he said we should do it within a week and we don’t have enough days for a long road trip. The plan was to get to Calgary before the starting of the schools in order to enrol the kids.
Long story short, or not that short, we left Ottawa at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, our first stop was Sault ste Marie .. it was a long drive as we had to stop several times for toilet and food. And because we left late that day, we reached the hotel around 1:00 am on Wednesday.
Wednesday morning after we had breakfast we decided that we couldn't drive another 8 hours. We were so exhausted. So we spent the day discovering the city and left the day following.
It was a great decision;
Sault Ste Marie is a beautiful city in Ontario, it’s on the St. Marys river, north of the U.S. borders. The city is full of cultural and historical sites. We had a lovely day and a peaceful night made us ready for the drive on the next day.
On Thursday we drove to our second stop: Thunder Bay.
We reached there before sunset, picked a nice restaurant, had a hot meal and then headed to the hotel and spent the night.
Thunder Bay is the largest city in the northwest Ontario. The city takes its name from the immense Thunder Bay at the head of Lake Superior, known on the 18th century French maps as Baie du Tonnerre (Bay of Thunder).
Friday morning we drove to our third stop: Winnipeg in Manitoba
It was an interesting drive; as we drove closer to Manitoba We could feel the difference in land. More hills, no more mountains.
We were heading to the beginning of the Canadian Prairies (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.)
We reached Winnipeg before sunset, and had a hot meal then went to the hotel to rest.
Saturday morning we drove to our fourth stop: Regina in Saskatchewan
As we were getting closes and closer to Calgary we were more tired and excited.
The drive to Regina was not long as the ones before which was good. We needed the extra hours to have some rest and relax.
Regina is the capital and the second largest city of Saskatchewan. The city is full of places to visit and explore.
Sunday morning we drove to our destination: Calgary.
It was a drive full of emotions, memories and happiness..
We reached Calgary around 5:00 pm.
All the mixed emotions leaving our friends in Ottawa and coming back to a city we love and people we miss in Calgary made us more strong and made us think about the importance of having true people in our lives.
Some tips when you go on a road trip with kids :
.Bring lots of snacks. Try to bring even snacks you will not allow at your house on daily bases or ever! (you can by them as you stop on the road)
.Charge all the devices you have; sell phones , I pads, tablets.... don’t stick to your rules at home, these won’t work in a car for long rides!
.Have books, magazines and activity books handy.
.Have road games ready, such as; story telling, poem challenges, songs competition ...
.Try to stop as often as possible not just for toilet, gas and food.. if you find a nice area where the kids can run a little bit or throw a ball or even pick rocks, leaves and flowers that will be great.
.Be patient as possible it’s hard to be squeezed in a closed place on four wheels for a long time.
.Don’t forget to be ready for emergencies; first aid kit, blankets, lights....
And for sure don’t forget allergy, pain and fever and stomach upset medications.
.Try not to drive at night, no lights on the roads and high chance of animals crossing.
.If you have time try to spend it exploring the cities or towns you stop in.
.Plan your trip ahead of time and insure that you book to sleep in good hotels.
I would definitely do it again with the same kids and husband.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.
Reading is a very interesting activity for some people, and others are doing it because it has to be done. Either way it would be disturbing if you lose the page you are at when you leave the book for a while, you need a book mark!
A bookmark used to keep the readers place in a book and enables him/her to return to it easily.
Who invented this great thing and when?
Researched said that it was used in the 1st century AD.
The earliest exciting bookmark dates from the 6th century AD. And was made of ornamented leather linked with vellum on the book and was attached with a leather strap to the cover of a Coptic Codex. It was found near Sakkara, Egypt.
“The first detached, and therefore collectible, bookmarkers began to appear in the 1850s. One of the first references to these is found in Mary Russell Mitford's Recollections of a Literary Life (1852): "I had no marker and the richly bound volume closed as if instinctively." Note the abbreviation of 'bookmarker' to 'marker'. The modern abbreviation is usually 'bookmark'. Historical bookmarks can be very valuable, and are sometimes collected along with other paper ephemera.”
Nowadays bookmarks can be attached to the books or can be clipped or placed in them,
Bookmarks can be made of many materials; paper, leather, fabric, beads, dried flowers and more...
I encourage my kids to make their own bookmarks, this will make reading more exciting!
In our shop we have bookmarks made from different materials, click here to check them out!
Tree of life. That symbol has amazed me over and over again. Reading about it has certainly made me more attached to what it represents.
The tree of life is a popular symbol in many cultures and religions. It’s been used for ages to symbolize a fresh start and positive energy.
“The oldest known example was found in the Domuztepe excavations in Turkey, which dates back to about 7000 BC. It is believed that the symbol spread from there in various ways.
A similar depiction of the tree was discovered in the Acadians, which dates back to 3000 BC. The symbols depicted a pine tree, and because pine trees do not die, the symbols are believed to be the first depictions of the Tree of Life.”
The Celtic Culture believed that trees were human ancestors, they believed it had magical powers so when they cleared their lands, they would leave one single tree standing in the middle. They would hold their important gatherings under this tree, and it was a very serious crime to cut it down.
"In Buddhism, the tree represents the path to enlightenment and, as such, it symbolizes life."
"Ancient Egyptians believed that the tree of life represents both death and abundance. With branches representing the heavens, the tree symbolic of the Centre of the universe and roots reaching down into the underworld."
"In African cultures, the baobab tree (also known as the bottle tree) is generally known as the tree of life. This is because the baobab tree stores water and produces fruit, even in arid and harsh climates. It is often seen as a life-saver during desperate times and the tree is respected and looked after as such."
While roots go deep in the ground giving the feeling of strength and stability, the branches reach the sky free, new, happy and proud.
Using all elements in nature: water, air, earth and fire. The tree of life shows that everything is connected, everyone matters and family is unique and important.
When you need to have something that relates to everything and everyone, you should look for a tree of life. And when you want to give the gift of stability, connection, strength, uniqueness and life, you should give a tree of life.
As tree of life represents itself and doesn’t relate to a certain culture or religion. It’s been a unique symbol for the artisans and designers to use in their designs. In fact, you can find tree of life symbol in pendants, earrings, necklaces and many more. In addition, many of the tree sculptures hold the meaning of the tree of life.
What are handicrafts?
Cambridge dictionary defines handicrafts as: “A skilled activity in which something is made in a traditional way with hands rather than being produced by machines in a factory, or an object made by such an activity.” Handicrafts include a wide variety of objects that are made by hand or by using simple tools.
Moreover, ideas and designs are so unique when it comes to handmade items, as they are the product of long hours of thinking and personal creativity. When it comes to materials, many materials can be used in handmade pieces depending on the crafters. Usually natural materials will be their first choice as skill and creativity will appear in the pieces they make.
Throughout history, handicrafts items played an important role in folk art in many cultures around the world and gave each culture its special taste.
Why do buy handcrafted products?
Usually, we buy products to use them one way or the other. Yet, we buy handicrafts to use them as well as support and preserve the art and craft.
In addition, with most handcrafted items usually made of natural, sustainable materials, by buying these items we can contribute to preserving our environment.
Most importantly, handmade items are made by a person who puts her/his soul and creativity in the piece she/he is making. This piece can’t be duplicated; it will look and feel unique.
Therefore, with a handmade gift, you will be giving something much more meaningful, and you are sure to send your message in an exceptional way.
“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it” Flannery O’Conner.
Precious or semiprecious?
I spent many hours searching the answer for this question: What is the difference between precious and semiprecious gemstones?
For me gemstones are all precious , each one of them is unique with its colors , texture ,powers and story..
I never considered any of them more precious than the other.
Every time I hear someone label a gemstone by semiprecious I get sad. So I decided to search and know more. I wanted to defend my treasure.
This is what I found :
Gemstones are minerals, rocks or organic matter that have been cut, polished and then fashioned into a piece of jewelry or piece of art.
Gemstones always took part in human cultures and history. There is always a story behind each gemstone. And many believe that gemstones have powers .
“In the 1800s, gemstones were divided into two categories: precious and semi precious stones considering their value differentiation at that time. Nowadays, the categorization is not always correct since the « Value » parameter is not the only criteria on which experts rely to in order to evaluate a stone. The quality, the rarity, the provenance are to be taken into consideration.”
The US Federal Trade Commission has considered banning the two terms because they unnecessarily confuse consumers.
“In regards the so-called « precious stones », only four prevail: diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Sometimes you will can see that a pearl, an opal or a jade are listed as a precious gemstone, but more often they are considered semi-precious. Traditionally, these four precious stones have been the most expensive and sought after stones.
This separation between precious and semi precious has no real scientific backing. For example, emerald is a variety of a beryl, so are aquamarines. Emerald is precious while aquamarine is semi precious. When this categorization came about, it was mainly due to the value and rarity differences between the 4 precious gemstones and the rest. Today some semi precious gemstones can be worth much more than a precious stone. As an example, many natural pearls garner huge prices, often worth more than a low quality precious diamond, ruby, emerald or sapphire.”
Each gemstone is unique with a special color, birthplace and story.
All gemstones are precious in the meaning and value they provide for a person .
When purchasing a gemstone the only thing you should consider is what this stone means to you.
Information from the internet:
Hello everyone my name is Hama, I’m a housewife and a mother of four. I have a degree in education and Art, and I attended many craft courses.
For a few years, I worked as an elementary teacher and an editor for a children’s magazine.
In 2002, I published my first collection of short stories.
Crafts have always been a passion of mine; my love of nature and the non-stop search for new information helped me a lot to develop good knowledge to create unique pieces.
My parents helped me develop good knowledge and my sister and husband have constantly supported me to reach to my dreams.
The love and support of my family and friends has given me the strength to continue doing what I love the most.
My blog will be for posting articles about gemstones, life, events, and I will share ideas you can make at home for various occasions.
I would love to hear from you for feedback and ideas!