Saturday, December 29, 2018

Disney Trip 2018 Recap

It's been over a month since our Disney trip and I've just been WAITING for the chance to sit down and write a post about it and share all of our photos from our vacay. Now that the craziness of Christmas prep is over, I was so happy to walk through memory lane and come up with a snapshot of our trip!

Disney is the best. It's so magical, happy, and nostalgic, you can't help but feel like a little kid again. The attention to detail is perfect and you'll probably hear yourself start to hum along to all the classic Disney songs that play. I will forever and always wish to be a SoCal local just so that I am in close proximity to the happiest place on earth. Actually, on our trip, I met a mom who was taking her 7 year old daughter to Disneyland for the first time ever, despite living only a half an hour away. Needless to say my jaw dropped and she laughed nervously as I shook my head in disbelief!

Going with three kiddos aged 4, 3 and then a baby under 1 required a little extra work but thankfully, Donald and I found our groove early into the trip which made everything go by super smoothly!
 We decided at the very beginning of the trip that we would make sure to take our time, try not to over plan and to follow the kids' lead as much as possible. Also, we agreed that Donald would buy me all the Matterhorn macaroons my heart desired.

Our trip had so many high points, so many fun, small memories and so many big and exciting ones. The girls were all about the magic and their imaginations were in hyper drive so we just marveled at them most of the time! From Eloise's excitement over the carousel to Sophie's 5 minute long hug from Rey, it was all so wonderful. We tried feeding Theo his first ice cream ( which he did not like at all), Sophie danced in the Viva Navidad street party and there was even a magical moment in there for Donald and I, despite being grown ups and without pixie dust.


Highlight 1.

We did a lot of family bonding over our week in California. We would race to the entrance every morning, talk about our favorite part of the day at Dinner, play eye-spy and guessing games while waiting in line. We'd sing Christmas songs together and share treats. Having Donald to ourselves 24/7 was in itself such a fun thing since it doesn't happen often...not since Theo was born!


Highlight 2.
Eloise is our observer. She also has a major poker face so sometimes she isn't the easiest to read. I would ask what was her favorite part of the day so far and she would usually say the food we had just eaten. One morning, while Donald and Sophie were on a big kid ride, Eloise and I went to meet Elena, Eloise's FAVORITE princess. She was a little speechless and was totally stunned the entire meet and greet. When Elena suggested that they take a photo, Eloise turned to me with this huge smile and I nearly cried. Probably the biggest smile of the trip!


Highlight 3.
Sophie was a ride machine! The girl went on most of the big kid rides, including Splash Mountain (which was her favorite), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Grizzly River Run. She wanted to go on the Incredicoaster so badly but she was still a little too short. Next time! She was so adventurous and had a blast. And we loved experiencing all the adventures right along with her!


Highlight 4.
Donald's brother met up with us for a few days which was so fun. The girls loved seeing him and taking him on their favorite rides. And because we had the extra help with the kids, Donald and I had the chance to go on a ride together, sans kids! Shut the front door! We went on Big Thunder Mountain Railway just when the fireworks had started so as we actually had the best spot in the house to enjoy the fireworks! It was so magical and was probably one memory I'll never forget. 


Our family's top 5 Favorite rides
1. Pirates of the Caribbean (we went like 15 times!)
2. Dumbo
3.Jungle Cruise
4. Grizzly River Run
 ( well, just Donald, Sophie and I. We went back to back 5 times until we were drenched. Loved it!)
5.Toy Story Mania

Where we stayed...
We stayed at the Howard Johnson again, which I absolutely love! It's priced so reasonably, there's a pool, splash park and it's only a 8 minute walk to Disneyland (depending on security lines!). My dream is to someday stay at one of the Disney hotels but I think Hojo is a perfectly good place to stay until that happens! 

What we ate...
Christmas is such a good time to visit Disneyland because there are treats upon treats upon treats! They even had a pumpkin spice churro which was life changing. Not to mention an incredible plate of Nachos at Rancho del Zocalo and my ultimate favorite dessert; a cozy cone shaped Santa hat with a cookies and cream filling. Ugh, so good! Also, not Disney related at all but I had my first in-and-out burger while I was in Cali and it completely lived up to the hype! 

If I had to offer one piece of advice...
Get to the park early! Less lines, more photo ops and much more relaxed. Do it, you won't regret it!

My DLR Essentials

I knew we'd be walking a kajillion steps a day so I wanted the comfiest shoes I could get me hands on. These were amazing and didn't look half bad with a dress which to me was a big deal! Also, this bag from Fawn Design was perfect to carry the essentials with me at all times. It fit my camera, phone, snacks, wallet and muslin blanket while leaving my hands free. Definitely my top two essentials.

All right, now for all the photos!!





Thursday, November 1, 2018

Eloise's County Fair Birthday Party

Our darling little Eloise is now 3! Say whaaat? I don't know where time has gone or how my littlest girl has grown into this funny little kid! Eloise, I love you girl but please, slow down just a little, mmmkay?

This year was the first year we ever did a party with friends for Eloise and I was so nervous about how it would go over. Eloise is pretty reserved and I knew that for her, less would be more and much better! Also, I've been reading so many good things about minimalism and simplicity and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to put into practice all the great tidbits I had learned.
 Plus, I wanted the focus to be on celebrating Eloise rather then getting caught up about creating a "perfect" party. I kept reminding myself to stop with the party prep as soon as it stopped being fun and became stressful. Since I do love crafting, it was actually super fun and kinda relaxing! 
I even had some help from my fun little 10 year old brother who stopped by with my mom at one point, the day before the party. Truthfully, the only thing that was a tad stressful was the hour before the guests arrived, not because of party-related stuff but because a pink crayon had mysteriously made it's way into our dishwasher, turning all of our dishes a bright pink! Oops!




Now, about the decorations and the theme! Eloise had requested a horse themed party eons ago so until the day before her party I was going to make a balloon garland and the put up a bunch of horse photos up everywhere. Then she pulled out a cupcake Ferris wheel from storage and declared that she wanted to use it for the party. I stared at her for a good minute trying to think how the heck I was going to incorporate a Ferris wheel into a horse themed party when DING, a light bulb flashed in my head and I thought of a county fair. PERFECT!

After turning on the soundtrack from State Fair, I began by making pinwheels in all sorts of colors and textures of paper; scrapbook paper, tissue paper,  brown packaging paper, even an old manila folder! Then I found a bunch of beautiful images of vintage horse postcards to bring in the horse theme. Overall, I spent maybe $10 on decorations since most things I used to decorate were items I already had around the house.
 We made popcorn and served it in little paper bags, there were toy horses everywhere on the table and we even handed out teeny tiny bags of cotton candy to out guests because you can't go the fair without eating cotton candy
!I loved how it all turned out. and I think it's safe to say Eloise loved it too!




Megan xo



Friday, October 5, 2018

Fall Centrepiece Arrangement DIY


Us Canadians are on the cusp of Thanksgiving and I've been busy working on little diy's and my little crafting heart has never been happier! I love holidays and I love making stuff. Put them together and you get a very happy Meg!

Today, I have a little pumpkin centrepiece arrangement diy for any of you that are wanting to turn some fresh flowers into a beautiful centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table. I love the idea of adding to the festive spirit of any holiday by adding a few handmade touches. It just makes the occasion so much more special! So, if you decide to make an arrangement of your own (trust me, you got this!) please let me know how it went! And show me pictures because I love seeing your diy's!

What you'll need:

-6-10 stems of mixed greenery
-2-4 stems of bigger blooms
-4 stems of filler
-2 stems berries
-2 stems ornamental cabbage
-2 pumpkins, real or faux
-long, low container
-florist foam


*My flower shop shopping list*
Greenery- madronna, asparagus fern, seeded eucalyptus (find a nice full stem!)
Blooms- Spray Roses
Filler- Sedum (It's my favorite seasonal filler)
Berries- I used snowberries
I went with soft greens, pinks and whites because I love the neutral Fall look. Have fun with colors, particularly with orange, rose, mustard and burgundy blooms.

Step 1.
Fill foam with water and place in container securely. Begin placing greenery on ends to establish length of your arrangement. Keep it proportionate with the rest of the arrangement. You don't want long pieces of greenery sticking out of a compact and small arrangement. 

Step 2.
Determine where the pumpkins will go in the arrangement and temporarily set them on the foam so that you can work around them

Step 3.
Begin arranging flowers and greenery in the foam. Allow some space in between, you can always fill this in later. keeping an eye at all levels so as not to miss any blank spots. I like to put my bigger things, like the cabbage, on opposite corners so that everyone around the table will have a variety of items to enjoy. Same goes for the blooms. Continue to build the arrangement around the pumpkins, adding greenery around the pumpkins to hold them in place.


Step 4.
Strategically add berries in highly visible spots. They were my accent pieces so I wanted to make sure they stood out nicely!

Step 5.
Sit down and look at your arrangement at eye level. Fill in those blank spots, make any little adjustments needed. I kinda ran out of greenery and flowers (oops) so I improvised and tucked in some mossy pine cones. I think it turned out pretty well and that extra texture is soooo good!


Taa-daa! Your arrangement is complete! Now go have fun setting the rest of the table and enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Megan xo

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Halloween Costumes Inspired by Our Favorite Books

It's pretty common for my girls to reenact the books that they read. Sophie usually calls dibs on the heroine and Eloise is more than satisfied to be the friendly animal sidekick. Except for Fancy Nancy; everyone wants to be Nancy!

Since Halloween is right around the corner, we've had our thinking caps on, trying to decide who/what everyone will be for trick or treating, and it's been a ton of fun! The girls have been pouring over their favorite books, pointing out all their different ideas and giggling over ridiculous
ones.  I gotta say though, there's a very good chance that we will channeling the Pevenise children, wearing old fur coats because the end of October here in Alberta is sooooo cold!

Here are some of our favorite ideas so far. Most of the props were made from things I had around the house which made for quite the crafting session!


Anne of Green Gables


Sophie and Eloise were introduced to my favorite literary red-head when they were super little and I had gotten them children's version of the Canadian classic. I wanted them to get familiar with story of Anne long before they were able to read the series for themselves.


what you'll need:
-a long sleeved dress
-straw hat
-yarn
-brown eyeliner for freckles


To make the braids, I cut several strands of yarn and secured one end with a tight tie with a smaller piece of yarn. After braiding, I tied it with another small piece and glued the top of the braid to the straw hat so that plenty of the braid hung down from the hat. Repeat with another handful of yarn and voila! Carrots!


Olivia






















This sassy and confident pig is a favorite around here! Both girls love Olivia. And so do I! The artwork is so fun and simple. A little argument broke out among Sophie and Eloise as to who would get to dress up as Olivia because who doesn't want to dress up as a cheeky little pig in a red dress?!

what you'll need:

-red dress

-pig ears and nose kit (I made mine with some light pink felt, and an egg carton for the nose)
-white felt
-black ribbon



To make the white collar, I copied a pattern like this one from Pinterest and cut the white felt according to the instructions. Then I glued equal lengths of black ribbon with my hot glue gun so that I could tie a bow around Sophie's neck, just like Olivia's!



If You Give A Mouse A Cookie


How could we not include this classic favorite?! This might very well be the easiest Halloween costume of all time. Making the giant cookie was a group effort and I honestly can't tell you who enjoyed the project more; me or the girls...or Theo!


what you'll need:
-denim overalls
-a light, skin colored shirt or leotard
-mouse ears (made with my handy old glue gun, felt and a wire headband)
-giant paper cookie


To make the paper cookie, I cut two pieces of brown wrapping paper in identical circles. Using a black sharpie, we drew irregular shapes to mimic chocolate chips. Then, turning the pieces inside out, I stapled the edges together as if "hemming"the edges. When I only had a smallish section left to staple, I gently turned the bag inside out so that the "chocolate chips" were visible. Next, I stuffed the cookie with old grocery bags and stapled the small section, careful to hide the staples well.


What will you or your littles be dressing up as this Halloween? Any friends from favorite stories? Let me know in the comments!

Megan xo








Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Favorites: Autumn Edition


I know it's not technically Fall yet, but it sure feels like it! The girls start Ballet next week, we just visited the pumpkin path and although the afternoons are toasty, the mornings are so crisp and lovely.

At least it was lovely, then we got a huge dump of snow and everything went downhill! It's been a bit of an emotional struggle...

Ugh, where did Fall go? I'm not ready for snow yet!
Wait, snow means Christmas. I love Christmas! Time to crank up some Bing and deck the halls!

See, major emotional roller coaster over here!

At this point, I'm not too sure what our Autumn will look like; if we'll get a picturesque Fall after all or if we will be buried in snow until next April. Which is why I've been trying to create some Fall vibes in my house and wear cozy Fall clothing just in case the latter is the fate of the weather situation around here! Here's a round up of my favorite Autumns finds that have me feeling all warm and cozy!


Pumpkin Mat

I can't get enough of this mat! I don't exactly remember how I even found this cute etsy shop but now I want everything in the shop, including this mat. Because my obsession with The Office should be known to everyone who enters my house!



Pumpkin Chai candle

This Fall candle is where it's at! Once upon a time, I enjoyed any old pumpkin-y candle, but not anymore! This candle is my absolute favorite and smells soooo yummy.

Coastal Cub hat

This bonnet is another small shop find that I can't get enough of. This sweet bonnet can be customized and is oh-so soft. Theo will be living in this hat for the next few months!



Sedum

Often overlooked, this Autumn treasure is so lovely, espcially wehn paired with simple greenery and it's seasonal buddy flower, dahlias. It's so inexpensive and comes in green, blush and shades of burgundy. 



Dolman Waffle Shirt

I've been living in this sweater! It's so cozy and soft and a dream to layer. I like to wear it "mom tucked" into my jeans and with a chunky scarf. With a PSL in hand. Oh my gosh...#sobasicithurts



Craft the Rainbow 

When the temperature drops, I love grabbing my craft supplies and settling into a project. This book is probably one of the prettiest and quirkiest craft books I've ever seen and I can't wait to try my hand at some of these ideas! All the tutorials are fresh and modern. Definitely not your Grandma's kinda craft book!



Have a happy weekend!

Megan xo








Thursday, August 30, 2018

Embracing a Simple Summer


I'm sure you have heard that phrase "you only get 18 summers with your kids" by now. It totally made me panic at first, 
thinking I had to make Summer amazing for my kids and then I remembered that there is a difference between what I think 
is a special holiday/adventure/outing and what the girls determine is special. 

We are pretty fortunate that we have family that live in the country, which to the girls is as good as a trip to the mountains 
or to a world class museum. In fact, the more I embraced the simplicity of our summer plans (which were next to none) the 
more I loved just doing the small things with my babes.

Small things like getting a pass to our city's humble but fun little zoo, going to visit my family's farm, a family ice cream date, 
a trip to the river...all of these little seemingly small events made my kiddos so happy! 

If you told me 10 years ago, even 5 years ago that I'd gravitate towards the word Simplicity, I would have never believed you. 
But now, this summer, this week, right this second I am not only drawn to simplicity but I am pursuing it. I know it won't always be 
like this. In fact, I know things will get crazy again in the next few months, and when that time comes I know I'll enjoy that routine too. 

So, just in case it's the end of this year's warmer temperatures ( we did need to turn the heat up the other day!) and we are headed 
straight for Fall, I gotta say; Summer 2018, you were so good to us. Your sweet simplicity was just what this mama needed to stop
 and enjoy her little ones!



















Megan XO
Photos by the incredible and lovely Emily of Yew Photography