this is us

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Last spring I had the honor of winning a photo session with my friends mom Rochelle Mort, this past weekend we met and she took some beautiful photographs of our family. Rochelle normally specializes in wedding photography and couples so taking on a family photo session was a bit out of her element but I honestly never would had guessed it. She was great with the kids and had tons of ideas for capturing charming family moments. We met in the sweetest little spot, full of gorgeous fall colors and the perfect lighting. Sal and I were both pretty worried Owen wouldn’t want to cooperated but he ended up having a blast with the whole thing and actually was great at posing and took the lead in holding little sisters hand and giving her some great big hugs without any asking on our part. Near the end he did start to fall apart so we simply gave him his space and everything went on smoothly. get-attachment.aspx get-attachment-3.aspx get-attachment-4.aspx get-attachment-5.aspx get-attachment-6.aspx get-attachment-7.aspx get-attachment-8.aspx get-attachment-9.aspx get-attachment-10.aspx

I can’t speak highly enough of Rochelle’s work, I recommend you check out her blog and experience for yourself her great work. I am truly thankful for these beautiful pictures of our family as they will bring us great memories for years to come.

Thanks Rochelle!

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topic: Ema Onawa, Family, Kai pie, Nature, Parenting & Tagged ,
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beautiful love

Yes, I have been crafting like crazy as of late but no I have not been carrying around my camera. To be honest, I have been finding it harder and harder as of late to capture beautiful pictures of my work and as this has been a struggle I’ve simply decided to just focus on my work and forget the photography. Sadly this means no posting of my new projects because really what is a blog without pictures? (not much of anything exciting to me especially being such a visual person) So I’m going to have to find some inspiration and technical advice somewhere soon but till then here are some beautiful photographs by the one and only Jenna Shouldice.

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lessons in becoming a knight

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This boy of ours has been obsessed with stories of knights, Robin Hood and hunters as of late and so I thought it in order for a family hike up in Mount Madonna County Park. They have the perfect setting for a young boy to let his imagination run wild. Tall majestic trees, white fallow deer, wild turkeys, an archery range and the ruins of the old Henry Miller estate make for the perfect “castle” to practice your sword fighting techniques or play hide and go seek, because hey who doesn’t like to play hide and go seek!
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All in all it was a fabulous day only it did leave our boy whining on the way home wishing he had a real bow and arrow to go hunting with and Mama yearning for more time in the mountains amongst tall trees and natures animals. One day, we will have our country mountain home and our children each their very own bow and arrows.

 

topic: Ema Onawa, Family, Kai pie, Nature, Parenting & Tagged , , ,
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A Fabulous Fall Equinox

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Yesterday we were honored to have our first rain of the season. I was surprised to wake up to the streets and grasses dampened by a night rain fall. The kids were ecstatic, and right away spotting hidden puddles around the back yard through the back window. I truly do relish in the change of seasons, the transformative powers it exudes is exactly what is needed after being in the same realm for too long. Summer brought me great peace and rest this year but too much of anything is never very good. I was really just starting to feel lazy and so unambitious. It was decidedly time for a motivational push and Autumn has brought me exactly what I was in search of. I’ve now been awakened and inspired and on top of it all I just cant wait to wrap myself up in warm woolens, knee high leather boots, and hot coffee in hand. My friends all think I’m a lil coocoo for craving cold weather, I guess it must be the Canadian in me.

Today however, not a single rain cloud was in sight and the skies were full of sunshine and warmth. So we decided what better way to welcome Autumn than to go apple picking. In plus we had already gone through all the ones gathered from Onawa’s birthday party and not a single pie or crumble had been made. Only applesauce…lots of applesauce mind you but a pie or two is surely needed in our house before we move on to pumpkin picking! How did you celebrate the first day of fall this year?

 

 

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picking apples and turning two

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Today my girl turned two years old. She was so excited to wake up to a trail of little cut out kitty cats leading her down to the nature table decked out just for her with her birthday ring, rainbow bridge story and big beautiful golden sunflowers. After opening a few special gifts we made her a deliscious breakfast shared with my parents in law. Later in the day we met up with a few close friends and family over at our local apple orchard to go apple picking. The kids had such a blast and playing in the picnic area and everyone went home with baskets and bags full of apples. I can’t wait to turn some of these apples into apple sauce and apple crisp!

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Happy birthday sweet girl! Thank you for filling my heart and lighting my whole entire lifetime. May you always find what you are looking for.

 
 
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the perfect summer play dress

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When I saw this pattern I instantly fell in love. I found it at StraightGrain: a blog about sewing. The pattern for the dress can be found here. This pattern was easy and straightforward; just the way ALL patterns should be (in my opinion!) and the results were fabulous! I would even go as far as to say that this is my best dress yet. I told Sal this dress is the most professional looking of all the garments I have ever made and it wasn’t even the hardest to make. When shopping for fabric I wanted to find something soft and comfortable, in hopes that this could be more of a fun play dress than a dress up for a party dress. I decided on a beautifully grey linen with pastel colored polka dots (I cannot remember the name of it for the life of me at the moment. Maybe you do Jenna, your so good with fabric lines and names!). The result was exactly what I was searching for; the perfect summer play dress. The first time she wore it we were visiting my parents in Canada and going to a music festival for the day. We played with boats in the river, had a picnic, danced our hearts out, took turns taking wagon rides, and she even got her face painted for the first time (she chose to get a kitty cat). From sunrise to nap time this dress was well suited for all sorts of adventures.

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I just can’t wait to make more of these! It really is the perfect summer play dress. What has been your favorite summer pattern?

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Her Very Own Apron Dress

aprondress4Quite awhile back I was inspired by a dress I saw on the blog Frontier Dreams. At the time I read this post Onawa was maybe only a month old but I knew I would one day make her this dress. Time went on and Onawa soon turned one, as spring was approaching I decided that this would be the perfect spring dress. Unfortunately, when I looked into buying the pattern I learned that it was discontinued. Still wanting to make the dress I decided it would be simple enough to buy a pattern close to what I wanted and make alterations. Oh boy was I ever wrong! Seeing as how I don’t have any formal sewing training and not even much experience this was a lot to take on and I just had no clue. Once at the fabric store I knew I wanted to incorperate her current obsession with birds into the dress and make sure it was bright and colorful. I bought McCall’s M6688 pattern and thought things would be fun and easy. For awhile things were fun and pretty easy too. That was in till I had to connect the skirt to the botice. Seems were not matching up and it was time to look for some professional help. (This is when I wish I had friends who knew how to sew!!) I found myself a sewing class which offered exactly what I was looking for. The class what great! I got to get out of the house, have a break from the kids and learned so many new skills. Best of all I came home with a finished dress for my daughter. I ended up having to loose some length in the skirt and my gathering stitch had to be stretch out so much that the dress now has hardly any pleating but overall for the situation I put myself in the dress turned out great. The important thing was that Onawa was ecstatic about it. She loved the birds and the little pocket to store away her little treasures. I hope to make her another apron dress in the future, one with proper measurements and pleating!
aprondress5This was also my first time attempting embroidery and I have to say I completely fell in love. It was super easy and fun! I started out by drawing a few ideas on paper. Once I came up with an idea I liked I used a pencil to freehand the picture I came up with  straight onto the fabric which I had placed between an embroidery hoop. I got to work sewing right away and got it all done while watching an episode of Weeds. Yes, I was really into the show Weeds for a bit! Don’t judge!aprondress1 aprondress2 aprondress3

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Made by Ninos

made by nina

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Well it’s winter and yes even though we live in California it is time for woolens and family time by the fire. So we were so happy when we received a gift by mail from our Compadres. Onawa received a beautiful sweater from Nina (Jenna) and she just adores it!

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Owen received these cute grey knit gloves from Nino (Tristan) and I personally cannot get over just how precious these look on him. They will be perfect for riding his bike on cold, foggy days. Thank you so much Compadres for these beautifully hand-made gifts!
 

 

 

 
Owen also got the gift of warmth from his Nina. Gorgeous new gloves to keep his little hands warm while playing outside.
 
topic: Ema Onawa, for kids, Kai pie, Knitting, Uncategorized & Tagged
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Oatmeal Jam Bars

Making my own bars has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time now. For some reason I just never got around to it. Thinking it would be hard and that they wouldn’t turn out the way I’d like. Finally, I was inspired by a mother in one of my birth circles who would continuously be bringing different kinds of bars over for our get togethers. They were simple amazing and I knew I had to make some of my own. So combining some of her advice and some of my own research online I created my own recipe for some yummy oatmeal jam bars.

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Oatmeal Jam Bars

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup coconut butter, softened

2 eggs (I like to use fresh ducks eggs if possible!)

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 1/2 cups jam ( I used strawberry and homemade is best!)

Combine all ingredients except jam in a large mixing bowl till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press half of mixture in greased 13×9 inch pan; spread jam. Sprinkle rest of mixture on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, cut into bars and voila! Serves about 3 dozen bars.

Side note; adding shredded coconut to the crust is also a delicious add on, we simply did not have any left in the pantry today. Next time we will be sure to add some coconut!

Hope you enjoy!

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In a Year

A lot can happen in a year. Memories are made, experiences had, friendships are created and babies are born! In this past year my daughter Ema Onawa was born and this September will mark her first birthday. With her birthday rapidly approaching I am not only reminiscing on her birth and the experiences made with this new blessing in our family but I am also feeling a new beginning on its way. The first year of a baby is something very special. I have always found myself in a bit of a blur the first year of a new baby, mostly focused on mothering and not much else. The year flies by around me as I sometimes find myself standing still just staring at my precious babe. My midwife once gave me a card that read “the days are long but the years are short” and this could not be any closer to the truth. This past year has most definitely gone by much faster than I would have ever liked it to but it also has served me days that I felt would never end. So I am very happy to be able to say that I took the time to savor in the blissful moments of babyhood with my little girl as much as I could. I really do try to stop and remember how thankful I am to be able to stay at home with my children as it truly is a beautiful gift. And as my baby girl gets closer to being one years old, a toddler, and not so much a small baby anymore I find that I too have grown, I am noticing myself coming out of my “mama cocoon” as I like to think of it and as I emerge out into the great vast world again I find myself gravitating back to this blog, back to writing and creating. So I am hoping to make an appearance here more often now.

topic: Ema Onawa, Family, Parenting &
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