So I remember seeing a meme a few months ago that said ‘Wear a mask, save Halloween’. Well, I guess we didn’t wear them enough because here we are, it’s Halloween week, and we won’t be trick or treating this year.
I love Halloween, maybe more than any other holidays, but I understand what’s happening out there, and I think it’s for the best, and that it’s safer to skip the door to door for this year. So we continue to roll with the punches this pandemic has been throwing at us, including a big one last week when we lost someone close to us that we loved very very much. So we’ll continue to adjust accordingly and deal with everything the best we can.
Trick or treating or not, this is still Halloween… so our family costumes are ready and we will be hosting a physical distancing Halloween street parade… with proper measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety, which, sadly, means no candy! So my two little dragons will be wearing their mask and walking down the street to show off their costume to other kids in the neighbourhood. Have you ever seen dragons with masks? Well, come to our parade and you will!
The Halloween talks usually start in early August at our house, and although I already knew back then I would probably not let the boys trick or treat, I still told them they needed to come up with good costume ideas. So back then, they were in a ‘How to train your dragons phase’, and they decided that this would be our theme this year. I’ve always wanted a family themed costume, but Brian is usually pretty hard to convince when it comes to Halloween costume (especially family themed one). Well I guess the boys were pretty convincing cause they were able to get him to dress up and participate in our family costume this year, which made me very happy. The deal was that we would all dress up, have a dragon’s day and party all day, but now that we are going to be doing a parade, it remains to be seen if he’s actually going to dress up or not on Halloween day. But I think he will!
So the plan for Halloween day is to start with dragon’s pumpkin pancakes, some games, including Halloween Bingo, another round of watching either How to train your dragon or Harry Potter (I vote for HP), and then do the neighborhood parade. So to get ready for this, lately, I’ve been spending most of my evenings making some How to train your dragon’s costumes for the four of us. The boys are so happy with the results. Well, who wouldn’t be with some light-up dragon’s wings!
So I am going to be Astrid, Brian will be Harold, and we will have our two little dragons with us! They’re not very well trained yet, but I guess that’s a work in progress! I’ve got my Astrid sword, Harold has his Viking hat, and our two dragons have some light-up wings ready to go for Saturday. Halloween 2020, we are ready for you! Happy Halloween everyone!
P.S. Harold, could you please buy me some mini chocolate bars since there will be none to steal from the kids?
So about 18 months ago, when things were totally normal, without even knowing what was going to hit us, I decided to start doing some homemade hand soap… and boy did it come in handy since March with all this sanitizing frenzy. While the store soap shelves are empty, well there’s plenty in my house!
I’m sharing my Foamy Hand Soap recipe with you, so you can all start making it at home. It’s soft, it smells great and it’s satisfying to make! Sure, it might seem a bit expensive at first, but once you buy the products, it will give you about 10-15 bottles of soap. PLUS, it’s really great on sensitive skin and there’s no chemicals, as it’s entirely made of products you can name.
You can even get the kids involve in making the soap mixture. A quick DIY afternoon and you’ll get some fresh soap out of it! I will provide a link below of the products that I’ve been using since I started. I find that ordering through Amazon right now might be the easiest way to get your hands on these, since running from store to store is definitely not your best option right now.
Foamy Hand Soap
Bottle: You will need an empty foam pump bottles (I reused all the ones I had from Bath & Body Works) or any foam bottle you might have. I will also list some new ones you can buy to get you started.
Fill (up to the line on the bottle) with distilled water.
Mix slowly, add the pump and wash away!
For the essential oils, lately, been using Young Living’s Thieves as it has antimicrobial properties, it’s great for the immune system and it’s really energizing. So exactly what you need right now! I also love making lemon and lavender soap for my kitchen soap bottle. It smells clean and fresh. Or grapefruit and peppermint for the boys bathroom. Their hands smell like heaven! And they don’t complain when I ask them to go wash their hands about 100 times a day! So many possibilities! Try it with your favorite essential oils and I’m sure it’s going to be a success. If you need more information about essential oils, send me a quick message and I’ll get you started!
The countdown is ON! In less than a week it’s HALLOWEEN, and we can hardly wait!!!
It was touch and go for a while, and the boys were getting impatient about their costumes, wondering if they would be done in time. Don’t worry boys, as long as you love Halloween the way you do now, I will continue to do everything I need to do to make sure your costumes are done on time for the 31st!
So last weekend, on Sunday afternoon, I was finally able to start working on them.
Our theme this year is POKEMON! Probably a common theme for households that have 7 or 8 years old boys! Being the Halloween freak that I am, of course I needed to make them… but this year I cheated a little, as I got some help from Party City for Logan’s. Liam is, of course, Pikachu, while Logan chose another fan favorite, Bulbasaur. I wanted to dress up for them as a Team Rocket member, but time wasn’t on my side this year with the kitchen reno and stuff, so I will have to go as myself.
So I bought two 6$ fleece blankets from Walmart, one yellow and one blue, used a one piece pajama, laid it flat on the blankets, traced it, cut it and sewed it! For Logan, I used a backpack from Party City and stuffed it with a pillow, and for Liam I came up with a Pikachu face for the hoodie, and just like that, voila, the two costumes were done.
They are now living in their costumes, so I’m not sure exactly if they’ll last until the 31st, but they are having a blast living each day like it’s Halloween, and so am I, cause obviously watching them dressing up makes my heart happy.
We are almost ready for next week… all I have to do is to carve our pumpkins, make trick or treat bags and sip a few more Pumpkin Spice Lattes!
Camp Woods 2019 is in full swing! This home based summer camp tradition has started about 4 years ago, back when Liam started to go to school and I started to spend every summer with them. They don’t get to go to regular summer camp, so I decided to bring summer camp to our place as a way to keep them busy. It’s a lot of fun for them, it’s sometimes a lot of groundwork for me, but they love it, so I play along. (If you’ve been following me or know me, then you know that I actually love it probably as much as they do!)
They both love to have some sort of organized schedule as part of their regular day to day, so I do the same for the summer camp, where every week has a different theme that they choose (that I choose!), with various activities that they really want to do (mostly that I really want to do!).
My kids love the fact that this camp doesn’t require a backpack, which makes it different than a regular school day, but what they love the most about it is that they have to stay home for a full week and still be entertained! They really like spending time together at home… and for the first few weeks of summer, after a long school year, I’m definitely okay with that as well, but later this summer, I will for sure force them to get out and go for some other type of activities, like museum, mini-putt, water slides, movies, etc.
Oh, guess what, it’s been a long school year for me as well, so at some point I will need a break from having them running around the house all day as well and will send them on sleepovers for a few days at my mom’s or will tell them to call their Gra-Gra (Brian’s mom) to ask if they can go camping with her. She will for sure say yes! But for now, the activities are non-stop and we can’t get enough of it.
We LOVE themes and we usually decide them on weekly basis. And then we do everything possible around that theme, like crafts, outings, recipes and activities. We are never short on what to do next!
Week 1 was obviously Toy Story. We’ve been hard core fans since forever and whether we like it or not, Toy Story always seems to find us! Like Woody was Liam’s first favorite toy, then it became their favorite movie, then we found a mint Buzz for like 2$ at a garage sale, etc. But my favorite Toy Story memory will always be the one where Logan was chosen as the honorary Sheriff of the Park in Disneyland back when we visited Disney California in 2016. Still can’t believe he was chosen on that day. I still remember asking them ‘’so how many kids get picked like that every day?’’ thinking that they would say 50 or 100… but no, one, only one gets picked and Logan got to be the one! We were so happy for him, and for us as well as we got fast passes to every ride and had reserved seating (like the best seats in the house) for the nightly show. This made our Disney trip truly magical as we had the best day ever, all that while Logan was proudly wearing his golden sheriff star! No wonder he likes that cowboy so much now!
So for our first week of Camp Woods, we had to go see TS4 at the drive-in on the very first day of our summer vacation, and God, will I ever regret that decision. I don’t think I would have had been able to not go see the TS4 movie, but I kind of wish I hadn’t. I wasn’t expecting my vacation to start with such a meltdown. The boys loved it while I’m still unsure about how I feel about it. I don’t think I will ever come close to crying for a kid movie like I did at the end of TS3, but man, that goodbye scene in TS4 was gut wrenching. SPOILER ALERT: Like, I knew Woody loved Bo, I could see that in the first movie, but for Christ’s sake, did he really love her that much? What about your family, man??? Not sure when I’ll be ready to see the movie again… I kind of wish they would have ended it with TS3 where they made me bawl like a cow just before they made my heart so happy. I know you will still watch it, but all you adults have been warned, you may regret not leaving it at movie number 3!
Of course we had a great time at the Drive-In with my sister in law and their cousin Nini. I can’t actually recall the last time the boys laughed that loudly at a movie, but again, the ending… well, my cousin Isabelle said it best in Instagram after she saw the movie: come on Woody, #brosbeforehoes!!! The only thing I would change about that hashtag is #brosbeforeboes!
So we decided to make a few TS inspired craft the following week. We made some slinky dogs, a few aliens’ plates, we crafted a Forky, the new TS4 friend, as well as some Ducky and Bunny cupcakes. All while watching the first 3 movies at home all week long.
On week 1 we’ve also spent a lot of time in the pool, played a few round of Chutes and Ladders, as well as many games of our family favorite, Bingo!!! It was a great week filled with great memories as well as some random thought of ‘’y tho Woody, why?’’. FYI – I should get over it eventually, probably about right after I go see Frozen 2.
Week 2 and 3 is/will be all about Harry Potter. I won’t lie to you, HP and Disney are pretty much sending me straight to bankruptcy. I mean, come on… 7 new HP Lego sets are coming out this summer. You’ve got to be kidding me. Like, are they expecting me not to buy them all??? Duh! So I’m pretending they’re for my kids and I feel less guilty when I buy them!
We have a tradition where we have to watch all of the movies every summer, and I just can’t wait to go through movie 1 to 8 in only a few days with them! Liam loves it as much as I do. He loves Harry and Sirius Black so much, while Logan, of course, loves Malfoy and Nagini! Liam has started reading the first book and I’m so proud of him. A big change for him, no pictures and a million tiny words, but he’s pretty excited and I am too.
We’ve crafted some washcloth owls and made some wands out of pens, I’ve got some games lined up for them; so I’d say we’re definitely ready to watch the movies now. I’ve got a great idea for a movie tent to build for our movie marathon, so we’re probably going to be very busy the next few days – all that while being dressed up in our Hogwarts robes, of course!
I will keep on sharing our Camp Woods activities on my Insta Stories, so follow along. Hope you will have a blast this summer, I know we will!
Wow! What a nice long weekend that was: record breaking temperature, Canada Day festivities and three pool parties in three days. Yeah, right now I’m totally beat, but still, I’m ready to go and looking forward to start this second week of summer vacation with lots of outdoor time, including four playdates with friends and lots of swimming in between. We just love to be out in the summer time, but right now, with this heat wave, the sun can be so warm that it will wear you down in no time. My favorite way to stay cool is off course to never leave the pool, but my second preferred option is to simply wear a nice and fancy hat to create myself some shade! Yep, I have another addiction: HATS!
I’ve seen so many awesome and pretty hats just about everywhere over the years, but obviously, had to control myself a little, as I would have bought them all!!! But about a few years ago, I just told myself: ‘ENOUGH! You can probably make those hats for way less; so just do it yourself’. And I did. And so far I have made 3 different ones and I just can’t stop, and won’t stop! You can do a fancy one for yourself or have a fun little afternoon project for yourself and the kids. It’s cheap… like the lobster hat was about 78$ at Anthropology… and made mine for the price of a Starbucks Latte! Like really, I love Anthropology, it’s one of my favorite store ever, but who would pay that for a lobster hat? Well certainly not me! I usually find my hats at Walmart, Michael’s and even at second hand store (found my now lobster hat at Value Village for a mere 3$) and then embellished them, which is quite cheap to do too. Any crafts shops or even dollar stores have many options of things to use for your hats… All you need is an idea!
Here’s a few hats that have caught my eye and are on my future hats list! Let your kids be involved in this process and I’m telling you, they’ll be as excited as you to go shop for hats and to find treasures to create their one of a kind masterpiece!
Next, with a pencil, either sketch on a paper or directly on the hat the design and location of your design. I’ve used acrylic paint, glue gun, sequins, yarn, etc. for the creation for the various hats I have done, and they held up pretty nicely. And even if they don’t last forever, well you will have paid less than 15$ for a one in a kind crafted hat that you can now fix yourself! Not bad right?
Once all designed, don’t be scared… you can do it! Even if it doesn’t end up perfectly as planned, you will have fun and that’s what matters! And I’m sure that the next one will be better.
So go ahead and start creating. I can tell you that I have a few more I want to try out before the end of the summer and I can’t wait to show them all to you! So, be creative and have fun! And just like that, you’ll have your very own pretty or fancy hat ready for your next outdoor gathering where the sun won’t burn that pretty face of yours! For me, this summer it’s all about my new favorite lobster hat!
Happy crafting my lemon drop life friends! Stay cool, and wear a hat.
This weekend was nothing short of amazing. I’m exhausted today, but it was sooo worth it. I had been eyeing an Harry Potter concert in Montreal for months, and early last week, Brian got us three tickets for Saturday night; and I have been prepping ever since! Liam and I have been watching Harry Potter every chance we got over the last 6 months, and I knew he would love the concert. Logan, not so much! That’s why he only got 3 tickets!
So on Friday night, I organized the ultimate Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’ Stone viewing party to set the mood for the next day. I decorated the living room with floating candles, houses crest, books, more candles, and our wands, of course!
For the occasion I had baked a cake, prepared some nutella filled “Howlers” pop-tarts, had some popcorn ready, filled lots of different sized jars with candy and chocolate, and displayed all of it on our huge credenza. We also brought up the kids playroom tv for the occasion. So once we got home from work and school, the boys played outside with the neighbors before inviting them to come inside and watch the Harry Potter movie and share the fun night with them. They had never watched the movie so I was very excited for them… they’re so lucky to see this movie for the first time! They all had lots of popcorn while Logan had way too much candy and chocolate; but still, he was the first one to ask to go to bed!
On Saturday morning we cleaned up the house and left for Montreal, while dropping Logan at my Mom’s place on the way there. We rarely go out with only one child. Maybe we should do it more often, but they pretty much like the same things, and it’s fun to spend some family time, so we always bring both of them with us, whatever we do. But on Saturday we decided that we would try to do this more often with only one of them since Liam just loved it, and I’m sure Loggy will too! Liam even told us couple times that he felt like he was on a vacation with the two of us! I thought it was so cute for him to tell us that. And I loved that he felt like that! I guess he needs time away from his brother once in a while!
So we went shopping with him… wow, so much easier with only ONE kid!!! Then we brought him over to Scarolie’s for diner; which is Brian and I favorite Italian place in Montreal (and has been ever since the first time we’ve been there on one of our first date back in the 90’s when we were just teenagers!). Liam loved his pasta, ate a lot of bread, and with a 4:30 reservation for three, well by 5:45 we were out of there and on our way to Place des Arts, Downtown Montreal. Once we made it there, Liam putted on his Gryffindor robe while I wore my Luna sunglasses. Liam and I had also both brought our wands! Good thing cause Liam would have surely wanted one, and they were like 50$… while mine costed around 1$ to make! Not bad, right? But of course we had to buy him something! So when he saw an owl stuffed animal who looked just liked a mini version of Harry’s, how could I say no! So he was walking in Place des Arts with his owl looking just like Harry!
So we made it to our mezzanine seats, and the concert hall was full. The show consisted of the second movie of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, on a large high definition screen with a live symphony orchestra playing the movie score. It was quite impressive to watch –and to hear– the orchestra, and sometime I would completely forget about the movie and just get lost and captivated by the music, and vice versa. Even though it’s a very long movie, Liam didn’t take his eyes away from the screen, even for a minute. Once the show was over, he told me he was coming back in June for the next movie. I didn’t even know that there was another show coming up. Guess he saw that somewhere! But of course we will be back. This will probably become an annual date with Liam… as we both like movies, music, and a bit of magic! So by the time we made it back to the car, Little Harry was pretty tired, and before we even got out of the theater parking lot, he was sound asleep.
Sunday consisted of visiting family and playing in a huge piles of leaves. We so lucky with this mild October weather that we are trying to spend has much time outside as possible.
We had a perfect Fall weekend. Hope you have a magical week my friends!
It’s almost time! Halloween is upon us! And we are READY!!!
The candies have been bought, the decorations have been up for a while, we have a regular requests for Halloween pajama comes bedtime, and now we have a daily Halloween parade happening every night in our house, cause I am FINALLY done with their Cars costumes! Although I’ve spent a lot of time making some pretty amazing Halloween costumes for my friends and I over the years, especially back in our early twenty’s when we would go out all night on Halloween night and win prizes, well this year’s costumes will definitely go down as the most time consuming, space taking and glue gunning costumes EVER. If the kids complain about the weight of their costumes, I’m blaming it on the glue! And then I’m telling them to shut up and forcing them to wear it a little more! (I’d like to specify that I won’t really be doing that; got to be careful with humor nowadays).
So, I’ve always been Cars obsessed, like, ever since the first movie came out… and this was one of the first Pixar movie I’ve showed the boys… and just like me, they’ve been in love with McQueen and his friends since. But last year, our love for Cars grew to a whole new level after we visited Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. So, since going to Disney, with the last Cars movie coming up last summer, it basically was a McQueen year at our house with Cars everywhere. I knew the second I saw a boxed costume of McQueen on Pinterest that I needed to step up my glue-gunning-skills and get to work. Cause after all, I needed 2 cars.
Back in August, I loaded my house with huge cardboard boxes I was able to find, and then invaded my kitchen with fabrics and all kinds of crafty thing I knew I’d need for this project. Now that they’re done, I can say I am in LOVE with how they turned out; just not sure it was worth the 15 hours it took to make each of them. Yep, I guess I really love Cars and craft and Halloween to spend that much time on DIY kids costumes. But I mostly did it before the admiring eyes of my boys, looking at it every steps of the way (probably wondering when it would actually look like Cars!), sometimes helping me, so it was all worth it!
Liam wanted to be Cruz Ramirez, and Logan, his beloved Lightning. So after many hours of works, last Sunday morning, both cars were finally declared done and ready for a test drive. One look at them riding their new cars and I knew it was well worth the mess. They kept on running and laughing and bumping each other, and then even agreed to go out to take pictures. Liam even asked me to put a Cars song on my cell phone and put it in his car to make like a car radio… so he was cruising while listening to the Cars soundtrack… I just love when they ask for small things like that that reminds me of things I would have also asked as a kid. He’s after my heart this one! He also requested a Cars Day. I guess I’m rubbing off on him! So now we’re planning to have one of those on November 7 when the new movie will be out on Blue Ray, so they can sit in their cars and watch the movie, Drive-In style!
But for now, we’ll continue to parade in our costumes, and you might even spot us on the streets, dancing and singing ‘Life could be a dream, life could be a dream, sha-boom, sha-boom’! All that, of course, while patiently waiting for October 31st for the real Lightning and Cruz parade. Hoping the next few days go by fast so I can eat some of my kids mini chocolate bars! Ka-Chow!!!
Ever since we moved into our new house, almost 3 years ago, I’ve been wanting larger than life prints of the boys. I think I’ve pinned over 100 frames on Pinterest the last 2 years, and they were all very nice, almost looking like what I wanted, but just not quite… so I knew this frame project would have to be a DIY type of thing to get me pleased! So this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and called my step dad for help! Without having a Pinterest account himself, just by listening to me, he knew right away what I wanted. I gave him the dimension of the pictures and the next thing I knew, the two frames were built. And they were just perfect!!!
I already had my pictures picked out, so I sent them right away at Walmart to be printed… and for 14.97 each, I’d say it’s very reasonable for a 24×36 print! Frank made the frames from old reclaimed wood with a 45 degree angle cut; and he also made a groove inside for the pictures to sit in. So using a spray adhesive that I already had from a previous craft project (Liam’s baby baseball room with a full wall covered with old Red Sox Baseball cards; clearly not my idea!), I sprayed the back of the pictures, glued it to a thin Luan board that I used as the back of the frames, putted the picture/board in its spot and nailed it in place using mini finishing nails. You can buy these boards at Home Depot and have them cut out the right size for you for a small fee. Then I’ve installed a wire at the back for hanging, and just like that I had some awesome frames ready to be installed!
Even though I didn’t cut any of the wood and don’t know how difficult of a task this represents, I’m pretty sure the hardest part of all this was hanging the frames. We have 9 foots ceiling and I wanted the frames to be hung in the stairwell. Brian was not impress with me that morning. But with our ladder and some planks we were able to build some type of homemade but not-to-steady and clearly not-so-safe scaffold that did the job! I wish I had taken a picture of Bry while he was standing on his wobbly 10 foot long 2 X 8 over the staircase, but I guess holding his back was more important than taking a shot of him at that time!
So now it’s up there, and it’s now one of my favorite walls in the house. The frames turned out even more awesome than expected. I love doing some DIY projects, and I got some more already in mind as my to-do list is long, but I can finally check this one off. You know, large pieces of art are expensive to buy, but these two frames costed me less than 35$ each to make, so you can’t go wrong with that. So give it a try, and if you encounter a problem, call Frank, he’ll know what to do!
So Friday night I was alone with the boys and we started talking about the month of April and that tomorrow was going to be April’s Fools day. They didn’t really know about it and how it was about playing tricks on people and fishies! We decided right then that we would celebrate ‘Fish Day’ on Saturday.
At 6:40 am the next day, we we’re busy tracing, cutting and drawing all kinds of fish. We made a mural with more than 40 fishes and made special ones for the people we love. Also found some fish t-shirt we already had and then we were ready for some food.
We made a cake and some individual fish pizza (themed pizza is my go-to food activity, I feel like we can make everything with a pizza and it’s always a hit)!
Then it was practice time, they had no clue how to stick a fish on other people’s back! It was so much fun watching them practice for the real thing… they just seem not to get that you had to be subtle when trying to stick the fish! After a while they got better, but once our family started to arrive, they were too shy to stick it to them! So I guess we have a bit more practice to do for next year.
So it was a spur of the moment kind-a-day and we had so much fun! Not everything needs to be planned ahead, make it happen and have fun. That’s what it’s all about anyway!
Have an awesome month of April and enjoy spring time!
I would have loved this activity as a child. I saw the ad online two weeks ago and within minutes I had recruited my cousins for an afternoon of fun with our kids. Two words and they we’re hooked; Chocolats Favoris!
Two amazing things put together: Easter and Chocolats Favoris… marketing GENIUS. Either online or in store, you can pick out everything you need for this great Easter activity.
Véro picked out the chocolate for everyone in advance, but it would be even more fun to bring your kids to the store and let them pick out their favorite one, and of course, have an ice cream cone while you’re there! The prices were very reasonable, with an average of 12$-15$ per child. An outing, a craft and delicious chocolates! A win for everyone. Once you have chosen your favorite mold, you pick out a chocolate color palette and voilà, you’re ready to go!
I would recommend a disposable tablecloth, which we didn’t use! We ended up scrapping off chocolate off my table for ever!
We melted the color palettes in escargot dishes, best idea, because in a plate I would think that the colors would run together… Within 5 minutes, the 5 kids were busy painting. We thought it would last two minutes, but surprisingly, they were entertained for over 25 minutes. They loved it!
I loved that each kids had their own chocolate palette and did whatever they wanted with it. They were mixing the colors as they felt; you can really see their personality in their work! Some were really expressive while painting!
It dries really quickly, so you can pile-up paint on paint on paint without ending up with the same color all over your chocolate. But of course, by the end, there was chocolate paint everywhere. Liam loved it so much he was licking the table while Jacob and Logan were eating the paintbrushes! All resisted eating their work of art. This activity was even more successful than expected.
I’m probably going to do this again before Easter, since it was such a great creative activity (but next time I’m getting one for myself for sure!). My favorite masterpiece was Logan’s! It almost looked like a piece of art I would buy. Finally, the artsy side of my boys is coming out!
I’m pretty sure these will fly of the shelves of Chocolats Favoris stores. So grab one and run! All these pretty colors sure made me ready for Spring; so be ready to be flooded with Easter and Spring posts in the next little while. Cause although I just spent an amazing March break at the cottage with Brian and the boys, tubing and snowshoeing with cold nights and fireplace, I can say that I’m pretty much done with winter for this year and ready for Spring… and so will you once you do this fun family activity!