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

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Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #268…

March 29th, 2015 · No Comments

We have had the busiest week… in the best possible ways…

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A number of our followers saw the post: Our Reader’s Have Done It Again: They Have Built a Library Book by Book… and wanted to know how they could join in… If you would like to send books or haven’t got around to sending books yet… then it is never too late. Please follow the link and find out how you can still contribute to our library.

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And I have to mention that this week… our Pinterest followers… popped over the 20 000 mark… what can I say, Pinterest has a phenomenal number of folk joining in… and it is one of my favourite places to hang out on the internet. If you are one of our followers, thanks so much for going the extra mile and following!!!


Lovely Links from This Week

Some weeks I battle to find the most fantastic links on earth and I spend hours searching for just the right links for our readers. This was not that week. There was so much to read out there this week. There is something to read here for everyone… enjoy!!!

A Blast From the Past – Easter Posts:



Digital Learning: a course for becoming confident with modern online tools. Launching on April 6, a FREE seven-week class.

I have mentioned before how Tim Chase’s has had such a profound effect on our kids learning online. Well he has a free course that our oldest three children have done and really is the course that has launched their confidence with all things online. The course gives them the skills to present their work online in a useful way… they will learn in a safe environment and discover how to conduct themselves in an online class. There is a lot of evaluation and they are not left to their own resources by any means, which is probably what sets this “virtual school” apart from most online classes. Our kids had to raise their game significantly, they worked hard and the harder they worked the better they did… and it became a self-fulfilling cycle. I would go so far as to say, this course is a game changer, providing high-school students with the necessary skills they need to acquire, for learning in an online world.

“This one is Impact Virtual Learning’s most popular class–great as a stand-alone for your homeschooling teen or as a prerequisite for the Impact Virtual Learning electives. Digital Learning has received terrific responses from parents and students. You can see some of the reviews at
The course features website creation, digital citizenship, and working with embed codes and design tools. You’ll love the teacher feedback, and your homeschooler will love the peer-interaction. Class starts the week of April 6. Follow the link for details and registration.

Book of the Week

River Daughter by Jane Hardstaff and published by Penguin Random South Africa: Moss and Salter are back, this is the follow on from The Executioner’s Daughter, that we loved and reviewed here. Moss is a girl living in the harsh reality of Tudor times, she has escaped the vicious world of “being the executioner’s daughter” and appears to have arrived in happier times. Her father is now a blacksmith and her friend and ally, Salter, has come to live with them in a country village. The author seamlessly entertwines mythology and traditions and history so well, frankly it is hard to tell them apart. Did you know that there really was a Polar Bear that lived in the Tower of London… that part isn’t actually a myth it is documented history. You have to read on, as Moss is compelled to return to the Tower, which she spent the previous book escaping from. The baddies are bad, the scary parts are scary… the funny parts hilarious and basically a fantastic read. Right from the first few pages you are on a breathless adventure of the historical and very exciting kind… I sat on the couch to peruse it and read it through in a sitting, in a word: compelling. As I said some parts would be pretty scary for a younger reader, but not overwhelming for the 12 and up set, at which it is aimed.

We were given a copy of River Daughter, by Penguin Random South Africa for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are as usual entirely our own.

GiveAway Winner

Folktales from Africa, Retold by Dianne Stewart and illustrated by Marjorie Van Heerden: We reviewed this book last week and I loved reading through the comments about the books the kids of our readers are reading and loving right now.

All the entries muddled up…

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Carefully chosen…
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And the winner is:
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Marcia Mar 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm Mine read the Bible (we have 3 – 4 versions; they are finally into the one I picked about a month after they were born – I remember because that visit to the bookshop was our “date” while the grannies babysat) and then another book. Every single night they ask for “Naughty Amelia Jane” so D popped by Readers Warehouse yesterday to buy another Amelia Jane. Connor is obsessed with Naughty Amelia Jane.

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

We would like to thank Random Penguin Books South Africa who supplied us with the GiveAway books. We were not paid for the review and the opinions expressed in it are as usual, entirely our own.

That’s us… Hope your weekend has been a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you all… not to mention a GiveAway or Two…

→ No CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun · GiveAways and Swaps

How to Plant a Garden in a Reliance Compost Bag…

March 27th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Following on from our previous post on planting trees for Zambia, so many folk have said how they would love to go to Zambia too… well you can. Reliance Compost is running a competition and they are giving away a week in Zambia, to the person who can create the most incredible item from a compost bag…

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What Can You Do With a Reliance Compost Bag?

Basically, anything you can make with a pillow case you can make with a compost bag and then so much more, backpacks, storage bags… shelters and even gardens. So the first folk in our house to make something with a Reliance Compost Bag… were the young and fashionable and we had an almost instantaneous dress…

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That was quickly hi-jacked by the younger royalty…

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I kid you not… a crown fit for a king…

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But little people were quickly overwhelmed by older architects…

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And before they knew it their bigger brothers and sisters had made a shelter for them…

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Those are just a few ideas and just saying the competition is steep… folk have made hammocks and clothing and even the most incredible umbrella…

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We Decided to Make the Quickest Garden Ever

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Pop your Reliance Bags in a sunny patch… and poke some holes in them with a garden fork for drainage.

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Then turn your bags over… cut a window out of the top… and pop your seeds in.

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I see we had an overzealous radish planter, and we will need to do a little thing!!! A couple of tomatoes are popping up and so are our beans… so lets hope these seeds turn into a little farm in a couple of weeks.

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Garden in a Reliance Compost Bag

Otherwise we decided, since planting from seed is not our forte, we would try our hand at planting a vertical in a bag… using plugs from the nursery…

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Once again, grab your garden fork and make some holes in the bottom of the bag and then snip the top off your bag.

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We wanted our garden to be a little water-wise… and if you make small holes in a soda bottle and fill it with water then when you take the lid off the water spurts out… fun times!!!

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Then bury your bottle in the bag with just the top out… and to water your garden you just pop a jug of water into the soda bottle. It uses less water than watering the water goes straight to the plants… also it is novel and our kids love watering the garden like this. A win, win.

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Make a couple of slits in the side of your bag and pop the little plants into them…

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A little while later you have a flourishing garden in a Reliance_Compost Bag…

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So if you have a funky, creative idea for a Reliance_Compost Bag… and you will have to do a little more than “soft toy storage,” though lets be honest, this is every mother-person-home-decorator’s dream!!!

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Click on the Image and Enter Away

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All the details are on their website… and the closing date is 9 April 2015.

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→ 2 CommentsTags: Recycle Crafts

Se7en + 1 Steps to Planting Trees With GreenPop…

March 24th, 2015 · 2 Comments

If you follow our blog then you will know that I am off to Zambia in a couple of months. In fact, off to plant trees in Zambia with GreenPop. I have blogged before about heaps of their events. I tell you, everything about these energetic guys sounds totally brilliant and we have all been dying to join in.

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From time to time they have a tree planting days… So we decided that we would like nothing better than to spend a day tree planting. On Saturday, Human Right’s Day, we headed out to Mitchells Plain to plant trees. Well, our gang had the best day ever and planting trees, with GreenPop, is right up there on the things to “add to the calendar whenever we can” list.

What You Need

The GreenPop Team…

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Some tools…

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Of the tree planting kind…

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And a community with a field… and the dream of a green space…

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Add to the Mix…

A couple of kids…

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The promise of lunch…

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Water for your thirsty trees…

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And fun times…

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Learn How to Plant a Tree

Dig a hole and pop that trellis into it…

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Mix the soil from your hole with some good Reliance Compost…

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Pop your tree into the ground…

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And make sure it is comfy…

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Quite comfy…

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Add some beautification and some water…

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And you are done…

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Little Trees Lead to Bigger Trees

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And then much much much bigger trees…

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The Results

New friends…

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Lessons in hospitality…

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Team Work…

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And skills to last a lifetime…

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A community, with a field filled with young trees…

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And the best kind of tiredness from a day spent working in the great outdoors…

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All The Fun At GreenPop

So if you would like to plant trees with GreenPop, then let us tell you all about joining in…

Their Family Festival in Platbos…

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Their Friends Festival in Platbos a week later…

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And their Trees for Zambia Project… You too can get to Zambia to plant trees… click on the image!!!

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→ 2 CommentsTags: Outings

Human Right’s Day in South Africa…

March 24th, 2015 · No Comments

Saturday was a truly South African national holiday, Human Right’s Day. On the one hand it is a day set aside to commemorate the Sharpville Massacre in 1960 and on the other hand it is the day that South Africans celebrate the arrival of a new Bill of Rights in 1997. And this typical of South Africa too… the highs and the lows co-exist side by side. According to our Bill of Rights everybody has a right to life, equality and human dignity. We are proud to call ourselves the Rainbow Nation… every colour represented under our African sky. And as a nation we are exceptionally good at celebrations.

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But just like the rest of the world, our news is peppered with events that indicate that it takes a a whole more than a Bill of Rights for folk to live comfortably alongside each other. One cannot help but be overwhelmed at news broadcasts, and the indifference that is practised towards even the most basic of Human Rights. It seems that, even after so many years, our country is still falling so short in so many areas. The gulf between the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, the “haves” and “have nots” seems ever present.

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It goes without saying that South Africa has much to celebrate on Human Right’s Day, considering her chequered past. Then again every time one reads the news, and not just local news, that overwhelming feeling can leave us turning away and trying not to notice. Our kids are regular kids and while they might squabble over enough place at the table, they also can’t help noticing that there is a vast difference in a childhood where there is green grass to play on, on the slopes of Table Mountain and one with a community yard of sandy gravel on the Cape Flats. Just getting around the Cape Peninsula you cannot help but notice that there are huge distinctions. And while it is great to celebrate that everyone over eighteen, in our country has the right to vote… it is scandalous that people right here in our area are without proper housing, without access to education… without access to food and clean water. I think it might be safe to say, that it is not really the time to look the other way and leave Human Right’s problems just to the authorities.

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I think our children need to be aware that the rights that they so often squabble about are not actually Human Rights, and that some rights are really worth fighting for. My hope for Human Right’s Day is that it stands as a firm reminder to all of us, not just to celebrate a certain freedom, but to do something. We can’t all be called to build a school or provide water to a community. We can’t all necessarily start a feeding scheme or put a stop to crimes against the elderly. But we can all in a small way, do something.

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Let’s not become complacent and self-righteous about where we appear to be in the scheme of things. In fact, let our children see that we are doing something, and that they too can make a difference. I firmly believe that big changes begin with little changes – and who knows that small step that we take to making a difference could well be exactly the spark that somebody else needed to do something big. Really there is no big or small action when it comes to Human Rights… there is just action. And we all can take some.

If you are looking to talk about Human Rights with your kids then this is a useful resource.

→ No CommentsTags: Caring and Sharing · Thoughtful Thursdays

Sunday Snippet: Whatever You Do, Work at it with All your Heart…

March 24th, 2015 · No Comments

Our Bible Verse of the Week…

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Colossians 3:23,24

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,

as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

since you know that you will receive an inheritance

from the Lord as a reward.

It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Week by Week

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→ No CommentsTags: Sunday Snippet

World Wide Instameet Number 11 With @IgersCapeTown…

March 23rd, 2015 · 4 Comments

You have to know that a good spot to find us online is on instagram, @se7en_hoods. One thing Cape Town does very well is Instameets. An Instameet or Meetup is were a group of local instagrammers get together and meet. It is a fantastic way, not only to connect with the faces behind a lot of your followers, but to learn. I have never been to a meet up and come away with out at least one fabulous new tip tucked away in my pocket. The thing about placing a whole lot of instagrammers in one spot is that they each have their own view of the same thing… and to see so many creative interpretations of the same venue is incredible.

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If you are an instagrammer in Cape Town or visiting Cape Town, search out @igersCapeTown and find an instagram meet up and join the fun. This past weekend there were instagram meetups all over the world and Cape Town had not one, not two, but four meetups to join in. We finally made it to the Sunset at the top of Signal Hill. Heaps of other instgrammers joined in, it was a fantastic turnout.

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How do you find a group of instagrammers in the crowd… a large group of camera wielding individuals. The variety of instagrammers is in itself fascinating… all ages, and all stages. Some very professional photographers, some very creative photographers, some regular snappers, and heaps of beginners and all of them very enthusiastic about their craft. Or you can look out for the flag/balloon…

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Which was quickly forgotten as everyone dashed off to find their photograph…

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The Venue: Signal Hill

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Their is a little wildlife and of course coffee…

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And lots of interesting things to photograph… but typically folks go up Signal Hill for the views…

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The View from Signal Hill

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Is nothing short of spectacular, includes our mountain… and the Cable Car Station…

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The Twelve Apostles…

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And Robben Island…

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Of course there is our favourite park, Green Point Park…

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And ships and shipping…

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And of course there is people watching…

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The People

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It isn’t just the view there are heaps of folk for great people watching opportunities…

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The City SightSeeing Bus… heads up the hill for their night tour… really everyone heads up the mountain!!!

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There are always folk celebrating something…

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And others just standing around waiting for the sun to go down…

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And well, juggling of course.

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The Instgrammers

Tend to be a very creative bunch and will go to great lengths to get the shot they have been plotting and planning…

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They will lurk off into the undergrowth, to make sure that this is the perfect spot for their unique picture…

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They will balance on precipices to get the perfect shadow…

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It is the perfect outing for a photographic family…

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You can always take kids to a meetup…

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And enthusiastic photographers will meet plenty of folk with encouraging tips for their photography.

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This is @owl_books in action…

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The Sunset

This is why everyone goes up Signal Hill and manoeuvres their way through the traffic!!!

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And after the sun… the evening star.

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The City Lights

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If you would like to see other photographs from this instate then head straight over to instagram and look for #WWIM11_signal.

Previous InstaWalks or MeetUps…

→ 4 CommentsTags: Cape Town · Outings · Saturday Spot

Se7en’s Fabulous Friday Fun #267

March 22nd, 2015 · 4 Comments

Some weekends are just busy, in the best possible ways… great outdoors, tired out from fresh air… all good!!!

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This weekend we have hiked an epic hike… walked the PicknPay Ladies Walk and Planted Trees with GreenPop.

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I have a feeling that we are going to need a weekend off to recover!!!


Lovely Links from This Week

  1. I love this gift idea, on Minimalist Mom: This is what I would love to be giving my friends, they need it!!! The best gift idea ever.
  2. No words can describe this, just love this fresh baby post: Here we Are Again by Sarah Bessey.
  3. Imagine Childhood has so many fun things to do with eggs… who knew!!!
  4. Would you look at this cleverness on Yuppie Chef: Life Straw…
  5. Absolutely love Brian Wildsmith’s Birds on the Crafty Crow.
  6. Book heaven: The New Penguin Gallery, at the Guardian… Just lovely!!!
  7. This will never happen but oh there are days when I could do with this room in our roof… Though I have a feeling that if we had one of them… it would look far more like a book zone, thoroughly strewn with LEGO!!!
  8. Nice as a room in the roof is… I can’t get beyond the idea that so many people are in this day and age without access to clean water… Here is Mom Blogger’s for Social Good on World Water Day.
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    Infographic from the World Water Day site

    And the se7en + 1th link:

  10. A Blast From the Past:

Book of the Week


It is just ten days until the deadline for the Sketchbook Project, if you have followed us over the last while, then you will know how important this project is to us… and that this is where I need to spend the next week… Making and Creating!!!

That’s us… Hope your weekend has been a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you all… not to mention a GiveAway or Two…

Related Posts with Thumbnails

→ 4 CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun