Monthly Archives: July 2012

Outdoor Dishwashing Station

Outdoor Dishwashing Station | Mama Papa BubbaGracen loves “helping” wash dishes so much, I decided to turn it into a little afternoon activity today.  While having a toddler standing on a chair beside you splashing in a sink of bubbles as you power through a load as fast as humanly possible isn’t always super convenient, this activity was easy and fun for everyone involved.

IMG 7747We got started by collecting some supplies we had around the house – a bin filled with warm soapy water, a dish drying rack, some plastic dishes, cups, and spoons, a nearly empty dish soap container topped up with water, some scrubber pads, steel wool, a dish brush, and a dish towel.

IMG 7755I asked Grae if she wanted to play, and she got going without hesitation. All dishes in the sink!

IMG 7757IMG 7761Without a doubt, squeezing the soap into the bin was her favourite part.

IMG 7777She scrubbed and washed each dish one at a time…

IMG 7773And when they met her expectations, they were added to the drying rack.

IMG 7791Though she was down to business for part of the activity, things got silly and wet too!

IMG 7796This station was a total hit and I can definitely see it becoming a regular in our play rotation. After all, what’s not to love about bubbles, water, splashing, scrubbing, and getting soaking wet on a warm day?


You can see Gracen’s oceanicerainbow rice, beach, watergardeningmoon doughconstructionand bird-themed
bins by clicking on the links.


For extra fun, like us on Facebook here and find us on Instagram here.  

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Alphabet Photo Book Sneak Peek

I must admit… I started this project in iPhoto long, long ago.  So long ago, in fact, that Grae is wearing diapers in a couple of the photos {and we’ve been done with those for nearly 10 months now}.  Mama fail. Life gets busy… What can you do?  The good news is that I’m back on the project in full force (well, I’ve actually restarted altogether).  The motivation? Both Gracen’s nearing second birthday and receiving a promo code for a free  hardcover book from Shutterfly (love a free photo book, plus the timing couldn’t be any better).  

Here’s a little sneak peek at G’s alphabet book in progress…

Alphabet Book Sneak PeekI’ve had several questions about how I add text to pictures for the photo books I’ve made previously and I’m happy to say, it’s very easy.  Personally, I use Pixelmator, but Photoshop or any other photo editing program you’re comfortable with will work.  All I do is open the photo in the program, add a text box, and type in my words (in this case I did two separate text boxes – one for the larger letter, and one for the smaller sentence). Once my photo and text looks the way I want it to, I export it to jpeg format.  Then you can print the photos as is and pop them into an album, or import them into an online photo book creator.

Easy, personalized, and guaranteed to be a well-loved book for a long time!

See some of Gracen’s other photo books by clicking on the links:

Grae’s Anatomy / Grae’s Family & Friends / Gracen Loves / That’s Not My Gracen

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Gracen Counts

For a long while now, Grae could count to 2 and would just continue saying, “One, two, one, two, one, two…” for sets of objects larger than a pair.  Just before we left on vacation, she added 3 into her repertoire, and while in the Okanagan she added 4 and 5.  It’s really incredible to ask your firstborn baby how many blueberries she has or how many markers there are and watch her count them up and proudly announce her answer.

How she grew up and learned all of these things so quickly is beyond me, but she can now count sets of things up to 7 on her own, and up to 9 if you help her with the number 8…

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Gracen Reads

Gracen has loved books and ‘reading’ or being read to ever since she was an itty bitty thing and will literally bring you one book after the next all day long if you continue to read them. Just recently though, she’s started letting us know that she’d like to be the reader and we can be the audience.  I can’t explain how happy it makes me to listen to her stories and share in her love of books. This was this morning’s story…

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While getting getting ready for bed tonight…

Papa: Grae, can you say I love Papa?

Gracen: I… love… Papa!

Papa: Can you say Mama is stinky?

Gracen: Mama… izzzz… stinky!

Mama: Nooooo! Mama’s not stinky!

Gracen: (sticking out her tush and pointing at it with both hands) Grae Grae’s bum stinky!!!

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Small Style {6}

It’s been a little while, but I’m finally getting around to posting another instalment of Small StyleI just love sorting through photos for these posts and seeing all of Grae’s silly little smiles and quirky poses.  No matter how goofy she looks, they just melt my mama heart.  

Here’s some of what Miss G’s been wearing lately…IMG 6174

Teal cardigan: American Apparel / Pocketed tank: Joe / Striped leggings: Carter’s / Glittered flats: Payless

IMG 5433Straw fedora: H&M / Sundress: Baby Gap / Multi-coloured sandals: Joe

IMG 5547Felt flower headband: Made by Mama / Plaid button-up: Joe / Aqua tank: H&M / Dark denim skinnies: Levi’s / Fluorescent sneakers: H&M

IMG 5711Wool flower hat: Haute Tots  / Quilted sweater: Joe / Cheetah print leggings: Joe / Fluorescent sneakers: H&M

IMG 5792Floral sunglasses: Joe / Pocketed tank: Joe / Denim shorts: Baby Gap / Gladiator sandals: Joe

IMG 6533Polka dotted sunhat: Baby Gap / Striped coral tank: Baby Gap / Pocketed denim shorts: The Children’s Place (handed down) / Gladiator sandals: Joe

IMG 6642Rosette hair clip: Stella Blossoms / Striped tank: Old Navy / Denim shorts: Baby Gap / Gladiator sandals: Joe

IMG 6655Floral sunglasses: Joe / Babydoll tank: Old Navy / Coral shorts: Old Navy / Silver flip-flops: Old Navy

IMG 6685Floral sungalsses: Joe / Babydoll tank: Old Navy / Striped capri leggings: H&M / Pink flip-flops: The Children’s Place

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Grae & Bella: Eventual Buds

A week ago, Gracen was enamoured with the idea of Bella (Grandma Charlotte’s dog), but whenever the dog came within a 4 foot radius, she’d shake in panic and desperately try to climb up the legs of the nearest adult in search of protection (in Grae’s defense, Bella is still just a puppy and has been easily excitable and quick to jump up until recently).  Now, just 7 days later, after many long walks and several baggies of dog treats, it’s a completely different story.  They’ve become best buds.  Grae isn’t the least bit fearful and Bella has been calm, patient, and gentle despite the lingering hugs, overzealous pats, and ongoing tail tugs. Just look at these two…

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Poppop Celebrates 60

Tonight we celebrated Gracen’s Poppop’s 60th birthday with a low-key backyard barbecue. The weather was gorgeous, the company was good, the food was delicious, and most importantly… the pool was warm!  Oh, and how can I forget – the cake was only slightly gravel-y… If you follow me on instagram (jkossowan), you know what I’m talking about. ☺

IMG 7662Gracen and Grandpa Dave, a.k.a. Poppop.

IMG 7665Pool time!

IMG 7667Twirl time.

IMG 7673Wild water baby.

IMG 7684‘Hey, look what I can do!’

IMG 7686Stomp, stomp.

IMG 7691Catch with Poppop.

IMG 7695Dinner time!

IMG 7699Happy birthday, Poppop!

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Our Afternoon

Our afternoon in photos…

IMG 7546IMG 7548IMG 7549IMG 7557IMG 7558IMG 7560IMG 7564Wild water baby in the wading pool.

IMG 7575IMG 7577IMG 7578Sprinkler fun with Papa.

IMG 7583Preparing a snack.

IMG 7588Straight from Grandma’s garden.

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Toddler Food: What Miss G Eats {18}

Some of the things Miss G has been eating as of late…

IMG 6182Breakfast // Breakfast sandwich (organic egg and aged cheddar on a multigrain thin bun). Black plum slices.

IMG 6577Breakfast // Coconut chia cereal (chia seeds and organic coconut milk).

IMG 6421Breakfast // Cantaloupe. Cottage cheese. Birdie toast with all-natural almond butter.

IMG 6269Breakfast // Seedy bagel thins with all-natural peanut butter and cream cheese. Strawberry slices.

IMG 6634Breakfast // Breakfast sandwich (wholewheat English muffin, jalapeño jack, and an organic egg). Blackberries. Orange slices.

IMG 6179Snack // Garden peas (a new favourite!)

IMG 6226Snack // Homemade strawberry applesauce.

IMG 6425Snack // Organic brown rice cakes with toppings (all-natural peanut butter and apple slices, mashed avocado and extra old cheddar, all-natural cream cheese and strawberry slices).

IMG 6352Snack // Garden strawberries.

IMG 6386Snack // All-natural almond butter and raisin roll-up.

IMG 6395Snack // Garden carrots.

IMG 6327Lunch // Smashed avocado and chickpea roll-up. Kale chips. Blackberries.

IMG 6353Snacks & Lunch // Dried apricot and apple rings. Strawberries and blackberries. Mary’s Organic Crackers and cheddar cheese curds. Almond butter and apple roll-up. Garden peas and carrots.

IMG 6399Lunch // Chicken and veggie soup. Mary’s Organic Crackers.

IMG 6614Lunch // Herbed chickpea and garden veggie pasta salad.

IMG 6176Dinner // Southwest shredded chicken chili with old cheddar and fresh cilantro. (Similar recipe here.)

IMG 6408Dinner // Salsa-baked chicken on orzo, toasted pine nuts, and feta. Steamed broccoli. (A meal idea stolen from my sister-in-law.)

IMG 6350Dinner // Grilled chicken. Corn on the cob. Kale chips. Fingerling potatoes with fresh dill.

IMG 6357Dinner // Veggie and tofu stir-fry on wholewheat soba noodles.  Corn on the cob.

IMG 6409Drink // Watermelon lime slushie.

IMG 6575Drink // Strawberry flax smoothie.

IMG 6637Drink // Fruit water.

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