Christmas Gift Ideas

Little Larch – Natural Playdough (YYC based)IMG_3205
www.littlelarch.com
Little Larch believes in play-based learning. The play dough is made without the use if synthetic dyes or scents. They use plant-based dyes and essential oils for a mild scent. This is a great gift for toddlers and kids a like. You could include cookie cutter or the child’s favourite figurines so they can create further.
They have over 10 different colours to choose from. I love supporting small shops.

Use my code for 15% off: CROSS15 (Expires November 14, 2019)

 

Pebble To Peak – All things Teething (YYC based)img_3207.jpg

www.pebbletopeak.com
This company was made by moms for moms and I love all the products have bought from them. The have everything from teethers to teething rings, pacifier clips and chewerly. These products would be a great gift for the babies in your family or a stocking stuffer for your own little ones.

Use my code for 20% off: PS2019
(Expires December 31, 2019)

 

Bloom Body Co. – Bath and Body Care (YYC based)IMG_3206
www.bloombody.ca
Bloom Body provides effective products that are hand-crafted with love and car in small batches. Their products are 100% toxin-free and packed with plant-powered ingredients. This is a great gift for the young adults, moms and friends in our life! They have a combination on sets and individual products for purchase.

Use my code to get 15% off: Jenna15
(expires December 31, 2019)

 

Little Lily Shop – Pretend Make up/Custom Apparel/ Mugs (Kelowna Based)IMG_3146
www.etsy.com/ca/shop/LittleLilyShop
A mom entrepreneur that inspires creative play with her beautiful pretend makeup collections made little Lily Shop. Aria received some products from this shop for Christmas last year and she hasn’t stopped playing with it.

 

 

 

Dinklebo – Personalize Gifts
www.dinkleboo.com

My kids love these books. They are always so excited when they receive and read the personalized books. They have books, calendars, photo books, bags, pencil cases and more! These gifts are all well priced. These would be a great gift for any age or gender of child.

 

Board Game Bliss – The Board Game Store (Toronto based)
www.boardgamebliss.com

Board Game Bliss has a huge variety of board game for every age and gender. I love giving board games as gifts to encourage a family together night. Do you have siblings you are buying for? Why not give one child a board game and their favourite snacks and they other child a movie and their favourite snacks? A movie night and game night for the entire family!

 

Amazon – So. Many.Things.

Creative Construction Ages 5-10+
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B074TCJMQW/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_2?smid=A28ISL1D8W79T7&psc=1

Kids Doctor Kits
https://www.amazon.ca/Balnore-Stuffers-Educational-Dress-Up-Classroom/dp/B07D3Q4K4T/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?keywords=kids+doctor+kit&qid=1571259047&s=toys&sr=1-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFZNUxBNExHMzhGRk8mZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA4NzI2OTgyMU1EMThTRVdORzM4JmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4NzQyMDROSjNVVkU2TE1TSEUmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl

Melissa & Doug Floor Puzzles (ages 3 and up)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07GL598LC/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A3IDC0JV3X48D8&psc=1

Cookbook for Kids (best for children that can read)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1616280182/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Kids Outdoor Explore Kit – All ages
https://www.amazon.ca/Joyjoz-Educational-Containers-Binoculars-Magnifying/dp/B07TR4JYMB/ref=sr_1_112?crid=37WT03BS75I91&keywords=boy+gifts&qid=1571259600&sprefix=%2Caps%2C222&sr=8-112

Magnetic Building Tiles – Ages 2/3 +
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06WWGZD74/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A1XDW46SH4F0CY&psc=1

Marble Run Set – Ages 3+
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B074M2LGDQ/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_2?smid=A1R8FY74L4M42U&psc=1

Magnetic Dart Board for kids – Ages 4+
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07SYFYKM4/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_3?smid=A1Q7ZB6G6RLGHS&psc=1

Magic Doodle Mat – Ages 2-7
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07MYTFN7Z/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_4?smid=A3AGIG37C8ILIH&psc=1

Hubs Favourite Vegan Pasta Sauce

A creamy spicy sun dried tomato sauce that’s simple and quick to make. Uses simple ingredients which makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner. Vegan and gluten free when using your favourite gluten free pasta.


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g uncooked pasta
  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 5 garlic gloves, minced (2 tbsp)
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 210mL sun dried tomatoes (jarred in oil, with garlic and herbs included), drained from any oil
  • 500mL roasted red bell peppers with liquid (or 2 large red bell peppers roasted in the oven if doing your own)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups chopped fresh  spinach

Preheat over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Chop cauliflower into pieces, slices onion, chop garlic  and to baking tray with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower for about 20 mins or until tender with a bit of colour.

Boil water for pasta. And cook according to package

Add cauliflower (with onions and garlic), sun dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, nutritional yeast, almond milk, and salt/ pepper to the blender and blend until smooth.

Heat ,on medium low, 1/2 tsp of olive oil to a large sauce pan. Add oregano and chilli flakes for about 30 secs. Add sauce from the blender and heat through. Add chopped spinach and stir till wilted.

Add finished sauce to cook/drained pasta.

Enjoy

Welcome my dear, Alaina.

On Tuesday, March 26th at 1am I woke up with back contractions. It was 6 days before my due date. They were more noticeable then most of the “false” labor I was having in the week’s prior. The contractions were strong, often but tolerable. “They” always say, if you can walk and talk though them it is not active labor… and I was texting. I was texting my sweet friend about if the contractions were going to progress or if I should try to go back to bed.

At about 2am my friend advised me that it was probably time to wake up Daniel. When I woke Daniel up, he was under the impression that he was snoring and I had come to kick him out of bed, Ha! After I explained that I thought that it was time to meet our little girl he proceeded to ask me multiple times if I was sure. I drew a bath to see how my contractions would act in the water. (Did you know that water will slow down contractions if they aren’t “real” and speed them u if the are? So cool right?)

At 2:30am we called my sister to come over and then we called the midwives pager. The midwife (Bayli) could hear me working hard with each contraction do they decided they would head over.

My sister arrived around 3:30am and not to far after that midwives (Bayli and Chelsea) were here. After we chatted about what had been happening they checked my dilation and I was only 3cm. I felt so defeated. These contractions felt intense and they were coming quicker. I decided to head into the shower to attempt relieve some of my back labor. As I was in the shower my sped up rapidly, contractions every 1.30 last 1 min ( 30 sec recovery time was feeling pretty brutal)  My midwives headed downstairs to start some paper work and I spent some time hanging over my birth ball with my sister and Daniel taking turns putting counter pressure on my back as my labor processed. As the involuntary pushing and baring down started I heard Bayli run up the stairs and I knew I had dilated fully and baby was going to be here soon. She didn’t even check me at this point. She just said’ We are going to set up for baby’s arrival now.

Finally about 4:55 I started to transition. For those who don’t know, this is the final and most intense part of labor. This is when a woman’s strength is tested. I felt there was nothing I could do to cope. I just remembered feeling the next contraction without a break from my last. I was just repeating “ no no no no no”.

My midwives had ran a bath for me and they suggested I see if being in the tub made end more tolerable. I moved around the tub trying to get relief from the contractions and involuntary pushing. I really thought Alaina was going to come out my bum but my midwives reassure me that they had never seen that before.

They asked if Daniel wanted to catch baby and he very quickly declined that job which was a good thing because as I stood in my next contraction, I pushed and Alaina came out extremely fast and was caught mid fall but the student midwife. (I kinda picture she looked like a baby giraffe being born, where they just fall out and toward the ground)

Alaina was born at 5:44am and the first thing Daniel said “S**t I am glad I wasn’t in charge of catching the baby”. I held my baby to my chest as I walked to my bed; we laid down and stared at each other as we waited for the placenta to be delivered.

I nursed Alaina for the first time and the midwives did all the checks on both of us that they needed to. They cleaned up and started laundry. My sister got Aria up and made her breakfast as Daniel and I just stayed in bed staring at our new addition.
The one thing that I really wanted was for Alaina to weigh more then my first daughter (Aria) who was 6lb 3oz. My heart sank, Alaina came out weight a tiny 5lb 8oz but she latched really well and is growing like a champ.

Veggie Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cauliflower chopped**
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp hemp heartsimage1

Instructions

  1. In a pot, with a steam basket in the bottom, steam cauliflower until it falls apart easily when pierced with a fork.
  2. Drain cauliflower and add to blender or magic bullet
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth
  4. Season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Prepare your favourite pasta and combine

** I have uses a number of different veggies along as it adds up to be 3 cups.

I have prepared the sauce with butternut squash and carrot to imamate a cheese sauce and Aria loves my spinach, zucchini and broccoli version.

Easter Baskets with Less Added Sugar

I love Easter! I love the feeling that spring is here and the celebration of our saviour Jesus!
The tradition of Easter baskets and Easter egg hunts is so fun but I am not a fan of all the added sugar!
I am sharing some of my top suggestion for Easter baskets your kids will love without all the chocolate and candy.

For all ages:
Books
Beach Toys
Music/ CDs
Healthier snack options

  • For baby I really like Love Child Organics! My top picks would be love ducks, banana o’s and oat bars
  • Annie’s Organics cheddar bunnies or Honey gram bunnies
  • Smart food popcorn
  • Kind bars/LÄra bars

New PJs
Reusable festive straws/cups
Festive Hair Clips/ Accessories
Festive Temporary Tattoos
Bubble Bath. Bath Bombs

For baby and young kids:
Bathtub books
Bath Toys
Teething Toys

For older children:
Festive Stickers
Festive Coloring Book
Nail Polish
Travel puzzles
Travel Games
Individual Lego Toy Pack
Educational DVD
Movie passes
Lip Gloss
Sidewalk Chalk
Festive Earrings

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Little Boy Age 4
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Little Girl Age 6

 

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Toddler Girl Age 14 months
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Toddler Boy Age 19 Months