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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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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He’s Here! 


Happy New Year, friends and followers! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. We were blessed with our early arrival from our new bundle of joy! We happily spent the holidays celebrating the birth of our Savior with our families and close friends.

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This little one is the main reason for my silence in the blogging world. Most of my time is spent with frequently nursing, changing and loving on him – and thankfully so! Add the usual busyness of the holidays and you can see how I’ve been a tad bit preoccupied! 🙂 Any free time seems to be spent tidying and, let’s be honest – napping! Yes, naps are my new favourite pastime. 😉

Levi James was born 3.5 weeks premature. He’s super sweet, has dimples and the cutest smile. We feel so incredibly blessed! 😀

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We had newborn photos taken by the talented Laura Fretz Photography when he was 21 days new 🙂 Here are some of my favourite shots:

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So great being able to capture all his tiny features!

The next few blog posts in the new year will be likely maternity and baby related. Just want to offer a fair warning of what’s coming your way! 😉

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As for right now, Matt and I are going to enjoy Chinese takeout and watch the ball drop later tonight. A bit of a different way of ringing in the new year this year than what we’ve done in the past, but we couldn’t be happier! 😀

HAPPY 2016! Here’s to a fantastic year!

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A Rainy Day Calls For Some Blogging

Happy Wednesday, friends and followers! I hope the weather is nicer where you are… it’s pouring here, and cold and WINDY! But, nevertheless, it’s Fall ❤ – which I know a lot of you love – and it’s another day on earth. A great day to be alive, and there’ll be sunnier days ahead for sure!

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, and the inconsistency has been bothering me. I’ve not only been busy working, but lately I’ve definitely been feeling the pressure of prepping as best I can for our baby’s arrival. I’m 34 weeks and he’ll be here before we know it!

We arranged for a day last week to just focus on “Baby K” – and it was so nice. We scheduled a 3D ultrasound in the early afternoon and it was such a cool experience! We only really went because we had heard that the military offered free packages with this one ultrasound clinic…and it just so happens to be in one of the cities we pass through on our way back to our hometown to visit family (I believe God is in the small stuff too 😉 ).

It was SO personal, very comfortable (didn’t have to drink all that water beforehand!) and as non-medical as any ultrasound can be. No gown was required, and we got to view our baby boy on a big screen T.V.! Matt even got to watch from one of the leather couches in the room!

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The package we were entitled to included a free 30 minute session (it actually went longer as we were trying to get him to move a bit for a different picture than what she had already taken), a DVD slideshow (set to nursery music, of course 😉 ) of the whole thing! Also, we got 5 photographs (of our choosing) while he rest of the pictures taken were put on a CD. This is great because we can make as many copies of prints as we like! We also could have had an online broadcasting of the ultrasound (if we were posted where family wasn’t so close by) – which is such a nice thing to have in a military package!

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The pictures were pretty clear, although a lot of them are quite similar as he was (trying) to sleep! There are subtle differences as we saw him move his lips around ever so slightly in a sucking motion. 🙂 From what it looks like, he definitely has his daddy’s chin. And we saw that he has hair already, too!

We even saw him PEE – SO crazy! – but that was before she “started” officially recording or taking photographs 😛 .

I just can’t wait to meet this cute little guy! ❤


Later that evening we met up with our talented photographer for a maternity photo shoot! I was really excited to have some Fall pictures, and we planned for an outdoor session at this beautiful picturesque site called Decew Falls. Home to two waterfalls, hiking trails and a historic mill – I knew we’d get some great shots! Matt and I used to hike here before he joined the Canadian Forces, so it was nice to revisit. Our photographer was awesome, and she really was able to capture my vision in all her pictures. I’m so pleased with the lighting and the angles of every shot! She was quick to put up a “sneak peak” of our maternity session with her! Here are some of my favourites:

Maternity1 Maternity2 Maternity3 Maternity4 Maternity5 Maternity6 Maternity7 Maternity8 Maternity9 Maternity10 Maternity11 Maternity12 Maternity13 Maternity14 Maternity15 Maternity16 Maternity17 Maternity18 Maternity19The trees were in all their colourful glory and Laura Fretz Photography surely did not disappoint! I’m eager to see the rest of the pictures. 😀

Little ‘Buoys’ Can Be So Much Fun!

Hey friends! How has the end of your Summer been going? I know…so sad. It always seems to fly by! Ours seemed crazy busy, between our move mid-July, to family parties, zoo trips, a camping trip and all the travelling back and forth (about 2x a month) to our home town – POOF! It’s gone!

It felt like we accomplished quite a bit:

~ Found out our baby’s gender!

~ Had my first OB appointment

~ Moved into a new house

~ Went to the beach a handful of times

~ Went camping/had bonfires

~ Visited a new-to-us local zoo

So, yeah, it was pretty busy and quite enjoyable! This coming Fall brings with it more newness. We hope to find a home church in our new city, attend prenatal classes, have a maternity photo shoot, and get the baby’s nursery all set up! Prenatal classes are in September in our town, and with Thanksgiving, maternity pictures and 2 showers October is going to whiz on by as well! So that just leaves the nursery…

Ahhh, yes – the nursery for our wee boy. First of all, can I just say how surprised we both were to find out we are having a boy?! Right from the start we both thought ‘girl’ for sure. So did much of my immediate family! Makes me think my mommy instincts are off or something! Don’t get me wrong, though, we are both thrilled to be having a little boy. We definitely wanted at least one of each (we both would love a big family). So, yeah, I just had to put on my thinking cap in terms of nursery décor. Theme? Colours? It took a week or so to kind of put ideas together and agree on stuff! Now we are set and this is the look we are going for:

Nautical Nursery for Baby ‘K’

Now, I know nautical is pretty popular – I’m seeing it for both genders actually. There’s just so many ways to work with it, keep it more sophisticated and not so “baby-like” and you can easily find pieces/décor/objects that you can incorporate into this theme literally ANYWHERE. The colour scheme we chose is navy, grey, turquoise & cream. The walls are going to be painted two-toned tan/beige (think sand), with a lighter shade up top, and darker below. Matt is going to be putting a chair rail up to separate the two colours. 😀

Hobby Lobby:

Green & Gold Cast Iron Anchor

This cast iron anchor wall décor is perfect for a gallery wall! The colours will also match our theme nicely. Did I mention it’s only $3.99?

Nautical fabric

This fabric has the turquoise we want, and I plan to use it to create DIY bunting to hang above the curtains in the nursery. $9.99

I also will use burlap and a solid navy fabric for bunting. 😀

Wood steering wheel

This steering wheel is wooden, and I love the twine wrapped around it. It’s regularly priced at $44.99, however I’ve seen it go on sale for 1/2 price a few times now. So for $22.50, it’s really not bad!

Message in a bottle - Hobby Lobby $5.99

Message in a bottle – Hobby Lobby $5.99

Tin bucket w rope handles

These galvanized metal buckets are at Hobby Lobby, and while I love the rope handles, they’re priced at $12.99/ea. So I may just try to find them elsewhere as I need a few of them. You could just tie your own rope over the handles and voila!

This blogger said she got her particular buckets at Ikea, however, I can't seem to find them online at neither the U.S. nor Canadian locations. BUT I did see some at Dollarama, and that's fine by me. They would make for perfect storage on the closet shelf, etc...

This blogger said she got her particular buckets at Ikea, however, I can’t seem to find them online at neither the U.S. nor Canadian locations. BUT I did see some at Dollarama, and that’s fine by me. They would make for perfect storage on the closet shelf, etc…

The good thing about nautical décor is how versatile it can be. I would consider using baskets for blankets, crates for stuffed animals, etc… and it all goes with the theme!

I envisioned hanging this up and maybe placing some starfish in in. I would also hang a few of his baby pictures, as well. So a type of gallery wall!

I envisioned hanging this up and maybe placing some starfish in in. I would also hang a few of his baby pictures, as well. So a type of gallery wall!

Like so :)

Like so 🙂

So far we currently have the crib set up, a dresser that will be converted into a change table, and curtains hung. We also found a steal of a deal on a rocker/glider chair and gliding ottoman on Kijiji – $40 for the set! I am going to be on the hunt for a fabric to reupholster the pair. I also have a couple IKEA spice racks that I will be painting white and converting into bookshelves. They will be hung within arms reach of my rocking/gliding chair. 🙂

Such a cute idea for forward facing childrens books. http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/40070185/ - $6.99

Such a cute idea for forward facing childrens books – $6.99

Ikea

Ikea “Matilda” curtains – sheer, white, $19.99/set. We have blinds as well, to keep daylight out more effectively, but love how breezy and light feel these curtains are.

This crib was just gifted to us by another guy on Matt's crew at the firehall! It's a 4-in-1 too, which is pretty awesome.

This crib was just gifted to us by another guy on Matt’s crew at the firehall! It’s a 4-in-1 too, which is pretty awesome.

Pottery Barn (Kids):

Ever since I can remember I’ve had a love of all things Pottery Barn. I just REALLY love their style! So of course, I found this adorable navy, fabric sailboat that is perfect for our baby’s change table! It will corral diapers and other essentials, while it’s adorable grommet ‘port holes’ and canvas flag just scream “cuteness”! 😉

PB Fabric Sailboat Changing Table Storage - $39

PB Fabric Sailboat Changing Table Storage – $39

Adorable lamp - I prefer just the nickel one. $89

Adorable lamp – I prefer just the nickel one. $89

I think I would get 3 navy or 3 white. Perfect for mounting under a floating shelf, and for hanging a few outfits on!

I think I would get 3 navy or 3 white. Perfect for mounting under a floating shelf, and for hanging an outfit on!

...like so! ;)

…like so! 😉

Etsy:

I found a few cute wooden objects on Etsy that could be hung as well, OR set on the wall shelf (I want above the change table) However, if time allows, my handy husband convinced me that he can make these items for me:

Nautical Nursery - Wooden fish décor - Etsy $24. These are the colours of our baby boy's nursery.

Nautical Nursery – Wooden fish décor – Etsy $24. These are the colours of our baby boy’s nursery.

Perfect colours. Love it and how the paint looks all chippy and rustic looking. $24

Perfect colours. Love it and how the paint looks all chippy and rustic looking. $24

A turquoise striped oar would look so perfect hung above Baby K's crib. Etsy - $25

A turquoise striped oar would look so perfect hung above Baby K’s crib.
Etsy – $25

These are NOT on Etsy, but Matt said he'd make one for me. If he makes the base and creates a dowel, I can make a sail with left over fabric from the bunting. This sailboat can sit on the shelf above the change table.

These are NOT on Etsy, but Matt said he’d make one for me. If he makes the base and creates a dowel, I can make a sail with left over fabric from the bunting. This sailboat can sit on the shelf above the change table.

DIY:

So along with the possible wooden (see above) pieces Matt is crafting for this, I mentioned painting the spice rack/book shelves. I also want to spell out Baby K’s name (shhh…not telling!!) just under the oar above the crib. Each letter will be different. For example:

Twine letter&

By using an old map, I plan to decoupage one of the letters in Baby K's name!

By using an old map, I plan to decoupage one of the letters in Baby K’s name!

Lots of ideas! I’m so glad we finally settled on a theme. I was being very indecisive about it! Tomorrow we are going out to pick up the paint. I can’t wait to get started on his room. I want Baby K to feel as special and loved as he is! 😀