This is interesting!
Originally posted on Nature's Mothers Blog:
There are lots of fake amber necklaces on the market. Some are plastic and some are Copal (immature resin). If you want the soothing effects of the succinic acid, you need the real deal.
Here are a few ways to test if amber is real:
- Drip a few drops of acetone (nail polish remover) on the amber. If the amber goes slightly sticky, or the acetone takes on the colour of the amber – your amber is almost definitely not real.
- Try burn your amber (I’m guessing you won’t want to do this on a lovely new necklace!) It will burn like incense and let off a wonderful piney smell. Copal will melt but smell similar to amber. Plastic will melt and smell like chemicals.
- I found a wonderful video on youtube to demonstrate this one…enjoy!!
Here at Nature’s Mother you’ll find some genuine beautiful amber necklaces. The baby necklaces…
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Doula! The Ultimate Birth Companion May 9, 2014
I have recently had the privilege of being invited to be a birth partner for a lovely friend of mine. As a result I have been researching what doula’s do in more detail – although I know what my wonderful doula did for me! I have just watched this film and felt the need to share it. It costs £1.99 to stream it online – very much worth it in my opinion!
Better late than never… April 25, 2014
This is a short and rather belated report on how our Winter Soltice celebration actually turned out…!
We indeed did most of the things we mentioned in my post about it here, but somehow – habit perhaps?- Christmas day turned out to be a slightly bigger day than Solstice. Solstice was very lovely, mind you – a few friends came over and we just about managed to get a fire going (need to plan better next year!) Also, in the run up to Christmas the girls began obsessing about the dreaded Santa, and we felt so mean telling them that Santa wasn’t real that we totally played the Santa game (noooooooo!!!). We also stole an idea from a friend and had elves come visit every night to hide the advent chocolates on the weeks before Solstice…! They left very cute little poems with clues on – the girls were very excited. But somehow Santa wrote them a massive letter each on Christmas Day…and I’m really not sure how this happened or what we were thinking! I think it just shows how conditioned, or how much social pressure there is with regards to Christmas. Basically, we didn’t want our children to feel left out. When our kids find out that we were lying to them one day, will they mistrust us? Hahaha…well, a few lessons learned for next Christmas, and at the very least Solstice was celebrated too, so that’s definitely a good start.
I’m not sure we can now undo Santa, but perhaps we can tone him down massively again. I don’t think they really believe in Santa, I think they see him in a fantastical way – and in our house he brought mainly charity shop gifts. The book we got about St Nicholas (the only good kids one we could find) took ages to come and when it did it was 100% Christian, and even a bit preachy…I literally spluttered over it when reading it to my kids, and only read it once! (If you know my history, you would understand why this is an issue for me…you can read more about this here.)
It was, however, wonderful to just spend lots of family time in our lovely little low impact home, and spend lots of special time with friends too. It was also amazing to notice how quickly the days seem to lengthen after the Solstice – we really notice things like that living the way we do.
In other news, we have been very busy. At my one job – I work part time at Holifield Farm Project as a PA and event organiser – I have been very busy organising Holifair Family Festival and Holifield Camping Weekend(a special needs event)!
When not at work I have been having fun with my kidlets, tidying, doing washing or creating a brand new website for my business, Nature’s Mother! I have had a couple of hiccups with my website – it was self designed (using my basic knowledge of dreamweaver) and was beginning to look a bit clunky, although still working. I used Wix.com to create a new website. It was gorgeous looking but business went almost completely dead – probably due to it being a “Flash” website – more about this here if you’re interested ( I sell very gorgeous amber necklaces, in case you didn’t know!) So I have now created a WordPress site which has pretty much just gone live. I would appreciate any liking of my facebook page and sharing of my website you can do, to help get me noticed by the Search Engines again. If anyone would like their pregancy/parenting/baby related website added to my links page, I’d be happy to do so, but would appreciate a reciprocal link.
Another bit of rather scary news is that my little boy fell(out of the loft – which is a play space) and fractured his skull!! Thankfully he is absolutely fine, but it scared the living daylights out of us and we desperately wanted to wrap him in cottonwool for the rest of his days. But he is a toughie – and a climber! There is no stopping him! He is also totally wonderful (as are my girls) – he is starting to copy our words and said his first mini sentence yesterday. He gets very worried about flying insects – of which there are an abundance here – and yesterday he covered his ears when a bumble bee came near and shrieked :”Dada, bumble!” Naaaw! I can’t believe my baby is talking! I went away to a wedding for 3 days a few weeks back and thought that that may mark the end of our breastfeeding journey, but no! He is most certainly still my boobie monster!
For Erin’s birthday back in March we did a trip to London – I’ll save that for another blog! The apple orchard below our house is bursting into blossom and it is feeling gorgeous and springy – we are very lucky to live where we do! Happy Spring to all my Northern Hemisphere followers, and happy autumn to the rest of you! May happiness be with you!
My New Website… March 3, 2014
I have a brand sparkly new website. Have a squiz and let me know what you think! http://www.naturesmother.co.uk Here is an interesting little film on how amber forms http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/fossils/Amber#p00ckj8s
Our very own Winter Solstice celebration… December 8, 2013
At the beginning of this year I did a blogpost about exploring an alternative to Christmas here
It seems to have come naturally for us this year to get more excited about the change in the seasons. Instead of feeling blue as the weather has got colder, I feel we have become much more connected with what is actually going on as the days become shorter, the bulbs lie dormant beneath the earth and the animals collect nuts and go into hibernation. I think part of it is due to having small children and embracing the magic that is our earth, and perhaps also living where we do with an amazing view of the changing natural world combined with spending more time outdoors. The beginning of the celebration, for us, was the advent spiral at Zelda School. Whilst we each got a candle from an angel at the entrance of the yurt, walked to the middle of the spiral one -by-one (or with our child) to light it, bringing light to the darkest days of the year, and then placed our candle somewhere on the spiral and made a wish – children and adults were all singing wonderful rounds of songs together. These are my favourite:
“Oaken leaves, in the merry woods so wild,
when will you grow green, oh?
Fairest maid, and thou be with child, lullaby
may’st thou sing, ah.
Lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby, lullaby
may’st thou sing, ah.”
“Now I walk in beauty,
beauty is before me,
beauty is behind me,
above and below me”
My girls had been so looking forward to the spiral. You could see the childrens eyes, filled with magic and things memories are made of, and this year it was especially contagious. I have officially embraced winter celebrations, and am too enjoying the magic. The mulled wine and sitting around a fire with friends is a wonderful tradition too, and I hope to always do it.
We have officially rejected the generic idea of christmas, where you get yourself broke and buy presents nobody needs or wants (sorry Christmas lovers) – and I have also rejected the idea of it being a purely Christian celebration, having explored many more of the pagan and natural folklore. That has allowed me to claim and embrace the celebrations as a non-Christian. I mentioned last year that we told the kids Santa was not real – well, hubby did and I was not sure how I felt about it. The kids haven’t really remembered as Erin is talking of Santa getting her an IPad (hahaha, whatever!) But this year we have got a book about St Nicholas(waiting for it to arrive), and are looking forward to reading about the amazing ways he helped people and have decided that we can embrace Santa in this way – in the spirit of giving and helping others.
After reading this very wonderful blog about a solstice celebration hubby and I have had a proper sit down, grown up chat about how we want to do this winter celebration thing. We have decided to completely make it our own, make it work for us but follow some of the traditions. So as far as advent goes, we have decided to start the countdown next Wednesday – 14 days, which is about half a moon cycle – before Christmas day. No real reason – perhaps we will start on the 1st of December next year, we are just not well enough organised this year! On Wednesday we will cut a small branch from a tree, bring it home and decorate it. Perhaps it will be an evergreen branch, perhaps it won’t – we’ll just see what feels right. Traditionally a evergreen was used as a symbol of life in the midst of winter. It will be our winter tree. We plan to decorate our house with bits of Holly and other evergreens too and winter lights, and have started making wreaths with willow which we will twist green into.
We have written a list of things we would like to do – one on each of those 14 days of our advent, not necessarily in this order. Inspiration from various Winter Solstice books and The Woodland Trust website:
1) Make bird seed donuts – bird seed rolled in peanut butter – for the birds.
2) Make a leaf scarf for a tree
3) Make a sunrise/sunset chart
4) Make twig stars
5) Do a scavenger hunt
6) Winter twig quiz – match twigs to trees
7) Make gingerbread trees
8) Make ice or tissue paper lanterns
9) Make paper snowflakes
10) Make pine cone trees
11)Make up our own Solstice Song
12) Collect twigs for the fire (possibly a daily thing)
13) Go ice skating
14) Play games
Our main celebration is going to be on the 21st, which is the shortest day of the year. We will be opening one or two presents, writing down our favourite memories of the year, making cupcakes with yellow icing (representing the sun) and making wishes. Later we hope to have an outdoor fire with friends, make and drink mulled wine and spicy apple juice and have fun. Before you get worried, we won’t be sacrificing goats or anything ;-) There is a beautiful childrens book called The Shortest Day, which we have been reading to the girls. We will be looking forward to the days getting longer and the nights getting shorter again.
We plan for the days that follow to hold lots of family time and time with friends, walks, reflecting on the past year, looking forward to more daylight, enjoying the great outdoors and good food. On Christmas morning the kids will open their christmas stockings and I think we will open the rest of our presents (one or two more) later in the day. We are having a meal with friends, although hubby may be at work, and maybe we’ll have another fire to mark the end of our solstice celebration. Ooh and another thing I’d love to do at some point, is go to Winter Wood again (if you are local, this is a must-do…so magical!)
I would also really like to do something specifically for others/helping out somewhere – not sure what yet…suggestions?
How do you celebrate your winter season?
Here are some of our sources of inspiration for creating a celebration of our own:
I jinxed it… December 7, 2013
I thought I should update you with the truth! Last month I posted about The end of an era. I said “…this may be the beginning of the days where I am not awake breastfeeding all night.” Well, I can confirm – it wasn’t! In fact in the last few nights I feel like I have been woken up every 10 minutes! Now before anyone feels sorry for me, I feel that I should point out that even though I am thoroughly shattered (and should have gone to bed with the kids!), it is not all bad. My days of snuggling my little boy at night, undisturbed, are numbered and I do actually really treasure this time. He is still in bed with me, so it is pretty easy for me to just roll over and feed him when I am exhausted. I have tried sleeping with the girls, but he knows when I’m in the house and cries for me (even toddles through the dark looking for me…bless!).
However, I can now go out in the evenings…I even slept over at a friends house and he is totally fine when I am not there, and Erin and Ayla ADORE feeding him a bottle of oatley and snuggling him to sleep (something that he won’t do if I’m around). I, on the other hand, feel a little bit like a teenager having a chance to leave the house in the evening…something I have don’t think I have done once (without having a child with me) in the last 6 years! I even went to out with a friend to see the lovely Martha Tilston sing …woooo!
Hubby & I are going to try to go out to see a film next week. WITHOUT any children, for the first time in over 14 months! Wish us luck!
My Amazing Children!! :-)