Ry recently turned 7 and was over the moon excited to have a birthday party. He wanted a Lego themed party which seems to be so popular lately but it was his day so I was onboard.
As it was fairly last minute right after spring break it had to be done fairly simple and I did't have a huge budget. We used some generic invites I got from Indigo on 80% off clearance by Pistachio...a seriously eco friendly printing company. They were my fave green and cheery and simple enough for a kids party and $2 for 10! Invites out on Wednesday party for Sunday...yikes.
Before the kiddos came I set the table...I LOVE setting tables. I had a little cloth I bought from a friend that sorta worked and just simple paper plates I added Lego faces too. Paper cups and old fashioned paper straws as they are a cuteness weakness of mine. Could have done so much more but really once eleven seven year old sit down the table is destined to be trashed.
In the middle I set up a little game to keep them busy while waiting for cake. They liked it. Little pieces of paper and felts were left for them to use to write their names and guess and they took turns sharing.
The main event ws the cake which I definitely am not capable of making like this. I hired an local gal Amy Gervais who is so talented to tackle that. I love making deserts but I didn't want to be stressing off a Pinterest fail on Ry's day. Amy rocked it. If you are in the Okanagan I recommend her for cakes and cupcakes for special events...it was lovely and yummy.
Once the kids arrived we headed downstairs for a major Lego play...I layed out quilts and sat them in a circle and dumped all the baskets of Lego in the middle and they went at it. They liked it so much many chose not to do the craft I planned and kept building. They were all together though and it was fun...they munched Ry's fave snack foods while they worked.
I used up all the leftover science fair poster board pieces my other boys to cut out Lego man parts so the kids could assemble their own and decorate it with sharpies and dot stickers. Ry made the sample man shown and it was easy but complicated enough to satisfy 7 year old crafty kids...they made some cute creations.
After a good play we took them upstairs again for cake, ice cream and and presents.
Sparklers made the cake very exciting for them, it was sweet.
And look at all those smiley, giggly kiddos...so adorable. Ry was a very happy fellow and loving all the festivities.
The gifts party at kiddo parties is always mayhem, as much as you try to keep it humble and calm...they can't control themselves. You just gotta go with it and make sure no one gets trampled.
But the buddy hugs and huddles make it all so worth it. Ry is in the middle of this group love session. I think he was pretty darn grateful for his friends, the fun and his gifts.
As the party ended we headed outside for a little spring play in the sun and I gave them their goody bags as they were picked up.
They were used as decorations on the buffet for the party and did double duty. Just coloured paper bags decorated with dot stickers to look like Lego bricks, and tied with bakers twine I had. Inside I placed a Lego minifigure, a lollypop, some Lego candies, a little fingerlight, and a trading card.
I did a few other little decorations as well. Everything was simple and inexpensive and done within a couple fun hours.
Lego head balloons...
On Ry's actual birthday I suprised him at school with a bunch of seven hellium ballons. Being the frugal sneak I am, and yellow lover I intentionally picked simple yellow ones with the idea I would add Lego faces and use them as party decorations a few days later. I just used a Sharpie to draw face ideas I got off Lego minifigures...cleaned up the bottom of the balloon and stick with tape and covered it with a cheery ribbon bow. Then I took small balls of plasticine and stuck them to the bottom of big mason jars to hold the balloon stick securly and filled the jar with lego blocks.
Total cost $14 as I found the balloons already blown up at Dollerama and had the other stuff already.
Lego block banner decoration...
This is a terrible photo as I took it quick late last night. I did this so last minute but it was a fun way to welcome the kids at the front door before they saw the other decorations. Three pieces of bristol board cut into rectangles. The I used a mason jar lid to trace the circles and a hole punch to string them on a long piece of ribbon I had. The colours were bright and cheery despite this wretched photo.
Had I had an hour to spare the Martha Stewart in me would have liked to write LEGO inside each traced circle but I let that go as no seven year old would notice anyways and really the shindig was for them.
So that's it. One little boys Lego party done quickly, inexpensively and stress free. It wasn't easy to resisit the hundreds of amazing ideas calling my name on Pinterst and not become a kid birthday Momzilla but I did it...and I had the happiest little love bug give me the best thank-yous that night as my reward.
Lego is amazing...all my boys love it still and have loved it forever. So grateful for this timeless toy. It's such a staple in this house full of boys I have a Lego Love board on Pinterst we go to often for ideas...if your clan loves Lego too take a look and enjoy.
Wow...just finished watching another very tense hockey playoff game and I am in serious need of some time on my mat. This video has been my biggest yoga inspiration for a couple years...it is beautiful, graceful and shows the essence the art. Briohny Smyth makes it look easy and is my idol.
Hope you enjoy it...she is amazing and I adore the simple scene, filming and grounding music.
This is a random share but beautiful. Last year floating on paddle boards with a friend in Mexico we were part of the top of a bait ball of fish. It was an scary but amazing experience and we only saw a wee bit of what was happenning below us. I wrote about it in a quick piece called Paddle Heaven if you are interested in that little adventure.
I can only imagine how these two filmakers felt after experiencing a huge murmuration of starlings. I can't recall exactly when but I know I have seen a very modest version of this with Liam and we were both dumb founded. Watch this quick film by Sophie and Liberty and be amazed by the wonder of nature...
Life is beautiful...our earth is precious...please do your little part to protect it. The garbage can at hockey tonight was filled with plastic water bottles and I just felt sad...there is no need for us to be so small minded.
I rant about that one a lot, here is a smattering of my past posts on water...
Living frugally is not something I am ashamed of...I wear my good deals with pride. I don't think I am a cheapskate as I give generously but I always shop mindfully and try desperately to stay within our means.
I do LOVE pretty things though. My pretty isn't ever girly. I live in a house with nine males...five are not human but their testosterone still affects me to my core. My only allies are an aloof cat and one leopard gecko and neither are very supportive.
So when it comes to seasonal decor my look and style isn't easy to achieve. I look for good quality stuff at blow out prices that is a perfect mix of timeless appeal, charm and a certain masculine type of pretty that there is no word for. I thought I would share a couple of my fave finds and tricks in case there are any others out there with the same decorating dilemmas.
Collecting treasures that transition from Christmas to Valentine's Day is key if you want easy peasy, versatile and great deals. Almost all of my Valentine's Day decor staples are actually stuff I bought apres Christmas at 70% off or more. You will find this type of markdown from January into February.
Winners/Homesense and other home decor retailers are where to watch. I have had this red candle holder for a few years. Regular retail was $30 as it's really nice and heavy and well laquered. It was marked down to $12 and I actually got it on an additional 50% off...so $6 was the final output. It works well for Christmas as it's really tall and makes a nice statement behind things and it stays out well into February. Generally I am not a red lover so I tuck it away after that in favour of dark pink accents. My eldest made that blue paper dove when he was little so it's special to me and I keep it tied on to the candleholder. The candle was a Beaver Canoe find from Target a couple weeks ago...regular retail when I first swooned over them at Christmas was $15 which is fair for a unique, good quality pillar candle but four markdowns later I picked it and another up for $3.59. It's a creamy cable knit look so it's great for all winter holidays.
Here is another new thing this year. I always like the style of stuff made by Creative Co-Op. This wood and paper strip wreath was a Christmas item but it works fab for Valentine's Day. Regular retail $24.99...picked it up in the clearance section in Winners for $3. The red wooden dove is a holiday ornament too I added on for the picture but actually don't love with the wreath now that I look at it. Got it for 90% off at Chapters...$2.
We are prepared this year and got Ry's cards done on the weekend. They are waiting in this tin bucket I use so much from the Land of Nod, normally I have a sponsor button from them on my sidebar but I haven't updated. I sometimes write for their blog Honest To Nod. Now is the time to hit the clearance sections for holiday decor at higher end shops like that and Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware...buy things you adore that you can afford now and tuck them away till next Christmas.
Be creative and have fun with it. Look around your house and find stuff that works you already have. Here is a mish mash of other finds I threw together to share. I use bakers twine for everything...grab it on sale and use it again and again for gifts. Another Beaver Canoe candle from Target $3.49. Heart ornament bought on half price at Chapters $3.50. Nice grosgrain ribbon from Chapters as well...$1 for the spool, regular $4. A holiday frame from Winners $2...I love that picture even though it's very Christmasy so I left it. Vintage book in red. Holiday kraft wrap with red dots, and a snowman ornament from my collection with a cute heart sweater.
Stay true to your style though...don't just buy stuff as it's cheap. Then you will smile every December as you unpack the holiday stuff and love it for years to come.
For more last minute Valentine's ideas and inspirations check out my Valentine's Day Love Pinterest page...it's chock full of gems.
Find past years of Valentine's fun from Snicks here...
If you are really brave or bored hit my archives for other Valentine's Day shares all the way back to Feb 2008. Just go into the Feb month each year and scroll around.
love you friends,
I was fighting a bit of a sick bug so I sipped the Immune Support and Wellness blends with a nice dollop of local unpasteurized honey and made a batch of Back To Earth Elderberry Syrup to soothe my cough and throat and boost antioxidants. It's yummy and soothing, my kids like it too, so it's good to have a big batch in the fridge this time of year.
Read d.i.y Elderberry Cough Syrup from a Snicks post in 2012.
I also loved the Peace & Calming blend for the evening and the Liver Cleanse is perfect when you want to restart your system after some fast food or general fatty feasting.
Here is the latest Back To Earth Newsletter that gives a nice explanation of the four new teas and a cool breakfast recipe. If you want to order from Back To Earth take the button on my left sidebar over to their webpage and shop away with ease. Watch their Back To Earth facebook page for the latest news, tips and other wonderfully earthy stuff.
Whenever I see the moon shining outside my window as I lay in bed I think of the beautiful story above...so simple and moving.
As you read on I invite you to listen to my newest music mix on 8 Tracks that is sure to evolve but mostly done...
It runs about an hour and a half, so even if you are having a hard time drifting off it will hopefully draw your monkey mind off your worries and help you find rest.
Sleep is one of those things you really don't appreciate till you are deprived of it. It's not something I struggled with till this past year or so, and I didn't like how it affected my mind and my health. It felt like I was loosing it at times, I was on edge and anxious and my skin was a mess. Within my chest my heart raced, the shakes sometimes set in and it was hard to hide it in my hands and voice around others. I turned to yoga and melatonin but it wasn't enough. I had a terrible reaction to prescriptions from the Dr and realized they weren't a good fit for me. Then I sought the help of Dr. Nicole Shortt, my naturopath from Balance Natural Health Clinic. Find them on facebook and learn more...I had the honor of doing their staff photos recently and was happy to see them on their banner.
An assessment with Dr. Shortt consisted of a really comfortable conversation on where I was at , what my stresses were and the main concerns I wanted to address. She also did an overall physical to assess my general health. Then we started a plan that has really helped me find my way back to being me.
Seems my cortisol levels were high and according to Traditional Chinese medicine I had liver imbalance that needed to be addressed. She made sure I was getting enough vitamin D and Omega 3s, flax, and I started a TCM supplement called Free & Easy to help balance my liver and another supplement I am convinced made the big difference called Cortisol Manager by Integretive Thereputics. It's sold at the clinic in two sizes.
If I have a really heavy day I still take a couple melatonin as well as this but I don't do that often. She also gave me recomendations and a plan to regulate my melatonin by changing my routine which worked well. As I am a bit of a life/health hack I also have found success in somethings I found myself from sources I trust, read on for some other things to try...
Arise is my self-love treat, and often my lifeline to feeling strong and well. My friend Lisa , the beautiful Yogi in the image below has put together an wonderful day this Thursday to celebrate their first year of amazing growth and success for Arise Yoga. I have been going to chriopractic with Elliot at Arise Wellness since they opened almost.
Please join us for some magical energy and new experiences to nurture your soul.
Help Arise Yoga celebrate it's first birthday and Arise Wellness celebrate it's 5th anniversary with a huge Open House Event! Free yoga classes from 8am-8pm, free massage, acupuncture, reiki and aromatherapy all day as well as free assessments from Arise Chiropractic, Thrive Physiotherapy and Live Happy counseling! Catering by Gumtree Catering all day, goodie bags for all and Kiss FM on location!
Schedule of FREE Classes:
8-9am- Gentle Flow
9:30-10:30- Boomer Yoga
10:45-11:45- Meditation Class
12-1pm- All Levels Flow
1pm- Free Acupuncture and Aromatherapy begin, massage and reiki continue, free chiropractic, physiotherapy and counseling assessments continue
4-5pm- Yoga for Spinal Health
5:15-6:15- All Levels Play
6:30-7:30pm- Stretch and Restore
For more details and class descriptions, see www.ariseyogavernon.ca
See you there friends,
As you all probably know, I love social media...facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter...it's a creative outlet and resource that makes a world of difference to a gal like me who works from home. So many people have yet to take advantage of it's perks and here and I do love to help.
Here and there I do consulting, sharing is my thing. A bit of knowledge and experience from my decade of networking, styling tips, advice, honest and raw feedback, and more. So I am putting it out there as I get more and more requests to offer my wee bit of insight into your world if it's a good fit.
Last year I started very lightly working with Back To Earth in Lavington as it's an amazing shop and source for all things earth friendly for you life and home. I have been honored to have them as a sponsor for a long while but now it's been amazing to help create their social media presence.
Back To Earth is now live on Pinterest! Look for the Back To Earth Pinterest business page and follow the boards full of earthy goodness. We have started modestly with ten boards but look forward to growing and sharing steadily.
You can also find Kiley Routley, the beauty behind Back to Earth on Twitter @kileyroutley .
Instagram is also in the works for the shop so we will keep you posted. To keep up with all the Back To Earth growth and excitement be sure to visit their facebook page and give them a like. Kiley is passionate about her mission to improve health while taking into consideration the delicate balance of nature and our bodies.
|Our personal care products as well as our cleaning products consists of plant based ingredients that are non-toxic to pets, plants and people. The principle ingredients in our hand-crafted, natural bar soap is vegetable, castor, and coconut oils. These oils have been carefully blended and result in a soap that produces a great lather, creamy texture, and is pH balanced. We add organic herbs, spices, dried fruits, flowers and 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils to our products (many of which are found in our own back yard), which produce a wonderful fragrance created by Mother Nature. For years essential oils have been used to make the finest perfumes and toiletries. Biblically, these oils were cherished for their soothing and healing qualities. Like a fine wine, gold or precious gems, they have been treasured for centuries. They are our first medicines.|
Kiley has found her calling with Back To Earth, she lights up speaking of indigenous plants and permaculture and anything else related to plants and respectfully creating healing and useful products with them. I have yet to find a person who does not love the Back To Earth shop and I am blessed to have it so close to shop easily. For those who aren't close to Vernon click on the Back to Earth button on the left sidebar and find out other places to purchase the products or order easily online. You won't be disappointed.
p.s. I have shared so many of my favourite Back To Earth products over the years but here are some more recent posts you might like...
At the mall the other day while waiting for parking spots, I literally had the spot I was waiting for taken by someone who whipped in right in front of me four times! Each time I moved along wondering wtf? Not very good Christmas spirit folks. I have to wonder about those people who do things like that and avoid eye contact as it somehow makes if seem ok?
Anyways, it wasn't a big deal, I have legs and am perfectly capable of walking from the farthest spot possible so I just stopped looking for something close and did that.
When I read this I thought of that morning and those lovely parking warriors. It is good to remember what this season is really about and open up to love and giving and seeing the big picture. This story makes me desperate to find those openings. To truly celebrate the spirit of Christmas.
Your thoughtfulness is appreciated beyond explanation in words. I recently got divorced after 25 years of marriage and after being homeless for the last three years just last week got my own apartment. You literally put the first food in my cupboards! And for that I am so grateful!! Serving people like you makes my job so rewarding. And it’s a daily pleasure! May God bless you & keep you safe at home and in your travels, always.
Thank you so much!!
Hugs & Blessings,
[redacted] (your mail carrier)
-taken from Elephant Journal today.
Last night I had the honor of attending an RCMP Veterans dinner with hubbie. We were their guests and treated well. None of them seemed to be recently retired...they were an older group. I spent the night looking around at those gentle, gray haired people knowing that would be me in thirty five years or so. Many of them were widows, having lost their husbands who served. This was a big night, a very special occasion for many of them, looked forward to from year to year. I wondered what the rest of the year looked like, if they had the support they needed and such. I spoke to my boys about seeing those opportunities everywhere to reach out a little bit to someone and to do a little something to serve a little bit. Today I am gathering up jackets and warm clothing, toiletries and other daily essentials to drop off at our local House of Hope. Also asking them to pick somethings to give to Santas Anonymous...we have so much and this seems like such a little thing but it's something.
BEST PART of last night is a new friend I met I am sooo excited to get to know more. She was the piano player and sat with us for dinner and right away the connections started flying back and forth and the laughs...we both love piano although I can't play but Liam is fantastic, we love horses and the woods. She happens to live in one of my fave places just a few minutes from my house and about 8 kms up a logging road and has 80 acres and horses and knows the trails I long to explore. They lived in Whistler like us and she founded the children's choir my boys sang in , we knew the same people, they cowboy-ed for the ranch whose cows roam the creek below us and come up to pass by our house in the fall. Molly is 78, raised five kids and fit as a fiddle and a firecracker of a woman and I know we are going to be great friends. She was telling me about their simple life in the woods ranching with a twinkle in her eye and how her and her husband just love to take the horses and find little lakes and horse camp or take their beater snowmobiles and explore the mountains together and she stopped and sighed, looked so content and said: "We just have the best time!"
I rarely win something and both hubbie and I won a basket in the raffle...only one prize was allowed per couple and when he claimed his basket he looked at me and we both agreed it was a no-brainer to give it to Molly to enjoy in thanks for the fun piano intros she did when he had to speak and just for being her. She said her pond was frozen and perfect for skating right now and her husband doesn't skate so much anymore so we exchanged phone numbers and I plan to visit this week and most definitely to take the boys over the Christmas break...I can't wait to open myself to all she has to offer and she has offered to trailer her horses up to my place come spring and show me all the trails...something I have been dying to do since moving here four years ago. I am so grateful for going last night and meeting her and the experience in general.
Wishing you lots of fulfilling connections and openings for giving this month too friends, I would love to hear your stories too,