Thursday, June 30, 2016

'Bee and Me' - Alison Jay

'Bee and Me' - Illustrated by Alison Jay

We may be pretty wary of bee stings around here, but knowing and understanding bee business is really important to our family.  While some activities are off-limits (like watching our bee-keeping mates extract honey, *sniff sniff*), we like to educate our kids about all the important work our honey bees do.

'Bee and Me' therefore, is a very special addition to our library.  Not only is it beautiful (gold foil lettering myeyesarehearts) it contains such an important message for our babies.  Take care of our bees, and they will take care of us.  You know, in a roundabout you-stay-in-your-corner-I'll-stay-in-mine kinda way.  The story is cute (awww, quirky friendship!) and powerful (how to: saving the environment).  From a teacher-y perspective, there are loads of cool activities to follow the sharing of this book!

A picture book with no text, and filled with such gorgeous illustrations!  My kids will pore over this book for a good long time, telling their own versions of the story and requesting that we share ours.  These kinds of picture books are always so much fun, and often our very favourites.  It's hard to get sick of a story that's a little different every single time!  Plus, there are so many cool little details, it's easy enough to come up with an entirely new story based on those...

Many thanks to Walker Books for sending us this cute book, and to Alison Jay for her cool imagination.

Friday, June 24, 2016

:: Sea ::

Autumn was pretty quiet this year.  There weren't too many adventures, other than the regular two-hour trips we took for Eleanor's Bee Venom Immunotherapy.  #muchfun.  But just as winter started to close in, my morning sickness (!!) eased up and we hit the beach and the forest for some treasure hunting.  A couple of times I even took my camera, yuss!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

How To :: Edible Butterfly Collection

This Little Explorer party (featured in the Spring '15 issue of OHbaby!) was the MOST fun to plan. So many little details that I would've gone crazy over when I was a kid.  It's hard to pick a favourite project, but the edible butterfly collection is right up there.  Maybe one of my favourite projects ever, in fact. My baker buddy Alice originally threw out the idea of hand-painted cookies and as I already had butterfly cutters and it just suddenly became obvious that we had to have a butterfly collection.  It was an intoxicating moment of ideaspiration, I tell you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Book Review - 'The Book of Pearl' by Timothee de Fombelle

'The Book of Pearl' - Timothee de Fombelle

"Joshua Pearl is from a world that our own no longer believes in.  He knows that his great love is waiting for him in that distant place, but he is trapped in our time.  As his memories begin to fade, he discovers strange objects, tiny fragments of a story from a long time ago.  Can Joshua remember the past and believe in his own story before his love is lost forever?"

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fairytale Theme Party

If you picked up the Autumn copy of OHbaby! magazine, you will have seen this little party, and accompanying details.  This was SO much fun to throw!  The fairytale theme has an abundance of references to draw inspiration from.  We had Rapunzel Plaits, Princess & the Pea Puddings, Fairy Godmother Wands and so many other fun details.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Pretty Puhoi

I last visited Puhoi when I was about 12.  We took the Puhoi River kayak trip and stopped in at the village just long enough for a picnic, before heading home.  I barely had memories the town, and felt no pressing desire to stop in again.  When our lovely friends picked Puhoi as their wedding reception spot, we had the opportunity to spend a (very) little time here again, and we were charmed.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Photo Books :: Book Making Tips!

I know everyone has their own preferences for photobook creating.  For instance, I prefer to create photo books based around each season.  For me, it's much less daunting to approach bookmaking with only X amount of photos to include.  An entire years worth would do me in... With fewer images to work with, I feel freer to add extra pages and give full coverage to special events.  I also like the idea of pulling out a bunch of books ahead of a season, to remind us of all the fun activities that season offers...

However you go about making your books, some of these tips may be of use.  I've made a few now, and have developed my perfect recipe...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Camping :: Wenderholm Regional Park

It's not all room service and spa baths, yo.  

After spending most of January in our tent, it really began to feel like our second home.  It has taken several years for me to feel any urge to camp - because #babies.  Last summer we eased into it by staying in my Pa's caravan for a couple of weeks.  This year we went all in, and other than the heat, we loooooved it.  I'm a born again camper...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Review: Twenty Questions for Gloria by Martyn Bedford

Twenty Questions for Gloria by Martyn Bedford

Oh. So. Good.  Immediately good.  Through and through good.  For one thing, I love me a psychological thriller.  For another, this was so much more than that.  It was tender, raw, bittersweet.  It's kind of a thriller turned up on it's head...

Friday, April 1, 2016

Photo Books :: Print Shop Comparison

One of my big goals for the year is to get our favourite photos (six years worth) printed into these little seasonal photo books.  Four books times six years is... lots.  So I have my work cut out.  I've completed 1.5 years, plus a couple of additional books.  I'm also working on a baby album for Garland, and a couple of other special occasion albums.  In short, I'll be doing this for the rest of my life, I guess...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Kid Wears (+ giveaway) :: Funky Giraffe

Get ready for a whole lotta cute!  And I'm not just talking about my adorable nephew (isn't he, though?).

If there's one baby item that's worth it's weight in gold, it's the humble bib.  Many cute outfits have been saved by this handy little accessory, and many more have been ruined in its absence.  They are also the first baby item to need replacing, in my experience.  So if you have a little one and you need a bib supplier hook-up, I have one for you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Review: The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

'The Hired Girl' - Laura Amy Schlitz

Ah, such a breath of fresh air!  I loved this book, and so needed this kind of read!  'The Hired Girl' is so layered and sweet and sad and often funny.  So many feels!  This is one for the Austen/Alcott/Downton fans...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tane Mahuta - Waipoua Forest

Most people stop in on Tane Mahuta as a matter of course, but it took us 6 years to take our kids in, despite passing through Waipoua Forest several times a year.  That's pretty slack.  We dropped in a few months back and it was such a short and sweet detour I kicked myself for not doing it sooner...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Quick Review - Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium

I'll keep it brief because everyone already knows Kelly Tarlton's is cool.  I'm also relying on phone pics, which aren't the bestest.  However, KT has become a total fave, following a class camp we took last year.  Last weekend we made a repeat trip with Garland as a belated birthday treat...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The shape of our days

The education question looms pretty big for most parents, and so too for us. We took a long time to weigh up the pros and cons and sit with a final decision, and it wasn't a simple one.  Homeschooling was never the big dream, but it was never something I shied away from either.  So we made the call.  Purchased our curriculum.  Set up an at-home classroom...

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Tomorrow is the start of our homeschooling year with Eleanor.  We're homeschooling newbies, but we're using the Oak Meadow curriculum (we bought ours on ebay) and I feel like we're in safe hands.  I'm in the process of setting up a classroom space for Eleanor, hoping it'll turn out cute as well as functional.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Eumundi Markets

Perhaps Australia Zoo was a little less fun than we'd hoped for, partly because we'd already spent the morning scouring the Eumundi Markets.  Between the market (huge!) and the zoo (huger!), that's a fair bit of walking in one day.  In the middle of a mini heatwave...