Browsing Tag

baby shower

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Personalized Wall Art Prints for a Nursery or a Playroom

personalized wall arts

personalized wall arts

Here is a new source that I discovered on Twitter for alphabet wall art prints. This is from a Canadian Fellow. Grace Announcements offers a vast selection of design. I like the variety of style that she offers from the typical nursery illustrations up to modern geometric compositions.

As expected, her art prints will fit in the popular IKEA RIBBA. A framed personalized wall art print make an awesome baby shower gift. Simply inform you before buying about the nursery design theme and colors.

SOURCING:
Personalized Wall Art Prints by Grace Announcements $12 for an 8×10, $25 for a 12×16

FAMILY KIDS products

Petit Collage Garlands and My Ultimate Baby Book

Deluxe Baby Book with Memory Box by petit collage

petit collage garlands

I stopped by Indigo yesterday. I could not pass on Petit Collage alphabet garlands. I like the fact that it is reusable. With 80 alphabet and animal tiles and 5 yards of ribbon, it is easy to custom made the party garland to fit the occasion. I suggest that you tailor even more the garland to your party scheme by updating the color of the ribbon.

My Favorite Baby Book

Deluxe Baby Book with Memory Box by petit collage

While I was there, I explored the rest of the collection. It is when I saw the best made baby book. It provides room for fun facts about mom, dad and the baby plus, photo pages for milestone events and for each monthiversary of your baby’s first year. The baby book comes with a keepsake box. It would make an awesome baby shower gift.

inside pages of baby book

SOURCING:
+ Petit Collage Garlands $19.95 CAD at Indigo
+ Deluxe Baby Box with Memory Box by Petit Collage $50 USD at Petit Collage
Deluxe Baby Box with Memory Box by petit Collage $60 CAD at Indigo

BABY products FAMILY

My Must-Have Baby Gear List | Being a First-Time Mom

must have for a baby

must have for a baby

My son is 5 months today. I am taking this occasion to share what are the baby items that we really used over the last 5 months since it could help moms-to-be with their shopping list. Besides the car seat and the stroller, I think that you should get:

A lounger or bouncer: I have the mamaRoo. We use it to let my baby rest after a feeding. He also sits in the mamaRoo for watching his favorite movies or TV shows, when I read him a book or simply to be near to us when we eat dinner or when I cook. We used the movements and the sounds for the first 3 months. Lately, the mamRoo acts as a low chair where we know that he sits safely.

A play yard: We bought the Graco’s Pack ‘n Play Chadwick Playard at Babies R Us when my son was a few weeks ago. We bought it because we were invited to a brunch at the home of a single guy. This is why we selected a model with a removable bassinet and diaper changer. What we did not anticipate was how much we would use it at home. I use the bassinet for when my baby takes a nap. His nursery is on the second floor. The diaper changer comes handy when we have a babysitter. It is easier for them to not go upstairs and we feel better knowing that they do not carry our baby up and down our long staircase.

An activity mat: I suggested that you buy an activity mat that will look good in your living room since it will be on the floor all the time. At first, I stored our activity mat after each usage but I quickly give up. Providing enough tummy time is very important to build muscles. Since most babies do not like to be on their tummy, you end up doing mini sessions several times a day. It is wise to avoid tummy time immediately after a feeding. I bought the Treetop Friends Activity Gym from Skip Hop.

A musical mobile: Contrary to my initial belief, a mobile is not to make your kid sleepy unless it is by exhaustion. Our son becomes excited when we put the mobile on. A mobile distracts and entertains your baby while you are doing something else. We bought the Tiny Love Sweet Island Dreams Mobile. The sound quality of the Tiny Love is way better than the Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-a-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile, which is a similar model.

Fun Educational Toys: It is important to stimulate the senses of our baby as soon as possible. We bought and received from friends many toys. The ones my son enjoy the most are his Tug & Play Activity Knot and his Musical Inchworm, both from Lamaze, Sophie The Giraffe plus his T’es fou louloup hand puppet from Ebulobo. The puppet enables me to interact and communicates with him.

Books: At the Montreal Children’s Hospital, they told us to read books from day 1. It will help you create a lasting connection with your baby. Your baby will learn to recognize the sound of your voice. Zack already have a huge collection of books. I buy board books suitable for children aged 1 to 3 years old. Now that Zack is able to manipulate objects with his both hands, the books become a tool to further develop his motor skills.

SOURCING:
+ Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym $74.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Tapis de jeu Treehop $81.99 CAD at Rose ou Bleu
+ Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard – Chadwick $199.99 CAD at Babies R Us
T’es fou louloup hand puppet from Ebulobo
+ I Love You Through And Throughby Bernadette Rossetti Shustak $8.95 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
Tug & Play Activity Knot $11.99 USD from Lamaze

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

Lemonade Stand Love

lemonade stand diy party pink green

Nothing says summer like a cold glass of lemonade, complete with childhood memories of setting up a stand in the neighbourhood. And I’m not sour about it, but I don’t recall the lemonade stands of my childhood looking quite as put together as these.

A lemonade stand may be a quintessential childhood experience, but its charm lends well to all kinds of parties – from weddings and showers (both bridal and baby) to backyard barbecues and kid’s birthday parties. Here are a few that has us thirsting for more.

One Charming Party
Ever the hostesses with the mostest, the girls at One Charming Party have created the ultimate step-by-step guide to setting up a lemonade stand that will have the neighbourhood kids (and adults too!) abuzz. The addition of lime green and turquoise to the colour palette is so fresh we can almost taste it. Don’t miss their free printable signs!

lemonade stand diy one charming party

La Belle Parties
Cookies are one thing, but the amazing lemonade-themed dessert and candy spread take this stand to a sweet new level. The bold and bright modern paper goods are balanced with a squeeze of nostalgia via the mason jar glasses, wide pitchers, wooden crates and gingham tablecloth. See more delicious details at La Belle Parties.

lemonade stand diy party pink green

diy lemonade stand pink green

Beyond the Stand

While a wonderful theme on its own, lemonade stands make a lovely addition to weddings, showers or kid’s birthday parties. Check out the sourcing section below for more ideas on how you can integrate this fresh idea at your next summer gathering.

lemonade stand theme party idea wedding

SOURCING:
+ How to Set Up A Lemonade Stand (with FREE Printables) from One Charming Party
+ Hot Pink and Green Lemonade Stand from La Belle Parties
+ Lemonade Stand Themed 1st Birthday Party from The Burrus Family
+ Jinhee & Mark’s Wedding Lemonade Stand on 100 Layer Cake
+ Justin & Mary’s Wedding Lemonade Stand on Style Me Pretty

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Shower Them With An Ice Cream Party

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Not only is today the official start of summer, it’s the official start of shower season, when busy bridal parties fête the blushing bride-to-be, and soon-to-be-moms are celebrated.

If you think ice cream is just for kid’s birthday parties, take a peek at these perfectly planned bridal showers. This theme is a, well, cool alternative to the traditional tea party, adding a double-scoop of vintage charm and fresh elegance.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Since it won’t take more than a trip to the frozen food section to plan the menu, you can focus on adding extras to create a make-your-own sundae station.

ice cream party vintage outdoor shower

A muted chocolate-and-vanilla palette allows paper details on the containers and cones to pop. Ice cream cone cups also make clever vessels for sundae toppings.

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Dress Up Store-Bought Snacks
In this case, simple scrapbook paper, colourful twine and labels with an old-fashioned look go a long way in helping zero-effort store-bought snacks to look like too-good-to-eat treats.

ice cream party sandwiches wrap paper shower

ice cream party sundae bar paper shower

Again, look for creative objects to display ice cream extras. Here, a thrifted tabletop ferris wheel is the perfect carrier for candy toppings.

Ice Cream, Italian-Style

ice cream party gelato ruffled wedding shower

The creme-de-la-creme of ice cream parties doesn’t actually include ice cream at all. The pastel shades of gelato are the inspiration for both the menu and party palette in feminine shades of pink, green and orange.

ice cream party gelato shower paper invitations menu

Simple floral arrangements in paper cones are a creative nod to the ice cream theme, while tissue paper blooms create a pretty backdrop. The party planners kept things personal by including the guest-of-honour’s name on the paper cones and gelato containers.

ice cream party gelato shower tablescape

Mix-and-match dishes have vintage charm that reinforce the girly vibe.

Free Ice Cream Themed Printable
Put this cute collection of ice cream-themed printables from Eat Drink Chic to work as tags on shower favours or string them together as a banner.

ice cream party printable

SOURCING:
+ Ice Cream Sundae Bar from The Sweetest Occasion
Ice Cream Birthday from A Subtle Revelry
+ Heels and Gelato Party from Ruffled
+ Free Ice Cream Printable from Eat Drink Chic

BABY care FAMILY

My Must-Have Baby Bottle Accessories | Being a First-Time Mom

must-have baby bottle accessories

Besides the bottles of your choice, these are my three must-have items if you are feeding your baby with a bottle. First, you need one or two bottle and nipple brushes. I seem to prefer the Munchkin Bottle and Nipple brush to the equivalent brush by Nuby but I can’t tell you why other than I got the Munchkin first.

I try to wash the bottle as soon as I finished feeding my son. I rinse it first in cold water, then I use the brush for a quick clean with soap and cold water. The bottles will be fully washed in the dishwasher in the sanitizer mode. You need the drying rack because plastic doesn’t dry well in a dishwasher. I bought the Boon Grass drying rack for its cool design and its two parts easy fit in my dishwasher. Since it is mostly to dry the nipples and the bottom parts of VentAire bottles, it provides me enough place. But if you are worried that it is not big enough, Boon made Lawn, a bigger version of Grass.

It took me a week to buy a bottle warmer. I did it for one key reason: time. The milk gets at the right temperature in more than half the time and you know exactly how long it will take. For that alone, it is worth every penny. I asked around and it seems that parents prefer the Avent bottle warmer. This is why we got this one.

The Baby Bottles

It simplifies my life as a parent to have enough baby bottles for one day of feeding, plus one bottle. I can wash the used bottles before going to bed. This is where the extra bottle comes handy. You keep one bottle ready to use for the night feeding or, if you are lucky like us, for the morning feeding. We bought two VentAire newborn gift sets.

I decided to try out the VentAire and it works fine with my son. I also bought 2 glass Medela bottles that we do not use them anymore. Glass bottles are simply too heavy. My son had problems with the Stage 1 nipples that came with the VentAire bottles. The Stage 2 nipples were too fast for him. After trials and errors, we discovered that the Medela slow nipple works the best for him. We were lucky that the Medela nipples fit the Ventaire bottles. Therefore, I bought several packs of Medela nipples to complete my set.

SOURCING:
+ Grass Countertop Drying Rack by Boon $16.99 USD
Lawn Countertop Drying Rack by Boon $29.99 USD
+ Avent Express Food and Bottle Warmer $36.17 USD
+ Playtex BPA Free VentAire Standard Reusable Bottles Gift Set $26.99 USD

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Home­made Oreo Cookie Recipe

homemade oreo cookies

homemade oreo cookies

If you plan to host a baby shower or a kids birthday party, you will want to bookmark this recipe. The homemade Oreos are prettier that the store-bought version and a bit healthier since you can control what you put in. My only concern with this recipe is that the filling contains veg­etable short­en­ing. I can’t tell you how to adapt the recipe since I am not a baker. But if you know how, please share how to adapt the recipe with butter or oil in a comment.

homemade oreos in a tin box

This homemade Oreo recipe is really easy to make. It doesn’t require any special skills. I bet that it would be a hit at your next cookie bake sale. Take a look at the recipe from Emma of The Marion House Book and Smitten Kitchen‘s adaptation of the recipe  from the cookbook Retro Desserts by Wayne Brachman.

SOURCING:
+ Home­made Oreo Cookie Recipe at Sweet Potato Chron­i­cles
+ Homemade Oreos from Smitten Kitchen

BABY products FAMILY

I love my Ze Super Zeros

ze super zeros :: zebu the zebra plush toy

ze super zeros :: zebu the zebra plush toy

Our friend Nathalie of the Foodies Emporium blog gave us one of the most adorable plush toys at our baby shower. From the Ze Super Zeros collection, she selected Zubu the Zebra as the perfect toy for our son-to-be. A cool detail is the logo on its cape. It reads SZ and we will name our son Zack. My husband noticed that it can stand for Super Zack. We like that!

Each super zero has a mini power and a related challenge that teaches kids to embrace what makes them unique and find their inner super zero. Zebu the Zebra is a super good at hiding, using his stripes as ze camouflage! But, he is always getting lost, but his spotted cape helps his zero friends find him. These plush toys are suitable for newborns.

You can buy your own Ze Super Zeros plush toy at Itsi Bitsi in Montreal. While you are there, indulge in one of their delicious cupcakes.

One Last Thing

colors collection bento box

And if you are looking for cute bento boxes, read Nathalie’s round-up on the best bento lunch boxes available in Montreal.

SOURCING:
+ USA: Ze Super Zeros Zebu The Zebra Plush Toy $24.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]

BEVERAGE FOOD + DRINK

Hot Chocolate Products at the Ticket Kitchen

ticket kitchen chocolate spoon

ticket kitchen entertaining pack

Tea and coffee connoisseurs don’t usually have to look too far to find a gourmet fix. But for those of us who prefer a cup of something sweeter, San Francisco-based Ticket Kitchen has elevated hot chocolate with refined ingredients and party-perfect packaging – and you don’t have to travel all the way to California to get it.

Handmade with fine French chocolate, their Ticket Sticks are cleverly designed as individual indulgences:  just swirl a block into 6-8 ounces of steaming milk and start sipping. In addition to a signature French dark chocolate, be sure to try the Three-Chili Ticket Stick, which features a three-pepper blend of chipotle, ancho and cayenne California chili peppers for a sweet and spicy flavour.

ticket kitchen chili hot chocolate

Both varieties are available in “entertaining packs” (shown at top) with enough chocolate blocks for twelve servings. This is a perfect dessert alternative for winter parties or afternoon get-togethers. Check out their Parties & Printables section for adorable labels you can customize for your gathering and creative party ideas.

ticket kitchen baby shower

ticket kitchen chocolate spoon

If you’re planning a slightly smaller gathering, the personalized silverplate spoon is a thoughtful gesture. The spoon can be stamped with a special message that reveals itself when the chocolate melts. You could also personalize the spoons as a thoughtful bridal shower or wedding gift.

SOURCING:
+ Three-Chili Hot Chocolate on a Stick, Service for 4$15 USD at Ticket Kitchen
+ French Dark Hot Chocolate on a Stick, Entertaining 12 Pack $43 USD
+ French Dark Hot Chocolate on a Stick, Service for 2$7.50 USD
+ Personalized Hot Chocolate Silverplate Spoon $37 USD
+ via Creature Comforts

BABY products FAMILY

My Shopping Trip at Babies “R” Us | Getting Ready for the Baby

shopping spree at babies r us

I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary $500 gift card from Babies “R” Us for my baby shower. I went with my husband. We bought baby essentials and other things that we feel are necessary for either my peace of mind or for what we believe will bring well-being and fun to my son-to-be. I was happily surprised by their inventory.

Baby Essentials

The first thing we did was to make sure we have all the baby essential gears. We started with baby care essentials and diaper care products including the Playtex Diaper Genie II Elite Advanced Disposal System. I decided to go with disposable diapers since as a first time mom, I will already have plenty of things to do. We bought the Pampers Dry Max diapers for newborns. A friend had recommended those because they don’t leak.

I bought the Especially for Baby Contour Change Pad in Blue Dots and the Blue Especially for Baby Terry Change Pad Cover because the blue complements our nursery decor. And I can tell you that one of my cats seems to adore the changing pad.

Then, we headed to the baby clothing department. I received many clothes as gifts from our friends but we still needed more in different sizes. I bought clothes in sizes 3 months and 6 months. Newborns need a good supply of diaper shirts, sleepers, receiving blankets plus a few hats, no-scratch mittens and tiny socks. I particularly like the design of Gagou Tagou and Bruin.

Toys

I bought him Sophie the Giraffe, a famous French baby toy that was created in 1961. Lovable and amusing, Sophie makes a happy sound when her body is squeezed that stimulates baby’s hearing and helps him to understand the link between cause and effect. She is perfect for soothing the baby’s sore gums when teething. The singular scent of natural rubber from the hevea tree makes Sophie very special and easy for your child to identify amid all his other toys. It’s a toy that is suitable from birth up to 12 months.

My husband and I remembered how much fun we had with our Jolly Jumper. Therefore, we want him to have the Original Jolly Jumper. When we arrived home, we noticed that where we wanted to hang it there was no frames. Therefore, we will exchange it for the Jolly Jumper on a Stand.

We like the brand Lamaze for their educational values. We bought the Spin and Explorer gym on which the baby will play on his tummy. Being on his tummy is important for his body development. A friend gave us the Lamaze Musical Inchworm.

Safety

For our peace of mind, we bought the Angel Care Movement and Sound monitor. I am more interested in the motion detection monitor than the sound monitor. Many parents told me that babies make so many noises when they sleep that they turned the sound monitor off to be able to sleep.

I saw that in the United States, Babies “R” Us carries many products from Skip Hop either online or in stores. I wish that the Canadian stores did the same since I like their merchandises.

SOURCING:
For Canadians:
+ Playtex Diaper Genie II Elite Advanced Disposal System $45.99 CAD
+ Especially for Baby Contour Change Pad in Blue Dots $29.99 CAD
+ Especially for Baby Terry Change Pad Cover $10.99 CAD
+ Sophie the Giraffe $23.99 CAD
+ Original Jolly Jumper $39.99 CAD
+ Jolly Jumper on a Stand $69.99 CAD
+ Angel Care Movement and Sound monitor $159.99 CAD

For Americans:
+ Diaper Genie II Elite Diaper Disposal System $34.99 USD
+ Pampers Dry Max 108 Ct Swaddler Diaper Value Box – Newborn $29.99 USD
+ Sophie the Giraffe Teether by Vulli $22.99 USD
+ Lamaze Musical Inchworm $19.99 USD
+ Angel Care Deluxe Movement Monitor $149.99 USD

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Adorable Party Supplies at Shop Sweet Lulu

8 oz, round bottles for milk, limonade or other beverages

8 oz. round bottles for milk, chocolate milk lemonade or other beverages

If you wonder where to get these adorable small bottles that are so popular at baby showers and weddings, have a look at Shop Sweet Lulu on Etsy. They also carry the traditional French square bottles.

french square glass bottles and wooden taster spoons for ice cream

Shop Sweet Lulu also sells wooden ice cream spoons, dots and stripes birthday candles, nice striped straws, polka dot party cones and baking cups with cute festive patterns that you can use to serve candies, ice cream as well as cupcakes.

polka dot candy cups

If you need a large number, you may be better to buy your beverage bottles in bulk. I found the square bottles in different formats at SKS Bottle & Packaging.

SOURCING:
+ 8 oz. Round Bottles, $12 USD for 4 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ 8 oz. French Square Bottles with a black plastic cap, $16 USD for 4 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ 8 oz. French Square Bottles without caps, $66.36 USD for 84 at SKS Bottle  & Packaging
+ Flat Wooden Ice Cream Taster Spoons $2 for 20 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ Polka Dot Candy Cups $4 for 20 at Shop Sweet Lulu