DIY

Silas is One!

How does time go so quickly?? I seriously feel like it was just yesterday that we met this little guy and now we’ve celebrated a whole year (plus a month) with him! The first year felt like it went by quicker than the first year with twins. I’m not sure if it’s because we had school and all the busy that goes with that, or if it was because with just one baby things were a lot easier. Either way, it flew.
First birthdays are so bittersweet. Marking the end of that true “baby” stage and opening the doors to toddler life and the adventures to come. Silas means “of the woods” so I wanted to celebrate this milestone using that as our theme! I didn’t want a woodland animal type theme and wanted to keep things fairly simple and true to our many adventures and walks in the woods together. Which meant moss, ferns, and mushrooms!                
I printed my square month to month shots to use as part of our backdrop. All the images have some sort of greenery incorporated in the shot even 🙂

This AWESOME cake topper was from Little Sprout Creations. I just love how the white pops against the greenery! I made the cake myself (just a box mix, it had to be easy!) and the “moss” on top of the cake is just sugar cookies dyed green and placed upside-down in layers. Sprinkle some green cookie crumbs on top for texture and voila! Moss-topper! Found the original idea via pinterest here!

These cupcakes were similar – I used graham cracker cookie crumbs (bought them in store – WAY easier that way!) and dyed them green. That part was a bit tricky in a ziplock for it to blend together but it worked out alright in the end! Just a bit of icing and dip them into the crumb mixture and you get another great texture for the table!


Every party I plan has so many ideas I want to get to but can’t – these macarons were an example. I definitely wanted more than just 5 but this was literally all I could find before the party for some reason! I painted the ferns with a gel food colour and almond extract mixture to create an edible watercolor on the actual macarons. I SOOO wish I could’ve done more of these, it was so much fun!


Ok seriously. These were the talk of the party. Teeny little mushroom meringues! SOOOO easy, and so adorable. Just make a simple meringue cookie mixture (egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla) and bake in two sets of shapes – a fat blob for the tops and a skinny “hershey’s kiss” blob for the bottoms (these are technical terms people!) Once cooked and cooled, you carefully, gently make a little hole in the underside of the fat blob and pipe a drop of melted chocolate in. Let cool upside-down so the chocolate hardens and you end up with these adorable little mushroom cookies. I sprinkled a bit of cocoa powder on top of them to make them look more authentic. It was my absolute favourite Pinterest-Win of this party! Original recipe here!

For the twins’ birthday I had a Dr. Seuss theme so I got the Happy Birthday To You book for guests to sign as a keepsake. I found this gorgeous book at Spruce Collective in Abbotsford and chose it to be our guestbook.

What’s a party without a photobooth area? I looooved these hoops from Posie & Pine – they were such a gorgeous addition to the party area!


Happy Birthday to our Little Bear, our Bubba, our smiley little guy. You bring so much joy to our family and I can’t wait for the adventures we will get to have together!

Details:
Party Location: Rolley Lake, BC
Custom Cake Topper: Little Sprout Creations
Floral Hoops: Posie & Pine
Guestbook: Children’s Book from Spruce Collective
Photography: Amanda Gregor Photography 

Create! An Art Party!

So I’ve wanted my kids to have an art party for YEAARRRS now. But we do leave it up to them and roll with whatever they want to roll with – whether that’s princesses and pirates, paw patrol, or camping like last year! This year was originally going to be a Star Wars party (which may be next year!) but they both decided that an art party sounded fun. Cue this mom doing a happy dance!
I’m notoriously bad at over-pinteresting my party – meaning I have WAY too many ideas than are actually feasible. And with 3 kids it’s just kinda crazy to take it on in the first place. But I did this and it was fairly easy to be honest! And the activities kept all the kids busy for the entire duration of the party! (I went with 2 hours… this was at my home and the idea of having to entertain about 18 6-ish year olds was actually mildly terrifying!)
I’ll let the photos (a lot of them… eek!) speak for themselves, but we had an absolute blast!!


I went with more of a watercolour inspiration for the decor etc than the art parties I had seen on Pinterest. The number 6 and the watercolour bunting flags were directly inspired by this party I found and it worked beautifully!
I used these sprinkles as the colour inspo for our marbled cupcakes too!

Activity #1: Fidget Spinners! 
Yes, we did this. I found a DIY tutorial and got all the supplies required and let me tell you – these were a COMPLETE HIT. The kids loved making these and then playing with them after. Huge thank you to a Mama who stayed at the party and helped hot glue these together for the kiddos as they finished!

Activity #2 – Canvas Painting
I printed off some inspiration and hung those photos on the fence behind. It was really fun to watch the kids create their images together – all so different but they seemed to really enjoy it! I took white paper plates and cut a thumb hole and cut out to make fancy paint pallets for them too!


Props to the parents who came and helped supervise (and entertain!) the kids! Couldn’t have grabbed these photos without your help!

Eli’s creation – Any guesses? I love this!!
Activity #3 – Squirt Gun Painting! 
I decided on this activity after looking at the number of boys coming to this party. I had a moment of “what if they don’t like art?!?!?!” panic so I chose this activity because – um, hello – it’s just fun. Everyone just shared the canvases and took turns at target practice. We used watered down Crayola Neon paint and it turned out awesome! I think this was one of my favourites to watch.

Activity #4 – Fancy colouring sheets
I just got a more “grown up” colouring book from the dollar store and tore the pages out. Super simple.

Activity #5 – Cupcake decorating! 
I used Dainty Sprinkle Co. sprinkles on these paint pallets which worked PERFECTLY, the kids could continue their creativity to their cupcakes.

It was a bit of a disaster afterwards, but I’d say it was worth it!

So, there we go. Another year, another party. I cannot believe my little twins are so grown up now. How did 6 years go by so quickly?? I am so very proud of my tinies and I am so excited to see the adventures 6 brings!

Details:

Photography: Amanda Gregor Photography

“Create” balloons, paper plates: Heather & Gem

Sprinkles: Dainty Sprinkle Co.

Artwork on food table: Elena Markelova

Pretty much everything else came from the dollar store and Michaels!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide – From the kids, by the kids.

Ok so our school made the news last week for a decision that sparked a crazy debate within our community. The grade 1 and 2 teachers sent home a notice that said to celebrate diversity and inclusivity, and to nurture those in non-traditional families, they would not be making gifts for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. I spoke with our own teacher and he said he likely wasn’t going to do a gift as well. Honestly, I’m not going to delve too deep into my own personal opinion on this, because I’m not kidding when I say it was heated – but I will say that although I do see both sides of the coin, I was disappointed. Backstory: Jason and I dealt with some infertility issues prior to having our twins. It was just two years, and I know many people who have dealt with it longer, but in the middle of the wait you just don’t know how long it is going to be. The stupidest little things can trigger a bad moment, and for me I remember thinking of this little ceramic gift my sister made for my mom for Mother’s Day one year. It hung on our wall for … basically forever. I remember crying about this silly piece of art, thinking “I’m never going to get something like this made for me.” Silly, right? Anyways… fast forward and my cries were answered, and we were blessed with the twins. It’s bittersweet, when your babies are big enough to go to school for the first time. But the “firsts” of the school year were exciting moments I clung to. I am totally THAT mom who had tears in my eyes when they performed during their first Christmas Concert, I went with them on their first field trip, and I looked forward to that silly little piece of art that represents a little more than just a Mother’s Day gift. But that’s not coming from the school this year.
So…
All that to say, yes, I’m disappointed.
But, I’m not going to sit back and say “oh well.”
No no no.
I’m going to hit up Pinterest and round up some fantastic Mother’s Day craft ideas. Because that’s how I do. And then I’m going to take this blog post and email it to my husband. And if he doesn’t feel like doing any of them, well, I’ll plan it myself. I promise, I’ll put on a SUPER surprised face.

I found some amazing crafts! When I was working in daycare I loved finding crafts for mamas that weren’t your typical macaroni necklaces but rather gifts that moms would want to keep out for a while. These ones that I found are TOTALLY crafts I would love to have around my house, and how sweet if they came from those little hands you hold each day.

Ohhh seriously, how cute are these polaroid coasters?! Being a photographer means I’m a sucker for anything photo-related!


Source: Darkroom and Dearly

These vases from Dream {a Little} Bigger are so sweet! And even little kids could help with this. And of course don’t forget to fill it with some gorgeous blooms!

Source: Dream {a Little} Bigger

I am a HUGE fan of polymer clay, and these clay dishes are so gorgeous. I know my kids would love mixing the colours!

Source: A Beautiful Mess

I’m actually really bad at growing things but I had to pin this one, because my own Mom is the resident gardener around here, and I’d love to actually get better at it! But I am always a fan of nice looking fake plants. LOL!

Source: I Heart Naptime

I fell in LOVE with this one when I saw it, and even the most energetic and spirited children could help with this. What little one wouldn’t want to smash things with a hammer?

Source: Cutesy Crafts

This is gorgeous artwork to put up and enjoy AND is inspired by a fabulous book. Anything that ties reading and art together is fine by me.

Source: Mama. Papa. Bubba. 

I am such a fan of this type of canvas art, I love the idea of having the kids paint this. Picking a favourite song, or verse, or something you say to each other a lot would be such a great sentimental gift.

Source: British Columbia Mom

How fun are these tassel keychains??

Source: Brit+Co

Oh my goodness, do you remember sand art?? In those glass bottles? This one combines fun sand art with totally on-trend terrariums. So pretty!

Source: Design Improvised

Coffee. Sugar. Hand scrub. This is pretty much genius.

Source: Mama. Papa. Bubba. 

These fizzy bath bombs are adorable, and would be a fun science experiment as well!

Source: Savvy Saving Couple

I’m such a fan of hand scrubs I had to include this one too. It’s pretty and uses a certain type of soap I wouldn’t have thought to use – but she swears by it! So I’m going to pick some up I think!

Source: Touch of Tay 

I feel like my kids would absolutely LOVE this one (Jason are you reading this??) They are always making little books and their drawings are becoming so detailed. I would love to see what they come up with for this little book!!

Source: Hello, Wonderful

I feel like I should host a big party with all the sweet coasters I want to have now, but aren’t these just so much fun?!

Source: Paging Fun Moms

These bath bombs are an alternative to the other recipe that calls for citric acid – and aren’t they beautiful using the natural elements?


Source: Jessica Begum at eHow

I’m always receiving little trinkets and drawings, little notes and photos from my littles and this memory box is a fantastic idea for where to keep it all!

Source: Mama. Papa. Bubba

Another way to make a beautiful jewelry dish! Love the gold and white on this!!

Source: Lovely Indeed

I’m a mug-a-holic, I keep acquiring mugs and just purged some but there are some that I just can’t let go of, and if I had one like this I would never let it go. I love when my littles draw their family through their eyes!

Source: Mama. Papa. Bubba at CBC.ca

So there you have it, some amazing ideas that are easy enough for littles to make but also leave Mama smiling all year long. Which one would you pick if you could only pick one??

May The Fourth Be With You – Star Wars Day fun and a free printable!

We’re pretty big nerds over here. We love things like Sci-Fi movies, Lord of the Rings, and of course Star Wars. I don’t know how my littles discovered it but somehow a couple years ago or so Eli learned about “Dark Vader” as he called him and “Storm Trooper” – which, in his mind, was one guy and that was his name. First name: Storm, last name: Trooper. Ah-mazing. I didn’t even correct him, it was far too cute. We didn’t watch the movies right away as we felt it wasn’t quite age appropriate just yet but we did find some little clips on youtube that were safe enough to show them and they fell in love. Just this year we’ve started watching them a little bit and when Jason takes them on hiking adventures they spend their time using their vivid imaginations being Rey and Luke and fighting storm troopers (who they now understand as soldiers in the dark side’s army). It’s a lot of fun, this little tribe of mine.

So of course, with tomorrow being May 4th and deemed “Star Wars Day” I’ve been thinking of what we’re going to do! I pulled out their halloween costumes – I made these and they were SO simple, you could totally throw these together pretty quickly.

Rey’s costume could even be made without sewing anything. I did sew parts of mine but mostly just to secure it for trick-or-treating. All I did was take a pair of sheer curtains and attached it to an old white shirt. At the shoulders I gathered the fabric and attached it to a velcro strip, and put the other side of the velcro on the top of the shirt. Criss-cross the curtains in the front and leave one side hanging, the other side connected to the back like a loop. Use a brown belt to hold it to the body. I found a small brown purse at Value Village and secured it to the belt on the side as her little pack. I found a pair of khaki capris and did her hair in a series of small buns down the middle of her head! She LOVED it.

Eli’s costume was fairly easy as well – but I definitely had to sew a little more with this one. I used a karate/martial arts top I found at the thrift store for underneath which worked great. You could probably do the same and just throw a brown piece of fabric tied around their waist and call it a jedi costume, but if you want to do the robe too there are a ton of no-sew tunic/robes you could use! I loved this one here! I made Eli’s by basically tracing around him with him laying on the fabric and sewing it together, I didn’t really care too much about precision or perfection!

We were almost going with a Star Wars theme for their birthday party but they’ve since changed their mind and we’re going in a different direction. (sad face!! But our new idea is still super fun!) But I’d already pinned some ideas for the party so I may throw together some snacks tomorrow just for fun, like these pretzel stick light sabers. How fun are those?? Or maybe I could go the easy route and buy some cinnamon “Leia” buns!
And since we’re talking Star Wars, my biggest inspiration for the birthday party that won’t be happening this year was by my friend Marisol of We Bring The Funk Events in California. Her party was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I was in awe. This beautiful woman has an amazing heart and such fabulous talent – check out her party here! If I lived in Cali I’d be having her plan all my parties!!

I made a simple printable to put up just for fun for Star Wars Day – because, why not? It may end up in Eli’s monochrome black and white room afterwards, I think he’d love that! Follow the link to download and print yours!


Click this link or the photo above for your free printable! http://www.featherandfern.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/may-the-force-printable.jpg
Are you a Star Wars fan? Who is your favourite character, and are you doing anything for Star Wars Day? Share your ideas with me! 🙂

Our Easter Feast!

Each year we get to host Easter dinner at our house. Jason’s been building me a table, and while it’s not quite finished, it was at least usable for our feast, and it was SO awesome to have both tables beside each other. What a blessing to have family all around our table and not feel crowded in our space!

It was a lovely time with family, but unfortunately between taking care of the kiddos and preparing the food I only got a few photos of the decor before I was off feeding a baby or taking care of some sort of disaster. #momlife – am I right?

I was in LOVE with the decor, and it was so simple! The day before my big kids helped me dye the eggs used in the long wooden troughs (a Michael’s 50% off find!)
To dye the eggs this year we just used natural ingredients, a lot of the same things I use for my dyed items in the busy bags! I love love loved how the beet juice made the eggs speckled. They just popped when placed in the moss!!

I bought a little pot of ‘Cape Blanco” because the little succulent ends with the blueish green rosettes were just going to be perfect to nestle in among our other decor. It didn’t cost a lot for the one container and it went a long way!


We used red cabbage, coffee, tumeric, and beets to dye our eggs! Don’t they just look fantastic on my new table?! I can’t wait until it’s all complete. And Easter is always a great holiday to pull out the fancy china. We picked this Dogwood pattern for our wedding – Dogwood’s being BC’s flower and since hubby and I both love the forest and all things West Coast, it just fit us.

Now on to a couple of the details! This punch!!! Gah! It was so tasty! I really wanted to make a floral punch but could not for the life of me find edible flowers in bloom anywhere. So, I opted for a strawberry lemonade. The night before I sliced up lemons and put them in a bundt pan with water and froze it. Put that into our punch bowl the next day for a nice block of ice that melts more slowly than just ice cubes! And releases lemons as it melts too! A little bit of 7-up and some fresh mint leaves to make it look fresh! I loved this. Honestly, it had me craving warm summer days on my patio. Can’t wait!!


Typically speaking we make a ham and a turkey for our Easter dinner. This year, I decided to give fish a try. After all, when Jesus rose again from the grave He ate fish!

Luke 24:41-43 (NIV)

41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

I was a little nervous having never made this much fish for this many people, or really ever having tried this recipe before, but I was very happy with how it turned out! I loosely followed this recipe I found on Pinterest, but had to tweak a little bit.

My process:
Lightly oil baking sheet with olive oil
Place frozen sole filets on sheet. This was like a puzzle.
Sprinkle a little bit of seasoning salt on the fish
Pour prepared sauce over the fish to cover – approx a cup of melted butter, tablespoonful of diced garlic, juice of a lemon
Cut green onions in half or thin strips and lay them on top of the fish
Lay lemon slices on top of the fish.
Put in 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
When I checked on them I noticed they were cooked but there was a LOT of juice, probably from being frozen fish. I pulled the baking sheet from the oven and used a baster to suck up most of the excess fluid.
Put the broiler on high and placed back in the oven until the fish, lemons, and onions were just starting to brown, maybe 4 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it!
GENEROUSLY scatter chopped fresh dill ALL OVER DA PLACE. This is the good stuff. Don’t be shy.
Eat and eat and eat! Enjoy!

Oven roasted carrots with maple syrup, and pan fried asparagus. Bringing healthy colours to the meal!

 


These little pinterest-inspired beauties were so much fun to make! While we were dying our hard boiled eggs, we also dyed these previously cracked eggshells that I’d been saving! Put a little bit of soil and moss into these and cut up the carton for small tabletop planters! I used more of that Cape Blanca here, some stems of little white flowers (called “Little Gem”), more moss, and some hens and chicks from our garden out front! I think they turned out just darling!!

So much cute…

 


And we ACTUALLY managed to snap a photo of the 5 of us together! Something we didn’t manage to do over Christmas, so I’m calling that a win!