Tag Archives: friends

Dog & Girl: Best Buds

IMG 0568Just look at how far these two have come…  

The relationship started off a little rocky (Bella was over keen and Gracen was terrified), but after some serious effort on Grandma Charlotte’s part, they began getting used to one another and eventually began a friendship.  Now these two are inseparable.  When Bella’s around, everyone else may as well be invisible, and when Gracen’s around, Bella can be off her leash and not run away.  Now if that’s not a match made in heaven, I don’t know what is. ☺

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iPhoneography // Girl Friends

Jessica of Northshore Mama, Nat of Nat Nanton, and I met just over a year ago when the three of us were all nominated as Vancouvermom.ca’s top 30 bloggers.  Despite the bustling room filled with people, the nerves of knowing absolutely no one, and the craziness that is 100+ moms all gabbing during a rare night out, Jess, Nat, and I managed to connect during the celebration event and learned that we all had baby girls within a few months of one another.  That night, we decided a play date / mommy date was in order sometime soon.  Since that night, we’ve chatted pretty much daily, have met up for several mama outings, and have even attended some munchkin-friendly events together, but we didn’t get around to that original play date until today.  And I have to say, though it was a year in the making, it was well worth the wait.  These ladies and their munchkins have a special place in my heart.  The girls each have distinctive personalities and it’s such a joy to watch them interact, problem solve, and compromise with one another.  Together they’re a perfect blend of determination, compassion, humour, and smarts, and something tells me that if these girls stick together, they’ll no doubt conquer the world one day!

Little Girl Play Date | Mama Papa Bubba

snack time // play time

sharing is caring // incognito

a natural // baby love

pony rides // nat attack



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A Messy Play Date {& Some Messy Play Date Tips}

Today was the highly anticipated day of our {backyard} messy play date…finally!  Gracen and I got everything ready yesterday afternoon and had it all sitting by the backyard to make our early start time a little easier this morning.  During our prep, Grae was so excited she could barely contain herself.  She gathered sensory bin items and assembled them like it was her job and this morning she was up bright and early eager for her friends to arrive.  

When we do these sorts of play dates, I try to have a variety of different kinds of open-ended activities spread out throughout the backyard.  This means that there is something for everyone and not all of the kids are always crowded in the same area like little sardines.  Today’s sensory activities included our bird bin, an ocean bin filled with water beads, a construction bin filled with pea gravel, a cloud dough bin filled with different moulds and scoops, a gardening station directly in our garden {as we didn’t plant this year due to our upcoming move}, and a sparkly slime tray.  For kiddos looking for a bit more action, we had our inexpensive and easy backyard balance beam, a sandbox filled with dinosaur bones and shovels for digging, a pool filled with cups, scoops, and nets {because it was too cool to actually swim}, and bubble chasing courtesy of a couple of bubble machines.  For our little art lovers, we had out a big moon painting station and a bucket of sidewalk chalk with some water for dipping, and for those looking for a little bit of downtime, we had our 5 minute teepee with some puzzles inside, a beading station, and a tunnel hideout. 

Sounds fun, right?  Strangely enough, after all of the build-up, Miss G was quite clingy and whiny throughout.  I think it was a combination of feeling slightly smothered by a very affectionate friend and just being a little overwhelmed.  Though I think she still had fun, I was a little surprised that it didn’t go over a bit better than it did…  But what can you do?  I’m pretty sure the other kids enjoyed themselves, and after a lot of messy play, we all sat down to a laid-back picnic lunch of sandwiches, fruits and veggies, nuts, crackers, cookie dough boys, and homemade iced tea and lemonade.  After saying goodbye to our friends {and passing out play dough and play putty favours – all Miss G’s idea}, we found ourselves in a backyard that looked like a tornado had run through it…  A true sign of messy play date success, I’d say!

Here are some photos from our morning…

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After hosting a couple of these play dates, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…

1. Include activities of varying messiness. Not all kiddos love getting filthy.

2. Spread play stations out as much as possible.  Not only does it allow the munchkins lots of space to play and explore, but it also helps keep the play materials separate (though we did end up with slime, sand, and cloud dough in our pool this time around!)

3. Expect your play materials to get trashed.  While water beads, slime, and doughs may last several months when enjoyed by just your child(ren), many children may be experiencing these play materials for the first time.  Water beads will be smushed, dirt will be added to the slime, and buckets of water will be dumped into cloud dough, so be prepared to throw everything out and start fresh.

4.  Slime and concrete don’t mix.  Being used to my very careful, rule-bound little lady, I thought nothing of putting a big tray of slime out on a table on our concrete pad.  Needless to say, by the end of the play date, it was everywhere and Brad and I spent a couple of hours picking, peeling, spraying, scrubbing, and sweeping it all up – pretty rockin’ Friday night, no? All in the name of fun! ☺

5. Include a hand washing station.  Kids are going to want to wash their hands between activities and having a spot to do it outside not only makes it easier for them, but it also minimizes traffic in and out of the house.  We use a drink dispenser filled with warm water with a basin below and some soap and a hand towel nearby and not only does it get the job done, but it’s also a lot of fun.


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The Perfect Play Date

IMG 9420IMG 9424IMG 9425PizzaThis morning Grae and I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with the lovely Little Miss Mama and her adorable curly-haired girl.  There was good play, an explosion of toys, many sharing opportunities, and best of all, a make your own pizza station for lunch.  The girls made pizza together, ate over an episode of Winnie the Pooh (I think this blew G’s mind), and us mamas got a few minutes to chat in between.  Oh, and Grae ate FIVE pieces of pizza, so lunch was obviously delicious.  

It was the perfect play date.  We’ll miss these two ladies terribly while in Kuwait.


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Saturday Morning in Stanley Park

A perfect way to start the weekend… A Stanley Park play date with some girlfriends. ☺

IMG 8270Saucer sharing.

IMG 8278The magic of bubbles.

IMG 8284A giant microphone for a little performer.

IMG 8289“Hello Goose!  How you doing today?  You wanna see my flower???”


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Our 3rd Annual Valentine’s Tea

IMG 5583A little tradition we started back when Gracen was just 5 months old and we were living in Kuwait is an annual Valentine’s tea.  Today we hosted our third celebration with a bunch of Grae’s good buddies, some awesome mamas, delicious treats, and some messy fun.  The sun was shining, us mamas got to sneak in conversations in between chasing toddlers, and the kiddos played happily.

Here are some snapshots from our morning…

IMG 5589Tea.

IMG 5545Heart-shaped pretzels made especially for us by SweetSalt.

IMG 5544Banana berry muffins {adapted from this recipe}.

IMG 5542Mmmm… Fruit.

IMG 5543Strawberry crispy hearts.

IMG 5584Hearts.

IMG 5585Treats for the mamas.

IMG 5598Tea for toddlers.

IMG 5580Berry-scented play dough.

IMG 5548Hard at play.

IMG 5550Water bead fun.

IMG 5567Aftermath.

IMG 5569Crafting.

IMG 5560A happy girl post-party.

Kind of crazy that we’ve had two teas here in Vancouver and next year we’ll be back to where it all started, but I’m looking forward to it.

Take a peek at last year’s tea here.


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Mama Bloggers & Munchkins: A Play Date

Since being selected as one of Vancouvermom.ca’s Top 30 Mom Bloggers, I’ve gotten to know some really incredible and inspiring local ladies.  Over the course of the last several months, we’ve turned to one another for advice and support time and again, and have become fast friends because of it all.  I’m beyond grateful to be part of such a wonderful bunch of mamas, and it goes without saying that I will miss them dearly while away in Kuwait.  

Today Miss G and I were lucky enough to meet up with several of my lovely blogger friends – Tairalyn of Little Miss Mama, Amy of The Connection We Share, and Erin of Erin at Large  – as well as their adorable munchkins for a Granville Island play date.  The weather wasn’t completely on our side, but the company certainly made up for it. 

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IMG 4448IMG 4492IMG 4484IMG 4478IMG 4494IMG 4457IMG 4449Growing up, there was a group of 7 of us girls who were extremely close.  Throughout the years, some of us have moved, married, developed careers, and had babies, and all of us have grown up and changed. The thing is, bring us all together again, and it’s as close to effortless as friendship can be.  

Today Grae and I had the opportunity to spend time with 3 of those friends (plus an adorable little addition to the crew named Miss A).  We brunched, walked, reminisced, and conducted a mini photo shoot which I’m certain led several strangers to believe that we are completely insane (I don’t blame them).  Grae soaked up every moment.  

Over dinner, I asked her what her favourite part about today was.  Her response was, “Those friends.”  Good call, baby girl, good call.  I can only hope she finds girlfriends that stand the test of time one day.


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Remnants of a Messy Play Date

Gracen had a wonderful time with her friends at her birthday party and has talked about having friends over to play every day since.  So with my little lady’s wishes tugging at my heartstrings and our beautiful Vancouver weather continuing into September, I decided to host our first ever {outdoor} messy play date.  

It’s been something Gracen’s been anticipating all week, and yesterday, she helped me pick out and put together our snacks, sensory bins, and art stations, and today we had four of her little friends over to play in the backyard.  It was morning of ‘treats’, friends, hugs, and getting dirty, which suited Gracen just perfectly.  

Though I tried to take photos during the play date, attempting to drink a hot coffee, engage and supervise a handful of one and two year olds, and visit with fellow mommies at the same time ended up being quite a lot on its own.  Afterwards, however, once all of our friends had departed and Miss G was tucked in her crib for her nap, I couldn’t help but smile at the piles of mess all around me.  Mostly eaten snacks, well played with sensory bins, almost empty juice cups, dried up paint, and little white plaster footprints across our backyard pad… All signs filled bellies, happy babies, and old-fashioned messy play.  

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IMG 9624IMG 9625Apple stamping
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Worlds Collide

IMG 9279Worlds collided when we met up with our friends from Kuwait in Vancouver’s very own Stanley Park this morning.  And just look at the ridiculous amount of cuteness that came out of it…


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