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tiny baker

One of K&C’s favourite things to do is to hop up on the island and bake with me.  I’m convinced I owe at least 15 lbs to the love of watching them measure, carefully pour, sprinkle, mix and stir.  Another batch of cookies? Suuuuuure why not.

I’ve said before that some of my very favorite reading material are cookbooks. Might sound odd – but it’s so true. I find some weird happy place fantasizing about big meals I can construct, and little meals I could make that the kids might actually enjoy outside of the ’10 meal cycle’… you know the one I’m talking about right? Please tell me you have that too? “Greek chicken? Again?” “We haven’t had it in 2 weeks” – sound familiar?  I really hope that by getting our kids excited about being in the kitchen, and making cooking together fun, they will start to enjoy more variety and be willing to try new things.  I have to say, we’ve actually found it to be decently successful.  So I was thrilled to receive a couple of cook books for kids last year as gifts.  The big pictures and easy recipes make the idea of kid led baking/making really feasible.

Fast forward to a recent bday party for a friend’s three-year old.  We know she’s a little sidekick to mom and dad through most of the day’s duties including prepping meals – she’s also about to be a big sis – so along with a couple of fun books to look at while mom is busy with babe – we got her one of our favorite kids cookbooks and I made her an apron.  It was a fun project that I think I’ll do again.  I liked that it was something a little bit personal from us to add to her celebration.  My not-so-measurement focused how-to is below in case you think you might want to make one too!

If you live near Vancouver, there is a fabric store I go to (infrequently – way too dangerous) that I absolutely love.  The patterns and styles in Spool of Thread are gorgeous, bright, and imaginative.  Well worth the trip.  I bought all the fabric I use in these little projects there.  I have found, now that I sew a bit more, that I like to have a few solid colours on hand in larger quantities to act as a base to projects like these and then I buy smaller amounts of patterned fabrics – not even knowing what I’ll do with them.  I get this little creative high when I walk out with the brown paper bag filled with fat quarters and a selection of bright solids …oh the possibilities 😉

material for apron

I didn’t have a pattern for this apron – I just traced an apron that my kids already hand for rough shape.  But I’ve since found good free patterns here in case you’d like one.  Once I cut out the basic shape in my solid colour I ironed down the seam I would sew along to ensure it all looked even (if you are a ‘measurer’ this is likely not something you worry about the way that I do).  I wanted for our little friend to have a good pocket to put her tools, her hands, or whatever else – so I cut a basic rectangle shape out of a fun pattern and folded down and ironed the corners.

iron edges

I used fabric fuse on the back of a corresponding third colour (follow the instructions on the fuse paper – but essentially you iron it to the wrong side of the fabric and then cut out the mirror image of what you want to show on your design (important to remember when creating letters especially).  I cut out and ironed on each of the letters in the name, and then a little heart to iron on to the pocket and tie it all together.


pocket for apron


After sewing the edges down (with the girls on the pedals and buttons) I added grosgrain ribbon for ties around the waist and a generous loop around the neck, re-enforcing with additional stiches.  I trimmed the edges at the back with a rotary cutter and voila … a little apron fit for a tiny baker.  Hoping she enjoys as much as we liked making it for her.

finished apron



best day of the week

In our house the most exciting evening of the week is Thursday.  It’s soccer night, (which mostly also means take-out night) and also is the night when Matty comes bounding into our room for story time and says “Is it Friday tomorrow? Does that mean only one more sleep until the weekend and we get to be together and play allllll weekend?”.  Yup.

Then on Sunday night we begin the weekly routine of “how many sleeps until Friday Mommy?” sigh.  Too many.  K&C will sometimes look into our eyes by Wednesday evening as we’re putting them to sleep – grabbing our faces with their little hands and putting their noses squashed up against mine or Cam’s – and ask – “Are you tired? Do you have to work again tonight?” … with the affirmative followed by “why?”  Most of the time I know why – because we need to earn a living to sustain this life – and so we are dedicated, hard working employees who are fortunate enough to believe in the work we do, the people we work with and the contribution we make – and in order to sit together for dinner every night, and play soccer and fairies and have bath time and family time, we sacrifice our after-bedtime evenings to get the work done.  And that’s okay. Honestly – it’s more than okay – I look around sometimes at the rest of the world and feel privileged that we can make this choice.

The questions get harder though, when one of our two-year olds begs me to not go to work on a particularly tough morning, or when our four year old needs to be driven to a school field trip by another parent and he looks with wide eyes at the thought of being one of the only kids without his mom there.  Suddenly that executive meeting, that new hire, that huge budget all take on new perspective, new meaning.  They have to.  They are the pieces that add up to the other part of our life contributions, the value we bring outside our home – where our presence of mind is equally as important in those moments.  “Why” – ultimately becomes the subjective circle of defending our crazy busy life or beating ourselves up for it, all quietly of course, by the glow of our screens, as we plod away on our laptops late at night, so we can be present for our kids to make sure they see a smiling, loving (albeit tired) face at the early morning wake up.  And my god is it ever worth it…


I feel like it’s this incredibly delicate balance, and each day the success or failure is hinged on the factors just outside of my control – the accident on my commute (timed perfectly to make the 8am meeting), the sunglasses we forgot for a cool event in class (that were apparently written on the preschool board for a week),


the weather that forced our sunshine loving kids to play inside all day (stir crazy), the meeting that just popped up (because of the question that couldn’t be answered)… so the only thing I grab on to is that I can control my presence. How “in it” am I? How much of myself am I investing?  That’s the biggest gift I have to offer, right?  There is only so much before it runs out.  I guess it’s the most important choice I can make, whether I know it or not, in a day.

It’s been a week, this week.  But I’m thrilled that tomorrow is Thursday.  What’s your favorite day of the week?

A few of our favourite things

We had a busy weekend celebrating wonderful events in the lives of our friends and family.  One of those weekends where you divide and conquer with the kids, hope you remembered all the cards and gifts, and push a liiiittle too far to make it all fit in.  It was great, tiring and fun. 

One of our special events this weekend was a baby shower for two very wonderful people expecting their first child.  We could buy them any number of wonderful things, but we were a little stumped – we wanted to try to do something that showed these creative sweethearts how much we love them.  So we chatted about it, and the kids, who also adore them, thought of a few of the things they love that they wanted to share – that idea grew into giving them a box filled with all of our favourite things…. So we made a list of our favorite books, toys and baby things and then made a trip together to pick those things out.  In the process, we started talking about our favorite stories and songs.  Cam and I asked each of the kids what they would choose to share with the new baby – everyone picked a story or song for the baby and told why we’d chosen it.

  inside twinkle

I wrote the song on the inside of a card and the “why” (verbatim)on the back. 

why twinkle

Matt and I cut out felt pictures to decorate the front of each card inside

and the girls helped to sew together a felt envelope to put it all together in (Charlie on the pedal, Kate on the ‘back’ button… always an adventure).  our stories

This is what we came up with. front

Matt decided in the end he wanted to tell the baby a story about dinosaurs, so we captured his first short story in the process.  It was weird and cute and perfect.  I’m sharing this because we happily stumbled on a pretty fun activity, not hard to do, and not overly involved – and we all loved the end result and now have a copy of the favourites for that moment in time saved for us for later too…Maybe something fun you might try, or take a spin off of.

Also, in the end we felt like we were giving a part of ourselves from our hearts.  There isn’t always the time, energy, or frankly interest to do this – but in this case it worked out.

  Happy Monday – 6 sleeps til Saturday!kate at desk