Little Readers: 5 Fun Books that Rhyme

Five Rhyming Books

To be fair, most children’s books rhyme– and really, they all should, shouldn’t they? (Or is it just me who gets a bit annoyed when a kids’ book doesn’t rhyme… insert that little eye roll emoji right here…) I love the flow and rhythm created by rhyming stories, and so does Vienna. She spends a lot of time “reading” books lately and I love listening to her make up little rhymes (some aren’t words at all, of course) and she mimics the rhythm and rhymes of her favourite stories. It’s so sweet.

Here are five of our favourite books that rhyme! I’ll have to do subsequent versions of this list because it was nearly impossible to only pick five. For this round I’ve included three books that are greater for kids who have longer attention spans (age 2.5 seems to be good, Aria is not quite there with some of these), and two that are all time favourites for both of my girls: I mean, Goodnight Moon? A classic that can’t be missed. And for some reason they have always loved the book Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? which is noticeable given the teeth marks and wear on the corners of this book. 😉 Finally, Jillian Jiggs gets a spot on the list because this is my favourite book from my own childhood.

I hope you enjoy these fun books as much as us! xo

The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson
A fun rhyming story about a mouse that tricks a gruffalo. The quick pace and fun plot line keep little readers’ engaged. My husband really likes this story too! 😉

Jillian Jiggs
Phoebe Gilman

A story about a girl who’s room looks like it has been lived in by pigs! This fun story follows the adventures of Jillian’s imagination, where it’s just too fun to clean up! This was my favourite book as a child and I love reading it to my girls.

Little Blue Truck
Alice Schertle

My girls are in love with the Little Blue Truck. Vienna now reads it to Aria from memory, which is impressive! And now this little blue truck is taking over holidays with Christmas and Halloween versions too.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
Dr. Seuss
A hit with both my girls! When Vienna was a baby I carried it around in my diaper bag because of its small size. It turns out she loves the rhymes and copying the sounds, and now this is one of Aria’s favourites, too. It’s short and fun and perfect for little ones!


Goodnight Moon

Margaret Wise Brown
This classic book with simple illustrations is the perfect bedtime story. And, chances are, you read it when you were a kid, so it’s a nice story to pass between generations. You can’t go wrong with a classic like this.

 

 

Little Readers: Halloween BOOks for Babes

Happy Halloween! One of my fave ways to celebrate holidays– any and all holidays, that is– is with festive books! Here are five of our fave Halloween themed books this year. Our story time includes books for both of our girls’ ages (2 &4) : we all usually read a few books together before Aria goes to bed, rhyming board books are her jam, (and V knows most of the baby books by memory now, so sometimes she reads!) and then Vienna and I spend some time reading books with a bit more of a story line. And that Little Blue Truck? Always a hit with both kids 😉

We hope you enjoy our Halloween Little Readers picks! xo

Clifford’s Halloween Norman Bridwell
Clifford has been around forever, right? Vienna loves the Clifford series! I’m not a huge fan of the paperback style books, and love the design twist for this Halloween edition!

Five Black Cats Patricia Hegarty
A fun little rhyming tale of 5 black cats out on the prowl!

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween Alice Schertle
The Little Blue Truck is such a hit with my kids. This version is a lift-the-flap book, which they also love!

Room on the Broom Julia Donaldson
This is a great story for preschoolers, since they have a longer attention span. It rhymes and has a cute story line. Vienna highly recommends this one!

The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin Sonali Fry
Warning… you’ll be singing this little tune all. day. long. It’s catchy 😉

 

TWO Much Fun

Two years old! And too much fun, too much sass, and SO much love. It’s hard to believe that Baby A is no longer a baby and full into the toddler years. Aria may be little, but she has a big personality. This girl keeps us on our toes. She has so much spunk, and she’s a little mischievous too.

But, she certainly makes up for it with love. Aria is known to give the best hugs and is so cuddly. She has this thing where she picks certain people that are just “her people.” She takes to them right away and is stuck like glue, welcoming them with a big hug and snuggle, and melting hearts all.the.time. (Side note- currently  figuring out how to navigate stranger awareness with this trait).

This little firecracker is fearless. First to run into any activity, go head first down the slide, and leap off tall structures freely, assuming that Mama will catch her mid-air (we hope). She loves music and dancing (she’s got this thing where she will spin continuously but keep her gaze in one point, like a baby ballerina– it’s hilarious) and loves to play with other kids. Aria’s most favourite thing to play with is baby dolls– she carts them around the house feeding them and hugging them all day. She loves playing in the water and sand, and had so much fun on our trip to Hawaii. She would make a break straight for the ocean at any opportunity she got, sometimes elbowing Mike out of the way when he tried to stop her.

Aria has so much personality and it shows through all her many, often funny, expressions. She is always carefully watching everything, taking it all in, and we always joke that she is evaluating our parenting. Earlier this year we had a family movie night and while Aria barely sits still long enough to watch any TV, she sat quietly through the entire preview of Boss Baby and then applauded at the end. We don’t doubt she works for Baby Corp 😉

Aria always shouts “me too!” and demands whatever anyone else is having. If you open a wrapper and she’e anywhere in the vicinity her little hand will shoot out so fast (whether she’s seen it or not) and she’ll shout “Snack! Me too!” Aria knows what she likes (and doesn’t like) and she has no problem letting you know. She’s also pretty particular about doing things herself, and don’t dare break a muffin or piece of baby bell cheese in half for her, that won’t fly either. Aria is very strong willed, and I don’t doubt that I am getting back a taste of me as a child right about now.

Always keeping us laughing and smiling, from day one we knew our girl had a fire in her soul and a personality to match. To my Aria Kate on your second birthday: never lose your spunk and always keep those hugs. Your happiness and love is contagious and we love you right back so very much.

Check out a few of Aria’s fave things below, and a few pics of her on our recent trip to Hawaii!

XO

Two Year Snapshot

I Weigh: 24 lbs

I Stand: 34″

Favourite foods: Breakfast girl all the way! She loves eggs, bananas, oatmeal, avocado and all fruits.

Favourite things: baby dolls, cell phones, whatever her sister has (and vice versa, to be fair). 

Favourite activity: Playing at the park, walking her baby dolls, following big sis around

Favourite book: Little Blue Truck

 

Fabulous & Four

vienna_agefour

I can hardly believe our sweet Vienna is four years old today! The years seem to pass so quickly with kids; it seems like only yesterday she was our only babe and we were navigating the early days of learning our new roles as parents. And now look at that beautiful girl with the baby blues above. How did she grow up so fast?!

This year on Vienna’s birthday we just finished two weeks of family fun in our favourite vacation spot– Maui! Vienna is quite the little mermaid and swam all day every day. We had such a great time together having fun in the sun! These trips, where we take in some uninterrupted family time will always be my favourite memories.

Here’s a little recap of Miss V at age four. These personal posts are my favourite, as I never want to forget the girls growing up.

Vienna. Our sweet, caring, fun-loving little girl. How I choose to describe Vienna will never change– these are the traits that sum up her little personality perfectly and always have. Vienna is still cautious to try new things, but once you can convince her to try something out, you will be dragging her away from it later and the sounds of her full belly laughs can be heard from a distance. Our resort had a waterslide and while Aria ran full speed towards it at first glance, V carefully stood back and watched, and once Aria successfully landed at the bottom, she was A-OK to try it out too. Not surprising, we couldn’t get her away from that thing later, while she pleaded “last, last one?” over and over as she snuck in “one” more never-ending slide run.

Although a bit more cautious and shy at first, Vienna is certainly outgoing. She doesn’t hesitate to run up to kids and ask “do you want to play with me?” or “can I play too?” She loves to play with others and her teacher tells us she flows freely between all the kids in her class, easily playing with everyone.

Vienna loves to colour, practice writing her name, and do puzzles or play with little people. She loves to dance, sing, and play soccer. She has a big heart and loves her family so much. Our entire trip she has been telling us daily that she misses her Great Grams back home. Her memory always amazes us, she is now reading her books from memory to Aria. Although we don’t let her watch much TV, it is certainly something that she loves– she will quietly sit and watch football, the news, whatever is on, just because. Vienna loves her sweets, still calling dessert “ressert” and shave ice is her jam here in Hawaii. She loves to be my side-kick and is set on having the same breakfast as me, wearing her hair the same, exercising with me (she’s got some great yoga moves 😉 ) or basically doing whatever I am doing. And I don’t mind having this little shadow one bit.

To our Vienna on her FOURTH birthday: I wish the whole world for you, and more. You are sweet and kind, happy and carefree, and we know these things will bring you and everyone around you SO much happiness. We are so very proud of the little girl you are!

Scroll down to see some pics of Vienna from our vacation, and her 4 year Birthday Quiz. xo

 

Four Year Birthday Quiz

How Old Are You: 4!

What Is Your Favourite Thing To Do: Go out for dinner

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up: A doctor

What Is Your Favourite Food: Avacado

Who Do You Like To Spend Time With: Isla! (same as last year, friends for life!)

What Do You Do Really Well: Work on my name at school

What Makes You Laugh: Mama

What Is The Best Time of Day: When I’m at the pool!

Who Is Your Best Friend: Daddy

What Do You Like To Do With Your Family: Go on the airplane

What Do You Love To Learn About: Science world!

Where Do You Like To Go: To the park

What is Your Favourite Book: Moana

If You Had One Wish What Would It Be: Going on a trip with Mommy (well, girlfriend, that can be arranged! 😉 )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Construction Cake Fun

Construction_Cake

This blog is full of all things girly given the two little ladies running the show over here. And, I mean, who am I to say no to all the pink and gold possible?! (Ok, ok, it’s actually me who is influencing the colour scheme around here. And yes, I plan to roll with that for as long as possible).

I also happen to be lucky to have the sweetest little nephew, who doesn’t, however, seem too interested in a rosette birthday cake. He’s the busiest boy ever and loves all things that GO! I had so much fun making this fun construction cake for his 2nd birthday. And that’s not to say this has to be a cake only for boys … my girls of course loved it too. This is a simple and easy cake to pull together. V (age 3) helped to place all of the letters and the trucks and rocks. This is a great cake to make with kids since perfectionism isn’t necessary with dirt and rocks. 😉

Enjoy! xo

To make:

Ice cakes, set up the rocks, dirt, and trucks however you like, and BAM you are done! I’ve also seen some more elaborate cakes where you would use different sized cakes (or cut them) to make a hill effect. Pinterest has plenty of inspiration!

construction_cake

Back to School

September is here and Fall routines have begun! I say that with an exclamation mark because although I love summer, something about the slightly cooler Fall weather and all the energy to be organized for Fall makes me so happy. Don’t worry, it wears off in about a month 😉 And in other good news, my husband is home a lot more as our seasonal business slows down, which is a welcomed change after a summer of me and the girls.

Vienna is so excited to head back to school this year! She has been asking for the past few weeks if it’s time yet. She loves learning and playing with her friends, and absolutely adores her Teacher. I can hardly believe that she will be in full day Kindergarten next year, that seems like a much bigger milestone that I might not be so prepared for.

The night before preschool she went to bed the happiest, most excited little girl. I asked her a few questions to capture V as she starts her year at preschool:

  • How old are you? Three
  • What is your favourite food? Avocados and Broccoli (no joke here guys)
  • What is your favourite toy? Rollie! (a small rabbit? Mouse? I don’t even know figurine? And I have no idea where its from. All the toys in the world and she chooses this).
  • What do you like to do for fun? Run around in the park.
  • What is your favourite colour? Red! (She always tells me because it’s the colour in her heart).
  • What do you love the most? Rollie (Again, toddler randomness at its finest)
  • Where is your favourite place to go? To soccer
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? “A doctor. And you will be the nurse, Mom”. Turns out I’ll always be working for this girl 😉

It’s so fun to look back on these questions from last year and see how much she has changed. V and I read last year’s responses together before bed, which she thought was so fun. And seriously… those pictures of her from last year? ALL. THE. TEARS. So crazy to see how much she’s grown in just a year.

This morning I took her to school and on the way she said “I’m going to miss Aria, Mom. When I’m back I’ll tell her all about my day at school.” I’ll just be over here scooping my heart off the sidewalk, guys. Seriously cute.

Happy back to school and happy Fall! xo

That’s What She Read: 5 Books for YOU

Five books for happiness

If you’re following along, you saw that last week I shared our first set of favourite kid books about love and life in my new Little Library section! We love to read with our girls and I hope they continue to love to read as they grow up. I still remember my sister and I getting in trouble for having the lights on and reading too late! Haha, angels I tell ya!

Next up are some recommendations for us Mamas. Pre kids and post-University– you know that sweet spot when the world is your oyster time-wise (BUT you fail to recognize this and totally waste time?) 😉 I was still reading a lot. Over the past year I’ve made time for reading again, thanks in part to the encouragement of friends– my girlfriend started a self development book club, amazing for accountability–and I can tell you it is so refreshing and important.

Today I’m sharing 5 books for personal development. These books are all about finding happiness with who you are, and what you do, and simply about enjoying and living life to its fullest as YOU. If you have been following along you will know that launching this blog was a big deal for me, I was so wrapped up in what people would think. Now I’m all “who cares, I’m me!” and these books have definitely contributed to that shift.

Enjoy! xo

Daring Greatly
Author: Brene Brown

I love Brene Brown’s writing style and I found this book very easy to relate to. To get a sense, check out her Ted Talk on the Power of Vulnerability. If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will. “In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation.”

The Big Leap
Author: Gay Hendricks

Some of my biggest takeaways from this book were understanding and identifying my internal limits, and to my surprise it actually impacted my marriage, in that I understood my husband a lot more. I literally read this in two sittings, on my flights to and from a work trip. “New York Times bestselling author Gay Hendricks demonstrates how to go beyond your internal limits, release outdated fears and learn a whole new set of powerful skills and habits to liberate your authentic greatness.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
Author: Mark Manson

I’m only part way through this book in audio format, but I chose to include it here because I wanted to round the list out with something totally different. To learn something in its entirety you definitely need a good variety of perspectives. So, if you’re okay with very frequent F bombs, this book gives a fresh, albeit blunt, perspective on our society’s constant need for more and for approval. ** Probably not the best choice for an audio book if you ever want to pop it on when your kids are in the backseat, haha! #hindsight** “In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.”

The Universe Has Your Back
Author: Gabrielle Bernstein

I absolutely love this book and Gabrielle Bernstein’s take on letting go and truly living. I found it in a book store on a trip to Seattle when I literally went into the store thinking “hmmm, there’s a personal development book I really want to read, but can’t remember the name of it” and then saw it smack in front of me, a single (and the last) copy on a shelf clearly meant for me to pick up. “In her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back, New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein teaches readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security, and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live.”

You Are A Badass
Author: Jen Sincero

This book has a fun, honest, and refreshing take on living your biggest dreams and best life, complete with simple exercises to keep you on track. “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. (Nothing near my above recommendation’s profanity!) You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.”

 

Little Library: 5 Books About Love & Life

5 books for babies

We love to read! And I’m excited to start sharing books for reading with your little ones in my new Little Library section! To kick things off I’m sharing five of our most LOVED books, about love and life. These books always remind me that although this motherhood gig may be hard, it is so worth it. I hope you enjoy these special Little Library books as much as we do. xo

Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney
The book with the famous line “I love you right up to the moon– and back.” This is a story all about the love between a parent and child, with Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare sharing bigger and bigger measures of their love for one another. It is a must have for all first libraries! I read this book to Vienna every night when she was little. It’s also sure to make any Mom with grown children tear up 😉

I Love You More Laura Duksta
This sweet story shares a parent and a child’s perspective on what love looks like. Full of fun rhyming comparisons, you can read this book from either side (perspective) with its flip-in-the-centre format. Vienna of course loves to flip this book!

I Wish You More Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
A book all about good wishes: wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength , for joyous days and quiet moments. It is such a sweet and meaningful story for littles, and great for about age three. We bought this for Vienna’s third birthday and she really loves it!

Little You Richard Van Camp
A book that celebrates the joys babies bring into the world and the potential of all children. This book has short rhymes and beautiful illustrations. Aria especially loves looking at the pictures of this book.

Someday Alison McGhee & Peter H. Reynolds
Perhaps the sweetest book I have ever read to my girls. This simple yet beautiful story of motherhood, love, and life fills my heart up every single time I read it. I will read this book to my girls as long as they will let me.

Smile, Mama

mama_style2

As a busy Mama of two, I am always up for a solid Mom Hack or a convenient product. I work outside of the home, I have two toddlers, and my husband is an entrepreneur running many businesses– so, one of the three is always keeping me on my toes! Bottom line: I will take all the help and tricks I can get, I have little time to spend getting ready, and if I’m going to do something, it better be easy!

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Wear Your Story: Meaningful Jewelry

Customized_jewelry_motherhood

Sometimes I think about this online world of ours and how so much of our social lives are online. I’ve made some amazing connections and I truly have friends in this online community. I look forward to seeing the latest posts of their kiddos, reading a funny story from their day, or exchanging advice mama to mama. The best connections often arise when we really get to know someone, the person behind that pretty Instagram feed.

This month I am excited to feature a collaboration that encourages us to tell our stories. Because really, what’s more fun than reppin’ your own life?! I’ve been on a journey to be me this year, and this collaboration is a perfect fit.

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