Happy Halloween from LEGO Batman and the rest of our family! Hope you all have a safe and fun night of spooks and such!
Happy Halloween from LEGO Batman and the rest of our family! Hope you all have a safe and fun night of spooks and such!
So MY SON started Kindergarten in September. I had a very VERY mixed bag of emotions leading up to that life change. With a 2 month old baby I was looking forward to some one on one time with my girl but on the flip side he was my first baby starting school at 3 and a half and I never really was away from him. After he was born I had such an internal shift I never went back to work full time. When he turned One Years Old and it was time for me to go back to work I started to freak out. I couldn’t bring myself to put him in any sort of daycare SO I started one of my own. For a whole year I did home daycare. I loved it. Within that year though we had downsized from a house to an apartment and doing daycare just wasn’t feasible anymore. About his second birthday I got a part time job cleaning in the evenings so I could be with him everyday. That year was great. We did toddler music class, swimming, play dates with play group and all sorts of fun stuff every day. When it was time for him to go every day ALL day I felt a little bit lost and a LOT sad.
I am a planner and a list maker and I got on top of things in April in preparation for September. I didn’t want to have to go in August to and spend a bunch of money in one big shot. I knew there would be a new baby coming in July so money was going to be tight! So here is my list of what I needed to get, what I got, and my quick review on each item. I hope this helps some moms who have kids who leave to start school for the first time next September! This list will also work for those sending kids to a nursery school or pre-school program as well!
Here Is What You Need:
A Good Quality Backpack:
I did a lot of research on which backpack to get my little man for the big transition. I eventually settled on the Lands End back pack. I decided on this for a few reasons. The main reason was these bags have a lifetime warranty. If my kid drags this bag on the ground all the way from the bus stop to school and it breaks they will replace it no problem. This is HUGE value for me. I have a rough and tumble child so I think its best to cover these bases! They have a great chart for measuring the size of the bag to make sure they will fit your child before you order. I also ordered the previous years design so I saved a substantial amount of money on a great quality bag. I went with the medium size for my guy and its a bit big but I’m hoping to get at least two years out of this bag. So far its needed very little cleaning and has stood the test of a 3 and a half year old starting school and taking the bus on his own.
A Good Quality Lunch Bag:
This is the lunch bag that I decided to go with. It is a large bag that has the ice pack built into it. This was a bonus for me as I see it as one less thing for my kid to loose at school. With the ice pack built in his lunch and snacks will stay cold whether he likes it or not! I did some research to see if I could find a lunch bag that will fit a yumbox (see below) because I had decided early on that I was getting him one for his lunch. Its also a fun pattern and easy to open and close for little hands. It has a zipper but also velcro on the flap. While writing this post I came across this other bag from the same company:
I bought this bag today to try out and see if its a good second option for when the other bag is messy or he doesn’t need to take as much to school. If you want a review on this bag let me know and I’ll do that!
Easy Open and Close Containers For Lunch:
So the word is OUT and a Yumbox is the way to go. The best part about this container is its easy to open AND close for little kids AND adults. The next best part about this product is the leakproof design. The lid has a silicon that suctions to the tray making it leakproof (as long as its closed correctly). You can put liquid or things like yogurt or salad dressing in the tray and it won’t seep into the other compartments. In the picture above I put yogurt and dressing in for dipping. Each compartment is also conveniently labeled so you can give the appropriate amount of each food group. On the right is Protein (I put chicken in this one), the top is Dairy (I put vanilla yogurt with honey in) then top right is Fruit (apple slices of course) and the bottom is Vegetables (cucumbers always go over good at our house) the big compartment in the middle is for Grains (a bowtie pasta salad with Italian dressing and peppers). I bought two of these containers, one in blue and one in green. I ordered these from Well.ca and I warn you they are a bit pricey but in my opinion TOTALLY worth the price. After school started I went to a local shop and bought a snack size version:
This one only has 3 compartments and no labels. It is about half the size of the regular one. This one pictured I put in some Honey Dew melon, gummy candy in the middle and home made nut free trail mix on the right. There are two other sizes of yumbox so you will be able to find one that is right for you and your kids. The hard part is sometimes finding them as they sell out quickly!
Labels for EVERYTHING:
Easy Open Thermos or Insulated Food Jar:
For the winter months I thought my son would want a warm lunch on occasion. This is the “thermos” I bought him at Walmart. I put a label on both the lid and the metal container so both will come back home at the end of the day. The reason I picked this one instead of a fancy one is simple… I took him to the store and asked him to try and open a few and this was THE ONLY one he could open and close himself. It has a great kid friendly lid that is easy to get on and off.
Easy Open Water or Juice Bottle:
I send juice boxes to school but it is always a good idea to send a water bottle as well. Some days I even fill the bottle with milk so he gets an extra serving of milk. I like this bottle for a few reasons. One is its really easy to clean. Inside the lid is two separate spouts that are removable but stay attached to the bottle. This insures you aren’t getting any mold build up. I always clean mine in the dishwasher and it has lasted a long time. Again I put labels on the lid and the bottle just incase busy hands take the bottle apart. I got this one at Walmart as well but you can also get them from the Contigo site.
Easy On and Off Pants:
They start kindergarten so young now a days. I started when I was 5 years old and my son started at 3 and a half! That being said he was only potty trained for less than a year when he started. It was essential that I sent him in pants that didn’t have buttons or zippers or we would have been in big trouble! Carters and OshKosh have a great selection of pull on pants that are stylish and practical. I also really love the Gap pants as well because they have track pants and other styles that are pull on with or without a draw string.
You will need a good pair of Indoor and Outdoor shoes (and boots in the winter months). I didn’t put any recommendations here as this totally depends on what your child likes and or has already. Both pairs of my son’s shoes have velcro straps for him to do himself as he is not yet able to tie laces. Get what fits and you like. That is the main thing… you both have to like the shoes they wear! As far as boots go I HIGHLY recommend Boggs although they can be very pricey they keep their feet warm and are waterproof. I always splurge in this department and get my son Boggs.
YOUR BIG GIRL PANTS:
Here I am waiting on that first day for the bus to drop him back at home. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and we all survived. You have to put on that brave face for your kid so that they will not be afraid or timid when it comes to school. I didn’t start crying until my son was out of site and really now he loves school. He doesn’t want to miss a day and I’m not sure if its because I was brave for him or if my big girl pants had anything at all to do with it. In the end we all have had a good school experience and everyone deserves that. I hope that you manage and don’t have too much heart break when it comes to starting school.
Absolutley NOTHING makes me more nostalgic than listening to songs sung by Raffi. I come from a time when Sharon, Lois and Bram, Fred Penner, and Raffi were the norm for entertainment for kids. Singing songs and being silly was one of the biggest parts of my childhood that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. We loved putting on the cassette tapes and dancing around the living room and singing every word like there was no tomorrow! Even still today when I am brushing my teeth I catch myself singing this:
Although I can’t say for sure exactly WHY kids like Raffi I know that it resinates. He has this way about the songs that just get everyone involved. I never saw him live myself but I would take my children to a concert in a heartbeat. These days it is hard to get into a Raffi concert. I think because of the generation of parents now are the kids who were in love with him as babes themselves. I will try to get tickets of course the next time he is in my area!
I still know ALL the words to songs like:
If you want to buy the MUST have Raffi to get your kids to LOVE Raffi here are a few suggestions:
I hope that if you LOVED Raffi as a kid you will introduce him to your kids. Take your kids back to the wholesome 80’s and 90’s when we loved what we loved even if you can’t show them what cassette tapes are I’m sure they will appreciate the time spent indulging in something WE loved too.
Sorry I’m a little behind this week! I’m working hard to get out a few blog posts! I’m behind because my little cousin Dan got married to his beautiful wife Lindsay this past weekend and family from all over the company was in town. This kept me totally busy and TOTALLY entertained to boot! I didn’t have time to get a weeks worth of blog posts completed… I am working on it so stay tuned!
CONGRATS DAN AND LINDSAY!
This is a fun idea I had when I first thought about starting a blog. Why not look back and see what the number one songs were according to the Billboard Hot 100 10 years ago to the day. So lets look WAAAAY back and see what the number one single was today in 2007:
So 10 years ago… 2007. What were you doing at that time?? I was 24 years old. I was just moving back to my home town after living in the big city of Toronto for a number of years, going to college, meeting the love of my life and realizing it wasn’t for me! Moving back to my home town with my (now husband) boyfriend and moving into an apartment and going to work for my parents didn’t turn out the way I had thought it would at that time but it was FOR sure a transitional time in my life. Reconnecting with old friends and making plans for the future that for the most part aren’t even CLOSE to where I ended up now. I only did two years of college. I took Comedy Writing and Performance LOL so I feel like this time in my life was part of the “school of hard knocks” phase in my life. I was learning to be adult but still quite a child (as I look back now… don’t think I would agree to this back then LOL)
If I was to know then what I know now I’m sure I would have gone a different direction. The 10 years between then and now I sure did learn a lot. I wonder if Soulja Boy would say the same! What a young kid he was when this song was the number one song in the US. I wonder what he would have done differently. Or what he did with all that money. What would I have done with all that money? WHO knows lol I’m sure I wouldn’t be sitting here with my precious baby in my lap fast asleep while I blog. I know that likely wouldn’t be the case!
This post for sure wasn’t what I thought it would be. It got me all nostalgic and shiiiit ha ha ha. I think I might do another post like this when I’m looking for an idea and I’m stuck. See what the number one song was THAT day and look back in time and see where I was at then too… HECK I’m getting so old now I could do a 20 years ago post…. hmmm I just might do that! Stay tuned!!
So another show that I have grown to love and BINGE watched on Netflix (of course), If you have noticed right now one of the only “legal” ways we stream at our house is Netflix. I am not sure but I also believe you can stream this one on amazon prime as well. Detectorists is a great show about a pair of friends who share a hobby that isn’t so traditional.
What I like about this show is the subtle humour. It is not in your face or slapstick in anyway at all. Its about a relationship between two friends who share an unusual bond. They are ordinary people who often find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Their friends and colleagues are also either ordinary or quirky but they all live in this realistic world with real world expectations and lives.
This show is for sure made by the actors and the writing. The main character Andy is played by the creator/writer/director of the show Mackenzie Crook. For those of you who have also watched the British version of The Office you will recognize him as Gareth the UK’s version of Dwight Shrute. He really did a phenomenal job with this show. I didn’t know when I watched the first series that he wrote and directed the show but he also brings Andy to life as an unsure man trying to fulfill his dream to find treasure as well as meet the needs of his live in girlfriend whom he loves very much.
I watched this show with my husband so it for sure falls into the date night category. We both like shows from England and generally enjoy most British humour. We started this one before the second series (also known as second season) had been posted so when the second series was live on Netflix we binged it as well. This all of course was before we had two children and had more time to watch what we wanted after child numero uno was asleep. If you enjoy British comedy, mild love stories buried within interesting character development this may be a date night show for you as well.
For those who don’t have streaming capabilities (yes in this day and age they DO still exist) and you want to give this show a chance… I’ll just leave this link right here:
I think I should start of my ramblings of this show with the fact that it is likely my most favourite show of all time. PERIOD. I don’t think I can think of another show that I have loved so much in ALL my life.
To give you a taste of what the show is about I should start by giving you a brief overview of the first episode. Kimmy and her “sister wives” are trapped in a bunker celebrating Christmas 15 years after the apocalypse (or so they were told by the “reverend” who captured them) when they are rescued and realize that the world has still been going on without them. When doing the press tour in New York to discuss the rescue Kimmy decides to stay there instead of returning to Durnsville Indiana with the rest of the “Mole Woman.” She meets Titus Andromadon right away and she becomes his roommate. Lilian is their landlord. Kimmy goes to a nightclub to see what its like and her backpack is stolen along with ALL her money. She finds a job working for a rich housewife named Jaqueline and when life gets her down she decides she needs to stay in New York to help her new friends and learn what life is like in the modern world. Funny right?
This show is made by some of the writers and producers who made 30 Rock so you know it has to be good. I know that I liked it because I watched the first two seasons 4 times through EACH waiting for the third season to be realized. Titus makes me laugh till I cry. Like EVERY time! I can’t get enough of him.
The writing and acting in this show is EVERYTHING. The characters have their own unique quirks and they all get you invested in them almost right away. The great cameos that come in season 2 make it even more funny. John Hamm and Tina Fey are great. The jokes in this show are always on point and I honestly think if you enjoyed 30 Rock even a tiny bit you will love this show. I tip my hat to the writing staff for sure!
The 3rd Season is the newest season and it is now available on Netflix. It is good. I would say not quite as good as season one and two but if you enjoyed the first two you WILL enjoy the third one as well. When season 3 came out I was pregnant and I would literally count down the hours till my son’s bedtime so I could cram as much of this show in as I could before I HAD to go to bed. I HIGHLY recommend this show to anyone who likes comedy and needs a little Mama time!
So this is my very first attempt at a review for my site! I love Television, Film and Podcasts as much as I love parenting so I figured I would attempt to do some reviews as well. Let you in on what we watch and what we enjoy at our house!
Today I want to tell you about a show that was a hit from day one at our house. Busytown Mysteries is a show that we found on Netflix. My son was OBSESSED with this show for quite a while. He has kind of out grown it but there are many reasons that I liked that he enjoyed this show.
This show is based on the books written and illustrated by Richard Scarry. I remember the books very fondly from when I was a kid. We still have a few of his books kicking around that were mine when I was a young whipper snapper LOL. Loveable Lowly Worm was in most of the books and the fun concept that animals lived and worked in towns just like people is a great concept for kids.
The thing I liked most about the show was the songs. YES they were repetitive but they were great songs for me and my son to sing along to. Even if he wasn’t in the mood for singing along with the show I always found my self singing the WHO WHAT WHERE WHY song. The opening song is a jingle that still comes up when things go missing at our house. I will find myself singing (maybe not quite in tune) “You and me, solving mysteries, with HUCKLE”
Another great thing about this show (and as I’ve come to learn a lot of really popular kids shows) is the fact that it is made in Canada. Canadian content isn’t a HUGE deal breaker in our house but it is a nice thing to know about something we love. Always great to show pride for something that was made in our proud nation!
This show teaches kids to be curious. It influences them to use investigative skills to solve their own problems and to be aware of their environment. There is something good to say about a show that inadvertently teaches them pride for their neighbourhood and to be respectful and helpful to those who share that space. The little kids in this show are Huckle, his sister Sally and their best friend Lowly they solve mysteries in their town along with their friends Pig Will and Pig Won’t (twins and their names make me laugh every time!). They never come across as pests but as serious detectives who want to help solve a mystery that usually results in them helping someone fix a problem. Gold Bug the reporter keeps close tabs on what they are doing and reports the progress as if on an actual news program. There weren’t a great amount of episodes on Netflix but enough that I didn’t feel like we were watching the same thing over and over. I really feel like this show is great for kids and if you ever find yourself looking for something new to watch I highly recommend this one for your littles.
Check Out The Richard Scarry Books HERE
When I found out that I was going to be an aunt I started a board on Pinterest right away and started planning my sisters baby shower. We held the party at the local Agricultural Centre for a small rental fee and kitchen unit included
Brunch Themed Food:
The theme I decided on was based on the main “craft” I wanted to do and that was Tin Cans and Stars. I started 4 months early collecting cans. The best place that I found was the kitchen at the school I worked at. They used more cans in a week than all of my extended family used in a month. The best part was the extra large cans they had for things like tomatoes. I started painting the cans two months ahead as there were a lot of cans that I used for lots of different things. In retrospect painting the lanterns ahead of time was a mistake (I will explain below). The colours my sister had picked for her nursery were island blue, egg shell blue, navy blue and gray. I split the cans up into each size then split them into groups of 4 so I had an equal amount of each can painted in each colour. I also painted the inside of the cans white that would be used for lanterns (again a big mistake). I used regular acrylic craft paint instead of spray paint to get the exact colours she requested. You would likely have an easier time with this project if you used a spray paint and a clear sealer.
Another project I really enjoyed was the cut out letters. I had them cut out at the family sign shop in a sign board and then hand painted them using the colours of the nursery. The reason I made the theme the colours of her nursery was so that she could use some of the hard work I did for the shower in the nursery. The custom print and the cut out letters are still up in her little guys room 10 months later.
Another little touch that I found on Pinterest was star confetti. I didn’t want to spend money on this project but I ended up spending a bit to add to my craft arsenal. I bought a stack of scrapbooking paper in the matching colours, two pieces of sparkly card stock and a star paper cutter. When I would watch my shows I would sit and punch out stars and it seemed like it took no time at all to fill up this plastic cup. The day of the shower we sprinkled it out on the tables and it added the star element to the decor.
I glued ribbon in the theme colours to the cans and filled them with fresh flours to make amazing centrepieces. This turned out really well and I ended up with exactly enough cans for the amount of tables we had.
I also cut out some paper bunting and hung it around for another added bit of decor. If I was to do it again I would add some start to the paper as well. I love bunting but didn’t have time to do anything more than paper. We had virgin mimosa as the punch. As an added touch to the punch I used mod podge and added sparkles to the bottom of the disposable wine glasses in the theme colours. This was another task that took a long time but was worth it for the added touch.As is standard I also offered coffee and ice water at the drink station.
My food theme was Brunch Finger Food. My sister’s mother in law brought her home made muffins. My mother and I did the rest of the food (mostly my mom!) The food included: Mini Chicken and Waffles, Maple Bacon Pancake Bites, Mini Quiche, Tasty Tater tots, French Toast Bites and Mini Fruit Salad Cups. We also offered pickle trays, and veggies with dip. My talented cousin also made cupcakes as per usual.
The take home gift was the Tin Can Lanterns. This project as mentioned above was a chore and didn’t work out as expected. If it wasn’t for my mom they would never have been completed. I was pregnant and not feeling great and really slacked on what I thought would be a super easy project. I also made the above mentioned mistake of painting all the cans prior to poking the holes in them. This was a problem as we realized when we went to poke the holes the cans would collapse under the pressure of the hammer and nail as we tried to punch them. We quickly realized the best way to get them to stay in tact was to fill them with water and freeze them. This caused the white paint on the inside to chip and crack and peel. Pre-painting them also bit me in the but as when they were punched the paint would chip off on the outside. We quickly learned we had to repaint about half of them. We also tied ribbon on them to make a handle for holding them. We bought a couple bulk packages of battery operated candles and put them inside. They didn’t turn out as nice as I expected but they were a nice try for sure!
I found these patterns on Pinterest and used the star on the lanterns. I also overshot how many holes were needed. We ended up cutting out all the inside holes and only doing the outline on the cans.
We played the Clothes Pin Game at the shower. Everyone took two clothes pins (which I painted the colours of the shower of course) and they were then not allowed to say the word “Baby”. If someone caught you saying the word baby they could take one of your clothes pins away. The person who had the most clothes pins at the end was the winner. I also had everyone write out their own address on a label to help baby mama with her thank you card writing.
Baby showers are a lot of fun. They are also a lot of work. I would suggest doing less of the BIG tasks that I took on and focus more on the small decor things. All in all I’m pretty sure my sister loved her shower and I would do it all again for her and my nephew because I love them SO much!
If you have planned a baby shower I would LOVE to hear what you did! Post a comment, hit me up on social media or send me an email through the contact page here on my site! If you have any questions about what I did or how I did it do NOT hesitate to contact me! I’d LOVE to hear from you!
Please also pin any of the images on this page and SHARE SHARE SHARE!
This post is for sure a fun one! Although it was almost 4 years ago it honestly feels like I was only JUST planning my little guy’s Winter One-derland Party. I wanted to go ALL out for my first born’s first birthday and I think I did a pretty great job!
The first thing I did was make a board on Pinterest with all the ideas I wanted to do for the party.
The theme I picked for the party was Winter One-derland and the colour scheme I picked was Red, Green and Blue with white polka dots. I used these colours throughout the whole party and this made it easier when it came to making decisions. I always like to start with a colour scheme so I can stay on track with choices during the party planning. The party location was at my parents house to save a little money on a rental.
I used Vistaprint to get the invitations. I had them printed on postcard stock because it gives a more “keepsake” feel to the invitations. It makes them have a more eye catching effect when they are stuck to someones fridge with a magnet or pinned to a cork board.
My family owns and operates a sign shop in our home town. This makes it very easy to get things like this banner done up easily. This banner is 2 feet by 8 feet and it was an awesome centrepiece to the whole party. It is always a little pricey to do something like this but it was for sure worth upping my budget a little to add this to the theme. I got the polka dot balloons at Party City.
These cookies for the guests to take home were an event in themselves. I bought Oreos, white melting chocolate (at bulk barn), Sprinkles (also at bulk barn) and was given the bags by my cousin for free. The cardboard labels I had printed at the sign shop as well. I melted the chocolate over low heat and I dipped half the Oreos and then let it set. Then I did the other side and dipped that side into a coloured sprinkles. This was a very labour intensive project but it definitely paid off in the end. They were also super sweet and delicious.
For the main food I opted for a nice warm wintery chili bar. I made my own homemade basic chili and had toppings GALORE! I wanted something that everyone could make their own. No one likes the same chili so I made it so you could make your own as you went! Toppings included: fresh tomatoes, jalepenos, shredded cheddar cheese, diced green onion, bacon bits, french onions, and mushrooms. I also had corn muffins, guacamole, siracha and my grandma made her famous tea biscuits as well. This was one of my favourite parts of the party and it was a hit.
My family has a hook up of all hook ups. My cousin has taken a cake decorating class so we always have the nicest cupakes and cakes on our snack table! I literally just tell her to do whatever she thinks will look good within my theme and she has never disappointed. I bought polkadot cupcake wrappers from Dollarama and let her do the rest. She also did that adorable little smash cake in a low sugar cake batter so we weren’t overloading baby on his first taste of cake. We also always have a veggie platter and some chips and dip as well for those who might not have a sweet tooth. I bought some polkadot scrapbooking paper and wrapped the water bottles for an extra touch.
Every party needs a nice drink table. I did a hot chocolate station (keeping it warm in the crock pot) with marshmallows and disposable coffee cups wrapped in the polkadot scrapbooking paper. I also had soft drinks and ice and wrapped the 2L bottles in the paper as well to hide the labels and pull in the theme. I also had mason jar cups with paper muffin liners on the lids and straws poking out the top which thinking back I am not so sure they got used but were nice to look at. We also had tea and coffee available as well… because it was a party for a baby and the adults need to drink too!
The best part was of course the smash cake that took the babe some coaxing to even touch! I had to put the icing into his mouth with my finger to get him to even try it. It was a great party I honestly think it was my favourite party to plan to date. I can’t believe that we find ourselves almost 3 years later and the little guy is in junior kindergarten already!
Let me know if you have planned a party that is worth talking about! Or if you have any questions or want any ideas please contact me! I will also be updating my Pinterest regularly with lots of party planning and decor ideas! Stay tuned to the blog for more parties I’ve planned too.