The Shop is 10

March 01, 2021



Wow. Ten years ago I took the leap and opened up Little Shop of ElleSee on Etsy. It's been quite the journey so far. There are so many dreams that I have had for the shop that I have yet to achieve, and some that I have accomplished, and you have been right by my side through it all. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I am incredibly grateful for the love that you give the shop. Parhaps you have purchased a card, art print, or Curled-Up Pup pin; maybe you have never made a purchase, but you follow along on social media and cheer along the sidelines. However you are involved with the shop, I am thankful for you!


There is still so much more that I plan to do, that I want to do, but sometimes it can get really overwhelming. I am not a marketing mogul, or an Instagram influencer, and most of the stuff I do I make up two seconds before I post it because I am the worst at planning things -- I am writing this at 7:30pm on the shop's birthday, though I did take the photo yesterday -- so a lot of times I am not in line with the trends, but Little Shop of ElleSee is slowly getting out there, and travelling around the world because of you, and the kind words that you share about the work I do. Cheers!!



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The Importance of Letting Children Complete Tasks on Their Own

February 19, 2021

Think about all of the things that you can do without thinking about them. Chances are that you've got a pretty long list of things you are capable of doing without even really thinking about what you need to do to complete those tasks. They can be anything from zipping your zipper (and what to do when it gets caught), to how to scrape the food you didn't eat off your plate and put it in the sink or dishwasher.


Now think about all of the steps that you have to take in order to complete a single task on your list. Let's take a look at putting on a sock: you know that your sock has to be turned a certain way so that the heel ends up in the same spot as the heel on your foot; you know that you have to open up the sock and put your foot in the hole at the top, pushing your foot in while pulling at the top of the sock at the same time. What happens if the sock gets twisted, or your toes end up getting stuck? You know that you have to adjust the sock, and maybe even take it off.


There are actually quite a few steps involved in being able to put on your sock, but you do it without even thinking about it. You are not born knowing skills that seem like simple tasks, they require time and attention, and, within a week or two of trying, children even as young as two (2) are pretty capable of completing these tasks, like putting on their shoes, pulling up pants, or scraping a plate of food, when given the opportunity to try, and it makes them feel so proud when they complete them.


Often, when it comes to learning, these types of tasks are overlooked. There are many reasons, be it that caregivers just do not have the time to wait for their child to attempt to put on their pants so they just do it for them, or learning the alphabet or how to write your name before entering school is seen as more important. What a lot of people do not realise is that these tasks are just as important for children to learn, if not more. The tasks we do every day that we do not think much about require fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and problem solving skills, just to name a few. Not to mention what it does for self esteem. How good do you feel when you complete a task that seems next to impossible when you first try? Pretty darn good!


A lot of schools have begun asking caregivers to make sure that their new students are capable of a lot of self-help skills before even starting Kindergarten. When a child enters school, it is imperative that they are capable of putting on their winter gear before heading outside for recess as teachers are not able to get all of the children ready within the small window of time that is recess. That doesn't mean that if they are struggling that help won't be offered, but the help that is offered is minimal and will eventually no longer be needed as the child is able to complete the task.


So what can we do to help our children learn to complete tasks on their own? 


If your child is beginning a new task that they have never done before, make sure you give them enough time to complete it. If they are working on zipping up their coat but they only get to do it when leaving the house, then you are more likely to take over when they are taking too long. Work on it at a time when you're not needing to leave the house, and provide toys and dress-up clothes that have zippers, buttons, snaps, etc. on them.


You can also make a game out of it. If the task your child is working on is learning how to clean up their room, set a timer to see how quickly they can do it, or sing a special song while helping them learn how to organize their toys.


There is nothing quite like completing a task and the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with it, even as adults. Children get so excited when they are able to zip their zipper by themselves, or put on their shoes, or pull up their pants. They are so capable of it, and just need our time and patience to walk them through the steps that we already know without thinking about it.


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What We Love: Winter 2021

February 15, 2021

 


One of the things that I am absolutely loving right now is my satin-lined toque that was made by Yetunde of the shop The Obsessed Crocheter. You may have seen the shop name before in the post for Canadian Handmade Christmas Gifts, but I had already owned the toque for a month before. As a newly minted curly living in a cold winter climate, I knew that I would need something more than a regular old toque to keep out the cold. Yetunde lives in Canada (support local!), so she knows how cold it can get, and she understands the importance of protecting the hair from the harshness of wool, and any other materials that toques are made of. You can tell that she takes great care in the work that she does, and I love how she picks out the satin just for you. Check out my Instagram to see the inside, it is gorgeous, and a fun surprise!



Lately, I have been hearing 1st Time from Bakar all over the one radio station that I listen to while driving. It is so smooth and upbeat at the same time and I absolutely love it!


This wooden letter board from the shop Knot Knot Outfitters is simply gorgeous. The natural wood grain and colour, and the simplicity of the lines carved directly into the board are what really draw me in.

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Life Lately: Winter 2021

January 30, 2021



There have been some beautiful days of glistening snow and frost so far this winter. We have been very fortunate that we have only had a few days of severely cold weather. I am hopeful it continues that way, as it makes the days much nicer when we can go outside to play.

I have been doing more research on curly hair, and the products that I use. I just recently figured out that the shampoo I use still has a coconut derivative in it, so I have cut it out and am waiting to see how it changes my hair. In the meantime, I am just using my conditioners to scrub away the residues and buildup in my hair. I am really struggling with finding products that have absolutely no coconut in them.

Finding foods that we are not used to, and good for our bodies, is something that I've been trying to do on grocery trips lately. I picked up a pomegranate (my son was not a fan of the seeds, but would eat the fruit and spit them out), and a yellow pepper, in the hopes that it would be another vegetable we could enjoy. I ended up just putting chopped up yellow pepper in my salads this week because it was not a fan favourite, and I really enjoyed the new flavour. I think I will continue buying them...for myself.

I purchased this beautiful bowl, that reminds me of Saturn, from Karlie King, and it is now my new favourite porridge bowl. It would also make a fantastic chip or popcorn bowl, as it is both deep and wide enough that I would feel satisfied with the amount of snacks that I got. Haha!


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Behind the Art: I Love You x 15

January 25, 2021

 

This card was inspired by a game that my son and I would play at bedtime when he was little. When I would get ready to leave after our cuddles, we would both say "I love you" as fast as we could a million times in a row to see who could say it the most.


I love creating cards that have a connection to me somehow because I have memories attached to them. We do not play this game anymore, and so I love this card all the more. Cherish those moments.



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My Curly Hair Journey: Six Months In

January 24, 2021

How it started... 


Back in July 2020, I shared the beginning of my curly hair journey with you, and I want to give you an update of how it's going. I was so excited to see the changes in my hair already at the beginning of my journey, but there have been a lot of ups and downs, and incredibly frustrating moments throughout the last six months. There have also been a lot of changes and hope. 


Once the hairdresser was able to open again, I went in for a trim, and it made a world of difference getting rid of nearly two years of split ends, but then I started to struggle again as my hair became really dry and started falling out. It wasn't severe, but every time I would run my hand along my hair, there would be a large quantity of strands that would come out at the ends. That's when I started to realise that my hair may have a sensitivity to coconut.


The struggles continued as I searched every where for products that do not contain coconut or coconut derivatives (which is not easy to find in drug store brands...or even online). Once my hair calmed down from the coconut, it seemed to be doing better, except that I couldn't figure out how to make my curls look less scraggly, tangled and frizzy. 


That's when I started doing more research. The curly haired people on Instagram have been a godsend, and I have learned so much from them. Once I found people that have similar hair to mine, I started to experiment with different techniques, and how to use the products I have. One thing that I learned that has really helped me is that it doesn't matter what products you use, it's how you utilize them.


The photo below is from my last wash day, and I couldn't be happier with the results. It's days like this that give me the most hope...that and looking back at past days when I took photos where I thought my hair looked amazing. It really does help to document the good hair days so that you can see the changes, and progress, that have been made. 


I knew going into this that it would be a lifelong journey. The people that I have found to learn from have been working with their curls for 2-3 years already, and I am only at six months. I know that there is so much more to learn, and so many more changes that will happen along the way!



How it's going!

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Read It: Light From Other Stars

January 16, 2021

 


I have to say that I was first attracted to the cover of Light From Other Stars by Erika Swyler before anything else. To draw me in at the bookstore, a good book (that I've never heard of before) must go through three tests in my mind: first, I'm drawn in by the cover art, then I process whether or not I like the title, and, lastly, I open the book to a random page to see if I enjoy the style of writing from the author. This book easily passed all three.


As I started reading though, it took me a little bit to get hooked in, but, once it got me, it sank those claws in deep. The more I read, the more I wanted to know, and, the more I knew, the more my mind was searching for answers, and, the more it was searching for answers, the more I knew that I couldn't figure this book out and I loved it!


This book is the furthest thing from a psychological thriller, but it had the same kinds of twists and turns that you would never had expected. Written from what seems to be two different times, though you're only ever told one specific time, this book deals with everything from family and loss to physics and space. It seems like a very broad range of topics, but it ends up taking you on an adventure of a lifetime where everything comes together beautifully in the end. It is truly one of my favourite books.


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