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?


Just Can’t Live Without…

Hey bloggy friends! How was your weekend? Ours was relaxing, which was nice after the whirlwind of the holidays and so many jam-packed weekends.

I mentioned how I’d likely be posting more about maternity, pregnancy and all things baby related now that I’m a new mom. 🙂 Today I thought it appropriate to blog about baby items that have been making things a heck of a lot easier when you have a newborn!

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1. Sophie la Girafe –  Every child loves Sophie! She’s a toy, she’s a teether, and she’s so cute! A squeaky, BPA free that is durable, fun and engaging and easy for little fingers to grip. Levi is still too young to REALLY appreciate miss Sophie, but in a few months he’s bound to love her.

2. Ikea Krama washcloths – Cotton, and soft for your babies skin. We use them under Levi’s bum (on top of his change pad cover) in an effort to keep the change pad clean longer! So far they’ve been working great. They’re cheap too – a 10 pack for $5.99.

3. Nose Frida Snot Sucker – Made in Sweden, doctor invented and recommended, it’s a hygienic baby booger buster! It’s proven to be highly effective when Levi has his first cold a couple of weeks ago.

4. Huggies Clutch and Clean – Refillable, hypoallergenic wet wipes. I keep these in our diaper bag. Even though we are making cloth wipes, it’s great to have this carry case for wet wipes when we’re out and about. The case comes in fun prints and patterns and hangs anywhere too, which is handy 😀 .

5. Ikea Tutig Baby Care Mat – Easy to keep clean, easy to store, easy to fold…it’s a large surface and great for changing dirty diapers on. It’s a large surface, and machine washable, and has a waterproof backing. Love it.

6. Medela Pump In Style Advanced Electric Breast Pump – Great for daily use and easy to clean parts. It’s electric and has a double pump, so it cuts pumping time in half – which is convenient! The pump is in a bag that’s portable and discreet and you can choose the style of bag that suits you. It comes with a cooler and freezer pack, BPA- free bottles, freezer bags, and quick clean micro- steam bags. Definitely worth checking out for sure! Love mine.

7. Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets – They’re soft, a great size and durable. Plus they’re multi-purpose – use for swaddling, as a receiving blanket, and/or nursing cover. Plus, makes a cute pashmina for your outfits if you choose to wear it. They come in numerous patterns and colours.

8. Phillips Avent Natural Bottles – The New Philips Avent Natural bottle is the most natural way to bottle feed. They say that this bottle comes closest to feeding at the breast, and can be combined with breastfeeding. The bottles are BPA free and come in 4oz. and 9oz. sizes in a 3 pack!

9. Board book & Stuffed Bear “I Love You Through and Through” – An adorable rhyming story of unconditional love with adorable illustrations of a toddler and a teddy bear. The book has sturdy cardstock pages and a padded cover with rounded corners for safe handling by little ones. And the little bear is super cute and is little enough to be toted around in baby’s diaper bag without taking up too much space! 🙂

A few other favourites…

Carseat Canopy

There is a website (I’ll share it below) that offers free car seat canopies – you just pay the shipping! It comes in various patterns and is lined with warm minky fabric. I love my chevron one :D. Great when your baby is born in the colder months.

Udder Covers

These are great if you’re nursing. Cute patterns offered here and this product also is free if you pay the shipping (link below).

Nursing Pillow

Great size nursing pillow – perfect for travel. I take ours with us wherever we go, and it’s great to have. Free also if you opt to pay shipping. And, again, lots of fun colours and designs! 🙂

*CLICK HERE FOR THE WEBSITE THAT OFFERS PROMO CODES FOR THE ABOVE 3 products

Ingenuity ConvertMe Swing-to-Seat

I love that this is not only a bouncer, but a swing too! Levi loves his and it was given to him by 2 of his aunts and uncles 😀 . It plays soothing tones (crashing waves, crickets chirping) which are more like white noise, as well as more upbeat lullabies.

Skip Hop Grab and Go Stroller Organizer

This item is perfect if your stroller is in need of cup holders. I use it when I’m shopping as I can zip up any cards I take in. Plus that part is detachable and can be worn as a wristlet. The middle section between the cup holders is perfect for smaller parcels.


Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag

I LOVE my diaper bag! I’ve had my eye on Skip Hop diaper bags before I was even pregnant. One of my many favourite shower gifts – isnt it beautiful?! I feel as though I should be vacationing in the French Riviera 😀 ! I didn’t choose it completely based on its appearance, however. It’s as functional as it is stylish. It has enough room for all my baby necessities, plus a shallower section that I can use instead of my purse. It also has sections for bottles, an adjustable shoulder strap, and a travel change pad is included! I’ll be doing a blog post in the next few weeks sharing about it more specifically 😉 .

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City Select Stroller by Baby Jogger

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the city select, and it has stood up to it’s good reviews! For one thing it’s extremely versatile as it grows with family, and has numerous seating options and positions. We have a compatible car seat and the car seat adapter so it can pop right onto the stroller. It’s easy to fold and unfold, as well as easy to lock. It maneuvers beautifully. The handlebars are adjustable making it very ergonomic. The storage basket below is quite large too! My number one top reason for picking this stroller is the fact that it converts to a double when the time is needed 😉 !

 

So there ya have it! My favourite baby products that are out there on the market. And I’m sure as he continues to grow, there’ll be new items that I’ll use and learn to love. Hope you have a great week!

*What are your favourite baby products?*

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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! 😀

“P – A – R – T – WHY?! ‘Cause I Gotta!”

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:

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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!

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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!

“Burning Embers” were Reece’s Pieces (beside the ‘burning apartment building). “Water buckets” were filled nearby with blue Carribean and blueberry jelly beans.

Hot Tamales were the spicy, hot candies.



I did a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” with Gobstoppers, Gumdrops, and Tootsie Rolls. Most of these candies are Matt’s favourite!


Nib Licorice was “Rescue Rope”…

…and Cheesies were “Flames” at this party 😉 !

My sister helped me dip pretzels in red chocolate to make “matches”.

  

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!