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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

I found A setting up the felt finger puppet ladies and girls to have a tree block tea party.  And I have some ideas for teacups!

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We LOVE our leaf identification booklets we made from printouts off of the Nature’s Detectives website.

We used these ones, cut them out, laminated the, punched holes, and then put a keyring through it.  And there you have an awesome little leaf identification booklet to take with you everywhere!  I keep ours in our ‘going out’ backpack so it’s always there if we need it.

We also have one for seed identification, you can use this one and do the same as with the leaf booklet.

Today A found some elderberries herself by picking off a leaf from the tree, matching it to the booklet, and then telling me what she found!  More blackberry and elderberry crumble coming!

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Blackberry Hunting!

It’s so satisfying when you peek through the bushes and see a bunch of plump, ripe, blackberries! 

And a dainty little ladybug hiding in the leaves.

Isn’t it so much fun getting free food from nature?  I love it!

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Dinos in the Grass

Just some photos of the kids playing in the grass with some wooden friends I made!

Steggie and T- Rex meet the butterfly.

Caterpillar finds a ladybug hiding in the grass.

Catching a wooden butterfly and bee in the net.

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Here are some Etsy shops I just totally love, and like to spend time just looking at the beautiful things they make!

German Dolls

Pocket Dolls, set of 6 germandolls, waldorf toy

I have loved the dolls made by Ulla Seckler at GermanDolls for a couple years now.  Sometimes when we’re bored, my daughter and I sit and just look at all the dolls in her shop!  I especially love the pocket dolls!

She also does larger dolls:

14 15 inch Waldorf doll clothes, Bunny Pocket Dress and Miniature Doll

Another favorite shop of mine is Alkelda Dolls .  Ok, so I like dolls!
Check out this totally cute little baby sleeping in its bed!

Flower Box Baby Doll in Pale Pink- Waldorf inspired

And how beautiful are these little houses by Willodel

Spring Cottage Gnome Home made of Felt

They have loads more beautiful little houses, and how about this little gnome home?

Eco Gnome Home and Play Set

Beautiful stuff!  What do you like best?

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The obligatory phone box photo

Fun with magnets at the Science Museum

And I just had to get my photo taken with this London plane tree in Hyde Park.  I love trees.

It was a great day, we walked miles and miles, and by the end, I thought my legs were going to fall off!  But it was so hot I didn’t want to take the Underground!  It’s so nice being above ground, and you can see everything along the way!

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Lavender Cupcakes!

We made these super yummy lavender cupcakes for A’s birthday party.  I got the recipe off the back of a thank you card someone gave me years ago!

First we gathered lavender over the course of a couple weeks.  Then when we had enough, we picked off all the little lavender flowers, which I posted about here.
Then you need to soak the flowers overnight in the milk you will be using in the recipe.

The next day, you have this yummy smelling lavender milk to use to make your cupcakes!  Here is the recipe from Hummingbird Bakery.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 1 cup all-purpose / plain flour
  • a scant 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 12 small springs of lavender (optional)

Lavender Frosting

  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • a couple drops of purple food colouring (optional)

Directions

  • 1.  Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a measuring cup, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible. Do the same with the milk and lavender flowers for the frosting, in a separate cup.
  • 2.  Line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper cases. Preheat oven to 325F (170 C or gas mark 3, except it worked better on 4 with my oven.)
  • 3.  Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  • 4.  Strain the lavender-infused milk (for the cupcake) and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
  • 5.  Spoon the batter into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  For the lavender frosting:

  • 1.  Beat together the confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar), butter and food colouring, if using, in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture. Once all the milk is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
  • 2.  When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the lavender frosting on top and decorate with a sprig of lavender, if using.

It says it makes 12, but it only makes 10 for me!  And it makes enough icing for about 18 cupcakes, the way I frost them anyway.

Source: Ingrid – Hummingbird bakery

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