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 ❤
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. ❤️
So our order of cloth diapers just came in and so far I’m liking them. We have a good sized stash and now that Levi is beginning to outgrow his newborn disposables, we’ve started to implement these bad boys. We came up with a plan to cloth diaper while I was pregnant, and I’m glad we’re deciding to stick with it! We didn’t want to order numerous sizes (can you say “expensive”?! 😛 ) so we wanted to wait until he was at least 8lbs. Having been born a little premature, it has taken a little while to reach this point but he’s finally surpassed that! Babies always lose a little at first, and getting him up to his birth weight was a small feat of its own (having had difficulty with his latch in the beginning 😥 )!
Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with disposable diapers, nor do I have any judgemental thoughts about exclusively using disposables (or cloth). To each their own! But we decided to use disposables at first while newborn babies excrete meconium. Also the added expense of purchasing the newborn sized cloth diapers was a tough pill to swallow. We also received quite a few packages of disposables at Levi’s baby showers, so having taken that into account, we opted to use those overnight as well as when we go out. That being said, we
finallyplaced our order and I actually found myself EXCITED to receive the shipment in the mail! There’s just so many cute colours and patterns – a mom could really get carried away! 😉
Cute, right?! And it’s great because diapers really do add up, and although cloth are more of an expense up front, you’ll get your monies worth out of them. Especially if you reuse them on more than one baby! We opted for more gender neutral prints for this reason. 😉
So we basically had no idea about cloth diapers, so we read reviews and asked friends. Upon discussing the diapers, the topic of wipes came up. I began searching for a do-it-yourself wipe “recipe” . There were disposable ones (think paper towels), but I figured why not do cloth wipes as well?! We may as well go all. the. way :D. We snatched a couple packs of cloths (10) and emptied a case of Huggies disposables wipes. Figured it could be reused to store my cloth ones and – voila! Now, you can always use whatever material you want, be it flannel or heck – even bamboo! And it’s on my to-do list to eventually mod podge over the container with some scrapbook paper or fabric. 🙂
Now, don’t go reading this and dismiss the idea yet! I wouldn’t steer ya wrong. I know how precious your time is! But, they’re actually pretty fast and simple to make. It literally takes me maybe 5 minutes every 3 or 4 days to make a new batch! Pretty good, if you ask me.
Cloth Wipes Mix:
1 c. Hot water
1 tsp. Aloe Vera gel
1 Tbsp. Coconut oil
1). Mix your tablespoon of coconut oil with your cup of hot water. Add soap, and the aloe gel. Mix thoroughly.
2). I add just a few cloths to the wipe ingredients at a time. Wring them out slightly before placing on a flat surface. Now we fold them so they’ll fit into our wet wipes container.
3). Place one cloth down flat, and lay another on top of half of it…(see below).
4). Bring the bottom half (that’s been tucked under the top cloth) up…
5). Place another wet cloth on top of the bottom part you just folded up…
6.) Now you can fold the top half down. Continue this pattern until all your wash cloths have been soaked in the soap mixture and folded.
7.) Place them inside your emptied container. If you have a wipes warmer these would work well in that too! Pull the first wipe out of the top slightly so it’s ready to be used when it’s time. 😉 All your wipes should come out after one another if they’ve been folded correctly.
Super easy! Now you know exactly what’s going on your baby’s delicate skin. They’re reusable and eco-friendly, and you don’t have to worry about those dangerous chemicals that are found in disposables! And I tell, ya – they make clean up a cinch. It may seem like a hassle at first, but once you’ve tried them and you see how much better they work than disposables, you might decide to make the change a permanent one in your home as well. 🙂
Happy Sunday, friends and followers! It’s a B-E-A-Utiful sunny day here today. The temperature is cool and comfortable and I’m just sitting here enjoying a homemade pumpkin spice latte (more on THAT later 😉 ), listening to one of Elevation Worship’s albums. I hope today is your day of rest, too, and your time can be spent amongst your family and friends.
Last night as I was perusing through good ol’ Pinterest, I came across a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice recipe, and I wanted to share it with you. I made a few adjustments of my own, made a couple pumpkin spice lattes with it and believe me – tasty!
Why bother to pre-make a pumpkin spice mix? Well, for one thing it’s super simple, and if you love all things pumpkin (like me!) at this time of year then it’s handy to have ready-made! Secondly, it’s economical and good to know what’s going into your food. PLUS, this spice can go waaay beyond its namesake. Sure, you can make a delish pumpkin pie with it, but it can also be used in other baking recipes. It’s yummy in smoothies, on oatmeal, in lattes, mixed in whipped cream, in pancakes, on toast, and as a pumpkin seed or popcorn topping – among other things! I’ll post some recipes below to show more examples. So versatile. 😀
I have a few spice jars on hand that I bought at my local dollar store awhile back, but there are other really cute ones around that you can purchase (Williams and Sonoma)! One day when I’m feeling particularly OCD and ambitious, I plan to make chalkboard labels for all of mine. Right now, I just have a taco seasoning and the pumpkin pie spice, and so far haven’t gotten confused yet by my
lazinessunlabelled jars (although that would be a pretty awful tasting latte if I were to get them mixed up!) 😉
ANYWAYS! Onto the recipe:
Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 c. (4 Tbsp.) ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. ground ginger
4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground all-spice
2 tsp. ground cloves
In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients until well-blended. Store in an air-tight jar.
Mmm! Pumpkin season is my favourite! ❤
**If you make this let me know what you try it on!**
The other day I had a bit of a crafty craving come over me! Does anyone else ever feel like that 🙂 ? I was just itching to make a craft or two. I had pulled out our Fall decor, and then I began rummaging through my craft supply bins. I started making a “FALL” sign for our front entrance (which I’ll share another day), and then it occurred to me to utilize the wine corks I’d been storing…
A friend of mine actually collected them over time, and asked if anyone would be willing to take them off her hands. Of course I couldn’t pass them up! After snatching them off her, they sadly sat, unused for roughly a year. I finally put them to good use, and they are looking pretty cute! 😉
This craft is super simple to make yourself and I, this perfectionist, did it in about 40 minutes.
What You’ll Need:
- 25 Wine Corks
- Green fabric or scrapbook paper
- Orange paint
- Paint brush
- Paper/styrofoam plate
- Thin, crafting wire
- Spanish moss
What To Do:
- Pour a little paint onto your disposable plate.
- Using the paint brush, paint the bottom ends of each wine cork (I used the bottom because the other sides had been punctured with the bottle opener). *You COULD just dip each end in paint, but I think using the brush would make it more neat.*
- Lay each cork to dry on some newspaper.
- While the paint is drying, plug in your glue gun to get it hot. (Also place on newspaper to protect the surface you’re working on).
- Using the scissors, trace out a leaf onto the piece of fabric/craft paper you’re using. Set aside.
- Once paint is dry, beginning gluing each row together. First (bottom row) is 4. Next row is 5, then 6. Then glue 5 more together side by side, and lastly 4 again (for the top).
- Allow to dry.
- Start stacking cork rows and gluing together. (Cork rows are as follows: 4,5,6,5, and 4).
- In between the 4 on the top section, using thin wire, puncture corks and ‘screw on’ last remaining cork on for the ‘stem’ 😀
- While corks continue to dry, gather a small bit of moss together and glue into place at the center. Glue into place under the pumpkin ‘stem’/ cork.
- Glue your ‘leaf’ shape just under the moss and cork stem.
And there you have it! Your cute, little wine cork pumpkin that is pretty easy and quite budget friendly. Ours resides on our dining room shelf next to a wine glass and bottle. Enjoy! 😀
*Check out the rest of the Fall decor I have out so far!*
I mentioned how Fall is my favourite season, and this year in our new home I wasted absolutely no time getting our seasonal decor out!
The coffee table has an easy peasy centrepiece on it: a basket filled with various potpourri. A candle Wrapped in birch bark is in the centre surrounded by cinnamon sticks, pinecones, chestnuts, acorns, birch branches, grapevine balls and the ends of ornamental fall grasses.
Also in the living room we have a antique steamer trunk that we’ve been using as a side table. I put out a framed chalkboard printable that I found on Nest of Posies – which I LOVE! The font she chose is so pretty and it has everything I love most about the Fall season written on it. The trunk also has a few frames on it with various pictures of us, a lantern holding a candle, some Indian corn, and my ceramic pumpkin tea light holder from Bath & BodyWorks (which smells ahhhmazing)!
The dining room table has a glass apothecary jar filled with layers of split peas, corn, and navy beans. A candle is in the middle and wrapped around with some twine there’s a lovely autumn leaf tying in the colours from the orangey corn and greenish peas. 🙂
Our coffee station has also been Fall-ified! A burlap runner covers the top, and cinnamon sticks and brown sugar have been added for lattes and cappuccinos. I also found this printable from the blog, The Diary of Dave’s Wife, to get it ready for the pumpkin spice season!! I just hope to still gather some crab apples from the tree in our backyard and add them in a bushel off to the side of the cabinet/ hutch. Then also attempt to make some crab apple jam 😉 .
Beside the coffee nook I placed a wicker picnic basket and placed a rustic looking pumpkin and a bundle of wheat that I wrapped with twine.
My DIY chalkboard is above that, and I have yet to update that with something more autumnal. And then on the other wall in the dining room, there’s a shelf mounted. I placed some sunflowers in my designated wine bottle “vase” and have some corks under a wine glass, with of course, a candle placed on top of the stem. I hope to find something else little for that shelf – perhaps a cute owl or something!
I crafted this wine cork pumpkin the other day that I have yet to post a little tutorial about. It’s such a simple DIY! I hope to share it in a day or so.
So it’s still in the making, but it’s definitely beginning to look more Fall-like in our household! My next little project will be decorating our entrance with some seasonal elements. I currently only have a wreath hanging on our front door, but eager to head over to a local pumpkin patch soon for some pumpkins and mums to adorn our front steps!
*What do you do to decorate for the Fall? I’d love it if you would share your ideas with me!*
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. 😀
I also will use burlap and a solid navy fabric for bunting. 😀
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!
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. 🙂
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”! 😉
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:
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:
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! 😀
Jim Carrey, anyone? 😉 Matt loves him. And this post is about Matt’s graduation / 30th birthday par-tay (which finally took place last Saturday!) 😉 When I had first spoke about throwing this party for him, the tentative date was set for end of March. However, we went on our “house hunting trip” and so the party needed to be postponed. Since it was in celebration of two milestones, and his birthday is April 29th, an April party was perfect!
I had it at Matt’s brother’s church in Niagara Falls, which was the perfect location as this is where our families and most of our friends are! I had use of their kitchen including stoves and fridges, and any utensils/serve ware that I didn’t have enough of. I had drove down from the base where Matt had been training (where our rental is) while Matt was working at the base where we got posted to. He came to the Falls once he was done his shifts, and met me there. I came down a week earlier because it was my sister-in-laws baby shower (baby boy!) :D. This allowed me to have time to book a cake to be made, and to shop around for any last minute decor. My sister, was a big help with the set up. She also took these pictures for me of the finished result:
The ladder had an extinguisher on it, a “fire helmet”, an ‘M’ for Matt, and a the firehalls Dalmatian ;). My nephews and friends kids, loved playing with with stuffed puppy and tearing off the balloons!
The candy bar had ‘burning buildings’ on them, and a chalkboard stating the top movies/ music / toys on the year 1985 (when Matt Q’s born!). A photo collage was created thanks to the help of my sister! It telly was a little more tricky to put together than I bargained for. Pictures of Matt growing up with family and friends were included. There was ones of him camping, drumming, and dating me, and our wedding day. I tried to capture the 30 years of his life so far, and to include a picture from all the guests that came to the party!
Hot Tamales were the spicy, hot candies.
Chairs were set up along the outside of the walls, and kind of grouped together to encourage conversation. We did buffet style with the food tables in the centre of the room. Matt’s favourite food, Italian, was out. Matt’s mom provided homemade lasagnas, and then spaghetti with a homemade meatsauce was also there with of course chillies and parm. Garden salad, Caesar and garlic bread accompanied the pasta dishes. I made a (red) punch, and then of course bottled water was also provided for this firefighter themed party 🙂 .
I displayed a couple of his textbooks, his graduation certificate of completion, and a couple cool firetrucks I picked up for our new house (maybe for in the family room?).
Everything was was done kind of rustic, and red, orange and yellow ( including dinner plates, napkins, etc), with a touch of black and white (Dalmatian).
The cake was SO good and was white, with strawberry filling (Matt’s fave) and buttercream and had his grad day picture on it. It was served amongst cookies with tea and coffee.
About 40 people came, which was a great turn out, and everyone seemed to have a great time! There were many cards and well wishes given and Matt loved it. He thanked me numerous times afterwards, and I know it meant a lot to have the support of his family and closest friends there. We are looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead and even though we’ll be moving away from where we grew up, we know we have loved ones praying for us back home!