Monday, March 31, 2014

Exploring the World through books

I am excited to have my first month as a co-host for Poppins Book Nook.

 This wonderful FREE book club includes a lot of my favorite bloggers, who take a themed monthly topic and select a book that is appropriate to the theme. Then, on the last Monday of the month, we all present our books and something that ties in with the books and present a fun hands on learning opportunity such as a craft, project, diagram, report, collage, etc. directly related to the book on our blogs through the Poppins Book Nook

This month's theme is Where In The World?

Since we live in New Zealand, I firstly wanted to feature a book from our part of the globe. 

This book is done to the classic tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It" and has an accompanying CD with the words in English and Maori (two of New Zealand's official languages). It features native New Zealand animals such as a Kiwi, tuatara, penguins, eels and tui. Lucas liked pretending to be a still tuatara- so we made a tuatara as our craft using a green popsicle stick, a green pipe cleaner, some round stickers and craft glue.

Lucas decorated the stick with green spikes using a felt, and we added black circles to the stickers to make eyes. The green pipe cleaner was cut into four pieces then stuck onto the bottom to make legs- and Lucas suggested a tail too with the leftover piece, which was great thinking as tuataras do have long tails!

One of the featured animals is the New Zealand icon, the Kiwi. In the book, if you're a Kiwi and you know it dig for worms! I made Lucas and Adam a special Kiwi lunch, complete with worms.

The next book on our list was Farmyard Jamboree- this is the English version of a Chilean folk song that introduces children to animals and their young as well as counting in multiples of two. This book appealed to me as I used to live in Chile, and it was a great way to talk to my children about my time overseas as well as learn some more about animals.

The farmyard had a chicken and her chicks, so Lucas wanted to make a chicken as he knows I love chickens! We gathered our supplies- a round cardboard circle, a yellow cardstock circle, some googly eyes, a foam orange triangle, and yellow feathers. We started off by gluing the feathers to the base cardboard circle.

Once the feathers were stuck down, we placed the yellow piece down and added the eyes and beak.

The last book on our list for this month is a book in Spanish called Casas del mundo- Houses of the World.

I count myself very lucky that my boys are bilingual, and so it opens up a whole lot of book opportunities! This book talks about different types of houses in different parts of the world, and ends with the question- "what type of house would you like to live in?" This was a great opportunity to work on Lucas' vocabulary and imagination, and we wrote down his ideas.

He decided he would like to live in a Snow House
-buried in snow
-TVs with lots of computers and video games
-concrete floors with carpet on top
-medium sized
-the house would have a scarf, hat and mittens to keep it warm because there would be no sun (I thought this was very clever!)
-there would be forts outside to play on and it would be red
-people would still sleep in beds

I love his imagination and the ideas that he came up with were rather funny!

I hope you will join us over at Poppins Book Nook this month.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Clip art by Melon Headz

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway!

Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of Where in the World!  The winner must reside within the United States. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 30, 2014


The end of another week, and lots of fun activities done with the boys. The weather here has been very unpredictable, with some freezing mornings and other days where we are drenched in sun!

Breakfast is always better with a friend.

Adam bathed in sunlight.

Joining in here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, in 2014.

We have had a great week down south catching up with family and taking the time to do some touristy things in Dunedin. The Tropical Forest at the Museum was amazing, and the boys really enjoyed the Cadbury Chocolate Factory!

Lucas getting up close and personal with a butterfly.

Adam getting the giggles and pretending to be a train- a bit blurry but he was so cute!

Joining in here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

DD and Fusion Wedding Card

I have so many friends getting married now, and so a wedding card is always handy to have in my stash.

This week's card was inspired by two challenges, Fusion's sketch and Dynamic Duo's colours.

The Dynamic Duo was "black tie", and this inspired me to put my bride and groom on the card. The rest of the card came together nicely once I had the figures cut from black shimmer cardstock on the Cricut. I also cut the white hearts using the Cricut.

I always think of black and white for an elegant wedding card, and the pop of yellow adds some fun to this card. I used some scraps of black and white patterned paper and some black satin ribbon to complete my card. And bling- you can't forget the bling! The shimmery cardstock and the shiny bling don't really show up on this photo- I took about 20 photos and still couldn't get a good one!

Supplies used:
Creative Memories: CCS Oval Shapes, Black Shimmer cardstock
CTMH: For Always WOTG Kit, White Daisy Cardstock, Black ink, 
Miscellaneous: Black Satin Ribbon (from craft shop)
Stampin' Up: More Mustard cardstock, Love and Laughter stamp set.

My Running Crew

ExtraMile Runners is a Christchurch based team that provides group running programmes for all different levels of runners from the absolute to beginner who wants to get into the habit of regular exercise to those more experienced runners wanting to beat a PB in a 10km or half marathon. The programmes are between 8-10 weeks long and include 3 group training sessions a week with some of Christchurch's top coaches. The programmes are based on building community, having fun and growing people, we believe that these are the keys to being successful at exercise, we truly believe that we have the best team around!

I joined Extra Mile Runners at the beginning of the year and have gone from no running to running a 10 kilometre course within the three months I have been running with just the Saturday Runners group. The support, friendships and motivation are what keep me going every week- that and the fact that my Dad runs with the group too so he is my wake up call- can you tell he runs a lot harder than me! Everyone pushes me to do my best and there is always coffee at the end of each run.

This running group also helped me to tick a goal off my 30 before 30 list, and I completed my 5k Color Run at the end of February. I am now aiming to do the 10k course at the Christchurch Marathon in June. 

If you live in the Christchurch area and are keen to meet new people, improve your fitness or run a 5k or 10k race, I really recommend Extra Mile Runners. Each coach has a smile on their face, the camaraderie is amazing, and you even get your own personal cheer team at the end of each run. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

Next Groups: 
Stepping Up: 21 April, 15 June
Get up to Five (0-5km programme): 23 March, 18 May, 13 July 
Club10k (10km programme): 23 March, 18 May, 13 July
RaceTeam (Half Marathon programme): 23 March, 29 June & 14 September
Saturday Runners: Regular Saturday morning running group - all year round. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sale-A-Bration goodies

This is my fourth post today- the weekend was busier than I thought and I want to enter as many challenges as I can since I am on a bit of a crafting roll.

I am just a little bit obsessed with banners and pennants, so when I saw the SU Sale-A-Bration catalogue and it had a banner stamp set with a matching punch, I was sold!

I headed over to the Just Add Ink blog and they are celebrating the new products this week with the Just Add Sale-A-Brations challenge.

A family friend has just had a baby girl, so I wanted to make a sweet pastel card using my new goodies.

I used some very old pastel paper and teamed it with three different SU colours as well as some Lucky Limeade baker's twine on the top of the banner. A couple of SU punches and a sentiment from a baby stamp set completed the card.

Supplies used: (all Stampin' Up)
Cardstock: Wisteria Wonder, So Saffron, Pistachio Pudding
Inks: Wisteria Wonder, So Saffron, Pistachio Pudding
Embellishments: Lucky Limeade Baker's Twine
Stamp sets: Banner Blast, Baby Bundle
Punches: Banner, Modern Label, Curly Label
Tools: Mini Glue Dots

FMS #127 and STB card

I am on a roll today- finally have time to photograph all of the projects I made over the weekend and blog about them!

This card is for Freshly Made Sketches and Seize The Birthday.

Here is my take on the sketch.

The Seize The Birthday option was to use stitching on your card, so I added some fake stitching to the inner banner.

This card is for my husband's grandmother, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday this weekend.

Supplies used:
CTMH: White Daisy card base, Micro-Tip Scissors, Tombow Adhesive
Kaisercraft: Blae and Ivy Paper Pack, Blae and Ivy Stickers
Stampin' Up: Paper Piercing Tool, Memorable Moments stamp set, Always Artichoke ink

FD Friday Challenge Layout

It is Monday afternoon here, but there is still time to play along with Frosted Design's Friday Sketch Challenge!

My finished layout.

The twist was also to use buttons and bling. The buttons were placed at the edge to draw your eye down.

The bling is some teal shimmer trim added to the top left quarter of the page.

This is part of a two page layout- here is the sketch page with its partner.

I love my son's big expressive eyes, and here he was playing quietly with some toys and chatting away about them. He loves exploring and his questions are never-ending, he loves to wonder about everything!

Thanks for stopping by!


A portrait of my children once a week in 2014.

Lucas getting excited about a new book.

Adam has been in the dress up box again.

Joining in here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Personalised Casserole Dishes

This post is long overdue, but I have had lots of comments about these so I thought I would share one of my crafty creations.

One of my Pinterest Resolutions was to make these Personalised Casserole Dishes as a present for each female family member at Christmas. Being somewhat gung-ho, I bought the Frosted Effects Glass Etching Cream and a stencil set, and set to work.

Mega fail. The stencil was too far spaced, the cream would smudge when I tried to pull the stencil off, and my font was also hard to read. I was about to give up when my husband suggested I use an alphabet stamp set to stamp the cream on.

I got out my Urban Alphabet stamp set, and tentatively gave it a go. Amazingly, it worked perfectly and I was able to create some lovely personalised dishes for a gift.

I left them to dry, then heat set them in the oven. They are top-rack dishwasher safe, and heat proof up to 250 degrees C. These dishes were really appreicated and it gave me the warm fuzzies knowing that I had created something useful and fun.

Linking up with Show and Tell
 Show & Tell Thursday's

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Virtual Book Club For Kids (Marcus Pfister)

This month, the author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Marcus Pfister. He is best known for his book The Rainbow Fish, but we decided to read another one of his fabulous books- Questions, Questions. This is full of lovely rhyming questions about nature, the world around us and seasons. It provokes a lot of thinking for both adults and children, and is a great conversation starter for inquisitive kids.

One of the pages in the book talks about apples, so the first thing we did was colour in a letter a on a paper plate then cut it out to look like an apple since A was our letter of the week. Unfortunately my memory card malfunctioned, so this is the only photo I have of the colouring activity!

Lucas was most interested in the question- "What turns the rain on in the sky, and brings the sun to make things dry?"

We decided to do an experiment to see how rain works. We got a glass and filled it with hot water, then put a plate over top.

In a couple of minutes, condensation started forming at the top. Lucas was quite excited to see some mini clouds in the glass!

The next step was to put some ice on top of the plate, to see what happens when the warm air hits the cold air. It was difficult to get a picture, but the condensation started dripping back into the glass, making it rain.

Lucas and Adam were also excited to play with the ice cubes and watch them melt- another learning experience for them!

I am linking up with Mom's Library and the Virtual Book Club for Kids- come and see what everyone else has done based on Marcus Pfister.

What's Cooking Wednesday #7

Welcome back to What's Cooking Wednesday, where I go through my recipe books and finally make the dishes I have earmarked as wanting to try.

Last week's WCW was missed due to sickness in the house, horrible weather and a baking fail.

However, this week I decided to go with a recipe I knew would be good as it is out of a recipe book with a difference- my mother's handwritten collection of recipes. This book is falling apart and yellowed, with recipes cut out of magazines, recipes written out by people long deceased, and my mother's handwriting gracing most pages.

I tried her Lemon Cheesecake recipe for a dinner party and it brought back such fond memories. Fluffy on top, with a not too hard base and a yummy lemon filling- if you only try to make one cheesecake, make this one!

You will need:
  • 1 packet plain biscuits crushed
  • 4 oz butter melted
  • 1 packet lemon jelly crystals
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp lemon rind grated
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk chilled well
  • 1 cup cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
Mix biscuits and butter; press into a round tin.
Dissolve jelly in boiling water. Add lemon juice and rind, cool.
Beat evaporated milk until thick, beat cream cheese and blend in sugar and vanilla. Fold into evaporated milk and then add warm jelly mixture.
Pour over crumbed base and allow to set in the freezer.
Remove from tin and slice to serve.

The layers separate so that you get a lovely soft top with a solid lemon jelly centre (that doesn't seem like jelly, more like a set custard) and the base still manages to stay soft.

The leftovers were even good the next day!

Linking up with Wake Up Wednesdays.
Wake Up Wednesdays

Sunday, March 9, 2014


A portrait of my children once a week in 2014.

Another week has flown by!

We were cooped up inside with awful weather during the first part of the week, so Lucas spent a lot of time playing dress up and zooming around on his bike inside. This is not the best photo as it is blurry and Lucas isn't fully in the shot- but I love it because it sums up his wacky personality and full on zest for life.

Adam looks so grown up with his haircut!

Joining in at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Close To My Heart March News

Some of you may know that I am a Close To My Heart Consultant- you can check out my business blog at CTMH Craftings. Here I share my card and paper decor ideas, and I am a member of couple of design teams. I thought I would share my March newsletter with my SAHM I am readers, as there are a couple of big events coming up for Christchurch readers!

The Stamp Of The Month for March features adorable babushka dolls and can be yours for only $5 with a $75 order.

There is also a Studio J special if you are wanting to look into digital scrapbooking. I recently shared my layouts and I love the results I acheived with Studio J.

Plans are underway for our three day scrapbook retreat on the 16th-18th May this year. This is going to be a three day craft extravaganza where there will be plenty of food, fun and prizes on offer. I have created an Event listing for this on my Facebook page so please RSVP if you are interested. You can come for one, two or all days and enjoy socialising with others who are passionate about crafting too.

Finally, there is an upcoming card workshop on Saturday 3rd May. You can also RSVP to this on my Facebook page or let me know if you are interested by commenting below. For $20, you and your daughter can have some fun during the school holidays and make three cards together. I provide everything needed, as well as some yummy afternoon tea. This workshop is very limited in space, so please let me know as soon as possible if you and your daughter/granddaughter would like to come along. This is age appropriate from 6 years up. 

I would love for you to follow my CTMH blog or Facebook page to keep up to date with my creations!
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