Friday, August 26, 2016

ONE YEAR OLD






teepee c /o: From the Avenue // mint mat c /o: Gathre// diapers c /o: Parasol// striped bloomers c /o: Archer and Antlers// adventure tee: http://The Wild Kids Apparel

Well my sweet baby H is officially an entire year old! The saying time flies when you're having fun is sure an understatement but the only way to describe the past year of our lives. This year has been amazing, emotional, hard, exhausting, happy, joyful, tear-filled, and full of laughter! Becoming a mother has made me feel so many emotions that I honestly didn't even know existed. There is the kind of joy that makes your entire chest swell with happiness and pride. Then there is this kind of sadness that can make your heart physically ache for the well being of your precious child. Parenthood is truly a miraculous thing. 

Hudson has changed SO much in the first year of his life. It really is unfair just how short of a time they actually are a tiny baby. 

H says SO SO many words that he surprises us with new ones almost daily! He can say "hiiii, bye, mama, dada, papa, night-night, light, what dat?, dance-dance, hot, happy, soft and yay!" 

He signs milk, tree, wind and all done. He is crawling so fast and taking steps while holding on to us with one hand.

He loves to climb, explore, give kisses and hugs, play silly games we've made up, dance-dance, listen to music, get into mischief, snuggle mama, read books and always play/be outside.

Hudson really has the funniest little personality. He is outgoing yet timid, playful but cuddly, full of laughter but quick to cry, he knows when he's being funny and gets a huge kick out of making people laugh. He is so sweet and tender and kind but knows when its rough housing time (dada time). 

There is so much to say about our Hudson boy but this mama heart doesn't know just how to put it all into words. All I can really say is that this boy is SO loved and this year has been the craziest and best adventure I have ever been on! I cannot wait to continue watching this cherished boy continue to learn and grow right before me eyes. 

Below is a video we decided to do instead of family pictures! It is so fun to be able to see Hudson's little personality shine through in this video and it is something we will cherish for ever and ever. 




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Hudson's First Birthday from Ariel Hamilton on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Smash Cake Recipe!




I had a lot of people wondering about the recipe I used for Hudson's cake smash/birthday cake! Since we aren't giving H any dairy or wheat or refined sugar just yet, this cake is free of all of those! Yet honestly its still really tasty! So here is the recipe….

Ingredients- 

Cake:

1 cup coconut flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
10 large eggs
1 cup avocado oil (you can use coconut oil or veggie oil if you'd like)
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla 
2 tsp lemon juice

Frosting:

3 cans coconut milk

Makes two 6" round cakes

Directions-

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease pans.

2. In a large bowl sift all of the dry ingredients together and set aside. Separate 4 of the eggs, yolks from the whites and set whites aside.

3. In another large bowl whisk together the 6 whole eggs, 4 egg yolks, oil, maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla. Then whisk in the dry ingredients mixture until completely smooth.

4. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and gently fold them into the batter.

5. Dived batter into each prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes. The cake has sort of a spongy texture so I could tell they were done when I lightly pushed on the top and it bounced back out. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting. I set mine in the fridge over night wrapped in plastic wrap.

6. The "icing". You want to put the cans of coconut milk in the fridge over night or longer so that the cream can set on the top. You want to scoop that hard cream off the top and leave the water out. Scoop the cream into your mixing bowl and whip it up on low until it is nice and fluffy! There you have it…Icing! 

7. Keep the iced cake in the fridge until you are ready to serve 

Honestly, this cake was such a good idea! I knew I was giving Hudson something healthy, yet delicious and he LOVED it, especially the icing!



Monday, August 22, 2016

Hudson's birthday week! - A letter to my boy





Dress c /o: Brick & Main


Dear Hudson, 

You are turning ONE this week. It's YOUR birthday week! Any mother will understand when I say that this year has been the slowest yet the fastest one of my life! There were days that I wished away, wanting you to be older so you would cry less or sleep more. However, once I realized the days were slipping through my fingers and you were growing far quicker than my mama heart could handle, I was determined to stop time....or at least make it slow down by soaking in every moment. I've tried my hardest to be present, be here now, be in the moment completely. To smile through tired eyes at 4 AM while you nursed in my arms. To kiss your fluffy little head every second of every day. To watch you mind grow just as fast as your little body. 
We have gone through a lot together this first year of your life and it's amazing just how much you have changed in such a short period of time.  I've watched your very first smile, heard your very first giggle and then belly laugh, saw you roll over for the first time, sit up for the first time, try your first food, learn to crawl, learn to talk, say mama for the first time, and so much more. How grateful I am to be able to continue to watch you learn and grow even more.
While watching you grow it's equally amazing how much I have grown too. This calling as your mother has helped me become the person I have always wanted to and do things that I never thought I could accomplish! You make me fearless because of the example I want to so badly be for you.
Three hundred and sixty-five days with you and you have changed me for the better in so many many ways my dear sweet boy... I can't imagine how far each of us will come watching you grow over the next several years. I cannot wait to find out!

xo
Mama

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Being a Mom + A mama PSA





Me- tee c /o: Mom Shirt Co// hat: Mommy Makes Moccs// watch c /o: Arvo
Hudson - romper c /o: June and January// hat c /o: Little Sun Hat

I just had to hop on this (neglected) blog of mine and let all my mama friends, expecting mamas, friends of mama friends, etc. know about an awesome sale going on right now for my most favourite mama must have!! The baby wrap!! Our friends over at From The Avenue are excited to be opening their shop really soon, right now they are selling their awesome wraps though on Amazon for get this….$13.99. You guys, I have never ever seen a baby wrap for this awesome of a price. They come in three great neutral colours too. You could seriously get all 3 for this price and still not be paying as much as you would else where! It's crazy! So hop on over HERE and check it out! Baby wearing items are NUMBER 1 on my mommy must have list! 
Hudson STILL loves to be worn, in fact I put him in a wrap last night while I was tidying up the house and getting dinner ready. Best investment ever to keep baby close, happy and involved in their surroundings! 
We love to use our baby carriers while we are outside so that Hudson just touch and see everything! This kid is happiest when he gets to be outside learning with his eyes, ears and hands. His favourite thing right now is to point at stuff and have us tell him what it is or what sound something might make.
Sigh….Summer should last forever right?!

I hope you're all enjoying your summer sunshine time! 

xoxo

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Best Long Weekend Ever








Photos: Anchored Image
Roundie towel c /o: Swim zip
Stars blanket c /o: Aden and Anais
#Merica tank c /o: Sandi Lake Clothing
Hudson's sun hat c /o: Little Sun Hat

We will be spending this warm long weekend celebrating THREE things! Canada Day, Indepence Day AND my 27th Birthday! Wait…I'm turning TWENTY SEVEN!? Ah! Honestly, I had to ask my husband if that was actually correct haha. 

Canada has always been one of my favourite days to celebrate! We would always go to the parade, sometimes ride in the parade, have a BBQ, go for hikes, just spend lots of fun with our family and friends. Such a fun day! Oh and of course fireworks. Now that I live in the US and have a little family of my own, I still want to celebrate this day. It's a part of who I am and also a part of who Hudson is! So as we raise our little family we will make this day just as special as if we were in Canada to celebrate it! 

Independence Day is so fun here in the US! There is so so much to do and so many fun memories to make! I'm excited to continue celebrating this Holiday as a family as well. We will take any extra days with Daddy off of work! Bring on more parades, candy, food and fun!

My birthday…well where do I begin… This passed year has been the most amazing in SO many ways. It has also brought the most growth for me. Becoming a mom at twenty six helped me in a lot of different ways to find myself. It made me figure out my priorities, helped me figure out my strengths AND my weaknesses, it has made me ME. Is that weird to find yourself at twenty six? Odd that becoming a mom pushed me to become exactly who I have always been meant to be? I really have grown to LOVE myself during my twenty sixth year of life. I have found more patience than I ever thought possible, figured out who I want to be as a parent, I have also figured out more than ever who I am as an individual. By that I mean that I found my own passions and have followed them without hesitation and I am really proud of that. Most importantly though, this year, I have grown in SO MUCH LOVE. I feel more love for myself and for those around me than I have ever felt before. Honestly, twenty-six has been my favourite year yet! So I can't wait to see what twenty-seven has in store!

I hope you all have a fantastic long weekend, spent with family and friends and making the best memories! Thank you for sharing along in my little journey over here!

xo

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to Fit in that Exercise Time






Photographer : Anchored Image
Yoga mat protector c /o: Sandy Pose Yoga
Namaste sign c /o: Urban Alpine


Before Hudson was born I was a yoga addict! I had punch passes at yoga studios (yes plural) and also did yoga at home. I remember the first time I signed up for a class with my sister and thought to myself "okay this is going to be relaxing and so easy"….ummm I was so wrong! I remember leaving that class a sweaty mess and knowing that the next day I was going to be S.O.R.E. However, I was instantly obsessed. I looked forward to every class knowing that I was going to push my body even more, stretch it to its limits and them some and tone all of the muscles I honestly didn't even know existed. Since that first class I never stopped doing yoga!

Once H baby was born it took me a little while to get back into the swing of things. Recovering from a cesarean birth is HARD you guys. Just going from laying to sitting to standing was such a process and I mean when you have to ask your hubby to put your undies on for you, you probably shouldn't be doing down ward dog any time soon. 

When I started to feel better I started doing yoga at home while Hudson napped and that way I could take things nice and easy and go at my own pace. Now that Hudson is older and I find that he's SO active during the day, I have a lot of other things to do during nap time. Or I just want to take a darn nap myself! haha. I also thought to myself when trying to figure out where to fit in my exercise time… "why not fit my exercise time in WITH Hudson?!" 

So that's what we do!! Not only does it challenge me more with a 20 lb babe attached to me! It helps Hudson boy to grow up with a good influence on being active! One of the main things my Husband and I agree on, is wanting our children to WANT to be active! Whether its yoga, baseball, dance, soccer, track…whatever it might be, I believe it's so important for them to be active. Hudson already loves to go for big walks, go swimming and do mommy and me yoga! Plus it's fun for me to do these things with him too and watch him learn and grow!

So next time you are wondering just where in the world you can fit in your exercise time with kids running around… try to think about how you can get them involved too! There might even be mommy and me classes near you to try!

Oh and if you are into yoga and you like to get your yoga on outside and want to protect your beloved mat… check out this kickstarter for an AWESOME product to do just that! HERE

xo

Friday, June 3, 2016

Routine vs. Schedule









photography: Jill Collier Photography
Play pen c /o: Guava Family
Hudson's sleep sack and cozy blanket c /o: Bebe Au Lait
Adventure sign c /o: Urban Alpine


I've never been a schedule kind of person. Fairly soon after having Hudson join our family, I realized he is definitely not a schedule kind of person either! I feel like all you hear before you have a baby is "schedule, schedule, schedule!!!!!!" So my brain was doing backflips trying to figure out why the heck I could not get this baby on a schedule. Ugh!! 

Once I let the idea of the perfect schedule fly right out the dang window, motherhood became so much more enjoyable and so did Hudson. I started to realize that much like me Hudson is more into routine than a set schedule. I also realized how much more relaxed I was when instead of thinking H should be tired, I learned how to follow his lead and learn his cues for when he actually is tired. Then I learned the routine that worked best for him and once we had that in place he now will go to sleep like a dream! I also learned that instead of thinking "oh my gosh I just nursed you! You can't possible be hungry." I follow his cues and if he needs to nurse he nurses. Whether it is 2 hours or 10 minutes. A baby can tell you exactly what they need and when they need it if you just learn to listen! 

Aside from life being a whole lot easier and going much much smoother, having a routine instead of a set schedule has made Hudson a very easy going and flexible baby. When we are home and are able to have the same daily routine he follows it nearly seamlessly but when we are out and about and mix things up in our routine he doesn't make a fuss! He is simply happy until we can get home and start up our nap or bed time routine.

This is exactly what works best for our family and for Hudson! We love to go and do and be out and about and we are not about schedules! This way of parenting and way of letting Hudson grow up has made our day to day SO much easier and much more enjoyable! 

Here's a little peak into a regular day for us:

8:30/9 AM- Hudson delightfully wakes up and either babbles away until I open my eyes, puts both chubby hands on either side of my face and "kisses" my face all over, or he rolls around and then toots directly in my directions. It's lovely. Really truly the best wake up call. ( Yes we plan to transition him into his own bed soon but thats another topic for another day!)

9-9:20ish AM- Hudson nurses and I sing him a song. He likes to take his sweet time during this nursing session. I LOVE it!!

9:30-10:30/11 AM- We make our way out of bed and into the living room where I put on some music, put Hudson on the floor to play toys and then I get to making breakfast. We eat breakfast on the floor because we have no kitchen table and chairs (oy!) Then we spent an awful long amount of time reading an enormous stack of books. I'll throw in a load of laundry or do some other chore and then Hudson will throw out a yawn and an eye rub and we are off to the races!

11 AM- 12:30/1 PM- Our nap routine goes as follows… 1. Diaper change 2. Sleep sac 3. Story 4. Sound machine on, sleepy time oils applied 5. Nurse 6…Sleeeeeeep zzzzzzz. This is when I get my blogging/work stuff done, make meal plans, write to do lists, shower, get myself ready or maybe catch up on a show.

1PM-3:30/4 PM- Hudson calls out "maaaaamaaaaa" and I go scoop up my little munchkin with a million kisses and then we nurse. Usually the quickest because he wants to play play play! This is when we either meet friends for lunch, go on a play date, or head out to run errands. If we do none of the above mentioned then we head outside with some lunch and go for a BIG walk. 

4PM-5/5:30PM- Second nap time (following same routine) This is where I prep for dinner or fold laundry or organize the house or do yoga while I watch Ellen.

5:30PM- 7:30PM - Once Hudson wakes up we nurse and then head out to the kitchen to cook until Dad gets home! We eat dinner all together and then head outside for a big ol' walk if it's nice out!

7:30PM- 8:30PM - Bath tiiiiime! We have a little fish on our hands who has always loved bath time. Since I am still exclusively nursing (H has taken a bottle once in his lifetime haha) bath time is bonding time for Hudson and "dadad" and they have so much fun! After Hudson's bath we lotion, apply sleepy time oils, put jammies on, brush our teeth and read a story! Then we say family prayers and its cuddle time and nursing time.

8:30PM - 9:30ish PM- If Hudson doesn't fall asleep nursing before this then we will lay in bed and do finger puppets on the roof, sing songs, just cuddle and play in the bed orrrrr we go play with daddy until the eye rubs and yawns come out. However, Hudson is usually in bed and asleep no later than 9:30 or so.

This routine that we have going on works wonders for us and wonders for my stress levels. We don't stress over bed time or nursing schedules…we simply go off of what Hudson needs and when he needs it. It really just flows for us!! The days where we can stick to our routine go fairly easily and the days where we can't, always go better than expected!

I guess what I am tryyyying to say is…do what works best for your baby! Maybe they need a schedule and do great with that but maybe it's too much pressure for you both and you are more go with the flow kind of people. A baby's life isn't one size fits all! So the best thing I have learned to do is to learn and read Hudson's cues and forget the should be's and must be's. It has made our life more full of joy and fun times!

xoxo