Valentine’s Day Ideas for Parents

Valentine’s Day is coming up and as a parent of little ones, sometimes that means figuring out a date night for after bedtime, right in your own home!  I love stay-in date nights, especially in the winter, because you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to go out in the cold, and you don’t have to scramble for a sitter. Win-Win!  Here are a few ideas for the perfect Valentine’s Day Date Night In <3

This post contains affiliate links. If a purchase is made through the use of one of my recommendations, I may receive a small commission, which would be a lovely little blessing for my family

Alright, let’s set the scene.  The kids are in their beds, they’re actually asleep!  It’s Valentine’s Day. You and your significant other go to the dining room to enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day Date Night In.  What do you need?

01 // A pretty candle to make your after dinner desert romantic
I like having a candle burning of ambiance, but especially on Valentine’s Day!  We’ll have a nice dessert and a hot beverage, and have a candle going!  It’ll be so lovely.

02 // Matching Couples Mugs for your coffee or tea
What’s better than Luke & Leia quotes for your Valentine’s Day Date?  The lines are classic, plus, it’s really cute to have matching mugs <3

03 // A game to play for two
What could be more romantic then trying to get your affections known by the princess?  Love Letter is a fun game to play with two or more, so it’s perfect for a date night with your love.  It’s also really easy to play, and quick, so it works well if you don’t have a lot of time to play!

04 // A gift to personalize for your love
It’s fun to write cute messages to each other, and this journal is even cuter because you can write in whatever you want in an adorable package!

05 // Couples Pillowcases … to end the night 😉
I love the idea of matching pillowcases for the bed, and these are just darling!  <3

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

xoxo,
Alysa

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What to watch on Canadian Netflix if you’re feeling salty about Degrassi

If you follow me on twitter, you will know that I am very upset and hurt (read: furious) about the fact that there is only one season of Degrassi: The Next Class on Canadian Netflix.  This is a Canadian show, and it’s on basically all the other versions of Netflix in the rest of the world, EXCEPT Canada (and France).  It’s tremendously unfair that Canadians can’t watch the show that is based in their own country without trying to use a sneaky way to watch American Netflix.  Oh, just kidding, that doesn’t work anymore.  So, if you’re like me, and you’re feeling really salty about the unfairness of this, I’ve compiled a list of movies and tv shows that star some of the actors who have been on Degrassi, too.  Please note that although I am recommending these titles at this time, know that I haven’t watched most of them so I cannot speak to quality.  But they are filled with Degrassi people, not just from The Next Class, but some are from The Next Generation!

Enjoy!

  1. Full Out
    This movie has Zoe, Becky, and Craig! Love it!  In this, Zoe plays a girl who feels super entitled and then loses everything she’s been working on and has to rebuild.  Sound similar?
  2. Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure
    Apparently Eli is in this. haha
  3. Being Erica
    Paige Michalchuk plays a young version of Erica’s mother.
  4. Date with Love
    Darcy is in this.
  5. The Vampire Diaries
    This one is pretty obvious I guess, but Mia is in this 😉
  6. 4th Man Out
    Craig is in this one!
  7. Blood Pressure
    Craig is in this one, too.  One of the guys from Glee is also in it, if that interests you.

And, if you are wondering what you can do to get Degrassi: The Next Class, seasons 2 and 3 on Canadian Netflix (where they belong), check out this petition!

xoxo,
Alysa

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10 Things I Hate About WINTER

I know, every blogger is always going on about how much they love Autumn.  Fall is the best.  Winter, especially winter after Christmas has passed, is the worst!  Here are my least favourite things about winter:

01 // EVERYTHING IS STATIC!
I have fairly long hair.  Long, thin hair.  So anything that has static reacts to my hair.  I get it caught in zippers, I get it caught in car doors.  It’s really annoying.  I’m shocking people left, right & centre.  My clothes are filled with static electricity.  EVERYTHING is.  AH. It’s so annoying

02 // All the LAYERS
In order to go anywhere, you need a coat, you need mittens, you need a hat, you need a scarf.  Your children need all these things.  Once you get places, you have to figure out where to put all these things so you can be comfortable inside.  It’s exhausting to think about. Plus, it’s all filled with static.

03 // How long it takes to go anywhere
Since we need soo many layers, it takes a billion years to get a baby and a toddler ready to go anywhere.  One Billion Years.  And, if I’m by myself, it takes TWICE that!  Plus, getting the car seats safely ready to go.  It’s a lot.  And all of it.. staticky.

04 // Ice Ice Baby
The world is ice outside.  If we had a smaller vehicle I would DEFINITELY want studded tires for it.  It’s so scary when you can’t stop your car!

05 // Everyone is grumpy
Everyone is grumpy because they take a billion years to get ready to go anywhere, and there’s static, and ice and cold. 😉

06 // It’s dark ALL THE TIME
I know it’s technically starting to get dark later now, but it still feels like it’s dark SO early!  There’s a comic where a mom is asking if it’s midnight because it feels like midnight, and it’s only 5:00.  I know that feel.

07 // Snow
My daughter hates the snow, so it makes it less enjoyable for me, too.  Plus, there’s just so much of it this year.  Do we really NEED more? (no)

08 // Fruit is more expensive
We have to buy foreign fruits so it’s more expensive to buy at the grocery store! The worst.

09 // All the effort
If the path hasn’t been shovelled, which..let’s be real.. it hasn’t, that means that it takes so much extra effort to walk across a short distance.  When I was actively using My Fitness Pal to track my exercise and calories, I always felt a little ripped off by it in the winter because my simple ~10 minute walk~ of a few blocks actually burned up WAYY more calories than normal.  I felt like it didn’t take off enough.  I don’t track it anymore, but I still feel like I’ve put forth a lot more effort when I have to walk through almost knee high snow.

10 // The COLD
I don’t know if you knew this… but I live in Winnipeg, which often gets referred to as WINTERpeg.  It gets pretty darn cold here.  It is often colder here than it is on Mars.  And that is a fact.  It’s too cold to do anything.  LUCKILY, my favourite winter activity is staying in and cozying up with a hot beverage. 😉 I mean.. this week isn’t soo bad, but last week. yikes!

So, there you go.  A very annoyed persons list of horrible things in winter.  If you want a more optimistic post, check out my post from last year: 5 Things to do to Beat the January Blues

xoxo,
Alysa

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Best of 2016

2016 was a crazy year.  In the world, especially, but in our house it was fairly busy as well.  We became a family of four, I switched from wordpress.com to a self-hosted website, and I started making bonnets in an etsy shop!  Very busy year.  Here are the top 10 most viewed blog posts from 2016!

  1. Baby Cereal Muffins
    I didn’t even write this one in 2016, but it’s been the top post for two years in a row.  I loved making Autumn these muffins and I will be making them for Aiden soon, too.
  2. And then there were four – My Birth Story
    I love this post so much.  Aiden’s birth story was not 100% what I wanted it to be (I would have liked it to happen sooner haha) but it was amazing.
  3. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that can Radically Change Your Family Review & Giveaway
    I was surprised to see this one.  Maybe it’s just my own feelings on the book projecting though.
  4. Baby Baby! Book Review & Giveaway
    This book is SO cute!  I still really enjoy reading it to my babies.
  5. DIY Thank You Gift for your Midwife
    This was a really fun DIY!  I got the idea for it from my baby group for Aiden, and was so excited to give the gift to my midwife.  I still think it’s funny that like two weeks or so after I gave it to her, she called me and asked where I got it!  I’m glad it was well-receivied.
  6. To My Daughter on her 2nd Birthday
    love this one too!
  7. How To Go Church Shopping
    This was a big part of our year last year and I am so glad with where we ended up.  Our church has been amazingly welcoming and warm and it truly does feel like home.  I love it there!
  8. Bump Update: 40 Weeks
    When my due date was supposed to be haha
  9. DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation
    This was another fun DIY I did this year!  It took a very good chunk of the year because I started it before Aiden was born and finished it a few months after he was born.  Oh well 😉
  10. Secrets for Surviving Two under Two
    This was a great roundup with some stellar tips for dealing with two babies under two.  I was glad to be able to read the tips and share them.

Looking forward to seeing what will make this list next year!  Happy 2017! <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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10 Cheesy Christmas Movies to Watch on Netflix

Every year, a certain tv channel has a few days in December where they play tons of cheesy made for tv Christmas movies!  Since we don’t have cable this year, I need my cheesy Christmas movie fix.. and luckily, Netflix is delivering!

Here are my top 10 Cheesy Christmas Movies to watch on Netflix this year!

01 // The Christmas Bunny
This movie was incredibly cheesy!  A little girl who is being adopted? Check. A bunny? Check! All you need to know 😉 Oh, it’s Christmas time.

02 // Christmas Crush
A woman goes back to her hometown for her 10 year high school reunion at Christmas, because of course that’s what they’d have it.  She comes back and starts telling lies about how successful she is.  Will she be caught in the lie? Will she get her high school boyfriend back? You should watch and find out 😉 Oh, and it’s got that guy from Mean Girls in it.. so, that was reason enough for me.

03 // Merry Kissmas
An engaged woman who is obsessed with Nutcrackers has lost the spark with her fiance. Hilarity ensues.  This movie involves a magical elevator.

04 // Angel of Christmas
A young copywriter who hates Christmas ends up being given the chance to write a Christmas themed human interest piece for Christmas eve about her family’s special Christmas angel. Watch for the twist at the end. And the cheese throughout.

05 // Santa’s Little Helper
Santa sends his top elf to find the next “Ho Ho Ho” aka Santa’s second in command aka Santa’s Little Helper, and puts him through a number of tests to see if he has the quality of a Ho Ho Ho.  Very cute. Very cheesy.  Naomi from 90210 is in it.

06 // Holiday Engagement
A woman gets dumped right before thanksgiving and hires an actor to play her fiance because she can’t tell her family she’s been dumped.  WILL THEY FALL IN LOVE? You’ll have to watch and see

07 // How Sarah Got Her Wings
A woman dies on Christmas eve, but her name isn’t on the list to get into heaven.  She must go back to earth to finish up some business in order to get her name on the list.  Her unfinished business has to do with her ex-boyfriend. CHEESE factor high.

08 // Once Upon a Holiday
I haven’t watched this one yet, but I will because it looks amazing.

09 // The 12 Dogs of Christmas
I haven’t watched this one yet, either.. but how can I not? Look at that title!  Also, Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls is in it, so

10 // Small Town Santa
This one was pretty cute. It’s a small Irish town, and everyone has darling accents and most of them are children.  Very cheesy.

What are your favourite Christmas movies to watch at this time of year?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Gilmore Girls Viewing Must Haves

Gilmore Girls Must Haves
(source)

The new episodes of Gilmore Girls are going to be available on Netflix TOMORROW and I am SO EXCITED.  I have been waiting for this for 10 years, and several re-watches of this amazing show.  I have the DVDs, but I still watch on Netflix.  I am fully prepared to watch this as soon as it comes available, and I know that there are others who are like me who will be watching it then, too.

Here are a few things you must have when you watch the Gilmore Girls revival:

  1. Coffee Coffee Coffee
    How could you not?  This is practically a staple in the Gilmore house.  All the Gilmore Girls love coffee.  And drink lots and lots daily.  It would not be a Gilmore Girls party without coffee… or, as Lorelai orders it “coffee coffee coffee!”  That does not mean THREE coffees at once, it means bring me coffee fast!  Coffee.  And, if you’re going for the Emily Gilmore aesthetic, drink your coffee out of your china.
  2. Junk food, and lots of it
    When Gilmore Girls watch things, they grab a wide variety of junky food from Doose’s Market and Luke’s Diner.  I won’t be able to go there, but I can get a large amount of candy, cookies, pizza and burgers from around here.  It’ll almost be like watching it with the real Gilmore Girls.  Now, if only I could also have their metabolisms… 😉
  3. A buddy to watch with
    Bonus points if it’s someone you can talk really really fast with, or your mom.
  4. PJs
    Bonus points if they’re plaid, or have various pictures of Jackson in wrestling poses on it.  Alternatively, you could have your hair nicely brushed and you could be wearing lip gloss, making Paris Geller’s life seem really unfair.
  5. Books
    There’s definitely not going to be time to read said books, what with all the Gilmore Girls to watch.. but it’ll probably make you feel better knowing that they’re on hand anyway… just in case 😉

Hope you enjoy watching the revival! I know I will

xoxo,
Alysa

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What to Watch on Netflix to get into the Halloween Spirit

What to Watch to Get Into the Halloween Spirit

Halloween is coming up! And as someone who watches a lot of Netflix/tv, I have certain things that I enjoy watching around this time of year.  I don’t have ABC, so I can’t watch anything from the 13 Days of Halloween lineup… but I do have Netflix, and there are quite a few things on there to watch to help get pumped about halloween (get it?? PUMPkin? 😉 ) If you don’t have cable either, here is my 10 Days of Halloween lineup via Canadian Netflix:

01 // The Nightmare Before Christmas
I just watched this with my daughter the other day, and anytime I do anything even remotely related to Halloween, the song “This is Halloween” is stuck in my head.  It’s such a great story.  It’s got the creepy aspect of Halloween, and a little bit of Christmas, too 😉

02 // Ghostbusters
An old classic.  It’s the original version on Netflix, but you could totally watch the new one, too! Just… not on Netflix.  I especially love watching the old one for the sweet 1984 CGI.  And Dan Akroyd.  He’s awesome.

03 // Sleepy Hollow
One of the most classic Halloween stories ever told! Ichabod Crane is timeless. And this one features Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, so what could be better?

04 // Goosebumps
Us 90’s kids will remember getting freaked out by this show late at night.  I specifically remember one time watching this when my parents weren’t home and all three of us were pretty scared after.  It’s fun as an adult though.

05 // The Sixth Sense
Another classic.  And if you haven’t seen it, it has a classic M. Night Shyamalan twist at the end 😉

06 // Are You Afraid of the Dark?
“Submitted for the approval of the midnight society…” This is another huge classic for us 90s kids, especially us Canadian ones.  Andrew and I actually had an Are You Afraid of the Dark Halloween party a few years ago.  We watched a bunch of our fave episodes on Netflix and it was a lot of fun. There were some great classics, but there are quite a few epsidoes.. so if you’re looking for the scariest ones, here is a list of the top 10 scary epsiodes! Plus, watch for cameos from Ryan Gosling, Elisha Cuthbert, Jay Baruchel, Hayden Christensen, and Jewel Staite (& what do they all have in common? All Canadian).

07 // Scooby Doo
Not as classic, but still pretty fun.  Especially since (spoiler alert) most of the baddies end up being regular bad guys in costume.  Perfect for Halloween!

08 // Buffy the Vampire Slayer
What could be better for Halloween than a bad-ass VAMPIRE SLAYER?? There are even some fun Halloween specific episodes in it.  My personal fave Buffy Halloween episode is the one where they all become their costumes.  And if you haven’t seen any of it, seriously, just watch it all! It’s SO good.

09 // Rear Window
To me, Hitchcock is practically essential watching for Halloween.  It’s got a lot of suspense, it’s creepy, perfect vibes for a Halloween party.  You could even have a Hitchcock themed Halloween party.. dang.. I wish I had thought of that earlier 😉

10 // Supernatural
Another great TV show dedicated to ghosts and goblins.  Plus, hotties.  What more could you ask for? 😉

What are your favourite Halloween-esque movies to watch?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Musings from a Parent whose kid is OBSESSED with Beauty and the Beast

Things You'll Notice When You Watch Beauty and the Beast with your kids

Like a lot of people, my child is currently obsessed with the movie Beauty and the Beast.  It’s probably her favourite movie, besides Frozen.  But I’m talking obsessed.  We’ve had a number of rainy/cold days in the last little while.. and when that happens, we watch TV.  And so I ask, “Autumn, what would you like to watch?” and her answer lately has always been “BEAST” haha  So I’ve watched it pretty much daily for the last little while.  And here are things that I think of when I watch it:

01 // How old was the Beast when he was cursed?
So, at the beginning when they are setting up the story, the narrator tells us that the enchanted rose will last until his 21st year.  Later on, Lumiere says that “10 years we’ve been rusting” in the song Be My Guest.  Since the rose is very close to being done, this means that when the Beast became the Beast, he was about 10 or 11 years old.  If that is true, where the heck are his parents when this creepy old lady comes to the door?  Why is the prince the one to answer it? Where are all these servants at that time?? So many questions.

02 // Chip was definitely born as a teacup
If it’s been 10 years since the castle got cursed, that means that Chip was born as a teacup.  He’s clearly younger than 10, especially since at the end they show his mother carrying him.  So who’s the daddy then? Is there a kettle they don’t show? Was it Lumiere?  Hard to say.  But it makes sense as to why Chip asks if he still has to sleep in the cupboard at the end.  THAT IS ALL HE KNOWS!

03 // I really want to see what the wardrobe looks like as a human!!
In the song Human Again, we see that the wardrobe wants to be able to wear makeup and dresses (and not be so huge).. which makes me really curious as to what she looks like as a human! My husband pointed out a woman in the final scene that COULD be the wardrobe, but you don’t see her face.

04 // That scene where Gaston goes to marry Belle
In this scene, Gaston is chasing Belle around the room.. and she’s trying to put furniture space between them.  He is such a creep.

05 // How some of the enchanted things have eyes/faces/names, and some don’t
Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts.. etc.. they all have faces and names.  Yet, there are some enchanted objects who don’t have faces or names.  It is my theory that the ones that had names were people.. and the ones that didn’t were actually inanimate objects to begin with.  My husband suggested that perhaps there could have been some kind of competition between the ones with names and the nameless ones… because for the ones without names, once the enchantment is over, they’re just regular objects again.. so you’d think maybe they didn’t want the enchantment to be lifted.  Something to think about 😉

There you go.  There’s my over-analysis of Beauty and the Beast 😉 What have you noticed about it in rewatching it as an adult?

xoxo,
Alysa

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What I Love about Babywearing

sakura bloom love Babywearing at Assiniboine Park Zoo

It’s International Babywearing Week from October 5-10th!  And, as you can see, I am a big fan.  I currently have two baby carriers, and I love using them for so many reasons.  I thought I’d share them with you here in honour of this week!

Here are 5 Things I Love About Babywearing

01 // Instant Nap
For both my babies, babywearing was a great way to get them to actually have a nap.  Autumn always slept in my arms, and Aiden tries to.. but has a hard time sleeping in my arms due to chasing Autumn around… but when I plunk him in the wrap, he falls asleep right away.

02 // Hands-free
Babywearing is a wonderful way to be hands free during the day.  Currently, I babywear when I’m going for walks with Autumn in the stroller.  I have also worn my babies when I want to cook, or when I’m doing light cleaning around the house.  I also like to babywear at bigger events and parties.  That way, I’m able to enjoy myself and mingle without worrying about a little one getting cranky.

04 // Discretely breastfeeding
Babywearing is a great way to discretely breastfeed in public.  Others can’t tell what I’m doing, and I can walk freely around the grocery store while breastfeeding AT THE SAME TIME. It’s pretty much the best thing ever.

05 // The closeness
Above all, I love babywearing because of the extra cuddles I get.  I love having my little ones close to me like that, and the benefits of babywearing for the baby are HUGE.

What are your favourite things about babywearing?

xoxo,
Alysa

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5 Shows to Watch on Netflix with your Kids

5-shows-on-netflix-youll-enjoy-watching-with-your-kids

I often hear parents lamenting about the types of shows their children are into.  Either it’s too much, or the character is too annoying, or whatever it is.  Children’s shows are definitely a big topic for parents.  If your kids must watch tv, it should at least be something semi-educational or, let’s face it, fun for you to watch!  Here are my current favourites to watch with my daughter (and they don’t make me roll my eyes or want to leave the room):

01 // The Magic School Bus
“Please let this be a normal field trip!” “With the Frizz? NO WAY!”
Let’s be real.  This show is enjoyable for me to watch because of the nostalgia.  I used to love watching this show as a kid, and I’m so happy to be able to watch it with my daughter now.  And she loves it, too! She’s constantly asking for “bus”.  It’s so fun to watch with her.

02 // Puffin Rock
This show is so adorable.  It’s about a little family of puffins, and the narrator is Chris O’Dodd (from Bridesmaids/The I.T. Crowd).  It’s a very cute show, and very visually appealing.

03 // Beat Bugs
This is a kids show that uses Beatles songs to tell the stories and teach lessons.  It’s a very sweet show, and I love being able to sing along with the songs I already know.  Plus, it’s really fun to see which of the more questionable (for kids) lyrics they won’t actually sing and will instead hum for.  Plus, one of the episodes is called Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and that’s pretty rad.

04 // Barbie Life In The Dreamhouse
This show is hilarious! I enjoy it because it doesn’t take itself seriously.  It makes fun of Barbie for all her careers, and for how long her and Ken have been dating.  It’s seriously fun to watch.  I’ll give you an example.  In one episode the premise is that Barbie is learning how to drive.  Then Skipper goes “Wait, weren’t you a Nascar driver?” Yes. haha it’s too funny

05 // My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
This is a really cute show, and fun to watch! Plus, Friendship really is magic 😉

What are your favourite shows to watch with your kids?

xoxo,
Alysa

 

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