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

Wrap me up, Buttercup Baby – Beluga Baby Swaddle + Doll Carrier Review

Since day one with Ezra, we have faithfully used our Beluga Wraps on repeat. Now with our second baby, Miss Isla Jane, I am using these wraps even MORE, having a toddler and a new born is no joke and also ‘no hands’ if you don’t have a Beluga Wrap!

Recently Beluga Baby launched two brand new products; the first being their Oversized Bamboo Swaddles. These things are HUGE. 35 x 35 inches and pure, buttery soft, bamboo goodness. They are the perfect companion, wether it be wrapped around them, cozy in the stroller or the comfort piece your child that cant leave their side while walking around the house. This swaddle is what babies and toddlers dream of.

When we first put Isla in a swaddle I didn’t think it was going to work, as she is a babe who likes to be free and kick around. You know, feel-the-wind-between-her-toes kind of girl. We wrapped her up, criss crossed and zig zagged this little bean and she was as happy as a clam, laid there completely content, smiling away.

One of my favourite ways to use the swaddle, other than swaddling, is to layer with Isla’s favourite fuzzy blanket. She has this white fluffy little thing that she cannot sleep without, but when we are out and she has it in the carseat, it is really easy for her to kick it off. Beluga Baby to the rescue! Because of the amazing four way stretch this bamboo fabric blend has, it easily curves and tucks in to wherever you need and stays put!

We are never without a blanket because the swaddles, much like the classic Baby Carriers are SO compact! They are made of the thin, but durable Bamboo Cotton Blend and can appear large, but fold up SO small that you could fit one in your jacket pocket – perfect for those cooler days!

When Ezra grew out of the Baby Carriers, I was sad and little bit heart broken that the Beluga era had ended, but then, BAM, doll carriers!

The second item that they launched was their amazing Doll Carriers, these came out just in time for baby #2 and for Ezra to start practicing to be a big sister! Ezra’s eyes LIT UP when she saw that she could wear her most cherished dollies around the house and out while grocery shopping. She was ecstatic to have her very own carrier to keep her BunBun close and still be able to carry a bag of fishies while sipping her apple juice. She had no idea what she was in for once her baby sister came along.

Since then, Ezra asks to wear her BunBun to the coffee shop, grocery shopping and even so that she can bring her stuffie’s downstairs but still be able to hold on to the railing. (So cute right?!) Now, when I have to grab a gift for a tiny human, I find myself reaching for one of these three, Practical, Stylish, and Playful. We love our Belugas and are honoured to be part of the pod 😉

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.

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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

Time flies when you’re having… a baby!

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and that is very true, but what about when time is flying by because your sleep deprived and have no idea what time it is. Welcome to the last three weeks of our lives haha! Since welcoming in little Isla into our lives two weeks early, our world has been turned upside down and flipped over sideways. We had to press pause on so many little projects and tasks on our to-do list to make way for baby and all the joy and lack of sleep she was going to bring us!

We have been working hard on getting her nursery and Ezra’s toddler room finished, luckily we had both the rooms painted and their closets built ahead of time and only needed to add the furniture and decorating left to do. My husband has had the entire summer off because he works in the school district, but we were dreading Isla’s due date as it was August 31st and he would be back to work within days of her being born. Thankfully, she had other plans and gave us two weeks of bliss with daddy being home to welcome her into the world and helping in trying to maintain some sort of normal as we transitioned into a 4-person family.

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Having him around has given us extra time to bond as a family, capture special moments and really dedicate all our time to the newborn phase. We haven’t been the best at being on time or keeping track of what time it is for that matter, but have been trying our best! Receiving a beautiful handcrafted wooden watch from JORD was the icing on top of the cake after having Isla. The perfect accessory that not only looks beautiful, but helps me to keep on track of our routines and nap times!

For my own customized wooden watch, I chose from the Cassia Collection in Ebony and Sable. “The Cassia a timepiece that transcends the simple categorization of a watch. Intelligent design pairs with classic styling to create a piece worthy of your wrist and welcome in your jewelry wardrobe. The full Roman numeral concave dial in the JORD collection is beautifully reflected in our domed sapphire glass. The metal and wood link interlaced band integrates seamlessly into the rounded case. The Cassia Ebony & Sable is the statement piece you’ve been waiting for.” When the watch is delivered to you, it is sealed in a beautiful wooden box that just overwhelms you with the scent. It is so beautiful and the perfect keepsake or safe place for special memorabilia, you can even have your watch engraved if it is for a special occasion or for someone special!

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If you have been looking for a new watch and wanting something unique, head on over to JORD watches to check out the many different styles and colour options they have. Right now you can also enter HERE for a chance to WIN a gift certificate for $100 towards your new watch!  Also, just by entering, you will also receive 10% off of your watch!

Enjoy!

xox Cass

Photography : IXL Photography

Wooden Watch : JORD Watches – Cassia

Hoodie + Leggings : Cadenshae 

Shoes : People Footwear

Baby Gown : Dwell + Slumber

Ezra Leggings : Peekaboo Beans

Grey Teddy Bear Hoodie : Nixilauroo

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

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

 

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

Creeks, Lakes & Rivers, OH MY! 5 places to stop for a quick bite or mountain dip.

This summer we packed up our teeny tiny KIA Spectra and went on a two and a half week road trip through the interior and made some pre-planned stops and some impromptu stops at some amazing lakes, waterfalls and creeks. Here are my top five that we visited and hope you one day have a chance to experience these same beautiful spots!

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1. Cayoosh Creek – the perfect picnic spot with an amazing view!

When we stopped off at this beautiful spot, we were travelling from Kelowna to Pemberton. We decided to drive through the Pemberton Canyon, merely for site-seeing and having a little bit of change in scenery on this long drive. While we were going down a long windy road I yelled STOP! Kenz was quite confused, but I just said turn around and away we went. We had passed this beautiful opening of the forest with the mountains and the bridge, it was perfect. (When I was going through my photos, I realized the two middle photos matched up completely – how could I not use them? lol)

Tofino Towel – Lightweight – Flores

Ez’ Dress – Geema Sews

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2. Lilooet Lake – Light walk, Family friendly, Camping available

This was the most eery/creepy/horror movie scene lake I have ever been to! Because of the smoke it created a very different look then what I was expecting to see. Either way it was so cool and we will definitely be going back. My poor husband was so excited and kept telling me, ‘If it was cleared you’d be able to see this. this, and this.’ We made the most of it and Ezra tried out her water shoes for the very first time – she is definitely a water baby!

Tofino Towel – Long Beach – Volume 2

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3. Joffre Lake – Family/Dog friendly, hiking/rock climbing, Camping available

A dream come true! and a HUGE parent bucket list checked off! I have always wanted to go to this lake and do the hike, visit all the stops and for some reason it was always in my head that it just wouldn’t happen, or that it would be a HUGE trip to do it. Alas, when we were planning our route and the stops we’d be taking, Kenz turns to me and says, “You know where we can stop?” with a big goofy grin on his face, “Joffre Lake” OH MAN. was I seeing stars I was so excited!! This big blue beautiful lake did not disappoint! Nor did Mackenzie, as we passed other hikers along the way, they almost all cheered him on for carrying Ezra and saying hello to her. Meanwhile Ezra was yelling at every single ‘DOE-DOE’ (Dog) she saw; there was a lot. She was such a champ, she was so happy the whole way up (all 3 Lakes) and then slept the whole way down, all in the hiking carrier! I am very proud to announce that we did the entire three lakes in 1.5 Hours. I couldn’t believe the sense of accomplishment and empowerment I felt as we stood a the bottom of the glacier. We did it. Having a baby does NOT mean you scale back your passions and adventure, it means you adjust your mind and plans to make it work and thrive in parenthood! We will definitely be returning.

Side note: in the first picture below, yes, that is Ez pointing to the sky because we asked her where the birds were. I love her.

Ez Bonnet – Fawn&Lace

Ez Dress – Geema Sews

Ez Mocs – Wild Ones Mocs

Ez Stripped Shortie – Jax&Lennon

Ez long sleeve ‘Mountain Baby’ – LiveLoveNorth

Tofino Towel – The Flores

 

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4. Nairn Falls – Light walk & Family friendly

This has to be one of the coolest waterfalls I’ve been to. The size, the power, the closeness of the viewing landing, it was all so good. It’s a small hike up to the falls and I would suggest wearing closed toed and hiking shoes as there was a lot of debris that would not be good for sandals. There is also a large rock face that you have to climb up to get to the viewing spot, you can definitely walk up it – it is no rock climbing by any means, just be prepared with the proper footwear. (The last picture in the group below is what Ez looked like on every hike! She was so curious and full of wonder, holding tight to her bear and sousou, my brave little bean!)

Ez Bonnet – Fawn&Lace

Ez Dress – Geema Sews

Ez Mocs – Wild Ones Mocs

Ez Teal Shortie – Jax&Lennon

Chew Accessory – Baby Bear Design

Tofino Towel – The Flores

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5. Okanagan Lake – Family Friendly/Boat friendly

This lake has to be the one that we spent the most time at, it is the lake that the camp we worked at visits every year a couple times during the week. Unfortunately, the smoke was very thick so I think we only ended up going once so that we could try and keep Ez indoors. While we were there though, Ez had some fun in the water with daddy and they took out her little flamingo floatie and had some time around the corner on the shore where it was a bit more toddler-friendly.

Ez Bathing Suit – Mosie’s Cozies

Tofino Towel – The Flores

I hope you have a chance to visit each of these refreshing spots and enjoy the views, and the work out it takes to get to some of them!

XO – Cass

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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]