2021: The Year In Numbers

December 31, 2021

For a third year, you have made the Curled-Up Pup enamel pin the most popular item in the shop. It makes my heart so happy that the drawing of my little dog has resonated with you so much. We continue to donate $1 from every enamel pin, card, and art print sold, and were able to donate $30 to our local SPCA this year (thank you!!).

Also thanks to you, the best selling cards in the shop this year were Chosen MomGoodbyeSorry For Your Loss, and Dog Baby. Not to be outdone, Moon of My Life and Sun & Stars were among your favourites. It's nice to see such a variety of cards that can be useful in your lives!


As for the blog, The Importance of Rough and Tumble Play was our top post this year, quickly followed by the story behind the I Love You x 15 card, the book review for Light from Other Stars by Erika Swyler, and The Importance of Letting Children Complete Tasks on Their Own.

Just like with the cards in the shop, it's wonderful to know that there are so many different blog posts that you can find here that provide you with information, or that you just enjoy reading. 

Take care in 2022!! We'll be right here with you :)


What We Love: Christmas Edition 2021

November 29, 2021


This adorable felted wool ornament was made by Kayla Frioult of Woolwood Studio in Nelson, BC. You can find it and so many other amazing items, that she makes with such attention to detail, in her shop. Her little needle felted Bumblins make me smile!

As a long time fan, I personally think that Lights always makes amazing covers of songs, including Happy Xmas (War is Over). Her smooth and soft vocals over a simple melody with a soft but driving beat just mellows me right out for the holiday season.

You know how much I love penguins! These earrings of penguins wearing Santa hats from Sunnie Creative would add the perfect amount of holiday cheer to your earlobes, plus they remind me of the artwork on some of our holiday cards (I told you I love penguins!).


The Shop: Best Wishes Warmest Regards

October 26, 2021

This is honestly the most exciting news for me to share: earlier this year I was approached by the publishing director for 
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. She informed me that they were collaborating with the producers of Schitt's Creek to create a coffee table book in celebration of the show's six seasons. She went on to tell me that they wanted to include some fan and wanted to include my Simply the Best drawing in the book.

I was floored. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that something like this would happen, and it was such an honour to be asked to be a part of this beautiful book. Eugene Levy and Dan Levy, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, and Hachett Book Group pulled everything together so wonderfully.

The cherry on top of it all was a personal note from Dan Levy written in the front of the copy that was sent to me. It feels so crazy and amazing to think that people around the world are going to see my artwork when they open this book.

Dan Levy did an interview with Variety that talks about bringing fans into the collaboration, and the vibe that he wanted for the book.


Behind the Art: Happy Birthday Bird

October 16, 2021

This cute little card is one of the first birthday cards that I designed for the shop. It comes from a pair of drawings that I made as a set for the shop when it was originally opened. The image on this card is the first print, and the second print was the bird after it had eaten the cupcake and was incredibly full! 

Eventually I just decided to make it into a card, as some of the other prints have done in the past (like the Ivan print, this heart print and the Simply the Best artwork).


Shop Update: Christmas Cards 2021

October 12, 2021


The 2021 Christmas cards that I have been designing since the end of last Christmas (inspiration usually strikes when you need it the least) are now available in the shop

Why are the cards being listed soooo far ahead of the actual season? A lot of small online shops like to get holiday items ready to go so that they can be shipped out in time for them to reach everyone before the big day(s), which means that many of us are making them available before other holidays and celebrations have even begun.

Compared to the simplicity of our other Christmas cards, these four cards are by far the busiest cards that I have designed in the 11 years the shop has been open. You can find Chillin With My Snowmies, Christmas Wonderland, Happiest Christmas, and Bring On The Holidays in the shop along with all of the other Christmas cards.


Healthy Body: The Beginning Of My Korean Skincare Routine

September 14, 2021

My skincare journey has been a difficult one. In university I used a physical exfoliator that didn't just cause small tears in the delicate skin on my face, but caused so much damage that I needed to apply a medical ointment every day until it had healed (it was a huge red patch on my cheek). After that, I didn't trust exfoliators anymore.

Me with acne (and makeup) while using face oil

 & me after one month of following Korean skincare routine (no makeup)

A few years later I noticed that the toner I was using was really drying out my skin, so I gave up on toners because, at that time, they all had alcohol in them. Then, after giving birth to my son, I started using a face oil that made me get tiny pimples all over my face. So I started simply washing my face with water and applying a moisturizer with sunscreen during the day, and a night time moisturizer before going to bed. That was it. 

Despite all of this, I have never been truly unhappy with my skin. I just realised that I had to give up on this idea of using a million products to keep my skin nice because there were no products designed for the sensitivity of my face.

When I started doing the work to care for my curly hair, I started hearing about Korean skincare and it got me wondering if it would be something that I could do. My skin was happy with just water and moisturizer, but if I could do something more to help ease it into the later stages of life, I was not resistant to it. Now I see that what I am doing for my skin is the same thing that I am doing for my hair; providing moisture to help it to be wonderful in its most natural state.

I watched the above video and began my journey following Korean skincare just over a year ago. I found Angel's Youtube Channel after looking for information on Korean skincare and sensitive skin, and she provided a lot of information about which products she uses, but also that she doesn't do all of the steps every day (or even in the morning). She helped me to understand how I could make a routine for my skin.

I also did a lot of research about the history of Korean skincare (I can't find the original site I used, but this one has some good info) because I didn't want to just jump into something that I didn't understand. Byrdie had a lot of useful information when I first started, and continues to be a very helpful resource, as does Instagram. I made sure to learn about why each step is important, and how the application of each product can make a difference, too.

I started slowly with a moisturizer and night cream, and added more products as I found them. Because of my sensitive skin, and a personal choice to try my best to purchase ethical products, it took me a little while to find what I needed -- the most difficult to find was the essence as it is not a common product to find on shelves in Canada. Since then, I have changed some of the products that I use, incorporating more from Korea that I found in an online store called Chuusi for people that live in Canada, but continuing to use my favourites (which I'll share later).

One year in and I am very happy with how my skin looks and feels. While my skin was not awful, I know that the hydration that I am giving it is helping it a lot. Like with curly hair, taking care of your skin is a long game and I will continue to see the benefits as I move along my journey.

My Korean Skincare Routine: Cleanse & Prep
My Korean Skincare Routine: Nourish
My Korean Skincare Routine: Protect

Behind the Art: Pea Green Boat

September 09, 2021

Pea Green Boat art print

The beginning of this poem floats around in my head sometimes, and I thought it would make a wonderful image for an art print. I know the poem from Edward Lear only mentions the colour of the boat, but my imagination makes the boat the shape of a pea pod as well.


World Alzheimer's Month 2021

September 01, 2021


It is the beginning of September, a month that the shop has recognised each year since 2014 in memory of my Grandma. Each year, 15% of our profits for the month of September (World Alzheimer's Month) are donated to support those who are suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia, as well as their families, and to promote research. 

In previous years, we donated to the Alzheimer's Society of Canada, but for the last couple of years we have kept it local by donating to the Alzheimer's Society of  Saskatchewan. To date, you have helped donate nearly $200 to both organizations.

Please visit the shop to make a purchase this month and help us push past the $200 mark!


The Summer List 2021: Complete

August 30, 2021

We had an amazing time this summer going through everything on our 2021 Summer List. It started off small, but grew as we figured out more things that we could do as activities opened up for the summer. We had a lot of fun doing some of our regular activities again, like visiting the outdoor pool, but also visiting different parts of the province that we haven't seen before, like Lake Diefenbaker. Overall, it was great to get out and explore!


Behind the Art: From This Day Forward

August 22, 2021

I wanted to create a neutral wedding card that didn't have any specific genders, stereotypes, or titles, and this is the first design that I came up with. I had created other cards that were later adapted to be available for 2SLGBTQ+ couples (which are still limited), but wanted one that had no link to the terms "bride" and "groom"; that was simple enough it could be used for any couple. 

That is where the design for From This Day Forward came from: with only gold wedding bands, and a phrase from typical vows, I hope that it can be used for any couple on their special day!



Read It: A Mind Spread Out On The Ground

August 06, 2021


Filled with essays that go from the history and evolution of mental health, to Reconciliation in Canada, to talking about relevant stories in the media and the impact that they can and should have on society as a whole. A Mind Spread Out On The Ground is thoughtful and introspective, leaving the reader with a yearning to learn more, but to also read it again.

Alicia Elliott covers all sorts of topics while weaving in stories from her childhood. Each chapter can stand on its own, but always flows perfectly with the one that came before and the one that follows. The beauty of this book is that I was able to see a perspective of life that I have never had the opportunity to see. That is the important work that books and authors do: they allow us to see the world through different eyes; to learn and grow.


My Curly Hair Journey: One Year Reflection

July 31, 2021

It's been a year since I began my curly hair journey, and I can't believe we have already reached that point. It's been six months since I last gave an update, and I have learned a lot more about my hair since then. 

After realising that I have a sensitivity to coconut, I also learned that I have a sensitivity to aloe vera. Both are in pretty much every single product for curly hair that you encounter on the market, so it was a serious struggle to find products that would provide me with what I need.

I also started to scale back significantly and, other than the odd clarifying wash with apple cider vinegar, I would only wash with a conditioner, condition my hair, and then use a foam to hold in some of the moisture, until my hair had settled a bit more into the curly hair routine. 

I eventually added in a scalp massager to help get a deep scrub while cleaning my hair with the conditioner, and it has been a game changer because it can scrub my hair in the shower better than my fingertips ever could.

While I have stopped brushing my hair altogether, and don't even use the brush to do curl training anymore, I did start plopping after every wash day, and found that the extra time for soaking in the moisture and products has helped my hair immensely. I miss the feeling of the brush on my scalp sometimes, but I enjoy letting my hair figure out it's own way of doing things.

What I loved about the curls you see in the photo above, and why I took the photo, was that they were my second day curls at the end of a long day at work. Compared to other days, I was so excited that they still had volume, and shape. This was the first time that they hadn't fallen flat by the end of the day, and that really felt like progress.


Behind the Art: Bluebird of Happiness

July 24, 2021

Have you ever seen the movie K-PAX?  While it wasn't the initial inspiration for the drawing (I went through a phase where pretty much everything that I drew was some sort of bird), that movie pops into my head whenever I see this art print. 

The original piece of artwork that I drew in my sketchbook had long roots at the bottom of the tree, but I decided that I didn't like the look of it. So, once I had it scanned in to the computer, I removed the roots from the image.

What I like most about this drawing is the thick dark lines of the tree in contrast with the simplicity of the little bluebird, which I think makes it stand out even more.


What We Love: Summer 2021

July 08, 2021

My satin scunchies from me&you handmades have been a lifesaver this summer! With all the hot weather we have been experiencing, it is so nice to be able to put my hair up to get it off of my face, and my curly hair simply adores the satin scrunchies!

I heard Daydreaming from Yehra while driving to work one morning. You know I'm a sucker for a good beat and a smooth voice, and this song is the perfect storm of combinations. 

I am in looooove with the pronoun enamel pins that are available from Atelier Persephone. Marie has created a stunning way to share your pronouns that can be dressed-up or dressed-down and worn for all occasions!


Behind the Art: Soar

June 20, 2021


This card was one of the first ones that I designed for the purpose of being a graduation card. I mean, it can be used for whatever purpose or idea that you might have in mind, but the original thought was to acknowledge the big day and the opportunities for growth and learning that come after...not that there isn't any growth or learning that happens leading up to the graduation day.


The Summer List 2021

June 12, 2021


The Summer List has been a tradition for nearly 10 years in our household. It has been so wonderful to see how it has evolved over the years as our child has grown and been able to do more activities, but there has also been some sadness as we realise that some of the activities we do may no longer be age appropriate (we're growing up here!).

Last year we had to be a bit more creative with the Summer List, and couldn't do some of the activities that we would normally put on there. This year was similar, as a lot of the larger events in our city were still unavailable or were something we aren't quite comfortable doing yet, but we did a lot of things that would allow us to be outside or utilized scheduling that limits the amount of people participating in an activity.

My son wouldn't agree, but family walks are always a favourite of mine, and I am really excited to get back into a pool. It's been nearly 18 months since I've jumped in and gone for a swim! What are you looking forward to this summer?


Read It: So You Want to Talk About Race

June 06, 2021

So you're starting your journey towards anti-racism, or you've been on your journey for a while now and want to take a step in a different direction because you've just been walking around in circles. Ijeoma Oluo's So you want to talk about race is an excellent place to start.

Pulling stories from her own life, and providing the reader with an anchor with which to understand the information that she provides next, Oluo gives readers a good understanding of how racism affects people in the now, not just the past. 

It is a book that can be read over and over again and you will find something new every time, because where you are walking on your path of anti-racism, and what you have learned so far, will help you understand or make you see things that you might not have seen the first time you read the book.

The part that has stuck with me, and that I think about regularly, since my first read through, is about privilege. Not specifically white privilege, but privilege in general, because there are a lot of people out there that have certain privileges that have helped them get where they are. "Privilege...is [simply] an advantage or a set of advantages that you have that others do not...we must understand the full impact of these advantages and disadvantages in order to move toward real change in our society and ourselves." (p.59-60)

For example, I grew up middle class in a house with both my parents. There was always food on the table, I had clothes to wear, and I was provided with the opportunity to pursue a secondary education. I don't have a disability, and, until recently, I thought I grew up neurotypical. I will also never deny that my physical appearance has given me an enormous advantage, but you can see from my list that there were no roadblocks in my way to prevent myself from building a good life, especially as I have got older.

I think about the questions that Oluo presented in the book all the time, and use them to remind myself that not everyone has had the same starting point in life that I was fortunate to have. This is the biggest piece that has pushed me in a different direction on my journey because I was one of those people walking around in circles that I mentioned earlier. 

I know that there will be something else that sticks out the next time that I read the book, and I have been eager to read more perspectives, and more voices since picking up So you want to talk about race. This book was my diving board, and I, for one, am looking forward to going for a long swim.


What We Love: Spring 2021

May 31, 2021

I was in need of a new belt, recently, and found this style from Izette Leather Co. that I really liked (plus they're located in Canada). Donny kept in constant contact with me throughout the entire process, and I love the look and feel of my new belt. It also does an excellent job of holding up my pants!

A friend of mine sent me this video of Long Legged Larry by Aesop Rock recently and it is honestly one of my favourite songs now. The beat is awesome, the lyrics are so much fun, and the video itself makes the whole thing come together perfectly. Enjoy!

This Homer in the Bushes embroidery from The Prairie Corner is absolutely amazing! The use of the the green terry cloth is genius! It's also one of my favourite scenes from the show, and one of my favourite GIFs. 


Favourite Family and Kids Games 2021

May 28, 2021
Board games are a lot of fun and can be a great way to pass the time. They are also another way to be able to spend time together and bond as a family. They can be excellent tools for teaching children social emotional skills such as patience and turn-taking, as well as developing skills for strategy, attention to detail, and logic. Let's just say that they are a sneaky way for kids to learn. Here are a few of our favourites: 

My son received Keys to the Castle for Christmas a couple years ago, and he hasn't been able to get enough of it. A game of strategy and luck, you must get your character through the grid of castle doors before the other players...there are things along that way that stop you, though!

Spot It is one of our favourite family games of all time. It is a small container that can travel anywhere so it's perfect for camping trips or taking on an airplane, and there are multiple ways to play the game with as few as two (2) people and as many as eight (8). Each card has something that matches with every card in the pile, including the card you have in your hand. If you can find it, you either claim the card or discard the one in you are holding. Depending on which game you play, you want to have the most cards, or get rid of all of them first.

Sequence for Kids was another Christmas gift, and it has also become a family favourite. A quick game with simple enough rules that children as young as three (3) can play. The goal is to get four (4) tokens in a row to win, but there are a couple of cards that can make it more difficult for you to win.

Camelot Jr is a puzzle game that requires you to bring the knight and princess together using the set-up on the puzzle page, and only the pieces that are shown at the top. Your job is to figure out how to put it all together to make it possible for the pieces to move by creating a bridge to the other side. It can be very tricky, but a lot of fun (even adults feel accomplished when they figure it out).


Behind the Art: Like Riding A Bicycle

May 16, 2021

Like a lot of pieces of artwork that I create, this one stemmed from the idea of how silly it would be for a penguin to attempt to ride a bicycle. Not only do they not have feet that can reach the pedals, but their flippers would also never be able to reach the handle bars. For some reason that was a very funny mental image for me, and one that I decided to create on paper. I might be biased, but I think it's pretty cute!


Child Development: Why it's Okay for Children to Play on Their Own

April 18, 2021

While playing with other children helps your child to develop incredibly important social/emotional skills like turn-taking and communicating with their peers, it's also perfectly fine for children to play on their own as it helps them to develop other social/emotional skills that they might not develop as strongly in a group setting. 

As an ECE, where it is my job to keep an eye on the children that I work with at all times (even when they think they are alone), one of the biggest things that I learned while on maternity leave with my son was that I didn't have to be near him every single second of the day. It was okay for me to sit an read and let him explore.

As he got older, I started to realise that I also didn't need to have every single part of his day scheduled with activities, and that it was perfectly fine for me to let him be on his own with his toys in his room, or for me to be doing my own activity while he was doing something else nearby. 

Not only can it be exhausting to put the expectation on yourself to fill every moment of your child's day so that they are never bored, but it also erases the moments of boredom that make it possible for your child to come up with ideas and activities themselves to get rid of that boredom themselves.

Playing alone helps your child to develop independent problem solving skills that they might not have had the opportunity to get if there is someone else beside constantly solving their problems for them (peer or adult). It also creates a situation where they have to make their own fun, to push their boundaries of creativity, and to figure out how to calm themselves when they are frustrated (self-soothing). A certain sense of pride and accomplishment follows inventing your own task or game and completing it, too! 

There's also nothing wrong with your child having some quiet time for themselves, especially if they've just completed an activity or task that required a lot of energy, or was a sensory over-load. Time to yourself is an excellent way to recharge your battery (and it gives parents time to recharge too!).


Behind the Art: Mom, You are Lovely

April 11, 2021

Mom, You are Lovely

This was one of the very first cards that I designed for Mother's Day. It came with the idea that the word lovely can mean so many different things. Not only does it refer to how someone looks, but their personality and that, to you, they are loveable. Paired with the simplicity of the rose drawing, I took it to be that your mom is a wonderful person, and you wanted to let her know that.


Now He Is 10!

April 01, 2021


Folks, we have reached the double digits!!

Here we are, once again, celebrating another birthday during the pandemic. This year, he requested an ice cream blizzard cake from Dairy Queen, and we ordered supper from Boston Pizza (the spaghetti with bolognaise is his favourite).

This past year brought a lot of different changes and challenges to our lives that no one can really prepare for, but we met them head-on as a family. This guy has become more independent with each passing day, and we have learned how to collaborate more and and bring him into the conversation. Of course there are times when we have to put our parental feet down, but life is getting to be less about having control and more about helping him learn how to take the reins. He is still very much the thoughtful, kind, and caring boy that we have always known him to be. 

This (little) boy cares deeply about the people in his life, and will still stop what he is doing to help you, or to give you a hug to make you feel better. Now is the time he is starting to learn more specific emotions and nuanced behaviours, and digging deeper into what it means to be a good friend and a good citizen.


Read It: The Sun is also a Star

March 28, 2021


I may be a little late to the meeting, considering this book has already been made into a movie, but I absolutely loved The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon. 

The concept of the book being about a single day in the life of two people, Natasha and Daniel, was fascinating and so well done. I enjoyed that it was through the eyes of two teenagers, which is a perspective about life and the world that I don't get anymore, but also that it was about two people from two different cultures that have vastly different life experiences than mine. 

There were a lot of eye opening moments, and teachable moments, for myself as a white woman seeing and hearing about the experiences of Natasha and Daniel. I really appreciated how Yoon added in extra chapters that taught some history behind some of the moments that the two characters were experiencing or talking about. 

It was a beautifully written book that sucked me right in, and I gladly followed along for the ride.


The Importance of Rough & Tumble Play in Early Childhood

March 15, 2021

One of the most difficult things for me to learn and come to terms with as an Early Childhood Educator was the concept of rough play, but one group of children that I worked with really enjoyed wrestling with each other, so, after attending a workshop about Embracing Risky Play in Childhood, instead of punishing the children for the behaviour, we decided to get on board with their rough and tumble play.

The first thing we did was sit the children down and talk about how we were going to allow them to wrestle outside: 

- We discussed where would be an appropriate place to wrestle, and they decided on the grass area

- We discussed how many people should wrestle together, and they decided that two was enough

- We also discussed what was not considered wrestling, and they thought choking and hitting the face was inappropriate

- We also talked about paying attention to each other's faces so we could know when we were not having fun anymore, and how if our bodies felt hot and angry then it was time to stop, or if our partner's face was no longer smiling then it was also an indication to stop. 

The children should be leaving their wrestling still as friends.

With these rules, that the children helped decide on, in place, we began letting them wrestle outside in our grassy area. We would remind them of the rules every time we went outside, and an educator was always nearby when the wrestling began, noting when there were too many wrestling together, or if the wrestling was getting too aggressive, or mean spirited, and their bodies were saying it was time to be done. As always, they caught on quickly, and, by the end of that summer, they were getting really good at remembering the rules and recognizing when it was time to be done.

It wasn't easy. While my partner and I were fully giving ourselves to the idea, we had to let other educators in the centre know what was going on so that they would understand that the wrestling and rough and tumble play was allowed, and being watched closely. It takes a lot to push yourself through the discomfort of leaving a specific way of teaching behind, but it really changed how we approached the situation, and made it less of a source of frustration for us educators, and the children.

Why is rough and tumble play an important part of early childhood development? Based on some of the rules that we devised with the children, you can see that it helps them understand their emotions and how to regulate their bodies, as well as understand when they are getting angry and need a break. It also helps them to recognise and understand emotions in other people: I can see my friend is no longer having fun so it is time to stop. It also helps them develop resilience, and gives them the opportunity to use their larger muscles and get more energy out of their bodies.

*It is important to note that rough and tumble play is not just for boy, there are plenty of little girls that enjoy wrestling and playing other rough and tumble games!


Behind the Art: You Are Valuable

March 08, 2021


The inspiration for this piece of artwork came from a quotation from Hillary Clinton's concession speech from the 2016 election. I was moved by this sentence that she spoke near the end of her speech, because I feel it in my heart that girls (and women) are everything, and deserving of everything, that Hillary said.

As a preschool teacher, I have shifted my language and the way that I approach educating little girls, like instead of saying "you're a strong girl" I just say "you're strong". I never added "boy" to the end of the sentence when I was talking to one of my little boys, so why was I adding "girl" to the end of the sentence for the little girls. 

This shift is subtle, but it has helped me to realise the language that we use when talking to children, and how we can use it to build up rather than just make it seem like they'll only ever be what society tells them they'll be. You may have heard the phrase "words matter", well, the words that we hear as children can become our inner voice as adults. I don't want to teach little girls that they are strong, for a girl, I want to teach them that they are powerful and capable of pursuing their dreams no matter what they look like!


The Shop is 10

March 01, 2021

Wow. Ten years ago I took the leap and opened up Little Shop of ElleSee on Etsy. It's been quite the journey so far. There are so many dreams that I have had for the shop that I have yet to achieve, and some that I have accomplished, and you have been right by my side through it all. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I am incredibly grateful for the love that you give the shop. Parhaps you have purchased a card, art print, or Curled-Up Pup pin; maybe you have never made a purchase, but you follow along on social media and cheer along the sidelines. However you are involved with the shop, I am thankful for you!

There is still so much more that I plan to do, that I want to do, but sometimes it can get really overwhelming. I am not a marketing mogul, or an Instagram influencer, and most of the stuff I do I make up two seconds before I post it because I am the worst at planning things -- I am writing this at 7:30pm on the shop's birthday, though I did take the photo yesterday -- so a lot of times I am not in line with the trends, but Little Shop of ElleSee is slowly getting out there, and travelling around the world because of you, and the kind words that you share about the work I do. Cheers!!


The Importance of Letting Children Complete Tasks on Their Own

February 19, 2021

Think about all of the things that you can do without thinking about them. Chances are that you've got a pretty long list of things you are capable of doing without even really thinking about what you need to do to complete those tasks. They can be anything from zipping your zipper (and what to do when it gets caught), to how to scrape the food you didn't eat off your plate and put it in the sink or dishwasher.

Now think about all of the steps that you have to take in order to complete a single task on your list. Let's take a look at putting on a sock: you know that your sock has to be turned a certain way so that the heel ends up in the same spot as the heel on your foot; you know that you have to open up the sock and put your foot in the hole at the top, pushing your foot in while pulling at the top of the sock at the same time. What happens if the sock gets twisted, or your toes end up getting stuck? You know that you have to adjust the sock, and maybe even take it off.

There are actually quite a few steps involved in being able to put on your sock, but you do it without even thinking about it. You are not born knowing skills that seem like simple tasks, they require time and attention, and, within a week or two of trying, children even as young as two (2) are pretty capable of completing these tasks, like putting on their shoes, pulling up pants, or scraping a plate of food, when given the opportunity to try, and it makes them feel so proud when they complete them.

Often, when it comes to learning, these types of tasks are overlooked. There are many reasons, be it that caregivers just do not have the time to wait for their child to attempt to put on their pants so they just do it for them, or learning the alphabet or how to write your name before entering school is seen as more important. What a lot of people do not realise is that these tasks are just as important for children to learn, if not more. The tasks we do every day that we do not think much about require fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and problem solving skills, just to name a few. Not to mention what it does for self esteem. How good do you feel when you complete a task that seems next to impossible when you first try? Pretty darn good!

A lot of schools have begun asking caregivers to make sure that their new students are capable of a lot of self-help skills before even starting Kindergarten. When a child enters school, it is imperative that they are capable of putting on their winter gear before heading outside for recess as teachers are not able to get all of the children ready within the small window of time that is recess. That doesn't mean that if they are struggling that help won't be offered, but the help that is offered is minimal and will eventually no longer be needed as the child is able to complete the task.

So what can we do to help our children learn to complete tasks on their own? 

If your child is beginning a new task that they have never done before, make sure you give them enough time to complete it. If they are working on zipping up their coat but they only get to do it when leaving the house, then you are more likely to take over when they are taking too long. Work on it at a time when you're not needing to leave the house, and provide toys and dress-up clothes that have zippers, buttons, snaps, etc. on them.

You can also make a game out of it. If the task your child is working on is learning how to clean up their room, set a timer to see how quickly they can do it, or sing a special song while helping them learn how to organize their toys.

There is nothing quite like completing a task and the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with it, even as adults. Children get so excited when they are able to zip their zipper by themselves, or put on their shoes, or pull up their pants. They are so capable of it, and just need our time and patience to walk them through the steps that we already know without thinking about it.


Behind the Art: The Hunt Is On

February 18, 2021


The Hunt Is On card

I had made a couple of Easter cards in the first couple of years of the shop, but there was something about them that I never really liked, so I removed them. A few years later, I was inspired to draw this adorable basket of colourful eggs that would inspired the words "the hunt is on". I liked how it wasn't specifically Easter related, but still Easter related...like a subtle Easter card, but also super cute!


What We Love: Winter 2021

February 15, 2021


One of the things that I am absolutely loving right now is my satin-lined toque that was made by Yetunde of the shop The Obsessed Crocheter. You may have seen the shop name before in the post for Canadian Handmade Christmas Gifts, but I had already owned the toque for a month before. As a newly minted curly living in a cold winter climate, I knew that I would need something more than a regular old toque to keep out the cold. Yetunde lives in Canada (support local!), so she knows how cold it can get, and she understands the importance of protecting the hair from the harshness of wool, and any other materials that toques are made of. You can tell that she takes great care in the work that she does, and I love how she picks out the satin just for you. Check out my Instagram to see the inside, it is gorgeous, and a fun surprise!

Lately, I have been hearing 1st Time from Bakar all over the one radio station that I listen to while driving. It is so smooth and upbeat at the same time and I absolutely love it!

This wooden letter board from the shop Knot Knot Outfitters is simply gorgeous. The natural wood grain and colour, and the simplicity of the lines carved directly into the board are what really draw me in.


Life Lately: Winter 2021

January 30, 2021

There have been some beautiful days of glistening snow and frost so far this winter. We have been very fortunate that we have only had a few days of severely cold weather. I am hopeful it continues that way, as it makes the days much nicer when we can go outside to play.

I have been doing more research on curly hair, and the products that I use. I just recently figured out that the shampoo I use still has a coconut derivative in it, so I have cut it out and am waiting to see how it changes my hair. In the meantime, I am just using my conditioners to scrub away the residues and buildup in my hair. I am really struggling with finding products that have absolutely no coconut in them.

Finding foods that we are not used to, and good for our bodies, is something that I've been trying to do on grocery trips lately. I picked up a pomegranate (my son was not a fan of the seeds, but would eat the fruit and spit them out), and a yellow pepper, in the hopes that it would be another vegetable we could enjoy. I ended up just putting chopped up yellow pepper in my salads this week because it was not a fan favourite, and I really enjoyed the new flavour. I think I will continue buying them...for myself.

I purchased this beautiful bowl, that reminds me of Saturn, from Karlie King, and it is now my new favourite porridge bowl. It would also make a fantastic chip or popcorn bowl, as it is both deep and wide enough that I would feel satisfied with the amount of snacks that I got. Haha!


Behind the Art: I Love You x 15

January 25, 2021


This card was inspired by a game that my son and I would play at bedtime when he was little. When I would get ready to leave after our cuddles, we would both say "I love you" as fast as we could a million times in a row to see who could say it the most.

I love creating cards that have a connection to me somehow because I have memories attached to them. We do not play this game anymore, and so I love this card all the more. Cherish those moments.

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