Saturday, January 8, 2011

We have a winner!

The winner of the Montessori folding cloth/napkin giveaway was generated by

Commenter number two was Leslie!

Leslie said...
These are lovely! I've been wanting them forever for my Montessori based Sunday School program! I'm in! Thanks for the giveaway!

Congrats Leslie! To claim your prize, please email

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quick reminder--Montessori giveaway

Don't forget, this is the last day to enter the Montessori napkin giveaway!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Montessori Folding Cloth, Napkin Giveaway

This giveaway is closed.

I've said before that our morning routine could use some work. Ryann is hard to wake, and then getting through all the steps on the way out the door can take forever. Our whole routine is rushed and parent-led, which is unproductive and frustrating for us both.

I recently started getting out all the things Ryann needs to make her own cereal, before she wakes up. This way, I can go get her before I'm finished getting ready myself and she has more time to leisurely make and eat her breakfast while I have more time to leisurely put myself together. It's so wonderfully child- and mommy-friendly.

Isn't it cute? I thought the napkin made it classier. Like you would want to sit down and eat your Cheerios if you had a napkin. Ryann won't eat Cheerios even then; I'm not sure how she survived babyhood without Cheerios... but I digress.

Buying napkins for the dinner table reminded me of folding cloths, the cloths used in Montessori classrooms to practice folding. I've seen Ryann steal away washcloths and trace an imaginary line before folding them. It seemed like napkins would be an awesome thing to practice with, as well as spruce up the table.

However, there aren't many usable options for folding cloths on the internet, I've found. They are all drab, expensive and not something you would wipe your mouth with. I assume because they are made for classrooms and not dining rooms. So I made my own with a sewing machine and cute napkins from Target. And I'm giving away four!

These napkins are 100% cotton and goldenrod yellow with dark red contrasting tread, so it's easy for kids to see where they should make the various folds. Each cloth has a different one of the traditional folding patterns on it for lots of practice before mealtimes. 

To enter, just leave a comment before Friday at midnight (EST). For an extra entry, "like" the Real Life Montessori page on Facebook and leave another comment saying you did. I'll announce the winner on Saturday.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Projects in 2011

I'm not usually one for resolutions, but this year I just happen to be starting a few new things in January.

I work part time at a University and my schedule changes each semester. This spring will have Ryann eating lunch at school two days a week. In the fall she only packed a lunch on the day her dad picks her up from school and I'm sad to say I was not always on the ball. Most weeks I would have a moment of panic on Tuesday mornings trying to find something to pack in her lunch box that she would actually eat. We don't eat a lot of packaged foods so it was a challenge coming up with something other than pb&j every week. Now with two lunches a week I feel I need to step up my game and get organized.

Enter, the bento!

Kotobuki 280-129 2-Tiered Bento Box, Panda Face

I bought this Bento Box because I feel like the cute design will help sell the lunch to my picky eater, but it's really not necessary. I have long been a fan of site like Just Bento and of Japanese culture (with three years of 日本語 under my belt, I should be!) so I have been looking forward to packing bentos for a very long time.

A bento, for those unfamiliar, is simply a boxed lunch. Not much different from a Western lunch other than the type of container and food, but I do believe the presentation of said food is generally considered more important in a bento. I plan on packing a combination of Japanese and American food choices and I hope it helps Ryann expand her palette. Once we receive Ryann's bento box, I will post pictures of a few of her lunches.

Speaking of pictures, another one of my loves is photography and I've started a big photo project this year. A friend of mine has inspired me to do a 365. One photo every day for a year. You can check out my progress here if you would like to see a little more of everyday life in our house.

And finally, in 2011 I will be doing my first giveaway! Monday Tuesday I will be giving away items that follow the Montessori method but are used every day. It's so lovely when giveaways fit a theme, isn't it?