The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en’s Natural Treasure Advent Calendar Week 3…

December 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

Well week 3 of December flew by, and our Advent tree has become a whole lot more crowded than we ever expected it to be…

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I cannot say that we spent our week in all sorts of preparations… we didn’t. Our two oldest boys were away on camp and it left us all somewhat subdued… Days and days of catching up with friends were a great distraction. And heaps of card creating at the kitchen table… means that we had dozens of Christmas cards and very little else actually ready for Christmas. To be honest nothing really got done, to the point where this morning certain short people actually enquired if I was aware that Christmas was a mere three sleeps away – gasp!!! Seriously!!!

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Needless to say a frenzy ensued, and I am very grateful for a veritable army of Christmas workers. We leapt into gear and by the end of the day… we had hunted and captured a tree, created heaps of gifts… and decorations galore. A crazy busy day, completely uninterrupted… we sat at the table most of the day and worked away, while Carols played in the background. Really it couldn’t be better!!!

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This Week’s Natural Treasures

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And so we have a day of baking and some feast preparations and gift wrapping to conquer… but for most of us the next few days will just be filled with wonderful anticipation…

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Wishing you all heaps of holiday fun…

→ No CommentsTags: Holiday Crafts · Our Events

Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #258… Links Galore and GiveAway Winners…

December 22nd, 2014 · 7 Comments

A Fabulous Fun Post… after a week of spring cleaning and and recovering from spring cleaning…

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We went carol singing with friends… can you just believe this incredible view….


Lovely Links from this Week:

  1. Meet Me At Mikes… and 52 Hellos… I love this idea… I am so keen to sign up for mailing a real live letter to a real live friend, every week for the entire year…
  2. Oh, tell me I am not the only one who had this as a favourite book as a kid!!!
  3. In case you love picture books as much as we do: The Best Picture books of 2014.
  4. The title says it all: The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram… on Young Adventuress.
  5. Alisa Burke on arting with her delightful daughter, just can’t be missed: Crafting with a Kid… by Alisa Burke.
  6. I love these printable VW Kombi’s, I think we may well be printing some of these out!!!
  7. Food for thought by Sorta Crunchy on The Art of Simple this Week: Inviting our Children to Live With Intention in 2015.
  8. And the se7en + 1th links

    A Blast From the Past:

GiveAway Winners

A Biltong Gift Pack from online store BiltongSA.

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In the GiveAway post I popped South Africa’s Christmas Video… and here is a link to Meet the Mom behind the video, posted on SA People News.

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All the entries…
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All covered up…
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Picking and choosing a winner…
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And the winner is:
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Comment #14: Karen at MomAgain@40 Dec 17, 2014 at 11:42 am Nice!

Sticky-Fudge Clothing Voucher of Five Hundred Rands.

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All the entries…

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Turned and Mixed…
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And picking and choosing…
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And the winner is:
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Comment #11: Nici Dec 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm Subscribed! Love their clothes (wish they made my size!!) My nephew (and his mom) would ADORE choosing out amazing new outfits.

Congratulations to: Karen and Nici, expect an email from us shortly so that we can get your prizes to you as soon as possible.

We would like to thank Biltong South Africa and Sticky-Fudge Clothing, who supplied us with the GiveAway Prizes. We were not paid for the review and the opinions expressed are as usual, entirely our own.

That’s us… Hope your weekend is a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you all…

→ 7 CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun · GiveAways and Swaps

The Weeks That Were… #203

December 21st, 2014 · 6 Comments

When the weeks between “Week that Was Posts” quietly become a month or two… Then you know it is time to take a snapshot in time and pop one up… before we forget the fun times we have had and wonder “how did the time fly?”

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Our weather tree tells us that the rains finally stopped at the end of November and summer is finally here… Welcome to the face of Summer…

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And the usual daily walks… That can be slip and slides…

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And literally flying…

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We have been hiking of course…

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Because you can’t beat the great outdoors…

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And interesting discoveries…

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And celebrating important birthdays…

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Otherwise we have been busy with lots of fun visitors from out of town…

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Balancing with friends…

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Big friends…

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And little friends…

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And teeny tiny friends…

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And getting things done… like heaps of haircuts…

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And dressing for success…

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And gardening away…

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And school…

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All sorts of school…

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And projects…

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This would be phys-ed the homeschool way…

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Up and away…

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And so much beaching… whatever the weather…

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Just the best…

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And playing…

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And driving with dinosaurs…

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And dressing up… (I have no words!!!)

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And camping out…

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No really, camping out!!!

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And cocoa in the great outdoors…

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Cooking on a fire…

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Lots of cooking on a fire…

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More cooking on a fire…

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And hunting for sticks to cook marshmallows…

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And cooling off…

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And sweet summer treats…

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Ice cold treats…

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And chilli poppers… to make the heat of summer so much hotter…

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And board games…

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The Artwork of the Week

Drawing, drawing…

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And making, making, making…

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The Book of the Week

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Reading, reading, reading…

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And did I say reading…

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Through piles of Christmas Books… and of course we are reading through the Christmas Carol… and our family read that is keeping us glued to the breakfast, lunch and supper table… because this has been the year of war stories and so of course, Michael Morpurgo.

And a Snapshot in Time

Hood #1:

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Hood #2:

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Hood #3:

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Hood #4:

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Hood #5:

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Hood #6:

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Hood #7:

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Hood #8:

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And that’s us… right here, right now… headed straight into summer holiday time…

→ 6 CommentsTags: The Week that Was

Another Fab GiveAway: A Five Hundred Rand Voucher to Spend at Sticky-Fudge Clothing for Kids…

December 17th, 2014 · 16 Comments

Another day, another GiveAway. Yes, we are spoiling our local readers with back to back GiveAways… And this time it is something totally different to our typical GiveAways. Let’s introduce a Cape Town fashion label, Sticky-Fudge, for the little people in our lives…

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The clothing is for youngsters from zero to se7en years old, and the collection is full of dreamy classics. You can read about the clothing here… the 100% cotton range is designed and mostly made in Cape Town, making use of available talent in our area.

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I have blogged about the “The Myth Being Sold To Our Children, All In The Name Of Fashion…” and I have spent the last six weeks looking for bathing costumes for my girls that actually provide appropriate covering, and that they could actually play in. There have to be a lot of girl children hitting Cape Town beaches this summer who just won’t be able to run and play and swim in their costumes… they can have fun, for sure and look pretty… but they certainly aren’t being encouraged to enjoy an active lifestyle. The chasm between what store assistants tell my girls, “That all the girls want to wear this” and what my daughters actually want to wear is as far as the East is from the West. But I digress… here is a label that is marketing sweet, practical and wearable clothes for children…

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Yes, they are more pricey than a lot of other brands… but their stand for sourcing local materials and using local talent to create their wares is highly commendable and to be honest… I would rather pay more for lovely clothes that my kids loved and wanted to wear everyday than a lot of the very much less appealing clothing brands that our there. That being said, we don’t own any Sticky-Fudge clothing, but there was a lot of oohing and aahing over the clothes, and two of my children asked if there was a wedding they could attend in the near future… yup, they know that for a special occasion I would be willing to pay extra. These clothes would make stunning gifts and would be great for mailing overseas, when you want to send a lovely local gift.

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The GiveAway

Sticky-Fudge are offering one of our readers a R500. voucher to spend in their online store… they would like you to sign up to their newsletter, follow the link and sign up to their newsletter, head on back and leave a comment to say that you have done so. You do need to have a physical address in South Africa in order to make use of your prize (online shopping for delivery in South Africa only). So, leave a comment before the end of play on Saturday 20 December 2014. We will draw and publish the winners in the Fabulous Fun Post after that. I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.

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We would like to thank Sticky-Fudge for this GiveAway. All photographs thanks to Sticky-Fudge. T&C’ apply for the GiveAway Winner: Vouchers may not be used in conjunction with any specials or promotions. Vouchers do not give change. We were not paid to write this post and the opinions expressed were as usual entirely our own.

→ 16 CommentsTags: GiveAways and Swaps

A Truly South African GiveAway… A Biltong GiftPack with BiltongSA

December 16th, 2014 · 28 Comments

Christmas is coming and we thought we would we spoil our readers with some lovely local GiveAways…

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South Africa has a slightly different take on the whole Christmas season to the rest of the world, firstly it is in the heat of summer and secondly it is South Africa. If you need to take peak at the vibe of a truly South African Christmas, then look no further than this video made by a couple of friends of ours:

Meanwhile let us introduce you to another South African specialty: biltong. Biltong is dried, well spiced and preserved meat. It is a local delicacy and snack that was originally developed as a way to preserve meat without refrigeration. You can make it yourself, but it is tricky… and so much easier if you have a food Dehydrator. but there is a much easier way… you can buy your biltong online from Biltong South Africa and have it delivered straight to your front door.

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You need to pop over to their website and see their array of snacks… there is biltong and chocolate, delivered to your door, need I say more!!!

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Now it isn’t often that we get a surprise delivery to our front door… packed with plenty of goodies. And even better than that we have another gift box to share with one of our readers.

This is one of Biltong South Africa’s Gift Pack’s…

  • Dried Fruit…
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  • Nuts…
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  • Yummy Biltong…
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  • And dried Sausage… enough for all of us.
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The GiveAway

And did I mention that we have one of these fab boxes to have with one of our readers… if you have a delivery address within South Africa, (online shopping for delivery in South Africa only), then enter away. This GiveAway works in the usual way, leave a comment before the end of play on Saturday 20 December 2014 and tell us “What is your favourite snack” We will draw and publish the winners in the Fabulous Fun Post after that. I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.

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We would like to thank Biltong South Africa for giving us a gift box of biltong for review purposes. We were not paid to write this post and the opinions expressed were as usual entirely our own.

→ 28 CommentsTags: GiveAways and Swaps

Se7en’s Natural Treasure Advent Calendar Week 2…

December 16th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Week two of December has passed, and I feel the Christmas craziness all around us, and yet we are officially on holiday. Not a breathe of anything that looks like school, or work… a fair amount of cleaning off of work surfaces and a garden frenzy of note… which always feels lovely when its done. Our days are pretty much: lazy breakfast, time on the beach, hanging out with friends and afternoon naps. I realise that our Christmas preparations are not exactly fraught with frantic-ness, there is a calm. It is summer after all. I realise that our build-up to Christmas and traditions are so tied to slow summer and catching up, and lots of heady excitement of little people.

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So we are reading through piles of Christmas stories, we are baking batches of cookies, we have spent a little time each day creating gifts for friends and family… but it is fun kitchen stuff and craftiness and certainly doesn’t feel like work at all. The kids have drawn names from the hat to start their secret sibling gifts for this year and they are so looking forward to Carols and a Nativity play later in the week. Honestly it is fun and relaxed and we have a huge watermelon ready for any amount of guests… This week we need to finish our gift making and letter writing and then we are pretty much ready for Christmas.

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We decided that our Advent tree would be about looking for a beautiful natural treasure each day… we have a shelf of them filled with treasures we have found while hiking this year and of course we never stop collecting little bits of loveliness on our daily walks… we are posting our daily treasures on instagram, meanwhile this is last weeks treasure collection.

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That’s us, hope you have a fun filled week preparing for Christmas…

→ 2 CommentsTags: Holiday Crafts · Our Events

Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #257…

December 15th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Well that was a busy week… a lots and lots of maintenance week… it’s our annual “lets get into Christmas gear by doing every possible household chore we can think of first” week. Needless to say the garden is looking a lot better, the freezer is finally defrosted and surfaces are re-emerging on a daily basis. In other news… today was a most excellent day for trainspotting.

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I don’t have a book of the week this week… simply because it was a week of bookish posts over here… and you can choose from the latest and greatest reads… or bazillions of great classical reads.


Here are some lovely links from this week:

  1. I blogged about World book giving Day earlier this week… and you have to take a peak at Playing by the Book’s BookSwap… we will definitely be signing up for that!!!
  2. We have a drawer dedicated to maps, not to mention a Pinterest board dedicated to Marvellous Maps… so Classic Play’s Gift Ideas for Map Lovers, sigh!!!
  3. DollHouse Pillows on A Beautiful Mess… We are making these this week, no matter what!!! I totally love them!!!
  4. Well I blogged lists of books this week… but you have to take a peak at this fantastic list of great and wonderful books on TJED Mothers.
  5. Looking for homeschooling inspiration… you will find it in this post on SimpleHomeschool.
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  7. Our friends over at GreenPop are making Green Giving easier than ever: “Rather give a gift that keeps on giving this holiday season!” Click on the link or the image to find out more…
  8. And the se7en + 1th link:

  9. A Blast From the Past: And here are a couple of links to posts, this week, from previous years:

That’s us… Hope your weekend was a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you all… and we have one or two really cool GiveAways coming your way as well!!!

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→ 1 CommentTags: Fabulous Friday Fun