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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Baby Essentials for Baby on Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BONUS : Mommy Essential

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

XOX – A very tired mama

2 Girls and Their Dolls – American Girl Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XOX,

Cass

 

SG Holiday Gift Guide | 2017

One of my favourite things to do is talk about things I am passionate about. Activities I love, dreams I hold dear and products and shops I believe in and am proud to support. I’m sure I am not the only one who boasts about something when they try a new shampoo and their hair is the most radiant and full it’s ever been or find an oversized bib that has extendable straps to grow with them – UHM. HELLO! You gotta share the love and spread the word!

Here is a list of some of tried&true favourites and a couple new! I hope you find something you’ll enjoy as well, or spark ideas for a loved one!

XO – Cass

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HIM

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Men’s Gift Box – B Natural Skincare

 

starbucks-tumbler

FREE Coffee&Tea Refill Tumbler – Starbucks

 

Growler Carrier – Perpetual Motion Creative Works

 

Whitecaps Tickets – Whitecaps FC

 

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Bottle Opener – Brand + Iron

 

Craft Beer – Mariner | Four Winds | Parkside | Yellow Dog | Twin Sails | Moody Ales

You may also like Father’s Day Gift Guide

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HER

Bath Soak+Bath Bombs+Sitz Bath – So Luxury

 

 Customized Gold Bar Necklace – Mint+Birch

 

Hair Repair Kit – Nezza Naturals

 

Calendar – V SHOP

 

Soy Candles – Luxurious Bath + Relaxation

 

Trinket Dish & Golden Indigo Ornament – Three Corners Artisan

 

Glass Jewellery – Sweet Caroline Creative

You may also like ‘Top Ten Gifts For The Mom Who Does It All’

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LITTLES

Doll Carrier – Beluga Baby

 

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Clip Message Clipboard – A Little Love Creative

 

Fire Pit Play Set + Teddy Bear Pullover – Nixi Lauroo

 

Personalized Backpack/Diaper Bag Tag – Ava to Zoe

 

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Vinklar Apron Bib – SKÅGFÄ

 

Crochet Holders (Pencil/Collections/Etc) – 12 Little Things

You may also like ‘Mat Leave Ends, Another Adventure Begins’

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FAMILY

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DIY Adventure Jar – A jar to store away extra funds for a day out with the family!

 

Tube-Park

Sledding/Tubing – Cypress Mountain

 

Family Photos – Olivia Ann Photography |Kaptured by KayCait Kennedy Photography |  Alyssa Kellert Photography+Film (check out our family film here)

 

Letter Board – Letter Peddler

 

Hemlock Himmeli Air Plant – Aloe Yucca

 

Stamped Hot CoaCoa Spoons – And Then Again

 

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Handmade Wall Decor – Rusticly Reclaimed Signs

You may also enjoy Berry Pickin’ Finger Lickin’

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Hopefully you were able to find something for everyone on your list this holiday and if you’ve got your own favourites I should add to my list this year, leave me a note! I would love to hear your own recommendations and holiday cheer!

Take Care!

x0x 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!

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

 

XO Cassandra

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

Trinket Dish - Three Corners Artisan

You can find the Trinket Dish HERE.

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

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4 Step Homemade Pie Crust

Ingredients:

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

1) Mix flour and sugar in bowl.

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

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

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

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

Happy Baking!

XOX – Cass

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

Pie Crust 101

3 Tips to the easiest pie crust!

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

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

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

 

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

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

LillooetLake3

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

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

Tofino Towel – Lightweight – Flores

Ez’ Dress – Geema Sews

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

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

Tofino Towel – Long Beach – Volume 2

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

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

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

Ez Bonnet – Fawn&Lace

Ez Dress – Geema Sews

Ez Mocs – Wild Ones Mocs

Ez Stripped Shortie – Jax&Lennon

Ez long sleeve ‘Mountain Baby’ – LiveLoveNorth

Tofino Towel – The Flores

 

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4. Nairn Falls – Light walk & Family friendly

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

Ez Bonnet – Fawn&Lace

Ez Dress – Geema Sews

Ez Mocs – Wild Ones Mocs

Ez Teal Shortie – Jax&Lennon

Chew Accessory – Baby Bear Design

Tofino Towel – The Flores

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5. Okanagan Lake – Family Friendly/Boat friendly

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

Ez Bathing Suit – Mosie’s Cozies

Tofino Towel – The Flores

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

XO – Cass

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