A Dock for my Tots : The most dreamy twinning you ever did see.

The Dock A Tot is widely known for encouraging longer naps, portable and convenient size and the great aid they have for transitioning from crib to toddler bed.  When we first received our Grand Dock for Ezra, she was over the moon. Instead of setting up pillows every time she watched a show or when she napped in mommy’s bed, she had her own spot dedicated to her!

There was a few times (and still is) where the Dock will somehow turn into a car, an airplane, or most recently a castle – yeah, go figure out that one. (She balanced the Dock A Tot over the ottoman and the edge of the couch.) She has also slowly began to imitate how we put her to bed, the routine she went through at night and how we would greet her when she awoke in the morning. This was also so sweet because she was going to soon be a big sister and watching her care for her dollies and teddy bear just melted our hearts.

You might also like : Cadenshae – Active wear for the pregnant and nursing mother.

The Dock A Tot is available in two different sizes, the Deluxe for Infants (0 – 9 months) and the Grand for toddlers ( 9 – 36 months ) . Our Deluxe Dock A Tot arrived a little bit after Ezra’s arrived and to see the look on her face when she opened up one that was miniature size to hers, was priceless! Instantly she knew it was for the little baby growing in my tummy and that it was something very special for her and her sibling on the way.

Ezra is usually really good with going down for her naps and doesn’t have much of a struggle when going into her crib in the afternoon. The day that her Dock A Tot arrived she asked if she could nap in it and naturally, I said “No”. She then persisted and usually I don’t give in to whining with her, but she promised that she would sleep, so we tried it out. She fell asleep within minutes. I’m not sure if it was the struggle of asking to sleep in the Dock A Tot that tired her out or if there really was some special magic sleepy dust in the Dock. There she was, two hours later, air conditioner on, sun shining through the windows and the serenade of her oh so lady-like snoring.

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Fast forward 5 months and here we are with our two girls. We use our Dock A Tot DAILY. I might even go ahead to say hourly. It has been such a blessing in our household to be able to lay down Isla when I need to quickly help Ezra with something, or having Ezra nap in her room and Isla nap beside me, giving me a chance to relax. I have even had her in the kitchen with me, on the floor of course on the carpeted hallway, while I was making scones last week!

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Our Deluxe Dock has been a lifesaver for myself and helped ME get a couple extra hours of sleep in the mornings! After my husband goes to work, I am usually up nursing Isla, but my toddler isn’t awake yet so I usually try and stay in bed until she wakes up. When I am done nursing Isla, she usually will fall back asleep in the mornings, but she has been showing us that she likes to be held upright when falling asleep so this makes it a little bit more tricky and tiring when it is 6AM. I have found that Isla will also sleep longer if I am near her, therefore I usually sleep with my head rested right beside the Dock, but that’s okay, I sometimes miss my own sleep because I’m stuck staring at her beautiful sleeping face. I am nervous about having her directly on the mattress beside me so I just pop the Dock up on the bed beside me and off the dreamland we go! L I F E  S A V E R. There is just something about the coziness of the Dock that surrounds them and offers that comfort of a mother’s arms.

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Twinkle Stars Newborn Gown : Nixilauroo

Here’s Why I Love The Dock

  • Perfect solution to co-sleeping – as I mentioned above, Isla still has her days and nights mixed up, so we are getting 3 hours sleep on a good night! Having the Dock in bed with us has given us a couple extra Z’s.
  • Washable – At first I was so nervous about ordering their beautiful marble cover, but after the first encounter with BBQ sauce and it came right out, my fears are gone!
  • Portable and functional for travelling families – we plan on taking ours on a few over night trips this spring and are so excited to have both for the girls.
  • Interchangeable Covers with a huge selection to choose from. The perfect addition to any nursery, no matter what the theme, style and colour, there is something for every babe!
  • Eco – Friendly – This is something I haven’t really thought about before, but when I was looking in to the Dock A Tot and what set them apart, this was really something that stood out to me. Unlike regular crib mattresses, the Dock A Tot is hypo-allergenic, all natural 100% cotton.

The dock has been a little piece of heaven for my girls as we transition in to this new chapter of life with two girls, sisters and best friends. Having their matching ‘beds’ has been so fun and created a bond even before Isla was born.

We are looking forward to more bonding while enjoying Saturday morning cartoons and taking our docks on trips with us this Winter and Spring!

XoXo

Cass

Cadenshae: Maternity + Nursing Activewear for Everyday Mothers

If you are pregnant or a nursing mom you will want to read this post.

When I was pregnant with my first, I didn’t really know much, nor the benefits of having proper and fitted maternity clothing. I spent most of the pregnancy in my regular clothes and only really purchased a couple pairs of pants near the end. Thankfully, I carry smaller in the tummy and used the elastic trick to get the most out of my non-maternity clothing. (Keep reading, I’ll share that secret later!)

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This time around with my second child I decided to really invest and search out which companies offered not only comfortable activewear, as this was a summer pregnancy, but clothing I could also carry on to the fourth trimester for nursing and healing. Activewear for nursing moms is surprisingly really hard to find and anything I did find at big name brand shops weren’t really anywhere close to accessible or comfortable. I came across Cadenshae and was so excited to have found them! Not only did they offer exactly what I was looking for, but the fact that this was a complete line of maternity wear that was so discrete, was amazing! When I tell friends that I am wearing a nursing hoodie, most have been in disbelief until I show them the invisible zippers!

Cadenshae is a company that makes activewear for nursing moms, they are based out of New Zealand and was started by Nikki Croft, a mother of 2 and personal trainer. She searched and searched, much like I did, for clothing that fit her body and her active lifestyle. She couldn’t find anything, so she decided to start her own clothing line, and I am so thankful she did! Read more about the company and their journey as a family here.

Cadenshae Nurshing Activewear Hoodies

Activewear Hoodie

I have been LIVING in my Activewear Hoodie paired with the Classic Full Length Leggings and am so excited to move into the fall and be able to take my two girls on walks to the park and coffee runs! The zips at the top of the hoodie for nursing are hidden within the seam of how the clothing is made itself and is placed perfectly for on the go feeds. There is no need to fuss with extra layers while trying to stay warm on those cooler days!

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Classic Full Length Leggings

The Classic Full Length Leggings that I decided to try out had a full panel for coverage and support while pregnant, but by folding down the panel in half, it also offered extra support as a belly band while in the fourth trimester. This is the same road I went with my first pregnancy of not really paying attention to the Fourth Trimester and how I can best support my body in it’s healing process. The comfort and core strength that this belly band offers is unreal and I am SO happy to have it after this second pregnancy. (Having a toddler around as well as a new born has definitely had it’s challenges with self-care and resting). Having the full length option for these leggings was a must for me as I am usually more on the cooler side and knew this was the perfect pair for me!

This is a company that I am proud to support and tell you all about, it is an amazing brand run by an amazing and real family. My own experience with Cadenshae and Nikki, co-founder of Cadenshae, herself was great. When I was ordering my items I was unsure of sizing and she went out of her way to answer any questions or concerns I had to make sure I was doing it right. For a busy, family owned company, I feel like that’s pretty rare. Especially for just having her own newborn a couple months ago! I am so pleased with the hoodie and leggings and the investment I made with the two items. They are right on par with the current style of activewear, make me feel more energetic and have more mobility and take away stress from nursing in public with how easy and accessible it is in their clothing.

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If you are a pregnant or a nursing mama, my hope for you is that you find the same fit and comfort for yourself. There really is such a difference with being comfortable and confident in such a precious and sensitive time in life. The journey of pregnancy and postpartum can be a tough one but I am so thankful I have Cadenshae to make just a little bit sweeter! 

XOX – Cass

PS – Elastic Trick, take a regular hair elastic loop it through the button hole of your pants and thread it through the other side, fastening it to the button. This will give you about an extra month in your favourite non-maternity pants!

 

Nursing Hoodie + Leggings : Cadenshae 

Photography : IXL Photography

Necklace : Mint + Birch

Shoes : People Footwear

Watch : JORD Watch

Floral Baby Gown : Dwell + Slumber

My Little Rainbow – Celebrating a little girl who was Wished For, Hoped For and Prayed For.

This past year was one of the hardest, trying and most broken years I have ever seen someone go through. Last year my sister-in-law went through something no one should ever have to go through, especially more than once. In 2016 Shannon+Derek went through three losses before they were awstruck with the news they’d be expecting their little rainbow on January 28th 2018.

My Little Rainbow Highlights

  • A Floral Matching Mommy + Me Set
  • Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Local and Handmade goodies from all over the Fraser Valley
  • Macrame + Floral backdrop
  • Unique Gift Ideas for a Rainbow Baby + Mama
  • Delicious Macarons from Kizzy’s Macarons
  • Sunshine + Cloud Cookies
  • Epic Rainbow Baby Basket (Link Below to come)
  • Happy Little Miss Evelynne

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On May 29, 2017, that little stick showed 2 pink lines; two lines of joy, two lines of hope, but also two lines of fear. Anxiousness of the ‘what if’ and the unknown, only time would tell which path this pregnancy would take. Prayers of strength, trust and health surrounded them as those first months went by. On January 28th 2018 little Miss Evelynne Ruth Winanne Fenton was born, will bright blue eyes and a big loud cry!

This was a baby and MAMA that needed to be celebrated to the greatest extent! The strength that these parents possess has no end and I was so excited to have an afternoon to just love on them and celebrate the ultimate joy that Evelynne is. Thank you to all those who made this happen and come together so beautifully. Please take a look below at the beautiful photos that Megan from Megan Faber Photography took for this special Rainbow Baby Shoot.

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Decor

Floral Garland + other greenery – Maple Ridge Florist

Macrame –  Saige + Skye

Baby Script Balloon – Joonie + Joe

‘My Little Rainbow’ Cake Topper + Cloud Garland – Little Sprout Creations

Calligraphy for chalkboard + Window pane – Penscripton6th

Woven Succulent Holders – Twelve Little Things

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Treats + Sweets

Macarons – Kizzy’s Macarons

Pastel Marble Cake – Panda Cakes

Sunshine + Cloud Cookies – Shea’s Sweet Shoppe

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries – Homemade by yours truly!

Alfajores – Jessica Alfajores

Rainbow Baby Cake Topper – Little Sprout Creations

Gold Triangular Party Plates, Cups + Classic Wooden Cutlery – Joonie + Joe

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Savoury Snacks

Meat + Cheese Platters – Grimm’s Fine Foods

Fruit, Veggie, and Sandwich Platters, Crackers and Beverages – Save On Foods

Sunshine Plates, Cloud Napkins + Wooden Cutlery – Joonie + Joe

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Styling

Stumbling Grace Blog

Photography

Megan Faber Photography

RAINBOW BABY BASKET CLICK HERE

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Tofino Touring – BabyMoon for NumberTWO Pt.1

A little more than two years ago, Mackenzie and I packed our bags and camera and headed out on a road trip to Tofino, BC to stay in the Ocean Village Resort. This trip was to be our ‘last hurrah’ to our lives of just the two of us and to welcome the transition of bringing home baby in a few short months. (Here’s a few photos from our trip when I was pregnant with Ezra below!)

Tofino 2018 Highlights

  • Donuts at Rhino Coffeehouse
  • Tofino Soap Company
  • Local shopping at SALT Tofino
  • A toddler who can fly a kite better than you
  • Sleeping in beehive cabins
  • Efficient meal planning with Hello Fresh
  • Beachside BBQ
  • Tacos at Tacofino
  • Cheesy grins and wind swept hair

This year we are awaiting the arrival of our second babe, who is due at the end of August, and thought we take a trip down memory lane, pack our bags once more and head off to the BeeHive cabins of Tofino! We mentioned it to the rest of our family, since it was spring break, most would have vacation time, and low and behold, all 16 of us went! We booked up two and a half cabins and four cars, let the convoy begin!

While packing for the trip, we were discussing food, bringing a cooler, transporting leftovers and travelling to Victoria afterwards. We then came up with the most GENIUS plan I think we’ve ever thought up. We were going to bring our Hello Fresh box with us to Tofino! SO good. The box itself comes insulated and could last the trip there, no left overs (depending if Ez eats her whole meal) because it is made to portion, AND so much cheaper than bringing home all the awkward leftovers from grocery shopping that usually get tossed when you get home anyways! One thing I would recommend if you do decide to bring Hello Fresh along on your next trip would be to bring a couple tupperware containers for while you’re there and to call your accommodations to see what cooking utensils they have to make sure you’ll be able to cook what’s in the box!

When we arrived, our first plan of action (always, wherever we go) is to set up Ezra’s sleeping quarters. There is nothing worse when being away with your toddler, who is already out of sorts with the new room, than having to set up their bed when they’re cranky and half asleep. After that, we unpacked and started our first meal from Hello Fresh, put Ezra to bed and then headed over to the grandparents suite to have a games night! Another best part of staying at Ocean Village Resort was that the cabins are about 3 feet apart from each other, which is ideal for large family getaways. The monitor reaches perfectly!

Our second day there, we headed out to Rhino’s Coffee for some donuts, java, and a selfie with the great rhino itself. Of corse Ezra was all in the entire time and was on cloud nine when Wayne, the owner, came out from the counter and brought over an assortment of donuts for us to take back to the cabin and enjoy. Yummy! We then ventured out to stop in at a couple local shops we wanted to revisit and made sure to stop in one of the gems of Tofino, SALT Tofino. One of the goodies we walked away with was some of the beautiful soaps I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of – Tofino Soap Co. you make one heck of a bar of soap! If you are visiting and are looking for THEE place for one stop shop of all the local and handmade artisans, this is it. I even caught a glimpse of some companies that made their way over from Vancouver!

2PM rolled around and we were exhausted, time for a family nap time. Yup. Family nap time – it’s what vacations were made for! We then spent the afternoon down on the beach, which was 20 feet away from our doorstep, although, you could spot Ezra from a mile away with her ‘hazmat’ suite on. Then tucked away for the rest of the night, prepping our second Hello Fresh meal and then geared up for another games night, and we all know a games night in Tofino isn’t complete without pairing it with a few bottles from Tofino Brewing! Family games nights have always been my favourite, I remember when I was 10 or 11 and staying up with my mom and dad until 11pm some nights while we were camping at Golden Ears Park. The best.

Our last day in Tofino, we spent over at  PROVINCIAL PARK BEACH with the whole family. Building sandcastles, exploring tide pools and flying kites. OH the flying of kites. We discovered that Ezra is a pro kite-flyer and should go in to it as a career. I cannot express how funny and ‘in awe’ everyone was that Ezra was so focused on her kite (that was at least 70ft in the air) but would also run around on the beach, squatting in tide pools and digging in the sand. Amongst all of this she NEVER let the kite dip or out of her hand, and if you we’re going to ask her for it she would run as fast as her little feet and HAZMAT suite would let her. (PS – How ADORABLE is this toque from Wild Child Designs – we are obsessed with it and the only sad part about the sun coming out is that she’ll be done with it for this season.)

One special item on the itinerary while we were in Tofino, was family photos. My father-in-law had gone ahead and found an amazing photographer, Karley from Bracey Photography, to capture our entire family, big and small, on the beach. We are SO thankful both to him for scheduling such a precious time and for Karley for capturing everyone so beautifully that morning. (Click HERE to view the full collection – Link to come)

That evening we celebrated our family and the fun we had in Tofino with a good ol’ beachside BBQ with a few bottles of Tofino Brewing by our side. The resort has firepits set up along the beach for families to access during their stay. That evening as we sat there roasting marshmallows and hotdogs, there was a completely different feeling on the beach. A feeling of closeness, family, and just overflowing joy. Each firepit was full of different families, couples and children were walking and running along the tide, and then there it was, the perfect golden sunset.

The entire family stayed for three nights and after we all parted ways, just the three of us headed over to Victoria to enjoy a little more family time. Head over to – BabyMoon Numba TWO – Pt2 to read about the rest of our trip and more family photos!

Have any of your own family trip secrets? Leave a comment below for something new to try out on our next adventure!

XO – Cass

 

10 Baby Essentials for Baby on Board

While in preparation for this little bean-to-be, I’ve put together a list of my TOP TEN essentials that I’m going to make sure I am digging out of storage for this wee one. After having Ez, I quickly learnt that have one of everything wasn’t what she needed, nor did we have the space for it all! (lol) Through it all though, these are the gems that have stood out the most and helped in our biggest times of need and late nights.

When on the road, going for a walk or finishing up your grocery list, these are a few favourites I do not leave the house without!

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1. Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock – One kid in the seat and one in the hammock. This is an item that is new to me! I have seen them popping up everywhere I go and am eager to try it out! With a defiant toddler, I don’t think I could convince her to lounge in the hammock as I shop. Staying put in one spot is not her strong suit. The Binxy Baby Hammock is designed for you to be able to shop hands free and leave the baby comfy and well rested. Whether that be in the hammock itself or in the car seat resting on top of the hammock (strapped in of course), still leaving that room for you to fill your shopping cart! Again, this will be a new item for us, but with a toddler, I’m putting together the most foolproof plan I can for baby #2!

2. Beluga Baby WrapTHE perfect baby carrier to help you live hands free. I honestly don’t think I could live without my Beluga Wrap. Haley, owner and creator of BB, has saved me time and time again with these amazing ONE piece’s of fabric. The luxurious 4 way stretch of the bamboo, beautiful prints and colours, and one of the best parts for me, how fast and easy it is to wrap! (The fact that her wraps ALSO can look like a part of your wardrobe – unbeatable!)

3. Baby Bear Designs – Pacifier Clip – Losing a soother is no fun for anyone. Up until Ezra was about one year old, her soother was always on a clip, no matter where we went. In the wrap, in the stroller, in her carseat, always on a clip! The chew beads that the clip is also strung with provided an extra teething tool for her in her fussy moments. Go take a look at their wide selection of colours and patterns – Amy even puts together custom orders just for your little one!

Below are a few of some tried and true items to help babe  sleep better, at home, in the crib or just in your arms.

4. The Ollie Swaddle Helping with those long nights and keeping baby snug through the night. When Ez was born, I actually never used a swaddle or anything that resembled it. She was defiant and determined to always have her arms flaring and toes up in the air. Although, she slept that way, so I can’t be angry about that! This time around I am hoping to have all hands on deck, including old-tried and true items but also new ones to try out. Being our second born, I have a small inkling that I will need all the help I can get! Two of the things that draw me in to the Ollie Swaddle is the unique fit it offers to every child and the easy access for diaper changes! I am looking forward to trying this tactic out – What about you? Did you swaddle your babes? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below!

5. Dock A TotA spot to call their own, one for sister and one for little. Since we received our DockATot, Ezra has not gone a day without lounging away in it. It is by far one of her most treasured items, as it is her own. It is not a space on the couch or a chair at the dinner table, it is her own little nook that she reads books, builds towers, and cuddles with BunBun. If anyone were to come over, you bet that she’ll inform you right away who’s ‘bed’ that is in on the floor covered in blankets. Soon there will be another little one to share this space, but for now, Ezra will gladly soak up and snuggle in.

6. Jelly Cats Stuffed AnimalEvery little babe has their own special stuffy, meet Bun-Bun.

7. Modern Burlap A light, breathable blanket to cuddle or layer with. When Ez was born, she was gifted the month of May from her Auntie Shannon. We used it for milestone photos, a soft surface for diaper changes while on the go and to wrap her up in when it was time to nap. To this day, her Modern Burlap blanket is a keepsake we will hold on to forever!

Last but not least, an item for healing, an item for feeding and an item to use in four different ways!

8. So Luxury Sitz Bath + Milk Oat Bath SoakAdding a little bit of luxury with the healing remedies of the glorious Oat Milk Bath and Sitz Soak. So Luxury also is my absolutely favourite brand of bath soak for Ezra. Not only does this soak smell and feel amazing, there is such a nutrients and healing power in this soak that it clears the reddest of little bums! 

9. Daisy Pops BreastfeedingComfortable, functional, and silky soft breastfeeding shirts.

10. Little Bean Threads All Over Cover – Multifunctional from car seat cover, nursing cover, scarf, or stroller cover, LBT has got you covered.

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Personal Essential – Jesus Storybook Bible: Our home runs on three things, Love, Coffee, and Jesus. One of the staples in our lives is our faith and bringing up our little ones in these footsteps is the most essential thing to us. After Ezra was born I found a picture bible for her (and whoever came after) that had colourful pages but still explained each story on a level she would understand. Watching her explore and figure out the stories on her own is so precious. 

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BONUS : Mommy Essential

1. Cake Maternity – A beautiful nursing bras that doesn’t completely make you feel like a milk maid! I am looking forward to wearing this bras with pride and a little bit of secrecy, knowing there’s something pretty and lacey underneath!

2. Belly Bags – When your mommy brain just isn’t working how it used to, they’ve got you covered with everything you’ll need from hospital to home.

3. Pink Blush Maternity – Items for you and your bump that you’ll feel beautiful in before AND after baby! When I first heard of Pink Blush Maternity I was intrigued, fashionable, functional AND I can wear it through my entire pregnancy? Does such a thing exist?! YES it does. Maternity dresses, Maternity Robes, and even more for mama and baby with amazing durability and flexibility. This dress pictured below is one of the items I own from them and I can say without a single doubt, I am over the MOON about the quality and support this company gives. They have everything from jammies to formal dining wear, yes, formal dresses that are MATERNITY! There is such a large variety of styles and sizes for each season, I wish I had known about them when I was expecting my sweet little girl two years ago!

If you’re looking for the dress pictured below – click here!

 

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you tonight! Hopefully you came across something that you discovered for the first time or learnt more about it! Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I would love to hear some of your own suggestions on what helped you the most with baby number one and what you found wasn’t necessary/crucial for baby number two! 

 

XOX – A very tired mama

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

SG Harvest Feast – When you have all that you need, build a longer table.

From the bottom and top of my heart I want to thank each and every one of these ladies for being apart of the Harvest Feast. It was such a perfect night, an evening one could only dream of. I left there in pure bliss, unsure of if I just walked out of a day dream, because that couldn’t have been reality. The amount of raw emotion, pure community and utmost vulnerability overwhelmed me. This was the whole reason I wanted to host the event, this was the passion and driving force behind it all. I firmly believe that there is always time to rest, no matter how busy. Let it be cherished and sought after! We seem to be so busy with our lives, blogging, business’ and networking it’s hard to find these face to face times, and it needs to happen more! 

Thankful. Thankful for a foundation of trust, community, leadership, guidance, perseverance and the love that embodied that Saturday night. The women who attended, the dreams that were dreamt and the goals that were set.

One evening I thought to myself, what brings me joy? Community. Getting to know people. Experiencing life together. This is how I chose to continue and build off leading and living a joy filled life.

The Harvest Feast has been a dream of mine that I didn’t think was attainable. I was nervous, I was a bit lost and frankly, I was scared. What if I do all this work, time in to contacting companies and they all say no, or it doesn’t work out, or no one wants to come. Stop it, I told myself. I want to do this, I need to do this and I am going to do this. And as I reached out, I found myself empowered with the encouragement and guidance from companies, partnerships, and many boss ladies out there, Saturday, October 7th, came.

We laughed, tears fell, and we dug deep into each other’s roots and grew so much closer because of it. I am BEYOND proud to say that this is just the beginning. Evenings like that need to happen more. I would be honoured to explore and conquer this journey of bringing the women we so often see on social media, up on the stage at events, and selling their pride and joy in their product at markets, together. To rest in community, be vulnerable in our fears and discomforts, and be strengthened in joy and love.

I could try for hours to put in to detail of how the evening went, what the vibe and overall feel in the room was, but I wouldn’t be able to bring it justice. How GOOD it felt to just rest and be with each other. To let all the walls of ‘looking our best’ and ‘best version of us’ in front of everyone, down, and to simply just BE. As the evening went on, I discovered that there were all sorts of women gathered at the table. There were Entrepreneurs, Mothers, Hikers, Artists, Photographers, Writers, Bakers, and so many more amazing qualities to discover, that you would never have stumbled upon if you hadn’t taken the time to sit and just be with each other. Face to face and heart on our sleeves. There was an overwhelming sense of comfort that embodied and surrounded the room that evening, whispering, it’s okay to share, it’s okay to let them in, it’s okay to feel sadness and joy. It’s okay.

“Eucharisteo: Thanksgiving, to be thankful. ⠀
I opened the door to the Secret Garden and my eyes were placed upon a setting that was delicately set up with love and passion. A passion for a night where women could gather together intimately and share our hearts. We were created for connection. That longing that you feel was put there on purpose. It was placed just as delicately, passionately and purposeful like that table before us. I didn’t want it to end. My soul thirsts for truer, deep-rooted connection. Sharing our hearts and our dreams, our struggles, and fears. How can we shift our priorities to ones that matter most without being deceived by the things that don’t? To be thankful right where we are but also with a vision of moving forward? ⠀
Refinement. Sanctification. This continuing of being molded by the potter’s hand and being thankful for the process. Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trails, oxygen for joy’s fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whispers surprised thanks.“⠀- Shannon – Adventurous Mama

Here’s to the first annual Harvest Feast and the many more that are to come!

VENDOR/SHOP LIST

Styled & Curated – Stumbling Grace Blog

Photographer : Tallya D Photography

Decor

Autumn wispy wreath – Bloom Bloom Room

Letter Board – Letter Peddler  

The Flores Towel/Blanket – Tofino Towel

Window Pane, Chalkboard, China Plates, Golden Frame –  Stumbling Grace 

Floral décor on golden frame – Vintage Meadows

Chalkboard lettering & Window Pane lettering – Hand Lettered by Bev

Decor & FurnitureJubilee Collection

Dessert Table, Silver Platters, Copper stand, Copper Chandelier , Menu stand, Large gold chalkboard stand , Rugs , Tea light candle holders , Glass Terrariums (on dessert table)

HYGGE Wooden Cut Paper Heart Calligraphy

Sweet

Salted Caramel Popcorn & Pretzels – Batch Sweets

Macaroon’s & Cake Pops – Cakes’nSweets

Earl Grey/Lavender Cookie & Blueberry Scone – Crème de la Crumb

Savoury

Mennonite Sausage Ring, Kolbassa Sausage Ring, Capicolla Toppers, Cervelat Toppers, Original Pepperoni Bites, Festive Ham – Grimm’s Fine Foods

Maple Smoked Indian Candy Salmon , Beef Jerky , Smoked Salmon Lox – West Coast Salmon

Bread & Dips – A Bread Affair 

Sweetheart Loaf , Three’s Company Loaf , Marquee Loaf , Sourdough , Baguettes, Roasted Carrot Dip , Beet Dip , Cranberry & Pecan Dip, Chocolate Croissants

Sip

Fortunello & Oat Porter – Four Winds Brewery

Growlers of Cream Ale & Sour Weisse, MB glasses – Mariner Brewing

Homemade Apple Cider – Stumbling Grace

Table Setting

Invitations, Name Cards, Menus – AylaPena Calligraphy

Table Greenery & Greenery on dessert table – Maple Ridge Florist 

Candles – Wood Lot

Live Edge Wooden Table – Gilbert Built (Jubilee Collection) Instagram : @gilbertbuilt

Stop Buggin’ Spray – K’Pure  

Lavender Bouquets & Gather Tags – Grow & Gather Farms

Table Settings & Decor – Pretty Things Rentals

Wine Glasses , Moscow Mules , White Cloth Napkins , Curtain Backdrop , Eggplant Table Runner, Golden Candle Stick holders, String lights

Wooden cutlery – Joonie&Joe

Takeaway

Pumpkin spice cookie jars – Jars by Jodi

Woodlot Soap Bars – Wood Lot

Venue Location : The Secret Garden’ at Woodbridge Ponds

If you yourself are looking to put together your own event or even would like to partner together in making something magical come together please send me a message, I would LOVE to create a unique space with you! Let’s chat! You can find my contact information above ^^

GUESTS

Cassandra – Stumbling Grace Blog

Chalie – GOLDNgrasses

Diana – Happy Bees Events

Jen – Little Sprout Creations

Kayla – The Jubilee Collection

Natalia – The Venture Creative

Samantha Lenz – Oh Samantha! Blog

Shannon – Shannon Lee Blog

Tallya – Tallya D Photography

If there was anything that was used in this party you fancy and would like to inquire for yourself, I have listed all the links you will need to find the local and creative community that poured in to this event. 

 

Cheers loves! and here’s to many more.

 

XOX – 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.

You may also like : Beach Ready From Head to Tote

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!

You may also like : Apple Cider Sippin’

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