National Coffee Day- WOO HOO!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Let me sing you the song of my people...

Source: The Nest via Pinterest (broken link)

I love coffee. I actually didn't have my first cup of coffee until I was working at the IWK Foundation. Nancy introduced me to the latte and I was hooked. I loved how it was coffee but not harsh. Then I discovered really good coffee...not the burnt bottom of the pot stuff that I had been served for my first taste that turned me off forever. Austin didn't like to sleep...(at least I thought he didn't- compared to Amelia he was a dream sleeper!) and I was tired. One day I was out just for the sake of being out. Austin had finally fallen asleep in his car seat and I was tired and didn't want to take him out of his seat for fear of waking him. I pulled up to the coffee drive through and asked for something caffeinated.  I got an amazing cup of medium roast Paradiso and then I became this:

Source: The berry

My kids know that coffee is just part of my life. At my friend Kelly's house, Austin would drive the Crazy Coup car up to the "drive through" and order "A dubba dubba wif keam and a watté no foam"


We are a family that has coffee dates. The kids get a little hot milk and we all sit together and chat- a modern tea party. I cherish my coffee dates with friends where we just curl up on the sofa with a warm mug and talk. I miss when life seemed to be a bit simpler on maternity leave and those coffee dates were frequent and full of laughter. Work is getting in the way of my social life.

I really just want to drink coffee and make pretty things. Instead I have to work full time partly because of my fabric and coffee.

Source: Bear and Robot

So it's National Coffee Day. Whether you are like me and need a cup to start your day, or you could take it or leave it, coffee is not just a drink. It's part of our social fabric and I, for one, am very happy to include it in my everyday!

Guest Post: Urban Farm Girl: From homeschool to public school

Monday, September 15, 2014

Please don't judge me, I let my daughter go to school

As parents we are constantly being judged. Judged by our kids, by our parents, by our partners, by other kids parents, by random strangers in the grocery store line up and mostly by ourselves. In a world of parenting books, parenting blogs, and parenting experts we are all trying to give the best, be the best and do the best for our children, but what if we aren't sure what the best is? That's where I am right now but it wasn't always that way....

I had it all figured out, really I did! Natural childbirth, attachment parenting cloth diapers, co sleeping, babywearing and breast feeding till the ripe old age of 4 ( years not months) I quit my job to be a stay at home mom. My children were never left with a baby sitter expect family. I did my best to love and nurture, to respect and care. 

Life was good and I was proud of myself. 

When Clare was 3, I was introduced to the idea of home educating, it was just what I was waiting for! I had already taught her everything she knew, so why shouldn't I continue teaching her? Of course I could! So we ordered a pricey curriculum and signed up for classes at the Art gallery, a dance class and swimming and got started when Clare turned 4. She loved it, I loved it, and all was right with the world. My daughter is a bright, funny, happy, fun loving and independent little girl. 

She also has a mind of her own.....Grade 1 and things were going great until, one day, out of the blue Clare comes to me and says " Mom I want to go to school". I remember looking at her blankly, no words would come, my mind was racing. I thought you were happy, I thought this was working, why would anyone want to get up early, go to school with a bunch of strangers, sit in a desk, deal with the kids, do home work? I just smiled at her and shook my head yes. 

Let's back up a decade or two...

It was grade 6. Lunch time on the playground. The feeling of fall was in the air, cool and crisp. I watched a group of girls talking, laughing, giggling, arms linked as they walked. They were in my class, I knew them and they knew me. We had been in the same class since primary, but we weren't friends. They were , not so much. I got up the courage to approach them, slowly walking in their direction, telling myself that they would let me join in. Why wouldn't they? But you know what? They didn't. When I finally walked close enough to be heard I said "Hi". And one of them turned, looked me in the eye, smiled and said "bye!" I froze, did I hear her right? Did she say hi or bye? Why would someone say bye? Unless, yes that's it, I was not welcome, my heart sank. I remember that day like it was yesterday and I'm now 32 years old. The strangest part is that it hurts as much now as it did then. 

So it brings me back to the question, why would anyone want to go to school?  
But Clare is different than I was, she is confident and social and loves other people. She will chat it up with just about anyone. This summer she befriended a 75 year old lady in the swimming pool in Quebec. They swam together for an hour, laughing and chatting. Clare asked for her room number and address before we left. 

I made the call to the principal of the school around the corner and he agreed that Clare could attend Phys Ed class. That's all I will was willing to give, 1 hour twice a week. I told myself that she wouldn't like it, I might have even prayed that she wouldn't like it.  
Day one, she had new sneakers, we were on time, her hair was done, we sat waiting on the bench for the class to arrive. I said "hello" to the teacher, Clare said "hi" to the class and then she was gone. No hug, no "I love you mom", no "can you come in and stay with me mom?". Nothing just a wave, a smile and a bye. 

 Week two and she begs, please can I go upstairs and do math with my friends? Math? Ok I can understand gym class but math? No I said, quickly stuffing her sneakers in the bag and taking her by the hand. We are going to go home and put on our Pjs and make cookies I said smiling at her. She didn't look as impressed as I was with my idea. 

Six weeks before school was out for the summer I let her go, full time, all day. 

It killed me but once again I was sure she wouldn't like it. Surely all day would be too long, surely she wouldn't find it fun. I give it a week I told Drew, one week. He just smiled at me knowing his daughter well. Clare finished out the year, all A's and B's. We enjoyed the summer and I put school out of my mind. 

Two weeks before school went in Clare started asking when she was going back to school. My heart felt like it was honestly breaking. It wasn't what I wanted, it wasn't what I planned. But it was what she wanted.... 

Today was her first day of grade 2. She sprung out of bed and threw on her clothes. Grabbed her backpack stuffed with duo tangs, colored pencils and glue sticks and hurried the rest of us out the door. Shes there right now, in a room of 20 kids and a teacher I don't know. Someone else molding and shaping her, teaching her and caring for her. 

Isn't that my job? 

Yes it is, but I'm learning to share my precious baby girl, I'm learning to respect her decisions and trust her choices even at 7 years old and I'm secretly praying that she will change her mind. So to all you moms and dads out there who have it all figured out, please don't judge me, I'm just a mom trying to do her best and right now that means letting my daughter go to school.

Focus 35: Weekly Update 09'12'14

Friday, September 12, 2014

This week was a challenge. I didn't get my workouts in until 10 pm most nights...but I did get them done.

I need to do my measurements but I'm down 2lbs! Total of 12lbs gone since July. I also gained that 12lbs between April and end of June so I'm more or less back at my starting point from October last year.

I am loving the T25 workouts! I know I've said that before but I really do love it. I am still working hard to make the time in my day to work out. It's so easy to skip a workout but I have to admit I am not so easy to convince myself that its okay to miss one and I look forward to my workout time.

3 Weeks of Alpha left before I move onto Beta. I'm definitely feeling stronger.

Pattern Review: All You Need Jammies from Heidi & Finn

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I was thrilled last week when Christine from Heidi & Finn asked me to test out her new pattern for jammies. She has designed an incredibly versatile pattern (13 options ladies and gentleman!) that is incredibly easy to follow. The pattern fit is perfect and the options are limitless! While the pattern is designed to be made with knit fabric with a bit of stretch, I did use a lightweight flannel for one of my bottom options and they fit well without making any adjustments to the pattern.

I tend to buy jammies when, really, they are so simple to make- I just haven't tried.  Austin and Amelia keep growing out of pants faster than I can lengthen or replace them, so making jammies would be easier on my wallet given the size of my fabric stash!

I was asked to make size 12M and I had just the little guy in mind! 

Seriously it should be a crime for this guy to get any cuter! 

I did both the long and short sleeve shirts.  The sleeve width was great for both versions.  The long sleeve length was perfect. A little bit a room to grow but no need to worry it would shrink and be too short. The short sleeve version fits well with room for movement. Little Rhys loved his new pjs.
I did made both the leggings and lounge pants with the knit and then . I then made a pair of lounge shorts with a lightweight flannel as well because I went to the fabric store for elastic and came home with this adorable fox print:

Ignore the neck of the shirt. I made a mistake with the hem. Follow the instructions and your neck binding will lay right. My serger needle broke a third of the way through trying attach the binding and I miscalculated the hem with my regular sewing machine. 

Over all I love this pattern and (spoiler alert) am already planning Christmas jammies for all the kids on my list. I love all of the options and the versatility that this pattern provides. You can purchase your copy of the pattern here. I guarantee that it will be one of your go to patterns!

Shared on Pin It Thursday with Sweet Bella Rose!

lia sophia giveaway

Monday, September 8, 2014

There are only 2 days left to enter! Contest closes September 10 at midnight, EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

As a mom, back to school brings to mind little kids with their new book bags and the smell of fresh boxes of crayon. It means endlessly pinning lunch ideas and teacher appreciation gift ideas, scheduling in the PTO and helping with homework.

As a kid, teenager and college student back to school was all about the new clothes. The shopping trip before to get the new uniforms and then the excitement of putting together actual outfits when the uniform was no longer required. Spending time trying to find my style and sadly that did include a year with bangs and a semester with a pixie cut.

What better way to celebrate the back to school wardrobe refresh with some new jewelry?! I am loving my lia sophia business and love that I get to see and collect incredible pieces! I got into this because I was so impressed with the lifetime guarantee and the selection available in the Spring/ Summer catalog and I wanted it all and I wanted to share it with other people.

I hosted an mystery hostess show on my blog last month and the hostess winner walked away with over $450 in free and discounted jewelry.She was excited and I was excited that she was excited (see the circle of excitement there?).

I gave away three rings on my facebook page just a couple of weeks ago and loved the excitement of the ladies who won.

I wanted to share some more excitement with more people so I got to thinking about back to school- back to a fall wardrobe. And what better way to spice up your wardrobe than with new bling? Think of it as your grown up equivalent of a fresh new box of crayons!

I am giving away:

1 (One) Bolt Bracelet (Medium)

1 (One) Treasure Trove Bracelet (Medium)


1 (one) $50 credit to be used on any order from the new Fall/ Winter collection by October 31, 2014. 

The new Fall/Winter collection is out and again I want it all. Almost 50% of the pieces in the line are priced below $50. I couldn't believe it. So the winner of this credit could get a free piece or put it towards a more expensive piece- completely up to them!

Here is how you win- Complete the Rafflecopter entries below. That's it. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will be open from September 2 until September 10, 201411:59 PM ET. Winners will be posted on the blog within 24 hours of contest closing.

Disclaimer:  This giveaway is not endorsed by lia sophia. The prizes are provided by me and all opinions are my own. I have not been paid to say nice things about the company and I am providing the prizes at my own expense :)

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