Friday, October 31, 2014

Top web reads of October

Happy Hallowe'en, everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed your October. I enjoyed mine - I even enjoyed my impromptu bloggy break in the middle of the month, when sick kidlets, writing deadlines and the general busyness of life got in the way.

It got in the way of web reading too, so my top web reads list is a little shorter this month. But no less impressive - enjoy.


Family and life

Get over yourself. Kids still play.

I adored this blog post from Bianca at Bigwords. It's a response to the constant fearmongering about how children these days aren't exposed to the things we were exposed to in 'the good old days', and how technology is killing creativity. Particularly loved this: "Kids are smarter than that. Will someone please give kids some credit. Kids know how to play."

Wanting our kids to be someone they're not

A beautiful post from Maxabella at Heartfelt Living about how, instead of shaping our children to be who we want them to be, we should help them be the best versions of themselves they naturally are. But worded much, much better. So go and read her post instead of this summary. You won't regret it.


Language and writing

Single Quotes or Double Quotes? It’s Really Quite Simple.

This piece at does exactly what it says on the box. Not sure whether to use single quotes or double quotes? Two of these ' or two of these "? Here is one view. (But just to confuse you all, it's different everywhere. And still evolving. You're welcome.)

Disclaimer: I'm not an aspiring cryptic crossword compiler. I adore cryptic crosswords, and I enjoy the exercise of attempting to craft cryptic clues (especially over at David Astle's blog, where he often has competitions), but I know my limits. Creating grid after grid of clever clues isn't my forte.

It's LR's, though. And I love this blog post from him, from the groan-inducing introduction to the clue-infused ending.


Food for thought

Voices of 2014 eLearning Masterclasses

The generous team at Kidspot put together this eLearning Masterclass series, featuring Lisa from The Red Thread, Kelly from A Life Less Frantic, Eden from Edenland, Bron from Heartfelt Living (by Maxabella loves) and Louisa Claire from Brand Meets Blog. Whether you're just starting out blogging, or have been blogging for a while, it's definitely worth a look.



The Weirdest Ig Nobel Prize Winners This Year, Ranked From Strange To Flat-Out Insane

The Ig Nobel Prize, which honours achievements that make you laugh as much as they make you think, were handed out at Harvard earlier this year. This post lists the ten winners, in the fields of economics, physics, psychology, art, biology, public health, medicine, arctic science, neuroscience and nutrition. Baby poo features in one of the studies. Can you guess which one before you click over?

Interview with a toddler (Gift Grapevine)

Regular readers may remember that I interviewed my toddler, Ashleigh, back in September. Well now Tash from Gift Grapevine has interviewed hers, and the results are just as adorable. Thanks for joining in with the toddler interviewing fun, Tash!


That's what I enjoyed reading on the interweb in October. What caught your eye?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tribute (to the greatest lip-sync in the world)

Have you ever done something and thought, "Oh my goodness. I can't believe I just did that!"?

Or perhaps done something that made your husband shake his head in disbelief, shrug his shoulders and say, "I don't get it."?

I did something that made both of those things happen. And instead of pretending it never happened, I'm going to share it here. And then run and hide.

What did I do? I filmed myself lip-synching to Tenacious D's Tribute. I did it for a few reasons: because why not?; because I thought it would be fun; because I love that song; and, because I couldn't think of a better way to make a YouTube debut.

But mostly, I did it to cheer someone up. Someone I've not met in person, but who I feel like I know.

If you haven't met Eden Riley of Edenland, go and meet her. (But not until after you've finished reading this post. Otherwise, I'll have lost you - you'll spend the rest of the day reading through her posts instead.) She's had a tough year. A tough couple of years. And October is a particularly sucky time for her.

So here's my entry into Eden's first annual international lip-sync awards. Enjoy. Or just laugh. It's the same thing, sometimes.

(And if the video below doesn't work, you can view it at YouTube.)

Have you entered? What song would you choose to lip-sync too?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Princess Super Kitty - Antoinette Portis (book review)

Welcome! Regular readers may have noticed something a little off last month - I didn't do a children's book review.

Fear not, dear readers! They are still here. But they are changing. Instead of reviewing four titles in bulk each month, I will now post a new short sharp review every Friday.

A new children's book every Friday! Hip hip hooray!

I'm kicking off the new format with my four-year-old daughter's current favourite, Princess Super Kitty*.


Princess Super Kitty / Antoinette Portis

(HarperCollins Children's Books, 2011)

Image source*
Maggie isn't a Maggie today. She's a kitty. But she doesn't like to nap. So she's a Super Kitty! But she doesn't like to do every single thing that's asked of her. So she's a...

Princess Super Kitty* is adorable. I have to admit that when my daughter brought it over to me at the library, I groaned inwardly. Ashleigh loves nothing more than pink, frills and fairies, and this book threatened an overload of all of this and more.

It delivers an overload of all of this and more. And more again! But it also perfectly captures her imaginative, playful yet ultimately girly personality. Ashleigh identifies with the book, and happily for me, she identifies with the 'super' part as much as the 'princess' part.

Although this princess behaviour certainly rings true!

And it's funny. The continual addition of attributes to Maggie's character has inspired Ashleigh to create compound characters of her own.

Meet Princess Fairy Rabbit!

So if you have a girly girl with budding superhero powers, I definitely recommend this book.

*affiliate links

Have you or your children read Princess Super Kitty? What did you think?

And do you have any book recommendations for future reviews?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Playing hide-and-seek in the library - a toddler's guide

  • Run away from mum. At this stage, make sure you stay in sight of mum.

Ta-da! The game starts in plain sight.

  • Turn back to check that mum is watching.
  • When she looks, display your cheekiest grin.

Something like this.

  • Run down the nearest aisle. (Bonus points if you manage to knock down every book you pass.)

Run, run, run!

  • Stop, and turn around. Wait until you see mum peek around the corner.
  • When she does, display your cheekiest grin. Accompanying cheeky chuckle optional.
  • Run across to the next aisle. (Bonus points if you manage to knock down every book you pass. Additional bonus points if you manage to kick any of them back into the other aisle.)
  • Stop, and turn around. Wait until you see mum peek around the corner.
  • If mum doesn't peek, check on her.

Mum's coming! Run!

  • When she sees you, display your cheekiest grin.
  • Run into the next aisle.
  • Stop, and turn around. Wait until you see mum peek around the corner.
  • If mum doesn't peek, check on her through the books.

Found you, mum! Why aren't you chasing me?

  • Run into the next aisle. If you really want to spice things up, run across a few before ducking down a random aisle.
  • Stop, and turn around. Wait until you see mum peek around the corner.
  • This time, do not check on her. When you hear her cries escalate in panic, chuckle to yourself. Mum makes this game so much fun when she pretends to be worried about you!
  • When mum sees you, display your cheekiest grin. Accompanying cheeky maniacal laugh mandatory.

I was here the whole time! HAHAHA!

  • Scream when mum grabs you and carries you back to the pram.
  • Thrash around as she attempts to clip you into the pram. Continue the screaming you started before.
  • Next time you go to the library, do it all again.

Does your child like to play hide and seek in the library? Or elsewhere?