Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Nook Roundup- our Favourites!

This month marks the end of my first year with Poppins Book Nook, a virtual book club for children of all age ranges. This experience has been amazing as it is not just about reading some fun books, but having experiences as a family.

Here is a roundup of each theme we have done throughout the year, as well as links to each individual post for further instructions.

Our first month was exploring the world around us, where we made a kiwi snack, a chicken craft and a tuatara!

Next up was Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which saw us take a trip on a steam train as a family.

Folktales was a very fun theme, and we learnt about the real reason the tide goes in and out after reading about taniwhas and the tide.

Winter was well and truly on out doorstep when we had The Great Outdoors theme, so we had a fun week of snow related activities. Our PVA glue snowmen were a huge hit!

The boys made their own parrots when we read about pirates, and we also had a pirate themed dinner.

Things got a bit more serious when I asked Lucas what he would like to be when he grew up. He thought for a while and decided either a policeman or a clown! We ended up looking into what policemen do and had fun creating our own police badge.

By far, the most popular theme for the boys during this round of The Poppins Book Nook was The Wild West. We don't have a desert in the south island of New Zealand, but the boys were fascinated by some photos I showed them of me in the Atacama desert. We also watched some movies about cowboys, made our own Wanted posters, practiced pasta threading and also made some puffy paint.

Beyond Our Planet got the boys thinking about the moon, planet and stars. We invented a new outdoors game, made swirling planets from milk, and explored the phases of the moon with Oreos, as well as making our own starry sky painting using a cheese grater!

The kitchen is a great place for cooking, but we also used this theme to explore science recipes using common kitchen items such as baking soda and vinegar. This was a messy theme but made both boys extremely excited as they love to bake and make things blow up.

The boys also got to do some science experiments involving movement and force for the Poppins Book Nook, which was right up their alley.

Our last theme for this round of the Poppins Book Nook was reading some poetry, and one of our books was all about different types of dogs. Noodle the Poodle was our favourite dog, and so we made our own poodles out of noodles!

I have loved being a part of this round of the Poppins Book Nook, and can't wait to be involved for the next installment!

The themes have just been released, so if this sounds like something you would be interested in participating in, simply come back on the last Monday of each month where there will be a linky provided for you to share your reading creations with the other co-hosts and bloggers.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Checking Out the Zoo

My family and I were lucky enough to spend a day at Orana Wildlife Park a couple of weekends ago to celebrate my nephew's birthday. I haven't been for over a year- my sister had her wedding here but my boys have only seem brief glimpses of the park.

First stop was the new playground and flying fox!

Feeding the giraffes was a real close up experience, as you can tell! I love that this is included in your park entry, although be sure to line up early. It is hard to get a good photo due to the amount of people on the platform, but my giraffe was happy to see me with leaves in my hand.

I love to see the zebras, and I even colour coordinated with them.

The meerkats were cute, and took turns keeping guard high up on a rock. The boys thought they would be bigger in real life, but still said they were cool.

We got right up the front to see the tiger feeding, and the zookeeper was a fantastic spokesperson for how these animals are treated in the wild. It really was an informative speech and we all learnt a few new things about tigers. I remember taking photos with this tiger at my sister's wedding, so it was nice to see that it still likes getting in the water and is so photogenic, even when waiting for the meat to be thrown into the enclosure!

Of course, the zoo is a big day for the littlies, and so someone was tired out at the end of the day!

If you are in Christchurch as a visitor, or live in Christchurch and haven't been to Orana Wildlife Park recently, it is well worth a visit- especially as they have a new baby rhino!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WCW Apple Shortcake Slice

My mum's apple tree has been laden with fruit, so I took some apples off her hands. These apples are best eaten cooked, so I stewed up a big batch and thought I would try my hand at recreating the apple shortcake slice I love from my local coffee shop.

Apple Shortcake Slice

You will need:
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
3 cups self-raising flour
2 cups stewed apples

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350F). Lightly grease a 9x13 rectangle baking tray.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract and salt. Beat well.

Fold the flour slowly into the mixture.

Divide the mixture in half and press one half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread with the stewed apples, then roll out the remaining half of the pastry and lay on top of the stewed apples.

Prick some holes in the top layer of pastry and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Leave to cool then cut into squares. You should have a clearly defined layer of apples between two shortcake layers when you cut into your slice.

Serve dusted with icing sugar. This can be eaten cold as a cake for a snack, or heated and served with custard or icecream. My boys loved a slice in their lunchboxes!

Linking up with Tatertots and Jello, Pin Me Linky Party and Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Poodle Poetry

Welcome back to another installment of the Poppins Book Nook!

This month's theme is Poetry!

We had fun looking at a few types of poetry, from prose to nursery rhymes.

One of the books that the boys really liked was Name That Dog.

Lucas thought that Noodle the Poodle was hilarious, and that was one of our favourite poems in the book. Other favourites were Rex, Snickers and Puddles.

We set about creating our own Poodles with fur like noodles. I created cloloured spaghetti by boiling spaghetti as normal then leaving in the water with a splash of white vinegar and food colouring for an hour. I asked the boys what colour they wanted their poodles to be; Lucas choose red and Adam chose green. You can see how we have used coloured spaghetti in the past here.

I printed out two copies of this Printable Poodle Template for the boys to create a paper and spaghetti Noodle the Poodle.

The boys used both their hands and tongs to place some noodles onto the poodle outline after I had covered it in glue. Mini tongs are great for developing the muscles needed for correct pencil grip.

The boys were happy with their finished Poodles and decided to call them Fire and Cucumber- great names for these colourful noodle poodles. 

Click below to see how other members of Poppins Book Nook were inspired!

 Clip art by MelonHeadz.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool 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 ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ 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 ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ 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

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Boohoo Fit- Fashionable Fitness

I always find it easier to exercise if I am inspired by my workout clothes, and so when I saw the new Boohoo Fit range I was very excited to see what they had to offer.

Mystery Case is also hosting the Fit Fashion Finds challenge, so this was a perfect opportunity to take part in her challenge and try out some new exercise gear at the same time!

My main needs for workout fashion are coverage, stretch and compatiblity with all types of weather. I quite often run outdoors, so layering pieces in fabrics that will keep me warm or cool are a must.

I decided to try out the Vicky Zip Through Bomber (on sale now!) and matching Loren Sports Legging.

The best time for me to test these out was during a run and stretch at a nearby park. I am just getting back into exercise after surgery, and so I need to take it easy.

These leggings are perfect for light workouts. They keep my lower half cool and do not constrict my movements. The panel adds enough interest without being boring or too over the top, and the shades of blue look great and go with my existing workout gear.

This jacket goes well with the Loren Boohoo Fit leggings, but also works well with jeans or black pants as an extra layer to wear in the cooler weather. The sleeves and body of the jacket are the perfect length for me, and it keeps me warm without being too heavy. It wears well, and I can put it in my bag to pull out after a workout without worrying about it wrinkling.

Isn't this print fun?

It is pretty hard to get a good photo of me running, but these leggings were perfect for the slightly overcast day. The move with my body and do not give me a muffin top or cause me to wriggle around every five minutes trying to get comfortable.

After a run, it is back on with the Vicky Jacket. I love matchy matchy items, so this is my happy place!

The wide waistband on the Loren Print Leggings means that I get a comfortable fit, and it keeps my tummy at bay!

These items are so comfortable that I could stay in them all day. They fit my body so well, and when I do take them off they wash beautifully. I have washed these leggings three times since I got them and they have had no colour fade at all.

I am wearing a generic workout top in these shoots, as when I first looked at the Boohoo Fit range they only had crop tops or racerback tops, both of which are not my cup of tea when working out. However, I see that they now have a Breathable Sports T-Shirt, so I know what my next purchase is!

If you love Fit Fashion Finds, be sure to check out the Boohoo Fit range as they are affordable, fashionable and functional.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WCW Berry Mallow Tarts

I have been on a real berry kick lately, and so this week's recipe once again features a delicious berry treat.

I put together these Berry Mallow Tarts in five minutes (plus chilling time) and everyone loved them at a family get together in the weekend.

The base of this tart uses premade tart cases, available in the bakery section or with the bread products in your local supermarket. You could make your own but this dessert is all about a quick and easy nibble for when you are in a rush!

To make a quick an easy tart, perfect for potlucks or a shared dessert, you will need:

24 readymade short pastry cases
250g cream cheese
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup The Dollop Kitchen Raspberry & Boysenberry Compote
2 bags marshmallows

Beat together the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and compote until thick and creamy. Place in the fridge and leave to set for at least 2 hours.

Once the mixture is chilled, spoon into the pastry cases.

Top with a marshmallow, alternating white and pink to create a pretty display!

These can be chilled until ready to serve- if served at room temperature the mixture will become runnier but still delicious. 

Linking up with kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Folkloric Fashion for Autumn

One of the big trends coming up for Autumn is Folklore- think fur coats, tapestry inspired jackets, flared pants, blanket cardigans and coats, maxi dresses, winter shorts and floaty blouses.

I can't see myself in some of these items, but it is definitely a trend that I will have some fun with as the days transition from cool, to warm, then cool again.

One of the best things about this trend is the materials. The combination of soft and heavy fabrics such as silk, fur, chiffon and wool can be very versatile for layering. This comes in handy when the days start out chilly and then the sun breaks through at 10am.

Here is an outfit I put together to take advantage of the trend, featuring a sheer blouse, fun tapestry jacket and flared jeans. Some pink accents in the necklace, shoes and handbag keep the jacket from overpowering the look, and I am loving soft pink and navy together at the moment!

Folkloric Fashion

This outfit can take me from school run to coffee dates and then to a craft evening, as the top layer could be easily removed from this outfit and you will still have a polished look. The cardigan fits the tapestry trend without being too over the top, and this particular style of flared jean is wonderful for those of us who are a bit shorter as the flare isn't too dramatic.

Do you have any folklore inspired items on your wishlist for Autumn?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...