Read a Book Day ~ are YOU well read?

Read A Book Day Are You Well Read Reading Challenge

I love the idea of Read a Book Day! 

There’s the obvious excuse of getting stuck into another world, with your nose inside a book.  There’s also the perfect chance to look back on my reading goals and how I got back into reading.

I also love that this Day has prompted me to look back before my reading challenge has finished for the year because I’m not one to wait until new year to start new things and set new goals.  Why wait?  I also love that the picture in this blog posts is of a dog reading a book – suggesting that anyone can get involved and read.  So come on people, read, read, read…!  I set myself a reading challenge of 12 books this year and I’m very pleased that I’m ahead of target.

Read A Book Day Are You Well Read Reading Challenge

Having looked at my ‘read’ shelf on GoodReads I saw 3 books that had particularly given me that pick-up-a-book-and-can’t-put-it-down feeling!

 

You know that feeling, I’m sure.

 

There’s also the feeling of being lost and not knowing what to read next because nothing seem sappealing after such a good read.  Well the 3 that gave me both of these feelngs were:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

 

Pop them on your To Be Read pile!

I’m not going to review them simply because I’m not very good at reviewing books.  I think I’m too subjective and would much rather discuss them in a facebook group like Bookish Mamas.  Talking of which, I must thank Lucy, Jess and Naomi for establishing this great group.  They’ve encouraged me to actually read again.

 

I had intended to gather all of the group reads, take a picture and publish it on instagram and on here but I only ended buying my own copies of a few before turning to my library.  I love a visit to the library don’t you?

 

As for next year?  I’m going to stick with 12 books as my goal becuase it’s clearly working and puts me under less pressure.  Now I’m off to find my cosy throw, pop the fairy lights, chillax and get all hygge 🙂

But first, tell me what’s your best read of the year so far?  Or what’s on your TBR pile?  I’d love to know.  Tell me by commenting below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 

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Here’s a past-time for all seasons

Have you ever thought that you need to have a perfect blue sky dotted with clouds in order to cloud watch?

 

Well think again…

It’s a past-time for all seasons!

 

Take this picture that I shared on instagram.  Though there’s not much blue sky, isn’t it beautifully atmospheric and zen-like? (if I say so myself!!)

past time for all seasons cloud watching meditation clouds relaxing wellbeing relaxation

 

Granted, I’m not suggesting that you lay on your back on some sodden, cold grass and cloud watch, but just stop a moment.

 

Be in the moment.

 

Take in the clouds as they swirl by… Follow that swirl as it changes form…

 

Although you haven’t got your eyes closed, it’s a great way to slow down and it actually might just be a form of meditation.

 

So, my message to you is ‘do yourself a favour’ and gaze up at the sky; lose yourself in those swirly wirly clouds; relax and be grateful 🙂

 

Why not make it a habit?

past time for all seasons pin 2 c cloud watching meditation clouds relaxing wellbeing relaxation

 

And when you do it, let me know how you got on!

 

 

Do you like cloud watching?  What else do you like to do that relaxes you and is a great past-time to adopt?   I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere.  And come and say hi on social media ~ 

 

Thank you 🙂

Creating with a mosaic jewellery making kit ~ #BoredomBuster

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Show a little girl a jewellery-making kit and I’ll bet they’ll happily ‘make’ for hours.  (and little boys too, come to that!)  Our daughter loves making and using her imagination, like when she made pencil toppers and a Hello Kitty picture.  She gets absorbed into craft activities and it’s lovely to see.
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Predictably, that’s what happened with this mosaic jewellery-making kit that our little girl was given as a present.
She was making her own mosaic patterns for ages.
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First, she started off copying the patterns from the box, then her creative side kicked in!
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It’s a great little kit, as long as you organise yourself by:
  • preparing the mixture and allowing a good 2 days for it to set within the jewellery mould.  (although atmosphere and environment have a lot to do with this!)
  • preparing yourself to break off what seems like millions of tiny little mosaic squares from the frames.  It’s not millions at all I’m sure, but just be prepared because it feels like it!
Once you’ve got the prep out of the way, you can kick back and watch your little one creating to their heart’s content!  You really can, because (depending on their age), minimal supervision is required, just appropriate encouraging comments through out the  process!  Which, of course, I gave without hesitation!
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And here’s the (rather blurry) mosaic creation that she was very proud of… 🙂
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Have you ever made jewellery or something similar to this?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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The best moments in parenting

What are the best moments in parenting?  Well it’s moments like these that make being a mummy so worth it!
I was pottering around, getting stuff done and our daughter was busying herself with colouring at her colouring chair.  I had my head in the washing machine sorting a load out when our girl came through to me.
“Mummy, can I show you this?”
Truthful answer:  “Not at the moment.  You couldn’t have chosen a more inconvenient time!”
Actual answer: “Of course you can!”
And so, with my head half in the washing machine, I was presented with this
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and immediately, the washing was forgotten and I got a big hug from a proud daughter instead!
There was no reason – it wasn’t mother’s day or a birthday… it was just because she wanted to!
This is what happens when you stop what you are doing and give your attention to your child.  These are the moments when it’s all worth while! 🙂

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What has your child done recently to make you glad you stopped what you were doing?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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Pull up a colouring chair!

What is one of our daughter’s favourite things to do?
Well, one look at her desk will give you a big clue.  Because there are several recycled containers full of pencil crayons, felt tips
and wax crayons.
colouring-chair-main-blog-pic-imagination-destress-relax-organised-stationery-create-make-do-parenting
She ran out of pencil cases and recycled food punnets were there to save the day.
Her desk is her upcycled cot and so there’s lots of room for her colouring paraphernalia.  Give our girl a colouring book or print out her favourite character of the moment to colour in and she’s happy!
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 I find it fascinating that children love to colour – given it’s therapeutic benefits of relaxation and de-stressing.
Children don’t have the distractions of the endless jobs to do round the house and practical things to do that we have, do they?  And until recently, it was much more acceptable for a child to colour than an adult.  Expected even.
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When our daughter started to run out of the recycled food punnets and pencil cases, she got creative and turned her desk chair into something of a pencil case!
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She got paper plates, stuck them to the chair and used the slot in the back of the chair to turn it into something of a pen holder!  Then she got sellotape, wrapped it around the four legs and hung highlighters off there!  You certainly can’t knock her being resourceful or thinking outside the box!
colouring-chair-blog-insert-imagination-destress-relax-organised-stationery-create-make-do-parenting
Now, if we need a pen and can’t find one, we know where to look!
Next time your child runs out of pencil cases, pull up a chair!…

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Has your child ever come up with something querky but practical like this?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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How to adapt learning to the changing seasons ~ #BoredomBuster

As the seasons change, it can be quite difficult to get our daughter outside.  The lure of the kitchen table to do seasonal crafts, the lure of the screens, the lure of the snuggles on the sofa!  And why not?  All of these are great ways to spend your time.

But here at VirtuallyAllSorts, we’ve been adapting our learning to the seasons!

easel-outside-pin-learning-outdoors-literacy-numeracy-maths-fun-learning-copy

At the present time, our daughter loves role playing (among other things), particularly schools.

Since moving house, we haven’t had the chance to do much to pretty up our garden.  It’s quite a small garden but it has potential.

Potential for exploring, for using imagination, for building insect hotels!

Due to its size, we do have to think outside the box.

It’s all concrete and there’s no room for a swing.  Despite this, we have prettied part of it up successfully by painting a wall all different colours.

When our girl says she wants to play in the garden, she often says she’s bored out there.  So despite the obvious change of seasons, we recently popped her easel outside.  She can think outside of the box and so can we!

It’s perfect for her to role play her schools, as you can see.  All she needed was her coat and she was happy as anything for ages 🙂

easel-outside-learning-outdoors-literacy-numeracy-maths-fun-learning

And a happy little girl makes for happy parents!

 

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What do you do to think outside of the box when it comes to space – inside and out?  Have you got any other suggestions for a boredom buster?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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How to make pencil toppers ~ #BoredomBuster activity

When our little girl was given a ‘Go Create’ animal puppets craft activity pack, she couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

The picture on the outside was for puppet but imagination knows no bounds with our daughter and she often thinks outside the box.

She set-to, asking for gloopy glue (eeek!).  When I offered to help with the glue, I was shunned!

how-to-pencil-toppers-1-rainy-day-activity-boredom-buster-create-imagination-parenting-kids

I don’t mind mess, in fact I love when we get the crafting paraphernalia out but ‘gloopy’ glue…  Would pritt stick do? NO, it had to be the messy version.  The one that always dries round the nozzle between sessions, is a nightmare to de-clog before a new session can start and takes ages to dry!

how to make pencil toppers rainy day activity parenting kids make create do imagination

Despite my trepidation, I did as I was told and kept out of the way.

The end results were ‘pencil toppers’ and they’re not too shabby!

how-to-pencil-toppers-1-rainy-day-activity-boredom-buster-create-imagination-parenting-kids

So, readers, that is how you come to make pencil toppers! 🙂
What do you think?  Do you fancy having a go yourself?  Have you made anything similar?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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All that glitters ~ a boredom buster activity

boredom-buster-tick-tate-modern-creation-imagination-glitter-sequins-making-creating-parenting-rainy-day-activities-boredom-busters

As with the average household with children, it’s not uncommon to come across a creation by our little girl, you might call it a boredom buster activity.  But the twist here is that she hadn’t actually uttered the words, “I’m boooored!”…

The creation can be anything from a Hello Kitty collage, to a present for Father Christmas or an insect hotel!

There are no limits to our daughter’s imagination it seems.  So when I was politely summonsed to see her latest Tate Modern-inspired offering, this is what I saw.

insert-pic-boredom-buster-tick-tate-modern-creation-imagination-glitter-sequins-making-creating-parenting-rainy-day-activities-boredom-busters

This is the cushion on top of a footstool, in case you were wondering…

 

I was reluctant to clear it up to be honest.  When the light caught the sequins, it was so pretty (the picture really doesn’t do it justice!)

I feel sure that very soon our daughter will be able to open her own art gallery.  And when she does, entry is bound to be by donation to her choice of animal charity and/or to give a seagull a bed!

Joking aside, hubby and I are both passionate about giving our little girl the space (physically and mentally) that she needs to express herself.  Be it by writing or art creations 🙂

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How about your child?  Do they like creating?  Perhaps they could collaborate with our little girl?! 😉  I’d love to hear about it!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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“Pretty post-its and pencils” ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

Pretty post-its and pencils ~ a poem

Pretty stationery pens postit notes postits pencils upcycle cot desk imagination literacy writing making creating parenting poem

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When my Mum and Dad upcycled my cot,

There was not one tiny detail that they forgot;

More holes were drilled in the legs to ensure

The top could be lifted to last me past four…

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There was space for my pen pots, for sellotape, and for glue

And paper a-plenty to make pictures for you.

My imagination station’s a place just for me,

To potter, to write, to develop literacy…

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And let’s not forget my maths and my sums,

Times-tables, number bonds ~ numeracy’s such fun!

I’ve made cards for my friends and my family too,

And even pets’ birthdays, they can’t read them, mind you!

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With paper, pens, pencils always ready for me,

My Imagination Station’s the place to be!

On an ipad or a tablet you can tap, touch and swipe,

But nothing beats paper, so don’t believe the hype!

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Yes technology’s great in this cyber age

But there’s something ’bout writing a story page by page…

We’ve even made paper, I learnt how to at school,

It sits on my desk, next to my very own pink rule…

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What I mean to say is that there are no rules,

With pretty post-its and pencils, my imaginative tools…

Creativity has no bounds, it’s true,

With mine, I’m never stuck for something to do…

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By Carol Cameleon 2016

The story behind the poem: I happened upon this little arrangement on our little girl’s desk.  I thought how pretty the bits and pieces looked randomly among her other creative tools!

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Got some writing to share? Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere using the #WonderfulWorldofWriting or #www hashtag and I’ll retweet!

WonderfulWorldofWriting

 

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“Thinking Outside the Box” ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

“Thinking Outside the Box”

WonderfulWorldofWriting poem poetry imagination creation making creating www writing thinking outside the box

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I’m faced with a challenge,

What should I do?

Looking round for an answer,

I haven’t a clue…

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The box shows a picture

Of a quaint little place,

As I take a look at my

Team mate’s expectant face…

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We unpack the box,

There’s pieces galore!

The instructions are spread

All over the floor…

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We build the base first

With that piece and this,

With a click and a push

There’s something amiss…

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I break the news gently

That something is lacking,

That we’ll send it back

And that someone needs sacking!…

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But no problem, no worries,

No stress, don’t you see?

Says my team mate of 6 years,

My child prodigy…

WonderfulWorldofWriting poem poetry imagination creation making creating www writing thinking outside the box 1

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We can build our own thing,

With these here building blocks,

We’ll be creative;

We’ll think outside of the box!

WonderfulWorldofWriting poem poetry imagination creation making creating www writing thinking outside the box 2

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By Carol Cameleon 2016

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Got some writing to share? Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere using the #WonderfulWorldofWriting or #www hashtag and I’ll retweet!

WonderfulWorldofWriting

 

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