Sea Air, Cracker Gardens & Poinsettia Flowers

This week has been gentler and we are just doing what we can with homeschooling, and viewing other experiences as education too πŸ™‚ I felt a desperate need for sea air, so we went to Sea Park at the weekend and the girls played in the playground. There was still life about the place and the ice-cream van was open, even though it was a bitter day with wild winds. I love watching the sea when it’s like that. I haven’t had any time to myself in a couple of months, so I stood and stared at the sea and daydreamed while the girls played on the seesaw and climbing frame πŸ™‚ There is something about going to the sea, even if it’s only for a little while, that makes me feel refreshed and like I’ve been on holiday πŸ™‚

When we got home, I decided to let the girls make their own vanilla cupcakes (with minimal input from me :)) The measuring of ingredients seemed to be the most difficult part for them, but they took quickly to the Kitchen Aid and managed to make cake batter and buttercream. The results looked very homemade but they were some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had πŸ™‚ They were so proud of themselves, which makes the long process feel worthwhile πŸ™‚

I did some baking of my own and made some more of the malt bread I made last week. The girls had eaten all of it in a couple of days πŸ™‚ I also tried a new pizza recipe using a Pizza Express dough recipe. It doesn’t look like much because I always serve before remembering to take pictures, but it tasted exactly the same as it and was so easy to make πŸ™‚ I really need to invest in a pizza cutter one of these days πŸ™‚ For the amount of pizza we eat, it feels almost criminal that we don’t have one πŸ™‚

On Sunday, we walked to the Lamppost Cafe for our weekly hot chocolate/mocha treat. The girls said hello to the tea-drinking teddies again πŸ™‚ It was very quiet outside and we went to an empty park across the road and the girls had their drinks on the roundabout πŸ™‚ They always seem to prefer the most unimpressive-looking playgrounds, which apparently, tend to have the fastest roundabouts πŸ™‚

At home, we made some felt flowers. The girls had received them in their Toucan Boxes this month and we enjoyed making them πŸ™‚ They were just made from felt, cut like fringing for petals, green pipe cleaners, pom poms and ribbons to hold them in place. The girls made a bouquet of three flowers each and used them as props of one of their “shows.” πŸ™‚

We did some more acrylic painting together and then I made use of the peace while the girls watched TV to sneak fancy chocolate and coffee in the kitchen while I wrote πŸ™‚

The next day, I made some very ordinary-looking, but delicious comfort food for lunch. I’m trying a bit of a no-spending food challenge this week to make sure we use everything before it expires πŸ™‚ I love minestrone soup because you can throw whatever you like into it, including wilted vegetables and no one knows πŸ™‚ I had half a wedge of brie left that needed used, so I microwaved it for a couple of minutes. (It turns out the same as when you bake it in the oven.) I just put the bowl in the centre of the table and provided the girls with crackers for dipping πŸ™‚ They love eating foods that they get to assemble/help themselves to πŸ™‚

This week, my daughter had to do an abstract picture for school, using black markers, crayons and thin paint. We all did a picture and then the girls pinched mine to paint over πŸ™‚ I think they improved it, but it was difficult to use the paint over the crayon without causing the marker to run.

My daughter has been asking me to make a cracker garden snack she saw in a magazine all week, so we did it today for snack time. You just spread cream cheese on a cracker, sprinkle some chia seeds at the bottom for the “soil,” and then add fruit or vegetables for stems and flowers. The girls used pomegranate seeds for the flowers. It’s their favourite fruit of the moment and I love how quiet it keeps them when they’re pulling the seeds out πŸ™‚

We made some more of the girls’ favourite brownies. I measured out the ingredients for them and then let them do the stirring πŸ™‚ They managed to share a spoon without fighting because they were both so eager to do the mixing πŸ™‚ I added pecans to the mixture and chopped them finely so the girls wouldn’t notice them, but of course, it didn’t work πŸ™‚

We made some poinsettia flowers from the girls’ Toucan box. It was difficult to work out the instructions at first, but once we did, it was very therapeutic. We just had to cut up cardboard strips and stick them in a particular way to make the shape of the flower. Then, we added a gem to the centre and string to hang them up. I thought they turned out a little like Chinese New Year decorations πŸ™‚

This afternoon, I lit my new vanilla candle and listened to my Discover Weekly whilst writing. I like when it appears each week on Spotify πŸ™‚ I always love the cosy contrast between a newly lit candle and raindrops that have collected on a window πŸ™‚

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