Now He Is 8

April 20, 2019

It is unbelievable, isn't it? Time seems to move so slowly, but then all of a sudden you are celebrating your child's 8th birthday and wondering what happened to that little two year-old fella that you snuggled in your arms only yesterday.

Looking at last year's post, I see a lot of physical changes. I mean, he still doesn't have all of his front teeth, but even the shape of his face has changed, and the colour of his hair is much darker than it used to be (I'm having to get used to the idea that I won't have a little blondie like me anymore). 

I also notice a lot of mental and emotional changes. He's gone from ready easier books with short stories, to reading chapter books. He loves telling jokes, and has developed a really fun sense of humour. He's still working on being thoughtful and putting others first, developing skills beyond being kind to someone by helping them out one time and understanding what it means to be a good friend for a long time (without expecting something in return).

This year has had it's struggles, and there have been so many developments that are probably him getting into that phase of life where other things are more important than family and I'm gonna fight with you about everything, but, like always, I'm excited to see where we are headed and what kind of guidance (and frustration) will be in the future.


The Shop: Schitt's Creek Inspired Pin and OUTSaskatoon

April 16, 2019

In his Canadian Screen Awards speech upon winning the award for Best Comedy Series, Dan Levy said “In Schitt’s Creek, we are writing a world that examines the transformational effects of love when the threat of hate and intolerance has been removed from the equation. And while that’s not a reality for many, our goal is to shine a light out there that asks the question: ‘What if it was?’ Wouldn’t we all be happier if we were able to love out loud?”

Inspired by what Dan and Eugene Levy created for CBC (a national network funded by the Government of Canada), this pin was created out of love for a show that has opened so many doors and windows for so many people across this country and around the world. They have created something beyond special with Schitt's Creek.

When I first shared the drawing last year on Instagram, there were requests for t-shirts and art prints from people that shared the same sentiments as I do about the show. While there are definitely other plans in the works, these pins that Bayleaf Buttons put together for me are the first in the shop.

Now comes the exciting part!

Proceeds from the buttons (and anything else that joins them in the shop) will be donated to an amazing local organization for the LGBTQ2S+ community called OUTSaskatoon. They provide opportunities to develop social connections and community support through social groups and events, counseling and psychiatry, educational training for local businesses, schools (including educators and administrators) and health care professionals, and the Pride Home, Canada's first long-term care home for LGBTQ2S+ youth, among many other things.

It is important to use this artwork in a way that enhances at least a little bit of the love that has been shown on Schitt's Creek, as that is most definitely one of the most powerful uses of art.


On The Hunt: The 5th Annual U of S Alumni Bunny Brunch & Egg Hunt

April 14, 2019

Every year I eagerly await the email from my alumni association letting me know that tickets are available for the Annual Bunny Brunch where alumni and their families get to enjoy time having food together and then watch their children hunt for eggs in the large outdoor space at the centre of multiple campus buildings that everyone refers to as The Bowl. It is such a popular even that if you do not get your tickets when the email arrives in your inbox, you are out of luck! 

We have not attended since the 2nd Annual Bunny Brunch in 2016. So this year when the email arrived in my inbox just as I was getting ready to leave work, I forwarded the email to my husband and asked him to purchase the tickets on my behalf. Our son was excited to be able to go back again, and even remembered the balloon animal that he requested last time -- a dinosaur.

This year he moved so quickly while collecting eggs that it was virtually impossible to catch him at it, and he loved the balloon bunny that he requested from Warren the Balloon Guy. As we left campus he asked if he could go to university there. I told him he was more than welcome! I hope that the Bunny Brunch will continue to be a tradition of ours, even if only sometimes.


Behind the Art: Happy Mother's Day

March 26, 2019

I designed this Mother's Day card a couple of years ago when I felt like the shop needed a simple Mother's Day card that is direct beyond the ones that are a little more specific, and I was also going through a phase where I liked making flower wreaths and garlands (I still do! If I'm being honest).

I also used the flowers and design of this card to make an invitation for my second niece's baby shower. I love that it can be customized and used in so many different ways.


Mexico 2019: The Excursions

March 17, 2019

Earlier this year, my friend and I took a trip to Los Cabos. While we were there, we did two excursions. The first one took us on a tour of San Jose del Cabo where we explored shops in the art district and learned about pearls that are found in the Sea of Cortez, and Cabo San Lucas where we had the most delicious lunch at a spot called Stop Light, explored a small area of shopping, watched glass blowers at work, and went on a water tour of the Sea of Cortez and saw the iconic Lovers Rock and a ton of Sea Lions.

The second excursion was a snorkeling trip that took us to a remote and quiet spot in the Sea of Cortez to explore fish and coral in the area. After we were done snorkeling, we were able to use paddle boards and kayaks. We were even lucky enough to see some Humpback Whales pop up before diving down to look for food. 


Selecting a Child Care Provider: Trust Your Gut

March 10, 2019

I was recently asked if I had any advice on what to look for when visiting an early learning centre or day home. I told the parent to trust their gut. If something feels off, it probably is, even if you aren't able to put your finger on it.

My biggest piece of advice, after doing all of the research, making visits, and asking questions is that you don't go with a child care provider you aren't quite comfortable with just because it's closer to your work or your child's school, or because the cost is cheaper for you, or because your child has a friend that goes there, too. None of these are benefits when it comes to finding someone to look after your child. Absolutely none.

If you feel uncomfortable with leaving your child with a child care provider, and do so anyway because of one of these reasons, you are going to continue to feel uncomfortable and anxious. It is best to find someone you trust and have to pay a little more, or have to drive a little farther, because nothing is more important than the safety of your child.

If something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't. Don't feel bad about it either. Everyone has different feelings, and although some people might not have a problem with the same place that you are considering leaving your child, it doesn't mean that you won't. We all have different values and expectations, and you should find a child care provider that mirrors that. It doesn't mean that the places you are considering are filled with awful people or are a dirty environment (though you might encounter some of those), it just means that the provider that you are considering isn't the right fit for you. And that's okay!

For more information, check out these posts as well:

Little Shop of ElleSee is 8!

March 03, 2019

Can you believe it? 

The shop is now 8 years old!

It's been quite the roller-coaster of growth, and I'm glad that you have been riding along with me. There are so many new and exciting things that are being planned this year that I can't wait to share with you (including a special birthday giveaway). 

I hope you will stick around for the rest of the ride!


What We Love: Winter 2019

February 26, 2019

Bob the Husky Socks from Bath & Body Works

I'll be honest, I am not the biggest fan of socks. But as they are basically a necessity where I live in the winter, I suffer through them (the snagging on the heels is the wooorst). The socks my feet love best are those soft, velvety-like socks. I grabbed a pair of the shea-infused socks from Bath & Body works a few years ago, but with how cold it's been this winter, they have been my go-to comfy thing to put on when I get home from work.

When I first heard Traveling On by The Decemberists, my mind instantly went to the 60s with The Monkees and The Beatles. It is one of those songs that comes on in the car (thanks CBC), and gives me the perfect driving vibe. There are few songs for me that are the best kind of driving song (When the Levee Breaks and Sweet Emotion top the list), but this one is definitely right up there!

Bamboo Facial Pads from Picoti

Since becoming more conscious of the throw-away factor involved in cleaning my face at the end of the day (among other things we throw away), I have been eyeing up these beautiful bamboo facial pads from the shop Picoti. Not only are they washable, but they are way softer than the old washcloth that I've been using (we must be good to the delicate skin on our eyes!).


Behind the Art: Dachshunds Rule

February 18, 2019

If I'm being honest, I thought it was a funny concept to have the body of a really long dog marked as a ruler. Of course the dog would have to be adorable (as all dogs are) and long. A Dachshund worked perfectly for the previously mentioned requirements, and the art print Dachshunds Rule was born!


Mexico 2019: On the Resort

February 10, 2019

Back at the beginning of January, I took my first trip to Mexico. A friend and I stayed at RIU Santa Fe in Los Cabos and absolutely loved our time there. We lived by the pool, or on the beach, and just soaked up the sun while enjoying free drinks and delicious food (my favourite is the pico de gallo and nachos). 

When we weren't at the resort, we were out exploring Los Cabos either snorkeling and getting a tour of the Sea of Cortes, or in one of the cities (Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo). As you may recall from my trip to Hawaii a few years ago, I fell in love with the ocean and everything it taught me. I was cautious of the water in Cabo as it reminded me a lot of a place we swam in in Hawaii. We enjoyed letting it wash up onto our feet, but the pull of the water could be quite intense and tried to pull us along with it a few times. 

I love laying on the sand listening to the waves as much as I love being in the water, and wandering up and down the beach in search of seashells was an excellent workout. The beach is a peaceful place for me. What is your peaceful place?


Shop Update: Little Shop of ElleSee Loyalty Card

February 03, 2019

We are so excited to share with you our newly created loyalty card program! 

Here's how it works:

1. Purchase a card (or a few)
2. Get a hole punch for each card purchased
3. Receive your choice of a free card after buying 8 cards

You can pick up your card at the next market we attend, or we can get a card started for you from your next online purchase. Just mention it in the "message to the seller" section during check-out. If you make your purchases online, we can keep the card on file for you and give you a hole punch for each card you buy, and let you know when your card is getting full.

**Please note
that the Little Shop of ElleSee Loyalty Card can only be used when making a purchase directly from us, it is not for use at any of the shops that our cards are sold at. 


Behind the Art: Love Lifts Me Up

January 28, 2019

Love Lifts Me Up was one of the first cards that I created for the shop. It was also one of the first major interactions with the people that were following along on social media. 

I had drawn the little penguin and the balloons and made a caption for it, but it didn't quite work for me. I posted the image of the penguin on Facebook and asked what words should go with it, and "love lifts me up" is the one that I thought suited the image best. 

It was a great way to collaborate and complete the card.



Christmas Bird Count 2018

January 21, 2019

Each year around Christmas, something called the Christmas Bird Count is held in different areas around the Western Hemisphere. The information collected by what are called Citizen Scientists (that's you and me!) is used by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds on a daily basis.

This year was the first time that our family attended at our location in the Beaver Creek Conservation Area, and we found it absolutely fascinating. The program was run by some local birders with good knowledge about the different species of birds in our area. And, as you can see in the first photo, we even had the opportunity to get Chickadees to eat seeds from the palms of our hands (...mittens). I feel very fortunate to have even snapped some photos of them because they are incredibly fast.

We will have another opportunity to see (and hopefully feed) some more Chickadees at a Chickadee Pishing event at the beginning of February. Both events are a great opportunity to get outside in the fresh air, and explore nature in the winter.

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