What Is Your Child Interested In?

Every child is an individual.  As parents and daycare providers it is our responsibility to observe our children and see what interests them.   We then need to take steps to help them explore those interests.

Yesterday, Lucia was pretending to face paint myself and the daycare children.  She used her index finger as a paint brush and in her imagination she painted colours and lines on our faces.

Observing this interest, I remembered that we had child-friendly face painting crayons.  After nap time, Lucia moved from her imagination to reality when she face painted our faces beautiful coloured patterns.


Coffee Addict

Coffee has been my drug of choice for nearly ten years.  It all started when my son Owen was three months old, and I was exhausted.  In my desperation for sanity, I grabbed a hold of a mug of the dark liquid and never looked back.   The taste wasn't what sold me; it was the kick of energy it gave me.  My daily cup of Jo put a smile to my face and a skip to my step; I could conquer the world. If you know me, you've heard me say: "My cup of coffee is my cup of happiness, I cannot live without it."

My cup of happiness became an addiction, yes, an addiction.  The day I realized that I was a coffee addict was a couple of years ago while in Africa.  We were driving our jeep through Savuti watching elephants, hyenas, zebras and all those wild animals of Botswana, and I had a headache, a headache that I could not shake off.  I took two Tylenol extra strength and still the heaviness in my brain persisted.  I thought for sure that Malaria was my plight and death was calling.  On our return to Maun, we stopped for a coffee and lord and behold my headache vanished, just like that.  Poof!  The realization dawned on me; I am a coffee addict, and without coffee, I am not happy. Although, I admitted to my addiction,  I refused to deny myself of my cup of happiness.

I recently decided to tackle my addiction and remove coffee from my diet.   There were a few bad days where I had a headache and lived in a fog, but I perceived and came through the other side.  The benefits have been worth it.

1. Sleep: I have been sleeping like a baby.
2. Relaxed: I have been feeling more relaxed, less irritable, and a low-lying anxious feeling has left me.
3. Appetite:    I have been satisfied with the foods that I eat and not craving foods in the afternoon.

Those benefits are worth a day without coffee.  I have replaced my cup a Jo with hot ginger tea, green tea and will soon get the fixings for my friend's recommendation of dandelion, chicory root and cinnamon stick tea.  Apparently it's bitter and a good liver detoxifier.

I have also let go of gluten, but that is another story!!!


There is nothing like a walk in the woods to bring up feelings of gratitude for all that I have. Enjoy your day in whatever you do.  I give you hugs and gratitude for checking in with Annie Bananie.


Happy Thanksgiving

Gratitude is that state if being where I appreciate all that I have. This includes the people in my life, the food that comes to my mouth, the clothes that keep me warm and the experiences that bring me joy in those experiences that allow me to grow and learn. 

Let's not forget gratitude for Mother Nature because without her,  I would not be here. 


Health and Travel

"If we decide (the universe) is an unfriendly place, then we will build ...weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly, but if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will...create tools for understanding." - Albert Einstein

Einstein, I love his quotes. I do try to think of the world we live in as a safe place. That's my reason for not watching the news as it only makes me feel sad and angry at the world.  I would rather not be angry. I rather stay positive, and  as best as I can, spread joy and love to the world around me. In order to do this I need to stay healthy, hence I am reading the book "meals that Heal Inflammation" by Julie Daniluk, R. H. N., and it's  where I got the quote from. 

In my early 20's I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I am lucky because I have a mild case and my health has been good for the last 20 years. 

Now, at 44 years of old, things have changes (as they always do).  I find myself with joint pain, stomach pains and sluggishness. I am ready to get out of denial and face the hard truth; I need to eat food that agrees with my system, not only my taste buds and my emotions. The author,  Julie Daniluk  is from Toronto and has written a very concise, book that has me inspired to create positive changes in my relationship with food. 

I am reading the book on the airplane to Gander, Newfoundland.  Jay and I are heading off to another adventure where we will be going to a coast guard auxiliary conference as part of Jay's work. I have my ukulele with me and will be playing "I's da by" a Newfie song, in front of 150 people on Saturday night. I barely know the song so I have a lot of practicing to do!  This is going to be a fun adventure. We are going to Fogo, Twilingate, and Morten's  Harbour, just like the lyrics in the song: "Fogo, Twilingate, Morten's Harbour all around the circle".  Apparently, this area has a very Irish feel to it 😊 I love adventures. Don't you?


Hearts and Stars

Yesterday, we were busy making stars and hearts with the beads we made the day before. This had the children engaged for a long period if time. The beads are small and as the children grasp them with their thumbs and index fingers, they build their fine motor skills. All this is done while having fun. 


Wet Felting Workshop

Fall is nearly here and I am feeling so inspired  and happy.  I am back at giving workshops and would like to invite you to the below gathering where we will create a piece of wet felted art.  I do hope to see you for a very inspiring day in the woods, on a beautiful lake, with wonderful people. 

Immerse yourself with a day of creative expression as you wet felt a wall hanging, play mat or mediation mat. Wet felting is the art of using raw wool, hot water, soap and friction to create a piece of artwork. It is easy, fun and a great thing to do in a group of people. As your hands get busy loosing yourself in your work, conversation is made with ease. It is my experience that people leave these workshops happy and fulfilled.

Investment: $80/includes supplies, lunch and much inspiration

Time: 10:00 am - 16:00pm

Place: The Whitehouse in Val-des Monts near Wakefield. This magical place is on a lake and it's quiet and beauty brings you into a meditative space. Address will be given upon registration.

To join please contact me via email;
or call me: 613-240-1845

Thanks so much!!! I hope to welcome you into my felting studio for much inspiration.


Santa Claus Tree Ornament

Inspiration is bubbling. My felting needles are busy and it's great to be back in that creative space. I am having so much fun, these days making fun things happen in my life. I hope things are just as good with you. 

Here is Santa before he grew a beard. He was so fun to make and will be part my Fall Felting Workshop Series. 


September and Change

September has begun and has brought wonderful changes.  Singing Tree has opened it's doors to new families and we are loving the new energy this brings.   One of the best parts about being a care provided is getting to know the beautiful families in the Ottawa community.  It does feel like an extended family.

Yesterday, we went on a nature walk and it felt so good to collect sticks, rocks, plantain leaves, clovers and pine cones.  Children thrive in nature and I do believe that we as adults need to provide them with ample time among the trees and grass.  Children love to take off their shoes and feel the soft grass on the soles of their feet and the freedom  to run in an open field.  Nature is medicine.

Get out there among the trees, feel the healing energy of nature. 

 I have not said this in a while so I will say it here. I love my life. 


The Great Outdoors


I read somewhere, that patients who can see trees outside of their hospital window, recover faster, than patients who can only see buildings, and I believe it.  Last week, we camped and slept in a tent for 6 nights.  We spent our days outdoors and cooked over an open fire.  It was heaven. Any stress in my body left me and I felt and still feel elevated from the experience and so relaxed.  I saw the change in my children as well.  Zoe delved back into her inner child by drawing for hours on end, read like a book worm and built a shelter in the woods.  It made my heart soar to see her express her creative side again, to see her inner child.  Owen played the long summer days, in the woods, creating, building, cooking and so much more.   What was most special was the 5 other families that joined us and celebrated nature with us.  We sang songs around the fire, shared stories and loved the freedom our children shared exploring in the woods and deepening friendships.  It struck me that I do not have to go far like Ecuador to vacation with my children.  There are so many things to do right here in Ontario. What's more is that camping is cheap, fun and therapeutic.

Nature is the natural playground

The simplicity of being surrounded by trees.

The glow of an open fire.

Swimming to a nearby island.  Precious.



Camping on Sharbot lake and attending Blue Skies music festival. Connecting with Zoe , Owen and family friends. There is nothing like surrounding yourself with people you love in the simplicity of nature to get grounded and feel love and loved. 


Leaf Rubbings

Some crafts are so simple and yet beautiful.   It's summer time and Mother Nature is in her full expression.  Look around and notice all the different sizes and shapes of leaves around you.   By simply noticing and recognizing the fruits of Mother Nature we can feel gratitude and wonder.  We become once again like children, in a state if amazement for the world around us.

Look at the size of this burdock leaf.

Simply place the leaf under a blank piece of paper and rub over with a crayon, length side down. 

While picking your leaves, don't forget to give thanks to Mother Nature. 


A Seed has been Planted

Do I believe in coincidences as omens or as signs, pointing  in me the right direction?  The answer is yes.  Throughout the years, I have followed the direction of certain signs and they have served me well. My good omens have guided me towards teaching prenatal yoga at Rama Lotus, towards the art of felting,  and even developing Singing Tree Daycare, a Living, Loving and Learning centre.  What I am most excited about sharing today is a most recent coincidence.

See this Ukulele in the below picture?  It was given to me on Friday by a sweet dear friend named Alicia.  It was her instrument until she gave to me, in thanks for opening my home up to her, for last 2 weeks.  What is the coincidence in that,  you might ask?   Well keep reading...

The coincidence is that Big Zoe was also given a Ukulele by her brother on the same week that I received mine! What are the chances that 2 people who work together are given a Ukulele in the same week?  To top it all off Zoe and I only have 2 weeks left of work together before she moves on to becoming a full-time student.  We are going to miss working together as we work so well as a team. We have become sisters and love each other deeply.  This giving of the same instrument on the same week feels like it's  a sign, like the universe is giving us a little nudge.  It's a sign to use our instruments as a common focus to gather and jam together, to keep learning and growing together as we've done these last 5 years. 

We see other possibilities, as well.  Since, we both love working with children. we can go on the road.  We can see it now The  Children's Traveling Caravan Presents; The Painted Gypsy (Big Zoe) and Annie Bananie the Clown (Me).    Our caravan brings joy, music, face painting, kids yoga and felting to a neighbourhood or birthday party near you :)   We are 2 passionate women, who love to learn and grow.  

I feel it, there is a possibility to make this grow :) 

I took this picture this past weekend.  Look at the daisy on the top left corner.  It's smiling :)  I think she is saying Zoe and Annie, go for it.  Take this idea and run with it. 

We just might...


In the Moment

Children learn from each other and the experiences that life brings.  

 Children are full of joy and


As parents we must keep an open mind and heart.  We must be aware of all that our children have to offer, their uniqueness, and their light.  
Often as parents we race through life and  forget to take a breath and be in the moment, to see the beauty in our little ones.   This is a reminder to take a step back, to observe your children and see who they truly are, soak in their smile, their laughter, their cuddles and questions.  One day you will wonder where the time went and want to go back in time to live those moments again.  But time passes and one can never go back.  

Live without regret. 

Summer Fun

Summer, our favourite time of the year.  

We walk bare footed through green, lush grass. 

The sensation of rolling down hills is intoxicatingly fun and brings us into giggles. 

Feet running down the hill, gaining momentum, learning, playing, living our days to the fullest. 

Rainbow wands, streams of colour, fields of green. 

Down time is for painting and creative play. 

Airplane rides, now that's what you call fun!


Big Kid At Heart

This is the thing, I am a big kid at heart.  I love to play, create and learn. What a better way to express these needs through being with children all day.  At daycare I can play my guitar out of tune (instrument and voice) and I am a rockstar.  I can make funny faces and get laughs.  I can paint, draw and be expressive.

It is an honour to spend my days with young children.  The joy of watching them learn new words and observe their personalities unfold is priceless.  I also love to see, little feet running towards mommy and daddy,  at the end of the day.  The joy these moments bring are uplifting and heart warming. Children's love is pure and innocent.  If only we could be more like them.   Well, we were just like them, many moons ago, maybe it's not too late, to get some of that back.

A child's love is unconditional

Inside of you there is still innocence, love and wonder. 


Face Painting

Big Zoe, as we call her, has been discovering her hand at face painting.  The children are absolutely loving it.  The vibrant colours and gorgeous designs are inspiring and a wonderful way to celebrate the colours of spring.   She has been putting so much passion into watching on-line tutorials, and expanding her knowledge of this art form.  

Big Zoe is starting her own face painting business called the Painted Gyspsy.  Her mission is to bring her painting tools to birthday parties, festivals and other events to inspire imagination, art and beauty. 

Children love to get their faces painted and it's amazing how still even the youngest can become, waiting for a design to take shape. 

"Stay inspired, to keep learning and growing. "