Mama & Me Halloween Costume Inspiration

Halloween is next Monday, and as a mama with a couple of littles, I really enjoy dressing up with them for things.  I know a lot of mamas have stuff during the day that they take their little ones to, such as a mama and me class, so I thought it would be fun to think up some last minute costume ideas for a mom to do with her baby or toddler!  All of these costumes have the option to add the dad, and you can even wear these on your own.. so you have the option of going trick-or-treating with your child in co-ordinating costumes, and then go to an adult Halloween party without your child ūüėČ

 

Mama & Me Halloween

 

Alice in Wonderland featuring the White Rabbit!  Both mama and baby get to wear really cute costumes, plus Alice individually still makes sense as a costume!  If you want to add the dad, he could dress up as The Mad Hatter or the Cheshire Cat.
Mama & Me Halloween

 

Princess Leia and Baby Yoda is perfect for any Star Wars loving mama.  To add the dad: Han Solo!

Mama & Me Halloween Costume

 

The classic glam look, Holly Golightly and her cat, the aptly named Cat.  To add the dad: the up and coming writer Paul Varjack, or random 1960’s suitor ūüėČ

What other costumes could you do to coordinate with your baby?

xoxo,
Alysa

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What We Wore: Halloween

It’s almost Halloween! I’ve been working like a busy little bee trying to make our Halloween costumes for this year. ¬†I’m no where near being done, but I have all week, so it’s all good, right?

I thought I’d share some of the Halloween costumes we’ve worn in the past. ¬†My husband and I like to dress up together, and since we started having kids, we love dressing up with them, too!

Arrested Development Halloween Costume

Halloween 2011 – We went as Lindsay Bluth-Funke and Tobias Funke (specifically after he “blue” himself)

The Beckhams Halloween Costume

Halloween 2013 – The Beckhams!

Game of Thrones Halloween Costumes

Halloween 2014 – Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo, ¬†This one was a lot of fun! I was pregnant with Autumn at the time, and decided to go with the “Mother of Dragons” theme

Little Red Riding Hood Family Costume

Halloween 2015 – Little Red Riding Hood, Granny & the Huntsman!
The focus of this costume was obviously Autumn’s costume haha ūüėČ

What are you going to go as for Halloween this year?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day everyone! ¬†I hope that whatever you’re doing today, it’s super fun and super Canadian! If you need any ideas for fun things to do, you can check out the list of Canadian things¬†I came up with on election day. ¬†They still apply, aside from the voting selfie and actually going to vote that is. ¬†But everything else would be excellent ways to celebrate Canada Day!

What are you doing for Canada Day today?

xoxo,
Alysa

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How to celebrate St Patrick’s Day if you don’t drink

How To Celebrate St Patrick's Day

There are certain holidays where it’s almost unfair to be pregnant during them, and St Patrick’s Day is one of them. ¬†There always seems like lots to do to celebrate St Patrick’s Day that involve drinking. ¬†There are pub crawls, various green beverages (such as the green Smirnoff Ice I enjoyed my first time having alcohol at St Patrick’s Day when I was in grade 12, don’t judge me), and, of course, Guiness! ¬†But what if you can’t drink due to pregnancy or other reasons, or you are simply not interested in anything that has the word “crawl” in it? ¬†Here are some alternatives!

Call it the right thing
I’ve seen so many social media posts about St Patty’s Day, and that’s just wrong. ¬†If you’re going to shorten it, please please please do so correctly! ¬†It’s St PADDY’S day, not St Patty’s day. ¬†Paddy is short for Patrick, and Patty is short for Patricia. ¬†There is, in fact, a St Patricia! ¬†She is the patron saint of Naples. ¬†She was said to be a noblewoman but ran away from an unwanted marriage to become a nun. ¬†After her father died, she went back and distributed her wealth to the poor. ¬†She was planning on going to Jerusalem, she was shipwrecked in Naples and eventually died of disease there. ¬†Her feast day is August 25th, so if you want to celebrate St Patty’s Day, it’s actually not till August ūüėČ ¬†So please please please, St Paddy!!

Wear green
This is the most obvious one. ¬†It’s so easy to forget to wear green, but then you’ll get pinched! To prevent yourself from being pinched this March 17, just wear some green. ¬†If you need some inspiration, check out some ideas for St Patrick’s Day Outfits here!

Learn about the history
St Patrick was actually a fairly interesting person. ¬†He was British but captured by Irish raiders and forced to live in Ireland for many years as a captive. ¬†He made his way back to Britain and became a priest, but was called back to Ireland to help convert a number of Irish people from paganism to Christianity. ¬†Since he had lived there for much of his life, he already knew a lot about Irish culture and the Irish language, so we was able to use symbols to help get across to the Irish. ¬†He is the patron saint of Ireland. ¬†This is a fairly basic history, but it’s definitely worth it to do some more searching.

Watch an Irish movie
Especially after the movie Room saw a win at the Academy Awards for Best Actress, one way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day would be to watch some Irish movies! ¬†If you’re not sure what to watch, or if you’re not interested in Room, check out this list of the Top Ten Irish Movies of All Time. ¬†It’ll be especially fun if you’re also eating green food to go with it! ūüėČ

What do you have planned for St Patrick’s Day on Thursday?

xoxo,
Alysa

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First Birthday

I know that it’s been 3 months (yikes) since Autumn turned one, but I figured that late was better than never! ūüėČ

The theme we chose for Autumn’s first birthday party was Super Mario Bros, or “1-Up!” ¬†It was a really fun theme, and we could really stick with it with decor and food. ¬†Plus, I really loved Super Mario Brothers growing up, and it was a great excuse to get out the old Nintendo and play some, too!

Here are some of the pictures from Autumn’s first birthday:

First Birthday - Memory Wall

Since I had been taking monthly pictures of Autumn, I decided to put them all up side by side in a memory wall of her first year!  I really liked the way it turned out, and I love that everyone was able to see how much she grew over her first year.
Then, I made a blackboard inspired infographic on black poster board, which showed a lot of Autumn’s favourite things at one. ¬†Her favourite foods, favourite song, and the words she had said at the time, as well as the skills she had already learned. ¬†It was a nice way of showing people the kinds of things Autumn had been up to lately (at that time). ¬†It was fun to make as well!

1 Up

Here’s Autumn with her 1-up banner! ¬†The two mushrooms were also her invitations. ¬†So everyone who came had received one of those as well.

First Birthday

A special chair for the birthday girl

First Birthday First Birthday

Green and pink cupcakes (for Luigi and Princess Peach), with the pink one being the very first cupcake that Autumn ever got to eat.

First Birthday

And she loved it! I don’t think there were any crumbs at all. ¬†She ate the entire thing.

For food, we had a veggie and fruit platter, red and green M&M’s (for turtle shells), chips and dip, and other various candies (which I am having a hard time remembering because I never actually ate any of it haha). ¬†We also had Pink Princess Peach Lemonade, and regular lemonade, and the lovely pink and green cupcakes.

It was such a great day, and we felt super blessed by those who were able to be there with us to celebrate our little girl <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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5 Great Ways to Ring in 2016

New Years Eve

It’s almost the new year! There’s an old saying that goes, what you do on New Years, you’ll be doing all year. ¬†I don’t know if it’s entirely accurate, but I’m sure it doesn’t help when it comes to making New Years eve really high pressure. ¬†Here are some semi-low key ways to keep that pressure off this new years eve:

1. Pajama Party
Hanging out in your pjs is always great. ¬†It’s comfortable, it doesn’t matter what your hair looks like, or how tight your clothes are or anything. ¬†Hanging out in your PJs with your friends? even better! ¬†This definitely takes the pressure off the night as being overly glitzy and glam and lets you kick back and hang. ¬†It could even turn into a sleepover, if you wanted it to.

2. Cabin Party
Do you have access to a cabin or know someone who does? ¬†It’s lots of fun to go out into the woods and spend the night there. ¬†The only catch would be if your cabin isn’t good for all seasons, otherwise it’ll be really cold!

3. Heatwave Party
We did this a few times at the apartment and it was really fun, just not at New Years. ¬†Generally it’s pretty frigid at New Years in Winnipeg, so a heatwave party would be perfect. ¬†Basically, you tell everyone to wear shorts and hot weather clothes and then you turn the heat way the heck up. ¬†It’s super hot, and you can go more specific with themes. ¬†We did a “Summer in February” party, with summer themes, and a “Red Hot” party, where we encouraged people to wear red. ¬†It’s the perfect party to throw in an apartment… especially in an apartment where you don’t pay for heat.

4. Dinner Party
Maybe a fancy grown-up party is what you’re after. ¬†A full sit-down dinner party is where it’s at! ¬†You can do pot luck style, or you can provide all the food yourself. ¬†Either way, it’s sure it be a lot of fun. ¬†Just don’t forget the champagne at midnight!

5. Hermit Party 
None of the above appeal to you? The only thing you like on this list is the part about pjs? ¬†There is absolutely nothing wrong with not going out on New Years. ¬†Whether it’s you and your significant other, you and your kids, or you and your pets, get cozy and watch a movie or something. ¬†It’s YOUR New Years eve. ¬†Who said you had to go anywhere and see anyone anyway? ¬†ūüėČ

What are you doing tomorrow night for New Years Eve?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Things I’m going to do differently for Next Christmas

Christmas Stockings

I know, Christmas JUST ended and I’m already thinking about next Christmas? Yes. I am. :p

This year, I had big plans to do a buy local/give homemade gifts kind of Christmas.  And for the most part, I was able to accomplish that!  I will probably try to do that again next year. A lot of it was really fun, especially when it came to following new small shops on Instagram, and heading to lots of craft sales and makers markets.  It was so great!  Plus, shopping local is good for families in my community.  I was able to (for the most part), give in a way that helped local families with their businesses.  Always great!

However, here are some things I’m going to do differently next year:

  1. Start earlier
    The thing about doing homemade gifts is that they take time! ¬†As it got closer and closer to Christmas, I had to take more and more off of my list because there simply wasn’t time to some things. ¬†For example, we have all these wooden birch discs in our back porch and I wanted to paint them and put them on our mantle. ¬†It literally never happened. ¬†It was on my list for a long time, too. ¬†Maybe sometime between now and Christmas 2016 I’ll be able to do it!
  2. Listen more
    I read a really good article about what makes someone a good gift giver, and that was that they listened throughout the whole year. ¬†People casually mention things that they like and want all the time, so apparently if you really pay attention, you’ll know what to get for someone. ¬†I hope I’m able to do that for next Christmas and really blow people away with their gifts Leslie Knope style.
  3. Take more photos!
    I feel like I say this every year, but this year is no different. ¬†I took A LOT of pictures over the year, just not so many AT Christmas. ¬†I hope that next year I will take more pictures at Christmas time when everyone is all together. ¬†I honestly don’t know why I didn’t. ¬†Probably too busy having fun and put my camera down and then forgot. ¬†Next year!

What would you like to do differently for Christmas next year?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Unwrap The Present Group Game

There’s a game we’ve been playing for a few years at our holiday parties, and I decided to stop and take some pictures of it this year to share with all of you. ¬†I tried to find out what the game was officially called, but I couldn’t find anything about that anywhere. ¬†We just call it the Oven Mitt Surprise Game, and it works really well with a pretty large group.

Before I explain the rules to play the game, here is how to put it together.

How to put together a fun group game for a Christmas Party

  1. Get your favourite holiday movie and holiday beverage ready, for inspiration!

How to put together a group game for a Christmas Party

2. Collect everything you need. ¬†I put in a gift card (you can choose wherever you want the gift card to be for. We chose Indigo because we were having a book themed party. We’ve also done Starbucks), random candies and coupons as side prizes, and all of the newspaper or flyers you have. ¬†I also used packing tape, masking tape, and scotch tape.

Wrapping the gift

3. Start wrapping! ¬†It looks nice when it’s still small and it’s easier to be more precise with the paper.

Adding the prizes Variety of prizes

4. Don’t forget to add your side prizes! ¬†This was the first year I did this, so it’s totally optional.. but it’s a fun way for the people who don’t win the big prize at the end to get something small as well. ¬†Also, I like to go back and forth between packing tape and masking tape. ¬†Packing tape is harder to unwrap. ¬†Some people also use Duck tape.. which is pretty difficult to unwrap as well!

How to put together a fun group game for a Christmas Party

5. When you run out of flyers or the package is as big as you want it (whichever comes first), wrap it with holiday paper:

Biggest Gift Card ever

And you’re ready to play! ¬†If you’re wondering how long it took me to wrap, there was probably about 10-15 minutes left of Home Alone after I finished, so it took a little over an hour and a half to wrap the entire thing.

To play you will need a set of dice and a pair of oven mitts.

Group Christmas Party Surprise Game

Christmas Party Surprise Game

Get everyone to sit in a circle. ¬†Starting somewhere random, one by one everyone will roll the dice and try to get doubles. ¬†When someone gets doubles they are to put on the oven mitts and try to open the package. ¬†The dice keep going around the circle as people try to roll doubles until the next person does, then it’ll be their turn to unwrap the package. ¬†The person who gets to the very centre of the package (where the gift card is) wins the gift card!

It’s such a fun game, and it’s especially fun if your friends are really competitive or you’re playing with a bunch of teenagers. ¬†It can get loud though, so don’t do it if someone in the house is trying to sleep ūüėČ

xoxo,
Alysa

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My Clueless/90’s Birthday Party

 

Clueless was definitely one of those movies that defined the era. ¬†When I think of the 1990’s, the movie Clueless is one of the things that comes to mind. ¬†It definitely had a huge impact on my 90’s! ¬†From the incredible quotes to the clothes, this movie is everything. ¬†If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?? (But seriously, it’s on Netflix right now. Canadian AND American, so go watch it now!!) ¬†It was pretty obvious that this would be the best co-theme for my 90’s party. ¬†Plus, do we really need an excuse to dress a little like Cher Horowitz? I don’t think so!

Here are some of the ways I made my party like totally Clueless/90’s:

90's Clueless Party

First of all, there are no fancy-schmancy smart phones in the 1990’s. ¬†So everyone had to leave their fancy non-flip phones in the basket and experience the 90’s as they really were. ¬†Beepers were totally allowed though.

 

 

Clueless party

For the food, I had to have food from the movie! ¬†There is a line (pictured above) that basically described the way I ate when I was in high school, so I got some of the best foods from the list. ¬†Cher is so funny, she eats like a chipmunk but thinks she’s a heifer. ¬†So silly!

90's Clueless Party

These were my two themed drinks. ¬†I had to use the ultra mean quote “You’re a virgin who can’t drive” to describe my non-alcoholic beverage. ¬†And when Cher describes Amber as being a “full-on Monet”, that was just too memorable a line to ignore. ¬†And mojitos are amazing ūüėČ

90's Party

I recently had my thrift store dreams come true when I found a copy of Dream Phone in Burlington, Ontario at Value Village. ¬†It was one of the top moments of my entire life. ¬†So of course we had to play the best 90’s teen girl game at the 90’s party! ¬†I think people had fun playing this blast from the past game.

Clueless Party!

I really like giving out little goodie bags or a little something to my guests when they’re leaving (if I can remember to actually do it). ¬†This year it was the little feathery pens, similar to the one that Cher has in the movie. ¬†If any of my friends missed snagging one and still wants it, just let me know! I still have them.

90's Party

For total authenticity, the only music we could listen to had to be from the 90’s, and it had to be on CD. ¬†I had a number of CD’s of bands who started in the 90’s, but the CD was from the 2000’s, and those were NOT played. ¬†I was trying to keep it real. ūüėČ

90's Party

And I definitely had to play the Clueless soundtrack, duh!

DSC_0530

The “dress code” of the party was 90’s attire, and it ended up being pretty plaid. ¬†But here’s me and my best girlfriend, Melanie and I showing off our best 90’s inspired outfits.

Hope you enjoyed my little trip back to the 1990’s. ¬†It was also really fun to come back to 2015 and be able to use Instagram though ūüėČ

xoxo,
Alysa

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Let it snow!

It snowed today, which means that in my house Christmas spirit is going into overdrive. ¬†I’ve been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now, and slowly getting the house all decorated… but haven’t really been super motivated to go overboard just yet. ¬†I’m really excited to get our tree at the end of the month though! We’re getting a real tree again, and I’m so pumped.

Here are a few of my favourite Christmas songs to help get you in the holiday spirit as well (even if it hasn’t snowed where you are yet):

 

What are your favourite Christmas songs?

xoxo,
Alysa

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