Monday, 29 February 2016

Vaughn's First Birthday Camp Out

Vaughn's third birthday is coming up at the end of March and I'm already knee deep in party planning. His favourites change so flippantly and without warning these days. I'm not sure what kind of party we might end up with. I've told Ryan that I want the basement done for the party, but we will see. It might be a ramp* party at the community centre like always ;)
*the community centre has an accessibility ramp that the kids always run around on. It's pretty much the highlight of any event held there. 

I thought I would go through some parties of the past to get jazzed up.

please note* These photos are not that great. I want to say it's because they were "before the blog", but truth be told it's because most of them are photos from facebook.#keepingitreal

camping party invitation
I make all of my invites in picmonkey.(Our address and contact information were taken out so if you could just imagine them there that would be great!) It's super easy, quick and free! I printed Lilah's this year and was in a panic because I didn't get  them out early enough! E-mail invites for life for this last-minute Bridget.
camping party first birthday party supplies
I like to do extensive internet slash Pinterest research for party inspiration. Unfortunately, I often realize that non of that stuff is available to me. So I change my tune and do things on the fly based on what I find on my shopping trip. That's how Vaughn's paper airplane first birthday became Vaughn's first birthday camp out.

90% of the d├ęcor came from Dollarama, #onlythebestforus, but the major inspiration for the party was the plaid scarf that I found on sale for $2.50 from Le Chateau (my store at the time). The colours scheme was red, blue, green and tan and I bought all the things. I always put everything out on the dining room table when planning a party to see how it will all come together, and figure out what I'm actually going to do with some of the stuff. Sometimes I have a plan, and sometimes I get a tad carried away. Ceramic owl I'm looking at you.

Upon arrival, all of the kids got a bug catcher, flashlight and magnifying glass to find and catch the (plastic) bugs we hid all over the place (so fun!), and of course run off some energy on the ramp. Then it was time to grab their camp stools and set up camp.
painters tape trees and DIY tents

I had Ryan make these little tents using this tutorial (link no longer works, sorry!) and they were a definitely a hit. We have carpet at home so they seemed really sturdy, but once they were on the tile floor they slipped more easily. Fortunately, we only had one incident of the tent collapsing with children inside. We still have these and I'm hoping to use one in the nursery and one in the playroom. We used electrical tape to line the wall with a forest of trees, and I made a camp fire out of paper towel rolls and craft foam. The kids all sat around the fire eating marshmallows while Ryan's Mom sang some tunes accompanied by her guitar. #koombya

first birthday camping party details

The Party Animals and utensil holder ideas came from here and here. 

first birthday camping party sweets table

first birthday camping party sweets table

We chowed down on campfire classics: hotdogs, mac n' cheese (which burnt-oops!), and chips and dip. For dessert: Chocolate dipped pretzels, dirt cups, s'more marshmallows and cupcakes. It is dang hard to find mini Canadian woodland animals. I finally found them for an arm and a leg at Micheals #worthit.

first birthday camping party cake

I love that we are making the same face in this picture. #likemotherlikeson #mmmcake
To make the smash cake I rented a pan from Bulk Barn (I also did this for Lilah's first Birthday, and will probably do it for Jonas', too). You place a deposit and pay the rental fee which is really inexpensive. Bonus-I don't have another pan taking up space in my ridiculously small kitchen. 
first birthday camping party cake

first birthday camping party cake

I think the cake was a hit! 
first birthday camping party favours

On the way out, everyone got a bag of "take a hike" trail mix. Fun!

More camping party pin-spiration here.

I have a few more par-tay's to share with you in the coming weeks, as I ramp up for Vaughn's Big 3! Riveting stuff, folks!

Later Gators.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

what i wore Wednesday

I love the premise of what i wore Wednesday but it's been Har-ard getting "dressed" lately. We've had record breaking snowfall(and more on the way), and for the last week me and the boys have had a brutal cold. The struggle, she is real.

cardigan(GAP)/tank(Old Navy)/pants(Joe Fresh)-similar

I ordered this sweater from GAP last week and I guess there was some kind of internet glitch, because I paid $10 bucks. When I went to link it up, turns out the regular price is $74.95...not sure what happened there, but I ain't gonna complain. It's super comfy!

hoody(Old Navy)-old/tank(Old Navy)/black jeans(Joe Fresh)

On the weekend, Ryan made a comment on how we should move the bedroom around. We measured it out and decided it would not be right. That afternoon, he took the big kids out, and I got bored. I, of course, had to see if we were right, and guys, we clearly can't use a tape measure correctly because I'm lurving it! It's funny how even the littlest change can make a space feel so different. In the process, I took this mirror off the dresser, Jonas was so enamoured with his handsome reflection that I had to leave it on the floor for a bit. He loves it *high kick.

top(Joe Fresh)-old/jeans(Thyme Maternity)-old
I cannot wait until spring comes, and we can get outta this house on a more regular basis. Until then I've been keeping up my fitness old school style with Claudia Schiffers perfectly fit series. This has been my go to since High School, and I cannot recommend it enough, nor can I get over just how 90's it is. Amaze-balls.

Keep it real, folks.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Under Pressure

After the kids go to bed at night and I settle in to watch my stories (on Netflix, currently "The Good Wife"), crack a beer and mindlessly peruse Pinterest, I somehow forget what my life is really like. Maybe it's lack of sleep, Pinterest induced delusions, or the beer, but I always end up making grandiose plans that would never, ever happen in real life. Then, I get down on myself when those ridiculously overzealous plans don't work out. 

For example, This past weekend was Valentine's Day #shedontsay. I've been pinning fab ideas since New Year's, and this year was going to be SO MUCH FUN because Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday! I'd get up super early and set up a Valentine's day feast while everyone else was still sleeping. They would all get handmade, sentimental gifts that prove how much I love them and we would have the most wonderful, family fun-filled day there ever was!

Um...that didn't happen. I was purchasing gifts from Walmart on
Valentine's day, all of my heart day decor was packed away, due to the basement reno, and the last time I was the first one up was... never. 

If you think this is the first time I've gone through this planning slash disappointment cycle you are beyond mistaken. I do it every single holiday, birthday, and sometimes just for fun. I usually just scrap all plans, feel like a failure, and vow to do better next time. 

But this weekend I decided that just because it's not perfect or exactly what I had envisioned doesn't mean that it's not worth doing. (kinda like this ol' bloggy-poo). 

On Monday, just after Lunch, I brought down my Walmart prezzies. Parked them in front of the beautiful roses Ryan gave me for actual Valentine's Day, and did a whole "hmmm, what's this guys" and it was super fun! 

I wasn't up at the crack of dawn. There was no freshly made breakfast. The gifts were from Walmart. Definitely not what I had planned.   

Just some heartfelt words, sour jubes and chocolate hearts, and a new activity each for the kiddos.

We spent the rest of the afternoon colouring together. 

I felt a little (lot?) like the Grinch on Christmas morning watching the Who's down in Whoville having fun without roast beast.

The pressure we put on ourselves to do things perfectly is so self- inflicted. I'm beyond certain that I will never be "laid-back" or one to say "who cares" because it's me. I'm the one who cares, but my family, and I'm sure yours, doesn't. They think you are the greatest, and have no idea that this isn't the big plan. 

I'm sure they would have been happy colouring in our old colouring books with broken crayons. (Egad! The horror!) So, although I feel the need to do all the things to make things special, I'm realizing that it doesn't take much and it's definitely worth doing something vs. nothing. 
I hope all you folks had a great Valentine's day, too!

Later Gators,