Saturday, August 1, 2015

Weekly Journal + Links ♥ ~ Poetry Teatime on a Cruise Ship & Sewing Fun!

This last week of July was our last week of summer break. We start our homeschool routine this coming Monday again. 

We had a few fun days, despite all the rain. We also had some sickness, which wasn't as fun. A few days at home were nice to organize our homeschool year though, as well as continuing to sew more happy colour bags. I also found some My Little Pony flannel fabric so I had to make Celeste a quick pillowcase! 

Happy Colour Bag ~ Rainbow to celebrate PEI Pride Week

Homemade My Little Pony pillowcase and two more happy colour bags in the works

Celeste started the week with baking strawberry shortcakes. She was inspired from last week's food workshop and got started early Monday morning! I was still having my breakfast while she was busy baking and whipping heavy cream! 

Celeste and her strawberry shortcakes

This was the last week of the Mud Puddles Nature Summer Camp and the focus was on stars. We enjoyed reading the camp notes but didn't get to enjoy much night sky watching, because of the weather, until the end of the week. I will keep the activities nearby so we can do them soon. We did see the Blue Full Moon last night! 

Our nature table this week 

We had a full Tuesday, with Celeste's Island Food Skills workshop and a special time with my in-laws. 

The workshop was at Sobeys this time. We were taken on a tour by the store's dietitian and then the kids made a three course meal with the chef. Celeste really enjoyed the cooking part and she was quite knowledgeable during the tour part whenever the dietitian asked questions...she was the only one that knew what TVP was! 

Cooking at Sobey's

My in-laws were on the cruise ship that had a full day stop in Charlottetown. We saw them last week as well, and they organized everything so we could go onboard this week for a special tea time. We turned it into a Tuesday Poetry Teatime since Celeste brought her own poems to share with her Nana and Papa. She loved walking around and exploring the Holland America Ms. Maasdam ship!

Tea time on the Maasdam

Time on the Holland America cruise ship with Nana & Papa

Celeste also did some sewing this week. I gave her a small pile of fabric I wasn't using and she got to work on designing dresses for her dolls. She hand sewed them onto the dolls too. I think they are very cute! I really like the little cape. 

Designing and hand sewing doll clothes

I spent some time this week getting our homeschool resources organized. This included searching for extra library books for history and science. We also received some of the books we will be reading for the language arts program Arrow by Brave Writer. 

It was another good week, even with the weather not cooperating. The good news is today is an awesome sunny day so we are headed to the beach for the afternoon!!! 

Here are a few favourite links for this week: 

Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp. It is over, but I've heard there will be a fall one! 

A Husky's nature depicted in 16 photos. This had us laughing and some applied to Orion, our own husky. 

Sweet Treats by Williams-Sonoma is the cookbook Celeste used to make her strawberry shortcakes. Great child-friendly book that doesn't "talk down" to them. 

We're off to the beach! Have a great weekend ♥

Friday, July 31, 2015

Yoga in July ~ Daily Practice + 3 Challenges

Another month of daily yoga just flew by! For the first time since I started yoga in January, I did miss 4 days of daily practice. Whenever I did miss my daily practice, I caught up on the instagram challenges the following day. Overall, it was another great month of yoga and I'm still loving it and finding what feels good with Yoga with Adriene

Here is my photo recap of the daily practice this month, followed by the challenges I did through instagram. 

Daily Practice ~ July 1 to 16 (with 1 missed day)

The mosaic below has three missing daily practice photos, the one at the bottom right would be blank anyway. 

I participated in 3 challenges this month. I really enjoy the challenges by Kim (BusyBodYogi) and I did the Bend Balance Breathe challenge with her this month. 

Day three was a video! I couldn't add it to the photo mosaic, so here it is: 


Another yoga challenge I have been following every month is from Kerri Verna (beachyogagirl) and Kino MacGregor (kinoyoga). In July, the focus was on back bends. I couldn't manage two poses! 

The third instagram yoga challenge I did this past month, was a shorter one. Hosted by Maria (dalima26) and Joanna (yogagoddess_jo):

August is going to be full of fun challenges too! I'll be back to our regular homeschool routine too, so I'll need to make sure to fit in my daily yoga! I'm thinking I will go back to getting up earlier than everyone! 

I am planning on doing 4 challenges via Instagram in August: 

I included a tab at the top of my blog to have all my yoga blog posts easy to access: Yoga ♥. If you practice yoga and blog about it, I'd love to visit! Leave me a comment below; also if you are on Instagram and share your yoga practice, say hello! You can find me at lifeonislandyoga. 

See you in a month! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Journal + Links ♥ ~ Strawberry Shortcakes & Author Meeting!

Rain drops on a pansy, through the easy macro

Another amazing week just flew by! The weather wasn't the greatest this past week, but there were many wonderful things that happened. 

Our nature table this week 

First, the Mud Puddles Nature Summer Camp continued this past week with a focus on feathers. This was really interesting and we did our best to find some feathers whenever we went out. 

Learning about Feathers 

Tour of the Culinary Institute of Canada

Celeste's weekly camp with the Island Food Skills Initiative was a tour at the Culinary Institute of Canada. I tagged along and really enjoyed seeing all the kitchens. After the tour, we made strawberry shortcakes with some fresh whipped cream, whipped by Chris and some of the kids! Super yummy! 

Yummy strawberry shortcake in the garden of the Culinary Institute

Andre came back home from camp for two days, for the Freedom of the City parade. This was a special honour given to the Argonaut Training Centre. It was pouring rain, but we still enjoyed seeing the cadets parade through two streets of Charlottetown. 

Argonaut Cadets in front of City Hall

A really nice surprise this week was going to a book signing event with my friend Lori. A few months back, she had recommended the book "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell to me, as an audiobook. I absolutely loved the story, especially as an audiobook. We both had a great time meeting Rainbow! 

Meeting Rainbow! 

Celeste and I spent some time with friends this week and their adorable Corgi puppy! He is truly adorable. 

Cutest puppy! 

We finished the week by picking up some delicious local strawberries at a local farm market. We will be freezing most of these for smoothies! 

Balderston's Farm Market and their delicious strawberries! 

Links this week:

♥ I'm currently reading a fascinating book: The Soul of an Octopus. Check out this article with amazing videos on National Geographic: Does An Octopus Have a Soul? This Author Thinks So.

Rainbow Rowell, author  

I shared one of these videos in my post A Closer Look At Flowers and there are several more in the series Nature is Speaking (scroll down a little to see the videos). 

BBC The 10 Greatest Animated Films for Adults I want to watch the ones I haven't seen yet from this list! 

Have a great week!! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Canadian Nature ~ Part Five: Ideas to Spend More Time in Nature

This month's theme for the Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team is to write five posts about something Canadian! 

I am choosing to focus on Canadian Nature Study. My family and I loved observing nature, whether it is in our own backyard or when we visit a park or nature trail. 

Over the years I have written many blog posts about nature study and at times it has been part of our homeschool routine. Nature has been part of our lives and has brought a lot of wonder and enjoyment to us. 

Over the course of the five posts, I will be sharing with you some of my favourites from my blog archives, with a focus for each post on a particular field of nature study. 

Previous posts in this series: 

Canadian Nature: Insects
Canadian Nature: Seasons
Canadian Nature: Wildflowers. 
Canadian Nature: Birds. 

For my last post in this five part series, I am sharing a few ideas to spend more time in nature. These can be for almost anywhere, not just in Canada. Take time to explore nature! Studies have shown again and again how important and beneficial a connection to nature is for us as humans, for all ages. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Go for a walk! 

We have lived in several communities over the last two decades and I've always been able to find a nature trail close by. Sometimes we were lucky to find one within walking distance to our home, but often within a very short drive. Ask around, google, visit your local tourist info centre (play tourist in your own city is truly a great experience!). 

On the trail near our home ~ March 2013

Often cities will have trails listed on their website. There might be a link to nature very close to you that you didn't know about. We moved to an area in Ontario a few years ago, close to many relatives. My children and I explored and found nature trails that most of my relatives had no idea about, even though they had lived in that city almost their entire lives! 
Bring some water and snacks with you and go explore! Nature trails can often be explored all year round. 

Nature trail at Green Gables, July 2012

A few links related to walk on nature trails: 

* The Magic of the Forest 
* Short Nature Walk 
*  Fall Nature Walk
* Walk in the Forest: First Snow
* A Day at Point Pelee National Park
* Moss & Lichen on the Trail  

Go to a park and do a nature scavenger hunt! 

Before heading to the local park with your children, print or make up your own nature scavenger hunt list. There are many available for free online. I've included a list. Once you have that printed, head out with a few snacks and water.  Even better, invite a few friends along! 

Nature Scavenger Hunt with Friends, September 2012
Here are a few links for printable nature scavenger hunt lists: 

* Fall Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt
* Nature Scavenger Printable with Pictures

Go camping! 

Canada has so many beautiful national and provincial parks where you can camp! Camping with children can be a wonderful experience and a great way to experience nature. I personally prefer camping with tents. Sleeping under the stars, exploring the campground, the trails that are often on's truly a great way to spend more time in nature. 

Sisters taking care of the camp fire, Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, September 2011

Check out the Parks Canada website for inspiration and maybe even to plan your next holiday. Each province also has their own provincial parks, many with camping facilities. 

Camping with our new puppy, Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, June 2009

A few links related to camping:

* oTENTik at Cavendish, PEI National Park
*  Camping near Lake Huron
* Parks Canada

Go geocaching! 

As my first two children got older, I found that geocaching was a great activity to encourage them to continue spending time in nature. It's a fun activity and many geocaches are hidden along nature trails. 

Adrienne teaching her dad how to look for the geocaches on the GPS, October 2014

A few links related to geocaching:

* Geocaching at Strathgartney Provincial Park
* Autumn Family Hike & Geocaching 
* Winter Geocaching in Victoria Park Forest

I hope you enjoyed this 5 posts series on Canadian Nature! Check out the Canadian Homeschooler for a full link up to more 5 days of Canadian (on July 29th) blog posts from the team!