Beyond the Sidewalk: Finding Nature in Your City

Sunday, April 2, 2017

You probably know that I live in a suburb of Houston. Houston is not exactly known for being a hot spot for nature enthusiasts. You picture a concrete jungle, not a wooded swamp full of wild animals. When my son was born, I figured he would get nature exposure in the summer at my parent's farm and that would be enough. Slowly I have uncovered gem after gem in my city, and I've realized that you just have to look for them.
Finding tax-funded parks is the easiest. National, state, county, and city run parks can easily be looked up. The National Park Service has a search-by-state database. Both Texas and South Carolina have searchable state park websites, so I'm guessing every other state does as well. City parks are a little tougher to locate for me. City of Houston's website has a list, but each of the precincts also has their own list and I only know that because I randomly linked up to one. Who would have thought to search by precinct? I think of police stations when I hear that, not greenspaces. You can also search by counties and cities. There are an unbelievable amount of tax-funded parks. (Not a nature experience, but searching city parks when Everett was an infant led me to TWO lovely neighborhood splash pads that are city-owned and open to the public.)
Seabourne Creek Nature Park
Rosenberg, TX

DIY Garden Puddling Station for Pollinators

Friday, March 31, 2017

I've been researching ways to attract more bees and butterflies to my garden, and I keep coming across these puddling stations. It's essentially a very shallow bird bath for pollinators. At first I was like, "since when do bees drink water?" But apparently it's a real thing and completely adorable. Watch this and read this.

Books & Coffee, Spring 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I have got the nature bug right now! I started Last Child in the Woods and I haven't been able to stop.

In addition to those nature themed books, I'm also rereading No Bad Kids for the fourth time. This time my husband is also reading it. I just can't tell you how amazing this book this. If you find yourself yelling, using gimmicks like time out and counting to three, hitting, or just not liking your kid then you should stop what you're doing and read this book. (In case you're doing @mamawatters book club, this is based on the same science as The Whole Brained Child.)

I'm almost finished with The Handmaid's Tale on Audible! I have been reading this book for what feels like forever because I can't play it when Everett is awake. I had already started it when I saw the trailer during the Super Bowl so that's been at least since January. The show starts on Hulu in April and!

Still working on Taking Charge of Your Fertility. This was on my last list, I know, but it's basically a textbook. 

Send me your recommendations! What should I read this summer? I need a juicy novel. I'm considering reading the Canadian West series because I loved When Calls the Heart so much. (It's on Netflix!)
What's on your bookshelf?

Raising Monarch Butterflies with Your Kids, Part 1

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I get SO many questions about our butterflies. I'm working on a packet for homeschoolers learning about Monarchs, but, in the meantime, I'm posting this to get you started.

Begin at the Beginning: Our Road to Home Education

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I started this blog with no real direction in mind. It was just labeled a lifestyle blog, or maybe a mommy blog. Lately, as we've committed to homeschool and begun to dive in, I've felt like that's the direction my blog should take.

I'm really a terrible blogger as standards go. I rarely blog. I'm trying to be better at that simply because it's a great record keeper. My online motherhood journal.

This post is not about my blog, though. It's about our decision to homeschool. 

All home educating families have different reasons for keeping their kids out of tradition school. I feel like our list of reasons goes on forever. 

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs