Booksipper Bulletin – April Edition

Hello Booksippers!

There were no April showers around here; this month found me in a drought- a reading drought that is.  I have had a lot on my mind and when that happens all I read is fiction fluff. So I curl up with one of these easy reads and a hot cuppa tea and zone out.

This month on Booksipper I added a post about homeschooling to the blog. I plan to do more.  I will share a bit about homeschooling older children and what that looks like at our house.  Check it out if you home school or even if you're just curious.


 ~ In Readable News ~

 I do not have any new reads to recommend but this title is sure to please: This book has it all- star crossed love, suspense and a twisting plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

~ In Sippable News ~

I discovered a new way to prepare my loose leaf tea. Read all about it here:  It might just become your favorite new way to brew a cuppa.

That is all for April. Thanks for reading and sipping along with me!

~Booksipper Candice

Book Review: Crinkleroot Nature Series

Springtime brings a renewed interest in nature study to our home.  We long to take walks in the woods or learn more about the birds that are all over the yard.  It is as if this subject has awakened from its winter hibernation.

There are plenty of nature books and guides to be found. But none like the one I am linking to today- a collection that I wish I had heard about years ago!

My latest nature book find is the Crinkleroot Series!


The author, Jim Arnosky, is a naturlist and artist.  Here are a few topics that are found in these whimsical yet educational books: avoiding poison ivy, how to identify animal tracks, and beautiful sketches that are labeled- this alone makes these books worthy of a place on a nature study table.

The main character is Crinkleroot, a woodsman who sets off to explore his surroundings while giving facts and interesting tips to the young explorer. I hesitate to say young explorer, because while these books are Excellent for elementary ages, they could be a great starting off point for a middle schooler who is just getting started in nature study.

There is a Crinkleroot book for almost every nature topic.  Here are the titles we have read:

 Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Birds    ( has a wonderful labeled bird diagram )

Crinkleroot's Guide to Walking in Wild Places  ( ferns, ticks, poison ivy plant family )

Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths ( butterfly labeled diagram )

Crinkleroot's Guide to Animal Tracking, Revised Edition 

The Brook Book 

Crinkleroot's 25 Birds Every Child Should Know (just names and a picture, I wish the photos were real life )

Crinkleroot's 25 Fish Every Child Should Know (just names and a picture, again I wish these photos were real life )

Crinkleroot's Nature Almanac (informative and spanning a whole year, much of the info in this book is compiled from others )

Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking (great info and sketches to get you started in studying nature )

There is one more title that I would like to read and that is the Crinkleroot Guide to Trees.  I will have to put that one on my amazon wishlist.

StackGrab a Crinkleroot book and begin exploring nature today! 

What other books do you use for nature study?

French Press Tea

I was browsing through a tea catalog the other day, when I noticed that quite a few tea cups and tea pots have an infuser built into them.  This seems to be a clever invention.  While I do not own one of these nifty inventions ( yet ) I do have a french press collecting dust in cupboard.  Could this french press make a good cup of tea?
I set out to find out.


First, the convenience of a tea bag is not to be underrated. Drop it in a to go cup, add your hot water and go. This gets me through the hit the road days. But for days that are more laid back, I love a loose leaf tea, steeped and poured into a favorite cup.

Before this french press tea idea, I relied on a tea ball to steep my loose leaf tea.  Check out my current favorite!


However cute it may be, I tend to make a total mess with a tea ball!  The chaos begins with me attempting to get the tea in the mini container, then after steeping, I leave a trail of tea drops to the tea caddy, that then fills with tea.  After tea there is the emptying of the tea leaves that have expanded beyond your imagination when you put the teaspoon or two inside.  It stresses me out…not zen at all!

Now using the french press, I have more tea AND less mess! 

Here is what you do~

Step 1: Scoop in your loose leaf tea.  I used two teaspoons for a full carafe.

Step 2: Pour in your boiling hot water

Step 3: Stir it up a bit and put on the lid

Step 4: Push down the mesh screen lid slowly to allow the tea leaves to settle. 
I push it down a bit every minute or so. 
Do not push the tea leaves flat…that will give the tea a bitter taste just like squeezing the tea bag.

Step 5: Pour into a favorite cup & enjoy your French Press Tea!


Now the only challenge I have had with the French Press Tea method is that by the last cup, you are in for one heck of a strong cuppa tea. Not really a problem but I did need a little sugar to make it to my liking, a spot of milk may help with this also.

Give your french press something new to press other than coffee… are sure to love it!

Book Review: The Life Giving Home

Today's book review is by an author that I have read for years.  I would consider her a mentor I have never really met. I was fortunate enough to go to one of the mom heart conferences years ago. ( I should look for a picture from there! ) Sally Clarkson's books and her blog encouraged and guided how I shaped my home, my thoughts on motherhood and even my homeschooling.

I was thrilled when I heard she was writing a new book about building the home culture with her daughter Sarah Clarkson.  I rushed out to pick up a copy and read it through in a day.

The cover art is just beautiful. Being a tea time enthusiast the image of a cuppa tea and a hearty bread spoke to my soul.


The book is written in easy to read chapter snippets that are categorized by months of the year, each with a different topic for creating a place of belonging. Sally and Sarah alternate writing the chapters and you will note a different voice in them.  I appreciated hearing Sarah's point of view; a grown child remembering the many details that her mother did to make her childhood home welcoming. 

I loved all the suggestions of how to implement new rituals, traditions and the whys. This kind of side by side help is needed by many moms who many not have an older wiser woman nearby to guide them on the road of motherhood.

The Life Giving Home is a  wonderful and encouraging read by Sally and Sarah Clarkson.  I would highly recommend it to moms of young ones and those who may not have heard of Sally Clarkson.
That being said, as a long time reader or Sally Clarkson, I felt that I had heard a lot of the stories and tips before.  I did like that the book was centered on making a home, a topic that was touched on in other books but not as in depth as this one.  I will link my favorites below. 🙂 Even still, I walked away energized to continue making a home where my family longs to be. 

Take aways:

~  "I have found that my own plans work best when I live within the limitations and strengths of my own personality and circumstances."

~ Avoid mile wide and inch deep commitments

~ all great works of life must be planned in order to make them productive, useful and flourishing.

~ Chapter 4 by Sarah really spoke to me….the main gist I took was: Nothing is neutral & to evaluate your use of time.

Of course I recommend The Life Giving Home, but these are the other books I would recommend by Sally Clarkson.

 The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity : a beautiful book about motherhood. My copy is heavily highlighted.  A great resource for moms with children 10 and under.

 Seasons of a Mother's Heart, 2nd edition: The first book by Sally Clarkson that I ever read.  This title is a valuable resource for a homeschooling mom to get the big picture of motherhood and its seasons. The book is filled with wisdom.


Post in which I add Homeschooling to the Blog

This is my first official post under the Homeschool category.  There have been a few books listed under it, but no posts, per se.

I am adding Homeschool posts to the blog because I am a book reading, tea sipping, wife, mother and homeschooler. The homeschooler in me needs an avenue to work through some recent ponderings. 


Lately I have been consumed with the realization that a majority of homeschooling blogs and resources are geared towards equipping the 10 and under crowd.

That age is full of exploration and daily discovery, but why does this wonder seem to end at sixth or seventh grade and plunge into the depths of dry textbooks?  ( not that there is anything wrong with textbooks )

I like to believe that middle and high school years are still viable, fun years still in need of adventure and that elemental spark of learning. I don't want the wonder of learning to go out in my tweens and teens.

Untitled design

I have stumbled upon Wild and Free.
I am finding this platform encouraging for moms with lots of articles, podcasts and more. I also adore the concept that nature studies and the wonder of learning should be a part of a child's education. But this too seems geared toward the ten and under set. I have only read a few posts that pertain to middle and high school students.  Again, I am new to W&F and have not read a lot of the past bundles.

I am brainstorming and mulling over how to carry this concept over for my older kids.  Not in an attempt to recapture the glory days of elementary school -I am personally loving these maturing years as they develop into their future selves; but because I believe that education is a lifestyle, that we are Always learning.  It does not end at 3 pm on Friday, not to be bothered with until Monday morning.  How do I incorporate both thoughts, the need for book work as they get older and joyful exploration?

Join me as I hash out these new ideas that I want to nurture in my homeschool. 


Spring Time Tea Ware Finds

Spring time is here!  At least in my corner of the globe.  With the warmer weather and beautiful budding trees it makes me want to take my tea outside. 

I was fortunate enough a week or so ago to be gifted with some darling new additions to my tea cup collection.  After a birthday luncheon my family took me to several antique stores to hunt for tea ware.


Isn't this darling?  It is a single cup and saucer that is in great shape.  The best part- it was $0.80!  I could purchase tea ware all day long at eighty cents!
This find was worth searching around.


These four matching tea cups have me anxious to host a garden tea party; or maybe a Mother's Day tea?  


Again, it is worth spending time, looking around in little shops. These cups and the saucers are in fantastic shape and the set was under $20.00.

I need to get a book on tea cups and saucers that tell collectible pieces from mass produced.  But, at the end of the day I like pretty tea cups and will pick up what catches my eye and fits in my budget.

Here is a close up of these pretty floral cups.


Where do you search for your tea ware?