Kylie Jenner big lips Halloween costume

I adore playing with my Fullips lip enhancing tool. It's like an all natural lip injection surgery. 

Knowing Halloween is tomorrow and I have nooooo costume (such is the life of a mom) I played around with makeup for 30 seconds, cut an old t shirt into a headband and plumped my lips to be KYLIE JENNER. So fun!

Here's the look and instructions below:

So before the lips even come into play, a dark wig and some turquoise pieces will be perfect. Plus a headband and some circle sunglasses. She typically wears fashionable but goth type clothes. You'll want a clean light look for skin with lots of contouring and highlighting. Then dramatic angled brows and winged liner. Use false lashes if you have them. Then for the lips:

I simply added a balm to begin. My lips were light and dried out from sloppily applying Bb cream. I prefer the round Fullips enhancer but other people like the ovals. Hold it over your lips and suck in a few breaths to create auction. Some people like to leave it on for a few minutes others like to take it on and off a number of times for short periods. You can also place it in different locations for different looks. Here I wanted big all around. I could have gone much bigger (like botched plastic surgery big) but stopped here. Then I applied Make up Forever nude lipstick and gloss over. 

Don't forget selfies. 

Here's a video to show you:

Have fun!

What's in a natural mama's medicine cabinet?

As we are moving so, so, so soon I'm in packing boxes beast mode. Today I was organizing our bathroom closet and snapped this photo. 

If anyone is interested in seeing what a natural mama keeps on hand here it is:

1. Let's start with a nice mainstream product: Gravol kids. It's not in any way natural but like heck if I can get a 3 year old to take the natural Ginger variety. Great for nausea and vomiting. 
2. Oscillococcsinum: this is my go to flu product. Homeopathic. 
3-6. Homeocan Kids 0-9 line: Cough &
Cold, Calm, Flu Buster, Pain & Fever. All self explanatory and all effective. 
7. Hyland Calms: one dissolvable homeopathic tablet and Oliver is a new kid!
8. St. Francis Ear Oil: smells like a snack, gets rid of pain. 
9. Stimulus an Pink Eye reliever: wish we never needed this. 
10. Vitamin D drops. Can't remember the brand. Can't be bothered to go upstairs and check. 
11. Traumeel: sports injury cream. Don't know if I use this more often for Cal after hockey or Ollie after... life. 
12. Camilia teething drops. They simply work, no question. 
13. Thermometer. 
14. "Neti pot" type saline nasal vials. 
15. Snot sucker. The classic. 

9 month / 39 month update

I feel like as the kids get older, doing these updates monthly is borderline overkill. "Well they each gained an ounce and continue to enjoy playing and eating..." Maybe Dakota's 1st birthday can be the cut off and I'll do some less frequent things from there on out. That being said, here's the update. 

Dakota had her 9 month check up and is 17 lbs 8 oz and 28 inches long. (I think?) She's getting places but in a non traditional crawling form. And she's saying "Dada", in fact she began saying it when Calvin was out of town with his band. I think she missed him. She enjoyed doing more swimming with her Ma this month and she also had her longest session ever being babysat which was 2:30-10:00pm for a wedding. She leaned to successfully drink from a bottle which was troubleshooted by a friend of mine who realized she needed a bottle nipple that is designed for breastfed babies. So now she can enjoy water and cashew milk at her leisure. I will be returning to work before her 10 month update so a bottle will be essential for pumped breast milk. And Dakota has just about outgrown her baby car seat so she's ready to go rear facing in a convertible car seat -- Christmas present! Dakota's favourite activity is dance parties. 

Oliver was also weighed at the appointment and is 30 whole pounds. He cycles between eating like a maniac and being too busy to barely eat a bite. I am forever offering him an overflowing spoonful of peanut butter because he didn't finish his lunch and we need to leave he house soon. My fridge is full of half eaten plates and bowls that he might finish later. His favourite is still cherry tomatoes but he's been devouring raspberries also. "Gimme 1, 2, 8, 10, 14 raspberries!" he'll say. He's discovered Lego Junior games on his tablet and loves them because they're exciting but not too difficult. We signed him up for introductory hockey starting this winter at an arena near our new house. He loves going over there and playing trucks or planes in the basement. He's also been building rocket ships out of my packing boxes... yay. I noticed this month just how popular he is at church: as soon as we walk in the door he is bombarded by boys and girls anywhere from age 3 to 12 who just seem to be in love with him and immediately want to play with him. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with letting him go off and play as long as I know where he is. Lots of scootering and biking (with training wheels) and rides in the race car shopping carts at Home Depot. 

Ollie and his bestie Abigail who just became a big sister to Ellianna, the newborn all wrapped up in the wrap on MY bestie Bethany. 

We realized our feet are the same size. 

Kota got a new batch of hand me downs from Megan. So much Disney. 

Oliver tripped carrying his dinner to the table and food went flying. Minutes later he burst out laughing when he realized one cucumber had stuck to the pantry door. He told me to take a picture. 

Dakota devoured a big bowl of Aunty Angela's homemade applesauce. 

He was solely responsible for choosing and sprinkling the seasonings on this chicken. A great job. 

Apple picking, much cuteness. 

Every tower gets a picture. He makes sure. 

This project that still doesn't fully make sense to me took up at least 20 hours this month. 

Bath time wearing Dakota's teething necklace. 

Shirtless breakfast time. French toast. Natalie knows. 

Meet Jacko. His insides were delicious. 

This tested my patience for sure. Cocoa powder, meet freshly washed bed sheets. 

My little beauty on our fun living room mattress. 

It was very important to him that he have a Sheriff star. It was important to me that I spell it correctly. 


Another successful unpacking session at the new house.  
So the kids discovered RockBand. Dakota is the singer.

The helmet is for riding his scooter but let's be honest, when stunts like this are the norm a helmet on the playground doesn't hurt. 

Touque, pull up, footie jammies & a leather jacket. The Oliver uniform. 

Ollie taking photos at the Detroit Zoo (thanks Ashley) and Dakota snoozing. 

Planning a packed lunch for crossing the border

Living in Southwestern Ontario, we are less than 2 hours from a number of major US cities. This makes air travel really handy but also opens up tons of fun day trips options as long as you've got a valid passport (or for kids: a birth certificate). 

My beautiful friend Ashley, who has contributed to this blog even in the early days, has a Detroit Zoo membership which includes bringing guests! Woo hoo! This means tomorrow we are packing my crew up and doing a ladies & littles trip to see the ankmals. Ashley is an animal lover and humane treatment advocate. She has volunteered with animals and recently invited a rescue dog to join her family so I trust that this zoo is one we can trust to make good choices!

I didn't want to risk paying "attraction prices" for food (oh my gosh, new blog theme: Amy is a cheapo!) so I am in the process of packing a lunch. Problem is: the border is picky about what you can bring with you, particularly no meat or fresh produce. 

Here's what's in the works:

I can't skip fruit for the kiddos so a batch of nutmeg banana chips and cinnamon apples is dehydrating. Can't deny me for non fresh fruit! 

Here is: our insulated lunch bag, some packaged treats (raspberry oatmeal bear paws, and rice baby crackers), Oliver's daily vitamin (Nordic Berries), Green Beaver organic sunscreen just in case and a bag of cherry tomatoes we have to finish before the border. Also some pasta salad as seen below. 

Excuse the hilarious photo but it hasn't really mixed well yet and the top just looks like dry pasta, ha ha. I mixed chilled pasta with vingearette, avocado, red onion, cucumber, red bell pepper, chickpeas and boiled eggs. 

Lastly I have a huge bottle of water freezing so it'll be cold all day. 

Just have to add our ID, some diapers and wipes, hats, etc and we are off!

Exciting things in grocery land

Wow, two grocery posts in a row. Just hand me a Loblaws flyer and call me Extreme Couponer. 

I can't help it if I'm excited about some finds. That's normal right? To put your groceries away and then sneak back for a look like "Yum, this stuff looks good." Breakfast after grocery day is always the king of breakfasts. 

So here were my top three:

I've seen a bazillion commercials for Silk Creamy Cashew but when I found a lone carton of it hanging out near the yogurt I just had to take it home with me. I even ran my carton of almond milk back to its place. I've been drinking homemade cashew milk for years but it's nice to have something ready made so I don't need to buzz up the blender when others in the house might be sleeping (between Dakota sleeping in, both of them napping, and me crashing so early in the evenings someone is always sleeping around here!) It tastes really good and I can't wait to make a pumpkin smoothie with it. Did anyone catch how I just sold it by saying I don't need to use the blender and then subsequently suggested blending it into a smoothie? Okay cool. 

Find #2, and you're welcome for this high quality camera phone shot, is Lindt white coconut chocolate. Some days I just NEED a 2nd coffee and a square of chocolate around 3pm. And if there's like totally like super healthy coconut pieces then it's most definitely like crazy good for you right? Right. 

Lastly, not a grocery store find (LCBO) but Featherstone white wine. Can't pretend to know much about this winery (it's in the Niagara region) nor can I convince you that I'm a wine snob by any means but it tastes great and I'm really happy with it. Decently sweet and fruity but not at all floral, it's just very smooth and refreshing. I love it after a crazy day of child chasing.

Lastly, how awesome is it that President's Choice is now artificial colour and artificial flavour free?! I've always been impressed with what quality they offer at such affordable prices. They have a HUGE range of products and Cal and I especially love their "Black" line (for coffee, jam, burgers, and much more). We will sometimes say to each other "just grab something from Black". Knowing that an entire network of products like that is totally free of horrible chemicals, and are instead relying on REAL flavours and colours is so encouraging. I support them big time for this major decision. Go PC!

Finding eco friendliness in unexpected places

So many of my posts seem to have a disclaimer; here's the one for today... Disclaimer: I am cheap cheap cheap! Maybe the nicer way to say that is "frugal" or "thrifty". I hang on to clothes, and shoes, longer than their fashionable or functional expiration date. I will gladly make a 75 cent can of lentils stretch for a few lunches. I negotiate with baristas to get fancy drinks at reasonable prices. So when I grocery shop there is a mix of "get what's good" (on a culinary level and also in regards to sustainability and planet consciousness) and "what's affordable". 

The first place I found Eco friendliness in an unexpected place was canned tuna. I was excited to see a super deal of like under $2 each and almost didn't realize that in my frugality I was also making a kind choice!


Ocean's now offers Pole & Line products which refers to the method that they were caught. Net fishing sucks on many levels. Out in the ocean anything can be caught in there (dolphins!) and we can't trust that they'll be humanely rescued. 

The other product was sent to me for blog sample and its Garnier Fructus shampoo, conditioner and weekly deep treatment for blondes. 

Basically they've re formulated their packaging to use more recycled material. Which is helpful considering how many of these bottles the average household burns through in a year. If you're looking for a run way to repurpose your shampoo bottle wash it out really well and fill with pancake batter. You can use the new precision to write out cursive letters and make word pancakes. So fun. 

Sometimes in trying to save a buck I can overlook the really Eco concious choices out there so it's great when these gems pop up unexpectedly. Glad to see major companies are mindful of these issues and they'll only become more so if we support!

Snack Ideas for Preschoolers

Do you ever have that moment standing in front of a full fridge going "What can we eat?!" It's the worst. It happens in the pantry, or cupboards, too. It happens at snack time, or when it's time to make dinner. And the hilarious part is there's so much food right in your face but it just doesn't come together.

My Mennonite heritage (and many other factors) have really helped me have a creative mind for putting a meal together using what you've got. That's not to say we don't plan ahead or that we've come into some hard time where we need to make one piece of meat stretch for a week. But for me the real kicker is when Oliver asks for a snack. For a three year old, he isn't very picky, however I do want to make sure he likes it enough to finish it, and that it's somewhat healthy and balanced, and won't make a huge mess. Or use up the ingredients I need for dinner! It's not a full meal so it doesn't need to have every component (protein, vegetable or fruit, grains, "dairy"... *cough cough) but I do like to try and pair a fruit or veggie with at least a protein or grain. Two food groups should do it! With all that as criteria, here are some snack ideas:

Cucumber and tzaziki
Avocado toast
Almonds, chocolate chips and dried cherries
Coconut granola and blueberries on yogurt
Cherry tomatoes, pita triangles and hummus
Peanut butter toast
Oven chips and guacamole
Grapes, white cheddar and crackers
Cashews and sliced banana
Watermelon, raspberry and yogurt smoothie
Carrot sticks and rice balls (mini arancini)
A falafel wrapped in lettuce
Canned tuna with mayo and celery
Raisins and sunflower seeds
Apples, dried cranberries and walnuts
Potato pancakes with applesauce dip
English muffin with almond butter and strawberries
A peach and white laughing cow cheese
A mug of homemade soup
Turkey lunch meat and bell peppers rolled up
Hot cocoa made with warm almond milk, honey and cocoa powder and a coconut macaroon
Leftover pesto noodles and mushrooms

Are any of these combos a hit in your house? Any quick snack ideas to add to the list?

Hopefully these ideas will help you in one of those "DUHH WHAT TO MAKE?" moments!