Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tea for Two with Evie and Sofia

Did you all think I had abandoned you? Sorry I have been super busy working on her second birthday party. But fear not! I documented every bit of it for you! I know I have been tantalizing you with tutorials of the various DIY stuff, but here you go with everything put together!

The number one most important party of a party, the food table!
 You can find the tutorial for the banner here as well as a link to the printables package.
Here is a close up of the cake. I made it out of four progressively smaller round cakes and then carved it out, as a standard doll cake hold would have been too small. You can see the three lowest layers here, and how I tried to get all fancy with an ombre colouring.

Of course a birthday party isn't a party without a birthday girl, and dressed of course in a  birthday dress.
I use a modification on a pattern from Candy Castle Patterns  to make this dress

We had three adult tables which were set with real china, all set for a lovely tea party. Including the folded napkins  from my previous post.

The little kids had their own table in the middle (but I don't have a picture which is not full of other people's kids to show you), here is Sofia's place setting, and my own little princess concentrating on making her craft tiara.

The little kids had their own table in the middle (but I don't have a picture which is not full of other people's kids to show you. But here is Sofia's place setting, and my own little princess concentrating on making her craft tiara.

Here is the present table (before presents!) where I chose to display my DIY Sofia.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or ask for any instructions!

-By Erin Smith

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sofia crafts part 3

Well it is now less than a week until Evie's Sofia the first Tea party birthday! I am pretty much finished my DIY-ing so I thought I would share a few more of my crafty products. All of these feature images from a birthday pack by Blue Angel Digitals

1.Sofia Napkin fold:

--Start with a normal square napkin 
-open it up and fold all the corners to the centre

-repeat the fold on the same side
-flip it and fold to the centre for the third time


-Now for the delicate part. hook you fingers underneath and grab the edge while pushing the point down with your thumb.
-Do all 4 points.

-Add something in the middle to ensure it keeps it's shape.

2. Hanging Banner:

This one is pretty easy and I think pretty much anyone could do it.
1-Print and cut out your pennants, punch holes in the two upper corners.
2-String them in order (more difficult that it seems!) onto a ribbon or strand of tulle.
3-Decorate at will! I put bows between each piece.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Its a Love Story!

I imagine some of you look at my pictures and wonder how old I am, and how did I get to be a wife and mother in such a short time?

Well, I am 26 and my Husband I started dating when I was 14, yes that is 12 long years! Soon I will have been with him longer than I have been without. We are high school sweethearts, but I guess of a scandalous sort, when he first asked me out I was in grade 9 and he was in grade 12. Yes, I was that grade 9 at the prom. We first met in the fall production of the drama club, yes we were both drama geeks, but it took him until April to actually ask me out, and it has been steady on course since then

He graduated high school soon after, but chose to go to our local university, so not too much changed. I no longer saw him during the day, but we made lots of time on the weekend. However when I graduated 3 years later I left to go to University 2 hours away. That was tough. We made a point to see each other every two weeks, I would go down once a month, and he would come up once a month. It was expensive and time consuming and I was in tears every time we parted, but we stuck it out. We got engaged the summer after my first year. Many people including my parents thought we were plum crazy, but we knew what we wanted. He actually gave me my first ring when we had only been together 6 months. He always said he knew we were going to be together forever, which is pretty heavy stuff to hear at 15!

 Once I moved back home we had a year at home together before it was his turn to move away for University. Because of the nature of his program he was able to split his time: 4 months away, 4 months here, and 4 months away. During this time I was planning our wedding mostly on my own (with his phone input) because we were getting married within a week of his last exams. That was no fun! Fortunately I was still living at home so my Mom was a massive help, but I would not want to do that again!

Well, his course winded down, he surprised me by coming home almost a week early, with 10 days to go before our wedding! It was great to have him home to help finish up the last few details, and to show him our first apartment, which I had been getting ready, but which he had only seen in photos.

On August 22, 2008 when I was just 21 we got married. I will never regret marrying young as it was definitely the right decision for us and for our beliefs. We didn't believe in living together before marriage and were ready to make a serious commitment to each other. We had a short honeymoon, but because everything was new in our relationship, you could say our honeymoon lasted much longer than that as we were really learning about each other and about us, and really enjoying ourselves.

After a few years, and a return to school for me, we were finally ready to bring our first child into our family. In February 2012 we welcomed our first daughter into our family. We had been together for just shy of 10 years, and married for nearly 3.5 years.  We were finally ready to take the next big step in our marriage. While our focus would always be "us" now the "us" was about to get bigger!

This summer we reaffirmed our wedding vows for the occasion of our 5th anniversary. It was great to
be reminded that we are now and will be forever a family, and that is the most important thing ever.

Some people say you are crazy to marry young, that it will never work. But I think it is all about attitude and expectation. We went into this marriage agreeing that divorce was not an option for us, for better or for worse we would ride it out and never give up. We also understood how to grow together. I think it was a blessing to have met him so young. I have have always had him as part of me, and that way he can be a living changing part. We are not static in our relationship, we are for certain not the people we were when we got together, but that is amazing and dynamic. We have learned to flex and grow around each other and not apart.  Also because we were each other's first serious relationships, we do not have to consider evil comparisons or rank each other along side anyone else. We are each other's 10/10.  If anytime we doubt ourselves or our partner, it is our job to lift them up to that rank again, with support and by cherishing those things which make them such a great spouse.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Win a Reusable Snack bag with YayaBaby

So I have teamed up with the lovely ladies over at YayaBaby to bring you lucky people another review and giveaway! They were lovely enough to send me a small and a regular size snack bag by The Sling Sisters.

These bags are made of two layers, an interior PUL and an exterior cotton, this makes them water resistant and easily cleaned. They are washable in cold water, and are FDA approved, and BPA free, not to mention environmentally friendly. Why use those expensive, wasteful disposable snack bags when you can purchase these once? They are clean, free of worrisome chemicals, and most importantly freakin' cute! My small bag is printed with the most charming girly superheros! My daughter frequently confiscates it as a home for her little princess dolls.

We tried ours out a few times, the smallest bag is perfectly convenient for small fruit, like grapes, or crackers, or anything small. The larger one is pictured as being used for a sandwich, but I like it best for  a couple big fruits, like banana, apple or avocado. But do not fear! These are not just baby products. My larger bag is in a sweet colourful chevron design that would be totally at home in an adults lunch bag. We are always concerned about, and buying cool stuff for, our children; this time buy soothing cool and responsible for yourself!

Can't wait for the giveaway to end? You can buy one from Yayababy here. Yaya Baby is a retail and online store based out of North Vancouver (67 Lonsdale) and ships all over Canada. Owned by a mom of two, Janelle is the Super Picky Mom and carries only her very favourite Picky Mom Approved Essentials. The Sling Sisters reusable snack bags are definitely Picky Mom Approved! Stop by to see what else gets their Official Yaya Baby Stamp of Approval! 

YayaBaby has offered you guys the chance to win one small and one regular bag. These two prizes are going to be divided among two winners, 1 each. Good luck to all!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is there such a thing as the 2 year sleep regression?

Oh my goodness! This week has been a doozy! Evie has never ever ever like to sleep, but this has to be the worst she has ever been.

She spent the first 6 months of her life napping and sleeping on us. She refused to sleep while out of someones arms. We eventually managed to convince her to sleep 1 foot away from me in a co-sleeper. Once she could sit up we moved her to her crib, but still tucked right up against my side of the bed so we could still hold hands as she fell asleep. When we moved there was no room for her next to my bed, so she spent months 12 through 15 in the opposite corner, but still in our room. For most of this time she was a little terror to put down for nap. Most naps were preceded by an hour long session of screaming and back arching, fun!

At 15 months she moved into her own room, where she would stay until her early morning nursing, after which she would co-sleep with us. Somewhere around 20 months she started to drop that feeding and hallelujah! sleeping though the night. On a  really good night she would sleep 12 hours with no interruption. Around this time she also started going down for a nap with less fuss. She would nurse and rock and eventually allow herself to be transferred.

Earlier this month I though we had really turned a corner, I could lay her down after just nursing her and she would put herself to sleep. I was in total bliss! My night was reclaimed! and then suddenly it changed.

This week she has decided to:
A) Forget how to put herself to sleep
B) Refuse to be transferred
C)Wake-up before the sun (putting her nightly totally hours to 8 or 9 hours)
D) Nap! (unless she is in the car)
E) Climb out of her crib!
In case you can't interoperate the sheer pinkness of this picture, this is her doing a headstand in her crib while I watch.

Yes sounds like fun right! I have been spending 2-3 hours a day rocking her down, trying to gently out her to bed and then being "not present" in the room as she screams, and eventually just starts playing. Camp it out is most effective with her as she has always been incapable of any kind of cry it out, she cannot unwind herself once she is upset. Today I said "the heck with it" (after 2 hours of sitting) and left her crying so I could change over the laundry (or she would have had no diapers!) and when I came back, I was greeted by her at the door. I put her back in her crib, and she was back out thirty seconds later. Perfect! So now we have to move the crib even further down, which will make transfers nearly impossible.

Have any of you experienced this? Please tell me she will relearn her old ways!?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More Sofia crafts!

The party crafting continues, here are two quick projects you can make for super cheap!  My main goals for a party decoration is for it to be both cute and inexpensive, that is why I love DIY so much. I got the inspiration for the doll decoration from a listing on Etsy, but the seller wanted $15 for one. Sure if you were not crafty, that might be worth it, but I made it for about $3.

Doll decoration:
1.My dear husband downloaded a picture of Sofia for me and printed it out, then he did a vertical flip on the image so I could glue them together and have them line up.
2.I cut a vague skirt shape out of 4 pieces of card stock and stuck them together to form a full shape.
3. I grabbed the scraps from the poof balls and bunched them in the holes between the card stock to fill in the shape and make it purple.
4. I cut vertical strips of tulle and hot glued them around in two layers.
5. Add any decorations, like Sofia's pearls.
6. Put up and away out of the reach of toddlers.


1.lay out 3 pieces of tissue paper and cut square
2.fold it accordion style until it is all folded.
3.secore with tape or ties.
4. put away until party day
5. on party day pull each individual layer apart and fluff it until you get the desired look.

Here are some fluffed from last year, to give you an idea.

-By Erin Smith

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why I believe so strongly in Extended Rear Facing Carseats.

 This morning I was ridiculously pleased to see that Transport Canada has updated their site to say:

"Stage 1: Rear-facing seats are placed at a 45-degree angle so that your baby’s head is supported. This makes it easier for them to breathe. A snug harness will keep your baby safe in a sudden stop or crash. Keep your child in the rear-facing seat for as long as they are still in the weight/height range of the seat itself.

This maybe something you have heard about on lots of pages lately, but I feel it is  such an important message that I am going to speak about it agin here. Extended rear facing is something that I feel to be a safety essential. The Law says your child needs to be a minimum of 22lbs and a year. But who wants to operate their life on minimum! Minimum safety is not good enough for me. 

Simply put rear facing has been proven to be 500x safer than front facing in a crash. Because a child's head is so much larger compared to their frame it is wrenched forwards with great force in the event of an impact, this can cause "internal decapitation". Those words just cause a chill in my spine! What they mean in essence is that the head remains attached to the naked eye, but the structures inside the neck are actually separated. If you are a visual learner I challenge you to put those words into YouTube, the crash test videos really speak for themselves. You may notice that when a forward facing child is involved in a frontal crash (which are the majority) they are propelled forward onto the straps and their limbs and head go flailing. However if they are rear facing they are simply pushed back into the padding of the seat and the movements are much more contained.
Don't worry I fixed her chest clip ;)

You will commonly hear the argument "But they look so squished, they can't stretch out their legs". But this is not a problem in reality. Children simply cross their legs or prop them up and are totally comfortable. There are hundreds of picture of children rear facing into their school years completely comfortably, I challenge you to google image search to see for yourself. I will say though that I think it is important to factor this in when purchasing your seat. Our seat is very generous in the foot area, and at 2 years old, she still cannot touch the seat with her feet. Or the naysayers may say "Well if their feet are folded like that they will break a leg in a car crash". Well simply put would you rather see a broken leg or neck? (though there is a super low incidence of any leg damage at all in any RF-ing car crash.

We will for sure be keeping Evie turned as long as possible. She is almost 2 and is happy as a clam being turned around.  For now I am just a carseat safety enthusiast, but am eagerly anticipating my own carseat training.