Saying Thank You for a Meal Waldorf Style

Davina here - Last week I posted a tutorial on how to make a gratitude jar and the value of gratitude as a feeling. This week I have been thinking more about gratitude and observing what other gratitude customs my family and our friends engage in. One of the key customs I have observed is blessing a meal (non religious blessing if thats possible). This is not something we do as a family for every meal but since Elfie started Kindergarten she has wanted to bless each meal and we welcome her to do it and encourage her to take lead. 

3 reasons why its nice to bless a meal:

In Steiner schools, which Elfie goes to one of, it is custom to bless the meal through a little non religious verse before the meal - normally one that thanks Mother Earth for the food she has given. I really like this for three reasons. 

  1. It teaches young children that food is grown in the earth and we need to value it and not waste it.
  2. It encourages children to be grateful for the food and promotes feelings of gratitude.
  3. It brings the children together in a moment of calm focus before eating their meal.


I have been really inspired by the different Waldorf nature themed meal blessings and have gathered a few of my favourite for you.

Meal Time Thank You Verses:

For trees so tall 
And skies so blue 
For friends and food 
We thank you 

Blessings on the blossom,
Blessings on the root,
Blessings on the leaf and stem,
Blessings on the fruit.

Earth who gives to us this food
Sun who makes it ripe and good
Dearest Earth and dearest sun
We won't forget what you have done

Earth we thank you for this food
For rest and home and all things good
For wind and rain and sun above
but most of all for those we love

 

Lighting a Candle for the Meal

One tradition that we and many of our friends (including Hannah) have is to light a candle with every meal - it acts in a similar way as a blessing that it brings everyone together in a calm moment before the meal, which is very useful for small children (especially when you have lots of them around the table like at Kindergarten). We like to say a little verse when we light the candle, which we ask the children to say with us and very quietely so not to scare the gnome (you will see what I mean about gnome in a minute).  If they don’t join in then we say the gnome is not ready to come out yet. They get so excited about the ‘fire gnome’ that often there is a sigh of wonder when the match is lit followed by a beautiful moment of silence. 

Candle Lighting Verse:

Fire gnome, Fire Gnome
Come outside

I recently came across this one, which is similar and maybe even nicer. 

Bringing Light and Love to everyone--
Light faries come to us,
Bring to us your golden light.

Do you have any gratitude customs that you would like to share? I’d love to  hear as soon I will be compiling a list of ways to encourage gratitude. 

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P.S Thanks to this months sponsors who support this blog and our families and help us create content for you guys. Cambridge Baby  - ethical kids wear,  given us a 10% discount for Seeds and Stitches readers with code 'green' . Myriad - kids toys, activities and games for all ages.  Wild Fox photography (AKA Hannah's mister)- natural, non posed family photo's. Great British Florist - beautiful British gift bouquets. Go check em out! And get in touch with us here if you're interested in sponsoring or advertising with us, we'd love to hear from you

May colours, Bluebell woods and rapeseed fields.

Yellow Rapeseed field joy | Seeds and Stitches blog

Hannah here: May has been a colourful month, full of Spring greenery, pink blossoms, yellow fields and purple woodland. Rapeseed fields, luminous in their yellow glow, have been calling to us since the flowers blossomed a few weeks ago and we finally heeded their call and stopped to frolic and photograph. Is there anything more joyful than a field full of yellow?! Frankie-Rose certainly doesn't think so (and neither, quite honestly, do we. ) We have also visited Kings Wood quite a few times in the last few weeks, seeing them first just before they erupted, glorious even then, despite the rain.  We then visited as many times since to see them in their full glory. The cloud of scent, the purple haze through the trees, shafts of sunlight through the branches... It was, in a word, glorious, and warranted, I felt,  a whole blog post, so here we are!

Yellow rapeseed Field joy | Seeds and Stitches blog
Yellow rapeseed Field joy | Seeds and Stitches blog
Yellow rapeseed Field joy | Seeds and Stitches blog
Yellow rapeseed Field joy | Seeds and Stitches blog
Kings wood in Kent, Bluebells | Seeds and Stitches blog
Kings wood in Kent, Bluebells | Seeds and Stitches blog
Bluebells in Kings Wood, Kent | Seeds and Stitches blog

I have been trying to think about more colourful happenings in the coming months- but I'm not sure much can beat that? Maybe the Poppy fields? Any thing i'm forgetting?

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P.S Thanks to this months sponsors who support this blog and our families and help us create content for you guys. Cambridge Baby  - ethical kids wear,  given us a 10% discount for Seeds and Stitches readers with code 'green' . Myriad - kids toys, activities and games for all ages.  Wild Fox photography (AKA Hannah's mister)- natural, non posed family photo's. Great British Florist - beautiful British gift bouquets. Go check em out! And get in touch with us here if you're interested in sponsoring or advertising with us, we'd love to hear from you

Gratitude Jar

Davina here - Recently I have noticed Elfie has started to forget to say thank you and I keep on finding myself saying ‘ Don’t forget to say thank you’ or ‘what do you say’. I really don’t want to force Elfie to say ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ and would much rather she said it because she meant it and that she learnt it through observing my behaviour, which by the way I really try hard at - if you ever see me on a bus you will hear me thank the bus driver every time and I always try to send thank you notes for presents and kind gestures (you may have seen my Pass it On Thank you Tin tutorial recently).

I have been thinking a lot about ways to try and teach Elfie about gratitude other than just trying hard to say thank you whenever I can because gratitude is more than just politeness - it is a deep genuine feeling of thankfulness, something, which makes you feel good and others around you too. I plan to write a post in more depth soon about the value of gratitude and different ways to help your child and yourself tap into it but for now I want to share with you one simple and effective idea - the ‘Gratitude Jar’ or ‘Thank You For.. Jar’ (the second option might be easier for kids to understand). 

How to use the Gratitude Jar:

The concept is easy and well practiced with Action for Happiness advocating it and many people all over the world putting it to good use. All you do is simply think about 3 things you are grateful for each day and write them down and put them in the jar (so you can review them if you wish at a later date). Its best to do this at the end of the day so you can reflect on what you are grateful for that whole day. At first you might think about big things in your life - like family and health but soon if you do it everyday it can become more about things you are grateful for that day - the little things.  It can also be really lovely to share your thoughts with your partner, friends or children - perhaps through choosing one card each to read out.

The important thing is that not only is it a nice thing to do but it actually effects the way our brain works. At first we have to consciously think positively about 3 things we are grateful for that day but then quickly our brain begins to think more positively and gets into a habit of feeling gratitude. According to Action for Happiness in tests, people who tried it each night for just one week were happier and less depressed one month, three months and six months later. 

How to make a Gratitude Jar:

This is a super quick and easy make. All you need is a clean large jar and someway to write 'Gratitude' or 'Thank You for." on it. You could use:

  • Paper and washi tape (like I did)
  • Just washi tape that you write directly onto
  • Dymo embossing tape
  • Liquid chalk
  • Etching - see out guest tutorial here on etching glass jars by Alexis from Something I made
  • Chalk board labels or paint (use masking tape to make clean shape)
  • Stickers

Notes on using Gratitude Jar with small children:

I have tried it with Elfie and she didn’t really understand quite what I was asking her to do - I think she is still a little young but then I asked her to tell me her favourite thing of the day and she grasped that idea really well so now I ask her at bath time what her favourite part of the day was and I write it down for her. This weekend I might try and get her to draw her favourite thing of the day. I think with young children just one thing a day is enough - but for older kids and adults three works really well.

Have you got any strategies to help encourage yourself or your kids to feel gratitude? I’d love to hear any ideas for my next post on 10 ways to encourage feelings of gratitude.

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P.S Thanks to this months sponsors who support this blog and our families and help us create content for you guys. Cambridge Baby  - ethical kids wear,  given us a 10% discount for Seeds and Stitches readers with code 'green' . Myriad - kids toys, activities and games for all ages.  Wild Fox photography (AKA Hannah's mister)- natural, non posed family photo's. Great British Florist - beautiful British gift bouquets. Go check em out! And get in touch with us here if you're interested in sponsoring or advertising with us, we'd love to hear from you

Soulful Homes: Abbie Walsh's quiet, dramatic (and totally organised!) home

Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)

Hannah here: I have another house tour for you today, this time the whimsical home of Abbie Walsh, a local jewellery and accessories designer which appeared in Mollie Makes in February. I am keen to profile more local makers and creatives so I was really thrilled Abbie was up for a shoot, especially as it was a two minute walk away! 

Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)
Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)
Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)
Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)

I loved so much about Abbie's home; she and Jon have backgrounds in the theatre and I loved how that was reflected in their home, a quiet dramatic flair, a certain attention to detail, bold statements. The vintage kitchen is beautiful and that entrance porch, with all walls and the ceiling papered in Vivienne Westwood paper? Come. On. But her studio is where my heart really went all a-flutter. What a beautiful space! Abbie often holds open studio's so its a showcase of her work;  one off bespoke accessories, jewellery and embellishments for magazine editorials and celebrities. What a lovely job! Abbie’s ruthless decluttering philosophy keeps things feeling calm and tidy; very inspirational for us, especially as we live in a similar home (which is still full of clutter- although we are constantly working on that!)

Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)
Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)
Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)
Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)
Abbie Walsh's home, photgraphy Kristy Noble, Styling Hannah Bullivant for Mollie Makes (feb)

See more of Abbie's work here. The photography is by Kristy Noble. I styled and wrote the feature, which appeared in the Feb issue of Mollie Makes. I will try to be more organised with posting houses so you can read the actual feature! The words and images package is available 2nd rights with our agency,  Narratives

Happy Tuesday to you! 

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P.S Thanks to this months sponsors who support this blog and our families and help us create content for you guys. Cambridge Baby  - ethical kids wear,  given us a 10% discount for Seeds and Stitches readers with code 'green' . Myriad - kids toys, activities and games for all ages.  Wild Fox photography (AKA Hannah's mister)- natural, non posed family photo's. Great British Florist - beautiful British gift bouquets. Go check em out! And get in touch with us here if you're interested in sponsoring or advertising with us, we'd love to hear from you

Bullivants Do Europe: Svinklov, Denmark

Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog

Hannah here: Can you believe I still have photo’s to share from our big trip last summer?! We’re nearing the end now, but I am really excited today to share a beautiful rural corner of Denmark called Svinklov. 

We traveled by ferry from Gothenburg to Frederikshavn then took a short drive to Svinkloff, situated right on the North coast of Denmark overlooking the North sea.  The camp site was lovely with sea views and huge pitches. Having practically thrown the tent up (so eager we were to explore the beach below), we hurriedly packed the first food and drinks we could lay our hands on into the backpack and set off. The walkto the beach begins at the top of the enormous heather covered sand dunes on which the camp site is perched, and cuts a path that sometimes necessities a scramble through the dunes. The vast swathes of sand below are worth it though, there was hardly another soul to be seen. 

Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog

The weather for this part of our trip was fairly awful but we ventured to the beach everyday, clad in head to toe waterproofs and set up a little shelter. Dave fished, Frankie slept, I read. We ate sandy sandwiches and drank tin cups of wine. Nobody came. We celebrated Dave’s birthday here in this idyllic patch of Danish beach land. We had the good fortune of stumbling across a tradtitional beach hotel, Svinklov Badehotel, which we subsequently learned has been running since 1925 and attracts an extremely loyal set of well heeled travellers. The interior was utterly charming- one room clad in blue and white stripes, another in yellow and white. Impeccable white clapboard. The serving girls wore long skirts and aprons and the sea food, caught within a few miles go the hotel, was satisfying, juicy, and utterly delicious. We plan to return here and stay in the hotel, one day. The rest of the trip was spent on the beach (rain or shine) or walking amongst the sand dunes. There are worse places to turn 30 eh? My mister is a lucky man. 

Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov Badehotel, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog
Svinklov, Denmark | Seeds and Stitches blog

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P.S Thanks to this months sponsors who support this blog and our families and help us create content for you guys. Cambridge Baby  - ethical kids wear,  given us a 10% discount for Seeds and Stitches readers with code 'green' . Myriad - kids toys, activities and games for all ages.  Wild Fox photography (AKA Hannah's mister)- natural, non posed family photo's. Great British Florist - beautiful British gift bouquets. Go check em out! And get in touch with us here if you're interested in sponsoring or advertising with us, we'd love to hear from you.