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

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Weekend Vibes…

December 2nd, 2016 · 1 Comment

Just taking the weekend off and thought I would send some summer sunshine vibes from glorious Cape Town…


And ice cream of course!!!


And happy wanderings…


Hope you have good one!!!

→ 1 CommentTags: Outdoors

A Week’s Worth of GiveAway Winners…

December 2nd, 2016 · 1 Comment

So we had an entire week of GiveAways… and it was so fun to blog and we loved the heaps of comments that rolled in. Especially the comments that told us where in the world you were… our wall map is full to the brim with pointers all over the world and that is a blog post all of it’s own. So thank you to all of you who stopped by and left a comment. Here are the GiveAways we had:

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And a mug full of colours waiting to be chosen:


And the winners are…


  1. A Family Photoshoot with Marike Herselman: Olivia Nov 30, 2016 at 7:43 pm Seems family photos are not a regular occurrence for many, have never had one, but would love you get one of the family in Cape Town.
  2. Family Tickets to Dinos Alive with Cape Gate: Chris Nov 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm Not sure if you all have seen what a Kosmoceratops looks like… I love what it looks like has an awesome “crown”!
  3. The World… Globe, puzzle, cards collection from Mapstudio: Cassey Nov 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm Oooh fun times. We’re in Stellenbosch here in SA with you. 
  4. The South African Atlas from Mapstudio: Jo Nov 22, 2016 at 11:10 am The boys love atlases but we just get them from the library– would be awesome to have one. I’d love to take my family to the Drakensburg one day– we grew up going there every year but I have never visited with my family!
  5. The Diaries from Mapstudio: Ina Nov 26, 2016 at 3:31 pm Pink will be just lovely! And Nurah: Nov 26, 2016 at 10:24 am Would be my son’s first diary if he wins. Green is his fav. Thanks for a great giveaway!

Thanks again to all our readers who stopped by and left a comment and of course thank you to our fabulous sponsors: Cape Gate Centre, Marike Herselman and Mapstudio. I have a couple more fantastic GiveAways that I will be posting next week… come back again and take a peak, I think you are going to love them.

→ 1 CommentTags: GiveAways and Swaps

Se7en’s December… And Your Free Printable Calendar…

December 1st, 2016 · No Comments


Hello December and we’ve made a special calendar for you this month… it is an Advent calendar.

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You are welcome to either print the first page as our usual calendar and decorate a tree each day for the month of December or you can print both pages and with a craft knife cut along three sides of each window on the first page. Line your pages up and as you open a window each day of the month you will reveal a Nativity scene as December rolls along. To print them out click on the images, they will open in a new tab… choose to print them using “landscape,” it just works better.

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Meanwhile here are our links and ideas to add to your calendars and explore during the busy month of December…


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Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #340

November 29th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Schools around us seem to be dragging on and on and on this year… but there is a definite feeling of summer in the air, beach traffic and late afternoon swims have arrived in full force and we find ourselves retreating to our favourite spots that are far from the madding crowd…


Lovely Links from This Week

  1. I loved these Inspiring Tools for a Nature Artist and a Cartographer on Blogs She Wrote.
  2. This looks like fun: Wycliffe’s twelve days of Christmas around the world…
  3. My friend Marcia, from the Organising Queen has some sage advice on how to Create the Perfect Christmas for You…
  4. My fave read of the week: Author Kate Swaffer on living beyond dementia diagnosis…
  5. Babyccino’s downloadable activity advent. Prettiness… perfectly lovely as you would expect!!!
  6. I totally love the spirit in this post: The Kids Made their own Advent Calendars on Ikatbag…
  7. And here is food for thought: What’s it like to go without complaining for a Month!!!
  8. I have been saving these up, I think our christmas tree is going to need some unicorns and nobody does it better than the artful parent!!!


A Blast From the Past:

That’s us… Hope you are all have a fabulous week!!!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun

A Week of GiveAways… the Wrap Up…

November 29th, 2016 · No Comments

So last week we had a spontaneous week of GiveAways for our readers, and I thought I would post them again… just one time, in case you missed them. Click on the links below the photographs to take you to the relevant posts and then leave a comment…


Se7en Would Like to Give You The World: A know your world map combination pack from MapStudio.


A Family Ticket to Dino’s Alive: at Cape Gate Centre, for folk who are going to be in Cape Town over the holidays.


My First South Africa Atlas: Another Fabulous Mapstudio GiveAway…


A family photoshoot with Marike Herselman. For families that are going to be in Cape Town during December.


A Pair of Dashing Diaries from Map Studio.

Leave a comment before the end of play on the 30 November 2016. We will draw and publish the winners on the 1st of December. I won’t respond to your comments as we do on our other posts because we don’t want to be included in our own giveaway. Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have already won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away.

→ No CommentsTags: GiveAways and Swaps

Se7en Take a Visit to Cape Point to See the Cormorants…

November 28th, 2016 · 2 Comments

This weekend summer arrived in full force and after weeks of gale force wind we headed down to Cape Point to take a look at the cormorants…


Getting There…

To see the cormorants you need to head straight down to the main parking lot at the lighthouse… amble up the hill towards the lighthouse…

Just below the lighthouse there are lookout points looking towards Diaz Beach…


And down the cliffs… you really are high above the ocean here…


And further south you have the real lighthouse… the one used to warn ships of the treacherous and rocky shore…


It might seem a little strange to have two lighthouses. The first lighthouse, with the red roof, was built on the top of the cliffs. I imagine the idea being that it would be spotted for miles around. Unfortunately, because it is above the cliffs meant that a lot of the time it is lost in mist and during stormy weather surrounded by clouds. So the newer lighthouse was built closer to sea level and really can be seen for miles around.


There are quite a few tourists in this section of the park… and on such a hot and summery day, lots of umbrellas too. Most folk come all the way down the park to head up to the lighthouse… it is a beautiful spot and as well as a view of the whole of False Bay,


You can also see walking trails for miles around…


The Cape Cormorants

From the view points just below the red roofed lighthouse, if you turn back towards the cliffs you have a clear view of the local flock of cormorants…


Flying in and out of the cliffs are these graceful birds…


Some of them sunning themselves…


And a lot of them nesting…


The young ones are only left momentarily…


Before the parents return…


Its fascinating to watch…


The Really Easy Lighthouse Walk

If you do find yourself at Cape Point on a fairly wind free day then seize the moment and take the lighthouse walk, from one lighthouse down to the other… you get glorious views of False Bay and the Atlantic Ocean… we usually spot an array of small wild life… daisies and lizards, and if you stay on the path it is a lovely walk.


Yes they are all quite mad!!!



This curious little fellow discovered the crumbs form someone’s sandwich and we watched him nibble away.


You can’t get right down to the lighthouse, there is a viewing point just above it.


And from the path you can look up to the higher lighthouse…


Otherwise Cape Point is Always Good for Rock Pooling


And a little way up the coast from Bordjiesdrift you will find the best rock pooling spots…




Se7en’s Guide to Hiking in Cape Point

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→ 2 CommentsTags: Outings · Saturday Spot

What We Are Reading Right Now: The Picture Book Edition…

November 27th, 2016 · No Comments

So we have been reading away as usual, and there is a pile of books on our coffee table that have been getting a lot of attention around here… the picture book pile of course. The books that get read with enthusiasm again and again and again…


Se7en + 1 of the Latest and Greatest Picture Books

Demolition by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock: Oh this is fun… for some of my kids that lived within walking distance of complicated road works their entire lives… this is a great book. Lots of construction fun and rhythm and rhyme. You have to love the sound affects and short sharp words… very fun. And this is the board book edition… of the chunky variety… perfect for little people in love with construction. You can meet the author Sally Sutton over here, and the illustrator Brian Lovelock, here.

Oi Frog by Kes Gray and Jim Field: What a team, what a book… this is brilliant on every level… it is about a frog who s desperate to sit down, and a rather condescending cat who knows that he can’t sit anywhere except on a log. Because frogs sit on logs. Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, gophers sit on sofas, mules sit on stools… there is a lovely rhyming pattern here. And the poor frog doesn’t want to sit on a log, because of the potential for splinters!!! Anyway… obviously the cat needs to explain again and again that the frog has to sit on a log, and finally (spoiler alert), the frog gets it… every animal has something rhyming to sit on it… Which begs the question: So what do dogs sit on? You can meet the fun children’s author, Kes Gray here. And you can look out for the illustrator Jim Field, he is delightful in every way.

Penguin by Polly Dunbar: And you can’t beat Polly Dunbar for cleverness… an apparently very simple story… but there is so much cleverness. Ben receives a very exciting gift. He opens it up and it a penguin. He is thrilled with his new playmate, and he tries everything to engage him… but nothing happens. Everything and zero response from his friend… and in his frustration he tries to feed the penguin to the lion… the lion is not having the penguin… in fact the penguin remains unmoved. In his frustration Ben yells a mighty yell… and the lion gulps Ben down for being so noisy. And Ben’s friend is totally not impressed… (spoiler alert) at last the penguin does something and pecks the lion on the nose… in pain the Lion spits Ben back and then the penguin has a lot to say and recounts everything that has happened in full colour… and their friendship is sealed forever after. The author/illustrator Polly Dunbar has a fabulous website.

Cats Ahoy by Peter Bently and Jim Field: There is something very fishy about this story!!! Pure pirateering fun. Alfonso the cat hears that their is a load of haddock coming into town, arriving at dawn… So he gathers all the cats in the fishing village and they set to out to sea in the dead of night in their pirate boat, aptly named the Kipper. There is a lot of swashbuckling… and a surprise for the townsfolk when the fisherman row into town and tell of the pirate attack, without any fish. And the really weird thing, all the cats in town have disappeared… This is any young pirates dream kind of a book… full of rhythm and rhyme, fun to read and lots of little clevernesses to keep everyone engaged. The illustrations are full of wonderful detail. This book gets full marks from my gang. Another book illustrated by the colourful Jim Field, and written by the children’s author, Peter Bently.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen: Highly acclaimed Jon Klassen has done it again with another extremely clever and witty book. The tale of two tortoises that discover a hat. In part one, they realise that both look good in the hat, but let’s say it again, there are two tortoises and only one hat. They decide to forget about the hat. In part two, they both try very hard to watch the sunset and forget about the hat… their “words” are watching the sunset, their eyes not so much. In part three, they are headed off to sleep… and as they are drifting off they are chatting… and as they are chatting about their dream… one of them is dreaming and the other can’t resist… until he hears the loving dream… and he decides to go to sleep as well… and together they dream happily forever after… Lovely. You can see exactly why this is a classic, even as it launches!!! Jon Klassen writes classic after classic after classic…

Blue Penguin by Petr Horáček: Oh gasp, the illustrations in this book are exceptional, wonderfully wintry scenes… crisp sea and beautiful icy landscapes. This is the story of a blue penguin, in the world of black and white penguins he sure does stand out… he is different and alone and nobody wants to be his friend… he sings a song to the great white whale to come and rescue him from his loneliness, but while he is waiting for the whale to resume him from his loneliness a little penguin befriends him… and one friend leads to many others. This story is heartwarming, it really is okay to be different. Meet the author/illustrator Petr Horáček here, pop over and look at his blog, filled with beautiful illustrations.

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field: Another book in this selection illustrated by Jim Field. This book is top of the pops of the heap of “read again” books on the coffee table right now. This is a story of large lion, who live on a rock on the African plains… and an adorable mouse who is the lion’s nearest neighbour. The mouse finds himself invisible, on account of his size. None of the other animals notice the poor little mouse… he is ignored and forgotten. But can that lion roar. The mouse decides that he needs to overcome his fear and take lessons from the lion and learn how to roar. Too his surprise the lion (and here is the spoiler) is very scared of mice… This is a book about friendship and that there really is a lion inside all of us, no matter how small we are.

A Treasury of Songs by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Schaeffer: The last but definitely not the least in this pile of books. The prolific author/illustrator team have brought us a very special book that would make the perfect gift for a special event or a special birthday for a little person in your life. A lovely shimmery cover, and beautiful glossy pages. It is a collection of twenty three of Julia Donaldson songs and includes a CD to sing along with. There are some old favourites that my children have been singing along to for many years, like “A squash and a squeeze” and a quite a few new ones, to us, as well. There are a variety of songs… some are short and sweet, finger play songs and others are longer, telling the entire story. The book is filled with beautiful double page spreads, illustrated by the famous Axel Scheffler. Our gang were lucky enough to meet Julia Donaldson last year and some of my gang have been singing her songs ever since. This book goes on the much loved treasury shelf, it is a collectors item for Julia Donaldson fans of all ages.

Thank you so much to PanMacmillan South Africa for the copies of these books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to create it and the opinions expressed are as usual, our own.

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