Smile Project : Month 7

Monday, July 17, 2017

Here we are, month seven of the smile project! Now, less than a year left of capturing a child's smile,  watching their personalities, their understanding, and their physical looks evolving.

As I've gone through this project, I've been so thankful for it! Gone are the days of basically having my camera attached to me, half the time I barely even know where it is anymore. This phase of life with three littles is busy, and having the smile project in my life makes sure I get at least one picture of each kid every month... for that I'm so grateful! 

For a look back of months past, click here!

Here is miss smiley Rylee:

and my handsome little man, Zachery:

and the ever silly Adelyne:

Last Day of Kindergarten : Rylee

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Today was the last day of school! Are you excited? Or does the thought of two months home with all your kids get you totally overwhelmed?

Our oldest, Rylee, graduated from kindergarten today and I for one, am totally ecstatic! No more forced schedules, no more early wake ups (for Rylee at least), and no more fighting to get out the door! And we get to see Rylee all day, everyday. That alone is the icing on the cake, I love having her home. She may be one more kid to care for, but she's a helpful kid, and she's at an age where I can actually hang out with her and do crafts or other fun things.

To celebrate her last day we took her to her favourite restaurant, Chinese food, where she got to pick whatever she wanted (iced tea and a whole plate of sweet and sour balls to herself). I know it may "just" be kindergarten but I'm still so proud of her! Over the year she's learned to count from 1-100 and to count in multiples of 10 up to 100, she's started reading basic words, she's taught herself how to skip, she can do some basic addition, and her artwork has improved significantly!

Just for fun, below you'll see her first day of kindergarten. Putting these two pictures together I can actually see she's grown (hard to believe, this girl grows at a snails pace!), and her face has definitely matured, she just looks so much more confident! This girl blows me away, she's such a spitfire, with so much personality and independence all rolled into one. I hope everyday we as parents can do right by her and set her on paths that help her grow, she's got so much potential and so much good in her that I just can't wait to see where she soars.

Gettin' Ready for Summer With E-Cloth

Monday, June 26, 2017

|This product was sent to me for the purpose of an honest review, all opinions are 100% my own.|

Are you looking for a more natural way to clean around the house? For household products that are safe enough even for your kids to use and still get 99% of those nasty bacteria's? Then you need to give ECloth a try!

If you recall a little while back we partnered with E-Cloth showcasing a more natural approach to household cleaning with their glass cleaning cloth. Well today I'm super excited to share another one of their great products with you, the Universal Stone, and if you check out our Instagram you can enter to win one for yourself! (giveaway open to US/Canadian residents only)

Summer has finally arrived here on the West Coast and one way we love to spend our evenings is having a good ol' BBQ! Now, you may or may not be like us, and go to open up your barbeque after its winter hibernation and discover the loveliness of last years leftovers... whoops... barf!
That's where Ecloth's Universal Stone became our saving grace, this stuff has a clay base to it and is completely eco-friendly and free of nasty toxins so many cleaning products have these days. Cleaning the barbeque is not a chore I ever enjoy, but the universal stone amazed me how it cut through the built up grease and gunk!

I initially scraped the grill with our wire brush and removed all the lose grill and underneath metal parts. I then used the applicator sponge that comes with the stone, ran it under water, rubbed it on the stone, squished it a few times and with virtually no more effort than washing the dishes I had all the barbeque bits cleaned and looking almost new again!
Once I got all the barbeque bits back in their rightful spots I used the stone and sponge to clean the stainless steel and the glass polishing cloth to wipe it all streak free. Doesn't it look good!
I am seriously impressed with this product, and I continue to be. We use it regularly on our glass stovetop, which used to be a time consuming chore, now it takes one minute to clean even with the worst caked on, burnt on crud. I've also used it on our bathtub to remove heavy soap scum. And I've used it to clean and shine up the bottom of our pots and pans. I was even surprised by the versatility of the sponge, I thought for sure after the BBQ that it would be done for, but, it survived, it didn't even tear! It obviously turned black from all that grime but I've actually found that it essentially self cleans itself as I keep using it.

I absolutely love that it makes the hard chores easy, it cuts through grime with ease, and in essence saves me time (and sweat) to get back to fun things, like enjoying a glass of iced tea and eating a good ol' juicy burger! Now go win yourself one (check out owls + monsters on Instagram), and good luck!

Smile Project : Month 6

Thursday, June 15, 2017

We are officially half way through the Smile Project! I thought it'd be fun to showcase what we've captured so far with each of the kids. See how they've grown, how they've come to follow instruction, and how they interpret what it is to "smile".

So here goes! First up is the oldest of course, miss Rylee... whom I think shows herself to be more playful and comfortable in front of the camera. She may not change much physically but I can definitely see her maturing in her eyes... especially this month (hah!). 

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5

and the latest, Month 6

Next up is Mr. Zachery! As you can see he's been a goofball right from the beginning. What you don't see in the pictures is his ability to take instruction and his eagerness to have his picture taken, when he sees me setting up the tripod he gets giddy and can't wait to get in front of the camera... I love it!

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Last but not least, Adelyne! She has been the hardest to capture since her attention span is like that of a hummingbird, I'm actually amazed I've managed to get relatively clear shots of her haha. I love with her that you can see the most change, her hair is longer and more wild, she has more teeth, and her outward appearance changing from baby to toddler.

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Party Planning 101

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

| This post was published in cooperation with Paperless Post |
It's no secret I love planning themed birthday parties for my kids. It's not something I ever thought I'd do, and much to my husbands dismay, it's something I seriously enjoy doing! It takes a lot of hands on work, and frugal penny pinching, but the creativity behind planning a party to fit each child's current fave fad, and doing it with them is a lot of fun. 

Whether your throwing an indoor or backyard bash, with a few balloons and streamers, or bringing in the circus tent, today I have for you some tricks of the trade to make it all come together! Hopefully these tips will help keep you on budget, remind you why your throwing this party, and minimize the stress that can come when creating an amazing celebration. 

1. To Theme or Not To Theme? If your first reaction is that a themed party is going to rob you of every penny you own, stop, this is a myth. If you can't afford the marching band, blow up castles, and real life puppy party favors, then like me the dollarstores will be your best friend! You can be as elaborate as you want by doing things yourself, or just picking a theme that the dollarstore carries (princess, sports, Hawaiian, a specific color scheme...). Key point to remember is: know your limit, play within it! 

2. Remember Who Your Celebrating! This party is not about you, put your party planning dreams as aspirations aside for a moment and ask your child what they want. You may be surprised with the idea they come up with and getting them involved adds a whole new level of excitement for their special day. Rylee has picked her last two parties, a princess theme and a royal tea party, and Zach went with Paw Patrol on his third birthday. If your kids aren't old enough to verbalize an idea, go with what they are currently loving or something that you see in them that you want to showcase.

3. It's NEVER Too Early To Plan. Birthdays sneak up on you, if you can plan ahead of time this will be your saving grace! Especially if your a DIY'er! This doesn't mean you have to pick a date, but simply pick your theme, get your pinterest idea board going, and get a head start on some of those time consuming crafts (like a homemade pinata, princess crowns, or party games). Having your idea in your head may save you money too, you never know when you might come across some amazing clearance sale that fits your theme perfectly... and it gives you time to comparison shop while your just going about your regular day to day shopping.

4. Timing is Everything. Choosing what time of day is crucial for a fun filled celebration. Think about your child's nap times, schedule around it, the worst thing you can do is not take their needs into consideration... this correlates with remembering who your celebrating! Birthday Party's are overwhelming to begin with for little people, they are the center of attention, and the last thing you want is them to be throwing the worst kind of temper tantrum because grandma so and so got them the wrong color thingamajig! These episodes can theoretically be avoided with keeping their regular feeding and sleeping schedules in place! 

5. Picking a Date. This is my least favourite thing to do, its hard to find a day that works for everyone. But before making your invitations set in stone be sure to check with those essential guests (whether its that favourite aunt, grandparent, or best friend), you want to do your best to pick a day and time that those important people can be there.

6. Invitations! This is one of my favorite things to do. I have made them myself, I've ordered cards online, and most recently I've teamed up with Paperless Post to create a more eco-friendly alternative to party invitations by going digital for Adelyne's upcoming second birthday! Going digital is definitely more cost effective and in this technology run day and age your going to get a quicker response from people whether they can make it or not. Paperless Post has so many options to choose from and are super easy to customize, it literally took me less than an hour to completely make their "Tropicale" invite fit our "Twotti Fruitti" theme. And bonus, if your not ready to jump full on into the digital world of invites, you still have the option of ordering them to hand out or stick in the mail. And I just have to say my inner party planning nerd LOVES the matching envelope liners... these little pineapples + palms kill me!

| I received free product as compensation for this review. In no way are my words altered, all opinions are 100% my own|
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