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31 January 2012

{Giveaway} Schoolhouse Toys

I have been doing a happy dance all month long with the anticipation of this giveaway! Kim, of Your Green Baby and Mothering With Mindfulness, and her artist husband, have recently started to craft delightful wooden toys out of their home -- the most beautifully converted one room schoolhouse.

giveaway peek

giveaway peek

A set of these blocks -- which come packaged in a hand sewn felt bag -- was one of Gretchen's favourite Christmas gifts this year. I honestly adore how they feel in my hands, and they smell amazing. A little message from Kim's blog: "Each toy is unique and different, much like the children who will play with them. The toys respect Mother Earth and will live on for generations to come."

Schoolhouse Toys is offering up a 25-piece tree block set to one of my fabulous readers. These blocks were created from handpicked, naturally fallen trees on Kim's property.

Please subscribe to Mothering With Mindfulness, then leave a comment here letting me know how you subscribed (Bloglovin', Google Reader etc.), along with a way of contacting you. Perfect!

For additional entries (leave one comment per entry):

Open to Canada & US. Giveaway ends February 8th @ noon! A winner will be chosen at random & announced here. Best wishes!

Update: Congrats to winner Amber Menning!


The Third Birthday

Sunday afternoon filled my house with friends and their little ones for a birthday celebration in honour of my newly (oh goodness) three-year-old girl. It's going to take a good long while getting used to that number -- it just sounds much more grown up than it oughta. Like when you turn 18 after 17? Or 25 after 24? There's something BIG about three to me.

Cute moments of the afternoon included Gretchen taking one bite of her cake, then asking if she could have the Vitamin C lollipop attached to one of her gifts. (Which she loved.) And before the party started, just after I did my makeup, she said "oh mama you look so pretty!" which basically melted me into a puddle. I swear I didn't even ask her to say that.

She also greeted her first guests by asking if they'd brought a present, but she DID hand out her loot bags all by herself. Including pulling a chair up to the counter to get them. Miss Independent.

The shindig was a success. Thank you to all the friends who made it amazing! She had a fantastic time, and -- sans nap -- was completely tuckered out and sound asleep about an hour before her usual bedtime.

Also... I can't get over these tights. Time to find some in mama's size!

Three. It's going to be amazing, little girl.

A peek back at previous birthday posts:

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January Sponsor Love

Today I want to give a little love to some fabulous sponsors who've been hanging out in my sidebar all month long. Be sure hop on over to their blogs, shops & sites to browse around and say howdy!

Also, keep an eye out for a great new giveaway that'll be up on the blog later today! Mamas, you're going to LOVE what I've got in store!

01. Mothering With Mindfulness
I am a mama on an amazing journey which I share at Mothering with Mindfulness. I am learning, growing and changing on this journey and I invite you to follow along and share your journey as well. When I am not mothering and blogging, you can find me working with other mamas as a nutritionist, guiding them as they feed their babies and toddlers real food, and set a solid foundation for optimum well being now and in the future for their little ones. And when work is done and it's time to play, you can find me sewing, knitting, designing toys, hiking, running, cooking from scratch and searching our everything I can on raising chickens and making soap.

02. The Conscious Perspective
The Conscious Perspective focuses on educating and bringing awareness to conscious living, humanitarianism, personal growth, spirituality, and current events. The blog was founded by Heidi Oran, a work at home mom of two boys who is also working on her Permaculture Design certification and writing her first book focusing on personal growth.

03. Tea & Chickadees
Hello! I'm Caren and Tea & Chickadees is my blog: a blog about the little things. You'll find my dog & cat, tea & coffee, flora & fauna, vintage & thrifting, baking & art, Polaroids & photography at my little corner of the blogosphere. Pop on over to enter my Birthday Giveaway, featuring a few of my favourite things!

04. Lishyloo Vintage
Hi from Lishyloo! Mom of 3, vintage fanatic! I hand pick the best kids vintage clothing and toys just for you. My blog features ramblings about motherhood, thrifting, and whatever strikes my fancy at the moment.

05. The Organic Heretic
The Organic Heretic is my place to share ideas, photographs, recipes, and crafts with an eye towards beauty, sustainability, and all things hand-made.

06. Lariats And Lavender
Hi, everyone! My name is Angie and I am a 22-year-old wife, fur and feather momma, gamer, geek and artist living in Utah with my gorgeous wife and soul mate Jen, our kitties Wedge and Mau and our cockatiel, Jango! Lariats and Lavender is my home sweet home on the web, where I share everything from honesty posts and gift guides to my weekly features: Vampirism Monday and Weekly Love List. I truly hope you stop by, say hi and stay awhile!

Interested in sponsoring So Fawned in February?
Just send me a note & we'll chat!

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29 January 2012

Happy Birthday, Gretchen Fawn

At this hour, exactly three years ago, my water broke. Approximately 20 hours later, my daughter was born.

Gretchen Fawn, born January 29th, 2009 at 9.29pm, 9lbs 6oz. 

Happy birthday, beautiful girl.

PS. Our birth story.


28 January 2012

And Then There Was One

my girl

my girl

Since Lydia Deets moved back in with her daddy (ie. Gretchen's daddy) a short while ago, Kitten -- my housemate since 2004 -- has turned into a serious ball of love. She's always been affectionate, but apparently, as the realization that her competition won't be returning sinks in, she's certainly turned on the cute. She's constantly looking for a lap to curl up in, a leg to rub up against, and she's especially chummy with the dog*.

There have been a few moments when I've considered thinking about adopting a second kitty, since it seems so strange to just have one waltzing about, but it's tough to find playmates that Kitten doesn't want to beat up. She's a sassy one and I bet she enjoys (assuming that) she rules the house once again.

Her current position? On a knit blanket on the couch. In a slightly more dignified position than I spotted her earlier this week.

*Other than that one time she decided to leave him a less than delightful present in his crate the day her kitty friend moved out. Cats are nothing but snuggles and spite.


27 January 2012

Fawned Friday

Today I spent hours upon hours, snuggled up with a feverish little lass. Gretchen's fighting a bit of a bug and my fingers are crossed she can kick it before her third birthday party on Sunday afternoon. If I have to reschedule, it's not the end of the world, but my heart bursts just knowing how excited she is. However, I did mention that if she wasn't feeling well we'd just move the party to another day, and she pressed her face to my chest and said, okay mama. So sweet. Thankfully, at this moment, she's sleeping sweatily and I hope to goodness her fever is breaking. It's awful when you just want them to feel better instantly. 

Please send get well soon thoughts our way. It would seem we've had a doozy of a January when it comes to our health. Can I blame the completely bizarro weather we've been having? Rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain -- sometimes all in one day? I do love winter... but I'll be excited once the world turns green once again.

Happy Friday, mes amis.

01. Long locks.

02. Hilarious.

03. A cute giveaway you'll probably want to enter.

04. Teabag cookies! (Thanks for the link, Dani!)

05. Loving these simple DIY lights.

06. I've been living in this sweater all week long.

07. Kitty snuggles.

08. One of my favourite artists ever.

09. Can't stop looking at this image.

PS. After months of completely slacker-dom, I finally did up a little Fawned Friday button for any of you lovelies who'd like to participate each week. Also, if you play long, be sure to send me a note so I can add you to the link list. Merci.

Fawned Fridays @ So Fawned

Much love!

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25 January 2012

Beyond So Fawned

Wordless Wednesday (Snow Days)

22 January 2012

Umbrellas, Baseballs & Dancing

I'm not usually one to dote over a cover band, but I'm making an exception for these chaps. The Baseballs have been playing constantly in my house for about a week now. I'm hooked.

Have a happy, dance-y Sunday!

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21 January 2012

Fawned Friday

In keeping with tradition, this week's Fawned Friday is late due to the birth I attended last night. If I'm not mistaken, my last four births have all started on Thursdays... bizzare! Time for me to get some shuteye... dreaming of a visit to the farmer's market in the morning. Peace!

01. Then wander, I shall.

02. These might be my favourite works ever by the Plume.

03. A great self portrait guide from one of my favourite bloggy gals.

04. Hand whittled crochet hooks.

05. Feeling swept away by this blog's photography.

06. This totally needs to happen.

07. I'd like these little lovelies to live in my bathroom.

08. DIY rope bracelet love.

09. Hauntingly beautiful carved book landscapes.

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19 January 2012

Something To Make You Say "Awww"

In honour of the birth I'll be heading to at some point tonight, here are two very sweet baby-centric videos. Ok, so maybe they aren't baby humans... but fawns & sloths are sure to make you "squeee" just a wee bit.

I am just about enthralled by the sounds these little creatures are making. Ah-dorable.

Peace! Send out some good birthy vibes for my first doula baby of the year. Peace!

PS. Thank you to Mr. @stevehancock for linking that little fawn video.

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18 January 2012

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday (Like Baby, Like Kitten)

Thank you to My Girl Thursday for pointing out the similar poses in this photo. I'm swooning. Two of my little loves, huggy girls, so sweet.

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17 January 2012

Don't Mind If I Do

A little something to think about on your Tuesday morning, mes amis. This afternoon, the little miss will be off to her daddio's, and then I'll be heading to the cafe where I'll sip way too much coffee before meeting with some February doula clients to talk about breastfeeding and birth wish lists. After that? Well, I'm not entirely sure, but as per my own advice, I'll be sure it's both ridiculous and amazing. How's about that? 

What's on your docket for today, folks?

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16 January 2012

{What Mama Wore} On A Mellow Monday

Tights: H&M // Striped Top: Only, TiaStar.com // Top: Gentle Fawn // Cardigan: Joe Fresh // Scarf: Thrifted

There's a bit of a funny story behind this scarf. A few weeks back I was hunting around in the scarf section at Value Village, and clucking my tongue at how expensive everything was. $7.99, $12.99 for a thrifted scarf? Puh-lease. So off I wandered, to the opposite end of the store, pouring through rows of vintage tablecloths and napkins, and I spy this gorgeous piece of fabric. I pulled it off its hanger and Gretchen snatched it out of my hands. Ooh mama, so soft, we can get this? And I realized it wasn't a napkin at all, but a beautiful scarf. It felt wonderful in my hands, lovely texture, orange and brown. Then I looked at the price tag -- $2.99. One million thank yous to the person who mis-categorized this fantastic new addition to my wardrobe. I'll considering this thrifting karma.

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15 January 2012

{How To} Brew French Press Coffee

Fact: I LOVE my Bodum. French press coffee makes me all giddy and I love brewing it up for the same reasons I love brewing up a pot of tea. It's all in the ritual. Choosing my favourite bean, trying new blends, grinding in my favourite grinder, pouring, stirring, smelling, sipping.

There are lots of different methods to follow when it comes to using your French press, so today, I'd like to share my a bit about my French pressing habits. Enjoy!

coffee o'clock

First, I like to start with whole beans, as fresh as possible. These particular ones happen to be from Starbucks, but I often like to buy them downtown from the roaster I used to work for.

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

I grind the beans as my water boils on the stove. For a French press, you generally want a coarse grind, but I like mine a wee bit finer. It's all visual for me. This grinder is a bit of a prized possession, actually... it's on its way out though. Nearly broken and try as I might, I can't find an identical replacement, so I treat her with care. (Seriously. If you ever spy a yellow Philips grinder online or at a thrift store, please let me know!) When I'm grinding, I don't actually measure my beans. I just know how full the grinder ought to be for one full Bodum. However, I measured it out today, and for my size press (an 8-cup, 32oz. Bodum) I used about 8-9 tablespoons, or about 2/3 cup beans (before grinding).

Once I have my grinds the way I like them, they go into the French press with a tiny pinch of salt. Around the holidays, I sometimes add nutmeg & cinnamon for a fun kick.

Next, I pour the water in a circular motion to soak all of the grinds, then stop once the carafe is about 1/3 full. Then I grab my trust wooden chopstick and stir til the coffee "blooms". You want to see the colour change a bit, as the ground start to steep and magic starts to happen. Once your coffee "blooms", fill your press to the top, pop the lid (press) on top, then set a timer for four minutes. At the end of four minutes, you're free to get pressing.

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

My trick? Place your hand on top of the press and allow the weight of your hand to do the pressing. You don't want to shove it. If it so happens that your grind is too fine, your press may be a bit tougher to get down as the grind block the flow. To rectify this, simple reverse your press to halt the blockage, then continue pressing. Never SHOVE your press down. This can end in a mess of boiling water and coffee all over you. Messy & ouch.

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

Once your coffee has been pressed, you're ready to savour & enjoy. Find your favourite cozy mug, pour away & add your accoutrements if so desired. I like a dollop of cream and a bit of organic sugar. Or sometimes Bailey's, if I'm feeling festive.

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

coffee o'clock

And that's that, mes amis. Time to sit back & enjoy your cuppa. Don't forget to pour the rest of your brew into a thermos or carafe of some description to keep it piping hot til you're ready for mug no. 2 and beyond.


coffee o'clock

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13 January 2012

This Moment

This moment A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're moved to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

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Fawned Friday

Well fancy that, it's Friday all over again -- and the 13th at that! I hope you're all starting your days off on the right foot -- tea, sunshine, baby snuggles or whatever floats your boat. Today the little miss and I will be spending the day together -- perhaps a trip downtown, or, depending on the weather, a day of paints and pictures, wooden blocks and dollhouse imaginings.

The flu has finally 100% left my system, and so a sort of relief has washed over me. I'm feeling much more rested and prepared for life than I was last week when I felt so mentally and psychically weak. For someone who has a hard time stopping, it's tough to allow myself the time to heal. Thankfully, with tea and rice bags and and rest on my side, I'm back to feeling like ME again and life feels much less daunting.

I hope you've all been well. Enjoy a few lovely links below, and please, enjoy your day!

01. This blog makes me swoon.

02. One of the most incredible posts I've ever read.

03. When I was younger, I once considered traveling & working as an au pair.

04. What a beautiful space.

05. Musical beds.

06. Very sweet snapshots of folks in love.

07. I'd like to wear banana eyeshadow.

08. This reminds me I could use a bang trim.

09. I think my neighbour for pointing out this incredible find.

PS. Check out two recent posts of mine over at Mom Spark: Tattoos & tights.

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Tap, Tap

Gretchen loves Instagram. Swipe, swipe, swipe. One finger across the screen, looking through everyone's photos. I even showed her how to "like" an image by tapping it so the little heart pops up.

A few days ago, snuggling up on my bed, she took my phone and opened up the app. After scrolling a few minutes, she paused over one image.

"Oh mama, dis one is a good one. I fink we should tap tap it."

Be my guest, little lady.

PS. Am I following you on Instagram? Leave your name in the comments & I'll be sure to look you up. I'm sofawned, just like Twitter.
PPS. I've also been playing along with the #janphotoaday meme... anyone else?

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