Pumpkin Carving with a Toddler

IMG_4544We carved our pumpkins we got from the pumpkin patch the other evening, and Evie definitely was into it. I wanted to wait til closer to Halloween so they would not go moldy and squishy on us. We will be bringing them over to my parents house to put outside tomorrow night. This is definitely something I hope we do every October. It’s a great way for kids to learn all about pumpkins, and even tie in facts like how you can eat the seeds inside and show them how to bake them. So many ways to let kids be hands on with this activity. I’m looking forward to Evie getting older and her being even more a part of it.

IMG_4520Evie was the one who actually initiated us carving the pumpkins. I had come home from work and was hoping for a nap only to have our pumpkins get plunked on top of me. I asked her if she wanted to carve them and give them a happy face and she very quickly started chanting “Pumpkin! Pumpkin! Happy!”

IMG_4545We still had our table covered with the dollar store plastic table cloth from our party, and boy am I glad we left that there. It made clean up very easy. I would have used news paper, but we sadly do not get any delivered to our home. If you do have news papers it’s so easy to just put the paper and the pumpkin guts into the compost.

IMG_4533Evie tried her best at helping to scoop out the insides of the pumpkin, but was quick to let me finish that part while she played with the seeds on the table. She watched very intently as I drew on the face and I asked her what shapes she wanted for eyes and a nose. She wanted triangle eyes, and a oval nose for both of the pumpkins. This is a great way to go over shapes with kids, especially if you get them to draw the face they want on paper first.

It must have been a little confusing at first as to why the pumpkins suddenly had holes in them, Evie kept trying to pop back in the little pieces to make her pumpkins whole again. She soon got the idea though when I asked if she wanted to see them with a light inside. We closed all the blinds and put candles inside, and remind her that they are hot and not to touch. She is very good when we tell her not to touch things.

She definitely loved seeing the pumpkins glowing, as she got very sad when we blew out the candles before it was time to get ready for bed.

How early do you carve your pumpkins? What designs did your kids go for?

I am thinking maybe next year we might carve them a little earlier just so Evie can enjoy seeing the faces a little longer. I am looking forward to her being even more a part of what our pumpkin looks like.

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All dressed up and ready for trick-or-treating

IMG_4382Someone told me to get photos of Evie in her costume before Halloween, especially if there is a sunny day. I took their advice and snapped some photos of her all dressed up as a little mouse. This week has been full of lots of rain in true Raincouver style. Right now the weather forecast for Friday is calling for some more rain. I am expecting that her adorable little costume is going to get covered in a rain coat and rubber boots.

If you have a chance and it is sunny in your area, I highly recommend snapping some photos right now. That way you are not in a panic on Friday before going out, and making sure everyone has had dinner and not gotten dinner all over their costume. You can actually take a little bit of time and get some cute photos to help keep these memories. Plus the lighting in the evening is great for photos.

 

This week she has learned how to say “Trick-or-treat” and it is very sweet when she says it because she always adds a little “please” to the end of it. I am really looking forward to taking her around my families neighborhood and seeing some of our family friends. This year is a whole other experience with her truly being able to walk 100% on her own, and being able to talk. It will be interesting to see if we make it further than a door or two before she wants to dive into her goodies, or if the social butterfly side of her will come out and she will want to go to many doors. My favourite thing right now though is she also goes around saying “squeak squeak” when she has the mouse costume on.

 

What are your kid(s) dressing up as for halloween? Do you make their costumes, buy new, or buy used?

We got Evie’s little mouse costume used on a kids swap group for $5! Last year she went as an owl. That costume I bought new, and I modified it by adding some feathers to the wings to make it unique for her. I am a huge fan of the costumes from Carters for little ones because they are made of fleece so they are nice and warm and have plenty of room for layering if it is cold out. IMG_4408

 

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helpful heart and little hands

IMG_4311Our daughter has a very helpful heart. I’ve talked about it a couple times before. Evie is all about helping wherever she can. If she sees us doing laundry, dishes, making dinner, unloading the car after getting groceries, etc… she wants to be right in there and helping.

Most recently she wanted to help with putting laundry away, and she did a great job. Evie is almost 22 months old and she knows where all her clothing goes. If we hand her pajamas and ask her to put them away she runs over to the drawer under the change table and tucks them into there. She knows that her pants, skirts, and socks all go in other drawers. She also knows that things with hangers places in them go into her closet and hang on her bar.

Sure the closed may not be organized to perfection, and the bottom bar is a little jammed, but she is so proud of herself for doing it on her own, and having helped us. She is already learning how to help and contribute around our home by doing things like this.

We have seen, and know how big of a helpful heart she has. It doesn’t stop at little chores around the house. If one of her friends is upset at church she is the first to rush over and give a hug or bring a toy over to try and cheer them up. We don’t want to crush this incredible part of her that is so evident. We are doing our best to help her thrive and continue to grow into someone with a huge heart that is about helping others.

How do you help encourage you kid(s) to have a helpful heart?

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The Weekend in Pictures: Halloween costume party.

IMG_4409We had a little costume party for Evie and some of her friends. We decided to host one a little last minute, sadly a few of our friends and their kids couldn’t make it. Next year if we do another one, we plan farther ahead. It had been a little while since we had everyone get together, and all these kids are growing up much to fast. I love having our home filled with people, and especially all the noise that comes from there being multiple kids playing and running around. IMG_4414The night before I finished decorating some pumpkin shaped sugar cookies, and the morning of I made a rice crispy treat. You can make rice crispy squares festive for any occasion by just adding sprinkles in coordinating colours. I found ones that were orange and green with black spiders! I also made my hot artichoke and spinach dip. Jason said that it was my best dip to date, the perfect amount of spinach to cheese to garlic ratio. I think I have this recipe mastered now. I still love the fact that even Evie will take scoops of it and has no idea she is eating spinach and artichoke.

IMG_4416I have become a huge fan of paper straws, they are just a fun way to add some colour and whimsy to a party. (I’m currently on the hunt for fun ones for Evie’s 2nd birthday party, as well as cutlery… maybe bamboo cutlery?) We also just recently let Evie try juice for the first time. She’s had pure juice from fruit before, but never a juice box. I found these awesome ones from Extra Foods that are from their own product line. They don’t taste like pure sugar when you drink them, in fact they actual just taste like an apple squashed into a box.

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IMG_4427I drew up a couple jack-o’-lantern pictures and set out crayons for the kiddos on our coffee table. I was really impressed with how all the kids enjoyed taking a break from playing with toys, and having a bit of down time by colouring for a bit. Then they’d be off and running again, but would always come back to colour. I guess kids and crayons really do just go hand in hand. Random side note… my Dad has this wooden table that is covered in our hand prints. Each birthday we’d get to trace our hand print onto it. I think I want a piece of furniture that my kids can draw on or trace their hand prints on and not get in trouble.

IMG_4435Toys of course were the big hit. It’s always fun for kids to go visit else where and play with different items. The kitchen set was a huge hit. I felt spoiled at the end of the night because my friend’s daughter didn’t want to put her shoes on and leave until she had put everything back into the kitchen and it was nice and organized. Oh bless her, that was such a little gift to me and she has no idea.

IMG_4472We learned from Evie’s birthday party to not have a bunch of balloons out, the kids went a little crazy over them. This time we waited til near the end and we put glow sticks inside these bright neon coloured balloons we found at Target. We turned the lights off for a little bit so they could see that they glowed. They loved shaking the balloons to hear the sound of the glow stick getting bounced around inside. The balloons were kicked all over our home.

IMG_4429As you can see there were of course costumes on all the kiddos. We had Elsa, Olaf, and Sven from Frozen. My friend Georgia actually made the Elsa costume, and modified a bear snow suit to be Sven. Brilliant, and so creative for doing a family themed costume. There was a super cute green dinosaur with a tale that wiggled when he walked. Evie picked between two costumes we have for her and went with Tinkerbell.

IMG_4483It was just a fun evening spent with friends, and all our kids. I really want to do more fun little get togethers more often. This party reminded me that all our kids are growing up really fast. I want to make more time to hang out with everyone too.

Evie’s face was covered with a permanent grin by the end of the evening, she did have a little melt down moment when we wouldn’t let her eat any more nacho chips with spinach dip, but that smile. That smile made it all worth it. The crazy race to make sure our home was clean, groceries were bought, food was made, all worth it. She was so happy to see all her friends. She loves all of them, and loves all her honorary aunties and uncles. She went to bed that night a very happy little girl.

I am now really looking forward to this Friday, having a family dinner and going out trick-or-treating.

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Lush Halloween Products #LUSHoween

Lush has put out several products that belong in their Halloween treats lineup. If you are looking for something to help you relax next week after all the craziness of trick-or-treaters, or going around the block two or three times with your own kids these items are great.
IMG_4292It’s become very evident that I am a huge fan of soaps from LushFairy Ring Soap is another winner! Lush has packed this soap with a whole lot of good things, it is nutrient rich to help your skin feel amazing. I found the scent to be a bit subtle, but still very nice. It is scented with jasmine absolute, and ylang ylang. If you like more of a floral scent, but do not want something that is very strong this is perfect. Normally I am not drawn to floral but this was perfect.

I was also wondering where the name Fairy Ring came from and I learned that a fair ring is a naturally occurring ring of mushrooms. Which fits because this soap is also made with some shiitaki mushrooms. I really like how they tie this all together by putting little circles on the soap. If you see a whole piece of this soap it is made in the shape of a little mushroom that has tiny fairy doors and windows on it. You can’t help but appreciate the creativity that was put into this item from Lush.

IMG_4301Northern Lights Bath Bomb is a really fun item. If you have kids who love to take baths, and especially like bubble baths, I highly recommend you getting one of these. It will be especially great for bath time after trick-or-treating, to make it extra special before settling in for bed time.

Just like the northern lights fills the sky with lots of colours, this little bath bomb will have the water and foam that fills your bath tub changing colours. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so it was a pleasant surprise when it started changing from purple, to greeny-yellow, to blue. It seems like jasmine, and ylang ylang are the scents of the season as that is what you will smell from this. Again, it is very subtly, and pleasant. Because this bath bomb has a little bit of bubble bar in its mix, you do get some bubbles in this bath too. To make your skin feel incredible, add in some of your favourite bath melt as well.

IMG_4299Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar is my favourite from the Halloween collection. This is one I want to keep stocked up in my home. I am making my own trick-or-treat goody bag and putting this in it. That is how much I love this bubble bar. I was told that this is one they recommend after a long day – hello all my fellow mamas this one is for you – that it would help me to feel re-energized. Maybe it’s just the feeling of getting to relax in the tub, but I definitely felt so much better after having a bath with this put in.

I love all the gold shimmers everywhere, though some do not because of the need to rinse the tub after. Yes some sparkles do get left behind but they do easily wash away. It is shaped in the perfectly little chunky pumpkin, with a little cinnamon stick stem. This one contains juniperberry, grapefruit and lime oils. I found it to have a nice sweet scent to it. After a bath in this your skin is left feeling incredible, oh so soft, and there is a subtle bit of shimmer left behind too. The great part of any bubble bar from Lush is that you do not need much. You can get 3 baths out of the Sparkly Pumpkin.

Have any of you tried out some of the Lush Halloween products? Do you have a favourite? Oh and if you have Instagram be sure to tag #LUSHoween