Two Giveaways August 1st!

I’m super excited to be doing two giveaways in August!  Yay!  I’ll get the bad news out of the way first. My apologies to international readers… these giveaways will be open to Canada and US residents only.

Now for the good news!

Giveaway #1 which will be happening on my little known, perhaps hidden author blog includes:

-a $10 Amazon Gift Card

-a signed copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker my new picture book released in April 2017

-two beautiful art cards by Victoria illustrator, Paula Nasmith (cards are blank inside for your personalized message)


Giveaway #2 which will be here on simply.cindy includes a little summer reading pleasure for adults:

-a paperback copy of my sister in law’s novel, Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic (Meghan Ciana Doidge)

-recipe cards to make all the delicious cupcakes featured in Meghan’s novels

-an audio book copy of Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge)

So if you follow me at simply.cindy and my author blog you won’t miss the chance to win!  And just between you and me, finding my blogs can be like finding a needle in a haystack so your chances to win are surprisingly good!  Best of luck and hope to see your entries coming in this Tuesday!


More Cushions and a Poster

Hello Readers!

Recognizing there are just a few of you who keep up regularly with simply.cindy, I’ll just let you know I’m an early childhood educator who is on summer break and planning some classroom updates.  You can read more at my original post: Creating a Natural Inviting Play Space

If you’re new here I hope you’ll have a cup of tea and stay awhile.

So in my effort to improve our indoor preschool playsapce, I’ve quickly sewed up some more cushion covers and here they are!

And I’m thinking seriously about buying this beautiful poster that is really outside of our budget but… maybe I can scrape together enough money if I raid my change jar.  It is just the perfect thing to bring the outdoors in and would make the preschool classroom feel so natural and inviting.


The poster is in plastic so it will look even better once removed from plastic and in the preschool.  I could get it laminated so that it will last longer.  If I do go back to buy it I will put it onto the back of a shelf so that it will be a child height.  It is about 36 inches tall and maybe 18-20 inches wide so I think it could look amazing.  What do you think?

If you’re new to my blog, I’ll also let you know that I write picture books in my spare time.  I’ve just recently published my first picture book and you can learn more about it here or on my website

So have a great day and thanks for stopping by!  If you wish to connect with me, I’m on twitter @mackey_cynthia and Facebook

Creating a Natural Play Space Part 2

How does this preschool teacher spend her summer?

I’ve been working on making our preschool place space more natural and inviting.  My first project has been cushion covers.  I decided to go with an ocean theme but still would like to sew some more in more green and forest colours too.  These cushion covers were very quick to make with just a flap for the opening so I can easily make some extras and we can change them up.

Here are a few of the cushions that needed covers.  Basically they were just in our back storage area and we couldn’t use them.

IMG_4919 2

I bought quilting quarters and then cut them to fit each pillow.  I measured the pillow, added one inch to the width for seams and doubled the length plus added six more inches to allow for seams plus a four inch overlap.  This was a super quick and easy project.

And the finished product should be a nice addition to the preschool.  I was able to make six of them in one day and with it being so easy, I would love to make more so if I can get my hands on some more fabric, then I will!

Yay! I now have new pillows in ocean colours.  Next I need to work on the greens and the browns. Curious about my other plans for the preschool?  View my original post

Not the Only Writer in the Family

Hello Readers!

I am loving this summer sunshine and the extra time for reading.  Did you know my sister in law is a writer too?  Yes!  She has written a long and growing list of novels.  Check out her website here


Right now Meghan is giving away a signed copy of my picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker so there’s a chance to win if you hop on over to Made by Meghan and enter by Wednesday.  While you’re there you should check out her books, but I warn you, you may get hooked!  And I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Meghan’s books very soon as part of my next giveaway package so stay tuned 🙂

Have a great day!


Creating a Natural Inviting Play Space

Last year our preschool room got new floors and a fresh coat of paint.  I strive to make the environment as appealing and interesting as possible and because we are a pack away preschool that can a challenging task.

This summer, I’m brainstorming ways to bring the outdoors in to make our classroom feel like a more natural space and at the same time, add more interesting features that give our preschool more of its own unique character.  Here’s what I hope to do:

  1. Bring in more plants
  2. Create the illusion of being outdoors by decorating the backs of shelving units with large nature posters. 
  3. Create new cushion covers with natural fabrics in greens and blues.
  4. Add lego building plates to the back of a shelf to create a “lego wall”
  5. Create a tent/teepee or other covered area using a patio umbrella
  6. Add enlarged photos of children’s own creations in nature and with blocks

Do you have more ideas for me?  I’d be interested, particularly if they’re budget friendly! As I work on these projects, I hope to show you some photos of my progress. Wish me luck!