Do you see those big rocks way in the distance…do you think we can find a way to get there? I asked. They looked at me with no question in there mind…and we were on our way.  We waded through the cold cold water…or tiptoed on sinking rocks out to the island of LARGE boulders.
Along the way we sang to snails…”Did you know the snail will come out of it’s shell if you hum to it?” said Bijan.And we conquered the rocks… Really! Boulders three times their size stacked four to five lengths into the sky were no match for these adventure seekers.

This is Elisha, the youngest.  And though he is only four he will keep up :)And if the sun had not set…we just may still be there climbing away, discovering tiny crabs and caves…. and jumping from the heights in search of a new adventure.

 

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We have all given and received the photo mug with the writing #1 Dad, the plastic key chain, or the picture foam mouse pad.  And  we have loved them because they came from someone special….BUT this year, I went on a hunt to find some STYLISH ways to gift your photos. I think they are pretty rad… if I do say so myself.

 

1. Instagram Album– yes all of those photos you snapped, put into a modern looking album.  P.S. It’s easy to Design

2. iphone case

3.Play Date Cards- custom designed for your little one… email me :)

4. Vintage Locket– with your favorite picture inside of course :)

5. Calendar– there are 1,000’s of calendar designs out there…just google “photo calendar.”  But this one I found to be so clean and sophisticated.

6. Whiteboard- this one created for chores…great idea!

7. A year in photos in a custom frame

8. A year in photos collage printed on a canvas

9. Canvas- choose your favorites

 

 

 

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Yes, those are homemade mini Pop Tarts!!  And they are presently helping me practice self-control…I’ve had two.

I had planned on sharing with you salted dark chocolate cookies…but with a few too many substitutions from my lack of desire to go to the food store…they officially bombed. And so without further ado…Pop Tarts. These on the other hand are delicious…really really delicious.

And while I though they would be difficult, they were surprisingly really easy, not too messy, and not too time consuming. They would be so much fun to make with your little ones.

Pop Tarts ( slightly adapted from the Toasty Biscuit)

2 ¼ cups  flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

iced water

1 large egg plus 1 tablespoon of milk, for egg wash

¾ cup jam (I used raspberry jam from Whole foods- yes it was sweetened )

caster or granulated sugar, to sprinkle

An hour before, or the night before baking (this part is easiest done without your child):

1. Whisk together -flour, sugar and salt. Work in the butter with a pastry blender or food processor, adding iced water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture  begins to clump together. “It should hold together if you squish some dough together with your fingers.” Tip out the dough onto a floured surface. Divide into two, kneading each half briefly and shaping it into a disc. Wrap in saran wrap. Chill in the fridge for 60 minutes.

An hour later, or the next day:

2. Remove  the dough from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.  Together with your child’s help, roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface in the shape of a rectangle.  The width should be 0.5cm thick.  Using a knife, cut the dough into a 9×12  rectangle.  Cut either mini or large rectangles that are all the same size. Repeat with the second ball of dough. If your child is old enough to hold a butter knife, go ahead and score the lines and then ask them to follow the lines as they cut.

4. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking tray with non stick paper or a silpat mat.

5. Place half of the dough rectangles on the prepared tray. In the centre of the rectangles, spoon a big tablespoon of jam. Holding the spoon let your little one wipe the jelly off the spoon and into the middle of  the rectangles. Using a pastry brush (or just your fingers), dip it in water and run it along the edges of the dough rectangle. Place another dough rectangle on top, pressing firmly ensuring they stick ( I recommend sealing each one while your child wets the edges of the other rectangles…unless older, most children will have trouble not squishing the jelly out). Then, using a fork dipped in flour (to prevent it sticking), crimp the edges all around.

6. With a pastry brush, model brushing each pop tart with the egg wash and then sprinkle with sugar. It’s okay if egg wash gets all over the tray.  While your child brushes each one, prick each with a fork three or four times, so air can release as it bakes.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

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I left and walked up the street of your house with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  It’s because I met you baby Charley and witnessed the way your mommy and daddy looked down at your fluttering eye lashes and little belly.  Joy was written in how they held you, how they smiled, how they looked down at you.  And just like a sneeze, joy is contagious.

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Thomas jumped up on the bed and belly flopped into the pillows. With a wobble he stood up struggling to carry towards me the biggest pillow on the bed.

He lunged…and the pillow fight began!

Ooo I just love this one! Jen, you are a beautiful mommy!

This talented mommy designer, owner of itsy bitsy interiors, will be making a debut again soon.  As you can see, her style is impeccable.  But, wait till you see some of the nurseries and children’s rooms she designs… they are ADORABLE!!!

P.S. Thank you to Amanda McCarthy  make up artist for coming early in the morning.  Jen looked elegant, simple… and just plain stunning.

 

 

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