Posted in Home Economics, Homeschool Information

Culinary Arts in the Homeschool: Enjoy Cake Decorating

Are you enjoying home economics in your homeschool? One of the benefits of homeschooling is having the time to teach your kids all the skills they will need to use after they leave the nest, and being able to make it a fun part of your homeschool day! Another great benefit is that your kids can focus on a home economics subject if it’s one of their passions, such as the culinary arts – including cake decorating.

cake decorating

Culinary Arts in the Homeschool:

Enjoy Cake Decorating

The culinary arts are a big hit with both my 18 year old son and my 13 year old daughter. My son has even been working in a kitchen for two years now. They each started helping me in the kitchen when they were toddlers and could cook simple meals by the time they were 6 years old. Many days, you can find my kids both singing and dancing to music in the kitchen while they cook homemade chicken nuggets and fries or beef stroganoff, or bake chocolate chip cookies or homemade brownies. I love moments like that – especially when I get to enjoy the fruits of their labour!

My daughter developed a particular interest in cake decorating, years ago. I’m no expert, but I love making fancy cakes for birthdays. Kids love piping frosting on cakes so we often allow guests to decorate their own cupcakes or collaboratively decorate a cake at her birthday parties.

At first, my daughter enjoyed simply baking cakes from scratch with me. Then she started to experiment with decorating them. A lot of her inspiration and information at first came from videos she watched through Always Icecream.

She started to get interested in making and decorating with fondant. I knew absolutely nothing about it, so we turned to Craftsy. There’s a great, free, step-by-step mini-course called Basic Fondant Techniques that has taught my daughter how to make fondant and use it to great effect! She has watched it countless times, and each time she wants to use one of the techniques, she watches the video while she works. My daughter has insisted on making her own birthday cakes for years now!

She made this dragon egg (nesting in the sand) cake for her dragon themed birthday party a few years ago:

Cake decorating

This cake is a masterpiece from a few years ago:

cake decorating

She also enjoys making fondant flowers:

cake decorating

And my daughter still loves having fun decorating with buttercream frosting as well. Here is a Pinky Pie (from My Little Pony) cake that she created freehand:

cake decorating

Craftsy offers a bunch of great, free mini-courses, many of them in the culinary arts, so be sure to check them out! And then, if your child loves them, they can move on to classes such as Advanced Fondant Techniques and The Art of Painted Cakes.

Does your child have an interest in the culinary arts? Do you have any fun ideas to share? Please let me know in the comments below!

If you’d like to see how other homeschoolers cover home economics and life skills in their homeschools, check out Add Life Skills to Your Homeschool at The Canadian Homeschooler.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links, if you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Please note: This article was originally published in October, 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Home Economics, Resources

How to Keep Up with it All

**This sale has ended but watch this site for future sales!**

how to keep up with it all

How to Keep Up with it All

Does being a mom and homemaker and Homeschooler ever feel a little too hard?

There’s no question you love your family like crazy and would do anything for them, but it can be an exhausting job.

If you’re anything like me, I bet you wish your home felt more put together and peaceful, you kept up with housework better, were more consistent about serving healthy, homemade meals, and weren’t running ragged so much of the time.

Our families matter more than anything else. Our job is so important, and we want to do it right.  But so often, we end up feeling discouraged and even as if we’re failing.

Maybe you wonder how to keep up with it all and still have the energy and intentionality to be the kind of mom, Homeschooler, wife, and woman you want to be.

I know as well as you do that homemaking will never be stress-free (though it sure sounds nice). But what if you had more (and better) tools to help make it stress-less?

That’s why I’m over the moon to tell you about something very special happening right now called The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016!

It was created to give you a plethora of amazing, high-quality resources to take some of the stress, overwhelm and difficulty out of homemaking and mothering.

To make you feel like you’re winning more often.

And to bolster you in the work you’re doing, because every awesome, hard-working mom deserves a little help sometimes.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle includes 93 hand-picked eBooks, eCourses, and printables, on topics that matter to moms such as:

  • organization, routines, and creating a cozy home (my favourite category)
  • recipes, grocery shopping, and meal planning
  • budgeting and saving money
  • motherhood (no matter what age your kids are)
  • cultivating a strong marriage
  • faith (for you and your kids)
  • and even self-care (exercise, weight loss, life planning, and colouring books!)
  • and much more…

You have a full year to download the eBooks and printables and take the online eCourses, and everything you’ve downloaded becomes part of your permanent library so you can go back to it whenever you need it.

Plus, it comes with these FREE bonus offers from companies who know what homemakers need and want. My favourite is the FREE Online Class from Craftsy ($29.99-$69.99 value)! We chose a Chinese cooking class to enjoy in our homeschool. It’s worth the cost of the bundle all by itself! You can use this and many other resources in your bundle to teach your kids.

It’s available for just 2 days – from now until Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. That’s why the Ultimate Bundles team can offer so much, because they only have permission to sell it for such a short period of time.

The total value is an astonishing $1000+ (plus over $300 in bonuses), but you get it for just $29.97 US. That’s a whopping 97% off what it would cost to buy everything individually!

Learn more or get your bundle now!

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If you think getting all those homemaking & mothering helps for less than $30 sounds like a steal, then make sure to go HERE to see exactly what it includes and grab yours before this deal ends! I am loving these resources and I know you will, too!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note, this article contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Home Economics

Getting Organized: Problematic Kitchen Cupboards

Are you trying to get organized in 2016? I sure am! I am so tired of all this clutter – it clutters my home AND my mind. Every spare chance I get will be devoted to creating beautiful spaces in my home. CREATE is my 2016 word. If you haven’t chosen a word for 2016, get some help choosing a word of the year here. I think the kitchen is a good place to start …

getting organized

Getting Organized: Problematic Kitchen Cupboards

We have been living in our current home for several years now. The lazy susan cupboard, pictured above. has been the bane of my existence the whole time. It seemed like a great place to keep all our Tupperware, since it’s so large but Tupperware is so light that everything flew off the spinning shelves and got stuck in behind! Luckily my daughter is still small enough to squeeze most of herself in the cupboard and grab everything that fell in behind the shelving.

We thought about putting canned goods in the lazy susan cupboard because they’re nice and heavy, but we have a nice pantry cupboard for them already. So, we gave the pots and pans a try.

I didn’t take a photo of my lazy susan full of Tupperware (it was embarassing). Here is my ridiculously not organized pots and pans cupboard though (I swear, it’s not all my fault – my 16 year old son doesn’t know how to stack).

getting organized

I took everything out of it and tried putting everything in the corner cupboard. It works very well! Nothing flies out because it’s nice and heavy. Just look:

getting organized

I still have to figure out the best way to set up the Tupperware in the other cupboard. I’m not quite there yet. I will try to share once it’s all organized.

Don’t forget to get your kids involved in cleaning and decluttering! I couldn’t have done this without my daughter. This is a great way to teach kids how to clean and organize the home – part of home economics! Make it part of your homeschool day.

If you think the kitchen is a good place to start, too, check out Simply Stacie’s 30 Days to a Clean and Organized Kitchen list with just one cleaning/organizing project to tackle per day – what a great list to work through! Start number one today, or start on the day of the month it today when you’re reading this, and get the rest done on the first day of the month – however you want to tackle it. If you miss a day, just catch up or work the next day regardless of the date on the calendar. Crossing each one off will feel so good and at the end you can see all that you’ve accomplished on one page!

Another great way to get organized this month is to check out The Canadian Homeschooler’s Organize Your Home in 20(ish) Days Challenge. Get tips from a real organization expert, ooh! The first challenge of Week 1: Supplies is to corral all your writing implements into containers – I’m off to do that now, wish me luck!

What are you getting organized this month? Do you have a lazy susan cupboard or other problematic cupboard – how do you use it? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &

Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Resources

Feeling Overwhelmed? Get Your DIY On!

**This bundle is no longer available, but stay tuned for more bundles, coming soon!**

Do you ever look at the bare wall in the family room, that tired and sagging couch, or those tatty tablecloths, and feel absolutely overwhelmed by the thought of tackling any of them?

Which one do you start with? And then once you’ve decided, how do you know which steps, instructions or advice to follow? Just getting to the point where you’re ready to start can often take so much time and effort!

I’ve been there! It’s frustrating, because you know just how satisfying it can be to create something of your own – that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment can’t be beaten. What you need is someone to pull together everything to get you started, to make it as easy and painless as possible.

Get Your DIY On!

Good news – it’s back! When the Ultimate Bundles team created The Ultimate DIY Bundle, they had you in mind! The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library for a whole range of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses to get your DIY on!

No more trawling through the internet looking for good-quality, easy-to-follow information and advice for you and for your homeschool: it’s all right here! For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 69 eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading DIY and crafting bloggers – enabling you to pick a project and jump straight into it with confidence. It’s the perfect tool to skip the information overload and throw yourself straight into a new activity.

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale during this 2 day FLASH SALE – from 10am AT (9am EST) on Monday, March 31 until 10am AT (9am EST) on Wednesday, April 1.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $150. That’s 4x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $71.95 Value and our favourite!), a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value), and free, full digital copies of Where Women Create Magazine and Greencraft Magazine ($20 value) from Stampington and Co.

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 69 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. Get your DIY on! All you need to do is take action by 10am AT (9am EST) on Wednesday, April 1!

This amazing deal ends in just…

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post includes affiliate links. If you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Feel free to read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Make a Cape Out of an Old Curtain

Fibre Friday

Fibre Friday: Make a Cape Out of an Old Curtain

make a cape out of an old curtain

Last week, I promised to show you how to make a cape out of an old curtain. It’s a quick and easy sewing project. You can make a cape for Halloween or to dress up and make history studies come alive in your homeschool. I made this one a few weeks ago for a local haunted trail; it’s a Halloween fundraiser for Two Rivers Wildlife Park. We’ve been volunteering as a family for this event for several years.

I started with an old curtain. Using my son as a model for height, I cut off some excess length at the top of the curtain. I found that when folded in half, the curtain covered quite a bit of his body. Without any more cutting, I just folded the curtain in half, inside out, and hemmed all around the edges:

make a cape out of an old curtain

I left a small gap in one corner:

make a cap out of an old curtain

Then I stuffed all the fabric through the gap, and turned it right side out:

make a cape out of an old curtain

Next I hand sewed the gap closed using a blind stitch:

make a cape out of an old curtain

If you need some help with a blind stitch, here is a blind stitch tutorial video on YouTube.

The final step was sewing in some elastic a few inches from the top of the cape, on what I wanted to be the inside of the cape. When sewing in the elastic, just remember to pull it taught toward you as you sew, so the fabric bunches up nicely:

make a cape out of an old curtain

Here is the finished cape! It doesn’t look like a curtain anymore:

make a cape out of an old curtain

For the closure, I simply used a safety pin. You could also use Velcro or a nice, fancy closure such as a clasp or chain.

Are you making costumes for your homeschool or Halloween? What are you knitting, sewing, or crocheting this week? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Sewing a Skirt

sewing a skirt

Sewing a Skirt

Welcome back to Fibre Friday! I haven’t shared our latest sewing adventures in our homeschool. My daughter and I have been learning how to sew together in our homeschool. The last project I shared was the adorable jean tote bag she made for a friend. Well, another birthday came around and she decided sewing a skirt as a birthday gift would be a good choice this time.

Since we had already made a skirt once before, for her Elsa dance costume, we used it as a template for sewing a skirt. We just cut out the pattern a little bigger and longer as her friend is a little older.

My daughter made the skirt almost completely independently. First she sewed up each side:

sewing a skirt

Then she hemmed the bottom.

sewing a skirt

And then we tackled the waistband together. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I made the waistband for her Elsa costume. This time, I consulted the book, Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp. I got this wonderful book with the Craftsy sewing class, “Sewing Studio”. We followed the steps, first sewing the “tube” the elastic goes through, then threading the elastic through with a safety pin.

Here is my daughter modelling the finished skirt. As I mentioned, we made the skirt a little bigger so it would fit her friend well. It turned out quite well.

sewing a skirt

Next week, I will show you how I sewed a cape out of an old curtain. It may just come in handy if you celebrate Halloween, or if you like to dress up for history in your homeschool.

What are you sewing, knitting, or crafting in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links, if you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Posted in Parenting

Cooking Real Food in the Homeschool

While sometimes we don’t exactly put the “home” in our homeschool with all the activities we’re involved in and all the travelling back and forth to the city, like many homeschoolers, we eat most of our meals at home. I don’t know about you, but I get bored easily. My husband likes to tease me about the fact that I don’t like to have the same meal twice in a row.

It can be difficult to find “real food” recipes sometimes. I find so often when I’m doing a search for recipes that I find mostly recipes with pre-packaged ingredients or mixes as main ingredients! So what do you do when you get bored of the same old recipes? I’m excited to be able to reach for my iPad and check out all the ebooks from the Real Food Recipes section of the The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle!

***This bundle is no longer available. Stay tuned for more great resources and bundles!***

Check out all the great ebooks:

  • 42 Simple & Healthy Dinners by Brandy Ferguson, Emma Swanston, and Stacy Karen @ 42 Days to Fit ($4.99)
  • Crazy for Kale: Glow from the Inside Out with 40 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes by Hallie Klecker @ Daily Bites ($5.99)
  • Easy. Homemade. (2nd Edition) by Mandi Ehman @ Life Your Way ($5.99)
  • Everyday Nourishing Food by Kimi Harris @ The Nourishing Gourmet ($4.99)
  • From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared Whole-Food Dishes by Shaye Elliott @ The Elliott Homestead ($9.99)
  • Real Food Recipes for Weight Loss by Jami Boys @ An Oregon Cottage ($2.99)
  • Simple. Healthy. Tasty. – Breakfast by Tammie Nelson @ Simple. Healthy. Tasty. ($6.95)
  • Smoothie Secrets Revealed: A Guide to Enhance Your Health by Elyse Wagner @ My Kitchen Shrink ($19.99)
  • The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge eGuide by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner @ Simple Green Smoothies ($15.00)
  • The Everything Beans Book by Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship ($8.95)
  • The Granola Book by AlinaJoy Dubois @ Good Old Days Farm ($7.99)
  • Whole Foods for the Everyday Cook: Over 100 Natural Recipes for Everyday Cooking by Christy Greer @ Whole Foods on a Budget and Jessica Aveni @ Natural Health and Prevention ($6.99)
  • Will Forage For Soup: Gourmet Soup From Wild Greens by Amanda Rose, Ph.D. and Jeanie Rose @ Fresh Bites Daily ($6.97)

That’s well over $100 worth of recipe ebooks, including recipes for smoothies, soups, breakfast, dinners, and more. And they all come in The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! Just $29.97 US for well over $1000 worth of ebooks and ecourses, and bonuses including memberships! Don’t miss out on this bundle, it’s only available through tomorrow, September 15th and then it’s gone forever.

Click here for more info or to buy now.

There’s plenty in here that you can include in your home economics/culinary arts homeschool classes! I’m most excited about The Granola Book, as well as Whole Foods for the Everyday Cook, which has over 100 recipes!

What’s your biggest challenge when cooking real food in your homeschool? Which ebook are you excited about?

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Sewing a Tote Bag

Fibre Friday

Sewing a Tote Bag

Last Fibre Friday, I shared how I was teaching my daughter to sew as I learn right along with her (she is 10 years old). We started working on a tote bag together and had cut out all the pieces in my last post.

My daughter had a great time exploring all the fancy stitches that are possible on our machine when we made a tea towel and handkerchiefs. She decided to use a fancy stitch to embellish the pocket of the tote:

sewing

I had never sewn a pocket before and found the instructions a bit mystifying. We read them together a few times and eventually figured it out. First we pressed back the fabric at the top with an iron:

sewing

Then we flipped it over, folded it over, and pressed it again:

Sewing

Finally we got to the sewing part, which is always so much faster than all the pressing:

sewing

The pocket had to be flipped inside out. And then of course more pressing, under this time so the pocket could be sewn on the bag:

sewing
And here is the finished pocket! As you can see, my daughter also embellished the corners of the tote bag itself:

sewing

Then we just had to sew together the front and back of the tote and its lining. This went nice and quickly:
sewing

Here is my daughter sewing the lining into the tote bag. Almost done!

sewing

Here is my daughter modeling the finished tote bag:

sewing

I love how great it looks with a hint of the bright colours of the lining showing. As I mentioned in the last post, we wouldn’t use that crazy fabric for anything else.

My daughter decided to give the finished tote bag to a friend for a birthday present. Here it is with a birthday card tucked in the pocket:

sewing

My daughter’s friend absolutely LOVED it! She was astonished that it was homemade. We are looking forward to many more mother-daughter sewing adventures!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Free Homeschooling Resources, Home Economics

Free Home Economics Mini-Classes

Try a Free Mini Class at Craftsy

home economics

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Are you looking to teach your kids a a new crafting, cooking, or baking skill, but aren’t sure where to get started? Check out the Craftsy Free Classes, mini classes that allow you to sample everything from food classes (Complete Knife Skills with Brendan McDermott is a definite must for your homeschool culinary course), to quilting (how fun would A New Look at Longarm Quilting with Mandy Leins – FREE! be?), to photography (Learn How To Take Professional Family Portraits with Craftsy for FREE! – great for your little shutterbug) and more! Just register for your Craftsy account and get started!

I hope you have as much fun with Craftsy classes as we do in our homeschool!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly