Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Fun: Leaf Art

Our first accomplishment from our Fall Fun list:

We started by gathering leaves on our daily dog walk.  I'm embarrassed to say this but I can only identify a few of the leaves we collected.  I know for sure we got pine needles, a Japanese maple leaf, an ivy sprig and an oak leaf, the others have me scratching my head(?)

We started by painting with the pine needles.  Here are Kinsey's observations:
It's like hard, I don't like the way it bends.  A paint brush is softer than the leaves.  I'm rubbing the paint with the leaves.  Mom!  When you mix the blue with yellow, you make green!

Our next craft with leaves was leaf rubbings.  Remember doing those as a kid?  Totally took me back to Kindergarten.  I glued our found leaves to a giant piece of art paper and had it dry overnight.  The next day I covered the leaves with paper and used two pieces of washi tape so the paper wouldn't move during the transfer.  

Our last leaf craft was hand print leaves.  Kinsey loved having her hands painted and probably could have kept going for longer.  She chose the colors of the paint, I painted it on with the brush and then we stamped her hand onto the paper.  After it dried we went back to add the veining and stems.

I thought it would be fun to display all this leaf art as a "quilt" so we cut down the paper to similar sizes and glued them down to the giant art paper. I added the gold washi tape around the sides for a border.

I'm not sure who had more fun, me or Kinsey.  But that's the best kind of art projects, if you ask me :)
Leaf Art

And if you need more Leaf Art inspiration, check out Courtney's Teaching Together Blog Hop post!  She is one crafty mama!

Linking up with Beth.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Playdough

Tickled Pink
I'm joining a few of my favorites for Countdown to Halloween!  I'm sharing a twist on my favorite playdough recipe and making it into Pumpkin Spice Playdough!

Pumpkin Spice Play dough

1 cup white flour
1/4 cup salt
2 T cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 T vegetable oil
2 t orange food coloring (this can vary due to how deep a color you want. I used less but wish I had used more.  It looks like pie dough but the bright orange would have looked better, sigh.)
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (You can always add more depending on how strong you want the playdough to smell.)
Extra flour for kneading

Mix all the ingredients and heat over medium high, stirring constantly.  It will come together very quickly and when all the water and dry mix is incorporated and balls up together, its done!

Roll it out onto the floured surface and knead.  CAUTION as it will be hot.  As a precaution I refrigerate the playdough overnight in a ziplock bag before playing with it (I had a random mold incident once and it has scarred me for life. Yuck.)

Enjoy!  And though it IS edible, I wouldn't take a bite if I were you :)  

That smell!!!

Linking up with Amanda, Courtney and Elizabeth.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Teaching Together Blog Hop: Pirate Curriculum


Welcome to the first Teaching Together Blog Hop!  Amanda, Courtney, Beth, Courtney and I are so glad you could join us! I am sharing the Pirate curriculum Kinsey and I have been navigating lately (pun definitely intended ;).

Ship Shapes:

I (cleverly) named this 'puzzle' Ship Shapes.  I made a ship using basic shapes and then traced and cut out said shapes to make a paper puzzle.  Great for use as a puzzle, to review shapes, and can use a ruler to measure.

Counting Doubloons:

(printable Doubloons from here.  Thanks to good ole Pinterest!) I traced and cut out the numbers 1-20, glued them onto white paper and added dots to correspond with each number.  Kinsey's in a big number kick which I'm heavily encouraging; whenever I ask her "how old are you?" she promptly responds, "K-I-N-S-E-Y" :) So anything number related gets two thumbs up.  This activity also encourages one-to-one correspondence by showing how each dot represents the numeral it adds up to.

Painting Craft:

This satisfied our artistic side. We painted and decorated a small wooden treasure chest from Michael's.  We used acrylic paints and stick-on gems (similar.)  They aren't the stickiest, so using a dab of glue would have been a good idea.  #hindsightproblems, ha!  A small collection from her hoards of jewelry is tucked safely inside.  

And what's a treasure without a map?  I had a pyro moment lighting the edges but I was super safe doing it over the kitchen sink. Check out that artwork, I clearly need to work on my ocean waves ;) 

And there you have it!  I can't wait to see what everyone links up so I can get some new ideas/ projects to share with Kinsey!  Don't forget to grab a button and see you back here on November 5th!

Work it Mommy
Work it Mommy

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Where I'm at Wednesday: Endless Summer

On the Blog//
I announced a brand new link up, Teaching Together Blog Hop that I'm co-hosting with some lovely bloggers, Amanda, Courtney, Beth and Courtney .  It's a place to share homeschool curriculum, preschool activities and educational posts.  Teaching Together Blog Hop meets the first Thursday of every month.  Hope you'll link up with us on October 1st!

I've pretty much eaten my way through Katie Lee's Endless Summer cookbook:

Blender pancakes

Quinoa Tabbouleh salad

Halibut (but I used swordfish) with tomato salsa

Lemon mint baby zucchini

Prosciutto-wrapped figs and Gorgonzola (but I used whipped cream cheese because that's all I had and it was delicious!)

S'mores Brownies
I definitely recommend this cookbook!  You will not be disappointed!

September has been a productive month for book reading. I've read Alice Hoffman's Turtle Moon, Anne Lamott's Rosie, Liane Morarity's The Husband's Secret, John Green's Paper Towns and about to start a new one but I'm torn between two titles: JoJo Moyes The Ship of Brides and M.L Stedman The Light Between Oceans.  Any advice?

The hubby and I have been watching Face Off this season and oh my word, so much talent!  I can barely put on my own makeup so I can't even fathom these artists skills!  I have a handful of favorites so here's hoping one of them wins!

I've been starting to wear my scarves again!!!  So much love.
And if you love scarves like me, why don't you join me, Courtney and Elizabeth for a Scarf Exchange?  Find all the details here!

Next Month//
Looking forward to checking off my Fall Fun bucket List with the Family!  And eating all things pumpkin.

And celebrating our 7 year anniversary on October 11th!

Linking up with ShaySheaffer and Mel.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Collaboreads: September

I first learned about #Collaboreads from Kristin's blog and the bookworm in me rejoiced.
Finding new books to read is a never-ending quest for me so this link up is pure gold.  Here is the criteria:

A theme for the month is chosen
Pick your book
Read.  You get a whole month!
Review your book and link up with Amber and Rachel

September's book theme was "back to school" and I chose paper Towns by John Green.  Though it was more like "end of school" so I hope that's ok! 

The Goodreads synopsis:
Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

I couldn't put down this book!  I had to know what became of Margot, I was physically scared for her and questioned if she was depressed or had a chemical imbalance.  It made me feel so sad for her because she came from a two parent family, lived in a nice house and neighborhood and had peer influence, but felt so alone.  I was raised by a single mom and never had any of the issues Margot had and just can't even imagine doing any of the things she did in this book.  I know this is a work of fiction, but there are young girls out there who do lead lives like this and it makes me ache; be it from being a Girl mom or just being a girl in general.


I had a hard time associating this book with another but then it finally dawned on me: Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You; different content but great character development, witty and entertaining.

I liked the pre-movie book cover more, but I always do, anyone else like that?  But I will say it was genius to obscure Margot's face with her hair because that totally plays up the theme of "Who is the real Margot?" 

4 out of 5
After racing through the book to get to the end and feel a little disappointed, I was reminded by Green himself that "it was not the destination that matters, but the journey."  So, it is definitely worth reading!

Linking up with Amber and Rachel.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Favorite Scarves + Fall Scarf Exchange 2015

Who doesn't love a good scarf?  I would wear a scarf year-round if the weather permitted it (and in my hometown it usually does, this summer was just abnormally h-o-t.)  I couldn't pass up a chance to talk about my favorite scarves, so settle back and get ready for some cozy goodness.

It's not a surprise I get the majority of my scarves from Gap and Old Navy.  I love the quality and the price and when you are a Cardholder, they like to spoil you even more.  But I have found some cute ones at H&M, Forever21 and Kohl's.  I am usually gifted scarves for birthdays and Christmas because everyone knows my weakness ;)

Infinity, blanket, cashmere, knit; I like big scarves and I can not lie (who just sang that in their head a la Sir Mixalot?!)

And if you're looking to add another scarf to your rotation join Courtney, Elizabeth and I for the Fall Scarf Exchange!  

The basic idea of the scarf exchange is simple - you buy a scarf for someone and someone buys a scarf for you! And then in a couple weeks, you join us back here and share what you got!

Here's how it works :
Step 1: If you're interested in participating in the exchange (and we hope you are!), please send Elizabeth an email with subject line "2015 Scarf Exchange". Comments below are always welcome but WILL NOT include you in the exchange. Please make sure you send Elizabeth an email at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com if you want to participate. Please include your name, your email, your blog url (if you have one), your Instagram name (if you have one), and any other social media links that you'd like to share with your partner. Please also include your country (exchange is open to US and Canada residents only) - this will help with the matching! 
Sign ups will close on Monday, October 5th at 9pm Pacific Time so please make sure you email by then.

Step 2: Partner matches will be made on October 6th and emails notifying you of who your partner is will be sent that night or on October 7th.

Step 3: Please make contact with your partner by Monday, October 12th. You guys can discuss things like what kind of scarves you typically like (infinity, regular, etc), any fabric preferences or allergies to fabrics, etc. You can even share a picture of some scarves you already have to give your partner an idea of what kinds of scarves you typically like. I would also encourage you to check out your partner's social media handles and blog to get an idea as well. You'll also need to exchange addresses.

Step 4: If you haven't received any contact from your partner by Tuesday, October 13th, please email Elizabeth at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com and she will match you up with someone else.

Step 5: Mail your packages by Monday, October 26th. That gives you 2 weeks to go shopping and get the package in the mail.

Step 6: Come back and link up your blog post with us on Tuesday, November 10th to show us your goodies! No blog? No problem! Share your new scarf with us on social media with #FallScarfExchange15

A little bit of additional information :

  • Please plan to spend about $20-25 BEFORE shipping on the scarf for your partner.
  • As mentioned above, the exchange is open to US and Canada residents only.
  • You do not need to be a blogger to participate. You can get to know your partner through email and social media.
  • Please make sure that you can commit to all the dates before you sign up. You don't want to leave your partner cold and scarf-less this Fall and Winter!
  • And please let me, Courtney or Elizabeth know if you have any questions!

Linking up with Andrea, Annie, Beth, and Vanessa.

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