Friday 19 August 2016

Summer Style: Circle Skirt Crush

I have spent the last half of July and first part of August living mostly in shorts and t-shirt/tank tops while at the lake with the family, but in early spring my very talented mother agreed to sew me this amazing circle skirt (see below).  My mom is a miracle worker with her sewing machine but I hate being measured, adjusted and overall touched so she was shocked when I asked her to actually make me something. We picked out a pattern together and she got right to work.  

Since June, I have worn it several times to work, where I received a ton of complements  and then passed them on to my mother.  It's the perfect length to be work attire and for chasing children around.  Here are three of my favorite looks from this summer.


Look #1 Paris Graphic Tee 


What's better than a Paris graphic tee, while actually visiting Paris?!?  This outfit was absolutely perfect for a long day of walking in the summer heat.   I love contracting this floral skirt with a tee and my Etnies.  

 Look #2 Pretty Pastels


For a more feminine look I paired the skirt up with a soft pink camisole, a little cardigan for added warmth, and nude flats for another lengthy day on my feet.  I added a chunky necklace to help accessorize the outfit and it's one that I feel I can wear to the office!


Look #3 Around Town


After wearing the same shorts and shirts over and over at the lake for several weeks, I was kind of dying to get a little dressed up.  I wore this outfit to do some running around and catching up on some errands the other day.   My favorite piece of this outfit is this new to me cross-bag that I picked up on our local buy and sell for $3!!!!  

I love new-to-me stuff  :)

Needless to say, I am loving my circle skirt and will definitely be taking it into early fall with me and possibly wearing it to the first day of school.  Yes, I am an adult that still loves to dress up on the first day of school :) 

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Giving Them Their Childhood Back

WOW, it's been just about a month since my last post.  Summer is just flying by.  We have been enjoying a ton of family time at the lake while camping.  What I want to reflect upon today is how I have been giving my children their childhood back.  Please remember this is my story and in no way am I a perfect parent, nor do I feel I know best, nor our my ways of parenting better/worse than anyone else's.  These are my own observations and my own feelings, which you may/may not agree with. 


When we first began camping, I went all Pinterest mom.  I created not only a meal plan, which I still use in order to help with packing our little trailer efficiently, but that first year I was full on in TEACHER MODE.  I had every day planned with games, crafts, nap times, activities, the WHOLE THING.  My type A personality completely took over and I felt very mom of the year.  Guess what happened?!?  We got out there and the kids just were kids and we barely touched all my goodies.  That was 4 summers ago and I quickly realized that is not at all what my kids wanted/needed/craved.  Now I basically let them pack some coloring stuff and a couple of books, cards and dominos.  That’s it because what I’ve discovered is that my kids find all kinds of things and new friends to play with. 

Catching a bucket full of minnows.

Anya and her friend making a mermaid tail for Halie.



Over the years we have gone camping with a bunch of friends a very kid friendly camp ground.  This place doesn’t have bears or wild animals, which is sad but also wonderful at the same time.  We take their bikes and they just GO (with and//or without helmets, don’t judge).  They go into the tree area and have a secret hide out which over the years has been a fairy garden, hide and seek spots, maze, grocery store and restaurant.  They fall and get back up.  They get disorientated and they find their way.  The thing is they mostly do this without me or my husband. 

Ice tea stand at the campground. 



I used to sit with them at the playground, being the responsible parent, sometimes even judging the parents who were never there, but now I am that parent.  You know why?!?  Because over the years I’ve realized in an attempt to keep my children safe from harm, I’ve actually helped cultivate their inability to make decisions by just trusting their instincts.  In order to ensure that they didn’t get hurt I always stopped them and told them why that might not be a good idea; I never actually gave them an opportunity to come to that conclusion on their own.    I still remember when I realized this about myself.  It was our second year at this playground and Halie was six and a half.  We let her go to the playground in the evening while we cleaned up and put Anya to bed.  She had been going confidently all week.  It got a bit later and I wondered over to the park to find my sweet girl, sitting by herself, all the kids had left, and crying quietly.  It broke my heart and I felt horrible.  We talked about it and went through what maybe she should have done.  I went with her the following day and probably the days after.  Upon reflection though what I came to realize was that this was a great lesson to learn in a safe environment.  Honestly we talked to her about noticing the kids leaving, asking a adult for help, yes a stranger!, and just thinking what she should to logically.  The truth is we had always been there to make the decisions and even though we talked about these decisions we had never given her an opportunity, or very few, to make them on her own.  By doing, making a mistake, children actually learn. 

Halie's camping pet. 



So now we free-range parent in a safe environment.  We created a scavenger hunt for the kids and sent them off in a group of six at 8 p,m. and told them to come back when it was done or when it got dark.  We told them their parameters were the campground which they knew well.  They stuck together and were gone for 45 minutes.  They had a blast!  They felt confident! They worked as a team!  They figured it out! They felt successful!  We even had a bonus on their that they needed to find a stranger and get their signature, we talked to them about how to use their manners and approach someone. 



Off they go to find the treasure!


They found all 10 items, plus the 2 bonus rounds. 



I want my kids to be safe but I know that in order to develop “common sense” they need opportunities to encounter challenges and to make decisions by themselves and hope for the best.  It’s not always possible in the city, when we are running from place to place, but at the camp ground they can just be kids.  Run wild.  Play in the bush.  Use their imaginations when they are bored.  Depend on themselves as children to come up with tier own fun rather than having adults create the opportunities for them. 



For an interesting read check out the following article I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical.