Monday, 1 October 2018

SUMMER BEACH SESSION



Each year I love getting family photos in the summer. We always do it in the summer because there's mostly guaranteed good weather.

We usually choose a green park for our pictures, but this year my husband requested beachy pics. I happily obliged!














These pictures we got done by Sharon from Geek Chic Photo are so sweet and I know I'll cherish these forever!

Do you guys love family pictures as well?

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

CALGARY!



This summer has been full of family!




We have been lucky enough to be able to spend alot of extended time with my sister's family. The cousins have had the best time together and I love that they're closer than ever.



Each year we try to visit Calgary over the summer and spend 2 weeks with my sister and her family. We grew up in Calgary so it feels a little like we're revisiting some of my old childhood spots. I love that I get to show my kids some of the places I used to visit when I was younger. And it's definitely nostalgic when I get to see everything through their eyes.



Our days in Calgary are often packed and busy as we try to squeeze in activities and visits with friends. I'd love to share a few of our highlights from our trip and some of our favorite places we got to see. If you're interested in some favorite places from last year's visit, check out this post. It's got some old favorites!

Heritage Park
This gem was our favorite stop during this visit. It's a historical museum where you can explore what life was like between the mid 1800-1900. It looks amazing there! Our kids loved stopping into the little town shops (their favorites were the bakery and metal smith), the steam engine train ride which takes you all over the property, the horse wagon ride, and the vintage amusement park. We spent almost the whole day there, and I think we could have gone back for another visit!

Calgary Zoo
Each year we visit Calgary, we always make a stop at the zoo. It's such a fun experience and the kids really like seeing the animals and watching the training shows. There's also a big playground for the kids to play at.
The most exciting part this year was seeing the Pandas! They recently moved into the zoo and were just SO interesting to learn about and see. They were eating bamboo when we were there, and ended up taking naps by the end of our visit. The kids really loved watching them and learning about them.





Wednesday, 11 July 2018

SUMMERTIME SUN CARE



Summertime is here and we couldn't be any happier about it! The sun is shining everyday and the weather is heating up. We love soaking up every bit of summer!

But with the warm weather and sun, I've been trying my best to keep my kids happy but sun safe.

Here's a few tips I use when we are out adventuring or spending the day by the water.

1. Time of Day.

We love venturing out and exploring the city over the summer. I cherish these summer months especially now that Ben is in full time school. It's the only extended period of time we get to spend all together everyday. The girls love it! But when the days are super hot, I always try to get out early in the morning. The earlier the better. The sun isn't at it's hottest and I find the kids are always in a better mood when it's not too hot. We try to avoid being out during the hottest times of the day (between noon-3) if possible. Usually we're headed home sometime after lunch and spend some time cooling off inside.

2. Shade.

Although I love summer, I'm a big believer in staying shaded if possible. Anywhere we go, I always try to find the shadiest spot to put down our stuff. Big trees are the best, and it's so much more enjoyable to be able to escape the direct sun when you're taking a snack break or wanting some cool off time.

3. Sunscreen.

My kids know that we always put on sunscreen if we're going to be under the sun. I've been putting sunscreen on them as soon as I was able to (I believe they recommend 6 months and up for babies). We put it on before we leave the house and usually I try to reapply around lunch. I know it can be a struggle sometimes, but it really is so helpful for protecting their sensitive skin.




4. Covering Up

If we are headed out to a place where there will be lots of direct sun, I try to put the girls in dresses with tiny sleeves. Their shoulders can get burned really easily and it makes it a little easier if they are covered up slightly.

If we are going to be in the water, I always put on a cover up for the kids. Ben will wear a water t-shirt, and the girls wear their swim cover ups too. I love buying cute swim wear for the girls - they love it too! And I usually do get some cute pics of them in their outfits. But once they're actually playing and IN the sun, I always put on their long sleeve shirts to protect them. They are SO good. And the bonus, is that I don't have to apply any sunscreen when they do. And you know what, they love that too!

5. Hats & Sunnies

I know hats aren't always comfortable, but they help so much when it comes to sun protection. Ben always wears a fitted baseball cap. And I get the girls 2 kinds of hats - one waterproof for water play, and another floppy brimmed hat for outdoor play.

And sunnies are the cutest! My mom had to get cataract surgery a few years ago, and she is always reminding me to wear my sunglasses. I guess that rubbed off on me, and now I'm always reminding my kids to wear theirs too! Haha! We keep spare sets in the car, and I always have another set in my purse just in case.

6. Stay Hydrated.

I almost always try to bring the kids water bottles out when we head out in the morning. They play so hard and are constantly thirsty. Keeping hydrated keeps them happier and playing for longer.



7. Be Prepared.

I always bring a big bag full of essentials for hot sunny days. This saves me from meltdowns and having to leave places early if we forget things. I try to include sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, bows/elastics, a spare set of clothes, water and snacks. You know, all the toddler and kid essentials! I keep it by our door and double check each morning to make sure everything is refilled and ready to go.

Hope these tips are helpful for these next summer months ahead!


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Summer Strawberry Picking



One of my favorite activies to kick of summer is Strawberry Picking. Something about kids running free, snacking on fresh berries and filling their baskets full of summer fruits is pretty great.

Each year we try to visit at least one local berry farm. And each year we have the best time.





This year Ben was getting really good at actually picking the berries! He picked them by their stems (Instead of just squishing the fruit) and did a pretty good job!





Maddie tried SO hard...but she ended up zero berries in her basket. Becuase she ate them all while we were picking them. And Ellie followed in her big sister's footsteps.





These summer days make me so thankful for the place we live in and for my sweet sweet babes.


Monday, 2 July 2018

KITTY CAT BIRTHDAY PARTY




Meow, Meow, Meow! Ellie is 3!!!

This was probably one of the best little birthday parties we've had. Ellie was totally into everything and loved that the day was ALL about her. She felt so loved by all the guests and had so much fun. I loved that so many guests were saying how she looked like she was having the best time. Such special memories!

We started off trying to figure out the theme to the party. (I just love a good theme!) She actually wanted a bunny party, but I reminded her that last year she had a bunny party already. Go here if you're interested in seeing our bunny party last year. I went through some favorite animals, and we ended up with a kitty theme. I was already loving it!







 


For her party, I ended up using some decorations that I already had from previous parties. I always save my old decor just in case. You never know when you need a quick garland! The balloon garland was actually one we used from Maddie's Woodland Fairy Tea Party a few months back.


For the kitty garland I cut out some kitty shapes out of pink card stock. I made an outline I liked on cardboard, and then used it to trace it on the pink paper. I cut them out and used a needle to thread them through twine. It was such an easy project that took one night to complete. And it really added alot to the party decor.



I decided to do a dance party at Vancouver Performing Stars - the studio the girls dance at. They did an hour of dance and then we had an hour for cake and snacks. I loved that Ellie's dance teacher was leading her party and I could tell she felt so special. They did all her favorite dance songs - it was the perfect entertainment for a group of little girls.




After all the dancing we ushered the girls to their seats at a long table. I love doing table settings at parties as I feel they add an extra fancy feel for the kids. I used simple pink paper plates and placed a kitty sugar cookie and kitty hair elastic on each plate. The kids loved seeing the little surprises on their plates. I also added a floral runner down the middle of the table. It was simply dollar store bought stems of flowers. I popped off the flower heads and arranged them in a row in the center. So simple and pretty!










We had a few adorable items I gathered for the girls to take home that all tied into the kitty theme.








The amazing kitty cake and kitty cookies were made by the lovely Hayes Sweets. We had one kitty cookie for each little guest as a favor and some more to snack on. I loved that the cookies could be used as favors as well as decor. The cake was the cutest and Ellie just loved it so much. She had been asking me for weeks if she was getting a kitty cake for her birthday. And one of the best parts was that the treats were made by Michelle, a local mama!

And one of my favorite little goodies for parties are these customizable sets of hair elastics from The Plum Polka Dot. You can use them as elastics for pony tails but they can also act as cute little bracelets. My girls love them! And Christina made the set extra cute for the party - kitty cats, polka dots and pink. Soooo cute! She is wonderful to work with, and I love that her turnaround is so quick.

For goody bags, I also like adding in something that kids and parents will both like. Kind Snacks are one of our favorite snack brands - I really love how they are healthy and nutritious. I know kids get spoiled at parties with all sorts of sweet treats (I mean, those really are the best parties!), but it's nice to send them home with something a little bit healthier. We've been enjoying KIND bars these last few months and I though the pink strawberry fruit bars would be so cute for the guests. The kids really like the fruit bars best and I loved that they were pink too!

The rest of the party was just as they usually come - full of excited kids and lots of sweets!




 





We had the best day celebrating this sweet girl! xoxo

PARTY DETAILS

Dance Studio VANCOUVER PERFORMING STARS
Tutu Dresses PICHOU PICHOU
Bows CLOTH CROWNS & PALI AND PAPER
Necklaces CORAL AND CLOUD
Balloon Garland PAPER AND PARTIES
Kitty cake and cookies HAYES SWEETS
Hair Elastic sets PLUM POLKA DOT
Strawberry fruit bars KIND SNACKS
Kitty Headband CHILDREN'S PLACE
Bow clip on headband BLOOMIES HANDMADE
Flowers from table runner DOLLAR STORE
Kitty Banner Handmade by myself

All photography taken my myself and the loveliest Sweet Dreams Studio.

Karen from Sweet Dreams Studio is really so wonderful to work with and has the best eye for details. Although it seems like an investment, it makes it so much nicer to have a professional photographer come in to take the party picture details. Go see her other photography here!


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