Things To Learn Before Starting Kindergarten

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

SO I realized when my son was about to turn 3 (he is a December baby) that in 9 SHORT months that he would be starting school. My baby would be a BABY when he started junior kindergarten. I was very freaked out… and PREGNANT with my second baby. It was all I could do to not cry about it… my decision to get prepared was out of fear of him being completely unprepared. There were a number of things I did to get him ready AND he WAS ready ans I am so glad that I did. I was advised by my cousin who is an Early Childhood Educator, the school supplied suggestions, as well as a lot of online research. I am in no way an expert and that being said the following article is just how I prepared my son and myself and is in no way expert advice! Use this info as you see fit!

One of our greatest resources was the Ontario Early Years Centre in our town. We are so blessed to have such a great centre for parents to lean on and learn along with their kids. I have taken a few parent programs and we were going to the centre almost weekly (sometimes up to 3 times a week) to just play and enjoy the facility. Where we live the facility has a running room (a big room with bikes and space for the kids to move even on a rainy day) as well as a family room with toys, books and craft supplies. On most days the ladies that run the centre do story time where the kids learn about sitting in a circle and listening to instruction. They also have a program called Kids First which is like a nursery school program run by some of the most wonderful ladies. Unfortunately my son never made it off the waiting list but any of the kids in his play group who got in got very OBVIOUS benefits from that program to prepare them for kindergarten.  I learned a lot about what my son needed to get prepared from the OEYC for sure. I learned that he hated sitting in a circle, he was good at play learning, he was a very visual learner and he was good at making new friends (as long as he introduced himself by his full name). I suggest if you live in Ontario that you see what the Early Years has to offer in your community. Like I said before we are SO lucky that we have such a great centre and our county helps a lot with funding.

My local OEYC Facebook page posted the video from Today’s Parent that sums up some really important things.


The most important thing (especially for the younger kids starting when they are 3) is potty training. Teachers can’t help kids in the bathroom so it is VITAL they can use the toilet, pull up their pants and wipe themselves clean. I know that we worked really hard on getting my son prepared for this before school. The Early Years Center was an excellent place to practice him going in on his own and doing it all by himself. I can say we accomplished this task before school started even if he had a few accidents at the beginning.

This next item goes “hand in hand” (pun intended) with the potty training point. Washing their hands on their own is VERY important. I know that my son has been in school for three months and is on his third round of a cold. I’m still working hard on getting him to use soap every time but he is getting better all the time. If you want to ward off the gross bugs that go along with starting school get your kids used to washing their hands before and after eating, after the washroom and anytime they touch community toys. This is hard I know with toddlers but they will catch on if you make this normal. The video above suggests getting them to sing a song while they do it to ensure they do it long enough and this has worked for my son and myself. We sing twinkle twinkle little start start to finish every time!

Another important thing you and your chid must master before school is dressing themselves. There are usually up to 30+ kids in each kindergarten class and the teacher can’t help dress each and every one of them. This is very helpful for your teacher if you can get your kid to dress themselves. If they have an accident (trust me it will happen no matter how prepared you are) you want them to be able to put on their own underwear and pants. When they get wet socks they should be able to change them on their own. When going out for recess and home at the end of the day you want them to be able to put on their own coats, gloves and shoes. Get them shoes that are velcro or have no ties so they can put them on easily.  Mabel’s Labels has a great product for helping them put on their shoes on the right feet as well as label them so they come home:

You will also want to work on recognizing their own name. You will have to label everything (and I mean EVERYTHING… three months in I’m still using labels from my Big Kaboodle Mabel’s Label pack!) now you have them labeled you need them to be able to recognize the labels. No use in having the things labeled if you have to go into the school every other week to collect it. I put cute dinosaurs on our labels to start to help him have something familiar to look for. Now he knows his first and last name and knows to bring home his things every day! The next step is to have them write their own name. They will learn this in school but you will be so much further ahead if you can have their first name mastered. We tried practicing during the summer prior to school but my son refused. He was doing it all on his own within two weeks of school so sometimes you can’t push it… sometimes the teacher will have an easier time and that is ok too.

Another very important thing to learn is how they can open and close their lunch containers. The first step is to get kid friendly containers. I talk a lot about this in my post about What To Buy For Kindergarten. I love love LOOOOOVE the Yumbox  and how easy it is for the little hands to get open and closed and it is leak proof. Teachers and classroom ECE’s have a lot of kids to support in a day and they can’t open containers for everyone. I still help my son along by opening applesauce pouches and replacing the lids, taring the wrapped items like granola bars and I even take the straw out of the rewrapped package and tape it to his juice box to help him do it on his own. This will help his teachers and the support team by freeing up that little bit of time for other kids who might actually need the help.

We faired pretty good on that list of things to learn. We got most of them mastered or nearly mastered by the end of August. My son is lucky to have a smaller class with only 20 kids and so I don’t have to worry too much about him not getting the help he might need. Some kids aren’t so lucky so if they have a parent who can help them with the above list they will be that much further ahead when they start kindergarten! Best of luck to all the moms and dads who have kids who are starting the big JK this coming fall! Time to get to work!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Also please subscribe to my email updates, that way you will stay in the loop of what is coming to the blog!
Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Cream Soup

Print Recipe
Cream Soup
This is a hearty soup that has lots of options depending on how you are feeling. It can be vegetarian or you can add a meat stock or meat into the soup.
Cuisine Home Cooked
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 1 Hour
Servings
People
Ingredients
Cuisine Home Cooked
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 1 Hour
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion and celery in the butter until tender
  2. Stir in the flour, pepper, salts and stir constantly to cook the flour
  3. Gradually add the broth
  4. Stir to mix in well. Cook the stock mixture until slightly thickened
  5. Add cooked vegetables and cook for a few minutes until incorporated
  6. Add milk and cheese. Do not boil
  7. Optional: Use a hand blender to blitz the soup
Recipe Notes

Here are a few variations I have tried (and LOVED) of this recipe:

  1. Puree the Broccoli prior to adding to the soup for a silky smoother version of this soup.
  2. Use corn and cooked ham as the "vegetable" component for a corn and ham chowder version.
  3. Try shredding the onions instead of chopping them to hide them for picky eaters
  4. Try using cooked potatoes instead of flour. This makes for a nice heartier style soup. One of my favourite variations!
  5. Use bacon fat instead of margarine and add the bacon back at the end for a bacon version
  6. Add ginger and butternut squash as your vegetable but substitute coconut milk for the milk... Mmmm
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Do You Ever Get Stuck In A Life Rut?

Do you ever get the feeling like no matter what you do you can’t catch up on LIFE? Never ending laundry, dishes, waiting for the bus to come, picking up after kids and the circle goes round and round? I have for sure found myself in this predicament currently. I feel like my wheels are spinning in place no matter how I try to get ahead.

I wonder if it is just this time of year. That no mans land between summer and winter called autumn where winter routines haven’t kicked in and the change in time affects everyone to varying degrees. Sleep isn’t what it was in August and the weather is just BLAH to say the least. Things just seem to keep ticking on like we are just going through the motions. I feel this hardcore today and for the last week. I’m not feeling depressed just UNACCOMPLISHED and underwhelmed at the same time.

I want to get so much done with my limited free time but I feel like that free time is getting eaten up with the day to day things that never seem to stay DONE! I would LOVE some ideas you have out there in the world on how to get past these things. This is one of those rare blog posts where I don’t have a solution and DARE not give a gimmicky made up solution either. I want to hear from you!

So this is the time in the post where I’m going to go through all the ways you can contact me!

INSTAGRAM: I use Instagram quite often if not every day. Lately I feel like I haven’t even had time to do that! NONE the less you can contact me there @meganplainandtall Please follow me even if you don’t need to contact me. I’m always up for sharing fun photos and not so fun ones like the one above!

EMAIL: You can email me anytime! I am really good at getting back to emails as they come right to my pocket computer (AKA my phone ha ha ha) and love feedback and blog ideas so send what you may!

CONTACT FORM: Oh yes… I have one of those! If you don’t want to leave my site (and why would you want to right?) you can zip on over there to the Contact Me page!

FACEBOOK PAGE: This is in the works… I will update this post when it is ready so you can obviously just click through… One of the things I want to be done but can’t get to until I have fed, bathed, put the kids to bed and all the many other life chores are complete… Check back for that!

PINTEREST: If you are over at Pinterest more than anywhere else… I’m there too! Message me or follow me if you want! @meganplainNtall

NEWSLETTER: I have a newsletter! You can sign up to and get all the site updates on the regular HERE! Do it. For Me? So I feel like I have gotten something done today?

GOOD luck all with getting YOUR life stuff done… when you do… let me know how you did it!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Also please subscribe to my email updates, that way you will stay in the loop of what is coming to the blog!
Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

My First Birth Story

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

So I guess it is finally time to do a post about MY FIRST BIRTH STORY. I know a lot of people enjoy reading all the details of how a special little baby came into the world… So here goes:

So I had just turned 29 years old and started thinking about how the next birthday coming around for me was going to be my 30th. This made me think that if I was going to have a baby I had better start to seriously think about it. I had been laid off from my job (which I didn’t love anyway) the Christmas prior to my 29th birthday and that spring started to discuss seriously about getting pregnant with my husband. We hd been together for 9 years and married for 2 so it wasn’t an outrageous thing to talk about. My husband was on board and we started trying in March of 2013 and to my surprise we got pregnant pretty well right away. We can’t be sure but we think he was conceived while we were on a March Break trip to Myrtle Beach SC. My original due date was January 10 2014. So began my first experience with being pregnant.

So this magical journey of being pregnant started out PRETTY rough. I had extreme morning sickness (I liked to call it ALL DAY sickness) from morning until night, bedtime started being 5:30pm some nights, for the first 15 weeks. I would say the first trimester was my least favourite time in my entire life. The second trimester I started to feel less sick and had a pretty easy time. The third trimester was very uncomfortable. I had a very long baby inside me that had a knee or a foot in my ribcage at all times. I can say honestly I didn’t LOVE being pregnant but I enjoyed the experience of learning what it was all about.

Some of the books I read included:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a GREAT book that walks you through pregnancy. My mistake was putting it on my Kobo and syncing it to my Facebook for all to see. I got a message from one of my husbands cousins asking if I was pregnant and I was horrified LOL I immediately took down all my Kobo settings ha ha ha. This book I highly recommend! It is a great gift to a friend who is pregnant for the first time.

Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy by Rosie Pope was another book I read and LOVED during my first time pregnancy. She is very knowledgeable and I had watched her show Pregnant In Heels and enjoyed her British ways. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is pregnant.

One THING I highly recommend if you are pregnant or planning to be:

The Jolly Jumper Mama Sleep EZ Body Pillow was a life saver and ABSOLUTELY worth the money. I used this sucker for both my pregnancies and I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I didn’t. I was so grumpy as I was getting less and less sleep and this was a life saver!

I was originally due January 10th but when I had my ultrasound the tech changed the date to December 27th 2013. I really wanted a January baby. December babies are the youngest in their classes and a baby born at the end of the month has to share his/her birthday with Christmas. My doctor was planning on being on holidays during the Christmas season so he agreed to leave me unchecked while he was away to hope to stretch out the date until January.

I worked up until the last day of work before the Christmas season. Everyone made the holiday plans local so I didn’t have to travel. My mother in law came for a few days and left Christmas day. I was so tired I decided to leave the dishes until Boxing day, ate a turkey sandwich and went to bed early as I was exhausted. Above is the last picture of me before the big event lol a little blurry but real lol. I woke up about midnight on Boxing Day with my first contraction. I wasn’t sure I was actually in labour, I thought for sure they had to be WAY more intense and if I went to the hospital they would send me home. I went into the spare bedroom and laid down to try and go back to sleep. I also used my phone to start timing the contractions… it didn’t take long for me to realize they were about 5 minutes apart. I called the hospital and the nurse in the maternity ward told me to have a hot shower and then head in. I took this advice. Then I went and woke up my husband. It was about 3am at this point and I thought for sure we would still be sent home or have HOURS and hours of labour to deal with so I wasn’t anxious or in any sort of rush. My husband sprung up and we jumped in the car. It was a brutal snow storm so it took us a slow go to get to the hospital which is normally a 25 minute drive. We got to the hospital safe and sound about 4am.

My first question was “When can I get drugs?” the nurse checked me and said “Oh you are already 8.5 cm dilated so you are too far along.” I couldn’t believe it. This meant I would be doing it naturally. I laid on my right side for an hour and progressed quickly. My doctor was on holiday so I had the doctor on call deliver my baby.   I was pushing by 6amI also did get an episiotomy to help with the delivery. My beautiful baby boy was born at 7:05am. He was an amazing 7lbs 1oz and 21inches long. AND I WAS IN LOVE. We had to call my mother in law to drive back the two hours and all my family was up north at the cottage. They all came back to meet the bundle of joy we had on Boxing Day 2013.

I learned that it IS possible to give birth without drugs. If I did it anyone can. Not everyone is as lucky as I am with a 7 hour start to finish labour and delivery but women are strong. You are stronger than you think but that doesn’t mean you CAN’T have the epidural. I went in wanting to have it but wasn’t able to get it. Choose a birth plan that suits you and if you have to change your plan during the event don’t worry Mama once you have that baby in your arms you won’t have time to regret the things you did or didn’t do… all that matters is your baby is healthy and you are happy. I know I was.

Writing this post brought up ideas for other posts… the days and weeks after having a brand new baby for the first time was a whole other learning experience. Let me know if you have questions or ideas you want me to write about.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Also please subscribe to my email updates, that way you will stay in the loop of what is coming to the blog!
Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Things To Buy For a First Time Kindergarten Student

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

My boy and his friend checking out their new school

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.

 

Waiting for the School bus on the first day

 

ME crying like a blubbering idiot after he got on the bus… I took this to remind me in July how I felt when I left for the first time!

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:

Big Kaboodle™ Label Pack
So now you are sending your kid to school with all this stuff its probably for the best that you send it all with labels on it.  I HIGHLY recommend Mabel’s Labels I was told by a friend they were the best and they really ARE. I use them on everything. My son’s clothes, his lunch bag, his yumbox, his boots, his shoes, his coat… EVERYTHING. They withstand the dishwasher and the laundry so they are high quality. I also tried the iron on labels and put them in his clothes including his underwear. I got the Big Kaboodle™ Label Pack and still have tons of the labels left over so anything that needs replaced or new labels I’m still covered… best value in my opinion!

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.

Shoes:

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.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Also please subscribe to my email updates! That way you will stay in the loop of what is coming to the blog!
Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Raffi

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

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:

 

It can drive my son nuts because he has never really been exposed to LIVE video of Raffi. When I ran day care from my house I played Raffi all day! They were mere babies then and didn’t quite get why I loved it so much. Now that my son is almost 4 (yes a tear just fell from my eye) I think it is the perfect time to reintroduce him to this timeless children’s music!

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:

I know watching him play that acoustic guitar also makes me wish I had stuck with my guitar playing. I hope that someday my son wants to play and learn!

If you want to buy the MUST have Raffi to get your kids to LOVE Raffi here are a few suggestions:

The best of Raffi includes Baby Beluga, Banaphone, Wheels on the Bus and is a great starter! There really is no doubt you and your kids will love this one!

The Singable Songs collection is the album I remember and love when I was a kid. The More We Get Together is a classic and makes me think of being 6 with chocolate milk and cookies on the table while we all sing and dance around together. Down by the Bay was a song we used to sing at girl guides and still makes me laugh.  The other classics include, Brush your Teeth, Must be Santa and Mr. Sun.

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.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Also please subscribe to my email updates! That way you will stay in the loop of what is coming to the blog!
Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Detectorists

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

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.

I’ll break down the first episode for you now. Andy and Lance are a pair of friends who live in rural Essex, Engalnd town called Danebury. They are members of the local Detectorist club and often go detecting together. In the first episode they meet a young college student named Sophie and find out that there could be a large treasure hidden on a local farm. The owner of the farm has a reputation of not allowing people to go on his property and that he may have killed his wife and buried her somewhere on the property.

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 hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Tin Can Themed Party

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

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

  1. Star Confetti: Confetti Bistro
  2. Tin Can Centrepieces: Craftdayisthebestday.com
  3. Cut Out Letters: Turquoise Owl “Welcome Home Baby”
  4. Tin Can Lanterns: 15 Cool DIY Projects To Try
  5. Table Skirt: Turquoise Owl “Welcome Home Baby”

Brunch Themed Food:

  1. French Toast Bites: Recipe Tin Eats
  2. Fruit Salad Cups: Tea Green Chandelier
  3. Mini Chicken and Waffles: Home is Where the Boat Is
  4. Maple Bacon Pancake Bites: Vixens Kitchen
  5. Virgin Mimosas: Cook This Again Mom

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.

Get Acrylic Paint Here

I also took on the task of making a beautiful hand made tule table skirt. This was a task I will never do again as it was so time consuming. I found out I was pregnant about two weeks before the shower and I couldn’t manage to finish and make it as long as I wanted to but it suited its purpose for the few hours that it was used. I will one day take that table skirt and flip it into baby tutus or something. This is a “craft” for someone who has the time and patience and money to buy a LARGE amount of tule. I also designed a custom wall print (which you can sort of see in this picture behind some of the gifts) as part of her gift. I had this printed at my families sign shop but you can easily make something like this using stock clip art and printing at somewhere like Staples. I also bought some decorations at Party City and the local dollar store.

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 punchAs 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!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Winter One-derland First Birthday Party

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

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.

 

  1. The Cake: Celebrate Baby: A Winter Candy Land First Birthday 
  2. Chili Bar: NFL Football Viewing Party
  3. Invitations: Kara’s Party Ideas
  4. Take Home Treats: Wedbook Food & Favor
  5. Snack Table: Landon’s Winter ONEderland First Birthday Party
  6. Decorations: 36 Cool DIY Crafts Using Coffee Filters that Will Surprise You
  7. General Theme: Winter Candyland First Birthday 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.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

 

 

Smoothies

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!
Print Recipe
Smoothies
I started to drink these when I was first pregnant. They have stuck! We also freeze them to make popsicles for the kids!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Kid Friendly
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Kid Friendly
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or a tall jug
  2. Blend or use a hand blender to mix until smooth
Recipe Notes

I bought freezie pouches and fill these up with any leftover smooties for the kids!

If you can afford it the BEST blender on the market is the Vitamix but I just use my KitchenAid hand blender with great results!

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