CAMPING WITH DINOSAURS BIRTHDAY

Thank you @laylaimperatori @popandcinfetti @tipienfete @sweetbite.bakery for sponsoring this post.


As you know, I love hosting, organizing get-togethers and planning parties. I really enjoy being able to get creative and to search for the perfect items and have good that makes me feel content.


I can’t believe Vera is already 3 years old. I am so lucky to have been able to stay home with her for the past 3 years. I love watching her grow and change. In the past year, she has developed so much! She is so happy, always singing and running around. She is such a bright little girl and I am so thankful for her. This birthday was very exciting for Vera because she could really understand the concept. As her birthday approached, we talked many times about what theme she would like. She had so many ideas but the one that always came up was the dinosaurs. Vera loves dinosaurs so much. Every night we read dinosaur books and sing dinosaur songs. Finally, we decided this would be the perfect theme.


When I started to plan the party I found Claudia, the owner of @tipienfete. She organizes theme tipi parties. When I saw her safari theme, I had to incorporate it to my party. This summer we took the kids camping for the first time and they loved it so much. I decided to create camping with dinosaurs theme. She has the perfect military style tipis, wood-like cushions to sit on, a toy camping fire set, flowers and vines to decorate and a picnic table set up for all the kids to sit at. It was perfect to create a cute and girly camping atmosphere.

We also set up a table for the cake, food and tableware. The center of attention, of course, was the dinosaur cake Vera had been asking for. But the table would still be incomplete without the perfect decoration details to finish it off.

Angie the owner of @sweetbite.bakery was the creator of our cake. The cake was not only beautiful, but it was also so delicious. She made us a 3 tier cake, vanilla flavour with confetti inside. It was such a cute cake, she made the colours match the rest of the decorations perfectly. Luckily, we had enough to take home so we could eat after!

@popandconfeti is one of the first stores I started to follow when I moved to Montreal. They are owned by 2 mothers, Anna and Sophie. They have the nicest party supplies! It was always a dream of mine to be able to use their plates for my parties. They supplied us with our birthday supplies. Since we had the dinosaurs and army tipis, I wanted to add a touch of pink. We got all the decorations and tableware in pink. I love how they chose the confetti plates as a special touch to the pink. They can also do customized orders.

We had a party at the park and it rained on us 3 times. Everything was amazing. All the details came together to have the perfect camping with dinosaurs theme party. We were surrounded by our family and our best friends. We had so much love and happiness and Vera had a great time. This was such a special day for us to celebrate Vera. I wanted to make sure we could save it so when Vera is older she could see how much she means to us. Thank you @laylaimperatori for capturing this day and showing all of the beautiful feelings we shared at Vera’s party.


HOW TO CHOOSE A DAYCARE?

I can not believe this time has come! There are only a few more weeks before school starts. This September, Vera is starting daycare full time. Vera is turning 3 years old this August. We’re planning to send her to pre-kindergarten next year. So, it is time for her to start preparing.

As you know she has been attending the child stimulation and playgroup program. These classes were only part-time. This has been preparing her to take the next step to go to daycare. I want her to attend daycare for 1 year before she starts school. Going to daycare will help her to get used to her new schedule and being alone longer. At daycare, they will prepare her to start school. The program focuses on helping the children learn the motor and academic skills they need for kindergarten. Here she will also learn the social and emotional skills she needs.

Finding a daycare can be a little tricky and maybe emotional. Finding the perfect nursery might feel like a big task because there are so many things to explore and consider. This time can also be emotional because you have to trust someone else to take care of your child and you finally part ways. 

Choosing the appropriate daycare for my family was crucial. I had so many questions prepared for our interview. I also had things wanted to be observant of during our tour. Knowing all this information helped me to decide on the daycare we chose. Something that is really important to me is knowing other families who attend there. This helped me to know more about the environment and the teachers. It is important that it has a good reputation, qualified teachers and a secure environment.

These are the questions I asked:

1. What is the staff to child ratio? How many children are in a class? How many teachers are in a class? You want to make sure that they are in standard. It is even better if they have fewer children in the classrooms.

2. What type of curriculum system do you offer? You want to make sure that your kid is being taught what you believe in and what you think is important in the way you like.

3. What kind of qualifications do the teachers have? How long have the teachers been working there?

4. What does the schedule look like? You want to know what routine do they follow and the activities they do. How much outdoor and gym time do they get? Do they learn French? Do they have art and music time?

5. What kind of food do they serve? At what time do they have their meals? Do you need to pack snacks or lunch?

6. How does naptime work? Where do they sleep? At what time do they sleep? What do they need?

7. What do they need to bring or keep at daycare?

8. What are the policies regarding immunization? What are the rules for children and teachers who are sick?

9. How do I know my child’s progress? Are the parents involved? Is there a committee? I love being involved in my kid’s schools and to have a close relationship with the staff.

What about you, have you gone through this process yet? What were your main concerns? I would love to hear more about it and maybe add your questions to my list

LOVE

XXX

ELA

THREE REASONS OF WHY I LOVE NATURE SO MUCH

I love walking around for hours, wandering through the woods and smelling the fresh air that comes from the forest through the trees directly into my nose. It gives me such a great satisfaction.

I grew up in the Black Forest Area in Germany. There are thousands of trees but they are not enough for me. Each tree is so unique and each leaf is different to its own kind. There are three main reasons of why I’m so in love with nature.

BÜHL, GERMANY

Number one: Breathing fresh air gives me a kind of energy in my brain, so I’m able to reach even more of the things I planned to reach. Every time I go for a run through the woods I feel like I can go over my potential. I get more strength to run faster and if I start feeling tired I slow down start breathing more deeply and NO KIDDING, I gain all my strength back. Thats actually one of the things that I count them as a magical moment. I love reaching my destinations faster than planned.

ZOLLIKOFEN, SWITZERLAND

Number two: I will repeat it again, it releases my stress. There isn’t actually a lot to say about that. If I’m stressed I can’t concentrate on my daily goals. That’s why I need the nature, it helps me look more far than I can.

ON NETFLIX

Number three: I feel like being in OUTLANDER. Outlander is a drama television series based upon ONE of my favorite authors: Diana Gabaldon’s historical time travel book series. One of the main characters in the series is Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, she is a married woman and a World War ll nurse who gets transported through time from 1945 to 1743. There she meets the other main character Sam Heughan as James Fraser, an handsome Highland warrior. Anyways I could talk about it the whole day. In that series is just so much green, so many trees and wars in between but the romance of Claire and Jamie is UNIQUE! I can only recommend the series. YOU WILL LOVE IT. Even my husband loves the series. So to all that, I feel like being part of Outlander every time I walk into the forest or go for a run in the middle of nowhere.

What about you? Do you love nature as much as I do? And if yes, why?

xo, Carol

POOL SIDE LIFE

Today was our last day of school, and summer is finally full on in Montreal! I wanted to share some of my pool tips to stay safe and have more fun this summer.

One of my favorite things about living in a condo is having a pool. I love how convenient it is! We spend almost every sunny afternoon at our pool. We like to go after the kid’s nap. It is great because the time between nap and bed time is so difficult and tight. Usually the kids wake up in a bad mood which makes it hard to plan anything. Time wise, we have to do dinner, bath time and clean up so we don’t have a lot of time to get ready and go out. With a 1 year old and 2 years old, post nap time everything takes forever and it is a struggle to get out the door. It is so easy to be able to just wake up from our nap and take the elevator to be somewhere fun.

Staying safe in the pool is super important so we can have fun. When I had Hunter last year, I started to think. How will I manage at the pool on my own with two children? They both are so little and they don’t know how to swim. I was really afraid of one of them falling into he pool. My nightmare was that one of the would fall and the other one would follow. Okay, I know it sounds like a movie. But really, with my kids… you never know what they are planning!

My number one rule is that we can not leave the house unless they both have their floaties on. I like to make sure that they are on because this way if they want to jump right in the pool as soon as we arrive it is okay and it will be safe. This is something that has actually happen with Vera. She is so comfortable in the water and she is definitely not afraid. This also helps me not to have to fight by the pool because they don’t want to wear their floaties. Also, we have the rule that once floaties come off we will go home. This really helps us to keep them on since they never want to leave!

We started Vera in swimming classes so she could have more freedom and independence. This has helped me and her so much. She has so much fun and doesn’t need me to hold her. She does her own thing now and I can just watch and hold Hunter. I can not imagine having to hold both of them! Ha, I just don’t think I would go to the pool.

As you know change is usually very hard for everyone, specially for children. Not every kids is as simple as you tell them things once and they magically listen and do it. Obviously leaving the pool to go get ready for bed is less than ideal for any kid. Who wants to stop their fun to go to sleep?! To help to make this transitions easier for my kids I started to set up an alarm. When the alarm goes off it means it is time to go. This helps children to get emotionally ready to go and minimize … tantrums! We actually implement this method for a lot of our daily activities. It is something that has helped me to have an easier day.

I decided to establish these ground rules for the kids. They have really helped us this summer. We have less fights and more fun. Most importantly these are our pool safety rules! The best way to make sure it is easier for the kids to follow these rules is by staying consistent. This way, the rules becomes a habit! They will know what to be expected and it will just be part of our routine.

How do you stay safe by the pool? Make sure to tell me your tips in the comments bellow.

LOVE

XXX

ELA

A DAY IN A LIFE OF A CROUPIER

Not all of you know, but I am a croupier. I work at the casino in Baden-Baden, Germany. This casino isn’t comparable to all the other casinos. This one is very old, has a lot of history and is very fancy. Its based in downtown Baden-Baden and almost every rich person goes there to visit. I have met singers, the german soccer national-trainer, Joachim Löw, and even one of my childhood favorite actors, Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht. I know they are all german people but they are all high society people!

As a croupier you learn how to deal with people, nice people, annoying people.. all kind of characters. I started with american roulette. After six month I also started working in Black Jack. Two games. More fun now. Even though its the same casino, those two games are just so different. The atmosphere is different in each game. But that’s not all… after being one year at the casino I also started working in french roulette. Its my favorite out of all. You get to sit down, and work as a team. You laugh, talk, play and repeat. I get to use my gift of languages. German, Spanish, English and Italian. Yup… you get to speak all those languages in one week. It becomes a routine, it’s not even hard, in fact, I love speaking different languages, I feel so blessed and proud of my gift of tongues.

This job sounds all so much fun but if I’m being honest with you, it became one of my biggest challenges this year. The schedule is different than normal working hours. We work at night time. Our shift starts at 7:30 PM and ends at 2 AM. So, basically you get the whole day to relax and do whatever you want, which is not that bad but the one thing I do find bad, are the weekends. We don’t get the weekends off. Its hard sometimes. Sometimes I just want to be able to have a date night with my husband on a Saturday night and then go to church the very next day but unfortunately that won’t be possible anymore for this year. We have decided to keep working this year, so that way we can save up some money. My husband and I have almost the same schedule. We see each other every day at work, I am grateful for that, because I couldn’t be satisfied if we wouldn’t see each other every day!

We get 51 days of vacations for the whole year. No too bad, eh? We get to travel when ever we have our days off, since Europe isn’t that complicated to travel. We get to travel throughout the year thanks to all of our vacation days. We get paid every vacation and every sick day (which by the way its totally normal in Germany).

If I look at all the benefits we have of being a croupier then I shouldn’t be complaining about our lives. But here is the thing: I do. I miss my Sundays off. I miss my nights off. I miss my normal sleeping schedule.

But what can I do to stop complaining? If I ponder that question, I will stop complaining because we have a job that allows us to save up for our future house, it helps us to save up for our university and allows us to travel to every destination we desire. I always try to focus on the positive side. I am grateful for our job that allows me and my husband to have food on our table every day. Who knows what the future might bring, but for now I know that I AM A CROUPIER!

Alejandro and me working on New Year’s Eve

PEACE OF MIND IN-BETWEEN CHAPTERS

I have been so passionate about reading books since last October. Ever since I watched the movie “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” I really wanted to know the exact words of each Harry Potter book. It was a very-next-day conversion. One of my friends lend me the first book and I read it in just 3 days and from one book it became many!

Why do I write about it? Because reading helps me to calm down. I feel like I’m in a huge field full of flowers on a warm summer day. Besides running, reading is part of one of my favorite hobbies. Reading a book helps me grow, even if it’s just a fantasy book. It helps me understand more the language and all the grammar.

As a trilingual it helps a lot to read in different languages. I know how to speak three languages fluently but at the same time there is so much to learn while reading a book.

For sure peace of mind is part of what I’m getting from reading through pages. It will open new ideas and it will motivate you to do something inspiring. It will even relax you at the same time! There have been many studies that reading a book releases your stress.

My little brother doesn’t even believe me but: READING KEEPS YOU HEALTHY!

xo, Carol