Sometimes you just need chocolate!

101_5055  Sometimes I just want to sit down with a nice hot cup of coffee and a piece of decadent chocolate cake.  Especial a cake that is safe for me to eat.  This cake is gluten, diary and nightshade free.  I also use a sugar blend with stevia, so I am attempting to cut back on some of the many calories a cake can contain.

101_5056 I chose some fresh strawberries to add to the top instead of roses or another pretty flower.  I can’t remember where I learned this trick to keep the  chocolate ganache shiny, but all I did was add one teaspoon of coconut oil and it looks so nice and shiny!

101_5057  The multi-layered cakes are so pretty, yet sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy for those.  So I modified a standard cupcake recipe so I would only have one layer.  For my vegan followers, I’m sorry, this does contain eggs.  But as you well know, this cake can easily be made vegan style.

Please share your pictures of the yummy cakes or deserts you’ve made lately!  I would love to see them.

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Provocation & Inspiration

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At first when I put out these lavender rhododendrons I didn’t think there would be any interest in using them as an inspiration to draw, due to some previous attempts with the resulting artwork being the polar opposite of the flowers.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to later look back at these pictures and find that yes, there was inspiration from these lovely flowers!  

It is true that the colors of paint I put out were in the color family of the flowers, yet as we all know, a child will create whatever they wish despite what is in front of them.  When  I look at the painting on the right, I notice how all the colors used do represent the flowers.  The artistic expression of this child is of her own interpretation and developmental ability, which makes her picture that much more important and valued!

I respect children’s artwork because it comes directly from their minds and hearts.  Each child has the ability to create. And each picture created is a snapshot or window into that child’s emotions, creative ability at the time and life experiences. 

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So my provocation of lavender flowers may not always inspire a child to paint or draw them, but it is there for children to explore if desired.  Each child can interpret that flower in a different way.  And I can be their to extend, assist or just be a silent observer when creativity strikes.  Sometimes a flower may not be the thing that is painted, but that flower sparked a memory of going to the park, planting seeds in a garden, or of the pretty flowers Mommy got for her birthday. When I open up dialogue with a child I become a scribe and show my respect for that child’s ideas, interests, experiences and creations.  Not to mention a whole lot of emotion is experienced while in the creative mode! 🙂

In what ways do you respect your young growing child or students?  How do you extend or support their interests?  Please share, I would love to learn from you too!

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT