21.7.14

KCW day 1 - Prep and Recovery

Kid's Clothes Week has started today! And I'm so excited. Although you may not guess it, since I'll be showering you with non KCW related photos. We just got back from a weekend spent north. Which was crazy, awesome, spent outdoors and full of activity, just to describe it in a few words. 

Clockwise from top left: Sunset Kayaking with A & L; A catching a good sized Blue Gill; Solo kayaking sunset ride; A, C & L admiring a baby turtle the hubs found.

We wound up spending (as usual when we go north) pretty much all our time outside from the moment the bugs aren't too bad in the morning until dark at night. It's been really interesting this year, since the kids have been making a lot more discoveries on their own, without as much prompting from myself (woohoo! Guess who can now sit in a hammock and knit....ok...not really since I'll be asked questions every couple of minutes but you gals know what I mean!). 

Clockwise from top left: L fell asleep in the kayak during one of our rides; A found a grey ladybug; The kids went paddle boating; The baby turtle that the hubs found 

We also spent lots of time on the water, kayaking, paddle boating and fishing. It's nice now that all the kids enjoy fishing and have the patience for it. L is still a little hit and miss but overall it makes the experience way more enjoyable. Speaking of fishing, this weekend was filled with yummy food! Fresh fish for dinner, loads of fresh veggies and fruits for snacks and meals. I couldn't have asked for more! My cottage cooking is still pretty minimal, but I've finally started to get around to figuring out what is doable and what is easy. Which means if I can prep it in advance, it's awesome in my books. Same with if I can load it all in one dish it's even better! 

From left to right: Potato casseroel; A picking wild raspberries; Largemouth Bass hubs caught for dinner

Now back to KCW, I've been prepping a bunch of stuff over the last week or so to sew up this week. I don't want to jinx myself, but we're definitely going to be playing up the Kid Art theme, since we'll be doing some tie dye Skinny Tees, and trying out some fabric painting. I would like to try out screen printing but not too sure if that will happen this week. The kids (especially the boys) are in need of basic things, like tees and shorts. But back to school is already half way here, which means the back to school sewing may be starting up soon as well. Thinking things that will transition from summer into the fall easily here (again with the tees, but also possibly some pants). 


Well I can't wait to get officially started on my KCW! See you all tomorrow with some sewing! :) 

14.7.14

Mara Blouse and Sew Along

Hey guys and happy Monday! Today I'm over at Compagnie M. showing off the Mara blouse I sewed up last week. Make sure to also check out the sew along that Marte is hosting!


And before you go, don't forget your discount code for 10% off so you can grab yourself your very own copy of the Mara Blouse. Code is MARA-ACTION and you can grab your copy here

9.7.14

Vintage Inspired Babydoll Dress

** A quick reminder that the Charlie Dress pattern giveaway ends tonight at midnight EST!! Make sure to enter here**

Well I'm up to it again...another dress for A! I sewed up another Bohemian Babydoll by Elegance and Elephants. For this one I opted for a vintage/country chic feel to it. Honestly, I couldn't pass up this fabric when I went in to my local quilt shop and kind of just went with it. 


Although I didn't want to give it too country a feel, so I opted for the grey bodice to help modernize the look of it a bit. I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out. A loves it, even though it's not full out pink. I'm guessing the flowers are doing it for her!


I can't believe how big this girl is getting. It feels like she's grown like a freaking weed for the past two month and hasn't stopped. I've had this dress cut out since the first one I made, so this one is also a size 5. I still think next time I'll do the size 5, but with a size 6 length...Why does she grow?!?


Again, I'm super pleased with the pattern...it took me a little while longer then usual to complete, and I find my results aren't as good as the last time...but I did have my hand in a partial cast when I decided to finally sew it up, so it was a little cumbersome... Oh well, A loves it, and doesn't seem to notice the little details that are bugging me! haha.


So before I forget, a quick fabric recap! The flower fabric is Bouquet in Marigold for Flea Market Fancy - Legacy Collection by Free Spirit. You can find some at this etsy shop here AND it's on sale :) Now the grey is just a basic grey cotton that I grabbed out of the solids section at the quilt shop. But if you're wondering about the tone, it matches the grey in the leafage perfectly! 


Now even though she's getting big, apparently this independent girl still likes to cuddle...or at least she does when she wants to finish up pictures. What a suck ;) Well, that's been a lot of girl sewing lately, so now I've got to get to these boys, hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can get this all evened out. Now exit, stage left!


4.7.14

Getting fit and healthy...with kids: Biking

As I mentioned in my last post one of the big goals this summer is to start using our bikes to get around town instead of having to drive all the time. Now to give you an idea, we live in a town that has become more of a bedroom community for Toronto then anything, so things aren't always accessible by biking with three kids. But I'm not letting that stop me, since by starting negatively, it wouldn't really get me anywhere.

So I thought I would discuss our setup really quickly (and other possibilities depending on your rider age/weight), and some tips and tricks that I've found have kept us going along the way so far.

Sources clockwise starting top left: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4

My current set up is a Trek bike similar to the one in the photo, but about 6 years old. I still love it and it does the job great for me. It's pretty multipurpose, as in if I wanted to ride gravel/dirt roads it would do the job fine, but I wouldn't recommend it with a trailer on the back. I also use a Chariot Cougar 2 to carry L. I've considered a rear mounted child seat, but in Canada (compared to say, Europe) our options are really limited and I'm sorry, but I just don't put trust in purchasing one from Toys R Us or Walmart. And not only that, but he's getting up in weight which will probably throw off the balance of the bike a bit too much. If your child is big enough, you can also get a bike trailer attachment for the back of your bike. Personally, I feel that at this stage, we're just not quite there yet. But I'm hoping in another year or so we'll move up to it, or he'll just bike on his own.


Now let's talk tips!

Find a new park
Last year we did about a ride a week, depending on weather, to a couple of 'new to us' parks. This is what I'm hoping to build on this year. Before we would leave for a ride, we would discuss the parks that we'd seen near us on a drive, and would pick one...or if they couldn't decide, I would surprise them with my pick. And they LOOOOVED this! This year's requests have started to get farther already. We did some of our usual small rides with park stops, but we'll definitely be pushing each other. A has requested to bike to the city's main beach which is approximately a 12km ride round trip. So we'll probably work our way to that and I'm hoping by mid summer we'll finally tackle it (let's be honest, I'm more worried about my own physical ability then theirs...and that it's all uphill coming back...)


Pack for a day
Another thing I'm learning is to make sure to be prepared! For instance, L loves to ride in the Chariot, but in case of boredom, I make sure to pack some toys, snacks and a drink in the seating area so stops are necessary every 5 minutes. A and C also carry water bottles on their bikes, and sometimes have a backpack for extras (like if we decide to go to the beach...they'll be hauling their towels and bathing suits). I usually also pack a mini lunch/snack box, some sunscreen and anything else we may need depending on the location we're going in the back of the Cougar. Trips that are planned out and prepared are way easier to complete and finish with happy kids.


Track your route
One more thing that I think is a great motivator for kids is tracking your route, and let's not kind ourselves here, it makes us adults feel good too. Mine especially love being able to see where they're going and how they got there on a map. I've been trying out Strava's app on my iPhone for the past month and a half, so far it's been great since it marks your route as you're biking it. Plus, when you're done, you get your time (which you can pause for park breaks!) and total distance. The distance part also helps me figure out how the kids are doing and when they start getting tired and such. 

And if you're really not sure where to start, don't forget to search your local areas for routes and maps to give you ideas of where to go! 

Well that's my take on getting fit and healthy with the kids this week! Make sure to come back, since I'll be talking about this all summer long (and not just biking either!).