Reading with Young Children: Recommended Books for Babies & Toddlers

books babies

This post was originally published on Victoria Moms Blog.

I love to read. I have so many wonderful memories of reading from when I was a little girl: curled up in my parent’s window seat with my parents and brother, reading stories before bed; my Dad reading us The Hobbit when we were a bit older; and my Mom reading Harry Potter aloud to me in the hospital when I was in my early twenties! I have always loved books, and when our little girl was born, I knew I wanted to try to pass that love of reading along to her.

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9 Reasons to Build Your Own Wooden Dollhouse


If you’re thinking of making a big homemade gift for your child, such as a wooden dollhouse … I would urge you to go for it. It may seem daunting, but I can assure you that the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Last Christmas, my Dad and I made Baby E a homemade wooden kitchen. It was amazing, and she still plays with it almost every day. This year, I wanted to tackle another DIY gift: a dollhouse! With a lot of help from both my Dad and Mom, we did it.

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Family-friendly NYE Ideas


This post was originally published on Victoria Moms Blog.

When I was little, we always spent New Years Eve as a family (often grandparents included!). For my husband who grew up in South America, New Years Eve is a big celebration, and one that is always spent with your family. Growing up, he was taught that you can miss Christmas if you must … but you’d better be there for New Years Eve! Now that we have a daughter of our own, we have continued the tradition of a Family (and close friends!) New Years Eve. For those of you looking for family-friendly NYE options this year, I’ve gathered some ideas here: a listing of family-friendly Victoria NYE events being held around town, and ideas for throwing your own NYE party with family and friends at home!

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Creating Homemade Toys

oh-the-places-well-go-because-of-you

I love homemade toys. And I love DIY projects. There is something special about a toy that is made with a particular little one’s interests in mind. Over the past year, we have created some wonderful homemade gifts for Baby E, that she has truly loved. I am thankful for Pinterest, and the inspiration that it provides. And I am extremely grateful for my Dad, who is a fabulous carpenter and can turn any project idea into reality!

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Fall Outings with Toddlers: Festivals & Events in Victoria

Yesterday, the temperature dropped below 20 degrees. I even saw strange wet drops falling from the sky! And 2 days from now will be the last day of August… As much as I don’t want to believe it, summer is drawing to a close! It won’t be long before we are trading our flip flops for boots, and our sun hats for umbrellas.

As Fall approaches, I’ve started putting together a list of festivals and events for our family to explore. If you’re like us, and love to check out different activities around town each weekend, I’m hoping you might find this list helpful.

As I learn about new events, I will add them here. Please let me know of any events I might have missed. And … since I LOVE Christmas so much, I’ll likely do another separate post with just Christmas events for families!

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“Enjoy every moment – they grow up too fast”

This post is in response to the Pace Oddity prompt. The prompt states: “If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?”

The number one piece of parenting advice I heard when I was pregnant, was “Enjoy every moment – they grow up too fast”. Well, that and “get some sleep now because it’s about to get a whole lot harder!”

Our little girl is already 3 years old, and while the sleeping has gotten much better, I have to say I feel like the years are flying by a bit fast! There are so many amazing moments as a parent. There are many times when I would love to slow down time and just enjoy this amazing time of our lives with our little girl …

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Gift ideas for a 3 year old

Last year I wrote a post about tried and tested gifts suitable for a 2 year old. Before Baby E, I always used to find it a bit challenging shopping for children’s birthday gifts. It was difficult to know what gifts would be a hit, and which would miss the mark … until I had a little live-in tester of my own! Baby E just recently celebrated her 3rd birthday, and she was very lucky to receive some really lovely gifts. For anyone shopping for a gift for a 3 year old this summer, here are some of our favorites that you might look into. And who am I kidding, I’m writing this for myself too!  I’m fairly sure that when Emma is grown, and I’m buying gifts for little ones in the future, I’ll need to look back at this post! I already had troubles remembering what a good gift for a 1-year old might be!

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Summer Outings with Toddlers: Festivals & Events in Victoria

At the end of March, I wrote a post called Spring Things to do with Toddlers: Festivals & Events in Victoria. I talked about how our little family loves our weekend adventures. My iPhone calendar is full of all of the festivals and events that I have been able to find, and each weekend we take a look at what’s going on, and what we want to explore. As the month of June continues to fly by, summer is just around the corner! So here is my list of Summer 2016 (July/August) family friendly festivals and events in Victoria and the peninsula. I haven’t attended all of these events before, so can’t guarantee your enjoyment … but many of them are events we have loved in the past!

*Update: new events added July 2nd, 2016 (marked with an asterisk)

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Spring Things to do with Toddlers: Festivals & Events in Victoria

I’ve mentioned before how my husband, daughter and I love to go on weekend adventures. We head out first thing in the morning (well “first thing” for a family with a toddler!), as soon as we can all get dressed and packed up. Then we return back home in time for Baby E’s afternoon nap. Although recently it looks like Baby E might be getting ready to drop her nap (mixed emotions about that)!

I am constantly on the lookout for events, festivals and activities that we can explore. Maybe it’s my background as a teacher, but I love to research and plan outings. I search online for event listings and info, and add them all to our phone calendars. Then we see which events we can make it to. That might sound a bit crazy, and it does take a bit of work to gather everything .. but we really love exploring new events around town, so it’s worth it! I’ve found a bunch of Spring events (April through June) and I thought I would share what I have put together. Just in case anyone living in the Sidney/Victoria area might be interested! I have never been to a number of the events listed here, so I can’t vouch for them just yet. But I am excited to check them out! I will note the events that we have taken Baby E to in the past.

As I come across new events, I’ll add them to this list. I’m planing to do another post for summer when it gets closer (it feels close, with the sunshine this week!)

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