Friday, 30 September 2011

What a Great Day!

What a fantastic and busy birthday day it was today!  Sydney and I went to her gymnastics class this morning and then ran a couple of errands and came home for a quick nap before we headed out for lunch for the second day of Rosh Hashanah at Paul's nephew's house.  It was wonderful to share the day with friends and family over lunch, I was delighted to hear a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" from the crowd!

After lunch, we headed over to my friend Andrea's house for champagne and the most amazing pumpkin cupcakes topped with decadent cream cheese icing!  We had a great visit with her and our friends Tracy and Alexis. Andrea is one of the most sweet and considerate people I have ever met, she went to so much work preparing everything to make my day special and gave me this great bottle of Red Velvet wine from the Cupcake vineyard, so sweet!

I felt very loved all day as I received phone calls, e-mails, texts and presents from loved ones remembering me.  It really was a lovely day!

When Sydney and I arrived home from Andrea's house, we were delighted and surprised to see two beautiful bouquets of flowers waiting for me on the front porch.  My friend Janice sent this lovely bouquet, the soft pink roses in it are amazing and perfect and the carnations fill the kitchen with the most amazing scent:

My friend Lori sent this absolutely stunning bouquet from Interior Flori, just love the colour scheme and the dark purple Calla Lily that the bouquet is built around:

Paul's sister also surprised me with this beautiful hand-knit scarf today, it will be lovely to wear this winter with all of my cozy black winter coats, the colours will be a beautiful contrast!

My favourite gift of all was from my best friend Brandie who sent me a matching hand made Mom and baby apron set in the mail this week.  I am always amazed at how connected Brandie and I remain even though we live five hundred miles apart and don't get to chat that often!  She read my mind with her gift as I was just thinking that I needed some new aprons and that it would be cute to get one for Syd too, didn't even think to get us a matching is absolutely adorable and I look forward to many an hour in the kitchen with my girl in our new matching aprons!

I am truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family not only on my birthday but all throughout the year, it has been an amazing day!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Tomorrow is my 36th birthday.  Hard to believe that I am now officially in my late thirties, not sure exactly when that happened!  This year for my birthday Paul bought me a very special present.

With being at home full time with Sydney, I inevitably spend a lot of time on the computer, e-mailing and updating my blog and downloading photos of my sweet babe.  So when Paul asked what I wanted for my birthday I didn't hesitate for a moment, a new laptop!

This is my brand new MacBook Air laptop.  It is amazing.  It arrived last night and I have literally spent every spare moment that I've had since then playing with it.  It is just so much more user friendly than a PC, it's like it's reading your mind when you want to do something, me and this laptop are going to have a great affinity, I can see this now!

The best thing about this new machine is that it weighs less than two pounds so I can easily tuck it in my diaper bag to take out and about with me without even noticing that it's in my bag.  Let's face it, it weighs less than the snacks that I usually tote around for Syd!

I am so happy with my very generous and lovely gift from Paul, he really spoiled me this year!  Happy Birthday to Me!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wee Pizzas

Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashanah.  We just got home from dinner out at our friend Lynne and Rod's house, it was a wonderful visit with everyone with so much delicious food and great company.  Sydney thouroughly enjoyed herself, spent most of the evening running after their dog Sonny and entertaining everyone!

In my quest to find some new things to feed Sydney for dinner I have discovered these amazing little ready-made pizza crusts made by Mama Mary's at my local IGA grocery store.  They are a great thin crust and I simply top them with a little pizza sauce and mozarella cheese and five minutes later they are hot and piping out of the toaster oven!  Sydney loves them, I slice the pieces really small just to fit her hand and she will eat almost a quarter of a pizza in one sitting!  A total hit!

Looking forward to a few more days of meals out with friends and family sharing the holidays over the next few days!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Rainy Day Playdate

Yesterday my friend Lori and I had plans to get together in the afternoon for a walk with our babes.  Unfortunately, we woke up to monsoon-like conditions here in Vancouver which literally did not let up all day!  So we decided to have a little play date at her house instead where everyone could be warm and cozy!

Sydney and I had been out running errands in the morning and by the time I had taken her in and out of the car three or four times we both looked like drown rats.  I had visions of stopping at one of my favourite bakeries to pick up some lovely baked good to bring to Lori's with us, but just couldn't bear the thought of getting out of the car one more time in the downpour, so I decided that I would bake something to take over instead.

It's times like these that my banana spice ring recipe usually saves the day, but Sydney was totally refusing to nap so I didn't have time to get it together and instead decided to whip up a batch of scones and take them over warm in a basket along with a jar of my homemade raspberry jam.

They were delicious, such a simple little treat but so comforting on a cold and rainy day!  Here's the recipe if you want to try a batch yourself, you will likely have all of the ingredients on hand at any given time so you can make some whenever you want!  They are great served with jam, butter or whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Classic Scones

2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 TBSP sugar
2 tsps baking powder
3/4 cup cold milk
1 large egg
1 TBSP vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Whisk flour, sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl.  Whisk 3/4 cup milk, egg and oil in small bowl to blend.  Gradually add milk mixture to dry ingredients, tossing until moist clumps form and adding more milk by the tablespoon if the dough is too dry.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead gently for several turns until dough comes together.

Pat out dough to 1 inch thick circle.  Using two inch cookie cutter, cut out scones.  Gather dough scraps and repeat.  Transfer to prepared sheet. 

Bake scones until golden on top, about 14 minutes.  Cool on sheet or baking rack for five minutes before serving.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Hand-Me-Downs from Emma

Late last week Sydney and I went over to our friend Sarah and Emma's house for a play date.  Emma is one of Sydney's best buddies, they really enjoy playing together!  It was so nice to have a visit as we hadn't seen each other in a few weeks and had lots to catch up on!

Sarah and I have birthdays that are five days apart, so she has arranged a Mom's dinner out next week to celebrate both our birthdays and our friend Stephanie's all at once.  It will be a fun night to celebrate with everyone!

While Sydney and Emma were playing side by side Sarah had an epiphany.  She had been looking for someone to hand Emma's clothes down to, but couldn't think of anyone as all of our friends seem to be having boys these days and the girls we know are all about the same age and size.  Sydney has always been very petite and is several months younger than Emma so Sarah was so happy to pass along some of Emma's clothes to us when she realized that the things that Emma had outgrown would fit Syd perfectly!

Emma has the best wardrobe, so we inherited some of the cutest things!  This little vest is going to be perfect for winter, I love the fur-lined hood and gold polka dots, very chic!

This little sweater dress is so adorable on Sydney, she's wearing it as we speak, in fact:

And check out this cardigan, could it be any cuter?

So fun to get a bag full of new winter clothes for Sydney from Emma! Always happy to beef up the wardrobe!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sydney's New Duvet Cover

Earlier this year, I worked together with a nursery designer to re-decorate Sydney's room.  Her room went from being a hodge-podge of things all crammed into a space into a beautiful little girl's room that she will grow to love in the years to come! 

During the re-decorating process the designer and I were searching high and low for a set of bed linens that would work with the decor.  We finally found one at Pottery Barn Kids, the Garden Party motif.  Problem was, I had a toddler sized duvet for Sydney and they didn't make duvet covers in that small a size.  So, I bought a twin sized sheet set and enlisted Grandma's help to sew a duvet cover for Sydney.

My Mom brought the duvet cover down for us when she was here visiting this month, it is beautiful!  She went to so much work, got some beautiful eyelet edging to to around it and made a small pillow cover as well as a full sized pillow case with the extra fabric.  She's even making a miniature sized one for Sydney's doll bed so it matches her bed!  So sweet!

Sydney's room finally looks complete with the bedding all put together.  My Mom did a beautiful job of the sewing and we were so grateful for her help in making it all for us!  Sweet Dreams Syd!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Megablocks and Movies

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Mandy came to visit Sydney and I.  Mandy and I were co-workers at Mackenzie Financial, where I worked right up until I had Syd.  It had been a long time since we'd seen each other and it was really fun to reconnect and catch up on what she's been up to over the past couple of years and for her to have the chance to play with Syd.

Mandy is very young at heart and fun loving.  She loves children, Sydney could sense her sincerity immediately and warmed up to her very quickly!  It didn't hurt that Mandy came to the door with a huge bag of Megablocks for Sydney.  What a great gift that was!  We spent the better part of our visit building towers together with Sydney and smashing them down, only to start all over again.  We've been having tons of fun with these giant lego-like blocks, it's a great gift for this age!  They have been a great addition to our ever-growing playroom which is coming together in our basement!

Mandy also had been clearing out all of her old kid's movies and passed along a bundle to us for Sydney to enjoy.  There were some great classics in the bag of movies, it will be fun to watch them again and for the first time with Syd.

It was a lovely visit and so kind of Mandy to bring some special things for Sydney!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A New Fall Wardrobe

Sydney did a lot of growing over the summer.  Most of the pants that fit her in June are now too short and her shirts are all getting a bit short and tight.  So, I've been scrambling trying to get her a new fall wardrobe with very little time on my hands.  I typically hit up all of my favourite kid's stores locally to get her a good variety of clothes but this fall I had to resort to online shopping.

I remember before Sydney was born I used to hate online shopping.  For me, it just ruined the joy of taking the time to head to the stores, hunt around for just what you were looking for and to have the pleasure of holding it in your hands before buying it.  Now that I have a baby, I think online shopping is the best idea anyone has ever come up with.  I can now buy things from the comfort of my own home at midnight when my babe is fast asleep without ever having to change out of my pajamas ~ heavenly!

This week I got two big parcels stuffed full of Sydney's new fall wardrobe from both Old Navy and Gymboree.  I managed to get her a good variety of things, here are a few of my faves.

I'm a sucker for sweater dresses, they look so adorable on Syd so I got a few for her:

And this super sweet sweater coat, love the wooden buttons!

And a few other cute things, hard to pick just a few pictures to post from the ginormous pile of clothes that I got!

So I spent most of yesterday weeding through her wardrobe, getting rid of some things are now too small and tucking away her summer stuff for our holiday to Hawaii this December to make room for all the new additions.  Her closet is looking far less barren and I can't wait to see her in her new sweet clothes!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


When Sydney was about six months old I decided that it would be a good idea to enroll her in Waterbabies swimming lessons at Aquaventures Swim Centre.  I have never learned to swim, so I was determined that she was going to be a strong swimmer and wanted to get her started as early as possible.  Poor girl hated the water with a passion.  For weeks, at every single lesson, she would cry and scream in my arms and claw at my back to get out of the pool.  It got so bad, the instructor actually called me at home to suggest that perhaps I should pull her out of the lessons for a while until she was older and had become a bit more comfortable with the water!!

So we took a little hiatus from the lessons and went to a public pool once a week with a friend and her babe and gradually Sydney (and I!) got used to being in the pool and more comfortable in the water.  I'm quite certain that she was picking up on my tension being in the water and not particularly loving it....for as much as I was trying to plaster a smile on my face and pretend that we were having fun, she could sense my insincerity. 

So this fall we have re-enrolled at Aquaventures for another round of lessons and she is absolutely loving it!!  On the first day of lessons, Paul stopped by on his way home from the office, she spotted him standing at the edge of the pool and screamed "Daddy!" excitedly.  She spent the rest of the class showing off for Dad, went down the water slide several times after smiling at him and making sure he saw her slide down and dunk into the water! 

Turns out my baby is a waterbaby after all!  We are loving the lessons and having a great time at the swim centre! 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A New Chair for Little Miss Sydney

Sydney and I took a drive to Point Roberts, Washington after preschool today to pick up an early birthday present for her.  This little leather arm chair is the newest addition to our living room and matches a set of regular sized chairs that we bought before she was born.  Sydney was so excited to have her own little chair, she jumped right into it with a pile of her books and curled up to read as soon as I had set it up!

I figured that this chair wouldn't require any, or very little, assembly and was a little surprised when I saw the small box that it arrived in.  When I got it home, I was pleased to find that it was only in three pieces that screwed together quite easily.  Only problem was, that one of the packages of silica gel that had been placed inside for shipping, had accidentally split open in the box and when I took the chair pieces out, a million little beads of gel flew all over the floor.  They were literally everywhere!  It took me longer to clean them all up then it did to drive to Point Roberts to pick the chair up in the first place! 

Just as I was making some headway on getting all the gel up off the floor, I heard a little crunching sound behind me and turned around to see Sydney munching away on a mouthful of the beads.  I stared at her in horror looking at the empty package they had spilled out of.  It was marked with the picture of a skull and crossbones on it, and read "Do Not Eat!  Poison!"  I quickly swept my finger through her mouth to get any bits that didn't manage to find their way down her throat and swept her up in my arms as I frantically ran to the computer to Google "silica gel poisoning".  You can only imagine my relief when I read that it really isn't as poisonous as the package indicated and would only be harmful if eaten in a quantity somewhere around the size of a shoebox.  Whew! 

In the end it was worth all the drama, Sydney spent the better part of the afternoon sitting or playing on her new chair and even ate her dinner sitting in it tonight.  I can envision many an hour of Sydney and Daddy sitting in their chairs in the living room watching TV together in the years to come.  I may have to get her a matching ottoman....

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sydney's New Piggybank

Sydney loves money.  I mean, really LOVES money.  She can say the word clear as day and is only too happy to find any stray coins lying around the house!  I will often find her sifting through my wallet if I've absentmindedly left it somewhere low enough that she can reach it.  She loves playing with my credit cards, bills and coins.  My little banker!

I had been thinking for some time that I would like to get Sydney a piggybank of some kind for her room where she could put all the coins that she collects from around the house.  I was thrilled when my Mom and I were shopping at Target in the states on Friday and I came across this beauty!  It is perfect, the classic chubby piggybank, and the colours couldn't have been more perfect with the colour scheme in her room!

It was an instant hit, Syd has already managed to fill it half way in just a few days.  I've had to put it up super high on top of her book shelf so she won't break it, she is obsessed with it right now and wants to play with it all the time.  She must have asked me for money a dozen or more times today to put in it!  Very funny!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Week With Grandma

My Mom left yesterday to head home after spending a week with us here in Vancouver.  It was so, so nice to have her here!  I miss her already!  It was great for Mom to accompany Syd and I to all of our weekly activities and to meet some of our Mom and baby friends!

While Mom was here, we spent two nights at the Pan Pacific Village Suites at Whistler as Mom had never been to Whistler before.  It was a lovely, relaxing time!  We swam in the pool, wandered around the village and played with Sydney at the playground.  Mom and I had lots of time to catch up and have heart-to-heart chats after Syd had gone to bed for the night.  I miss having Mom around to chat with on a regular basis!  What a treat it was to have her all to myself for two whole nights!

Grandma always comes for a visit with heaps of great presents for Sydney and this trip was no exception.  She got Syd some new things for her art basket; a little wooden rolling pin and cookie cutters for her playdough and stickers, always a hit!  She also got the cutest clothes for Syd from Joe Fresh, sweet cardigans and halter tops and fleecy pajamas for the winter.  We've already worn some of the clothes, Sydney seems to have grown a ton lately so we were happy to have some new things to wear.

By far, my favourite thing that Mom brought Sydney was some hand crocheted clothes for her Barbie dolls.  Check out these hats and matching purses, super cute:

And these two dresses, one has little panties to go along with it!  Sydney and I will have fun dressing her Barbies up in their new clothes!

Sydney started saying "Grandma" this week while Mom was here, the timing couldn't have been more perfect.   She has been asking for her constantly since she left, sniff, sniff!

We rounded off our week together by driving down to Bellingham for an afternoon and hitting up Bellis Fair mall.  This was Mom's first time driving over the border to shop, so it was fun hitting up Target and a few other spots with her.  As usual, I got a boatload of stuff, picked up a few new clothes for Syd to wear to preschool, these cute shirts and jeggings, stretchy leggings that looks like jeans, adorable!

It was a fantastic week with Mom, can't wait for her to come back in March to spend some more great time together!