Which Fun “Holidays” To Celebrate in August

What to Celebrate in August

As an avid Instagram user, I constantly see (and miss) fun little “holidays” that pop up randomly during the month.  I totally missed International Red Lipstick Day, which would have been fun to celebrate, and a few others as well.  Since it’s the beginning of the month, I thought I’d share a few of the upcoming special holidays that happen in August!  Now none of us will miss them, and we can instagram them to our hearts content.

  1. Terry Fox Day – August 1
  2. International Beer Day – First Friday in August
  3. Friendship Day – First Sunday in August
  4. Watermelon Day – August 3
  5. Root Beer Float Day & Sand Castle Day – August 6
  6. International Cat Day – August 8
  7. Book Lovers Day – August 9
  8. S’mores Day – August 10
  9. Vinyl Record Day – August 12
  10.  Middle Child’s Day & Garage Sale Day – August 13
  11. Roller Coaster Day – August 16
  12. Thrift Shop Day – August 17
  13. World Honey Bee Day – August 20
  14. Dog Day – August 26
  15. Burger Day – August 27
  16. Bow Tie Day – August 28

So there you go! Lots of things to celebrate this month.  And, if you’re interested in seeing what other special days are this month, you can find out here.

Which of these special holidays will you be celebrating this month?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Guest Post: Activities for Little Hands

Hi! I have a lovely guest post here from Kate from the blog “Amazing Beautiful Individual“. Make sure you check out her blog and her social media at the bottom!  When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, I started to wonder about the kinds of things that I would do with Autumn as I was taking care of a new little baby.  Kate has some great ideas, and I can’t wait to try them 🙂

Preschool Boredom! It’s that restless age where your child is determined to get into things and is screaming to be engaged more than ever! You may be struggling especially if you are carrying or have welcomed more children into the world. With a baby on one hip and a preschooler on the other what can you do to entertain the hyperactive toddler?

Preschool boredom can be a thing of the past if you fill your cupboards with sensory activities & interchangeable tools for mid morning playtime. This is the time your child is most alert and you have the opportunity to wear them out, fill their tummies after play and enjoy some rest in front of a movie once your finished.

Here I give you some Preschool Boredom Busters. Some which can be played with in combined activities which I feature more of in my own blog “Amazing Beautiful Individual“. I write about the highs and lows of parenting and keeping your children engaged. I also write about the days where your children sometimes need to take a back seat and Mummy Time is just as important.

So Lets Discover these boredom busters staring with Preschool Boredom Buster…

Activity 1 – Two Ingredient Sensory Play Sand

This activity has 2x Ingredients! Can you believe it? Plus it can also be kept in containers for a longer shelf life. Say goodbye to expensive doughs and sensory clay and make your own. Please note for a less or more mouldable version of your sand adjust the oil to your likeness.

  • 2 Cups Of Flour
  • 1/2 a Cup of Vegetable Oil, Coconut Oil or Baby Oil
  • Optional Food colouring (Mixed with the oil)

All you need to do is add the oil to your flour and mix away! you end up with a fluffy mixture of mouldable flour which feels like soft silky sand.

diy sensory play sand

Activity 2: How to Colour Pasta

This is a more complex activity which requires more preparation however once done can be reused and kept in storage containers for a longer shelf like. I suggest doing both Rice & Pasta in the same preparation session which can be used on different days to entertain your child.

You will need:

  • Uncooked hollow pasta like Penne or Macaroni (you can also use rice)
  • Paper Towel to line your tray (you can also use baking paper)
  • A tray to dry your pasta in or an outside table lined with paper
  • Zip lock bags or containers
  • Vinegar (white)
  • Choice of Food colouring

How to Colour Pasta – Instructions

  • Set out the chosen amount of pasta or rice you will need in individual bags. One bag of pasta for each colour you are using
  • In each bag of pasta pour enough vinegar in to wet the contents without too much excess in the bottom of the bag. Add a few drops of colouring. If the colour isn’t distributed enough just add some more.
  • Now that each bag is coloured put it in your tray which should be lined with paper . Pour the pasta out and spread to dry. The paper will soak up any excess vinegar
  • Drying time will vary depending on how wet it is. I prefer to prepare this activity the day before.
  • Now the pasta is dry you can put it in Zippy bags, Containers or play with it straight from the tray.

diy colour pasta

3. Shaving Cream Sundaes

You will need:

  • Plastic Party Shot Cups
  • Shaving Cream (organic for sensitive skin recommended)
  • Natural Food Colouring

this is a neat little activity for outside or in the shower. Fill your little shot cup up with shaving cream and dip a spoon into some food colouring and spread it throughout the top of the cream. Kids think these are hilarious initially because they look just like a tiny ice cream sundae! What do my kids do with them?

  • Pretend Feed Their Babies
  • Play Ice Cream Shops in the shower
  • Use a paintbrush and paint with the cream on some paper
  • Wash things in the outside paddle pool

In my blog I create videos & show you how to combine the projects I write about over a series of weeks so you can continue to engage your child with the items you have made!  I hope you enjoyed these basic activities and your children enjoy them for many months to come!

Author: Kate Shelby

Autism And Obsessions - Star Warsinstagram

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Our Summer Bucket List!

Our Summer Bucket List

The other night, my husband and I sat down and talked about the things that we want to do this summer.  We’re so excited for the summer and all the fun things we’re going to be able to do as a family of four this year. Plus, since we have a toddler, it’ll be even more fun because we’ll be experiencing things for the first time again through her eyes.  So excited! Here are some of the things we’d like to do this summer:

  1. Victoria Beach
    My family has a cottage out at Victoria Beach, and I’m so excited to do all the things with my daughter there this year!  We’ll go to the beach (obviously), go to the park, get ice cream at the Moonlight Inn, and get smiley face cookies at the bakery.  It’s gonna be awesome!
  2. Assiniboine Park Zoo
    We haven’t been to the zoo since the new Polar Bear exhibit opened last year, and I think it would be really fun to go.  Especially with the Dinosaur exhibit there, too!
  3. Strawberry Picking
    There are a few places nearby where you pay for the bucket, and you pick your own strawberries.  I think it would be a lot of fun to do that with Autumn. I think she would really enjoy that.
  4. Andrew’s family cabin
    It’ll be fun to see how Autumn likes the boat this year!
  5. Monarch Butterfly Festival
    This event looks like so much fun!
  6. Islendingadagurinn
    The Icelandic Festival in Gimli!  I’m so pumped for it. I haven’t been in a few years.
  7. Morden Corn and Apple Festival
    A nearby town has an awesome festival every summer. You get free corn on the cob and free apple cider, and a bunch of other stuff! Again, I haven’t been in a few years so I’m excited to go again.
  8. Harry Potter Midnight Release Party
    The last Harry Potter book came out almost 10 years ago, and McNally Robinson celebrated with a party in the park.  Well, since the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is this summer, they’re doing it again!  I’m so pumped to go to another midnight release.  And I can’t wait to read the book 🙂

What are your plans for the summer?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Secrets for Surviving 2 Under 2

Secrets for Surviving 2 under 2

It’s been a pretty busy few weeks! I expected things to be different, and I expected being in survival mode.  So I’ve been looking around for some secrets and tips from real life moms on how to make the transition from one to two children that much easier.  Here are some of the tips I’ve found super helpful:

How I Get Things Done with 2 Under 2” by One Hoolie Mama – this is a major tip, and one I’ve definitely done, too.

Surviving Life with a Newborn and a Toddler” by The Stay-at-home Life – this is part one of a series, with lots of amazing ideas for staying sane.

Dorothy Nada offers some insight on what it’s like to have three under three, which is definitely helpful if you’ve only got two under two – “On being a Mama of three

Mom on the Side writes about what “The First Year With Twins” is like, which definitely has some crossover into two under two.

These “10 Mumma Hacks for Surviving a Newborn and a Toddler” are so fantastic.  I especially love the one about getting the older sibling to show the little baby how to do things. Excellent Mumma Hacks

Mind, Body & Soul After Baby is a wealth of knowledge on surviving 2 under 2.  There are so many posts on there worth checking out for tips 🙂

Motherly Adventures shares “My first two weeks of being a mom of two“, which has some ups and downs of having a newborn and a toddler in the first two weeks.

What are your tips for surviving two under two? Feel free to share them in the comments!

xoxo,
Alysa

 

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My Favourite Leggings for Pregnancy and Post-Partum

week 38 bump update // alysalovely

A few years ago (perhaps even 10 years ago), I bought some high waisted leggings so I could be bad Sandy from Grease for Halloween! They were perfect leggings because they looked like the leather pants that she wore in the movie.  What I didn’t know at the time was that these leggings are ALSO perfect for pregnancy!

Shiny High-Waist Leggings from American Apparel!

Here is why these leggings are perfect for pregnancy:

  1. They stretch perfectly
    These leggings fit me so well, they stretch just right.  Not ever uncomfortable, not ever too small or too big.  These leggings are my goldilocks.  They’re just right!
  2. They stretch BACK perfectly
    One of the things that worries a lot of moms about wearing their regular clothes for pregnancy is stretching them out after they give birth.  These leggings are perfect on me when I’m pregnant, and they still fit perfect postpartum as well!  They’re amazing.
  3. The high-waist is so comfortable for my bump
    I get frustrated by my maternity pants.  They have the panel to hold in the bump, but it NEVER stays up!  The fact that these leggings have a high-waist means that I get the maternity style, without having to actually go out and purchase expensive maternity leggings.  It is so comfortable on my bump, I love wearing them.

To sum up, these leggings are amazing and everyone should own a pair.

xoxo,
Alysa

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Getting ready for baby

Getting Ready for Baby

Since I’ve got about a month (give or take), I’ve been very slowly but deliberately getting things ready for our new arrival.  I don’t want to say that last time I was totally unprepared, but there were certain things that got missed and I didn’t get a chance to do immediately after Autumn was born.  I don’t want that to happen again, so I’ve been keeping a list of things I need to do this month especially in order to stay on top of things and be totally ready.

Here is what I’ve done so far:

STOCK UP
The last thing you want to do with a little one (and especially two little ones, like I am about to have) is needing to go to the grocery store to get necessities that you’ve run out of.  Like toilet paper.  I don’t want to think about toilet paper when I have a new baby.  So I’ve been stocking up on the following items:

  • toilet paper
  • paper towel
  • laundry detergent
  • napkins
  • Kleenex
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • paper plates

FILL YOUR FREEZER
It’s always a good idea to have extra food ready to go, especially when you won’t really be able to cook elaborate meals.  I know my hands will be full, so I spent an evening and made a ton of freezer meals.  All we’ll have to do is take things out of the freezer the night before, and we’ll be good to go!  Which will come extremely in handy on the days when I’m cluster feeding all day, and don’t have a spare minute to throw something together.  Last time, we received a lot of meals from friends and family, and I hope hope hope that it happens again, but it might not, so having meals in the freezer good to go will hopefully be a huge help.

KEEP ON TOP OF THINGS
The day before I gave birth, I meant to do a huge number of things.  But the biggest thing that I meant to do was the laundry.  That didn’t exactly happen as planned, however.  I meant to do laundry, but ended up being really tired all day and spent my time resting.  Which, turns out, was a brilliant use of my time because the next morning (at 1:00am), I went into labour.  But it was also poor planning on my part, because we really really needed to have clean laundry done, and so after Autumn was born it just kept piling up and piling up.  No good!  I know that all the “how to help a new mama” stories include doing things like her laundry, but I haven’t felt comfortable with someone else doing my laundry since I started doing it as a teenager, so that was a no-go.  This time, I’m staying on top of the laundry.  So even if we need to do a little bit within the first week or two of the new baby’s life, it won’t be as bad as last time.

SLEEP
I’m napping when I can.  As a new mama, I looked back over all the naps I had when I was pregnant the first time and thought “yep, that was a good use of my time”, and I’m probably going to do the same thing this time as well 😉

What other things did you do to get ready for your baby?

xoxo,
Alysa

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April Declutter Challenge – Week 1

April Declutter Challenge

Here we are one week into April, and 7 days worth of decluttering!  At this point, if I were only getting rid of the specified amount per day, I would have given away/thrown out/donated 189 things.  I know that I have decluttered more than that though, because most days I find more than the required amount that I no longer want or need.  I just have too much stuff, so this challenge has already been so refreshing.

In the last week, the focus has been on my bedroom.  So I’ve decluttered my closet, (of clothes, shoes, purses, hats and belts), my dresser, my hairbands and nail polishes, and my bedside table.  Some places had more to get rid of than others, that’s for sure.. but there was also a lot that I felt I needed to keep, for sentimental reasons or others.  For example, the dress that I was wearing when Andrew proposed.  I can’t give that away!  A few things got demoted and are now in the costume bag in our basement, other things I’m giving to my daughter, such as a Cinderella purse and a Tinkerbell purse.  She seems to like them already, too.

Here are some of the pictures I’ve shared on Instagram of the things I’ve decluttered:

Almost half of my hairbands.  Mostly ones that I don’t ever wear because they are too small for my head and so they pinch me and give me a headache.  And some of my nail colours!

SO MANY HANGERS!! I was living with the impression that we didn’t have enough hangers, so I had been doubling and tripling up on some of the hangers I had in my closet.  Well, it turned out, there was no need for that.  I’ve done my closet with the colour scheme of black/pink, and Andrew’s with the colour scheme of green/white, and now all the hangers match and it makes me so happy!  The little baby hangers already left the house, they went to someone who is selling old baby clothes at one of the huge used baby stuff sales in the city this month.  The hangers here are already spoken for as well!

If you’d like to follow along on Instagram, be sure to follow me @Alysalovely, and follow this challenge using the hashtag #AprilDeclutterChallenge.  You can also check out a play-by-play approach of the befores and afters on my snapchat! My username is Alysalovely

If you’ve joined in, how are you doing with decluttering?  Don’t you feel totally refreshed?

xoxo,
Alysa

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What’s in Autumn’s Easter Basket

toddler easter basket

Even though it’s technically Easter monday, and Easter is over, I thought I’d share the things we put in Autumn’s Easter basket this year!  We didn’t really do too much for her last year, because she was so little, but we did get her a book.  We thought this year that we would further that tradition, and add to it!

I had found the basket last year at Target when the Target’s in Canada were going out of business (sadness 🙁 ) and saved it for this year!

Here’s what else we put in the basket

toddler easter basket

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
I was hoping to find a fun Easter themed book this year, but I wasn’t able to find anything I really liked, so I went with the theme of bunnies.  This book is SO cute, and I can’t wait to read it to Autumn!

Easter cup
Autumn is obsessed with drinking out of straws right now, so a little cup like this is perfect.  I have a Starbucks cup with a straw and she always wants to drink out of my cup, so hopefully giving her a cup of her own will make her less likely to steal my drink.  No? Well, I tried 😉

Love Child Organics Pouch
Autumn LOVES pouches, so this seemed like the perfect addition to her basket.  It’s also a Canadian company, which I really like, and everything in it is organic, which I really appreciate.

Aero Lamb Chocolate
She is way too little to get a whole chocolate rabbit to herself, so we picked a smaller little lamb.  She doesn’t get treats like this very often, I think the last time was at Christmas, so we figured that we’d let her have a little something sweet for a little treat.  And, the possibility is there that her pregnant mama will end up eating most of it 😉

TY Bunny
This bunny was super soft and cute, so I had to get it!  I got one in the same colour scheme as the book, so they match!

What did you put in your child’s Easter basket this year?

Hope you had a happy Easter!

xoxo,
Alysa

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April Declutter Challenge!

April Declutter Challenge

We’re still more than a week away from April, but I thought I’d get a head start on planning for my challenge this year!

Last year, I introduced the April Declutter Challenge! I did my own variation of the minimalist challenge over the month of April, where on the first day, I decluttered 30 things, on the second day, 29 things, and so on and so forth.  I would like to do it again this year!  I am going to change the rules a little bit, however.  (If you’d like to see the rules I made for the challenge last year, check them out here!)

The Rules:

  1. Remove items from living space
    Out of sight, out of mind.  My plan this year is a little different than it was last year.  My rules from last year indicated that I gave things to the thrift store on a weekly basis.  But then later, in talking with a friend, I learned that some of the things I had been giving away could have been of use to her.  So, instead of immediately getting everything out of the house completely this year, I’m going to put everything aside and then invite friends over for a sort of rummage “sale” in my living room.  If there are things people want, they can have them! And anything left over will go to the thrift store at the end of the month.
    And, in the meantime, I will be keeping things out of our regular living spaces, probably in the back porch or shed. Or maybe basement.  Depending on how I feel at the time.
  2. Bring garbage away daily
    This one is the same as last year.  Decluttering counts for garbage, too… but why save it.  Take it out!!
  3. Avoid buying things
    This one will be the most difficult, but I don’t see the point in getting rid of hundreds of items from my home if I’m just going to be bringing other things into it at the same time.  It makes no sense!  Obvious things like food and hygeine necessities are clearly excluded from this rule.
  4. Share your successes
    I really enjoyed going on Instagram and sharing the things I was decluttering last year.  Join me! Use the hashtag #AprilDeclutterChallenge on Instagram and see what kinds of things other people are getting rid of!  I’ll be posting @Alysalovely.

What counts towards decluttering?
-Things you’ve borrowed from someone and are returning to them
-Things that are still in good working order that someone else can use
-Things that are total crap
-Actual garbage

So, who’s with me? 🙂

xoxo,
Alysa

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Unicorn things I need to own

Unicorns on my wishlist

If we haven’t met or spent significant time together, you might not know that I am secretly Harmony from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Not in the way that she’s a mindless crowd follower, but in the way that she loves unicorns.  I love unicorns! I have bought several thrift store unicorns, including figurines and pictures for the walls.  I also love glitter and magic and everything that seems to go along with unicorns.  Lately, I’ve been finding some pretty sweet unicorn items, so I thought I’d share them with you here!  I’ve already asked for these things for my birthday … in September 😉

UNICORN RESCUE AND ADOPTION KIT
First of all, how cute is that unicorn?  I am a sucker for anything that says “rescue” or “adoption” and this is no exception.  The reality is that we have way too many stuffed animals and I don’t really “need” this, but how cute?? HOW CUTE??

UNICORN TABLE LAMP IN GOLD
Obviously it needs to be in Gold.  And obviously, I need this on my desk right now.  Unfortunately this is only available in the US, as we don’t have Target stores in Canada anymore (still sad).  It would be beautiful on my desk though <3 and I can definitely say without irony, that I love lamp.

UNICORN LIGHT UP SLIPPERS
I don’t really have slippers, and my feet are constantly cold.  PLUS they light up, and would you look at that pretty gold horn? These are just perfect!

If you see any other nifty unicorn things around, tell me about them in the comments!!
Hope you’re having a lovely week!

xoxo,
Alysa

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