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31 January 2010

Gretchen's Library: Recent Additions

Thanks to some incredibly generous friends, Gretchen's book collection definitely grew after Saturday's party. I am absolutely a lover of books & I swoon each time she picks one up to hug, kiss and flip through to her heart's content.

Here are her new acquisitions:

Where the Wild Things Are -- A classic, of course! I had been meaning to pick this book up for Gretchen for a while now, and thanks to a dear friend, it's now a part of our collection.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed -- I really dig books that I can sing to her. We have a copy of The Itsy Bitsy Spider which is full of new fun verses. Gretchen gets a kick out of me chanting along as she turns the pages.

Puppies, Farm, Kittens -- I love how simple these books are, and she loves turning the thick pages back and forth. They're also so perfect for tossing in my purse to have on hand when we're out and about.

Clumsy Crab -- An endearing little tale about a clumsy crab finding his way in the world. In the front cover, my dear friend Meagh (one of Gretchen's godparents) wrote: "For Gretchen, on your very first birthday - There's a place in the world for all of us, little friend."

My Little Noisy Book of Kittens -- It meows! It's full of kittens! It's adorable! This one came to us from Ezra's mother, Elena (also Gretchen's godparent). Little G spent quite a while reading this one tonight, pushing the red button over and over until both of our cats were sitting at my feet looking rather perplexed.

In My Nest -- If you haven't seen this series around, the little bird in the middle is finger puppet which Gretchen was totally amazed by. Her eyes went wide and she danced around and shrieked as she reached for the book. A big hit! There are several books in the series, including one with a little bear. So sweet.

Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise -- My friend Jacquie picked this book out in honour of my own rather flatulent canine. Completely silly & hilarious!

Not a Box -- All about inspiration & being a creative little bunny. I bought this book for a friend's kid a couple years back and always knew that when I had my own child I would give it to them. It's simple, with a strong message. Definitely a favourite.

Ten fabulous new titles!

Three cheers for new books! Hmm, after writing this post I'm really feeling an urge to share the rest of her library with you. I think that bit by bit, I will continue writing posts like this to show you some of the great reads on her shelves. Also, don't forget to check the blog's sidebar for the "Gretchen's Picks" section. I try to update it fairly regularly!

Please feel free to comment or email me about any books you think baby G and I would enjoy -- I'm always up for recommendations! Peace!


PS. As requested by a reader, I'm also working on a post about her other lovely presents -- including her handmade sock monkey, and the sweet cloth doll that I found for her.

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The Fawn's Eggless Orange Chocolate Cake

With the recent birthday cake adventures still fresh in my mind, I was really in the mood to bake something tonight -- something decadent -- but I knew that we were definitely out of eggs.

However, having been a vegan for a year back in university, that didn't stop me.

(You can thank Ryan for the orange-spiration since earlier this afternoon he asked me to "please find something else to do with that juice we have in the fridge, it's way too sweet to drink".)

The Fawn's Eggless Orange Chocolate Cake

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 ¼ cups orange juice
1 ½ cups flour
½ cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix together sugar, butter and orange juice, then slowly add flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder & cinnamon. Stir til smooth, pour into vessel of choice. I baked my cake in a greased glass loaf pan at 350 for about 40 minutes.

This concoction came out so incredibly moist & flavourful – I have to say I’m quite proud of my little creation! I would definitely make it again – maybe in cupcake form next time, or perhaps with two layers.

If you try this out I’d love to hear how it went, or to see images of your yummy dessert!

Bon appetite!


PS. The icing I used tonight is actually just the cheapo stuff that lives in a plastic container. However, I already had it in my fridge from making cupcakes a little while ago and since there was just a couple of spoonfuls left I figured waste not, want not.


Winston VS The Balloon VS Lydia

After yesterday's party, Winston enjoyed a little game time with a red balloon.

It didn't end very well for him.

Note: No Boston Terries were harmed in the making of this video -- thought his dignity did suffer.

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30 January 2010

The First Birthday Party

Gretchen's very first birthday party was a smashing success! Family, friends, good eats, incredibly thoughtful presents & so much love.

She loved her first cake!!

After the commotion, she paused to read one of her new books...

... and settled in for some milk & a snuggle.

Thank you to everyone who made this day so wonderful. I know that we will look back and remember how meaningful and experience her first birthday was -- we feel so honoured to have family & friends who are so special, loving & ever present.

Thank you.

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The First Birthday Cake

For Gretchen's birthday cake, I semi-followed a Banana Cake recipe that I spotted on Green Parenting. I love that there's no added sugar -- I only dusted the top with a little icing sugar before serving.

Here's my tweaked version of the recipe:

3 bananas mashed
½ cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup water
2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 cups fresh blueberries

Mix bananas and butter together until nice and smooth, then add applesauce and water. In another bowl, beat eggs until foamy -- add to banana mixture. Then slowly blend in flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Then stir in blueberries. Pop in the oven (I actually used greased glass tart pan, but you could make cupcakes, or use a cake pan, or even a loaf tin) for about 20-30 min (depending on vessel of choice) at 350° or until it tests done (aka a knife inserted comes out clean). Let cool, dust with icing sugar & enjoy!

This cake definitely had a loafy texture to it, but the sweetness was just right with the bananas and berries -- so tasty and Gretchen loved it! She nearly at an entire slice to herself & I felt great knowing she wasn't being pumped full of chemicals & icing & all sorts of nasty traditional cake ingredients.

Happy baby, happy mama! Bon appetit!

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Stairs Are No Match For A One Year Old

Yesterday, on her birthday, Gretchen decided to conquer the staircase.

Not just one step, but all of the stairs -- to the very top. And VERY quickly. She also gave us a heart attack as we were cleaning for her party and suddenly could hear her laughing in the upstairs hallway.

I'm living with a tiny Evel Knievel. It's definitely time for baby gates now!


PS. Her party this afternoon was great! I promise to share pictures soon. Until then, check out these gorgeous handmade gifts from my friend over at My Girl Thursday!

Aren't they gorgeous??

PPS. Thank you for all of the wonderful comments yesterday. The love is palpable.

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29 January 2010

A Year Of Breastfeeding

As of today, we have been breastfeeding for ONE YEAR, with no signs of stopping! I have officially kept my resolution made last January.

Our nursing career got off to a rough start, but despite all of our issues, we stuck it out & I believe it's one of the most important things I've ever done in my life. My innate stubbornness paid off in the end & I'm thrilled!

Thank you to my best friend for supporting me 100% and helping me out when I was so frustrated. Thank you to my partner, who was at my side the entire time, who believed in me & guided me through my frustrations. And thank you to baby G, who never gave up & is now a bonafide milkaholic.

A year & beyond!

I'm really not sure what my stance used to be on 'extended nursing', but I really can't see us stopping any time in the near future.

Two years? Three year? I'm game. This breastaurant is open for business.

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A Year Of Babywearing

I have been wearing Gretchen in a number of different carriers/slings since she was a day old & we both still love it. Without babywearing, I'd feel naked.

CuddlyWrap, Heart2Heart.

CuddlyWrap, Ergo.

Ergo, SugarBugSlings.


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Happy Birthday Gretchen Fawn

To my dearest baby girl on her very 1st birthday,

This year you made me a mother. No matter what else I'm given in this lifetime, know that this will always be the most special gift imaginable.

You've accomplished so much in the last 12 months: you were born at home; you cried your first little cry & then stayed so quiet on my chest; breastfeeding was hard, but we figured it out & we're still going strong; you smiled your first smile; you learned to say "dada" & "mama" & it was music to our ears; you rolled over, you sat up, you crawled, you scooted & now you can stand on two wobbly legs, so eager to run, not yet able to walk; you ate your first food; you got your first cat scratch; you fell off the bed; you bonked your head on the coffee table; you went to the zoo; you saw five parades; you had your first swing; you learned to do a little baby dance; you played with the dog; you went to emerg; you grew six teeth; you loved being worn; you slept with us; you wore some cloth diapers & some not-so-cloth diapers; you peed on your parents; you pooped on the floor; you had a bath in the tub just hours after being born; you know where my nose is & where your hair is; you had your first Christmas; you learned how to hug & kiss; you met new friends; you snuggled a lot; you taught us so much; you made your mother & your father fall in love in an instant.

We love you more than we can express, but we will try, every single day of your life.

You mean the world to us.

Happy birthday, baby girl.

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Fawned Friday (Be Mine)

Since that mushiest of holidays is quickly approaching, I wanted to share some little sweets that I've been batting my eyelashes at this week.


01. The Wonder Woman & Valentine.

02. Be mine onesie.

03. His & hers stoneware.

04. Heart branches coin purse.

05. Quilled hearts.

06. Hugs & kisses pencils.

07. Boston terrier love mug.

08. Three times the love.

09. Faux bois heart pin.

10. I heart you hoodie.

Happy Friday -- with love, of course!

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Forget The Stretch & Sweep

A year ago at this exact time my water broke because I was laughing so hard at a silly videos on YouTube.

This was one of the videos:


28 January 2010

The Snow Has Returned

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The Aforementioned Soup

Yesterday's soup: carrots, potatoes, apples, ginger, nutmeg, water; cube, boil, puree, add cream, maple syrup, chili flakes; serve.

Today I made the same, but with goat's milk instead of cream, more potatoes & no apples.

So good.


27 January 2010


... to April from Enchanted Dandelions!

You have won the fabulous Garland of the Month prize from Deliajude!

Please email me your address & I shall pass it on to the lovely garland maker!

Thanks to everyone who entered!


PS. Garland of the Month club subscriptions are still available at Deliajude's shop. Happy Wednesday!


Wordless Wednesday (Babies & Webcams)