Nothing better than a little family time to wrap up summer! Mike’s business keeps him busy all summer long, which means no vacationing for this crew. Each year we’ve been taking a few nights to staycation, and it’s the best! It’s the perfect “reset” our family needs after a long few months of crazy schedules. Last year we ventured to Summerland, which was great, but if/when Mike needed to get to the boats it just meant less family time with him having to commute from Summerland. So this year we stayed a 5 min walk from the Marina at the Royal Private Residence Club at the Delta Grand. One word- amazing! Our unit was a waterfront 3 bedroom condo- the perfect place to watch our boats come and go and really appreciate how much our crazy business has grown in 5 years!
I’ve been wanting to capture Vienna’s nursery space in a blog post forever. There’s no time like the present- she’s outgrown her daybed (crib conversion) and her new bed is on order, so if I wanted it done it had to be now. I’m still learning how to get decent photos and these ones = no bueno. I ended up using my iphone for fear of driving myself crazy with my Canon. Our bedrooms also don’t have great natural light. Pair that with an awkward space to move around and I was getting no where fast- no wonder I put it off! I considered editing all the photos, but #aintnomamagottimeforthat. Now that I look at them on a desktop– eep. Maybe I’ll have someone help me redo this! 😉 (The walls in her room are white and the one behind her bed is a light grey). So, bear with me on the photos.
Sundays around here are meant for pancakes. Banana pancakes. We make them almost every Sunday. I love whipping up a batch of these and V loves to help, too. Sometimes it seems she randomly knows it is Sunday and will ask for pancakes! They are so easy I even make them the odd weekday if we are planning on being home for the morning. They also freeze really great– I stack them with parchment paper between them and pop them in a ziploc freezer bag to take out for easy breakfasts during the week. Win. And, the entire family loves them, right down to baby A– pictured below enjoying one.
We’ve been busy around here lately, especially in the kitchen! It’s been a busy few weeks for Mike and the weather has gone from crazy hot to crazy rain, meaning the girls and I have spent a fair amount of time inside lately. On Friday it poured rain and we baked up some cupcakes for my friend’s daughter Kadence, who is like a niece to me. I love that I’ve been making her cakes since she was 5! I’m no professional, but I love trying my hand at decorating cakes and cupcakes, and the kids love them perfect or not 🙂
I wanted to do this post because I always look to Pinterest for decorating ideas after I get a theme from the kids. But, it’s annoying when you can’t find good sources for info on what to use to make them. These Soccer cupcakes were easy (although piping grass on 24 cupcakes is time consuming!) and the best part is the grass is meant to be messy, so for a perfectionist like me there is a bit of leeway where I won’t drive myself completely insane trying to perfect them– although I’ll confess that I did test out what it would take to make very even turf grass. Moving on…
Here’s the details:
- Icing tint: Wilton’s Kelly Green concentrated paste- these paste’s work really great for colours.
- Decorating tip: Wilton #233 Flower Center/ Grass
- Soccer balls: This one is tricky (and what I searched all over Pinterest for how to make) They are edible sugar decorations. They are here on amazon, which will work for anyone who starts planning their projects sooner than 3 days before the event. Note to future self. Or, check with your local cake store, you might get lucky, I did!
Happy Birthday to the sweetest 11 year old we know! xo
I am always looking on Pinterest for easy and good recipes. V seems to have boycotted all meat that isn’t a hot dog recently, and I am trying to find dinners that are healthy and appealing. This recipe is one that works for the entire family: Vienna, Mike and I all like this dinner- and even baby A can enjoy it too!
The base is brown rice. I usually throw it in the rice cooker when we are heading outside or for a walk before dinner so it’s good to go when we get home. For meat I cook 6 chicken breasts in the slow cooker and usually get two dinners worth– the second one being whole bowls/rice bowls. The slow cooker works best for whole bowl chicken because it can be chopped very fine and blends (ah-hem– hides) easily with the brown rice. I’ve also made them with ham for V which seems to go over good too. I usually mix in a small amount of sour cream to give it a bit of a creamy texture, especially because V is huge fan of “dip” these days.
Next I chop up a selection of toppings and put them all in smaller bowls and everyone adds their own toppings. This presentation and participation might even be the reason why V likes them so much! Topping ideas: shredded carrots, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, black beans, salsa, cheese, and a few tortilla chips for texture!
Our Vienna. This girl has the biggest heart in the world. She is so kind and loving, especially towards her sister. Her nature is just so sweet and gentle.
One of my favorite things about Vienna lately is her talking; she is such a chatterbox. Some mornings, I’m just hoping for 5 quiet minutes with a cup of coffee. Those would be the mornings when she talks the most. She’s got a few specific little sentences and pronunciations that are adorable: gar-jibs (garbage); fug-fug-fight! (bed bugs bite!); what you talking about/what you say Mom; do like this; mem-jer? (remember). I really just can’t get enough of her talking.
But this isn’t to say that life with a toddler is a breeze every day. Some days I find that I am repeating myself one million times and have to try very hard not to let frustration get the best of me when it comes to Miss V. I hope I’m not the only Mama in this boat! I read something recently along the lines of how it takes a toddler 30 seconds to process an instruction. By this time you are probably completely frustrated with them and have repeated the instruction multiple times. Yikes. That is me. I am trying my hardest to slow down, take my time, and let my kids lead the day. This is an especially helpful reminder as I am starting to see how V expresses herself and her frustrations.
Sweet, sweet baby Aria Kate. This girl, she has my heart.
When I was pregnant with Aria I would sing/hum (I’m a terrible singer) Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time” to Vienna as I put her to bed. Why this song? I have no idea. It has no prior meaning to me, it is not particularly my ‘type’ of music (honestly it’s probably Mike’s influence), and quite frankly I’m surprised I even know it enough to want to sing it (but I did make up a few of my own lyrics unknowingly, ha!). In any case this song stuck through the summer I was pregnant and, the most amazing thing has happened: Aria loves and responds to this song immediately. If she is fussy, I’ll start to sing it and she instantly calms. If I hum it when Aria is on my shoulder pushing her little legs up and down she will still. Baby A– she knows this song. I know I’ve read that babies will recognize music/stories/voices heard in utero. But to experience it? That is a totally different feeling. Amazing.
I’ll write this post as a quick list/recap of things about Aria at this age:
Going back to why I am writing my blog– to leave a memory for myself and my girls for years to come–I’d rather tell them how I feel about being their Mom today than what we did or I received today. My own Mom passed away unexpectedly ten years ago. I wish I was so lucky to share this day with her and my two girls. I remember all the years growing up when I went to the grocery store’s bakery department and made my Mom a cake. What a cute idea! Who knows, maybe that is where my love of decorating cakes comes from. That is my memory to cherish. But what I wouldn’t give to have some of her memories.
After V was born I really wanted to blog. I love reading fellow Mom blogs and I also love all things baby- baby gear, baby advice… I’m maybe a bit addicted to baby research in general (or certainly was with my first). At the time, I also really missed writing– my work and education background is in communications. So, I started blogging. But I hated my blog. It was a template design that I would get completely frustrated with every time I started writing. It didn’t look polished like the blogs I perused daily, and, as much as I tried to go with it and just stick to writing and ignore the design, it didn’t happen. (Cough, type A). So here I am, a year later, another baby born, a more polished space, and perhaps a different tone in mind. This time round I really just hope to record the daily happenings of our family life, and have a memory of this time for when
the girls I am older. “The days are long but the years are short” is a quote that is really starting to resonate with me. Life seems to be moving at rapid speed. When baby A came home, miss V instantly looked and seemed SO much older. I want to remember this time for all that it is, even if some days I’m drinking more coffee than water and counting down the minutes til bedtime 😉 And, if I’m being completely honest, after bedtime hits I always miss the girls and wish they were awake. Mom struggles.