40’s Lemonade Stand – Styled Shoot

 

A few months ago, myself and Natalia, The Venture Creative, were having a goals and inspiration girls night and came up for the vision for this shoot. We started to prep and plan different styled shoots, ideas for promotional materials, products we would like to review and companies that made our hearts jump and skip a beat! And thus, the ’40’s Lemonade Stand’ was born.

40’s Lemonade Stand Highlights:

  • Mason Jar/Lemon Sugar Cookies
  • Local Shops & Products
  • 14 Lemons
  • DIY Lemonade Stand
  • Ethical Visions & Support
  • Sweet&Sour faces
  • First Date – Sharing a Sippycup
  • 40’s Themed Outfits

 

Now my first concern here was, where and how and when am I going to make a Lemonade Stand, and from what? Do I go the route of a large wooden pallet, two wooden crates, or buy one.

**Enter Superhero-Handyman-Hubby**

I explain my thought process to Kenz and the different ways I could go about making the Lemonade Stand and his response, “I’ll just make one!” I think I just fell in love all over again. He took a bunch of left over wood we had from taking apart a bunk bed a few months back, (he also used this for the backdrop at Ezra’s First Flamingo – check it out), and went to work! I could not believe how perfect and beautiful it is! *insert happy cry* While he was building it, he had the face of it complete and I was thrilled! He then told me he had a lot more to do because he wanted it to be sturdy for Ezra and her cousins to play with for a long time to come. He added extra supports, squared it off and made sure everything was tight and secure. What a great man he is, always bringing my dreams to life! I will be making a separate post for your very own DIY Lemonade Stand in the near future so keep your eyes peeled!

We had so much fun with this shoot, involving all three of our children was difficult but so much fun! Luckily we had both of our husbands there to help rangle the kids and make them smile. We really lucked out with the weather that day, the entire week before and after had been in the high 20’s and this day just happened to be overcast. The perfect day for a summer shoot out in the sun.

You may also like : Donut Grow Up – Styled Shoot

When I first started searching for who I wanted to involve in this project, there was a couple that came to mind right away and a few that I stumbled upon and am absolutely in LOVE with. Seriously, after you’ve looked through all the beautiful photos by Natalia Reardon Photography, scroll down to all the amazing LOCAL shops involved.

Through planning and executing this vision of the Lemonade Stand, I got to meet some of the makers behind the scenes. I had Kara from Nest&co Handcrafted over for a cup of tea when she brought over the adorable romper photographed above. I think this may be one of my favourite parts of organizing these style shoots is meeting and learning about the shops, how they came to fruition and the passion that keeps them going.

You may also like : Canadiana – Styled Shoot

Planning, Prepping and Preparing. 40’s theme, think bonnets, knee high socks and pearls. PEARLS! I remembered I had seen the most adorable mommy and me sets from Baby Bear Design just the other day, I rushed over and behold, there they were, perfect for the girls. Amy has a serious amount of awesome chewellery, teethers, children’s & adult apparel and she has big things coming down the shoot, check her and BabyBearDesign out here!

THE Bonnet. I originally was introduced to Fawn & Lace through Tara Teng, she posted a photo of her little girl in one of her bonnets and I was instantly in love! I contacted Parla and explained the vision behind the 40’s Lemonade Stand and if she would be interested in being involved. Now HERE is the real reason I wanted her beautiful bonnet to be featured in our shoot, to raise awareness and to promote what she is doing behind the scenes. Not only are her bonnets made from recycled materials but for each bonnet that is purchased, she puts $5 of your purchase towards women at risk and survivors of trafficking. Whaaaat? If you can’t already tell, this woman has such a huge heart and is doing amazing things. Go check out her handmade bonnets now and help support not only locally made and sourced items, but for women who need all the help they can get.

Here’s where you can pick up yours, but be quick! They’re only put out in limited releases. Her next release date will be at the end of July.

I got to meet another amazing shop owner along the way, Kim, grandma to Mia and one of the makers behind Mia’s Mocs. They’re goal and driving force is to provide great quality moccasins at affordable prices for new moms, moms with large families, low income families, families with special needs children and military families. You know those moments that just kind of catch you off guard, that you’re not expecting but it is such a joyful surprise when it does? This happened when I ran up to the door to meet Kim, and we ended up chatting for about 20 minutes about her daughter, grand daughter, my little Ez and the goal of Mia’s Mocs. It’s such a joy to get to know the makers, a snippet of who they are and who you are supporting and promoting. So thank you Kim and Alyssia!

The beautiful banner of lemons hung on the Stand was made by Little Sprout Creations and in the midst of her own hustle and bustle of putting together her daughter’s 2nd birthday, her shops 1st Birthday AND a giveaway, she still put time aside to make sure these lemons made it to the shoot. What a gem Jen is, the passion she puts behind her product and customer service is unreal. Thank you Thank you!!

Arn’t these cookies beautiful? Well, if you we’re wondering, yes they tasted even better than they looked! How is that possible? I couldn’t have imagined these cookies looking any other way. DesignerCookies really outdid themselves for this delicious treat for our littles, even though I’m sure they ate way too many during the shoot! Designer Cookies is a cookies company that makes custom sugar cookies to order based in Metro Vancouver. You can order yours here.

Seeing a photoshoot, and very much a project, come together and to fruition filled me with so much joy and excitement for the ones to come. We’ve got some amazing stuff down the shoot and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

XOXO

Here’s a couple post-shoot shots of Ez… How could I resist?! Is there really anything cuter than a naked babe in a basket?

 

Contributors

Photographer : Natalia Reardon Photography

Lemonade Stand : Hubby DIY

Lemons & Mason Jar Cookies : Designer Cookies

Lemons Banner : Little Sprout Creations

Black Striped Paper Straws : Party City

Ezra’s Outfit

Lace Bonnet : Fawn and Lace

Yellow Floral Romper : Nest & Co. Handcrafted

Knee High Socks : Petite Littles

Pearl Necklace : Baby Bear Design

Grey Mocs : Mia’s Mocs

Kylan’s Outfit

Fedora : Joe Fresh

White Dress Shirt : Joe Fresh

Bow Tie : Little Beau Boutique

Suspenders : H&M

Khaki Shorts : Joe Fresh

Socks : Petite Littles

Brown Mocs : Mia’s Mocs 

 

Eliana’s Outfit

Sun Hat : Gap

Pearl Necklace : Baby Bear Design

Dress : Nest and Nurture

 

 

Ezra’s First Flamingo

Flamingo Kisses

Olivia Ann Photography

Well, we did it! My little bean is one. How an entire year has gone by I don’t know, but at the same time I look back and remember all of these little moments, adventures and triumphs. The moments that seem so short, the days that are long and all the in-between warm fuzzies, and think to myself, it’s ONLY been a year? How is that so? I cannot recall what life was like before I met you, had you in my arms, snuggling me and kissing me. Watching me, tracking me to make sure I didn’t leave the room. So much time passes in the blink of an eye and you don’t realize it until a milestone like a first birthday comes along. And when that milestone presented itself, you best believe we celebrated in style.

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Natalia Reardon Photography

Ezra’s First Flamingo Highlights:

  • Pineapple/Watermelon pops
  • Jumbo sized palm leaves
  • Free Printable Pineapple toppers
  • 6 DIY Party Décor Ideas
  • Large Flamingo Balloons
  • Rice Crispie pops
  • Homemade Flamingo Cookies
  • Patio party lights
  • Oreo pineapples
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Olivia Ann Photography

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Olivia Ann Photgraphy

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Olivia Ann Photgraphy

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Natalia Reardon Photography

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Natalia Reardon Photography

There was pink, there were feathers, there was sweet corn, pop corn and cake pops. There were pineapples, giant balloons, sunscreen, bouncy castle and lots and lots of laughs. This day couldn’t have gone any better. Yes we were scrambling until the last minute while the birthday girl played with bubbles in her playpen, but man did she have a blast. Leading up to Ezra’s first birthday I thought to myself, yeah for her first birthday I think I’ll do a party, something fun and flashy but not huge. Then it started. Ezra turned 6 months and one of my close girlfriend’s son turned one. Then the other two littles in our group turned one. After months of planning and preparation I was drawn in, sucked in to the ‘first birthday fiasco’ and there was no telling where the end point would be. I had created a vision in my head and nothing would get in my way until the day of completion. This party was going to be big. Real big.

Ezra's First Flamingo

I planned, I prepped, I snipped and snapped, glued and taped. Our home was constantly in a changing form, one day our living room had different shaped ferns covering the couch and floor, the next day we had 4 giant helium flamingos hovering in the corner. Slowly our living space became quite tropical and there was no denying Ez was about to turn one. I was very fortunate to have a couple local shops come alongside me in celebrating with décor. Little Sprout Creations (Ezra’s First Flamingo Banner) and Glitter and Spice (Flamingo Teether).

The only way I got through the couple months leading up to her birthday was three words:

PLAN//PREP//PREVENT

After planning and writing everything down on paper, I went through the stores I would need to go to, compared prices and made a ‘To buy’ list, ‘To do’ list and a ‘To make’ list. Having it all jumbled on to one piece of paper would’ve driven me crazy. Having separated each task into three lists gave me some sanity in picking and choosing what I wanted to do that day and not be overwhelmed with a list 30 items long. I looked through the things I needed to make and chose to start on the most daunting task first. The one that would take me the longest: The ferns. Even though these took the longest, they really made the event and brought all the décor together.

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Décor:

Here some step by step decor ideas, planning and pictures to help guide you in throwing your very own First Flamingo!

|| Flamingo Balloons:

I was looking online for where I could purchase some of thesewonderful pink breasted birds other than party city and I found them! For CHEAP. I ended up purchasing them from BargainBalloons.com ($4.50 each!). I received them in the mail within 2 weeks and went to go and fill them the day before and NO WHERE would fill them unless they were purchased from their store. I called what felt like every store around but I got word from a friend that a dollar store up the hill would do it!

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|| Pineapple Donut Toppers:

I gathered these adorable little pop on prints from CreativeWife & Joyful Worker. Codi had posted these for a tropical party that she had recently done and used these toppers for donuts with a yellow icing zigzagged on top (SO cute!). If you haven’t had a chance to view her gorgeous set up with Dearlovesblog check it here

I printed these toppers off (large and small sizes) on to card stock, cut them out and then hot glued them on to toothpicks for easy attachment with the treats!IMG_6923

Go to Creative Wife & Joyful Workers Summer Party post for your own Cookie & Donut Pineapple Toppers Free Printable

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|| Banner for Photo booth:

Little Sprout Creations provided a custom made banner for our photo booth, ‘EZRAS FIRST FLAMINGO’ If you are in need of any party décor or custom made banners, seriously, check Jen out @littlesproutcreations. She is the bomb! And such a joy to work with. (If you were wondering, yes she also did our banners for our DONUT GROW UP shoot we did a few weeks ago.

You may also like ‘Donut Grow Up styled shoot’.

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DIY Projects

Below are a few of the DIY projects I took on months before the party and boy am I glad I did! I wouldn’t have gotten them done otherwise.

1. Tissue Tassels (Light pink, white, gold, hot pink)

One of my girlfriends was planning her little ones birthday party a couple months before Ezra’s and was creating these beautiful tasseled garlands. I couldn’t help but jump on board because 1, they were super simple and 2, cost efficient! (and 3, the perfect thing to do while you’re watching survivor)

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2. Photo booth

This would have been the second photo booth that hubby and I have put together, the first of which being the one we made for our wedding Reception. After doing a bit of research we found it to be quite simple to do and cost effective if you can find your supplies at a thrift store or in the discount bin. For our wedding we had used thin pieces of plywood and thought that it would be better and lighter to use was the wood with holes . Turns out we were wrong, it really curled and bent in the sun and now it is in a heap in our storage room because it couldn’t hold it’s shape. If you get the thin plywood, it is a bit heavier but worth it for either resale or reuse after the initial event!

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Natalia Reardon Photography

Wallpaper > Value Village : If you know Mackenzie and I, then you know that we are diehard thrifter’s and on a date night, babysitting covered and a couple hours to spare, you can find us at the thrift shops. One of these times we just happened to be wondering through the home décor section and low and behold, tropical palm wallpaper. Obviously when I saw this, I knew that the stars had aligned and we were going to have a photo-booth at Ezra’s birthday. The entire roll (that we still have leftovers) was $7! HELLO!

Other materials we picked up along the way to make our photo booth a success:

Wallpaper Paste (RONA – $12)

Wallpaper tray (RONA – $3)

Plywood (RONA – $12)

3. Photo booth Props

I ended up purchasing the prints online and then printing on to card stock, cutting and gluing to small dowels and it worked lovely! A little bit time consuming but also very cost efficient, I paid a total of $10 for the set and dowels (Dollarama) and everyone had a blast using them!

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Olivia Ann Photography

4. Paper Ferns

These big floppy ferns took me the longest! I bought 8 green poster boards, sketched 4 different kinds and sizes of leaves that I wanted to create, cut them out and retraced each one. This was an evening project that probably took about two weeks. But keep in mind, the only time I really buckled down to do this was when The Voice or HGTV was on.

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Natalia Reardon Photography

5. ‘One Year of Ez’ Frame (12 x 5×10 monthly milestone photos)

Throughout Ezra’s first year of life, She had this great big golden frame (5ft x 3ft) hanging on the wall in her nursery. This frame was passed down from Mackenzie’s grandmother and is a very special piece of memorabilia for our home. Every month I would go back to it and fill it up with current photos, family and friends in her life and milestone moments. When her birthday came around it only seemed necessary that I fill it with larger versions of her monthly floral milestone photos. Above her present table we hung the frame for all to see, out of reach from littles but perfect height for viewing pleasure!

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6. Floral ‘1’ Decor (Large size)

As some of you reading this may know, I have a few side jobs where I create certain home, birthday and wedding decor. One of which are these beautiful blooming 1’s for first birthdays. (If you or someone you know if interested in these pieces, please send me an email! I create letters, numbers, Canvas Calligraphy and Macrame wall art)

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Olivia Ann Photography

SNACKS

|| Flamingo Cookies

These rockin’ pink feathered beauties were handmade by Ezra’s lovely and very talented Auntie Shannon.

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Olivia Ann Photography

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|| Pineapple Toppers & Watermelon Toppers

I thought that instead of having larger pieces of fruit out for little hands, I would put bite-sized pieces on sticks. They were such a hit! I think they were the snack that I refilled most. (They were a little time consuming, but they looked adorable and I they were easier to hold for tiny hands!)

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Olivia Ann Photography

ONE Snack Table

Donuts: Tim Hortons

Lemonade/Pink Lemonade & Sangria bar – lemonade, sliced lemons and strawberries

Cotton Candy – Safeway

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|| Rice Crispie cake pops w/ icing and sprinkles: 

Now this one was a doozy. Something I thought would be so simple and easy, obviously, turned chaotic quite quickly. I cut and stacked the squares and put the straws in the ends (Gold&White swirl straws: Party City) and dipped them into the homemade icing and placed them on the baking sheet. ALL the icing poured off on to the baking sheet, dripped down and pooled on the bottom. I was at a loss trying to think of ideas of what to do to save my beautiful melting creations. I quickly placed the tray in the freezer, then each time I dipped the squares, I sprinkled them and placed them in the freezer. The next day when I brought them out for the party, they were all beautiful iced and sprinkled and if they melted in the sun that was A.O.K. with me. They were beautiful and they were done.

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Olivia Ann Photography

Set Up/ Décor

We started early in the morning, but we all know that even that isn’t enough time! It really IS tricky to set up and really zone in to your project when you’ve got your one year old crawling around and pulling everything you place within arms reach. Luckily I had my amazing in laws and hubby to make this creation come to life! All up to 5 minutes before guests arrived and papa ran out to get ice and beers. Thank you papa.

FLOW: When setting up an event you want to make sure you’re envisioning the day with everyone there, not just empty and pretty looking! When I was looking for a spot to put the photo booth, I needed to put it somewhere where A) no one would constantly be walking in front of, B) somewhere that was inviting, and C) a spot that wasn’t in the blaring sun. In the end of it, I had to opt out and put it in the sun, but it worked and people took pictures! So PHEWF.

The rest of the area fell in to place naturally. In the yard, the bouncy castle would be positioned in the sun in the back corner, the play house in the other corner and the small turtle pool in the shade beside the rocker under the tree. The food/treats table would be set up just beside where the BBQ was, drinks and ice in the stand alone cooler, and condiments/plates/napkins were on the ledge of the BBQ cover. On the deck we had a large umbrella where the comfy seats were and this is where our grandparents and parents would sit. Beside them was a gifts table, if anyone brought a special treat for Ezra I wanted to make sure I had a spot that was for that instead of trying to organize where things went during the party. (On a side note, we chose not to do an ‘opening gifts’ time because there was a large amount people and I feel Ez would’ve been overwhelmed. She was so blessed that day in receiving a mountain of treasures from all who attended! After everyone had left we had her cousins help her with unwrapping.)

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Natalia Reardon Photography

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That little piano was our gift to Ezra. 6AM is her favourite time to channel her inner Mozart.

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Natalia Reardon Photography

Touching on the concept of ‘flow’ in the party and proper roll out, I made sure EVERYTHING was prepped. If we needed more napkins/plates/bowls/cups, I had them in a bin under the snack table for easy access. I had any extra food just inside the door for quick refills and I did not bring the cake out until it was time to sing. This ensured the cake wouldn’t melt in the blazing sun or little fingers wouldn’t get to taste test before the big sing along began.

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Natalia Reardon Photography

Yes, yes. The cake is homemade. Please feel free to boost my baking ego! Because dannnng did that cake have a mad lean and 12 skewers holding it up before it came out!

After the song had been sang, hugs and kisses had been exchanged and well wishes were given, it was time for the GREAT FLAMINGO CLEANUP. Naturally, we plunked all the kids in the turtle tub and carried on our way! I hope you enjoyed Ezra’s First Flamingo as much as we did!! We were blessed beyond compare with the love of family and sunny weather on this day. Now let’s hope this carries on throughout the rest of the summer! No more rain!

Scroll down to enjoy the last few minutes of our big day, take care & see you later lovelies,

XO Cass

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Natalia Reardon Photography

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Natalia Reardon Photography

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Natalia Reardon Photography

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Olivia Ann Photography

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Olivia Ann Photography

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Olivia Ann Photography

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Natalia Reardon Photography

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Natalia Reardon Photography

 

 

 

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2017

I’m going to start this post off with a few favourite photos of my love with our little.

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Father’s day round two. I love my Mackenzie, not only is he the most supportive and loving husband, he is an amazing father to our little Ez. His compassion and patience shines through as a father. He was made to be called ‘DaDa’ and deserves way more than one day to be celebrated! For all the work he does day & night, and yet, still has a smile on his face and constantly asks, “how can I help you?” Isn’t he the sweetest? Along with Kenz, I’ve had my father and father-in-law who have been beyond supportive and their willingness to always help astounds me. I’ve got some amazing men in my life and I’ve put together a gift guide that will hopefully help you with your most loved and cherished ones as well.

These gifts are the perfect way to celebrate every type of dad. From the outdoor adventurer, the bearded brewer, the city commuter or the big kid that will never grow up. I’ve got you covered! So sit back, scroll down and pick your poison!

1. The ‘Homebody’ Dad

Enough with all the vanilla and lavender smells filling up your house (and mine!) and give the gift of scent with a more masculine approach. A little bit more of an indulgence then a ‘need’. Using traditional methods, these candles are handmade from premium soy wax, perfume-grade fragrance oils and 100% cotton wicks. They’ve got tons of different scents from around Vancouver and the Toronto area, if you’re guy has a favourite hot spot area in Vancouver, Vancouver Candle Co. may just have a candle that has embraced and captured that scent to enjoy at home! Click here to browse.

FATHERS DAY VANCOUVER CANDLES_Fotor

Pictured above are Gastown – Tobacco, Amber & Black Pepper and North Shore – Spruce, Mandarin & Coriander

2. The ‘Hat’ Dad

A couple weeks back we did a photoshoot with Beluga Baby and I wore a hat from a company called Nine O’Clock Gun,  being the hat-conesure that he is, my husband looked up their shop. He instantly grew fond of one of their designs and so I got it for him for his Birthday. GUYS. I ordered it and it was at my door within two days. They are a Vancouver based company, but I was so impressed on how quick I received the product. The quality and design is really nice and well done. I will definitely be ordering from them again. Click here to browse.

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PS: They also have toddler/children’s hats with adjustable snapbacks if you’re wanting to gift a ‘Daddy&Me’ set! Check it out >> Kids Snapbacks

3. The ‘DIY’ Dad

Here are a couple of my favorite crafts that I’ve found online when I was scouring what to do last year. They are precious, keepsake for their teeny tiny hands and feet and a great story at the end. (You know, the part where you wrapped their whole body except for their foot in a towel so they wouldn’t eat the paint?)

|Footprints – When Ezra was born, it was just over two weeks away from Father’s Day. Luckily, I was on maternity leave and had TONS(not) of time to decide what I was going to do for the perfect gift. I searched and searched for something I could do for a brand new newborn and what types of DIY things were okay for baby’s skin. Because, in the end, all that I really could do was a footprint/handprint of some kind! I opted to do the feet because Ezra always had teeny tiny clenched fists and I didn’t want to get in to that fiasco of cleaning and the possibility of it getting in her eyes or face. It’s so funny as I look back now thinking of myself in that moment. Mackenzie had just started back at work, I was still finding my bearings, both as a mother and a human being, and little Ez just slept, like the little angel she is. We had one of those bouncy chairs with the fold back metal piece that I would plop her in when I wanted to do something, and wouldn’t ya know, it was the perfect spot for a footprint painting. I waited until she was sleeping, wrapped her whole little leg up with an entire towel, and got to work. I used wipes at that moment to clean off her feet and then when she was awake I gave her a bath – do not leave evidence of your work for dad to see!! I then remembered that he was a huge toy story fan so I recreated the ‘ANDY’ on one of the feet and wrote ‘DADDY’. After it dried, I found a frame at Winners and wrote a note on the back for him. To say the least, I think he may have loved it. (This can be recreated with any age too! Not just newborns!)

Supplies

1 x bottle of acrylic paint (whatever colour you’d like)

1 x sponge brush

1 x frame

3 x piece of cardstock paper (I would have multiples in case something goes wrong)

                  **canvas, stone, tile, apron, whatever surface you would like to create

Directions

  1. Prep paint, brush, towel and wipes by wherever you’ll be painting
  2. Wrap babe’s whole leg in towel – if they’re little this will actually hold their leg up and all you have to do is paint the foot and press the paper!
  3. Hold foot by ankle and paint with sponge brush (dabbing foot in paint won’t work with newborn, too squirmy and delicate!)
  4. Hold up cardstock and ankle with one hand each and press firmly. Remember to put a little pressure on the heel and toes to make sure you get the whole print.
  5. Wipe foot down
  6. Repeat same with other foot (If your child isn’t loving this craft for dad, you can always pack up and come back to it! Luckily it’s not very demanding in terms of set up)
  7. Set aside to dry (if you are doing a tile or canvas I would suggest doing a top layer of Mod Podge to protect the print for years to come!)
  8. Wrap and gift!

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||‘BUGS & KISSES’ coaster

This DIY again, is super simple, you just need to have everything prepped either while babe is awake or quickly when they fall asleep. For this craft I did it at the same time I did the footprints – she is a pretty heavy sleeper. Here are some ideas for different bugs, supply list and directions to make your own unique coaster!

Bug ideas – these are just a couple suggestions but get creative! Have fun! Maybe you’ll even end up with a squished bug on your coaster (if you’ve got a super squirmy little one!)

Blue – Beetle // Purple – Butterfly // Pink – Butterfly // Red – Ladybugs // Orange – Butterfly/Beetle/Worm // Yellow – Firefly / Bumblebee //Green – Caterpillar / Grasshopper (add long bent legs)

Supplies

1 x Bottle of yellow (bumblebees) acrylic paint

1 x Bottle of red (ladybugs) acrylic paint

1 x Black Sharpie

1 x Colored sharpie

1 x White 3” x 3” tile

1 x Spray Mod Podge (matte or gloss) – I usually go in to Michaels for this with a 40% off coupon from their website! Then it makes it the cheapest place to buy it!

Directions:

  1. Write ‘Bugs & Kisses’ on your tile
  2. Wrap babe in towel & prep paint on dish
  3. Make child’s hand into a fist (if they are newborn or else every finger gets in the paint) and have pointer finger out
  4. Dab finger into paint and position wherever you choose on the tile (leave a little bit of space because you will be adding legs and wings afterwards)
  5. Put tile aside to dry (24 hours to be safe)
  6. Add eyes, smiles, wings and legs to your bugs
  7. Spray Mod Podge to entire surface and let dry (you will want to use spray just in case you smudge the prints with the sponge brush)

*You can also add small felt pieces on the bottom four corners – you know those ones you buy for cupboards etc? I would recommend this if coaster is going on hardwood it wont scratch)

  1. Wrap and Gift!

FATHERS DAY picure fram and dots

4. The ‘Burly Bearded’ Dad

Moustache Mugs || What’s that? You’ve never heard of these. WELL let me enlighten you of these miraculous porcelain beauties! Mackenzie and I actually found these both while we were out thrifting in Victoria and Tofino a couple years back. Luckily for those of you who may not be in to thrifting or the time it may take to find one of your own, there’s places like beardoholic.com who can cut a few corners for you!

FATHERS DAY moustache mugs_Fotor

“Nothing can be more frustrating for a guy than to have his moustache downloaddipping into his coffee in the morning. All that work to keep your facial hair clean and manicured, and now it is full of a hot beverage and dripping on your clothing. Luckily for guys with an abundance of facial hair, a cool little gadget will eliminate the soaking of the moustache when you enjoy your favourite morning beverage.” – Beardoholic.com


5. The ‘Outdoor Adventurer’ Dad

|Alchemy Goods Recycled Bike Tire Wallet

FATHERS DAY wallet

A couple years ago I purchase this wallet for my husband from the MAKE shop on Granville Island for his birthday. He is quite a minimalist when it comes to carrying things around (wallet, keys, change) and this wallet is nice and slim, he loved it! He is an avid biker and is a ‘recycled material’ enthusiast, if that’s even a thing. Well, let’s just make that a thing. I found this wallet at the MAKE Shop on Granville Island. It wasn’t that expensive and what a unique gift! (They’ve actually got their AG Money Clip wallet on sale for $16 right now here.)

||MEC Backpack Cover

FATHERS DAY backpack cover

This compact little number has come in handy so many times when on the go and we LOVE it. You can find these backpack rain covers at MEC. The one pictured here is their smallest size and if you pull the cord all the way it fits over a regular backpack, but when fully extended it is large enough to fit over a suitcase or a hiking backpack. We have used this cover when walking and biking to and from work and also when we were in Ecuador for a mission trip. With weather that never really decides on where it wants to go, having this compact cover is a must! The one I have is blue, but they also carry an orange and a black. Pick one up here.

6. The ‘Brew Bro’ Dad

If you haven’t had a chance to walk down Brewery Row across the way from Rocky Point park, you’re missing out! There are tons of locally brewed & bottled companies there, equipped with different craft beers, apparel and growlers for take home Father’s Day gifts. An idea for our ‘Brew Bro’ was maybe a $10 gift card from each brewery, maybe even gift this to a few dads that are friends, and take an afternoon to enjoy a taste of each brewery! If your guy has a favourite brewery you could also gift him a shirt, glass or growler crate.brewery

Rocky Point
Brewery Row
Yellow Dog Brewing 

Parkside Brewery 

Twin Sails Brewing 

Moody Ales 

7. The ‘Beachcomber’ Dad

Have you seen these hats before? The perfect hat for that dad that is so busy loving on his littles, making sure they are safe and protected for the sun, he often forgets about himself. Well, not only will he love this hat, his face and shoulders will be covered by the shade it provides! Trendy AND useful. My husband lives in his each summer for the past couple years. Whether it be summer camps, at the beach or even playing soccer (yah, try and picture that).In our family, we each have a sunhat; they’re awesome.

FATHERS DAY sun hat

Here’s where I picked up my husband’s.

8. The ‘Capture-every-moment’ Dad

|New camera lens

This one goes out to the dads who are either, photographers for a fact and those aspiring to be, or just those who have a DSLR and love to capture each moment. A little bit more on the pricey end but a fun and thoughtful gift (that also pays back with the beautiful photos they take) is a new lens! Is there one that they’ve had their eye on? A favourite of my husband’s is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. Most of my photos are now taken with this lens, it’s bright, crisp and just a beautiful thing. Check it here.

FATHERS DAY camera lens and adapter

||SD Card Camera Reader

This is the perfect gift for the dad on the go, when you just can’t wait to get those photos on to your computer or want to send them to family right away, this is what they need. This tiny little adapter plugs right in to your phone, you pop the memory card in and away you go. Uploading whatever you would like from the photos you just took! Nifty little thing! Grab one here or Best Buy by you.

9. The ‘City Commuter’ Dad

Part of living in the city and fast pace lifestyle these days involves a lot more travel time. Whether you’re stuck in rush hour for 2 hours or on the long route home riding the bus and sky train, you may find these beneficial. If you have a hard working, commuting man in your life then this is ideal for him. Here are two items that will make that commute just that much more comfortable.

|Wireless Headphones (Outdoor Tech)

These headphones are great for someone on the go who loves their music. Drown out the work day commute with these Portable Bluetooth Outdoor Tech Headphones. Compact, light AND you can keep your phone in your pocket while listening to them, no more annoying cord in the way! You can grab them here.

FATHERS DAY headphones and charger

||Portable Battery Charger

This may be one of those bonus double gifts, you know, the ones you buy for your husband or significant other but really, you just want it. Like that time you bought him that really cool mug, that you just so happen to use every morning now, or that rain cover for his back pack you bring with you when you walk to work. No worries, lol, no judging here! At the end of the day though, this is a very good thing to have, especially for long hikes, camping, or even a day touring the town! (TBH: My phone is usually dead because I take a million photos).

10. The ‘Gardening’ Dad

For Mother’s Day we get big floral bouquets, hanging baskets and plants for the garden. So why not get our guys a little something green? Not all floral and greenery needs to be feminine, look for a nice grouping of herbs together in a planter for when he’s barbecuing or an arrangement(again, not feminine!) with succulents and rocks and dirt. If the dad you’re buying for has an office space with a desk or even a window ledge, this will liven up that space with a little pop of colour!

FATHERS DAY succulents

Hopefully you’ve been able to pick up something from here that your father, father in law, grandpa or husband may like! Enjoy your day with your loved ones and remember, if all else fails, you know they’ll always take a hug.

Other ideas not photographed:

  • Whitecaps tickets
  • Beer tour @ Granville Island
  • Hot blade shave
  • Watch/FitBit
  • Patterned socks – Old Navy is great for this!
  • Wireless Adapter (This little loonie sized bit makes whatever you plug it in to; wireless)
Have a suggestion of your own? Drop me a line in the comments, I’d love to know what you’re gifting!

Take care loves!

xox

Cass

Donut Grow Up – Donut Smash!

 

When people started to ask me if I would be doing a cake smash for Ezra’s birthday I thought, ‘uhm obviously.’ Like they even had to ask. Then I started to think about different ways or themes I could do for it, what really screamed EZRA and what would she enjoy? (other than Paw Patrol). I then remembered another theme I had wanted for her birthday party but was unable to do, because, well, Flamingos.

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

My second choice for her birthday theme was ‘Donut Grow up’. Super cute, playful and full of hot pink messiness! The adventure began. I started to jot down ideas, placement and who I would love to be involved in this shoot and came across four mompreneurs who joined in celebrating Ez turning one.

  • Glitter&Spice
  • LittleSproutCreations
  • Natalia Reardon Photography
  • Always and Foreverly

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

Then came the donuts. YUM. I picked up some plain glazed donuts from Safeway and made my own hot pink royal icing. Yah, you could probably already guess, it didn’t really go as planned. My sister came over to help prep for the shoot and we made do with what we had and they were sloppy and oozing on the sides with color and sprinkles. Homer Simpson would’ve been proud.

Here comes the fun part.

Enter Ezra.

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

 

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

 

 

Obviously, any parent anywhere knows that you dress your child in white when you WANT them to get messy. So here she is, poofy sleeves and pink tutu, ready for 6 stacked, hot pink donuts.

 

Most people I have talked to about their cake smash said their little one wouldn’t even touch the thing. That they had to put their hands in it and get messy, then, almost like being given the go ahead, they dive in!

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the shoot Ez kept going back to the cake pops and was a huge teething fan of the sticks that were attached. We kept turning them around so she could have some cake, but she would take one bite and then off we go again, bottoms up.

 

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

I am so lucky to have Natalia Reardon Photography partnering with me on this journey of blogging and styled shoots. We had a blast with this shoot and we’ve got some pretty rad things coming your way this summer! Keep your eyes peeled!

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

Can you spot some details that may be giving you a sneak-peek of the theme of Ezra’s birthday party?

(Hint: Think feathered&pink)

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

     View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshootView More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

LET’S COLLABORATE! >> If you are looking to put together a styled shoot, head on over to my contact page and send me a note! I (and Ezra) would love to chat and be apart of your next creative adventure!

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

Donut Grow Up Banner – Little Sprout Creations

Tutu – Cousin Hand-me-down

Hot Pink Donut Wall Decor – Little Sprout Creations

Pink/Gold/White Bunting – DIY

Flamingo Teether – Glitter and Spice

Photographer – Natalia Reardon Photography

Donuts: Safeway & DIY

Flamingo Bow – Always and Foreverly

Saying NO to the “Mom-Bod”

How I chose to say NO to the mom bod.

This is not a work out post, a pity-post or a ‘I’ll make do with what I have’ post. This is an empowering, influencing and inspiring post. I chose not to give in to the ‘mom-bod’ and choose to love my baby-bearing body. 

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From time to time I do feel that tug of insecurity, self-doubt and I do see the marks left from that pull&stretch. But these are our love lines, our war wounds, our life long hopes and dreams. The sign of a mother. 

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Olivia Ann Photography

Though some may be more scarred than others, more discrete than others or even only inwardly marked; we have all joined on this journey and the trials of pregnancy, labour and the fourth trimester together. 

Received our badges of courage, of comfort and became a safe place for our littles.

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How in the WORLD can I look past my beautiful baby girl and focus solely on the body I was left with after her birth. 

It’s hard to move forward, to feel back to normal when you know you’re not. That before-baby-BABE-bod feels so far away. It’s hard to feel glamorous, beautiful or even mediocre sometimes. To have the pure essence and freedom to think or even feel; I am beautiful. 

The rawness of it all; is that we all think this.

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Who’s better? Who’s thinner? Who has the best workout?

STOP. Take a second and stare into your child’s eyes.

There’s your all in all; you’re beauty and your pride. 

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

Natalia Reardon Photography

There lays your heart and your reflection in their eyes, staring right back at you telling you, you are enough. 

You will ALWAYS be enough. 

This is why I am saying no to the ever-so-daunting “mom-bod.” I do not fall short, I will not give in to this lie that I am sub-par, I will stand tall.

I am Ezra’s mom. I take this journey and glorify it. The good, the bad, the discomfort and the beauty in the middle. I am blessed to be her mother and am honoured to rock this ‘MOMBOD.’

-Xox

me and ez

Breastfed to Finger fed – easing the transition to solid foods

Breastfed to Finger fed – transitioning to solid foods and supporting your child in this whole new world of taste buds!

     I am so eager to get this post out that I write to you from the car! My husband is driving us to our second-in-laws for a BBQ and some pool time. This post has been on my mind for about six months now and I’ve finally buckled down and put in the ground work to bring it to you, so I hope you get lots out of it!

     Over the past few weeks we’ve been discovering new recipes and recreating old ones to adapt to Ezra’s little taste buds. (Nothing too high class – ex: Ez loves bananas, so when we discovered she wasn’t allergic to PB, we made her PB & banana sandwiches!)  The transition from breastfed to finger fed hasn’t been a struggle and Ez LOVES food, but she does have her moments where we just need to revisit a few foods after her first encounter. Example: banana at 6 months; not a fan. Banana at 8 months; has eaten it everyday since.

     Friends and family have both shared with me that babies take up to 5 times to actually like something. If you are trying to transition your babe to solids or even just purees, keep trying, it may just be the texture or even the sweetness/tartness. This is one thing that I’ve kept in mind when trying out new and different tastes/textures with Ez. At first when we started to give Ezra solids, we started with banana and rice cereal (I know, not so much a solid as it is a puree). As I wrote above, she was not a fan of banana and frankly, I was terrified to give her anything that wasn’t smooth sailin’ like water or milk.

     Slowly we moved forward in the solids department and have now made our way to fully finger-fed, no more boobie for baby. I’ve gathered up some of our tried & true favourites, both in my opinion and Ezra’s. Most of these are easy to make and can be put together with the ingredients you already have!

weee

Let’s get started!

 

1. Raspberry, Coconut & Rolled Oats (NO BAKE)

     Don’t worry my dears, these delicious looking treats come with a recipe and take less than 15 minutes to muster up! All you need are four ingredients, but make sure to keep these puppies refrigerated or in the freezer until you want to eat them!

IMG_9667

Raspberry, Coconut & Oat Balls (&& a little flour)

Ingredients:

1Cup Rolled OatsRaspberry Coconut Balls

1/2Cup Flour (add more as needed if they’re too moist!)

1/3Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1/2Cup defrosted and crushed frozen raspberries

Directions: Add all ingredients into bowl, mix with spoon or hands & roll into loonie sized balls, place on baking sheet or plate to store in fridge/freezer.

That’s it! You’re done!

2. PB & Banana rice cakes

     One of Ez’s, and many babies, favourite foods is banana. It’s easy to hold on to, you can chop it up or slice it down the middle. squishy, but holds shape, that is, if it’s not too ripe! I usually just buy the plain rice cakes, don’t really need to add any extra taste to these delicious snacks. (Sometimes when I am at restaurants I sneak a couple PB’s into my diaper bag – the perfect extra little protein on the go! shhhhh!)

Banana PB rice cake_Fotor

 

3. Gnocchi

     These little guys have a texture of somewhere in-between a banana and a noodle. Perfect sizing for the fist of a little one who’s just started discovering how to eat! Prep time? Boil the water, throw them in the pot, 2 minutes later, take em’ out and serve. Super simple and your little one will love being able to have independence in feeding themselves one teeny bite of potato at a time. (If you’re not making them from scratch, I am not this ambitious, I would suggest the Oliveri brand. I bought mine at Save on Foods in the deli section)

IMG_5736

 

4. Fruit, Fruit, & More Fruit!

     My little bean just loves fruit. Any kind and all the time. I have been giving her everything under the sun and she just makes it disappear! Some fun ones to cut in to sticks/slices are the ones pictures below. Grapefruit not so much a stick but the pieces are small and squishy, kind of makes them work for the sweetness of the fruit! Just make sure you are checking your fruits for seeds/rinds.

Fruits

5. PIZZA – the remix.

     As much fun as pizza is to give to a toddler, I find the dough to be a bit too much for them and they more than often dont get enough of the good stuff on the top! I opted out for doing a ham and cheese pizza for Ez with flat bread and some left overs in my fridge. I took some left over pasta sauce, deli ham and shredded cheese from a pizza soup hubby had made earlier in the week (YUM! – check that out here, super yummy!). I prepared the oven at 350, put my toppings on and placed the flat breaded pizza straight on to the rack, let cook for 10 minutes and then sit for 5 minutes on the counter to let it cool. I made it a little bit easier for Ez to eat by cutting the pizza into strips so she could hold on to it and munch away.

IMG_5742pizza two

6. EGG – just egg.

     Holy guacamole does this little girl love egg! Scrambled, hard boiled, fried, she’ll take it all. My most recent and creative way to give her egg is on an individual cast iron skillet. This is GENIOUS. We went out for sushi a couple months ago and we had ordered a huge variation and assortment of dishes. One of which showed up and was a huge hunk of egg on rice. I wasn’t about to eat it but I knew someone who may just love it; lil’ Ez. It took her awhile but after about 20 minutes, the egg and rice underneath was gone. So when I found a cast iron skillet to re create the style and texture of egg, you know I was on board right away. And so was she!

     For the eggs on the skillet, I usually will scramble two in a small bowl with a fork and then pour hem in the skillet. Wait a couple minutes until the top of the egg starts to firm. I then place the whole skillet into the over at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. This ensures the egg is cooked fully, but also the perfect texture to cut in to strips for easy finger feeding!

eggs

       I would also like to add here that if you’re having a tough time getting your little to try eggs, let alone even like them, one of my girlfriend’s, Sam, mashes banana and egg together to create pancakes. You may also find you can use sweet potato as well and her little one just eats it up!!

7. Pizza Pretzel. That is it. One love baby.

Pizza Pretzel_Fotor

8. Pancakes & Berries

     Last weekend I had the utmost pleasure of helping host a bridal shower for my beautiful friend Dianne. She makes my heart sing, she is such a beautiful soul, so naturally when she asked for a PANCAKES&PANTIES BRIDAL SHOWER (how stinkin’ cute is that? This will definitely be up on the blog) I couldn’t say no. Naturally, after the day had passed, there was some mini pancakes left over. Hmm I wonder who would love these mini pancakes? EZ. Finger fed, hand held, teeny tiny pancakes. This little miss was on cloud nine that morning! I put the pancakes on her tray with an assortment of berries, she loved it!

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9. Steamed Veggies

     Part of your little ones teething experience and being introduced to solids is the sensation of teeth taring through their gums. Not a very nice feeling AMIRIGHT? Hot and cold foods help with soothing this sensation. Brocolli and carrots have been a go to for these past few weeks. Here are my the two time frames I find work best for self-fed babies. Leaving the vegetables firm enough that they dont squish right in to their fingers as soon as they pick them up! (&& maybe a little bit of cheese is delicious too!)

Broccoli – Boil 4min

Carrots – Boil 7 min

steamed veggies

Adorable Mountain Dinner Plate by Timber Child

10. Leftovers

     What better meal prep than leftovers? Not only are you keeping your sanity, but baby is fed and enjoy their cold macaroni, pasta or even tuna helper! I just noticed all of those are pastas… Baby loves pasta! Ez also loves to eat whole tiny pickles, here’s a photo below of an average snack time at our house hold!

BONUS Extras:

Some of the ones I haven’t posted above are:

  • Grilled Cheese (cut in to slices)
  • Dill Pickles
  • Veggieballs – IKEA (seriously!)
  • Tomato pasta
  • Cheese stick

Let me know what you’ve found easiest/hardest in your own adventure going through the transition of breastfed to finger fed. I would love to hear your own ideas and answer any questions you may have for me!

Take care && Happy feeding!

xox Cass

Mat Leave Ends, But Another Adventure Begins

Back to work. Back to the grind. Back to the ol’ time card.

But it’s not the same. Back to work, with a baby. What does that look like you ask? Well, I really couldn’t tell you; yet. I have my first day back to work on Friday. Starting a new job in a new field of which I know nothing about the company but I’m excited. It’s going to be good and it’ll allow my week to have a more structured look to it. Thankfully I have found a position I can go back to part time, as I don’t know if I could quite muster up enough courage to leave my baby girl for the entire day for 5 days a week.

[The day she was born – 17 hours old// Her first baseball game – 6 days old//Teens camp – 2 months old]

Luckily, I have the most amazing mother in law who is willing to watch sweet Ez for those two days that I’m away. Not only does this give me the confidence and freedom to separate myself from mama-mode and dive into work-mode, but Ezra LOVES her Nama. Let me tell you, the second Ez sees Nama, everything else disappears and nothing else matters, Nama is here. Her little legs start pumping a hundred miles per hour, she is fist bumping the air and with her big goofy grin, she is screaming at the top of her lungs. She loves her.

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The night I went into labour 

Looking back on when I was pregnant, very pregnant, and preparing for maternity leave, the 12 months you’re given seems like an eternity. The ‘go-getter’ in me thought, ‘yeah, I’ll get this baby thing under wraps and then I’ll just have a 9 month vacation!’ Oh man was I wrong. Everyday has been a joy, full of love, laughter and all that gushy stuff. There has been hardships in the midst of that, endless crying, sleepless nights, but every parent goes through that. We were fortunate enough to have an angel of a babe that was, and continues to be, so kind to us. But even though I thought having a baby wouldn’t weigh me down and immobilize me that much; it did. You get in to the routine of sleep, nurse, change diaper, sleep, nurse, change diaper, and eventually that starts to level out. Ezra is pretty simple when it comes to this schedule and will mostly go anywhere with me as long as I’m able to take time out for her. Pushing the stroller a little longer or put a wrap on to cuddle her close, to ensure she can have a nap.

[Ezra in her new Beluga Baby ‘EZRA Wrap’ Photo|Haley Campbell Owner of Beluga Baby // Ice cream at Morgan Crossing // Ez meeting Jillian Harris for the first time (all babies have this ‘first’ right?]

All this is about to change though. I am going to feel that heart wrenching, yearning sensation to want to be with my baby and can’t. I’m fully anticipating a meltdown, not on her part but on mine! She’s was and now, has become again, a part of me. My little side kick. The robin to my batman, the tissue to my sniffle, the laughter to my jokes, the peanut to my jelly. the Ez to her mama. For the past three weeks I have been completely soaking up every hug, every smile, every giggle, and yes, even every roar. (she’s a baby Rex). Getting more sentimental as the time tock’d and the days grew closer. I am not usually this type of person, at least the one that sits there for an extra minute just staring at my sweet babe, every, single, moment.

[I really miss this precious time of napping with a newborn. Oh how sweet it is.]

I am looking forward to going back though. To have more then the length of a nap time to be a real person again, to be an adult and have a conversation that doesn’t include what was in her diaper or how many veggie balls (IKEA – delicious) she ate for lunch. To regain some composure and assertiveness that I can bounce back, I can be social and I can live my life again, of course, with my little sidekick holding my hand through it all. This’ll be another new chapter in our lives, a chapter of change and a chapter of growth. Figuring out what it means for mama to go back to work and how Ez will receive it. Here’s hopin’ and you bet I’ll be praying.

What were your thoughts? your doubts? your fears? Did you find identity in going back to work, feel more like yourself again? (whatever that may mean to you).
What were your biggest hurdles in trying to make things work and making sure your little loved one was comfortable and confident in you leaving them? I want to know them!
From one mama to another, I would love your support and guidance in some ideas or scheduling that you found moved mountains when you went back to work.

I’ll leave you now with a few of my favourite memories from the past year with my sweet babe. Enjoy x0x

Wedding Shoot photo | Sasha Cooper Photography

5 More Minutes…

Five More Minutes…

Sunshine Cuddles

“Just five more minutes” I repeated to myself about seven times tonight as I lay beside my sweet dear little girl. As she lay here, swept far off into dreamland, I lay here staring, gazing at each beautiful eye lash, her round joyful cheeks, her perfect little pout and saving the best for last; her button nose. I could lay here forever, but that would never be long enough. 

This morning when I woke there was nothing that could have prepared me for how this evening would end. Today was a very jam packed day. We were playing baseball and Ez was our faithful cheerleader in the dugout in her stroller with toys and veggie straws. 830-430, a very long day for anyone. It was the first inning of the first game, I was running to second and pulled a muscle. Great, well now I’m out for the day. Try as I may, I just couldn’t get in to the groove of things. As we went through the day, I had discovered that I had also [finally] gotten my visit from a very special lady (it’s been 20 months now). After the games were done, we ventured on to a friend’s graduation party at the Abbotsford Townhall Public House. On the drive I couldn’t help but think about that visitor & I’ve heard that’s the indicator that your milk dries up. What if that’s it? What if this morning was the last time I nurse her. Are we done? Are we finished for good? No one gave me a heads up. Do I get another shot? Another try, another chance. To say goodbye? 

oct25When we got home this evening, I took her in my arms brought her to our bedroom and laid here with her. Her mouth closed up, her eyes glazed over by her dreamy heart and her cheek pressed against my chest. Nothing. Not even a squirm, searching for the sweet milk from mama. 

Is this really how it ends? Mother Nature finds her way back to you and now your baby’s a toddler??

I did not sign up for this. 

Desperate to hold her close, to soak in the closeness and bond one last time, I lay down beside her and wait. Slowly she moves her teeny body towards me, inching closer and starts to nurse. 

This is it. This may be my last time with her. I savour every minute, every second. 

And as she drifts off, I keep telling myself, five more minutes… just five more minutes… 

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Amanda Coldicutt Photography

TOP TEN GIFTS FOR THE MOM WHO DOES IT ALL

Have you been racking your brain on what to get your mom, grandma, mother-in-law or even mama friends for Mother’s Day? Well you’re in luck. Here is one of the best cheat sheets you will ever lay your eyes on. We all know you can’t buy a mother’s love but you sure can buy her cool gifts! Each and every one of these gifts has the capacity to surprise, excite and may even cause tears when given. Grab some tea and a biscuit or two (maybe five) and let’s get started!

Top Ten Mother's Day

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1. MINT & BIRCH||

Jewelry; one of the most sought after mother’s day gifts. These necklaces are not only beautiful AND handmade, but they are customizable. Have your journey, hopes and loves displayed & worn proudly each and everyday for all to see. Displaying the proud, strong and courageous mama in your life. These necklaces & bracelets are made of heavy gold fill and will not wear off or tarnish, a treasure for years to come. Mint&Birch also creates these absolutely beautiful nests, custom to your family and children. Each piece is hand crafted and stamped with love by the shop owner herself; Jessica. Here is an excerpt from her site on WHO she is and where her heart is when creating each piece of jewelry. “I have the honour of hearing the stories behind the pieces that are commissioned. Stories of new life, milestones, celebration, weddings, joyous events, but also of grief and loss. I am so humbled to be making these special pieces.” Check out Mint&Birch whole collection and find the perfect gift for your own FOREVER MAMA. 

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2. BELUGA BABY||

A perfect gift for new or first time mamas. Celebrate the joy and love for your little ones that made you a mama; keeping them close, safe and snuggled in sweet, soft bamboo against your heart. With the beautiful, fun variety of colours they have, your hardest choice may be choosing which one, but you can always get two! “As for mom, sometimes she simply needs her hands free. That’s where baby wearing comes in. And you don’t need any sort of high tech equipment. Women have been wearing their babies for thousands of years. All you need is a Beluga Baby Wrap to keep your little one close. Shop the Beluga Wrap!” – Haley. If you haven’t met the shop owner Haley, you’re seriously missing out! She is a crazy firm believer and advocate for wearing your bundle of joy at all times. And I’ve gotta say, I agree 110% Grocery shopping? Wrap your babe. Housework? Wrap your babe. Mother’s Day Gift shopping? WRAP. YOUR. BABE.

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3. BEBE DE LUXE||

Who doesn’t love to be pampered? Seriously. Hand a bag or Luxe glass jar of this magical stuff to your mother/wife/sister, heck, even your brother (maybe not for mothers day though) and they will be forever grateful. THIS is the good stuff. Bébé de Luxe Coconut & Oat Milk Bath is natural, vegan and free of all nasties (toxins and carcinogens). It is made with 100% certified organic, food-grade ingredients.  The combination of organic coconut milk and organic oatmeal gently cleanses baby’s skin and enhances their natural baby softness without stripping the natural oils. Perfect for either a mommy&me tub time or a wine&cheese tub time. Pick yours up here and pamper your mama this Mother’s Day!

&& if you really want to spoil your mama you’ll pair it with a mini mama&me Bebe de Luxe floral bath, here is a few photos of one my daughter and I did just last week. Photos by the lovely & talented Sasha Cooper Photography.

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4. ALYSSA KELLART PHOTOGRAPHY||

WATCH THIS & THEN READ.  Are you in love? Is your heart just pounding right now.

Mamas everywhere deserve to be celebrated! I love to see moms interacting with their littles and it’s something that I truly believe makes a mama’s heart beat stronger. This Mother’s Day, take those moms that are behind the scenes, behind the meltdowns and behind the messy lunches and put them in front of the lens. Glorify them and thank them for all they do, each and everyday. It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle that life is, time to take a second, rejoice and be joyful for the wonderful world of motherhood. What better gift then one that can be cherished forever? Alyssa has a few different packages to choose from to fit any budget, Seriously! Check her out! Documentary Motherhood Mini Sessions & photo packages available here. She is so sweet, she also offers this UH-MAZING option of a gift registry. If you have a whole family who is giving to a grandmother/mother/friend, you can all contribute to this amazing blessing and keepsake. What a gift. 

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5. NETTLES TALE||

Nettle’s Tale is a local BC grown company, made for, sized after and modelled for women everywhere! I completely adore this company. Their heart & mind speaks directly to women of all stages of life and have adorable, funky, and neutral suits to choose from. My current favourite is ‘The Britney’ it is a limited edition from last year, pair it with some beautiful magic bottoms and you’re on your way to comfort AND class. Nettle’s Tale also offers gift cards if you are unsure of which amazing suit to purchase for the mama in your life! Before I forget, if you’re local to Vancouver you are in luck! They JUST opened a Nettle’s Tale STOREFRONT! So exciting. Their brand new shop is now open in the heart of Vancouver’s Historic Gastown. This store is the flagship retail outlet for Nettle’s Tale Swimwear. If you know your mother/wife would love Nettle’s Tale come this way! Stock photos from Nettle’s Tale

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6. VICTORIA SENGES||

I’m a huge fan of their monthly planner notepad and larger notepads. As most moms, I am constantly making lists and always double checking dates/groceries etc. It just makes it that much more fun when you’ve got a beautiful pad to write on! Make sure you also check out her perpetual wall calendar; these beauties are perfect for any small nook in your home, living room, entranceway, or even the kitchen! I also just want to zone in a little bit about the woman behind the paper; Victoria. Victoria created her own company and sought to build her design portfolio by branding companies, designing wedding invitations, and saying yes to just about anyone who was in need of design help. Eager to design things that reflected Victoria’s personal design style, she began designing inspiring prints for her mother to help during cancer treatments. When she realized she could be using the prints as a tool to raise money for cancer awareness. Each piece is printed, cut, glued, scored, foiled, and packaged by hand. A lot of love goes into the production of each individual piece. One of my biggest joys in supporting and shopping ‘small’ is the stories behind the owners and the passions that drive them onward and up! Shop her stuff now here and enjoy all her awesome&creative designs!

Photos by Julie Christine Photography

calendar

View More: http://juliechristinephotos.pass.us/calendars

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7. DIAPER BAG – HERSCHEL||

Herschel? Herschel for a diaper bag? Yes. So much yes. The perfect in between, bag for a mom on the go. Looking for something with a little more class, diaper pouch and sousou clip? Simple add-ons my friend! I have been carrying around an oversized Herschel Strand Duffle since Ez’ was born and I love it! Very versatile and big enough to just throw a few diapers a pouch for babe or to unpack and bring shopping. Also, I should note, the hubz doesn’t really mind that it’s a ‘cool looking bag’ either! (The only downside is that I added a poo emoji to the side, so that makes shopping fun when babe isn’t around. HA.)

HERSCHEL

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8. REMZO APPAREL||

Mommy&Me sets? Yes please! Time to celebrate mama and the little one who MADE that beautiful, strong, loving women a mama. Remzo Apparel has tons of great sets to choose from, or individuals if you are just looking for mom. But come on, who doesn’t love matching mom and babe clothes! They have almost all of their clothing is gender neutral and super fun to dress up with pigtails or ball caps. One of my all time favs is their ‘I need a nap’ shirts. Ez has yet to grow into hers, but soon, maybe in the summer, we will be posting for this awesome company once more. Rocking our matching T’s in the sunshine! Check them out here for their selection of awesome unique tee’s. Stock photos from Remzo Apparel.

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9. GLITTER+SPICE||

‘Teething might be ugly, but the solution doesn’t have to be. Who said you can’t have both style & function! Inspired to find a teething solution that was safe yet stylish when our youngest started teething, we created Glitter & Spice Accessories Inc. for modern day parents that are safe and fun for babies to chew.’ –Lorene, owner of G&S.

These necklaces are 100% food grade silicone, perfect for baby’s gums, BPA free and no yuckies (Phthalate’s, Lead, or PVC’s) and they use only Organic untreated wood. My absolute favourite thing that G+S does is the wooden top clasp they use, it is so baby friendly and unlike any other company that resembles their pacifier clips. One thing that a lot of mamas go through is the teething stages. Dads go through it to, believe me! But mamas are usually the day in, day out comforters for the wee ones. Glitter+Spice has come out with some of the most beautiful CHEWllery pieces for the moms in your life. I love these beads for the beautiful neutral sets they have and they are perfect to aid your sweet little ones while in depths of teething season. Head on over to their page and check out their endless assortment of colours, styles, beads and lengths to make the perfect piece. Your mama’s and your baby’s will thank you for this! Stock Photos from Glitter&Spice.

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10. THE CEDAR TRIBE||

Do you have a mama in your life who loves home décor? These beautiful handmade, custom crafted, painted and stained pieces are breathtaking. Seascapes, sunrises and sunsets are the heart beat to this talented woman. If your mama has an artist’s soul or a love for handmade beauty, this is it! Perfect for any type of mama, grandma, auntie mama, or sister mama! Enjoy and you’re welcome. Check her out on instagram (@thecedartribe) or facebook! She is new on there, so lets give Stephanie some love! Head on over to her Etsy page to see what new and custom designs she’s come up with this week. Always changing and bringing something new to the table, no two are alike!

Well, there you have it! That sums up our top ten gifts for mothers day! I hope you found something new to gift to that special woman in your life. If you found a new product or have been encouraged by some of the stories of the mamas behind each of these products, that brings me deep, deep joy! Make sure to head on over to the right of this page to find out how you can follow along and never miss a post! Enjoy your Mother’s Day!

X0X – CASS