Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Halloween has become one of my favourite days of the year since having Sydney!  It is such a fun holiday for kids and every year with her just gets better and better as she understands more of what's going on and is more into the festivities!

This year was no excpetion!  Sydney was dressed as her all time favourite, Hello Kitty.  She looked absolutely adorable in her little costume, complete with her face painted with a little yellow nose and black whiskers, a hairband with kitty ears and a bow and her Hello Kitty fancy shoes on!

The weather today was absolutely brutal.  It poured rain harder than it has in weeks!  Of all the days! Sydney was so excited to get out trick or treating and could have cared less what the weather was doing.  She asked me about a dozen times between four and five o'clock if it was time to go out yet.  By a quarter past five, I couldn't hold out any longer and we braved the weather to head out.  Sydney carried her ladybug umbrella and her candy bucket the whole time!  What a girl!

We had so much fun visiting the houses that we had seen yesterday decorated with all of the fun decorations in their yards.  Sydney was so happy to get a bucket of candy and decided that it was more fun to choose her own candy than have someone put it in the bucket for her!  Luckily, most of our neighbors were super generous with their candy and had mercy on us as we were out in the monsoon, and gave her heaps of candy.  She stayed out for a full 45 minutes before declaring that she was tired and wanted to go home.

Our last stop was our neighbor Sandy's house.  She always hands out cans of pop for the older kids and juice boxes for the little ones.  She gave Sydney a juice box tonight, Sydney wrinkled her nose up at it, handed it back to her and said "I don't like this."  It was so funny.  Syd really doesn't like juice, and she was a little confused as to why she wasn't getting more candy.  It took me a few minutes to convince her to take the juice box and say thank you just to be polite!

We got home, a little soggy but oh so happy, and Sydney sat down in the foyer and emptied her Hello Kitty bucket out to sort her candy out and show Daddy what she'd collected.  She chose two pieces of candy to eat tonight, her all time faves licorice and Smarties and then packed all the rest of the candy safely back into the bucket.

We spent the next hour handing candy out to trick-or-treaters coming to our door, Sydney absolutely loved giving candy to the kids.  In fact, when our bowl was getting low, because she was handing fistfuls out a time, she took some of her own candy from her bucket and put it in the bowl to give away!

It was such fun going out with her tonight despite the weather!

Our day started on a special note as I set up a special Halloween breakfast for Sydney with a new Halloween plate and bowl that I had bought for her.  She was thrilled to see it all set out for her when she woke up and loved that I made her a Halloween card too!

When she got to school this morning, the teacher was busy getting everything organized to make challah with the kids today.  Sydney had great fun helping with the mixing and measuring the ingredients.

We spent a quiet afternoon at home, anticipating much excitement tonight.  Had some tiger ice cream in keeping with today's theme:

And painted some thank you cards for Sydney's birthday gifts:

And spent some time pouring over the new Toys R Us catalogue that came in today's mail.  I love that Sydney got herself a pen and circled all of the things that she wanted in the catalogue.

It really was perfect timing that the catalogue arrived today, as we just got Sydney's birthday cheque from Grandma and Grandpa in the mail yesterday and we're dying to spend it at the toy store!  Will have to make a special trip there next week to blow her birthday money!

Happy Halloween everyone!  Hope you had tons of fun!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Staking out the Neighborhood

This afternoon we had a rare couple of hours when the rain stopped and it was mild and dry.  Sydney and I wasted no time in getting outdoors for a tricycle ride to check out the neighborhood's Halloween decorations and which houses we are planning to visit tomorrow night for trick-or-treating.

Sydney happily pedaled away stopping to take in all of the amazing decorations on our neighbor's front laws and porches.

She eventually ditched her tricycle and figured she could navigate the streets better on foot and off she went...

It was so fun to see all of the festive decorations out!

Late last night while I was getting thing organized for today, I decided to do a quick Google search and figure out how to properly roast pumpkin seeds as we had some left over from our carving earlier in the day.  I had tried roasting seeds before years ago, without much success, so I was more than pleased when they turned out perfectly!

I proceeded to eat the entire batch before I went to bed!  What a nice little late night treat!

I always get a bit wistful this time of year thinking back to three years ago in the days leading up to Sydney's birth.  Early this afternoon I was up on Dunbar having some sushi for lunch and two young Dads sat down at the table next to me.  One of them had just had a baby girl, born a few days earlier and he looked tired beyond recognition!  It was so interesting hearing him relay the story of his daughter's birth to his friend.  How different labour must be from a man's perspective!  He kept referencing how long everything took, it seemed like forever to him.

I chuckled to myself, thinking that I had no clue about the passage of time or what time of the day or night it was while I was in labour.  I was in the zone and in another world all my own!

I vividly remember every detail of the days leading up to Sydney's birth and my labour and delivery.  My life has never been the same since, but I wouldn't trade it for the moon!  Sydney is the best thing in my life, hands down, and I so love being a Mom!

I am busy putting the final touches on Sydney's cupcake birthday party this coming weekend.  Today I got my little hand made cupcake toppers for the loot bags in the mail, they are so cute and are just the perfect finishing on the bags!

My precious friend Christina gave Sydney a little early birthday gift the other day, a beautiful charm bracelet with, what else, a cupcake charm!  It is for Sydney to wear to her birthday party and she loves it so much!

Looking forward to a lot of fun and celebration over the next week!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pumpkin, Three Ways

After an incredibly busy weekend, and an incredibly busy few days leading up to said weekend, I woke up this morning feeling a little weary.  I had lots to do today, Sydney's birthday party is this weekend and we have three (yes, three!) other parties to make it to this weekend as well.  There are gifts to buy and wrap, menus to fine tune, details to Monday was meant to be hectic, but instead, I took a day off.

It's not often that I give myself permission to actually do little to nothing in a day, but today I just felt like I needed it.  I dropped Sydney off at school and had every intention of just coming home and lying on the couch for a few hours, but it was pouring rain and I was out already, so I figured I would treat myself to a little shopping instead.  It was wonderful!  I leisurely wandered through the mall, spent over an hour looking through Sephora and made a dent in my birthday gift card and got myself a couple of treats:

An Eyeshadow Kit specifically for brown eyes with full instructions on how to apply the co-ordinating shades.  I can't wait to have an excuse to put it on!

And a lip gloss kit too with a bunch of fun lip glosses to try out.  So nice to get some new makeup, it's something that I literally never buy for myself!  I've been using the same five products for years and rarely try anything new.

I also hit up Forever 21 and came away with a heaping bag of fun, trendy clothes.  I love Forever 21 and was so happy to have the time to scour their huge store and get myself some fun things!

It was just the kind of morning I needed, no schedule, no running around.  Just leisurely shopping and strolling through the mall, warm and dry on a monsoon Monday in Vancouver!

This afternoon Sydney and I hung out at home and decided to carve her pumpkin for Halloween.  Being that we had three pumpkins, I thought we would decorate them in three unique ways, one painted, one with a "Mr. Potato Head" face, and one carved traditionally.

Yesterday when we left Sydney's friend Myrtle's party, her Mom sent us home with the most thoughtful and unique loot bag.  It was a brand new Hello Kitty lunch kit (Sydney thought she'd died and gone to heaven!) and it was filled with six fresh bottles of paint and some brand new paintbrushes.  We cracked them out to paint our Halloween pumpkin today!

It was so fun working on the pumpkins with Sydney.  She was so serious about the painting of her pumpkin, even covered the stem!

I love that she was practically standing on her head to paint the bottom of the pumpkin!

In the end, here's how it looked:

I let Sydney pick the pieces for the "Mr. Potato Head" pumpkin.  I bought a kit at Zellers with numerous fun pieces in it and she chose them all herself, even insisted that he have mismatched ears!

We had fun carving the last pumpkin too.  Sydney was most interested about what was inside the pumpkin and then informed me that she didn't like the seeds.  Apparently she tried some roasted pumpkin seeds at school and they weren't her favourite!

I love the look of the three pumpkins all lined up!  We'll put them on the front porch tomorrow night in time for the big day on Wednesday!

Like any good artist, Sydney had to sign the backs of the pumpkins with her name once they were complete!

Sydney and I spent a few minutes delivering some Halloween treats to her buddies in the neighborhood this afternoon.  We made up little bags with Halloween stickers and colouring books and treats for a few friends and so enjoyed taking them by today.

I made little tags to attach to each of the bags and Sydney coloured on the back of each one to add her own personal touch!

It is a fun lead-up to Halloween night on Wednesday!  Can't wait!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Festive Weekend

 Wow!  What a fun and festive weekend we've had!  The past few days have been a whirlwind and I feel as though I am just now, at 11:00pm on Sunday night, catching my breath.  It's been fun and packed full of memories though and I wouldn't trade this time for the world!

Saturday was like a sneak peek of what Halloween is going to be like.  Dunbar village had trick or treating for the kids, each of the businesses were giving out candy, and despite the torrential downpour of rain, the kids showed up in droves to gather their candy!  Sydney was so excited to finally get into her Hello Kitty costume.  She looked absolutely adorable! 

She braved the rain and, along with her buddy Ollie and his Dad Allan, went from shop to shop filling up her plush Hello Kitty bucket to the rim!

Here are a few of her favourite folks on Dunbar all dressed up for the event:

Rick and Alex at Splash Toy store!

Her art teacher Mel, dressed up as Elmo!

Right after we finished trick or treating we walked down to our friend Sally's house for our annual Dunbar Halloween party!  Each of us brought things to share and I did desserts, made some very fun things!

Orange Chocolate Halloween Lollipops

Ghostly Meringues

Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, so, so yummy!

As usual, the Moms outdid themselves with amazing food!  Check out these "to die for" brownies (get it..RIP!), sugar cookies and jello cutouts that my friend Lori made:

And these orange jack-o-lanterns filled with fruit salad that my friend Michelle lovingly carved by hand for everyone!

And this incredible goat cheese and sundried tomato tart that my friend Liz brought as an appy:

The list went on and on, let's just say that no one starved!

We tried to get the kids to sit together on the couch for a photo in their costumes.  It was a gong show!  They were so not interested in sitting still for this priceless photo opportunity after all the excitement!

We had such a lovely time enjoying each other's company, eating great food and drinking way too much wine and port!  Paul and I and our friends Christina and Ryan ended up staying a couple of hours later than the other guests and had such a fun visit together!  It was a great night!

Sydney came home with a lovely loot bag of goodies from the party:

This morning we headed off to my friend Saskia's house to celebrate Sydney's friend Myrtle's 3rd Birthday.  Myrtle had a full blown princess party, it was fantastic!  All of the kids came dressed as a princess or prince or dragon.  Sydney looked like such a sweet little thing even though she wasn't too keen on having her photo taken:

It was such a beautiful party, everything was pink and dainty and done up so beautifully!  Saskia had amazing tables of appetizers out all around the house and then served a fantastic lunch along with cake and cupcakes for dessert.  It was amazing!

It has been such fun with all of the gatherings this weekend.  Tis the season for fun around here, that's for sure!