Him + Her, Snore no more! – PolySleep Adjustable Pillow Review

Who else has gone on countless trips looking for the right pillow, doing the pillow test in the store, you know the one where you crouch down and lean on to the pillow that is resting on the counter? (I hope I’m not the only one who does this..) Then there’s that day that you finally find it, go home, crawl in to bed and BAM, your head hits the pillow and you drift off in to dream land.

When I first heard of the PolySleep Pillow I was SO intrigued and excited to try it out. My husband and I have very different sleeping habits and that includes the type of pillow we use. For myself, before I was pregnant/nursing, I was always a tummy sleeper and used the thinest and slightly firm pillows. I felt these were always hard to find because I would also sometimes turn to my side in the middle of the night and wake up with a bit of a kink in my neck. PolySleep has brought me in to a whole new world of pillows, where there is only ONE. One pillow to rule them all. They offer this pillow that has a shell made of polyester microfibre and then has four inserts that you can choose from that are anti-microbial and made of a viscoelastic hybrid foam(which means it allows the air to circulate, reduces the temperature and firmness) that range from ¾” – 1¼”and with having these inserts to choose from you really CAN find the perfect fit with just one pillow! For myself, as a tummy/side sleeper, I only use the ¾” insert and it is the exact combination I need. Whereas some of you may need to up the insert and add a 1″ piece into the mix because you like a little more firmness and support.

Now for my husband. Oh my sweet, loving and thoughtful husband. I love him to bits, but when he is sleeping, he is not as thoughtful and caring as he would like to be haha. He snores with a VENGEANCE. No matter which way he lays, there is something that sneaks out, and Ezra is the same! You can imagine how our Saturday morning ‘sleep-ins’ go.

My husband used to sleep with 3-4 pillows, all varying in sizes and he would always be readjusting them throughout the night. Now with the PolySleep pillow, he has traded the multiple pillows for just one. The EXACT same pillow that my tummy-side sleeping self found the perfect fit from! Although the sizes and number of inserts we have inside the shell is completely different. My husband uses all of them. All four. But this is his perfect fit, no more multiple pillows to stack up or rearranging the tower in the middle of the night, just sleep.

The variance between our pillows is ¾” vs. 3¾” The pillows also come with a bag to store the inserts that you aren’t using in the moment. For example, I know that if I get pregnant again, I will definitely be changing the firmness in the pillow to adjust and support of a side sleeper. The pillows also come with a 3 year warranty and a 30 day sleep-trial for you to be confident that the PolySleep Adjustable Pillow is the perfect fit for you and if not 100% satisfied, they have a great team of Customer Service that will give you a full refund! PolySleep is a Canadian company and their products are made right here in Montreal, Quebec. They are made at the same factory their foam is produced, that means that there is no middle man and you are truly getting the full customer service that you deserve!

If you are just as intrigued as I was when I first found out about the PolySleep Adjustable Pillows, then don’t hum and hau for too long, you can trust me that they are worth the investment and will last years to come!

Have you tried the PolySleep Adjustable Pillows? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below and I would be happy to help!

Take care + Sweet dreams!

Cassandra

2 Girls and Their Dolls – American Girl Review

Since Ezra was born, her and her cousin Maisie have been inseparable. At the beginning it was an un-dyeing love that Maisie had for this new little baby girl that was all hers. This love then it grew and grew as Ezra began to crawl, babble and say ‘MAIZEE’ with the biggest smile. Even though there is almost four years difference, they still find ways to play together, laugh and connect on the same crazy level!

We are very fortunate to live so close to Ezra’s cousins and that she is able to see them at the very minimum, once a week. In a sense she is growing up with her cousins more as siblings, the bond they all share is so strong. Ez will go through all of her cousins names, and her aunts and uncles at LEAST 5 times a day, wether we be in the car and she hopes were driving to their house, or just at home sitting on the couch.

Ez is so funny with her eldest cousin Maisie, she will see her and instantly start to vibrate, run up to her and give her the biggest hug while chanting MAISIE! MAISIE! MAISIE! Maisie will run over to Ez, swoop her up in her arms and twirl her. There is such a look of pure joy and love when they see each other, you can’t help but smile along with them.

When I first started working with American Girl, I was thrilled to be able to give Ezra one of their beautiful dolls. Not only did I just find out that I was pregnant and that this would be so fun to gift her a ‘practice’ sibling, but to watch her grow and change and show the same love and care that we pour in to her each day. I then started thinking of that same love that she exudes when Maisie is around and how fun it would be if they each had their own American Girl to play with on their playdates!

I knew that Maisie loved her dolls and barbies and that she would love her Camille Doll and the Garden Party Table and Chairs accessories. She loves fairy gardens and dresses, so this was the prefect fit for her! As for Ezra, I found the Bitty Baby that looked the most like her when she was born, very dark features, a head of hair and in her jammies! Along with Ez, we received the Bitty Better Kit, a doctor kit for her Baby, Ez is so compassionate and caring that this was such a good addition for her, and plus, it came in a ‘purse'(doctors kit), Ez’ favourite thing to carry around right now haha!

When the girls first opened their dolls, they were both shocked, and instantly in awe of these beautiful little girls, all dressed up and all theirs! They could barely keep it together while we unpackaged them for them. (Note to self: Prep and un-package all tags next time I am gifting an item to a toddler!). As they started to play with their new American Girls, I brought out the other items for them and it happened all over again! the OO’s the AHH’s and the ‘I Love It!’ was all over the place. It was a little bit of a rough start, as the girls both received brand new toys at the same time and wanted to play with each others gifts.

They worked it out in the end and played for a couple hours going back and forth and obviously ending the playdate with a dance party!

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Thank you so much again to American Girl Dolls for these gifts for my favourite girls! They will enjoy them for years to come and we are excited for Ezra to have her very own baby doll to take care of in a quick six months!

XOX,

Cass

 

An Under the Sea Christmas

This week we had a chance to experience Christmas in a different way; under the sea! Yesterday, Ez and I woke up, had breakfast and got ready to make the trek to Vancouver with Nat, from The Venture Creative, and her sweet boy. Our first stop, obviously, was coffee, then we made our way down town, over the bridge, and then another bridge, made the loop around Stanley Park and landed at the Vancouver Aquarium! Oh how excited we were to a) finally arrive and b) to experience their newly renovated space and CHRISTMAS UNDER THE SEA!

We first made our way over to reception and were greeted by April, she was so pleasant, full of smiles and was great with our two little ones. She then took us on a tour through the different spaces and regions of the Aquarium, making sure we didn’t miss anything when we were on our own exploring later on! One of my favourite things that she showed us (amongst the many others) was a mistleTOAD. Hillarious and genius!!

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Marine Debris Christmas Tree

During our tour April touched on a variety of different projects that VanAqua has going on right now and what an impact they are making in our waters today. One of which was a piece of art made by an artist in Tofino named Pete Clarkson, both of the children loved to look at, was the the Marine Debris Christmas Tree.  “This unique tree is made from a variety of ocean plastics collected from shorelines on the west coast of Vancouver Island. This impressive work of art stands as a reminder of the plastic debris littering our oceans and its harmful impact on marine animals and ecosystems. Most importantly, the tree encourages thoughtfulness about unnecessary plastic use during the holiday season and throughout the year.” – Vancouver Aquarium 

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Eel-lectric Powered Christmas Tree

Now, I don’t want to give everything away, but this. Was. Awesome. So awesome that Nat and I both gasped when it happened the first time. It is Vancouver’s most ‘shocking’ holiday display while standing in the glow of the Electric eel-powered Christmas tree in the Teck Connections Gallery. NOW. I won’t tell you how they do it, you’ll just have to go and see the magic for yourself!

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This turtle above was at least 100LBS – I couldn’t believe it! Ez and Ky were just mesmerized with this giant creature. Above pics by Nat @theventurecreative.co

4D Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

For this part of the festivities, we decided to opt out of because of the age of Ez and Ky. They recommend that children be a bit older, but that’s alright! they just had more time at the Jelly Globe! Visitors enjoy the wave of childlike wonder as they watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the first time in the 4-D theatre. Cool wind pinches cheeks as snow falls all around; Rudolph’s epic adventure comes alive with wondrous sights, sounds, and sensations. – Vancouver Aquarium

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Jelly Snow Globe

And of corse here we are, one of the coolest spots in the entire Aquarium, the Jelly Globe. All of the surrounding tanks were just as popular and just as enticing and exciting. Ez and Ky were running around side to side, throwing their hands up on the glass and yelling WOOOW and WOOAHH. To see their little hearts bursting, their minds racing and their little bodies shaking with excitement, now THAT was worth the entire trip itself. To sit and just watch her stare in awe at this giant tank, looking so far up you think she’d fall over, just completely captivated by them. Also, the obvious silhouette photo-op, because, DUH. VanAqua has done such an amazing job featuring and showcasing the many beautiful creatures in their space, especially for christmas time!

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Scuba Claus

This was a new one for the books, I must have missed a few visits to the Aquarium, because they had Scuba Claus returning this year, and this was my first time meeting him! what a show this was! The VanAqua team did such an amazing job at putting this show together for all the children there. From the speaker who described Santa’s journey and the man in the Red…wetsuit, they we re a great team and each and every child had a grin from cheek to cheek! Even though my little Ez wouldn’t go near him and in fact asked to get back in the stroller haha! She’ll figure it out that he ‘brings her presents’ and I have a feeling things will change. *Remember, if you are planning to go visit Scuba Claus, he is only there until December 24th and then returns home after Christmas!* 

There is also a chance to pose with Scuba Claus at the ocean court yard and then again at the Forest Kelp Maze. 

We had such an amazing time experiencing what Christmas looks like under the sea and will definitely be back soon – like, I mean, next week soon. It is one of the best things to do indoors with your kidlets while the weather is so frosty! So if you’re looking for a side kick to kick it with, lemme know 😉 Thank you again Vancouver Aquarium for having us come for a visit, it is truly such a magical place, every time of the year.

If you are as excited as I am about having your very own experience this Holiday, click here for more details on shows and tickets to Christmas under the sea!

 

XO

Cass

6 Foot Gingerbread House (cardboard; not cookie)

One thing that I really do miss about my life before I had Ez, was working as a preschool teacher. Being able to create different play spaces for the children each month and theme related to what they would be learning about. Now that Ez is a little bit older and I am able to play with her more and more, running around the house, peek-a-boo and imaginary play!

How excited was I when the huge rollout for Starbucks’ Holiday merch came in and there was 2 GIANT boxes and endless others. I couldn’t help but take them home, already having the dream of one day making Ez a giant box fort. Then the holiday season rolled around, it completely embraced me and here we are!

Ezra’s Gingerbread House

Materials

  • 2 Extra large boxes / 2 medium / 2 small
  • Exacto Knife
  • Duct Tape
  • Clear Tape
  • Red / White Acrylic Paint
  • Paintbrush

STEP 1 : B O X E S

The first thing you want to do is find two large boxes, about the size of a mini fridge or an ottoman, for your base. You can use smaller boxes and attach them together, but in my opinion, if a toddler is running through it, you need some sort of stability! THINK B I G. I taped them together at the top to get ready for the next step! TIP : I got my boxes from Starbucks, you could also go to furniture stores, that way you know the boxes are clean and dry! 

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Step 2 : T R A C E  I T  O U T

The second step is to trace out how you want your house to look. Pinterest, google, search out different ideas for what you want to create. I chose to do two windows, different shapes, a chimney and a door. TIP: When I was sketching out the shapes for the roof and window, I did it from the opposite side that would show on the outside, so it didn’t matter how many times I re-drew. TIP #2 : Find an item in your house to trace some of the more finer pieces. i.e. large whicker basket for the roof window. 

Step 3 : M A K E  T H E  C U T

After you have all of your pieces ready and sketched, it’s time to cut them out. I found that it was really hard to cut across and so simple to cut top to bottom because of the grooves in the board itself. But at the end of the day, the only one judging will be your child, and there will only be screams of joy! Remember to make the chimney and the mailbox. TIP : I cut all of the pieces out and cut the window slots afterwards, it was too awkward to try and cut little squares out of a large piece of board!  

CHIMNEY : When you are making the chimney, it’s tricky to get the right angle so I suggest cutting it out how you think but make it EXTRA LONG so then when you need to adjust and trim, you have space to.

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SCALLOPED EDGING : I made this separately after I had completed the base of the house, I had some extra pieces. It was really on a whim, just remember, bigger is better, more playful and play-like!

Step 4 : R E I N F O R C E

You’ve cut all the edges and pieces, now to reinforce any extra pieces that may need to stay folded or bent a certain way. I used TONS of duct tape here and clear tape for the outside. TIP : I used other pieces of cardboard to make those long straight lines to make sure they would be equal

Step 5 : P U T  I T  T O G E T H E R

When I was putting it all together, I actually had to reinforce a couple pieces with an extra piece of cardboard on the inside of the roof. I used only duct tape on the inside for extra support and clear on the outside. TIP : Save the roof until last, you will want to paint it first and separately. Already being attached to the house is too awkward!

Step 6 : P A I N T

Paint the roof first, you can do lines, scallops or even bricks if you like! This is also the time that I painted the chimney and entire scalloped trim so that it would be dry by the time I was done the house. Paint the edges of the home, doorway, window frame and any other additions on the house. When I painted the chimney, I painted all the edges and then let it dry and sized after. Don’t forget about your little mailbox!

Step 7 : E N J O Y

Fill your gingerbread house with teddy’s, plush blankets and everything cozy! One thing that really brought this Gingerbread House home (even though I don’t think I’ve ever added one on a cookie house) was this amazing fire play set from Nixilauroo. (The marshmallow has a MAGNET in it to attach to the stick!! – MIND-BLOWN) Head on over to their site and check out the HUGE variety of play sets they have, colours and even prints! And if you’re still perusing through after the fire sets, search for their brand new teddy bear hoodie. You won’t be able to resist! I know I couldn’t!

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Take care and enjoy playing in your gingerbread houses! Please tag me on insta @stumblinggrace and let me see YOUR creations you’ve made for your littles. I would love to see your creativity and have some inspiration from you!

 

XO Cassandra

10 Tips to start a Capsule Wardrobe

I’ve been hearing more and more about these ‘capsule wardrobes’ and the challenge to live a minimal lifestyle, and I’m intrigued. I’ve done my ‘research’ and have  compiled a list and pictures of what my capsule will include and the various ways I am going to style it throughout the month!

A Capsule wardrobe consists of 30 or less pieces of clothing, including shoes, accessories etc. But this time around I started with 30 pieces of clothing and then add ons – it’s my first time okay! The biggest thing that really attracted me to trying out my own capsule was the amount of time I waste trying to figure out what I am going to wear every morning and then I always come back to the same old thing.

REASONS TO START A CAPSULE WARDROBE:

  • De-clutter your closet and say goodbye to what doesn’t bring you joy!
  • Minimize the ever-daunting question ‘what should i wear today’
  • Be ready 10x faster

HERE ARE 10 TIPS TO GET STARTED!

1// IT’S NOT HARD : It really is that simple. Make sure you start in a month that would be ‘easier'(where you don’t have 6 weddings to attend!) for you so you do not get discouraged. Remember, it’s only a month, make sure you’ve grabbed your favourites and MUST HAVES and try! Next time I do a capsule wardrobe, I’m going to take the plunge and do the complete 30 piece wardrobe, clothes, shoes, accessories and all.

2// YOU’RE PROBABLY ALREADY DOING IT : Most likely, you already have a list of your favourites tucked away in your mind. If you’re having a lazy day, you have those tights and shirt you like to wear. If you’re going out, you have that little black dress and long dangly necklace you love so much. Lastly, if you’re going to a soccer game you’ve got those nice pair of jeans that make your butt look good and that fitted tee to be game ready! So putting together a 30 piece capsule shouldn’t be too hard!

This grey sweater below is one of my top 5 items – I HAD to include a pic of the back! 

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3// DECLUTTER : Are you (like me) one of those people who have a closet that is BURSTING at the seems and has found it’s way to under your bed, down the hall and in your husband’s dresser? If you have been looking for a way to kind of kick-start a purge, then I would highly suggest a capsule wardrobe!

4// BE SEASONAL : When putting together your capsule, keep in mind the season and the weather. Will it be changing? Will you be needing to layer up at all? Especially if you are branching out and decide to do a 3 month capsule, this is a MUST!

5// KEEP IT NEUTRAL : I chose not to have many prints in my capsule, unless they were black and white. I find patterns and more eccentric prints aren’t that forgiving when trying to pair with the rest of the wardrobe. Maybe next time, if I am feeling more daring, I’ll throw a bright print in! This time I stuck to black, white, grey’s, neutrals and jean.

6// HAVE A BASE : You’ll find as you thread through all the different capsules out there, there is always an underlying base colour. I found the most popular are either BLACK OR NAVY. My capsule had a base of black pieces.

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7// THE 3 PIECE RULE : Can I wear this item with at least 3 other pieces in my capsule. For example, I included my long black tank because I love to wear it with my tights and a hoodie but also wear it with my leather leggings, brown booties and a necklace. TADA – Transformed!

8// FITS YOUR LIFESTYLE : As I started my capsule wardrobe, I began with what do I love as the driving force to start choosing what to include. I love playing with Ez so I checked off items one and two with a long slinky tank and tights combo! Then just go from there!

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9// SWITCH IT OUT : I kind of made this up, but it really helped me along the way when deciding what I was going to include. I made my capsule and had the full intention of sticking to it, but then I was about a week and a half in and there was a shirt I just didn’t see myself wearing. PLUS the Whitecaps were in the playoffs and I had forgotten to put my jersey in – so SWITCH!

10// SPREAD THE LOVE : Why just keep it to yourself? Challenge your family to do just the same! Next season around or even in the midst, try it out. I’ve noticed that a lot of the time when I am dressing Ez, I am constantly looking for my favourites and dressing her in the same 10 outfits every week. (yes I realize there’s only 7 days in a week, but, #toddlerlife). Try it out, test it and see if it’s a good fit for your family, it may be a fun ‘challenge’ to see who can do it and stick to it!

BONUS : MY TOP 5 PIECES TO START YOUR CAPSULE

  1. Black maxi dress
  2. Light jean jacket
  3. White runners
  4. Black ripped jeans
  5. Grey slouchy t shirt

BONUS #2 : TIPS FOR CHILDS CAPSULE WARDROBE

  • Stick to solid colours / black&white prints
  • 5 piece ‘Rule’ – choose 5 of each (pants&tights / shirts / long sleeve / dress / shorts, depending on season)
  • Don’t include accessories/under garments/outerwear
  • By starting a capsule for your children you are also limiting their options and therefor encouraging and making it easier for them to start dressing themselves!

In review: At the beginning of the ‘challenge’ I was feeling a bit intimidated and felt like I wasn’t going to be able to do it, but then I got to about number 23 for pieces of clothing and I was done. There was no more pieces I would LOVE to include, so I threw in a few extra tanks and a pair of SWEATS! Lol Something that also made it easier for me to stick to the capsule was separating it from my own closet. I went out and purchased a clothing rack from IKEA ($16!) and had it just against the wall for the month.

I do have to admit though, when I was about halfway through I totally forgot about some family photos we had done with Kaptured.by.Kay and had to break the 30 piece wardrobe and wear a long slinky white knitted sweater I had at the back of my closet, oh no!(eye roll) So here’s a couple photos to justify the add-on!

Thanks for reading through my personal experience with the capsule wardrobe and I hope you’re feeling encouraged to try it out yourself! It’s amazing coming to the realization that I really only wear about 20 different pieces of clothing out of what I have! Makes me more consciously aware of buying items and encouraged to get rid of them! 

LEAVE A NOTE – I would love to hear from you and your own experience in creating and wearing a capsule wardrobe! It was such a fun challenge, and would love any extra tips or tricks on staying faithful to the one rack!

XOX Cass

5 Ways to enjoy apples this fall!

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I know, I know, kind of late on getting the ball rolling this fall. Teething, working and a busy-body toddler got first in line for the last couple months! Finally here we are, Apple season is just at the end, but hopefully you will still be able to enjoy some of these festive fall treats and recipes when the colder days roll in!

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Apples are one of my favourite fruit, and I know for a fact that it is my husbands favourite fruit, so with that being said, fall always fills our house with these wonderful multi-used fruits! I love the sweeter apples, like Granny Smith, yum! My husband loves the Honey Crisp apples, which are also delicious I must admit, and Ez, well she just loves to have a whole apple in her hand to munch and crunch!

As I started to embark on which pastries and activities I would be putting together for our family this fall, I thought I’d share the love and let you all in on our secret home recipes for a few of our favourites! Enjoy!


APPLE PICKING – TAVES FAMILY FARM

Now to start off apple season, you’ve got to go collect them! This year is super exciting for us because our little miss is walking and almost running, I’ve been waiting for a few months now to go apple picking with her. Just like her dad, she LOVES apples, so going to Taves Family Farm, she was on cloud 9 and could barely contain herself.

She was running up and down the rows of ‘Papple’ trees, picking up all the (gross) apples and trying to take a bite. We had her up on our shoulders, picking the ones at the tippy top and walking alongside the trees, reaching some of her very own. (and then when she would go to pull them off, she would yell at us, “TUCK mama, papple TUCK!”)

Ezra’s outfit : Fox Knit Hat : Home Grown Knot Co. / Cranberry Bow : Little Olive Designs/ Mustard Dress : Jax & Lennon


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APPLE PIE – Homemade is the Best-made

Lets just start this portion of this entry by saying, I am very blessed to have a husband who supports, and eats, everything I do and bake. Lol

The first thing you’ll want to do is make a fresh batch (or two if you’d like to criss cross the top) of some homemade pie crust! Check out the full recipe for 1-2-3-ROLL! Your easiest pie crust yet! for my favourite starter.

The classic homemade Apple Pie. Today I am going to share with you how to make this Holiday Staple. To start, I would suggest definitely picking up some hard, tart apples, Granny Smith or maybe Honey Crisp are great! The best part about this recipe is that there are only 7 steps and you will only need TEN ingredients, and most of these are already sitting on your shelves!

Head on over to [1-2-3-ROLL, your easiest pie crust yet] to find step by step instructions and everything you will need to make this homemade classic!

I wish, I wish, I wish I had a food processor. you’ll see why when you look into the pie crust making above lol! But low and behold I had my trusty pastry blender to bring it all home at the end of the day. One thing to look out for when you are choosing your apples is how juicy they are. Unfortunately when I was making my pie, I overlooked this part and my pie ended up coming out a little more juicy this time. Nothing that a few extra minutes in the over couldn’t help though!

Head on over to Homemade Apple Pie FULL RECIPE to find out what you’ll need to bake your very own Apple Pie. (Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom for an extra little treat!)


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PB & Apples : A classic and a staple in this household!

Honestly, one of my go-to snacks from since I can remember, is just cut up apple and peanut butter. Here’s a picture? But I’m sure you know what it looks like lol!

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Apple Cider

I cannot believe how YUMMY this was! Now this was the one that intimidated me. When I first set out to put this post together of my favourites for the fall, one staple for me is apple cider, and yes, the powdered ones. This time though, I wanted to try and actually MAKE the cider. So here we are!

I cannot believe how delicious this cider was. I am embarrased to admit this, but I am quite the snob when it comes to apple and orange juices. I love the raw, pulpy, hand squeezed taste. My absolute favourites are ‘Simply Brand – Apple Juice’ and ‘Tropicana , Some pulp, Orange Juice” LOL! If you love cider as much as I do well then this will be a treat! Here you can find the full recipe to Apple Cider Sippin, Enjoy!

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I ended up storing mine in one of our growlers we had and it worked out so well!

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Apple Chips

When I was growing up, my parents had an awesome food dehydrator (now being an adult and mother myself, I am extremely envious of this and wish I had one!). When I was thinking of making my own apple chips for my daughter, I was kind of bummed because I didn’t think I would be able to make them without a machine. I then stumbled across a couple recipes that only called for a pan, knife, apples and 200 degrees for 3 hours.

HELLO simple and HELLO delicious! I was quite hesitant and unsure that these little slices would turn out, but low and behold, 3 hours passed and there they were, delicious, crispy and full of crunch!

I am still in awe of how easy and delicious these were! Highly recommend these delicious chips. The only part that was a bit daunting was slicing the apples, but if you’ve got a super sharp knife, or better yet, a mandolin then you’ll be fine!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 apples (larger size and either granny smith or honey crisp)
  • sharp knife
  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper

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Start by slicing your apples into very thin slices and placing on the baking sheet. The parchment paper will make it easier to flip your apples when you are halfway through baking. I overlapped my apples and it turned out okay, so don’t be afraid to get more on your baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. When the oven is ready, place your baking sheet in for 1 hour, remove and flip apples to other side and cook again for 1-1.5 hours. I found that mine were still a bit ‘soggy’ when I took them out after 2 hours so I kept them in and checked every 15 minutes to make sure they weren’t burning. 3 hours was perfect for my oven!

ENJOY!


During this whole process there was a few times that I had to put Ez in her high chair and try and make do with what we had around the house, some of this included using the wooden spoons I was baking with to whack her tray with, paw patrol, eating an entire apple and the saviour of them all, a wagon wheel. This kid will pick off every last bit of the CHOCOLATE and then eat the marsh mellow! Who’s kid is this?!?! 

After the first few items on this list, not that this is some grand realization, but I can confirm that apples are amazing. You can pick them, bake them, juice them, jar them, dry them and the list goes on.

Tried any of these recipes out? I would LOVE to see how you did and your spin on these Holiday Classics! Please tag me on your instagram @stumbling grace, Stumbling Grace Blog on facebook or sending me a message on here! Good luck and have fun ❤

XOX Cass

 

1-2-3 – Roll! Your easiest pie crust yet!

Homemade Pie Crust? WHO has time for that?! Why you do of corse. With this simple recipe, you’ll be making this pie crust in your sleep, especially after you bite in to it! When I first started thinking about making my first pie a few years back I assumed I would just pick up a ready made pie crust from the grocery store. Nope. Apparently I married in to a connoisseur of all things baked/cooked from scratch.

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To get started here, always remember to wash your hands and take off your rings! Does any one else have a small trinket dish that they use when baking/washing hands/doing chores that they use to keep their treasures? Below you will see my place of choice. It is called the ‘Trinket Dish” from Three Corners Artisan.

Trinket Dish - Three Corners Artisan

You can find the Trinket Dish HERE.

Having a husband who avidly searches to cook new things is definitely not a problem for me! My husband is constantly showing and teaching me new ways to cook things, how to tell if something is done (or overdone, whoops!) and that sometimes it really is easier to just make it from scratch! Hence, this simple 3 step pie crust recipe. Don’t be intimidated! If I can do this, you can do this!

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4 Step Homemade Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons), cut into slices
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp ice water

1) Mix flour and sugar in bowl.

2) Add about half of the butter.  Add the rest of the butter. Blend until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs (small pea size).

3) Slowly add the ice water and pulse until the dough gathers up into a ball.  If it doesn’t after a few seconds, add a few more drops of ice water until it does.

4) Take the dough and flatten it into a disc and place it on a sheet of floured plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before rolling. Remember to use the plastic wrap trick from below!

If you’ve got any tricks up your sleeves on how to make pie crust, different designs or just want to share your experience with this recipe, let me know below in the comments! I would love to hear from you, and get new ideas! 

Happy Baking!

XOX – Cass

(Check out my 3 extra tips below to easier pie dough making!)

Pie Crust 101

3 Tips to the easiest pie crust!

Tip #1 : One thing that I did see online, that I did not have but would love to try one day, is someone suggested using a food processor to mix and blend the butter into your flour mixture. I took the rustic path of the pastry blender. 

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Tip #2 : When rolling out the dough to get it ready for the pan, place a piece of saran wrap overtop and underneath of the dough before pressing the rolling pin down. This will make your life, and washing time, so much easier! The dough will not stick to the rolling pin and will be a nice quick wrap up and toss when done.

Tip #3 : Once you have refrigerated and rolled out your pie crust, you can decide how you would like to form it. I always love the classic look of pinched edges and a lattice crust, but you can be creative! Remember, rustic is okay here: you want your pie to look homemade!

 

Keeping comfy, no matter what ‘hat’ I’m wearing

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Oiy Vey. I feel that this past month has hit me like a rock. I recently upped my hours at work and have been going almost all in with 35-40 hours a week. It’s been killing me. The last few days Ez and I have been taking a bit of a break from the rest of the world. Yes the weather has implemented this, and yes, it was a dream. Having these last couple days with her and just the two of us has been good to my mama soul. Not being around this little bean is tearing me apart. So this weather, even though it has force-cancelled exciting plans, it has filled my cup with love and cuddles.

Being a busy mom on the go I often am running around in joggers, tanks and sports bras. (I know you I’m not the only one! Right?) I recently received the Gleaming Bralette from @ethona.casey and am in love! The fun design on the front, criss cross support in the back and extra padding in the front (Mama likey!). This easily brings this bralette to the top of my list of go-to’s for a day at home, on the run for errands or simply going for shoppi… for a run.

I feel like maybe I’ve just never found a sports bras/bralette that fit me just right, thus steering me away from them. Even when I was in high school, I would wear my regular bras during gym / sports (Ew. now that I think of it haha!). When I came across Ethona Active wear and their Gleaming Bralette I was super impressed with not only the quality and modern appeal they brought to their pieces, but the heart and passion behind their company and each and every purchase.

Ethona’s mission statement says it all, “To Inspire Women to Strive for More and Fight for Those Who Can’t.” How does that not make your heart beat right out of your chest?! Their core values are to Inspire, Connect and to Give. Working around the clock to give back to those in need. Ethona has partnered with Saving Innocence to help survivors of human trafficking around the globe. If you would like to support their mission and get your own Ethona Bralette, click here to find out more !

XOX – Cass

Discover more about Ethona here :  Instagram | FacebookWebsite

Summertime Sisterhood – up’s&down’s, high’s&low’s and I wouldn’t change a thing.

They say that a sibling is a forever friend. This is a bold statement, especially when you are 9 and your sister is 2, you may be thinking quite the opposite. As time went on, it threw us curve balls and we could do nothing but cling to each other and grow through it. You learn to turn to each other in times of defeat instead of turning your back. You celebrate the small victories and rejoice in the milestones. You start to pull at each other, asking for guidance, for support and sometimes just for a hug. I am so thankful God gave me a sister to go through life with, even if I didn’t realize the blessing in the early years.

Growing up we had a large age gap between us and even though we did get along the odd time, when we got in to mom’s makeup or expressed ourselves artistically with markers on the wall, I don’t think we really ever anticipated what our relationship would one day grow in to. I look back now on the days we spent together, our endless LEGO villages and Sunday morning cartoons, and I can still see that same little 4 year old looking up to her big sis. Waiting for me to make the next move, to tell her if she’s doing a good job or when her pony tail isn’t centered.

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To this day, this is still our saving grace, our center of gravity, pulling each other in and lifting each other up. A state of glorification and eagerness to help each other. Why? Because we’re sisters. There’s no other way to explain why we’ll go to the ends of the earth and walk the moon for one another. She’s my little and I’m her big, plain and simple, black and white.

Now in to our twenties, that 7 year gap isn’t making quite such a dent anymore. We both have a home life, work life and personal interests, hobbies and loved ones. Tish is such a great auntie to our little Ez, I find myself sometimes tearing up thinking and dreaming of the relationship that they share and will hold so dear to their hearts.

I remember when we were younger and Tish was trying to figure out what she was going to do after high school, having no direction except knowing she loved art, music and personal connections. She followed in her sisters footsteps and took an interest to Makeup Artistry, luckily that soon dwindled and she fell right in to where she was supposed to be, teaching and caring for children. we are now working in the same field and I am so excited to hopefully work along side her in the classroom and share our joy, excitement, and craziness.

Watching Tish grow over the years has given me a variety of feelings. Feelings of joy and excitement, feelings of anticipation and anxiety but mostly an overwhelming feeling of pride and love. I guess having a larger gap between us opens up the door of almost becoming motherly towards her in the teen years. I have to say though, now being older and being able to share the same passions and interests, it’s like a whole new world. As if I was just waiting for her to catch up to me, waiting for my best friend to arrive.

My not-so-little sister has grown in to this beautiful, funny, courageous and multi-talented young woman and I am SO excited to continue on in life with her. Going on trips, discovering new hobbies and just enjoying everyday to the fullest. Each day is a new beginning to start something new, learn something new and be renewed. I hope and pray that one day we can give Ezra the same blessing that God gave me 21 years ago.

Love you Little One

X0X

 

COLLABORATORS // Summer Styled Shoot

STYLED & CAPTURED BY: The Venture Creative

PHOTOGRAPHY: Natalia Reardon Photography

SUNGLASSES: Ollie Quinn

TOWELS: Tofino Towel Co.

SWIMSUIT: Nettle’s Tale

SUNSCREEN: K’Pure Naturals

JEWELRY: Mind the Minimal with Joie De Cristaux

APPAREL: Aloha Kai Apparel

BAG: Hold & Carry

WATER BOTTLE: The Free Reign Life

MODELS & GUEST BLOGGER: Stumbling Grace with Natasha Holt

LOCATION: Spanish Banks

 

 

Van2San Roadtrip 2015 [Pt.1]

Earlier in the year Mackenzie and I signed up and joined a group from Gracepoint Community Church, to travel to Mexico with One Life One Chance Ministries. We started to plan out our trip, what we would bring, where we were going and how we would get there. The entire team itself was flying down to San Diego and then driving in to Mexico. Mackenzie and I were talking about the trip with some friends one night after a dinner date and we ended up planning an entire road trip with them that centered around Mexico with a road trip on either end of it!

 

Highlight’s of Van2San Roadtrip 2016
  • Catching a chicken
  • Notebook doodles – pictures
  • Tilamook Cheese Factory + ice cream
  • The Oregon Coast
  • DIY memory cup
  • Devil’s Punch Bowl
  • Oceanside Murals
  • Redwood Forest
  • An engagement

The group of us definitely made the most of this trip and mapped it out accordingly. I am so thankful for Chelsea’s organization skills; our trip, budget and accommodations were all flawless! We started off planning by thinking about the coast, what hot spots we would like to hit and which ones were actually doable, while sticking to a backpackers budget. After all this was decided, we got together,  compared lists and mapped out the route, planning campgrounds, mealtimes and tourist stops.

We were SO grateful to my friend Melissa for opening up her family’s home in Woodenville, Washington for our first night of rest while on the road. When we arrived we were welcomed with open arms, enjoyed some time in their pool and in the morning, walked right out to the chicken coop and grabbed some fresh eggs for breakfast! What a DREAM.

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Side project I started at the first starbucks we stopped across the border. I kept all my trinkets I found along the way in here!

We were soon on our way  to the coast, stopping in Washington one more time at a park on the side of the Columbia River, it was so beautiful! Overlooking the Columbia River and Astoria just within arms reach.

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Finally we made it to Cannon Beach! The long awaited and much anticipated beauty. We set up camp at Wright’s for Camping Campground, grabbed a mug of hot cocoa and headed straight for the beach! After constantly looking up Cannon beach on the internet, hearing friends talk about it and watching the rolling, endless waves out the window, I was here! The way people describe it and cameras capture it truly does not do it justice. My toes were in the sand, the wind was in my hair and I didn’t have a care in the world. What a moment of pure bliss.

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Keep your eyes peeled for more little doodles of add-ons throughout the trip! There’s quite the collection!

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It also did not disappoint that Ryan is very handy with a camera and took these absolutely breathtaking photos of Kenz and I on the beach!

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Our next stop on the map was the Tilamook Cheese Factory, as per Chelsea’s dream and request, but also to our enjoyment. There was so many different styles, smells and variations of cheese here, I didn’t even know this place existed, but thanks to Chels we got to enjoy cheese, ice cream and even some jerky! (One of these pictures you’ll see the first time ‘Operation Donut’ photographed)

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WAIT FOR IT…..

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….where’s Ryan?

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OPERATION DONUT

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Tilamook Country Smoker – The boys dream – After venturing through the cheese factory we started to walk towards to car and then we hear, “JERRKKKY” There was a factory beside the Tilamook Cheese Factory called the Tilamook Country Smoker. It was thoroughly enjoyed.

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Devil’s Punch Bowl is part of a state part just outside Otter Rock, Oregon. This view was breathtaking. I had read about this spot before our trip and it once was two separate caves that gave way and became one. It is centered on a large bowl naturally carved in a rock headland which is partially open to the Pacific Ocean. Waves enter the bowl and often violently churn, swirl, and foam. Definitely a site to see and something not to miss when you’re travelling through next time!

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Port Orford

Welcome to California! We made it! We finally made it! Now off to find the Redwood Forest & Operation Donut – don’t worry it’s coming, you’ll soon find out! Now this forest specifically was another item to check off that I was excited to see and walk through. With trees reaching to the very tippy top of our atmosphere, it’s hard not to feel small, unless you’re hugging one of the infant trees. (Scroll up and check out Kenz and Chels huggin Redwood’s) We ventured on into the forest, looking up, feeling small and hugging every tree in our path.

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“LOOK! I’m hugging a Redwood” – Chels *Kenz follows along*

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Then there it was, behold, the tree of love. (or as Mackenzie and I knew it; The big ‘O’) time for operation donut to commence. I can’t quite recall who started it but one of the two mentioned climbing up into the tree and taking a picture in it, and Ryan being the gentle-tall-man that he is, offered his hand in marria-err – assitstance to Chelsea. As she was getting settled on her perch, she turned to help Ryan and there he was. Waiting eagerly for her response, Operation Donut was in full bloom, “Will you marry me?” With tear filled eyes, Chelsea says,”GET UP HERE!!”

Now that was intense! Mackenzie and I were set up at different angles to capture the moment for them and there couldn’t have been a better set up because we were already walking through the forest and taking pictures of everything we saw. So climbing up in a big tree was a no-brainer! Excited for these two and their journey together. They are actually to be wed THIS Saturday, we cannot wait to celebrate with them!

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Redwood Forest Campground is where we camped overnight, this is where we enjoyed several card games and left our mark in the table along with many other visitors throughout the years. #VAN2SAN2015

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Celebrating their engagement with Party Poppers!

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Paul Bunyan & Babe

TRIP CONTINUED ON TO NEXT POST >>> Van2San Roadtrip 2015 [Pt.2]