Monday, May 30, 2011


It's growing! My garden, the one that my little man and I planted, it's got green in it! It's hard to understand my excitement if you're a seasoned horticulturist, but for me, who has a good track record with indoor cactus (as long as I only have one at a time), a garden is a wildly adventurous thing. Our peas are up and looking hearty, our tomatoes have survived transplantation and now we're getting signs of life from our onions and squash! Yes, I know these are all beginner type plants, but still, they're alive (muahahahaha!). My watermelon are the only ones awaiting slightly warmer nights before they too join the group. They have a little while before they outgrow their little pots anyways, so they can enjoy the warm morning sun on the windowsill for a few more weeks. I've dreamt of a garden for many years, with various windowsill and counter top attempts (and subsequent failures) I am absolutely thrilled to finally be showing some green! It only makes it better that it's a garden built by my husband and that Bugaboo helped plant it; it's been a family project and we don't have many of those. Thoroughly pleased I am!

And with that, here's part two. I wish I had a better name than simply a 'list', but it's irrelevant.

A Dozen or So Things to Do With a Toddler Outside!

  1. Nature Walk (grab a bucket and find all the exciting rocks and sticks along the way)

  2. Garden; not a great one day activity, but a fun project from spring to summer.

  3. City Walk (again, grab a bucket and maybe a piece of chalk, or just wander down a street stopping in the occasional toy store to play)

  4. Go on a Picnic; fun with friends, or all by yourselves

  5. Go to a Provincial Park / trail / beach / farm etc. There's only a little searching required to find awesome public gems in your community.

  6. Take pictures. Especially fun if you have an older camera the little one can hold. Head out to the yard and have a photo shoot.

  7. Blow Bubbles. Never not fun. The new coloured bubbles are a neat outdoor toy, and they're strong, so they don't pop when they land on the grass, but they're practically ink, so be ready.

  8. Play in a sprinkler. Or better yet, if you live by a water park, they can be very exciting.

  9. Play ball! Soccer, football, baseball, beach ball, toddlers love 'em and can surprise you with how well they can handle them at a very young age.

  10. Enjoy a messy snack. Take advantage of not having to scrub the floors or wipe sticky off the walls and grab a Popsicle or dive into a watermelon. They're better when they're messy anyways.

  11. Park play date. Or, if you're lucky like us and have a few parks in a small subdivision, go for a park-crawl. This one will wear them out for sure.

  12. Bug Safari. Head off to the woods or a field and start searching. In fact, according to retired biologist Jennifer Owen, the best place to discover new species of bugs is right in your own back yard!

  13. Watch clouds. Not for every busy little one, but for some, it's a new world of floating shapes!

  14. Watch a construction site. Not too close mind you, but heavy machinery in real life is pretty impressive.

  15. Go for a bus ride. You don't have to actually go anywhere, just a little adventure on a big bus.

  16. Have a conversation. Have your little one tell you all about the things they can see, and you can tell them all about them too.

  17. Watch planes take off/land. To some a trip to the airport is a lengthy drive, but we can see the airport from our yard (not always great) and Bugaboo loves watching the planes ("Airmapes" he calls them).

  18. And last but not least, as I previously mentioned, Chalk! Makes a mess and washes off easy. Just keep them away from the cars.

Well what do you think of that, eh? As it's the cusp of June, yeah, these are all summer ideas. Maybe I'll do a part three in the fall/winter. Wait and see.

However, as my hubby is away this week, nap time is stretched a little thin by the things I want to get done around the house, so I'd best get to work.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bon Appetit mon petite Bugaboo!

Who could this be, but Chef Bugaboo! Oh dear, now it sounds like I'm accessorizing him. Meh, oh well, I guess I kind of am, but in a useful way. So here are the long ago mentioned photographs of the super snazzy apron and chef hat I made my little Jamie Oliver (I was going to put Gordon Ramsey, but that guy scares me).

The apron was no big deal, just cut out the shape it looked like it should be, threw on a pocket, edged it all in bias tape and looped more bias tape under the arms for the straps. I liked white for this, because it's so grown up on the little guy it just struck me as being rather droll!

The hat however, was a little fancier. I found a free pattern here and I highly recommend it. It was simple and turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. Both the apron and hat are cotton twill, something that is cheap and easy to use, but has a bit of wear and strength to it so the apron is functional and may last a little while (we'll see).

All in all, I'm very pleased with myself.

Along the line of thought of cooking with Toddlers, I have a happy little two part list for you! You'll have to wait until Monday for part deux, but today I bring you:

A Dozen or So Things to Do With a Toddler Indoors!

  1. Paint / Colour / Play Dough

  2. Puzzles / Books (there, now the really obvious ones are out of the way)

  3. Dance Party (you know, turn on a groovy song, pick up the munchkin and boogie!)

  4. Cook / Bake

  5. Visit a Museum / Aquarium (if you're lucky enough to live by one; you'd be surprised where you can find them)

  6. Go to the library

  7. Build a fort (can be as simple as throwing a blanket over the table, or as elaborate as rebuilding your entire living room)

  8. Hide and Seek (Boo!)

  9. Call Grammy (or whomever would enjoy it) Some mornings I just dial up the grandparents and give the little guy the phone and he takes them around the house. They all love it.

  10. Make your own music; harmonicas and ukuleles are fun little kid instruments, pots and pans are great, plus there's a lot you can do with recycling and dried beans (just to get you started)

  11. Go for an inside walk (the mall is good for this)

  12. Make an indoor sandbox; use a big Tupperware container and dump some dry rice (or some such) into it. Tadaaa!

  13. Play date / Tea party; if you're bored at home, chances are your friends with toddlers are too, invite some over.

  14. Write a letter, well, you write it and have the little ones decorate it, or if they're a little older, have them tell you what to write. Grandma will love it!

  15. Clean. With the little one, don't try to accomplish much, but let them enjoy vacuuming or take a few sections out of the swiffer and kid-size it. Dusting and laundry can also be fun for kids.

Now, I know that most people have figured this kind of thing out by the time their little ones are toddlers, and not much of this is revolutionary, but I thought it would be nice to have a little list just to check out in case there's something you hadn't thought of, or if you're like me and can think of these things while you're relaxed, but not when you're 2 year old is bored and you're losing it. These are for you! Also, please feel free to mention any Gold-Star-Goodies I may have missed!

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I have a bunch of things I want to write about, and even have a nice post all written and awaiting pictures, but I'm just not feeling it today. No good reason why, but I am just out of sorts. However, I picked up a Louis L'Amour during my little guy's nap time and am feeling much better. Turns out, I'm just not in a crafting mood, but rather a cowboy mood. Reasonable enough I'd say.

However, I'll leave you with this little blip that has brightened my day.

I pick Bugaboo up from daycare this morning looking like this:

I ask, "What did you do to your face," and so he tells me, "Marker, Shave!"

Perhaps we should find him a toy razor or something.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yellow Button Maternity Top by Katie (blah, what a mouthful)

Well this is what I've got! My shirt is all finished, and photographed and entered. I've been really excited about the 2011 Spring Top Sewalong, not because I'm worried about winning, it's just fun to have something I designed and made being seen by others alongside some really fantastic seamstresses! Thanks to Rae for hosting this super fun event (and prompting me to make myself a nice new top) and to everyone who has written me kind comments on flickr. They really mean a lot to me! Alright now, this is what I did.

I started out with a picture (actually a bunch, but a lot of them were kind of wacky), then I figured out the steps I'd have to take to actually make it. I opted to keep my design simple. Usually I go crazy, and then try to find a pattern that resembles the structure of my garment, and then bend it to meet my nefarious schemes, but I wanted to try to create something all of my own this time.

Once I got down to sewing, things went exactly opposite to what I had planned. Everything I thought would be an issue normally worked out easily, and the things I thought I had covered normally were riddled with bugs! For example, because I had no pattern, I wasn't 100% sure on some shapes, such as the neckline. My plan was to cut a bunch of shapes out of my plain cotton I was using for lining and see what came together the best, and as it turned out, got it first try.

And then silly things I had done before like using ribbon to edge a piece, but sewing it in between the lining and the fabric, I kept having hiccups! Anyhow, with only one major change in my plans (which was the use of an elastic to gather at the front), here is the finished product!

I'm really proud of this. While it's not perfect, it fits with my life and who I am, which is that it's simple and I can find satisfaction and happiness in it. So from my cozy life, I bring you my cozy top.

Oh, and a happy belated mothers day to all!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ta-daaa! (photo-heavy, which I kind of like)

So starting in reverse order of projects actually accomplished (silly, I know), my brother-in-law's baby is currently in the process of being born! Right now! Very exciting! Unfortunately, this is the baby for whom I've been knitting that blanket forever, and still haven't finished it, but I guess I have a little extra motivation to kick it in to knitting-gear and get it done.

Also, I have started a quilt. Actually, I've gotten a fair amount accomplished (not considering the actual quilting which will have to soon take place). I don't have any backing for it, so it's on hold.
My friend and I finally got together for some sewing, but only finished our aprons, and never got around to the hats. However, soon. Here's Bugaboo helping me with some cooking. We made Salted Caramels from this recipe here, and so I did most of the cooking (it being up on the stove) and he enjoyed a snack in his new apron.

We have finally broken dirt in the ol' garden, planting peas and some onions. I'm weathering my tomatoes so they can go in next week too. I'm getting excited, but I think I'll miss the lush forest growing on my windowsill. Perhaps a herb garden, something which greatly intimidates me, will have to be in order.

And lastly before I get to my fancy-schmancy BIG news, I made up some Mother's Day cards! We normally give our Moms and Grandmoms a call, but I was feeling we could do a little better than that, so here they are! They've all been sent out and I hope they get there (the other side of the country) on time. Well, we're normally late, so no one would mind, or be surprised, if they are a little bit belated. As you can see, some are more audacious and some are quite muted, but I figured that would suit my Mom, Mother in-laws and all our grammies respectively.

And of course we had to include a picture or two in each!

And now, are you ready? I finished my shirt! For the Spring Top Sewalong 2011! Done! Well, no, I need one more button, but if it comes down to the grind, I have one that's not quite the right shade of yellow. Maybe I can go hunting tonight...

Well, it's a glorious glamorous day, and my little Bugaboo needs to be woken up from his nap. I'll have the official super fancy posed-to-the-max shot of my shirt later, so I look forward to posting it too!