Showing posts with label Cape Cod. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cape Cod. Show all posts

Photo Home Decor Review with Special Savings Code

Disclosure: Artsy Couture sent me these prints of my sister's photographs in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you how my sisters and I are fixing up my parents (and grandparents) former house on Cape Cod to rent out. We want some home decor with Cape Cod/beach theme without being too personal. My sister who is an amazing photographer (she has an art degree and use to work professionally as a photographer), took some photos of places around the house and sent them to me. I asked Artsy Couture for help in making them into something we can use at the house (that is if I am willing to give them up--I haven't decided yet). The house sits on a saltwater marsh on the bay side so it has the most beautiful sunsets. She was able to capture one in these photographs. 

Summertime Books

Don't forget to sign up for our US state postcard exchange!!
Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copies of these books free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Friday was Hazel's last school day!! So we have begun our summer vacation!! Today I am going to share some books with you that are prefect for summer!! So if you are looking for some summertime fun reading check these books out. The first book is And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner and illustrated by Jaime Kim. 

Beach Inspired Rock/Nature Art

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

A few weeks ago when we were at Cape Cod visiting my parents, Hazel and I saw some really neat nature artwork in a store. We thought we could have a go at making them. When we went to the ocean, we collected rocks. I tried to collect small rocks, but Hazel really liked the big ones.
Hazel's Creations

I was trying to figure out a cheap background for these and came across a discontinued sample of a home dec fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics on sale for $1. I bought it and we made homemade canvases with popsicle sticks. Then we began to arrange them. Hazel wanted to use all the big rocks on our little homemade canvases, but of course it did not work. We actually went and bought some larger canvases so she could have fun with the bigger rocks and I made most of the smaller ones. While buying the canvases, we noticed the river rocks and glass gems were on sale for $1, so we bought some and used them as well.
Our Animals: Whale, Turtle and Crab and Turtle

The original designs we had seen at the store included a turtle, a shell wreath and a map of Cape Cod. We copied these and made some of our own designs. I have a cousin getting married on Cape Cod this fall and thought they might like to have one of the maps. I put a red rock where they are getting married on  the map for them and used a store bought canvas. I am thinking we may give one of the other maps to my parents and of course keep one for ourselves.
We used a low temp glue gun to attach the rocks to the fabric or canvas and use the glue gun to make the canvases. Then afterward I glued some more popsicle sticks to them to be a frame. I also added some blue glitter glue to make the whale more recognizable. 
I also used some small shells I had bought ages ago to make the wreath and put a small star fish in the middle. Overall we had fun and it was an easy way to make something with the rocks we collected (and bought) to keep our beach memories alive.

Virtual Book Club for Kids--Lois Ehlert

Just a reminder that Sharing Saturday is still open! Share your CHILD-oriented crafts and activities with us! And I have a great GIVEAWAY going on for you to enter! Our multicultural post will be shared later in the week due to the Book Club for Kids!

The Virtual Book Club for Kids is a wonderful group of blogs that choose an author each month and share an activity and/or craft to go with a book by that author. Then we host a blog hop so you can share as well. The blogs hosting this great time are:

This month the author  is Lois Ehlert. This week we are sharing about Growing Vegetable Soup. I will start by saying I chose this book because of the many things we could share with the Moms Fighting Hunger Group. So yes, I'm sort of double dipping here.

For those that do not know, September is National Hunger Month here in the United States. A group of bloggers, moms, dads, anyone have joined together to help fight hunger and help advertise No Kid Hungry campaign of Share Our Strength. And this week is their Dine Out for No Kid Hungry where restaurants across the U.S.A. have special events going on to donate money to the campaign. For participating restaurants near you check out the map here.

So now onto our book and activities. This book is literally about a family planting, taking care of and harvesting vegetables and then making soup. Very simple premise. So for our first activity, we planted plants and seeds. However we did not do so well on the taking care of the garden aspect. However Hazel did plant some seeds and plants with my father in his garden since we did not have enough space in ours for everything she wanted to grow. He did a great job of taking care of it, so we harvested some of his vegetables for our soup. Then my mother and I went to the local produce place and bought the rest of what we needed. In the gardening pictures you can see green peppers, Swiss chard, tomato, cabbage and celery.

 We came home and made vegetable soup with all of our ingredients. Now at Cape Cod the temperatures had been just around 70 if not lower, but when we got home it was 80. Not my ideal soup weather, but Hazel had it in her head and really wanted to make it and I knew this is what I wanted to do for this post.
Hazel helped me chop the vegetables. She chopped the zucchini, green beans, and carrots. I chopped the potatoes, celery, pepper, tomatoes, corn (off the cob), onion, garlic, and broccoli. Since we are not big cabbage fans, we did not put it in. We threw everything (except the corn and frozen peas) into our big soup pot and added a few quarts of vegetable stock and a bit of spices (rosemary and thyme) and let it cook. I had to go out around dinner time and left instructions with Steve to add the corn and peas about 10 minutes before eating. When I came home he was microwaving the corn and peas. He didn't quite get what I meant. Oh, well. The soup was yummy!! Oh, we also did put a little ground turkey breast in just to give us some more protein. Then I got to thinking about the nutrition of food that the hungry eat. Since it is so hard to buy nutritious food for small amounts of money, wouldn't it be great to give vegetable soup or its makings to a food pantry or soup kitchen. The next time I was at the grocery store I bought some cans of soup and some cans of vegetables (now personally I don't like most canned vegetables, but at least they would be nutritious and not spoil) and another quart of the vegetable stock. I am going to donate all of it to the food pantry in my town. I'm also going to ask you to go buy a can of vegetable soup or of a vegetable and donate it to your local food pantry or organization that feeds the hungry in your area. I hope you will join me in this fight of hunger in our local towns!!

On a side note, I would like to share something my Weight Watcher leader told me. I asked her to advertise the Dine Out campaign and she told me that some of her members teach in a local school system (a city next to our town) and they have seen kids digging through the trash at the end of lunch to have food to bring home for after school. It is so sad and heartbreaking. We are all so worried about the third world countries we seem to forget about the hungry in our neighborhoods.

Now my next thought was where do I want to donate this food. My church is always collecting food for an organization called Haven From Hunger. But I wanted to do something besides just drop off the two bags of cans I bought. I got to thinking and went to my local library. Now the children's librarian knows Hazel and me well. I asked her if we could organize a can drive story time where she picks books about hunger and/or food (depending on age appropriateness) and advertise that the children must bring a can of food to attend. She jumped right on board with me as long as we could postpone it to the first week in October since her September calendar was already set and we could advertise better for October. Now every Tuesday she has two scheduled story times, a 2-year-old one and a 3-5-year-old one. She added for October 2 an afterschool one to get older kids and kids who may be busy during the day. So she is going to plan three story times and ask for cans for our local food pantry in our town. This is where I'm going to donate my cans and I will take all that she collects to the local food pantry. Plus I spoke to the local newspaper editor about advertising it for us and he told me to call when we have it all set because he is happy to do it.

So I was trying to think how I could help even more with the story times and was thinking about stories for the younger kids. I thought of Stone Soup. I mentioned it to the librarian and then volunteered to make ingredient stones (like my story stones) for the story time. She can give each child a stone and have a big pot so they can participate in the story.

This idea also works with Growing Vegetable Soup. You just would need vegetable stickers or to paint your vegetables. Then the child could make vegetable soup with his/her stones. Now I am not a very good painter, so I used stickers. It took me forever to find vegetable stickers, but I found some at AC Moore. I stuck them onto rocks and Mod Podge over them to seal them. For the ingredients in the book and not on the stickers, I did my best to paint a picture of them and also wrote the name on the rock. Then sealed them. I know the kids will love this activity with the story time. Plus it is s a fun way to play with vegetables and nutritious food!

Now it is your turn to share!! If you have a new or old post about an activity to do with a Lois Ehlert book, please share below and grab the button and code if you would like to help us advertise! (FYI, the blog hop goes live at midnight!!) Also please make sure you visit the other blogs that are hosting to see what they have created with the various Lois Ehlert books! (Plus next Monday we will share another project to go with a different book!)


Happy Family Times 13: Making Strawberry Jam

Have you done something fun and different with your family this week? Or did you dance in the living room together? Kelly over at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are hosting a link party to share our happy family times. Please share below with us and visit everyone else to be inspired for more quality times with your family!

Family Time...Nature Walks at Cape Cod

View from their deck
Well, Hazel and I returned home from my parents house at Cape Cod. It was nice and relaxing. We got out both Wednesday and Thursday for nature walks. It was not as warm as we had hoped, but it was nice. Of course we got to drive home through a wet snow/rain mix. Oh, well.
One of Hazel's favorite places to run
The best part for Hazel is she gets to spend lots of time with my parents. My father has amazing patience (funny I don't remember that growing up) and will play like a ____-year-old (fill in the age of his grandchild). So she loves to play with him.
Pop showing Hazel the blueberry bush--Hazel saying no pictures!
My father recently cut down a cedar tree and made some natural blocks for Hazel as well as some stumps for us to make a bit of an obstacle course for her.
Wood blocks and checking out the stumps
On Wednesday, my mother, Hazel and I went for a walk. (All of us were going to go to the Mass Audubon, but my father's stomach started not feeling well, so we changed our plans and stayed local.) On the Cape they have a bike trail from South Dennis to Wellfleet. It is an old railroad track that has been paved over. There are two parts near my parents' house. One takes us to the center of town and the other to Nickerson State Park. We drove over to near the trail (we could walk but we would have to walk on the streets with no sidewalks and it is a rather busy street). We parked near my mother's friend's house and went for a walk. The salt marshes are so beautiful to walk near. We of course also brought a pail to collect our treasures.
First Sign of Spring--Snow drops!
We walked quite a long way and Hazel got tired. Since it was not as warm as I would like I could only carry her for a short bit without my asthma bothering me. So I walked quickly to the car and left my mother and Hazel playing in the leaves to get the stroller.
The interesting moss we saw everywhere
Checking out some nature
Checking out the marsh
Checking out the view before we turned around
On Thursday, we went to the Mass Audubon. Hazel of course fell asleep in the car, so my father stayed with her while we went in to check it out. After a bit, we went out and woke her up and then went on a walk. We have a membership with the Mass Audubon since Hazel and I took a class for 2-year-olds and a guardian last year at Drumlin Farm. We highly recommend attending an Audubon program. It was wonderful.
Another sign of Spring--Don't know why it was in bloom, but it was great to see yellow in February!
Well when my mother and I went in we were told that there has been a very special visitor from Mexico. They did not know why this bird decided to visit them, but they were very excited. It is a blue bunting. Of course it did not make an appearance while we were in the Visitor's Center, but waited until we were on our walk and left before we returned. Oh, well. From the pictures they had, it looked more like this one, but a bit lighter. It was just starting to get its blue feathers.

We however did have a lovely time. We walked toward Goose Pond.
Checking out the pond
The View of the Marsh and Cape Cod Bay
Checking out Goose Pond
The View and Wet Path (High Tide was Receding) from where we turned around
It wouldn't be a nature walk at an Audubon Society without some birds:
A Cardinal
A Chickadee under the feeder--I had seen some woodpeckers here but didn't take a picture
The One I was most excited to see---A Hawk (you can see his tail up there mostly)
We saw woodpeckers, sparrows (including I think they said a house sparrow), chickadees, finches of all types, doves, the hawk, cardinals and squirrels.

After our walk we went to Provincetown for dinner to our favorite restaurant--Napi's. We were in luck. Off season they have a Thursday night special of buy one get one free on most entrees. I guess it was actually a good thing our plans moved from Wednesday to Thursday for this trip.

My mother and I also did a bit of shopping. We stopped by my favorite store--The Priory at the Community of Jesus. It is such a lovely place to spend a bit of time with many religious books, handmade food (jams, granola), beauty products, candles, knitted ware and art. They always have beautiful music playing and it smells so lovely. I like to go just to relax. You can see the angel that watches over their new church from my parents' house.

Well there are our pictures of our week. Hope you had a good one.

Please, please, vote for me in the Circle of Moms Creative Moms Blog competition. You can vote daily!! And please join us later for Sharing Saturday!!

Oh, and an interesting article to share: How to Stop Your Kids from Stressing  from CNN.