Learning to Draw

Our theme for our posts for July is, loosely, homeschooling: learning at home.  Partly, we are talking about avoiding the summer slide, but we are also looking at how learning at home and outside of the classroom is important for broadening our kids’ horizons.  And, yes, we include our trip to LEGOLAND in the learning category!  You should have seen how the boys looked at each others’ car models and sought advice and inspiration from each other to make their cars faster.

One of my goals for myself and my kids this summer is to create more art.  I am powerfully drawn to art supply stores in a way that totally defies logic because I can’t draw!  All those gorgeous colours of markers, and here’s be barely able to draw a smiley face.

I’d like to change that.

Here are three sets of books that I have found really useful.

animalsEd Emberley’s illustration instruction is an outstanding place to start, not only because the method is so simple and fun but because results are so instant.  Seriously, no one can mess this up.  We have several of his books, but the web site is fun and useful, too.  It has printable sheets and animated instruction.  I really like the step-by-step method, but also how he includes ways to vary the basic image.  We own a copy of his Drawing Book of Animals, originally published in 1970.  It is dedicated to “the boy I was, the book I could not find.”  That broke my heart a little.  Well, your boys and girls can find both the book and the web site and can get busy making art right away.  His fingerprint illustrations are particularly fun, and they even incorporate literacy into the method: if you can write IVY LOU, you can draw an owl.

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Another series I love is based on shapes.  Chris Hart has a whole line of illustration instruction books, but the ones I go to all the time are his very basic shape-based ones: Draw a Triangle/Circle/Square, Draw Anything.

drawAgain, the key to the success of these books is step-by-step instruction and instant gratification.  My son’s hockey team, whose logo was a deer, made it to the finals in their division a few years back.  For luck, I decided to give them all lucky underwear (inspiration from the coach, who had a pair) and I went to this book to find a super-simple image of a deer to draw onto the underwear.  Huge hit.

20Finally, I have fallen in love with a great series of books that encourage artists not only to make art but to find a style that suits them: the 20 Ways to Draw series from Quarry books.  The illustrations are a lot more advanced, but the books demonstrate various styles for illustrating the same object, from simple to more complicated.  There is no step-by-step instruction, but there is a lot of inspiration!

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TMN-logo_Square1A reminder that voting is open for the best mom blog of 2014, for which we are thrilled to have been nominated.

Please head over to Toronto Mom Now and check out the other nominees.  You can vote for your favourite three.  Voting closes on Monday, July 14.

 

Be Green and Detox Your Home

images-1Carol is my go-to green expert.  She’s most likely cringing right now because she considers herself anything but an expert on the topic.  She is, however, the most environmentally conscious person whom I know and instead of wanting to stick my fingers in my ears and ride out the guilt wave whenever she talks about her latest greening project, I am inspired!  That’s right folks, inspired!

This woman makes her own soap, grows her own mushrooms and boarded the eco-train long before it became mainstream yet she is anything but a green snob.  Her quiet enthusiasm spurs me to try new things and step way out of my comfort zone.

A few weeks ago, Seventh Generation sent over a home detox kit and I figured why not give it a try?  I have made strides to introduce more organic, whole foods in to our every day diet but I have been neglectful on the home front.

I am not easily impressed when it comes to “green” cleaners.  The few that I have tried have delivered lacklustre results that left me wondering how clean the toilet/counter/floor really is?

I was pleasantly surprised with Seventh Generation’s granite counter cleaner and dishwashing detergent but the laundry detergent made me a convert!  images

I do laundry like it’s my job.  Well, it kinda is my job.  I easily push through 10 loads a week of grimy, sweaty, stained clothes running the gamut from sporting uniforms to my beloved skinnies and EVERYTHING CAME OUT SPOTLESS with no soapy residue.

Thinking of “leaning-in” to become more green conscious when it comes to your home?  Here are some easy-to-do tips from Seventh Generation:

  1. Open The Windows – avoid synthetic air fresheners and sprays.
  2. Leave Shoes At The Door – and wash those welcome mats!
  3. Plant More Indoor Plants – they help purify the air.
  4. Clean With Plant-Based or DIY Cleaners – or choose a brand that lists all of their ingredients so you can make an informed choice.
  5. Sleep On Organic And/Or Natural Fibres
  6. Detox Your Home From The Outside In – spray your lawn with white vinegar to combat those pesky weeds!
  7. Choose Toys Made From Natural Materials – and wash them with natural detergents.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Dads can be tricky people to shop for because they always seem to have everything that they need because they buy it for themselves with little fanfare.  I am forever suggesting with a wink and smile that maybe someone can buy that apple tv/squash racquet/shirt and lo and behold, I find said item in the house a few days later.  Dads can also be the easiest people to shop for.  Food is almost always a home-run and so, come to think of it, are sporting events and experiences.  And every dad, no matter how macho, is a sucker for a painted handprint and a simple “I love you” scrawled across the page.

Here’s a round of up of some gifts that may make dad extra happy on his special day.

From Beth-Anne

I know that the hipster dads are rockin’ the beards but there are still plenty of guys (and their gals) out there who love a close shave.  Son of a Sailor makes these beautiful, stained wood shave kits ($72) that may just make some hipsters rethink their look.

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And because every daddy has their admirers, there is Harry’s father and son shave set ($36)

B3361_EF0490I know quite a few dads who can vouch for having seen every episode of Seinfeld, but that doesn’t mean they have to show solidarity and sport a Constanza-esque wallet.  Thin card holders are the way to go and XO Bruno’s ($35) are simple, no-fuss and all that’s needed.

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It’s a bummer when your phone or mobile device runs out of juice.  Nomad, a company of spry young smartypants (seriously, I could have babysat these kids!) have come up with a simple, easy-to-use solution.  The CHARGEKEY and CHARGECARD are sleek portable smart phone cables ($29) that either fit nicely onto a standard key ring or in a card holder (see above).  It works by plugging one end into a USB port and the other end into your mobile device.

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A guy that I went to high school, and whom I am friends with on Facebook, is dapper.  There really is no other word for his style.  His look is unique, well-put together and he appreciates the quality of fine craftsmanship.  I love seeing how his little guy is following in his footsteps.  When I saw this book, Vintage Menswear: A collection from the vintage showroom, ($58) I thought of him.  Happy Father’s Day, J.G.!

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Along the same lines, whatever happened to money clips?  Are they making a comeback along with the pocket-square and slim-cut pants?  I do love a nice money clip, so if the thin-card holder isn’t your guy’s thing, maybe a money clip ($262) is just what he needs.  Besides a cash diet is a good thing, right?

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My boys are baseball obsessed!  Any chance they can get to a game, they are thrilled beyond belief.  It would make their day to see their dad wearing this fan t-shirt ($38).

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Or maybe he will rock an old-school look ($38).

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It’s not just moms that have a lot to tote around.  Dads have things too.  Like their workout clothes and . . . .um . . . I am not sure what else, but this sailor bag ($79) would be an easy bag to toss workout clothes into.

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Cufflinked out?  This simple, leather ID bracelet ($42) is an alternative.

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Have a dad that likes sipping on a drink on the back patio?  Check out these glasses made from recycled beer bottles ($19).  The artists have several to choose from – I bet your dad’s favourite brand is available too.

heinekenHere’s something that is on MY list (for me!) so I may just have to get it for him.  Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton is based on his popular blog of the same name.  He has 4 million followers.  Wow!

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Did this list not spark your interest?  Why not try Urban Moms?  Sonya has some great ideas for the hard-to-buy-for dad.

From Nathalie

I love the messaging that has been coming from Kerry Clare at the 49th Shelf about their Father’s Day book recommendations: not all dads are only about golf, barbecue and beer.  If you are looking for some great books to gift that go beyond the usual father’s day stuff, this is your list.

A while back, we were sent a label making kit from Epson.  The first person I thought about when I got it was my husband!  The custom label makers for wires is perfect for him!  (Available only in the US.)

kt_c51cb70190-4_396x264For Mother’s Day, my husband gave me a t-shirt that says, “I am silently correcting you’re grammar.”  I wore it out today for the first time and was overwhelmed by how many laughs and comments I got.  The shirt also comes in me’ns.  From Arrant Pedantry.

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Experiences.  What does the dad in your life like to do?  What does he like to do with the kids?  Last year, my Father’s Day gift to Ted was a family chess night.  We didn’t actually manage to host it until winter, but no matter.  It was such a hit, we did it twice, the second time I also included my dad!  Three generations learned and laughed together.  It’s one of my favourite gifts ever.

Yakos plays three against one.

Yakos plays three against one.

Finally, another experience-based idea is to be a tourist in your own city.  The rules: plan a family day out and about without going anywhere you have gone before.  New parks, new attractions, new restaurants, food trucks or grocery stores for a picnic.

 

 

 

 

Summer To-Do

imgresBeing a contributor to this blog has given me the opportunity to meet fearless women charting new paths for themselves.  I am always slightly envious of these women who jump into passion projects where they are pushed out of their comfort zones, learn new skills and ultimately carve out a business.  The Doodle Post, Playjamas, Baby Robin’s Nest and Mail A Tale have all been recently feature on 4Mothers.

Last week I met with two mothers who for years would joke with each other while passing in the schoolyard about starting up a business together when their kids started school full-time.  Much more quickly than they thought, reality was upon them and they were faced with a much quieter house during the hours of 9 am – 3 pm.

Armed with coffee and a notebook they sat down one morning to cultivate one of their ideas: pre-made care packages for kids at camp.

Notably absent in the Canadian market, Sarah Barbour and Josie Bohm set out to check one thing off mom’s busy summer to-do list.  With a few clicks of the mouse, a personalized care package can be en route to camp; eliminating the hours spent traversing from store to store looking for just the right items that are also approved by the camp’s sometimes-strict rules.  What’s even better? No more standing in the line-up at Canada Post while struggling with the hassle of packing the loot into the best-fit box.  A busy mother-of-a-camper’s dream come true!

Parcelled with Love is a project of love.  Barbour and Bohm have logged countless hours scouting toy shows and researching suppliers to ensure the best quality items fill their care packages.  And their kids have given their picks a stamp of approval!

Having grown-up spending their summers at camp, both women value the experience of being campers: forging friendships, building confidence, testing limits and trying new things.  Their experiences have meant so much to them, that Parcelled with Love has partnered with Amici Camping Charity, a charity committed to sending children to camp year after year until they are too old to be a camper or until the financial need longer exists.  With every care package purchased through Parcelled with Love, a percentage of the proceeds are donated to Amici Camping making Barbour and Bohm’s dream to make a child a life-long camper a reality.

Visit Parcelled with Love and pre-order your summer care package today and make a Canadian kid a real happy camper!

 

 

 

The Smell of Baby

You all know I’m nuts about perfume.  I’ve sought out perfume that smells like paperbacks, perfume that smells like a library, perfume that smells like paper, perfume that smells like a specific scene in a Henry James novel.

So that’s the bibliophile in me covered.

My most recent craze was a perfume made by a famous perfumer for his beloved, and kept private for his entire lifetime.

That’s the incurable romantic in me covered.

What about my maternal side?

Hold on to your hats, perfume lovers, because there is now a room fragrance that smells like baby!  Antica Farmacista has a new room fragrance, simply named Baby.  They sent me a sample, and I set it up last week, and it is making my house smell gorgeous.  This is my first experience with an oil and diffuser room scent.  I have always used candles for room fragrance, but after trying this one, I’m a convert to diffusers.

“But what does it smell like?”, you ask.  It smells warm, clean, white and soft.  I get powder, a very light floral, honey and vanilla.  It smells like a baby fresh out of the bath, wrapped in a warm, white towel.  It is the kind of thing that makes me marvel at the horizons of human invention.

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If it isn’t snowsuits….

slide2imageIf it isn’t snowsuits, it’s sunscreen.

Although this winter felt like the winter that would never end, we are well into spring now, and that means more hours under the thinning ozone in the sun and in the dirt.  I am no fan of sun or summer, I have to say, being allergic to the sun myself and averse to the morning battles with the kids over sunscreen.  I know that I am in the minority, wishing for winter again, but these sunscreen battles give me the blues.  (Readers!  Please tell me what you do!!)  Eldest spent 15 minutes Sunday trying to argue his way out of sunscreen.  I wanted to tear my hair out.

At least washing it all off at the end of the day has been joyful.

The folks at Kandoo sent us some samples of their kids’ line, and my youngest kids are loving their shampoo and bubble bath.

“Mmmmm.  This smells good!” Littlest says as he lathers up and washes away the sunscreen and the grime of the dusty days.  Middlest agrees whole heartedly.  No coaxing, no wheedling from me.  No complaining, no hesitation from them.

Lather, rinse, reapeat has never been so easy.

Now, if only someone could recommend sunscreen they would so gleefully smear on….

Shadow Eyes: Reflecting on Dementia

wbhi_silver_pendant4_grandeA few weeks ago I mentioned that I was researching my family tree and working on a keepsake book.  It’s a project that was intended to be a hobby, a brief diversion from the everyday, but it’s taken on a life of its own.  I have accumulated documentation and pictures galore, uncovered some family “scandals” and discovered babies who lived for such a short time that no one living knows they ever existed.

While I was scanning several photos onto my computer, my 6 year-old son offered to help.  He was keen to ask questions about the grainy black and whites that he gingerly passed to me.  He asked about the old-fashioned clothing, the dour backdrops and the sour expressions.  His comments, as they always do, caused me to laugh but also to reflect on how childhood has evolved over generations.

He passed me a square sepia photo; the edges soft and worn thin.  The year 1929 is scrawled in faded ink on the back. A baby, maybe 6 months old, is dressed for winter.  Tiny mittens covering tiny hands, a knitted cap pulled down low, and a blanket pulled up high exposing only pudgy cheeks that appear flush from the cold, a button nose and dancing eyes.

“Do you know who this is?” I asked him; sure that he wouldn’t have the faintest idea.

“It’s grandma,” he said with certainty, without pause, without even a moment to focus on the face of his great-grandmother.

It had taken me a few minutes to place my grandmother’s face.  I had to take care not to confuse her distinct features with those of her siblings, consulting the date to prove my guess.

“How did you know it’s her?”

“Because her eyes are the same.”  He says this as he scoots off the chair and races out of the room. Bored with scanning pictures and hearing about orphaned relatives.

Of course he’s right.  I stared at that picture and compared it with a more recent one of my grandmother, accurately representing her 86 years. I laid both pictures along side several others.

Pictures of her as a young woman with a page-boy and a clingy sweater, as a young mother cradling her third baby on the front porch in the spring of ’56, the undeniably 70’s era shot where she leans into the camera flashing a smile while holding my grandfather’s shoulder, another image of her holding his same shoulder but this time decades later at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration.  All of these photos are on the table, looking up at me.  The hairstyles, the fashions, the décor are different in each photo, telling a story of their own and yet her eyes remain the same.

But my son was only partly right.  Her eyes may be same shape, the same colour blue dotted with flecks of black, but they are not same.  They are shadowed now.

I come from a long line of octogenarians.  Most of my predecessors have lived well into their seventies, eighties and nineties – even back two hundred years ago.  I like to loom this over my husband’s head from time-to-time.  I like to remind him that when he finds me annoying after 10 years of marriage, I have the potential to give him at least another 40 more.  He likes to remind me that his genes don’t offer such promises.  Sometimes I wonder which of us is holding the winning hand.

Times are changing and people are living longer and more enriching lives.  For the most part people (who live in this country anyway) don’t die from diseases that their ancestors may have succumbed to.  It’s rare to hear of someone dying from tuberculosis or dysentery today just as it was less common to see people living well into old-age hundreds of years ago.

However, it is estimated today that 550,000 people living in Canada have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.  Like most diseases, the patient is ground zero and families feel the collateral damage.  Caregiver fatigue and the Sandwich Generation are hot topics with politicians, policy makers and employers, never mind the voice writers and researchers give to the thousands of people who identify themselves as such.

Lynn Posluns, a long time Toronto volunteer, philanthropist and activist, is one such voice and a powerful one at that.  She recently founded the Women’s Brain Health Initiative to raise awareness about the inequity in brain aging research funding for women.

Women are twice as likely as men as to suffer from brain aging illnesses, stroke and depression.  In fact, 70% of newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients are women.

The WBHI puts out an informative magazine (available online here) with articles written by leading researchers and doctors about how estrogen, stress, cortisol and pregnancy/motherhood may influence your overall brain health as well as simple lifestyle modifications that may have significant long-term benefits.

I have discovered that while my genes my have a ticket for longevity, I want to those years to be as fulfilling as possible.

More and more the research is showing that the choices we make while we are young and healthy directly affect how we age.

I see my grandmother in these pictures as a young woman, a wife, a sister, a mother.  I see how she changes with each passing decade.  I see how her role changes too. No longer is she the central hub of her family, mothering her four children.  No longer is she the grandmother called upon to host family dinners or arrange annual reunions.

Time is sneaky.  The photographs are all the proof that I need.  Generations pass in an instant leaving nothing more than a trail of pictures, and if you’re lucky, memories.

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Visit the Women’s Brain Health Initiative.

The Hope-Knot designed by Mark Lash, to represent brain health, is available as sterling cufflinks, a pin or a sterling pendant and chain.  Prices start at $10.

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Easy DIY Hand-Painted Glasses

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My boys’ school hosts a silent auction every two years to raise funds for the school’s various programs.  This year they asked that each class contribute a collaborative piece of art to be auctioned off.

I like this idea because it involves the children in working towards a common goal, which ultimately benefits them.

I volunteered to head up the project in my eldest’s grade 2 class.  I scoured Pinterest for age appropriate ideas and finally decided on these hand-painted tumblers and I followed the instructions outlined by Savvy Sugar.

It was a good choice.  The project was easy to manage, required few supplies and was completely child-driven.  I didn’t want the project to require adult participation.  I wanted the students to feel a sense of accomplishment working together, creating something beautiful, and contributing to the school’s silent auction without the micro-managing help from an adult.

Gathering the materials was easy:

The hardware store for quality, sturdy glass tumblers ($10.00 for a package of 4)

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The craft store for enamel acrylic paint in the primary colours plus white ($20.00 for four bottles of paint)

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A Styrofoam plate for mixing colours (recycled from my veggie drawer)

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Two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper

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Cotton swabs (1 package from the dollar store)

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Before we got started, I reviewed with the students all of the instructions, outlining why it’s a good idea to read through the step-by-steps before starting any project.

Since we would be mixing the colours to create unique blends, I had the students refresh my memory of what colours are created by mixing the primary colours.

After breaking into groups of two (and two groups of three), the students discussed with their partner what colours they planned to dot their tumbler.  It’s recommended not to use more than 4 colours, or else the colours start to muddle together and lose their vibrancy.

Step 1:

Mix your colours.  It’s a nice idea to decide on a palate but not necessary.  What I enjoyed was listening to the partners decide what colours they wanted to paint the tumblers and the reason for it.  The best answer I overheard was, “let’s make it look like a sunrise!”

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Step 2:

Lightly dab a cotton swab into the paint and then dab the glass tumbler.  One dab goes a long way – about 5-7 dots.  It’s important that the dots are not too goopy or else the texture of the glass feels funny, not to mention caring for the glass is more challenging when the surface is raised.

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Step 3:

Continue dabbing until satisfied, about halfway to 2/3 way up the glass.  There’s a fraction lesson here!

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Step 4:

Allow the glasses to dry upside down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  After about 1 hour the glasses are ready for the oven.

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Step 5:

Yes, I said oven.  I know, I was worried too!  Place the glasses into a cold oven.  Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.  After 30 minutes turn off the heat and allow the glasses to stay in the heated oven for 1 hour.

Step 6:

Once the hour is up, your glasses are ready for use.  Be careful when washing – use warm water and soap, hand-wash and air dry.

The finished product turned out pretty fantastic!  Bookmark this idea if you’re looking for an easy to do homemade gift.  I think grandparents would love these!

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* Take it a step further: try hand-dotting a glass platter or glass plates.  The possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

The Doodle Post

I grew up in the suburbs where door-to-door mail delivery was non-existence.  Every afternoon I would walk to the end of my street, key in hand, to collect any mail from our Superbox.  I was giddy whenever there was a letter addressed to me from one of my few pen pals or friends living in distant cities.  My feet would practically float above the ground as I ran up the hill to our house; tearing into the envelope the instant I crossed the threshold.

In the age of the Internet, e-bills, evites and on-line catalogues few personally addressed pieces of mail arrive in our letterbox.  Rarer still anything meant for the boys.

A few weeks ago, to their excitement a cardboard envelop arrived for them from The Doodle Post stuffed with glittery pom poms, glue, orange and yellow striped sticky tape and a dozen cake picks.  The makings of do-it-yourself cake toppers!

The Doodle Post is the brainchild of creative mastermind and passionate art educator Erin Clark-Wynn.  With more than 10 years experience teaching art and several more in advertising, Erin, a devoted crafter and mom of two young girls saw a niche in the Canadian crafting market.

The Doodle Post is a Canadian craft subscription that is delivered to your front door.  These DIY craft projects designed for children 6-12 years old take about 15-30 minutes to complete.  Each box contains the items needed for the craft and a detailed yet simple step-by-step set of instructions with accompanying pictures.

Erin dreams up each project and draws on her years of teaching to ensure that the projects are age appropriate and require little to no adult assistance.  Erin’s passion for art is matched by her passion for giving back to the community.

Each Doodle Post box contains quality supplies from Canadian businesses and a portion of the proceeds from The Doodle Post is directed to Canadian charities that are dedicated to bringing art into the lives of children and kits to those without the means.

My boys were excited to get started on their cake toppers, which coincidentally arrived just in time for a family birthday celebration.

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I was amazed at how well my two boys, ages 6 and 7, worked together to complete this project.  They read through the instructions and laid out the supplies.

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The eldest was eager to show off his knowledge of procedural writing skills (that were recently honed in his second grade class) and the youngest excitedly reached for the ruler when the instructions suggested cutting the tape at 5 cm.

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The cutting “Vs” out of the tape, to create the flag, was a challenge for the youngest but with some rarely displayed cooperation with his older brother, the cake toppers came together nicely.

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I asked the boys if they had any feedback and the resounding answer: this is so much fun!

The Doodle Post is so much fun!  It was fun for me to watch the boys create a meaningful craft entirely on their own without any input from me and that was useful!  They were very proud to top their grandfather’s cake with these electric blue pom-pom toppers.

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The Doodle Post is the perfect answer to the question: What do your kids want for their birthday?

The cost of The Doodle Post:

1 month = $12 + shipping

3 month = $36 +shippingCircle_sticker

6 month = $70 +shipping

To learn more about The Doodle Post:

Visit the website: www.thedoodlepost.storenvy.com

Send an email: subscriptions@thedoodlepost.com

Check out Facebook: www.facebook.com/thedoodlepostproject

Fabulous Things For Spring

It’s spring and it’s time to welcome the warmer weather and longer days.  The budding flowers offer encouragement that new life after a long, bleak winter is not only a possibility but also a definite reality.  For many the spring, and these changes, mark a time of re-birth.  Emerging from the heavy clothes and mundane routine of winter, spring offers the perfect time to revitalize all aspects of our lives.  Get outside: enjoy the sunshine, reap the health benefits, get fit!  Pack away the winter coats and gear: purge the closets, donate to those in need, assess what it is your wardrobe really needs (if anything!).

Here’s a list of some treasures and troves that may make your spring just a little bit brighter!

For Her

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Why not update your make-up for spring?  Make Up Forever sent me over their new HD Cream Blush that naturally sculpts and highlights the cheeks.  Easy to apply with just a sweep of a fingertip, this lightweight blush is long lasting and natural looking.  Mae Up Forever has quickly become one of my favourite make up brands.  The colour remains vibrant without fading throughout the day or smudging off. Their new blush is available in 16 shades and is available at Sephora stores across Canada.

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Carol bought me a punchy box of tissues from Ann Taintor but now that the winter has gone by the wayside hopefully so to has my need for tissues but this lip balm would make for a great substitution.  How great is this to gift to your bestie?

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With the warmer weather I notice more and more joggers taking to the streets.  4id Powerbudz sent me their ear buds that light up with movement.  If you’re so inclined to wear earbuds while exercising consider 4 id Powerbudz to help make you more noticeable in the early morning light and at under $15.00 they are worth the investment.

I won a contest for two tickets to the spring One of a Kind Show from The Homeslice (a fun and fabulous blog worth visiting) and as always I enjoyed taking in the sights of the show.  I am never less than amazed by the artisans, their talent and commitment, who make the show truly remarkable.  Here’s a round-up of some of my favourites:

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These gorgeous hand crafted mugs from Mena Dragonfly.

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This incredibly whimsical yet sophisticated dress from Aime.

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Whiteout Workshop was my favourite artist at the show.  I walked away with this (in a dress!) but could have easily taken the entire lot!

For Them

I always seem to be buying lots of baby shower presents.  I found this via The World According to Jessica Claire (new mom of twins!) and think that I may just buy the large one for myself!  I am sucker for Love You Forever and Carlymegan has made it into a blanket!

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And if you are buying for a new baby don’t forget about the big brother/sister too.  Two of my favourites for spring:

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Melissa and Doug sticker faces from here and anywhere they sell Melissa and Doug.

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Mealtime set from The Drake General Store.