Where Has November Gone?! 

December is here!! November…came and left – FAST! Didn’t it? I feel like I merely blinked and it was gone. And now the most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching! 

I have a lot of good stuff to share these days as a lot has been happening and I’ve been making more of an effort to document these happenings and whipping out my iPhone at a moments notice! 😉 I think being a mom has helped me learn to have super quick reflexes! 

Speaking of being a mom – Levi is now a ONE YEAR OLD! Can you believe it?! They certainly don’t stay little for long. It seems as though almost overnight he’s full of sass at times and has all these opinions about things. Not even kidding! He now shakes his head ‘no’ all.the.time. And he’s suddenly become a picky eater! And super independent with things now too. Where did my snuggly little baby go? He’s always itching to go explore 🙂 .

To celebrate his first birthday we drove back down to Matt’s parents. They let us have his party there – which worked out super well because that way he could be with family and close friends. It was a lumberjack themed party – which I thought was pretty perfect for the time of year, Movember and all that good stuff  😉 . It was a full house – I think there was about 26 adults and 12 little ones running everywhere! My in laws are pretty awesome for opening up their house to that many guests!!

 It was so much fun planning this party. It definitely helped me to be more excited about the fact that my baby is now one year old! Pinterest is always a great inspiration and got my creative juices flowing. When I think about my theme “lumberjack” I think about flannel, outdoorsy, camping, roughing it, that type of rustic feel. So I incorporated a lot of natural, outdoorsy elements in my decor and tried to keep it as simple as possible. With this theme, I was able to utilize a lot of our camping gear as well as my winter/Christmas decor, so that helped us to stay on a budget! I had leaves, acorns, and pinecones scattered around, and used more rustic party supplies like birch “ribbon”, twine and burlap.

 

I printed off some fun lumberjack photos from Pinterest as well as some of Levi’s first few months…

Aww, look how little ❤

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The key things I wanted to have at the party was a hot chocolate bar and trail mix favours, so those were fun to have and were enjoyed by both the kids and adult alike 🙂 .

  

  

My awesome sister took all the photos for me as I was busy prepping food/welcoming guests, etc… But sadly there wasn’t a picture taken of the hot cocoa table! I can tell you that it was fully stocked with many goodies! We had out both a vanilla syrup and a peppermint syrup (that I made myself). Then for the toppings there was both chocolate and butterscotch chips, whipped cream, caramel sauce and cinnamon, mini marshmallows and even salt! So people could have a salted caramel hot chocolate or even a peppermint one! There were many flavour options and it was thoroughly enjoyed. This is something I’ll definitely do again at another party 🙂 .

For the trail mix we put out salted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, banana chips and raisins. I had some “sweet timber” out on that table too which was Kit Kat bars stacked like logs and scattered some tootsie rolls to add a little sweetness to all that salty. 

I made everything myself. I wanted a fabric banner and considered buying one on Etsy, but it was cheaper to make it (and was super simple!) I baked “pancake” sugar cookies, and also made both red velvet and chocolate cupcakes (black and red – lumberjack flannel, anyone?!) 

  

    
 I had picked up both the lantern (similar) and the wooden server (acacia) from Chapters/Indigo. The candle was Bath and BodyWorks “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles”! Mmm…it was especially fitting as lumberjacks are known for their big breakfasts! 

We took our own cakesmash/ one year photos of Levi at a conservation area and then had those pictures framed an on display at the party! I was so pleased with how well they turned out. Little bottle brush trees were found at the Dollarstore.

 

Everyone came over for lunch and we served pulled pork on a bun with a side of brown beans and broccoli salad (which I nicknamed “forest of trees” – everything is on theme, of course!) with apple cider punch. There was other little finger foods/ snacks (s’mores kabobs AND s’mores dip!) and by the time we brought out the cupcakes everyone was either stuffed or had indulged in too many sweets already!

 

 

The birch paper straws I ordered on Amazon as well as the wooden utensils! The plates and napkins were from the dollar store.

   

  

  

 

 “Sharp” cheddar and Pepper “Jack” cheeses 😉 . To keep things cohesive, food was placed on either white or wooden serveware. Some things were left to keep warm (pork in slow cooker, beans in a soup pot and S’mores dip in a cast iron skillet). 

 
 

The cute little “log” place card holders are Kate Aspen and fit the party theme perfectly! 

 
    

The cute “Don’t Feed the Bear” printable can be found on Etsy. The bear glass jar that I had filled with Teddy Graham’s was actually Matt’s that he had kept from his childhood! My sister let me borrow the brown teddy bear 🙂 .

  

    
 

I love how hard dad is laughing in that picture above! 

  

He thoroughly enjoyed that cupcake 😀 !

 

You can kind of see the hot chocolate table set up behind us under the window and photo banner.

   
 

Levi was gifted some really cute clothes, a few toys and lots of great books!

   

Levi and I got a few cute pictures with my younger brother and sister. I loved that a few people dressed up in the lumberjack flannel shirts to fit the theme! 

  
 

   
 

Poor Levi had so much fun but was so hopped up on that cupcake and was in dire need of his afternoon nap! He was super tired after all the party festivities came to an end.
It was awesome to be back around family to celebrate the blessing this kid is! Matt and I feel so fortunate that he’s ours and that he has such a wonderful extended family who loves him and  prays for him regularly. We are truly blessed. ❤️

  
  

    

  

  

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Happy October! 

Happy October, friends! Definitely one of my favourite months. And without a question, Fall is my most favourite season. Beautiful colourful leaves, cozy sweaters, and everrrrrything pumpkin! 😀


I’ve had some fun decor out since mid September and it feels all homey in here (I mean, is there really enough time to enjoy Fall decor before Christmas stuff comes out otherwise?!). The leaves are just starting to get some colour in them and the temperatures have been dropping to the most comfortable degree.



We had our first family outing to a local orchard yesterday and Levi had so much fun.  It’s his first Fall (cannot BELIEVE he’s going to be ONE in November! 😦 ) It was great to take him on the hay ride, and see the pumpkin patch – he was smiling from ear to ear! ❤


  
We got a bag of delicious honeycrisp apples and I’m looking forward to baking with them and making some homemade applesauce for Levi!

Tonight I’m going to be making some pumpkin cookies with cinnamon frosting – I tell ya, all the best eats are in the Fall 😀 ! I’ll be sure to share the recipes. 😉

In the meantime, be sure to check out some of my past Fall posts! DIY wine cork pumpkin, and fall treats! ❤

I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. What’s your favourite thing about this time of year?


What’s In My Diaper Bag (& Packing For Labour & Delivery)

Why, hello there! This is actually an old blog post that I was meaning to put up months ago. A few people had been asking me about packing for the hospital/delivery, what to bring and what I keep in Levi’s diaper bag, and I never got around to posting it on my blog because Levi surprised us with his early arrival! I figured I could make a few changes and still post it today, and maybe even help someone out in the process (keep in mind that Levi was born in the Winter, so some items may not apply to your situation).

I’m currently 35 weeks going on 36, and since our first little one is due at the beginning of December, I’m really feeling the nesting!” — that’s because Levi came the following week, and I never got around to finishing this post! He was born at 36 weeks November 13th!

Keep reading to see the rest of this post pre-baby:

“With Christmas already being such a busy holiday, combined with not knowing how I’ll be feeling after labour, and adjusting to our baby and his routine, I’ve been trying my hardest to get organized! Lists have been made, items have been purchased, nursery is 95% complete, and my mind is swirling with to-do lists.” — I imagine this is how a lot of pregnant mothers feel as their due date approaches!

I like to be organized, and find lists work well to help sort out my thoughts. I’ve been sorting through lately is packing and prepping the baby’s hospital bag and my bag. Now before I share with the world what’s in my bag, might I remind you that there’s going to be girly stuff in there. There’s bras and maxi pads – so be warned! 😀 I also may be more high maintenance than some of you, so you may choose to exclude certain items!

Ok, so I scoured Pinterest for others packing lists, as this is our first! I really tend to be an overpacker and I like to be prepared for “what if” situations as best as I can!

So, keeping that in mind, let’s get started:

– Slippers (not pictured) for walking the halls. They have a rubber sole on them for easy cleaning. These are mine. Love ’em.

– Coins for vending machines (also not pictured). In case Matt or I should want snacks or drinks on a whim.

– Snacks (have yet to be purchased). Likely going to run to Dollarama and Bulk Barn to grab some dried fruit, chocolate bars, granola and gum and drinks. Mmm…maybe some goldfish crackers. 🙂

– Nursing bras (I have 2)

– Nursing tank (1)

Breast pads (I got free samples of both Aveda and Johnson’s.)

Nipple cream (This brand comes highly recommended.)

– Travel sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner

Dry shampoo (this is a ‘just in case’!)

Razor (this is IF I feel up to shaving – hah! But, seriously, how handy? Lather, shave and lotion in one step!) 😉

Bodywash (LOVE this stuff. I get the lavender vanilla scent because it’s SO relaxing smelling.)

Lotion (as stated above – the scent is nice and calming, and I firmly believe in treating yourself! You’re going to be giving birth!!)

– Hand sanitizer

– Kleenex pack

Face wash and makeup remover – Love this stuff because it’s a 3 in 1 eye makeup remover, cleansing milk and toner.

– Toothbrush and toothbrush holder

– Deoderant (I purchased a travel sized one at the dollarstore.)

– Underwear  (5 pack – I intentionally bought cheap undies so I wouldn’t ruin my own stuff. You need to hold up those maxi pads listed below! 😉 I was happy these actually have cute patterns and colours! I intentionally purchased ones that are high-cut in case of an emergency C-section. Then they still can be worn over the incision.)

Maxi pads (I was told these offer the best protection and are the closest thing to wearing depends. Which sucks, but it’s necessary after delivering!)

Wet wipes (flushable. Toilet paper might just not cut it. You never know…)

– Headband (to wear during labour.)

– Hair elastics and bobby pins (for those fly aways.)

– Comb (My hair is wavy and shoulder length, so I’ll likely be letting it air dry or putting it up.)

– Small cosmetic bag (containing Q-tips, compact mirror, Chapstick, mascara and blush. I look like a pale ghost in the Winter, and there’s bound to be pictures taken!)

– Fleecy socks  (I’m having a December baby! Plus, they’re cozy for when I don’t want to have to wear my slippers. I usually feel chilly in hospitals, and I always have cold hands and feet.)

P.J.’s 

– Outfits (Thinking loose, flowy, warm and cozy.) 😀

  • Sweatpants (elastic band – hello!)
  • Fleece lined leggings
  • Loose tee
  • Flannel button up
  • Long sleeved shirts
  • Open knit cardigan

Some of these items will be worn in the hospital, as well as my “coming home outfit”. Just keeping it comfy!

I have written down a list of items to grab (like my pjs, slippers, and comb)as I’ll still be wearing them/using them up until we leave for the hospital. I am also still on the fence a bit about grabbing a towel of ours for showering with, as hospital ones are usually quite small and have been washed 200 million times, and possibly flip flops for wearing into the shower.

Then I have a list written for Matt to pack as well, which includes our laptop and iPad /charger and our cell phone chargers. He can also fit the snack items in his duffle bag.

We’ve preregisted at the hospital, so I’ll have a copy of that with us, as well as our provincial health cards.

I’m glad I had all of this stuff with me, and 95% of it came in handy! 

Now, for what we have in baby’s bag:

  • Sleepers with beanies (2)
  • Onesie long sleeved (2)
  • Pants (2)
  • Take home outfit (it’s warm & fleecy!)
  • Receiving blankets (2 – good for swaddling and spit ups.)
  • Change pads (2)
  • Wipes and wipes case
  • Kleenex pack
  • Disposable diapers (for those lovely merconium poops.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soothers (2 different kinds in order to see which ones he prefers.)
  • First aid kit
  • Toothbrush (this is just for the future.)
  • Teether (again for in the future.)
  • Nursing cover
  • Wash cloths
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Baby powder
  • Baby oil
  • Shampoo
  • Bodywash
  • Book
  • Teddy bear (last two items are more for when he’s older too and won’t really be necessary right away for his arrival at the hospital.)

Car seat and car seat cover will be brought to the hospital and left in the vehicle. I will grab our nursing pillow on the way out the door as well. I also have a ziploc bag in there for dirty/wet clothes (should the need arise to use it).

I still need to get and will be adding:

  • Grooming kit (including nail clippers and comb)
  • Bottles (for the future.)
  • Toy wipes (good for cleaning teething toys, bottles and soothers.)

“I’ve been having a few episodes of Braxton Hicks, so having our bags packed has helped to reassure me that we could leave quickly and in an organized fashion should I go into labour early. “ — which ended up happening and I’m so glad I was packed and ready to go!

Now that Levi’s 8 months and eating solids, I’ve added a few things to his diaper bag so that I can always have certain items handy. For example, I never leave home without snacks as he is the type of boy to get hangry if his lunch is a little later than planned! 😀 I also have stuff for teething should we be out and his little gums are inflamed!

I also always have:

And now that we’re in the warm Summer months:

  • Sunscreen
  • Baseball hat
  • Swimsuit
  • Swim diaper (should an impromptu splash pad day trip should ever arise!) 😉

I hope this was helpful to some new mamas! What do you keep in your child’s diaper bag that you would never leave home without?

 

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You’re a Peach!

Happy long weekend to my Canadian friends and family! It’s been a loooooong time since I posted two blog posts in the same week, let alone a couple days from each other. I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll! 😉

I actually have another recipe that I’m sure you’ll enjoy – Peach Pie!! ❤ Turns out it’s now Matt’s new favourite. It actually pushed his beloved strawberry rhubarb pie aside to second place, and that says a lot! To be honest when I told him I hoped to bake a peach pie with all of the peaches we bought, he eagerly washed, peeled and sliced each one to give me a head start on making it! This pie is SO yummy! I even made the crust (yay me!), which always seems like such a process (ugh!). I was more partial to Tenderflake crust, but after asking around I discovered that a homemade pie shell isn’t actually all that hard. And all this recipe called for is 4 ingredients! You can handle 4 ingredients, right? 😉 I’ll walk you through it. 🙂

Streusel Topped Peach Pie

  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print
Peach pie

Ingredients

    Filling:
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 lbs. (approx. 4 cups of Peaches – halved, pitted, cut into 1/2″ slices & cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pie Shell:
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, cold
  • 4 Tbsp. water, ice cold
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 3/4 c. flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. butter, cold

Directions

Filling:
1. Make filling by whisking sugar & cornstarch in a large bowl.
2. Add peaches & lemon juice; toss to combine. Set aside.

Crust:
1. Mix together flour and salt in medium sized bowl.
2. Cut in butter with pastry blender (or forks) until mixture is pebble sized crumbs.
3. Add water and blend until mixture pulls together.
4. Roll into ball and place on lightly floured surface.
5. Roll out dough to about 13″ circle.
6. Gently roll dough around rolling pin and unroll over pie pan.
7. Gently press into pan and turn edge under (I didn’t have time to make it pretty, but you can if you wish!)
8. Spoon peach filling into your pie crust.

Streusel Topping:
1. In medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon.
2. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or fork or pulling 2 table knives through mixture in opposite directions), until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
3. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over pie filling.
4. Place pie onto a baking sheet (to prevent bubbling mess in oven), and bake at 375f for 35-45 minutes.
5. Pie will be done when filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
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Mmm – this pie is so good! Juicy peaches in a flaky crust…It’s the perfect thing to bring along to your next potluck or BBQ. Enjoy!

Try my keylime pie recipe!

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Do You Know the Muffin Man? 

Hello friends! Today I hope to change your life. Your breakfast life, that is! I mean, just look at these delicious blueberry almond coffee cake muffins 😀 .

Now, I love coffee cake. And coffee cake filled with fresh fruit is even better. Give me coffee cake in muffin form and JACKPOT! These muffins are perfect for brunch, with coffee, without, or as an on-the-go snack. Make a batch of these warm, comforting muffins for the weekend, for a gift to share and whoever is lucky enough to taste these, well, they’ll just be begging you for more! 😉

I like to bake on the weekend and enjoy the leftovers during the week. This recipe should only take you about 25 minutes to make, so I encourage you to try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy and delicious these are. These are the perfect thing to make after a picking up some blueberries from your local farmer’s market!

 

Blueberry Muffins recipe

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Key Lime

Happy first day of Summer friends and followers! June 20th and what a beautiful first day of Summer it was. The sun was shining and I was just craaaaving a key lime treat! Seems to me that tangy sweet lime accompanies warm, Summer days well and so I decided to whip up somethin’ to embrace the change of seasons 😀 .

I love citrus flavours, but I’m admittedly not much of a pie person (cue the gasp!). But hubby loves ’em and I can dig a slice once in awhile. Now, I have never attempted to bake a lime pie before. But why not try? The recipe I found was super easy and I was able to successfully bake it while Levi was napping – which is definitely a plus. It took about 30 minutes, and it is SO addicting. You won’t be able to stop at just one slice ❤ .

Key Lime Pie

Confession time: So I did NOT use actual key limes. They are just waaay too small to be bothered with and too hard to find (gave up searching after 2 stores :P! ) So I used plain, ol’ limes and it really made no difference on the taste factor in my opinion.

Key Lime Recipe

So, if the mood strikes ya, try out this recipe! The crust is simple for being homemade, and I love the whipped topping. I’m sure if you were in a REAL hurry, you could just use a store bought pie crust and a can of whipping cream. The pie would still be delightful, no doubt! 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

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The 3 of Us

The last few months have been really fun. Matt’s been off on paternity leave, and I have been off as well, so we’ve really been enjoying bonding as a family. Having your first baby is quite the transition – and in our case specifically, to go from being a married couple for 6 years and then having your first baby and now being your own family – it was so wonderful to both have time off to adapt to these changes together!

We have been visiting friends and family in the Niagara region every month or so, which is awesome because Levi has some grandparents, GREAT grandparents, aunts, uncle AND sweet cousins (also boys 🙂 ) to interact with! We went to check out the local zoo, and have been on many walks exploring different parks. He’s just at such a fun age and his personality is starting to shine through. He loves to giggle and explore absolutely everything around him! He just started this drag crawl (army crawl? 🙂 ) and is starting to get around the house. I’m both excited and slightly terrified to see him as a fully mobile toddler 😉 .He is now drinking a bit from his sippy cup and eating some solids – he always seems so eager to try new things! I’m quite proud of our little guy 😀 .

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The other week we got some wonderful family photos taken by Laura Fretz Photography, which was perfect as I wanted some updated shots for our gallery wall!

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I am definitely looking forward to what Summer brings and we are excited to introduce Levi to activities like picnicking, camping and going to the beach.

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I hope you all are enjoying the sunshine this weekend!

 

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