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Friday, 8 June 2018

4 tips for a Simple and Cute First Birthday Party- Alder's 1st Birthday

1st Birthday Party

I can't believe we are here again, a 1st Birthday for my littlest babe. I was trying to come up with a theme for his party so I asked Emery what she thought. She said "A tree party", which was perfectly fitting for Alder. There are several reasons behind his name, one of them being one of my husband's favourite verses:

Psalm 1: 3
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding it's fruit in season, whose
leaf does not wither, and who prospers in all he does."


1st Birthday Party

I wanted to keep his party simple but still cute. Thankfully we already had this vintage window from our cabin hanging in the kitchen so I based the decorations around it. Originally I wanted to fill some mason jars with Alder branches but Alder trees are hard to find around here, so I just found several Alder botanical prints on Pinterest instead to print out. I already had the pom-pom banner from Alder's room and used that across the mirror. 

1st Birthday Party

Panago Pizza

In the past I have always stressed out what kind of food I'm going to serve, especially if the party is around lunch and supper time. I just want to be able to enjoy the party and not having to worry about cooking food. Obviously ordering Panago Pizza is the answer. Everyone loves pizza, it's delicious, and so so easy! We have some people in our family who are vegan, gluten free and dairy free, and Panago has those options available which is so awesome!

Panago Pizza

Toddler and baby matching outfits

When these two play together, it might just be my favourite thing ever. 

Forest birthday

I ordered from Whipped Up, and she made these dairy free with a yummy marshmallow filling. They are also made in a gluten friendly kitchen. She was super accommodating, especially since I ordered these super last minute. 

Botanical Prints

1st Birthday Party decorations

My Mother-in-Law had these wood stumps and slices already cut from their yard so I just borrowed them. It made a perfect mini cake stand for his little smash cake. I very quickly painted a number "1" on a bigger wood slice to put it up on display. I already had the wood crate so I used it to create some height to the table display. I put out some Instax photos of Alder from the past year as a sentimental touch. It's so crazy how much they grow and change in one year.

1st Birthday

This little guy could not love those balloons anyone more, so obsessed! We just got a bag of balloons from the Dollarstore and blew them up. I know the foil number balloons are fun but they can be a pain to order or to go pick up. Alder didn't know any better, it was super simple, cute and he loved it!

Embroidered Vintage Dress

Pizza Party

Embroidered Vintage Dress

1st Birthday Party

Right before the party it looked like it was going to storm but it blew over right away, so grateful we could be outside.We just put out all of our outside toys and some bubbles, (including a water table) for the kids to play with. It was simple, and the kids just played together and entertained themselves. We didn't have to plan any fancy or complicated party games or activities (they can be awesome and fun, but we were trying to keep it as simple as possible). 

Smash Cake DIY

Again going with my simple theme, I found a little cake at Safeway and Emery & I re-did it together. We took off some extra icing on the bottom and top, added macarons, moved a few things and added sprinkles. When in doubt, add sprinkles! I feel like as Moms we sometimes put this huge added pressure on ourselves that we have to do everything and we have to do it perfectly. I like baking but cakes aren't something that comes naturally to me, so I didn't want to add extra pressure or stress to myself by attempting to do it . We also decided to throw this party pretty last minute so this option worked best for us. You could also order a little cake from a nearby bakery. If you are in Edmonton, I would definitely check out Sugar and Spiced off Whyte Ave. They make the cutest cakes!

1st Birthday Party

Oh he went right for that cake! So so cute and funny! Of course I had the kids matching in their Forest From Harper outfits, they were just perfect for the theme of the party. I love that they both can still wear these so many months later (see here). 

1st Birthday Party Smash Cake
                     *Side note-we took those little balls off as they were probably a choking hazard*

Alder had the best time and loved seeing everyone, and that's all that matters to me. I was so glad I choose to keep things much simpler this time. I broke down some tips for you to keep parties simple.

4 Tips for a Simple & Cute 1st Birthday Party 

1.) Use items you already own for decorations, borrow items from a friend or family member, or scour Pinterest for simple, printable items.

2.) Order food. Take off any added stress by ordering food such as pizza, sandwiches, treats, etc.

3.) If possible have the party outside with simple toys you already own, or at a park. Kids are great at playing together and using their imaginations.

4.) Buy a simple cake from a grocery store bakery and redecorate it with your own touches. Or order a cake from a Cake Shop. 

What are some of your tips for keeping Birthday Parties simple? Let me know!

<3 Kastles 





Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Mandolin Books & Coffee Company

Anthropologie floral blouse

One of my favourite things to do is search for antique books, especially kids books. Another one of my favourite things to do is to go for coffee with my friends. So naturally I was excited upon discovering Mandolin Books & Coffee Company in the Highlands area in Edmonton. That area is bustling with unique and fun shops, definitely a fun place to spend the afternoon! 

*The top I am wearing is old Anthropologie. Similar ones can be found here & here.*

Mandolin Books Edmonton

They have a wonderful variety of second hand books, with newer titles and vintage ones. I picked up a beautiful vintage Bible story book for Emery. There is more information about the books they carry here. They have a  little patio in the back during the warmer months, as well as seating inside. I would say it's not really stroller friendly, unless you use a tiny umbrella stroller.

Zara wicker bag

Mandolin Books & Coffee Company

I thought these little "Blind Date with a Book" bundles were so very cute! The store also has a Coffee Shop with a variety of snacks, coffee and drinks.  I would highly recommend the vegan cookies, so yummy! What are some hidden gems in your city?

<3 Kastles 


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Cropped Tops

Newsboy cap

Dare I say it? I can almost taste spring in Edmonton, almost! There is something about the feeling of that beautiful sunshine on your face that helps you forget pretty quick about the very long winters.

Chickies French Farmhouse Antiques Edmonton

Edmonton fashion blogger

Nothing beats hanging out with my girlfriends Ashley and Vickie, getting coffee and checking out local shops like this gem, Chickies French Farmhouse Antiques. It's a lovely antique shop my Mom and Nana introduced to me many years ago. Those two are where I get my love of antiques from. 

Chickies Farmhouse Antiques Edmonton

Newsboy cap

Newsboy cap

Stripes are always in style and such a classic print. This sweater is on the cropped side, so I made sure to pair it with high waisted jeans. This way everything is tucked in (haha!) and I feel way more comfortable rocking a crop top this way. It also creates a nice shape drawing the eye towards the smallest part of your waist. 

Newsboy cap

How do you feel about cropped tops? Have you worn one before?

<3 Kastles


Shop the Post:
Zara Stripe Sweater (similar here)
LOFT High Waist Jeans (similar here)
H&M Black Cap (similar here)
Joe Fresh Black Booties



Monday, 16 April 2018

Love Child Organics



Love Child Organics Baby Food

If you have been reading our blog for awhile, you know we have had a long term love affair with Love Child Organics. Right around the time Emery started eating solid foods, Love Child Organics came out with their line of food pouches. They continued adding more and more awesome products to their line of baby foods, including teefies, pat-a-cakes, tootle-o's, love ducks, bars, owlies, baby cereal, and drinks.


Love Child Organics

Love Child Organics

Love Child Organics

I love that their line of baby food is 100% Organic, Non-GMO, and the ingredients are nutrition focused. I know that whatever I am feeding my kids is healthy, nutritious and yummy! Seriously, I might steal a bite here or there of the kids snacks. 

Love Child Organics

Emery loves what she calls "squishy packs" (the food pouches), and I love that they are jam packed with nutrients. They are so much more then an apple sauce pack, and it makes me happy that she enjoys them. We always have a variety of them in the house, diaper bag and stroller. As well as lots of other Love Child Organics snacks. 

Love Child Organics

Love Child Organics

Now that Alder is eating solids, he of course loves all things Love Child Organics just like his big sister. The Teethie crackers are a favourite for this teething babe, he had six teeth when he was seven months and seems to be constantly working on more teeth! 

Love Child Organics

Love Child Organics

Love Child Organics


Love Child Organics also has an amazing cookbook, written by one of the co-founders of the brand, Leah Garrod-Cole. "It All Begins with Food", I can't recommend it enough! It has an amazing breakdown of starting solids with your babies, toddler snacks, family meals and more! I forgot how overwhelming it is starting to feed your baby solids, and this book helped me so much! These amazing Mango Coconut Muffins are from the book and are so delicious! 

Another thing I love about Love Child Organics is their love for spreading love! They have several non-profit partnerships, helping children with Nourishment and Basic Needs, Play, Literacy and Health. 

If you haven't tried their products before, I highly recommend them! I honestly can't say enough good things about them! Have you tried them before? 

<3 Kastles 





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Monday, 9 April 2018

Cook.Eat.Repeat. Meal Delivery Service

Cook Eat Repeat

When I first heard about the local meal delivery company Cook.Eat.Repeat, I was so excited! I have been trying hard to shop local and small, so it's perfect!

As a busy Mama of two, some weeks just go above my head and meal planning goes out the window. Some days there is just not enough coffee to get this brain functioning, haha! Healthy and nutritious meal kits delivered to my door? Yes please!

Cook Eat Repeat

I ordered the Fish Tacos and Power Bowl, and was impressed by both. All the ingredients were portioned out, the instructions were simple & straightforward and the recipes didn't take long to make. I also love how the garlic came already peeled! Anyone else hate peeling garlic? Haha!

Both recipes were so tasty, and Emery & the hubby loved them as well! I've also tried their Veggie Quinoa Burgers and the Shrimp Stuffed Squash, which were so yummy! 

Cook Eat Repeat

One of the things I really enjoyed about Cook.Eat.Repeat, is that all of the meals are created & perfected by a Registered Dietitian. All of the meals are portion controlled and nutritionally balanced.  I love not having to worry about if the meal is balanced enough.


Cook Eat Repeat

Cook Eat Repeat


Another thing I loved about their service is that they work with local Alberta farmers and purveyors. They care about animal welfare and work hard to source their meal and animal products from Alberta farmers and producers who honour similar values. They also source their produce locally as much as they can, which depends on seasonality and availability.


Cook Eat Repeat

Meal delivery times are on Mondays & Wednesdays, and you can ever choose if you want them delivered in the morning or evening. You have to order by Friday for the following week delivery. The Roasted Pepper Veg Balls with coconut mashed potatoes on next weeks menu look super tasty!

Let me know if you try it out! Happy cooking!

<3 Kastles 






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