Housekeeping

I have a few housekeeping items to share with you today.

Waldorf Education : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Firstly… a huge, HUGE, Thank you to YOU. The Magic Onions reached a milestone this month of  7 million beautiful visitors. I’m utterly honored that so many of you have blessed me with your presence. And humbled too. Thank you.

Secondly… I will be announcing the winners of the Fairy Garden Contest in September. It’s been more than impossible to pick just 4 winners and it’s taking longer than anticipated to add the Facebook and Email entries. Bear with me… I promise, I’ll have an update soon.

Thirdly, the August newsletter has just been delivered to thousands on inboxes around the world. If you haven’t signed up to receive this special kind of magic yet (and get your chance to win a gift from The Magic Onions Shop)… you can sign up here : http://eepurl.com/zY-_P

Look what was won by Jannine this month…

http://themagiconions.com/shop/

If you are not Jannine and just need this garland, you can purchase it in the shop HERE.

And, lastly, for a little fun, and a blast from the past, I’m sharing the post that goes with the photo above of Teddy sweeping up his ‘Little House on the Prairie’… it’s from 3 years ago and I think you’ll love it (who doesn’t love anything to do with little houses on the prairies?)

Our Little House on the Prairie.

Happy Labor Weekend.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

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Camping Food Favorites

We discovered some new camping food favorites on our recent camping trip.

Firstly, Teddy is our resident fire man… he is in charge of gathering the supplies we need to start the fire. He sets the fire expertly with crumpled up newspaper on the bottom, twigs and kindling arranged like a teepee over the paper and then thin logs on top of the kindling. He lights the paper with a match and stands back to watch his creation burst into life. I can see by the look on his face that he feels immensely competent when he sees his fire grow. He watches it and judges when to put the next logs on. Wheeler Gorge (where we camped) is in the throes of a desperate drought and we were asked to keep the fire very small. I was so proud of Teddy for his restraint in keeping his fire small. For sure, 7-year-olds CAN be trusted.

The kids LOVED cooking these ‘Little Smokies’ on sticks over coals. They cooked them until they were roasted brown and plump and the dripping fat sizzled on the fire. Kids sure do love to cook their own food!

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

We mad the most delicious steak sandwiches. BBQed steak cut into thin slices, roasted asparagus and fresh heirloom tomatoes… a sprinkling of salt and, gosh, they were good!

 

New Camping Food Favorites : the Magic Onions

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Kitty discovered a new way to roast marshmallows. She stuck a piece of chocolate on the stick with her marshmallow and carefully roasted it over the warm coals. She was very careful (after a few mishaps when her chocolate dripped off) to turn her roasting stick constantly to allow the chocolate to melt down onto the marshmallow. Imagine how yummy they were… just like roasted marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

We were bothered a little by yellow jackets on the first night but, luckily, the campsite was full of white sage which is a natural bug deterrent. We made bundles wrapped tightly in grass and set them on a stick over the fire. We placed a small burning ember in the center of a sage bundle and watched it smoke its wonderfully fragrant, bug-repelling, smoke. Soon, our campsite was a sweet-smelling haven, free from yellow jackets.

Try this next time you are bothered by them.

 

Sage Burn to ward off Yellow Jackets : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

My Good Man needed to get a little work done and we loved his new ‘office’. He said he’d never been more productive in his whole life.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

While at the river, Teddy had a happening of great proportions… a beautiful blue dragonfly alighted on his finger and stayed for a full few minuted.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

And here are some more pictures of us enjoying the gorgeous wilderness.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

As Teddy, and Elizabeth Gilbert, can attest, moss and lichen is exquisite.

 

 Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Magic Sponsors : August 2014

Please support my August Magic Sponsors by browsing through their beautiful shops.

A hearty welcome to a new Magic Sponsor :

Natural Kids -  is a group of artisans from around the world who share a love for handcrafting eco friendly & all-natural toys, clothing, decor and more for kids, and kids at heart.

We’re committed to offering alternatives to mass produced, plastic toys and we share a love for open-ended tools to help kids discover what is new and interesting in the world. We believe that it is best for children’s environment and what they wear to be natural and safe.

You will find many  items that are great for the holidays as well as inspired by the seasons. In our diverse shops of our team members you will find wonderful items for babies and kids of all ages. Many of our sellers pride themselves on offering open ended items for both boys and girls.

 

Welcome back …

The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook : Whether you are just starting to homeschool, or always wanted to, imagine this for a second… You feel confident that you are doing it right. The first steps are clear and you know exactly where to find the resources and support needed to be successful. There’s no second guessing. No confusion. No lack of focus.
Without any floundering, your Waldorf homeschooling falls into place with ease, assurance and joy.

For those of you starting your Waldorf homeschool year… this handbook is a must.

The-Waldorf-Handbook : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

NEST is such beautiful toy shop filled with stunning natural and Waldorf inspired toys. Modeled after the toy shoppes of Germany, at Nest one can find eco-friendly sustainably sourced heirloom wooden toys & beautiful and practical things for the home. They believe that living sustainably need not be a sacrifice. Fine woolens from Ruskovilla of Finland, beautifully handcrafted figures from Ostheimer of Germany, shaker boxes from Brent Rourke of Nova Scotia. Waldorf-inspired play and Waldorf toys & crafts for young and old. I’m LOVING these fun and colorful building blocks.

Christopherus Bookstore : We offer a variety of publications and audio downloads of interest not only to homeschoolers but to teachers and other parents too. We take a fresh and practical approach to Waldorf education (grounded in the work of Rudolf Steiner).

 

Whole Family Rhythms – a series of seasonal and monthly guides created and designed to help Mums (and some Dads) maintain a steady rhythm in their home. The rhythms include unstructured, child-led play both outdoors and indoors; early childhood stories and fingerplays; weekly bushwalking themes; daily art, handwork or creative projects; holistic baking and cooking recipes for the whole family as well as weekly caregiver meditations and projects. Although Whole Family Rhythms focuses primarily on the ‘early years’ the daily activities are flexible and varied enough to inspire and work for families of all ages and sizes.

Whole Family Rhythms : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

The Magic Onions - toys and treasures for the natural home. I make everything by hand using natural and eco-friendly materials. Bring the gorgeous texture of wool felt into your home with wonderful nature-inspired treasures like felted acorns and colorful felted garlands.

The Magic Onions has enchanting Fairy Garden kits… including this awesome Fairy House Kit, complete with a myriad of  natural building materials for fun Fairy House construction.

Fairy House Kit : The Magic Onions Shop

 

 Twig and Toadstool – a gorgeous blog written by mama friends, Maureen and Shanti. Join them as they explore natural crafts and happy family life.

 

Thank you for supporting our Magic Sponsors and please remember …

 

Support Small Business : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

I’m passionate about connecting small businesses with customers who value them. If you are interested in becoming a Magic Sponsor, please click here for sponsorship information.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Camping in the Wheeler Gorge Forest, Ojai, CA

When city life gets too much for us and we find ourselves fractious and irritable, we pack up our camper van and set off into the wild. We have found so many beautiful, out-of-the-way places in Southern California… some as close to us as  only an hour away.

This time, we tried a new camping spot, Wheeler Gorge, near Ojai, CA. It was a 3 hour drive in Friday Los Angeles traffic but, as soon as we left the freeway and started winding our way into the Los Padres National Forest, our spirits started to soar and our tensions began to float away.

We found ourselves in a lovely large and secluded camping spot, shady under great California Live Oaks.

We love traveling in our camper van as there is not much setting up when we get there and, the moment we arrive, we can pull out our camping chairs, start to chop some firewood and start feeling free.

We learned and experienced so many amazing things.

We woke up at 2am on the first night and went out to see the stars. The sky was AMAZING. The gorge is far enough away from city lights that thousands of stars pepper the dark. My kids had never seen anything quite so spectacular. And, to top it off, Kitty saw her first shooting star.

On the second night, Teddy and Kitty got their various lanterns and torches to work (it was quite a job locating where I had packed the batteries… I pack too well, it seems). They enjoyed exploring the campsite with their beams of light and discovered that the dirt was teeming with NOCTURNAL ants. I was skeptical when they implored me to come and see but was AMAZED to find that there were thousands of big black ants all around where there had been none only hours before. I’m glad they were nocturnal!

Our campsite was near a running, knee-deep stream, full of tadpoles and dragonflies. The children spent hours playing, catching, building, racing and floating in the water.

We went on beautiful hikes through the forested gorge.

In our quite times, Kitty and I listened to our stories with our earphones. Teddy played with his cars and rode around the quite camp on his bike. My Good Man unwound in his chair and let the forest air engulf him.

We roasted marshmallows, of course… and ate s’mores too.

Camping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.comCamping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.com

Poison Oak : leaves of three, leave them be. Don’t be afraid of Poison Oak… kids can be trusted to identify it and stay away from it.

Camping in Wheeler Gorge, CA : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Camping is so magical for us. None of us can wait until we can set off again.

Blessings and magic,

Donni