Figuring out the slide.

IMG_2930Maybe we are a little more easy going than other parents, but even with that being said we are never far from our daughter. My parents were always great about letting my sisters and I try new things. I’m reminded a lot of how my daughter is just like a mini me… stubbornly independent.

Evie is learning, and its incredible watching her. Most recently she has learned how to climb up and go down the slide. We have been taking her to the park for a long time. Just recently though she has been able to do more on her own, and we let her try. How is she to learn if we don’t give her the opportunity to fail and to succeed?

She gets this very focused look on her face that shows just how determined she is to do something. We have also started hearing a lot of “No, no, no!” When we ask her if she needs our help. It used to be that we had to help her up to the top of the slide. Not now. She has realized there are steps to help her up. Sure she sometimes misses the top one, but she is already holding onto the top and pulling herself up by the strength of her little arms.

Evie is very good about saying “Help please.” when she want’s or needs us for something. She knows she isn’t on her own, and that we are there for her. I love that she is learning what she is capable of doing. Sometimes it means the odd bump, bruise, or bandaid needed for her knee and that is okay. She is learning what we already know… that she can do it!

Keep up the hard work Evie!

IMG_2934

IMG_2936
cats

 

Daytime Nighttime by William Low

IMG_2958The cover for Daytime Nighttime by William Low got my attention right away. It is gorgeously illustrated. I could tell right away that this was a book I wanted to read through. Inside the book sleeve some questions are presented to the reader, and answered.

What do you see in the daytime? Butterflies. Robins. Rabbits.
What do you see at nighttime? Fireflies. Owls, Frogs.

My daughter is at the perfect age for this book, because she loves animals right now. If you have an animal fan too, this is a great one to show them the difference between animals we see during the daytime, and nighttime. It’s actually something I never thought to point out to her that the animals you see at one point of the day just might not be there for her to see later on. I was inspired to start showing her the difference.

The story starts with the questions “What do you see in the daytime?” and in the picture is a little girl walking through a field of flowers. It’s a question a parent would ask their child, and the following pages go through different characters you may see during the daytime and what you may find them doing. Then it’s onto “What do you see at nighttime?” and a whole other group of characters are depicted. I adore how the book ends, and most any child will relate to the ending of this book because many of them go to bed with a certain someone tucked under their arms.

This book has been a great source for teaching different animals to my daughter, and about the different areas she may discover them. She loves to point at the animals and ask what sound they make. If your kids like to do the same, you may have to get creative as their are some unique ones in there. This is a great book to read with your little one at the end of the day, though my daughter loves to pull it out any time of day.

IMG_2964

IMG_2965

Daytime Nighttime is by William Low. The book is published by Henry Holt and Co. You can purchase Daytime Nighttime here

This book was provided to me by Raincoast Books in order to facilitate a review. The opinions and words shared are all my own. I love sharing about books that have captured my attention. 

The Weekend in Pictures: Summer

 

It has been a little while since I’ve done a Weekend in Pictures post, so I’d say it’s about time. Since I work for the school district I have July and August off from work. I’ve been enjoying spending more time with Evie, my husband, and the rest of our family and friends. I love my job, but I also always countdown to the breaks from work. We are trying to cross some things off our summer bucket list. We have 7 out of the 10 things crossed off, and are definitely repeating some because they are just that much fun.

Do you have a list of things you are hoping to do with your kids this summer?

20140725_173255Evie and I went on a Mother-Daughter Date and went to the mall and for frozen yogurt. There was a Beauty Bash going on too which was fun because Evie loves watching and helping me with my makeup lately. We also just found out we won a prize from attending that evening and sharing the photo of us by the photo wall! Wahoo!20140726_103209Park play dates are always lots of fun.20140726_170115We finally got our the tank filled for our bbq and have been putting it to use. We even brought the high chair outside and enjoyed dinner on the patio. 20140726_172111Dinner was easy cleanup. Evie got covered in blue berries, we just let her go back into the pool!
20140727_112745A friend of mine had a baby & tot clothing swap which we decided to check out. I am so glad we went because we found some great pieces to go from summer into fall. Just have a few more little odds and ends to add to Evie’s closet so that she is set for this fall and winter. Do any of you buy from clothing swaps or local consignment stores? I love it!20140727_112217(1)Evie was kept entertained by the play area in my friend’s yard. It was great, she played, daddy watched her, and I shopped. I was also able to show Jason pieces and get his “yay or nay”. 20140727_115348We finally checked out the little 50s diner in Fort Langley, and had some lunch there. Evie loved the buttons for selecting music.20140727_175645We finished off the evening with a visit to my parent’s house for fish and chips, and a walk to the park.

What did you all get up to this weekend?

Counting Sheep Coffee {Review & Giveaway}

20140725_125147I heard about Counting Sheep Coffee on Dragon’s Den one evening. Jason and I enjoy watching the show to see what up and coming companies and products are out there. Did anyone else see this episode? This one got my attention because Jason cannot have coffee after 2pm or he will be up all night! Here was a coffee that is supposed to help you unwind at the end of the day. You get to enjoy a cup of coffee, but you will also have a restful sleep.

Counting Sheep Coffee very kindly provided me with a pack of their Lights Out individual pods (they are compatible with most K-Cup brewers) and most recently I also received a bag of the Bedtime Blend from a blogger event. I was excited to have several options to try.  I’ve never really had an issue when it comes to having a cup of coffee or tea before bed. That being said I do like a good cup of coffee or tea before bed, I find it relaxing. I do have the odd evening where it’s very difficult to turn my brain off and just relax (any other parent’s out there dealing with the same thing?).

Deland Jessop came up with this coffee idea as a way to help his wife get a good nights sleep. He soon realized he was on to something, and since then it has taken off. What I really like is that this company is local, and was founded in Vancouver in 2013.

Counting Sheep Coffee is a gourmet decaffeinated coffee, that contains Valerian root, an all-natural herbal sedative. Light’s Out is the stronger blend, so if you really need some help getting to sleep this option would be the one you want to try. I really liked the flavour of this coffee, where my hubby is more used to the strong flavour of caffeinated coffee. I had a great nights sleep after drinking a cup of this coffee in the evening. I know many people who love their coffee, and many of them have all said they would love to end their day with a good cup of coffee. While my husband found he didn’t feel sleepy like I did, though I can attest to the fact that he slept well too after having Counting Sheep Coffee… he hogged the bed and was in such a deep sleep I couldn’t get him to move to his side!

So if you are a huge coffee fan and would love to be able to have a good cup of coffee before bed, or with dessert at dinner time, or maybe you just want to try something different Counting Sheep Coffee has very kindly offered to do a giveaway with Discovering Parenthood followers who live in British Columbia.

Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

20140724_132526

We have said for awhile that we should try to make pretzels, and with the cool weather the past couple days it made us want something warm and comforting. We decided to give it a try. I was really unsure if it would turn out as I have never made anything like this before. Thankfully my Mom has a vast amount of knowledge when it comes to food since she works as a cook. I mentioned that I had pretzel dough rising at home but that I was not sure of the next step that required us to boil the pretzel bites. She quickly informed me that all true pretzels are in fact boiled. Who knew? I sure didn’t! Thanks Mom! 

We got our dough made up and let it rise while we went out for a walk with my Mom and Dad. When we got home, we put Evie to bed and got to work. You definitely want a stand mixer for the dough when you are preparing it or your arm will get really tired, plus the dough hook is so handy. While we decided to do a sweet version, you could easily change this around and leave the pretzels plain, lightly salted, or even make some spice ones and add jalapenos to it. If you are looking for a snack to make for your family, give this a try. If you have an older kid they could definitely help out with rolling the dough, and sprinkling them with sugar at the end.You will get hooked on these. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Pretzel

  • 1 package of instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Ingredients for Sugar Coating

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In the bowl of your electric mix combine the water, yeast, and the 2 Tbsp of sugar. Whisk it together on low in the mixed, then let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine in the vegetable oil, and the salt with the whisk attachement.
  3. With the mixer on the low speed, pour in the flour 1 cup of the flour until well blended. Switch to the hook attachment and add in the rest of the flour. Knead the flour in the mixer on low until you get a smooth, stretchy dough. You may need to add up to another 1/4 cup of flour.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm place for 1 hour to 1 and a half hours. I set mine on the oven with the stove light on.
  5. Punch the dough down, and divide it into 6 even portions.
  6. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  7. Work quickly so the dough doesn’t dry out, or cover the portions you aren’t working with currently with the plastic wrap from before.
  8. Roll the dough out into a rope, you may even find it easiest to spin it in your hands a little like a jump rope. This will help stretch it out for you. Cut it into bite size pieces about an inch or so long. We sprinkled our counter with a little bit of flour so the dough wouldn’t stick when we cut it.
  9. On the stove bring the 3 cups to 4 cups of water, and the baking soda to a boil. Whisk to dissolve the baking soda.
  10. Carefully place several portions into the water mixture, and let them boil for a minute. I warn you it may start to bubble a lot, so keep an eye on it. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess water to drip off. Transfer the bite size portions to a baking sheet. You may want to cover the baking sheets with parchment paper.  Leave about an inch distance between them.
  11. Bake in the oven for 9-12 minutes. Until the tops are golden brown. We found the bottoms of ours got golden first, so we flipped them over half way through baking.
  12. Let the portions cool down a little bit on a cooling rack before you try handling them.
  13. In a small bowl melt the butter, and in another combine the sugar and ground cinnamon. Dip the pretzel bites into the butter, and then into the sugar mixture. You could dip just one side, or you could do all sides it’s up to you.
  14. Serve warm. If you need to you can rewarm them.

20140722_200147