An Under the Sea Christmas

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

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

You may also like SG Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Marine Debris Christmas Tree

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

_________________________________________

Eel-lectric Powered Christmas Tree

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

_________________________________________

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

4D Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

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

_________________________________________

Jelly Snow Globe

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

You may also like 10 Tips to starting a capsule wardrobe

_________________________________________

Scuba Claus

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

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

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

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

 

XO

Cass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VENDOR/SHOP LIST

Styled & Curated – Stumbling Grace Blog

Photographer : Tallya D Photography

Decor

Autumn wispy wreath – Bloom Bloom Room

Letter Board – Letter Peddler  

The Flores Towel/Blanket – Tofino Towel

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

Floral décor on golden frame – Vintage Meadows

Chalkboard lettering & Window Pane lettering – Hand Lettered by Bev

Decor & FurnitureJubilee Collection

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

HYGGE Wooden Cut Paper Heart Calligraphy

Sweet

Salted Caramel Popcorn & Pretzels – Batch Sweets

Macaroon’s & Cake Pops – Cakes’nSweets

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

Savoury

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

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

Bread & Dips – A Bread Affair 

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

Sip

Fortunello & Oat Porter – Four Winds Brewery

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

Homemade Apple Cider – Stumbling Grace

Table Setting

Invitations, Name Cards, Menus – AylaPena Calligraphy

Table Greenery & Greenery on dessert table – Maple Ridge Florist 

Candles – Wood Lot

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

Stop Buggin’ Spray – K’Pure  

Lavender Bouquets & Gather Tags – Grow & Gather Farms

Table Settings & Decor – Pretty Things Rentals

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

Wooden cutlery – Joonie&Joe

Takeaway

Pumpkin spice cookie jars – Jars by Jodi

Woodlot Soap Bars – Wood Lot

Venue Location : The Secret Garden’ at Woodbridge Ponds

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

GUESTS

Cassandra – Stumbling Grace Blog

Chalie – GOLDNgrasses

Diana – Happy Bees Events

Jen – Little Sprout Creations

Kayla – The Jubilee Collection

Natalia – The Venture Creative

Samantha Lenz – Oh Samantha! Blog

Shannon – Shannon Lee Blog

Tallya – Tallya D Photography

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

 

Cheers loves! and here’s to many more.

 

XOX – Cass

 

 

 

 

 

6 Foot Gingerbread House (cardboard; not cookie)

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

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

Ezra’s Gingerbread House

Materials

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

STEP 1 : B O X E S

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

You may also like LEGO of your DIY fears

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.

You may also like : Canadiana Styled Shoot

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!

IMG_8347

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

 

XO Cassandra

10 Tips to start a Capsule Wardrobe

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

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

REASONS TO START A CAPSULE WARDROBE:

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

HERE ARE 10 TIPS TO GET STARTED!

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

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

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

You may also like Keepin’ Comfy No Matter What Hat I’m Wearing

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

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

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

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

You may also like : Beach Ready From Head to Tote

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

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

You may also like : Apple Cider Sippin’

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

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

BONUS : MY TOP 5 PIECES TO START YOUR CAPSULE

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

BONUS #2 : TIPS FOR CHILDS CAPSULE WARDROBE

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

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

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

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

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

XOX Cass

Apple Cider Sippin’ – Recipe

apple cider ingredients

WELCOME! to THE best apple cider you will ever make. I honestly cannot believe how YUMMY this was! I am also not one to declare to the world that something is THE BEST, unless it really is. so here you go!

Now this was the one that intimidated me. When I first set out to put this post together of my favourites for the fall, one staple for me is apple cider, and yes, the powdered ones. This time though, I wanted to try and actually MAKE the cider. So here we are!

You may also enjoy : Homemade Apple Pie – Recipe

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am quite the snob when it comes to apple and orange juices. I love the raw, pulpy, hand squeezed taste. My absolute favourites are ‘Simply Brand – Apple Juice’ and ‘Tropicana , Some pulp, Orange Juice” LOL! If you love cider as much as I do well then this will be a treat! Here is the full recipe to this delicious Apple Cider, Enjoy!

You may also like : 1-2-3-ROLL your easiest pie crust yet!

Ingredients:

Serves 10-12

• 1 orange

• 1 lemon

• 10 apples (a mixture is good — we used Jazz apples and Granny Smiths)

• 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

•  1 small piece ginger, peeled and sliced

• 1 teaspoon all spice

• 12 cloves

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•  3/4 cup brown sugar

You may also like :Homemade Apple Pie – Recipe

Instructions:

1. Peel the zest off the orange and lemon, being careful not to peel off the white pith (as this is very bitter). Cut all of the white pith off and discard, then cut the orange and lemon into slices (don’t worry about the seeds — they’ll be sieved out later).

2. Cut the apples into quarters.

3. Place the orange and lemon slices and peels into the slow-cooker pot along with the apples, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cloves, vanilla extract and sugar. Pour in enough cold water to cover everything.

4. Turn the slow cooker to high, place the lid on and cook for three hours.

5. After three hours, use a potato masher to mash the fruit into the water, then place the lid back on and cook for a further 30-60 minutes.

6. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a large jug and serve immediately.

7. Alternatively you can cool, cover and refrigerate until needed. Simply reheat in a pan when ready to serve.

Have a recipe you’d like to share? or maybe your very own spin on Apple Cider? I would love to hear about it and add to my recipe book!

XOX

You may also like :The BEST Butter Chicken Sauce

5 Ways to enjoy apples this fall!

IMG_6993

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

You may also enjoy 10 Great Gifts for the Mother who does it all!

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

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


APPLE PICKING – TAVES FAMILY FARM

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

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

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


IMG_5128

APPLE PIE – Homemade is the Best-made

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

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

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

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

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

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


IMG_7150

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

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

You may also enjoy : The Best Butter Chicken Sauce


IMG_4577

Apple Cider

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

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

IMG_4414

 

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

You may also like : Canadiana Styled Shoot


IMG_7142

Apple Chips

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

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

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

Here’s what you’ll need:

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

IMG_7080

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

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

ENJOY!


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

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

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

XOX Cass

 

Homemade Apple Pie – Recipe

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

You may also enjoy : The Best Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 batches of my one minute homemade pie crust (or 1 if you roll it out very thinly!)
  • 7-8 small granny smith apples, peeled, sliced, and cored
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1). Place the peeled, cored, and sliced apples in a large bowl. Set aside.

2). Preheat oven to 425F.

3). In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the 3 tbsp of flour and mix well, forming a paste. Add the water, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and mix well. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat to a simmer for an additional minute.

4). Remove from heat and reserve about 1/3 cup of filling for pie crust. Add remaining filling to apples. Toss well.

5). Pour apples into prepared pie crust, mounding slightly. Top with second pie crust (lattice design, etc). Brush the remaining 1/3 cup caramel filling over the crust.

You may also enjoy : Keepin’ comfy no matter what hat I’m wearing

6). Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil. I lightly spray the foil so it does not stick to the pie. Place the pie on top of a cookie sheet (to catch any drips) and bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 50 minutes (remove the foil the last 10 minutes to let the crust brown), or until done.  The pie is done when the crust is golden-brown and the apples are soft when pierced with a fork.

7). Allow the pie to cool before serving. Enjoy!

Serves: 8-10 people.

Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Apple-Pie-by-Grandma-Ople/. 

Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Mini Pie Bites (or deceiving sausage rolls)

After I had put the filling in to the pie crust and noticed that I had some left overs of the filling and the dough. I quickly cut up another apple and made little triangles of dough to wrap with filling for small like apple bites. It was a complete on the whim experiment but it worked out! I put them on a small pan beside the pie and let them cook about the same time as the pie – checking on them every 20 minutes or so though!

Enjoy!!

I would LOVE to hear your favorite fall time recipes and if you have ever experimented with your very own apple pies! or better yet, created apple bites yourself lol!

XOX Cass

 

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

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

You may also enjoy : Top ten gifts for the mom who does it all

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

Trinket Dish - Three Corners Artisan

You can find the Trinket Dish HERE.

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

You may also enjoy : The Best Butter Chicken Sauce

4 Step Homemade Pie Crust

Ingredients:

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

1) Mix flour and sugar in bowl.

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

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

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

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

Happy Baking!

XOX – Cass

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

Pie Crust 101

3 Tips to the easiest pie crust!

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

You may also like : Canadiana Styled Shoot

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

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

 

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

_MG_6386

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

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

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

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

XOX – Cass

Discover more about Ethona here :  Instagram | FacebookWebsite

LEGO of your DIY fears!

Here are 3 DIY’s that will make sure, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME, at your Lego party!

IMG_6587

A few weeks back, I had the privilege of working along side Chalie from Gold’n’Grasses for a very special birthday party for her son. Being an avid lego collector and enthusiast, he wanted to have nothing more than a party that was completely ENGULFED in the LEGO world!

Now, having a small flash back to when I was a child, my brother, sister and I loved and adored all things Lego, we would want nothing more, for any occasion, than to sit and build, create and imagine for hours on end. When I was first approached for this project,  my 6-year-old-Cassandra-heart was jumping for joy and waiting in anticipation for the day this party would come! Just listening to Chalie talk about all she had planned made my heart pitter patter, dreaming alongside her and envisioning what she was about to achieve! And boy, oh boy did his mama deliver!

Continue reading on for FREE printable’s, created by yours truly, and more DIY projects to make your very own LEGO party for your little (or grown up) super fan. I absolutely LOVED being apart of this event with Chalie and being able to help bring her vision to life. I am always looking to collaborate for my next event, whether it be creating or partnering with creators, so don’t be shy! Let’s Chat.

DIY #1 – Lego Building Activity Cards (FREE Printable)

You may also like 40’s Lemonade Stand

Get some creativity going and start the spark of imagination with these fun and customizable Lego Activity Cards. These cards were super simple to make and to create a set that was completely unique to Tristan! (ex: Create a number 5 out of Lego, Create a letter ‘T’ out of Lego, etc.) You can move on to creating favourite things of the birthday girl or boy or even just another item that falls into the theme of the party, ex: Police Station. Enjoy!

Below is a link to your very own set of Lego Activity Cards to use at your next party or even just around the house!! I would love to hear what you come up with for your own set that is unique and customized for your little ones! 

[Click here for LEGO Activity Cards]

___________________________________________________________

DIY #2 City Line Photo Booth Backdrop

This DIY was a 3-part task, now I chose to paint the pieces after I had measured and cut them. I also decided to use spray paint so that made it a lot easier as well! Here is a rough break down of how I made these beautiful, simple but dramatic party decor come to life!

Step 1 : Materials

Find what you are going to use as your base for this project. My hubs went to Costco and grabbed a couple of the pieces of cardboard that sit in-between the giant pallets and brought them home to cut up!  (I used 3 pieces of 3ft x 5ft) You can also use cardboard boxes, diaper boxes, or even head over to Michaels or Staples and pick up black poster board.

Step 2: Trace/Sketch

Sketch out the exact shapes that you would like to cut out – here it is not really a big deal if you mess up or have pencil everywhere. You are going to be painting over it soon, but if you are really unsure, take a sharpie or marker and trace the exact lines so you dont make a mistake while cutting!

Step 3: Cutting

This was the most grueling task for this whole project. I used a cutting board underneath while I used my exacto knife and then later on realized that using scissors would be much easier. Just make sure it’s not the cheap-o version!

IMG_4737

Step 4: Painting

The paint I found the easiest and quickest to use was spray paint, I placed a large piece of plastic on the ground and did 2 coats of black matte spray paint. You could totally do this with a paint brush, I just imagine it taking 5 times longer!

Step 5: Dry & Set up!

IMG_4752

___________________________________________________________

DIY #3 Gift Bag Tags (FREE Printable)

Don’t forget to tag the bag and to say thanks for celebrating the girl/boy of the hour! I designed these awesome tags for Chalie & Tristan to attach to their iconic ‘Money Bag’ goody bags. What an awesome idea, because, well, a bag full of money is a pretty awesome goodie! lol. Follow a long and grab your very own gift tags to use for your next Lego party!

Below is a link to your FREE PRINTABLE for your own gift tags the next time you throw a Lego Party!

[Click here for Lego Favor Bag Tags]

Even MORE Lego DIY’s to keep the party going! 

Lego Twister – Created & Crafted by Chalie at GOLDNgrasses
Diamond Pinata – Created & Crafted by Chalie at GOLDNgrasses

If you haven’t had a chance yet, head on over to Gold’n’Grasses and get the FULL layout and run down here of all the shops involved, other DIY’s you won’t want to miss and photos of her big 5 year old boy!! It was such an enormous joy to not only celebrate Tristan in turning 5, but to work alongside someone who is just as passionate and goal driven to see their dream come to fruition. Chalie my girl, you are a true Gem! And not just because you made an awesome Diamond Pinata! ❤

Happy Birthday Tristan, I hope it was a blast and that EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME!!

Xo Cass

You may also enjoy Ezra’s first Flamingo

If there was anything that Chalie had or used in this party and are worried about finding out where she found the perfect pieces for this Lego theme, look no further! Below are all the links you will need to find the local and creative community that poured in to this event.

Styled & Curated by : Chalie at GoldnGrasses

Photographer  :  Creative Wife & Joyful Worker

​Photo editing: GOLDNgrasses

Venue :  High Street Community Room
Food :  Memphis Blues BBQ
Custom cake & macarons :   Super Sweet Sheep
​Mini mango cheesecakes & white chocolate ganache pudding: The Wooden Whisk
Night out sprinkle mix : Dainty Sprinkle co.
Sugar cookies : Sweeter with a Cookie
Popsicles : Tubify
Cake toppers : Glitter Paper Scissors
Lego printables : Swirl Creative
​Lego head printables : Creative Wife and Joyful Worker (link coming soon)
​Lego activity cards & cityscape & gift tags : Stumbling Grace
Art school speckle large plate & tissue diamonds: Bash Party Goods
Canapé grid plate paper ware :  Heather & Gem
Paper straws & candles :Joonie and Joe
Cups & napkins :EZ party
​Confetti & small ballons : Oh Happy Day! Party Shop
Customized wooden pendant banner :Sprig West
Lego cutlery & party favors : Oriental trading
High five shirt :Lucky Bum Clothing
​Kids tables and chairs :Turkey Party Makers Ltd.
Lego twister DIY : GOLDNgrasses
Diamond piñata DIY : GOLDNgrasses
Lego cop printable : GOLDNgrasses