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Though we had an early doctor-themed birthday party with our families back in Canada a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be nice to get a few of our Kuwait friends together for a real birthday celebration after a long summer apart.  Since we’d already done the big party thing, I knew I wanted to keep this one small, super low-key, and easy to put together, which preferably meant not hosting it in our apartment {oh the disaster that can be created by a clan of little ones in a short amount of time!}  While I did consider hosting it on the beach at the Hilton, it’s simply too hot to do that right now – even early in the morning.  So when the opportunity to have it at Play {a fun indoor play space in the city} came up, we jumped on it!  We love Play and visit regularly, so we already knew that we could expect a fun {and clean!} play space that all of our guests {aged 18 months to 7 years} would enjoy.

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We arrived about a half hour early, reserved a string of tables just outside of Play, and put out some cute woodland animal themed plates, cups, and napkins from Ikea’s Överlägsen collection (Kuwait | US)… Not my usual party style, but they fit the ‘easy’ bill perfectly and Miss G thought they were great.

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We also set out these simple, but fun party favours – homemade vanilla scented play dough in silicon cupcake cups with sequin sprinkles and a star-shaped candle – and called it good.

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Before long, our friends began arriving and it was time to play!  Now when we visit normally, us moms are usually in the play area climbing and running and playing alongside our little ones, but because we pretty much had the place to ourselves to start off and our kids were doing so well together, many of us snuck in a cup of coffee and some adult chat before heading in – bliss!

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The kids had a wonderful time playing together, and as always – the balloon room was a huge hit.  

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After the kids had had a good long play and were sufficiently sweaty and hungry, we invited them all out for some food, which was once again kept very simple.  We’d brought along a big tray of fruit, a big tray of veggies, some water, and juice boxes, then ordered some falafel, hummus, and pita from our favourite falafel spot in the mall.  

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Then it was time for cupcakes!  Once again, I made the yummy {wholewheat sugar-free} dark chocolate zucchini muffins I passed off as cupcakes at Miss G’s doctor party, but this time with melted dark chocolate and fresh strawberries on top.  This time around, I baked them in cute paper cups Miss G and I found at a local grocery store, but when I got around to trying one tonight, I noticed that the cups gave the cupcakes a bit of a plastic-y taste – ew!  Cute, but definitely not worth it!

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Despite the cupcake mishap, the morning turned out absolutely lovely!  It was super low-key, super low stress, and everyone had a good time, which was exactly what was hoped for.  Best of all, our girl got to catch up with lots of the little friends she missed so much this summer!  Here’s to being four!

 

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Gracen absolutely cannot get enough of this song lately.  We’re talking on repeat, every single awake moment of every day if she could.  She first heard it 10 days ago, and she’s pretty much got the lyrics nailed.  {I don’t blame her though… I quite like it too.} (more…)

Draw Your Own Adventure Dry Erase Activity | Mama Papa Bubba

Now that we’ve been back in Kuwait for almost a week and the worst of our jet lag seems to be over with, Miss G and I have been enjoying getting back into our regular routine.  Our days have been filled with fun outings, play dates with friends, and fun activities at home – including our first instalment of our second round of our awesome little preschool book club with some of our online friends!   (more…)

Yesterday, our baby turned four.  {FOUR – that’s truly a little hard to believe.}  So, in keeping up with our tradition, we sat down together and did our little birthday interview.  Now truth be told, this was our third attempt at the video, so it’s perhaps a little less spontaneous than normal, but I’ll take it.  {Note to self for next time: remove at least some of the 10 000+ photos on your phone before attempting to take a 5 minute long video.}

(more…)

The Best Banana Pecan Oatmeal | Mama Papa Bubba

It’s certainly not one of the prettiest breakfasts, but this banana pecan oatmeal is a definite favourite in our house.  And for good reason!  By recommendation of a friend, I started making this when Miss G was a newborn and I was a constantly starving nursing mama. It was quick and easy to throw together, it satisfied my raging hunger come morning, and was delicious too – sort of like dessert for breakfast.  I’m pretty sure I ate it most mornings for months, and it’s no surprise that Miss G now loves it too. (more…)

Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls | Mama Papa BubbaOh my goodness…  Miss G is absolutely obsessed with these chocolate almond bliss balls.  Seriously.  She begs for them like they’re candy and when you give her one?  Her eyes light up like it’s Christmas morning.  I love them too – they’re delicious, easy to make, and make for a great portable snack to throw in my purse or into our carry-on when travelling. (more…)

Easy Kid Made Sugar Scrub | Mama Papa Bubba

Ever since attending their launch party for Fun, Miss G has absolutely loved visiting Lush, so there was no walking by when we  spent a day on Robson Street a few weeks ago.  The moment she got wind of the store’s signature scent, her eyes lit up and she was asking to go in {twist my rubber arm}. As always, the ladies working there were lovely and pampered us with all sorts of fun product demonstrations, our favourite of which was a luxurious lemony body scrub that left our hands feeling soft and smelling delicious.  

Since then, Gracen has wanted to ‘play Lush’.  Basically, she sets up shop near a sink, greets you as you walk into the bathroom, and then asks if you’d like to try a lovely new scrub on your hand.  When you agree, she briefly rubs the product into the top of your hand, instructs you to rinse it off with warm water, then asks you what you think – hah!  Up until today, she’s been using a homemade sugar scrub that I already had on hand, but when she used the last of it on her most recent customer, it was time to make more.

Today’s batch, an orange creamsicle sugar-based scrub, was so easy to make that Miss G did everything herself.  The best part?  It makes your skin incredibly soft – like the softest it’s ever been {no exaggeration}.  Just ask Grandma Charlotte… I don’t think I stopped talking about how soft my hands were all day – hah!  Miss G absolutely loved it too and used a little bit with each hand wash and then scrubbed her whole body during bath time tonight.

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Here’s what we used to make our homemade sugar scrub…  White sugar, coconut oil, almond oil, orange zest, and some vanilla – all ingredients easily found in the grocery store.

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To get started, Miss G dumped the sugar and oils into a large mixing bowl.

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To add a fresh citrusy scent, we chose to add orange zest, but I think lemon or grapefruit zest would smell equally as delicious.

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And to add some warmth and sweetness to our finished scent, we added some vanilla bean paste {because it’s what we had on hand, but regular vanilla would work just as well}.

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Then it was time to mix everything up really well.  

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Grae found that a mashing sort of technique worked well in order to get the still-slightly-solid coconut oil combined completely.

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When everything was evenly combined, we transferred the scrub into two small jelly jars, which was the perfect fit for the amount of scrub we’d made.  Miss G then kept one of the jars for herself and proudly delivered the other to Grandma Charlotte so she could try it too, which got me thinking…  Add a little burlap and a pretty ribbon, and our easy kid-made sugar scrub would make for a beautiful Mother’s Day treat or stocking stuffer. 

 

Easy Kid-Made {Orange Creamsicle} Sugar Scrub 

  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil, softened
  • 1/4 cup of almond oil
  • zest of two large oranges
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Measure all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.  Divide into two small mason jars for storage.

Enjoy!

 

See some of our other favourite homemade gifts here.

 

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Backyard Photo Scavenger Hunt | Mama Papa Bubba

I came up with this idea on a whim the other morning, and it turned out to be a ton of fun!  Miss G and I were out playing in her playhouse when I realized how little time we had left to spend surrounded by brightly coloured flowers, big old trees, green grass, and a mountain-filled backdrop before heading back to the Middle East next week.  It started with a quick iPhone pic of a particularly beautiful flower, and before I knew it, I had decided I’d create a backyard photo scavenger hunt comprised of all of the pretty little details around the yard. (more…)

Polka Dotted Blueberry Lemonade Popsicles | Mama Papa Bubba

This silly little idea came to me the other day when I was looking at the huge box of fresh blueberries we had sitting on the kitchen counter. The Okanagan has been pretty warm recently, so turning some of our blueberry stash into popsicles seemed like a good thing to do. The thing is, I have a weird thing about blending fresh, local fruit.  I just can’t do it.  Especially not berries.  Not even in the name of popsicles.  {Living a berry-deprived life in Kuwait for several years has obviously gotten to me.}  Since we love frozen blueberries as a snack, why couldn’t our beloved berries stay whole and become popsicles?  There’s no reason they couldn’t!  Add some organic, no-sugar-added lemonade, and you’ve got polka dotted blueberry lemonade popsicles! ☺ (more…)

Simple Backyard Bed Sheet Tent | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

As a girl, I adored spending time in special little forts and hideaways, and now I love creating similar spaces for Miss G to cozy up in.  Though we’re huge fans of our super simple backyard teepee, this summer we decided to try something new – a simple triangular tent created using only a few things from around the house. (more…)