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Monday, October 6, 2014

Tea for "Two"


After 10 years of Lego and Superhero birthday parties (all in the winter, mind you), yes I am so excited to host little girlie birthday parties in the fall (the most wonderful time of the year!) This year for E's birthday we had a little tea party for her little friends, their moms and few big sisters, her brothers and aunties...

We put on our party dress...
 We decided to host the party in the back yard. The weather held and the sunroom and yard was still presentable enough to be enjoyed before the great fall clean up begins next week.
It was a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold...and some flowers were still in bloom.

The little girls' table

We pulled out the heirloom teacups - this one was Great Aunt Fern's - we found out we were expecting Elaina shortly after she passed away, but they shared the same birthday month.
The big girls table.
We mixed a bunch of heirloom stuff with paper plates, etc for ease of setting up, cleaning up and also to not get stressed over possible breakage outside.


I converted our old TV cabinet to a "dress up" center for the girlies. It added to over all pretty decor.
Red velvet with Cream cheese icing.
Our menu was simple, crab salad on croissants and vegetable cream cheese roll ups. We had veggies, fruit and cheese trays and of course coffee and tea. For dessert we had a variety of mini cakes and cookies, candies of course chocolates.


The "take home treats" were personalized dress up fairy outfits.

Bling for the littles... I figured this was nicer than sending them home with more candy. There were enough sweets to enjoy at the party, I hoped the moms appreciated not having more candy later at home.
 



The girlies! So so cute!

After lunch, the littles decorated tea party hats from the dollar store with silk flowers.
Yaya helping the birthday girl decorate her hat. 


One of the big sisters helping with hat decoration.
 Then we released them into the dress up cupboard.
DRESS UP TIME!!!


After much play time, we gathered for the present opening and cake.
Opening Presents...so thankful!



After all the birthday celebrating, she finally got the hang of "blowing out the candles"
Our cheeky two year old!
I hope you enjoyed this post, we certainly enjoyed our day, and love every day with our little princess.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Beginning of the Gathering Together...


For man, autumn is a time of harvest and gathering together. Edwin Way Teale 

The end of our summer was marred by the loss of a beautiful soul, Robin Williams, this post is not about him - but I do think he was brilliant gift to humanity and I am thankful for the laughs and thoughtful art he left behind. This poem has stuck with me from the very first time I watched Dead Poet's Society. Robin is quoting Virgil I think... To this day it's one of my favourite films... and this little bit, one of my favourite parts of the film. While I was pulling together this blogpost, it kept floating thru my mind again...
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry;
For, having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

I don't know if it was way back then that the idea of "Making the Most of Time" began to take root in my soul, but I know that for most of my life I have endeavoured to do just that. Savour it, gather together my heart, my people, my thoughts and memories, and express love and gratitude in the moment. I don't always succeed, but when I do, I find I have few regrets from that period of time. Sometimes it's expressed in the events I plan, sometimes in decorating the house, often in my food, sometimes in intentionally giving a gift or direct communication... it manifests in many ways... and I'm always trying to listen to my heart and to the Spirit for direction for the present...

Since yesterday was technically the beginning of Autumn, this post is a "gathering" in of sorts for me... before sharing with you how we're celebrating fall here, I need to share how we said goodbye to what honestly was an almost perfect summer. 

Farewell Thee Summer

The second half of our summer went out in a flurry of fun, work and memory making  for us... 

  

 

 

Our Chinese "daughter" Isabelle is with us for high school

They were days full of baseball tournaments, summer dresses, frozen treats, beach days, BBQ's, canning, clearing the garden, drying herbs, prepping the school room, hosting guests from Korea, welcoming a daughter from China, bike rides, pool parties, campfires... late nights, sunny humid days... we relished every moment of our summer and then rode the gentle wave that changed the season and the rhythm of our days... but first, we had to say a proper goodbye...with a party of course!

The Heaslip Family Farewell Thee Summer Potluck and Campfire...

  
 My first attempt at a DIY  Banner
 Entertainment was simply the company of good friends - new and old, the trees, the play yard and the trampoline...and of course the fire.
 Lot's of yummy food! Love potlucks!
 The decor was multi-coloured lights borrowed from the Christmas bin and flowers cut and gathered from the property in mason jars...

 
The Smores Station was a big hit!
 
 The "optimists board" - both summer and autumn had alot of great qualities... 

 We finished the night with a summer sparkler send off...baby girl loved it!


Back to School
We're officially a family with kids in traditional school, and kids in school at home, so we celebrated the "first day" with relish.


Check out our special Ceremony here.

First Day Photos - The kids in traditional school

 
Grade 9
  
Grade 6 & 7

First Day Photos - The Home Schoolers





  

First Day Treat Bags

 


The Greek Festival

For me, the real sign that summer is over is the Niagara Greek Festival. In one way or another my sisters and I all end up there and share memories of our dad with amazing food, music and dancing. It reminds me of the times I travelled to Greece with him and the village always had some festival or another, the smells the sounds the laughter and the heady end of summer  heat and nostalgia really help me get centered on what really truly matters as we head into the busy and beautiful season of fall. 


mmm... Greek Donuts (loukoumades)...a treat we only indulge in twice a year, at the festival and on Christmas Eve.


Elaina and Yaya enjoying the traditional Greek Dancers
 Another farewell...We bid our Korean boys (Alex and Mark) a sad farewell just after the begnning of the school year. Our family loved every minute with these two - the 5 weeks flew by and were filled with many great laughs and precious memories.
All the best Alex and Mark! We'll never forget you.

Transitioning to Fall...

In our home, the transition includes a deep cleaning of the house, clearing out the garden, canning the last of the tomatoes, putting away the summer decor. One day in the week after Labour Day I pull out my autumn books of poetry, cookbooks and magazines to get inspired (or I surf around Pinterest for a while) - while drinking spiced coffee or cider of course. Then the bins of decor come out (just like Christmas but smaller) and I slowly look for where I want to add the flavour in.

I walk around the yard and neighbourhood collecting hydrangea blooms, branches, pinecones and other interesting bits of nature to pull into the house and front step. I usually buy at least one mum (and there's a super cheap place that sells amazing mums by hubby's work for next to nothing - score!) and well, then we're ready for a fall house tour. But that for later this week. So come on back for that and the rest of my gathered thoughts as I've fully embraced the fall... in both my heart and home.

XOXO 
Tammara

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