1. Magnolia the Bunny 2. Villa Malmo 3. Anniel Zizi Shoes 4. French Retro Toy Dinner Set 5. Rag Doll, Beatrice 6. Momoll Wooden Kitchen 7. Helsinki Made of Wood Block Set 8. Alphabet Cookie Cutters Tin 9. Favourite Pillow 10. Eames Elephant 11. Wooden Spinning Top
On Tuesday, I attended the first winter workshop at Collage Collage. We learned to make Pom Pom Garlands and Wreaths. When we got there, all the supplies were ready for us all stacked up on the long communal table. I couldn’t help but admire the mountains of colourful yarns ready for us to use. I was excited.
Once everyone were settled in, Erin Boniferro, the brilliant mind behind Collage Collage gave us a demo to make Pom Poms with a little handheld tool. We immediately started making our pom poms and by the end of the 2 hour workshop, we made over a dozen pom poms each. We had a choice to either make a wreath or a garland. I chose a garland and tied my little pom poms together with a white yarn. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
I went home that evening with 3 rolls of yarns and my pom pom maker tool purchased at the shop. I made a few more pom poms that evening before going to bed. I’ve been making more since then as it’s extremely addicting. I think my house will be filled with pom poms soon!
Collage Collage opened 3 years ago and located near 15th and Fraser in Vancouver. It is a shop filled with art supplies, little toys, books and prints. It’s like a mix of art studio and shop all at the same time. You will be inspired as soon as you walk in. There’s a long communal table right in the middle of the shop where workshops are held in the evenings and weekends. If you haven’t been to their workshop, check them out as they are so fun. They get filled up fast though! Details are here for upcoming winter workshop dates.
We’ve been asked many times how we are able to dine out with Luna. To some parents, the concept seems unreal. How do you make a toddler sit while you enjoy a proper meal without tantrums or running around like mad?
Peter and I enjoy dining out and trying new restaurants. We’ve always done it before Luna was born and continue do so. The only difference now is we have a little one joining us with the fun. It’s not always easy. She’s a kid after all and tantrums/meltdowns are part of her life. But I think it’s the way it’s handled that will determine a good dinner out or a disaster night out. We’re pretty chill and don’t totally get stressed out when it happens. I think kids can sense how we feel. As long as we stay chill and attend to her needs and shift the focus to something much happier, then a smile suddenly appears and life is good again.
Here are some dining out tricks with a toddler that has worked for us:
1. Dine early. Come early before the crowd comes – 6pm is usually a good time as most people dine around 7:30-8. This is great especially for cozy little bistros or restaurants with large communal tables. You don’t feel so squished amongst other people and it gives room for a toddler to move around and stretch their legs when they need to. Also, servers aren’t busy yet and are able to attend to your needs.
2. Order a favourite drink. Luna’s favourite is apple juice. That keeps her happy & entertained for a little while and makes her feel special.
3. Dessert. Luna will do anything for dessert. I just tell her if she stays sitting and eat her dinner, she can order any dessert she wants. A little bribery always helps :)
4. Chat & be merry. We always make sure she’s part of the conversation. That way, she doesn’t get bored just staring at the wall. This keeps her sitting down as she happily tells us funny and silly stories.
5. Emergency treat. When the food comes and suddenly she feels the need to get up, run around or become restless and all you want to do is dig into your food – the emergency treat comes out! This doesn’t happen often and that’s why it’s called the emergency treat.
6. Tip well. With a toddler being a little bit more messy with food spilling onto the floor, there’s not much you can do except to tip well and say thank you.
Most restaurants have highchairs/booster seats available and are very accommodating to families. We believe it’s important to enjoy our life with Luna part of it. We love having her around and for her to experiencing the things we love to do. I also think it’s good for children to be accustomed to being in adult like settings. You can’t expect a 4 hour dinner with 2 bottles of wine sipping and chatting the night away. But a 1.5 hour dinner with a couple cocktails, good food, good conversation and a toddler sipping apple juice makes for a great dinner out. That’s really what it’s all about – being together as a family and always enjoying each others company wherever we are.
My little girl is now 3 yrs old – how time flies. We celebrated Luna’s birthday party at Jump Gymnastics over the weekend. It was a fantastic day and it was so nice to see our Luna so happy. She cried when it was goodbye time. She didn’t want to leave nor did she want her friends to leave. Now, that’s a sign of a good time!
We had her party at Jump Gymnastics located on Beatty Street in Yaletown. It’s a fun little place for a party and we had the place all to ourselves. The party was 1.5 hour long with 2 instructors keeping the kids entertained with gymnastics type activities. They jumped on the trampoline, dove in the ball pit, balanced on the beams, sang songs… The instructors were so great with the kids. One of Luna’s friends Cohen told his mom how much fun he was having and it was the best day ever. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? It’s so fun to spoil Luna and her friends on her birthday!
It was an easy party to organize. All we had to do was invite our friends, show up and bring food. Jump Gymnastics created a program activity for the party including a 30 minute snack/cake time in the party room. The party room also had everything we needed – cutlery, plates, cups, platters etc… We literally only had to bring the food, cake and well, cute napkins. They even supplied all the balloons for the kids. Then when the party ended, we packed up and off we went. They did all the clean up. Pretty awesome.
The party was from 1:30-3pm so I prepared fun snacks for the kids & adults to eat. I kept it fairly simple but fun enough for the kids & adults to enjoy. Here’s what was on the menu:
Homemade popsicle rice krispies dipped in chocolate with sprinkles
Homemade lemon cupcakes with butter icing and star sprinkles
Root vegetable chips with hummus
Fruit party tray
Vietnamese subs (not a lot of people have had this so I thought it would be a great addition to the menu)
Chocolate cake with pink icing from Whole Foods
All in all, a great party for our Luna. We are excited to enjoy this new phase of our life with a 3 year old!
She’s got quite a few selections of handmade crowns. This month, her feather crown is her favourite. We made it together at the Jazz Festival.
Looking back at Luna’s books documenting her first & second year of life makes me realize I really need to start book 3 soon!. I promised myself I would continue doing this for as long as I can OR as long as I have the time to do it. Both books are divided into chapters with a large monthly photo of Luna to start each chapter. So yes, I take a photo of Luna every month but sadly, I’ve been kind of bad at it this year and have missed a few months. But I’m getting back into it again and just recently took this months photo. It does get easier to design these books as I already have a grid to work with. It’s just a matter of going through a billion photos to choose from!
Aren’t these photos of Luna so fun? I didn’t even tell her what to do. She took the hat off my head and started playing with it. I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped away. Then once in awhile, she would run towards me to see the photos. She’s such a jolly little girl and always so happy. My sweet girl.
We hit the Beaty Biodiversity Museum on Saturday with a couple of friends. It turned out to be a great museum kind of day as it was cold and rainy. We’ve never been to this museum but have heard so much about it so we thought of giving it a try. As soon as we walked in, I was completely surprised to see a hanging display of a giant blue whale skeleton. It was massive in scale and hugely impressive. Then as we continued our way down to a much darker space in the museum and hit our first row of bones & taxidermy displays, my jaw dropped. I wasn’t expecting to see giant displays of taxidermy so beautifully arranged and dimly lit behind a glass display almost looking like it was a set for a movie. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The narrow dark rows continued with displays of animal specimens in jars, plants, shells, insects, fish, reptiles…it just went on and on. Luna was interested in seeing them all with absolutely no fear. She was taking it all in and also enjoyed running down the dark rows and rows of displays. At the very back wall of the room is a family zone where Luna and I made an eagle crown. She’s so proud of this eagle crown she made that it hasn’t left her head since then.
Highly recommended. Don’t be surprised if you end up staying there for 3 hours admiring taxidermy. We sure did!
Every holiday season, I always like to think of different ways of how we can give back. This year, I have started a tradition with Luna to give back to children her age. It’s a simple shoebox project organized by the Samaritan Purse.
All you have to do is find an old shoebox. Determine the child’s age category and if it’s a boy or girl. I decided to give it to a little girl with the same age as Luna. That way, Luna will have a sense of connection with it and understand that she is helping another girl her age somewhere far far away and she’s making her own small difference in this world to help a child in need. Once you’ve determined the age category and sex of the child, all you have to do is fill in the box with all sorts of things. So off we went to our local shopping mall. While choosing what items to buy, I kept on thinking of the basic necessities a girl Luna’s age needs most. If Luna was this girl, what would she need? So I filled the box with pink & white socks, little girls undies, shirts, colourful pencils, drawing notebooks, colourful hair ties, soap & a toothbrush. But how can I not give a child fun things too? So I included some stickers, candycane and a small teddy.
Luna helped me pack the box with all the things we bought. Then once everything was tucked inside the box, Luna took the teddy, gave it a quick little kiss and a hug before we squeezed it back into the box.
When we dropped it off, the lady said that the children in Ethiopia should receive them by January. Oh, how I wish I could see the little girls face when she opens her box. A special gift from Luna to another little girl living on the other side of the world.
My little girl is growing up. I finally finished Luna’s year book two and is on it’s way! I can’t wait to see it printed. It’s so nice to see her monthly photos side by side and to see the comparison from year one & year two. You can see how she’s so much more playful in year two and her personality shows more. I almost gave up on these monthly photos and only missed 1 month (month 21) but I’m so glad I continued doing it and plan to continue until she decides she’s had enough. I’m debating if I should keep the red chair & alphabet poster for her year 3 monthly photos or completely change it up. What do you think?
It gets a little harder to get her to sit down for long periods so towards the end of year two, I had less than a minute to capture her sitting on her chair. Mmmm…. I’m already late for her month 25 photo. Gotta get on it!
Last monthly photo for year 2! Luna turned 2 a couple weeks ago while we were in Mexico and it’s hard to believe that our little girl has been part of our family and this world for 2 years. It’s such a wonderful age as she is even more aware of her surroundings and is always so excited to discover the world with a favourite saying that repeats a million times a day: “what’s that?”. She wants to know about everything she sees, feels & touches.
Some of her other favourite sayings are: “I’m mommy & daddy’s baby”, “I’m stuck”, “are you ok?”, “daddy at work”, “mommy, daddy, papa, coco… happy”, “daddy hold me”…. it’s always so sweet hearing her cute little voice as she expresses her thoughts & feelings.
I had also promised myself that I would continue doing her yearly book to document her life year by year. As soon as I finished her 1st year of life book, I immediately started working on book 2 which is almost done.
We are so proud of our little girl and so happy to see her growing up with so much joy & love for life. We are all very excited to see her continue to grow as we enter a new chapter of her life.
As Luna grows, our space grows with her too. We’ve changed our studio space numerous times to continually adapt to our ever changing lifestyle. Before Luna came to our life, our studio space was mainly used to work. When Luna came, we had to share the space with her and had to move furniture around to make room for her to crawl around. Now that she’s a little toddler and is more mobile, we’ve changed the space again to adapt to her needs and created a little fun art/play factory for her.
Luna loves doodling and being read to. So she now has a little art table, a reading rug, storage for her toys and a place to feature all her art work. We also created a family picture board where we’ll continually add photos of our family. She loves looking at it and screams out “mommy’ & “daddy” as she points to our photos. Luna loves spending time in here and every time she walks in, she goes straight to her artwork hanging from the ceiling and screams out “nice!”.
I always find it important to create different spaces in the house based on the activities that we would do in them. Luna knows that this is her space and it’s a place where she can freely explore, discover & play.