The Shine Project #companiesthatgiveback #payitforwardfriday #thesearethedays

I’m not sure how I first heard about The Shine Project, but it was late in 2012 and shortly before I placed my first order. I was attending a work party with a white elephant gift exchange and I wanted to get something practical (stemless wine glasses) and something meaningful (bracelets from The Shine Project). I couldn’t have been more excited and in fact, even got a bit choked up while explaining to my coworkers what the bracelets represent.

the shine project logo these are the days

You can read the full story of how it began, but the bottom line is this, Ashley Lemieux created an opportunity for inner city kids to work and raise enough funds to attend college/university. It started simply with just $500 in supplies, a few simple bracelet designs and a hope that even just one would sell, but within the first week they were sold out. And if you check out the shop now you’ll see all sorts of designs. All of which I want and need in my collection.

Over 40 scholarships have been given since 2011, and 100% of donations given to the non profit go directly to the students.

Threads by The Shine Project currently employees 11 inner city students.

What I love is, in addition to the opportunity to attend school (some of them, the first of their family) they are gaining invaluable life and work experience through being involved in everything from customer service, shipping, jewelry design, t shirt design, new product design, sales, and events. The students who are given scholarships through the non profit are then given jobs through Threads, so they can be mentored and guided every step of the way.

It just makes my heart happy. And these gorgeous pieces would make my jewelry collection happy too!

the shine project these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday

 Anchor|Black Onyx Pixie|Feather Stack|Druzy in Silver|Nykelle

the shine project these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday

 

Ruby Pixie|Blue Green Triangle Druzy|Pink Triangle|Personalized Bangle|Silver Love Stack

 

Which are your favourites?

 

 

Flamingos Are Fun #flamingofun #thesearethedays #notsponsored

A post just for fun, featuring adorable flamingo products from Amazon. Be still my flamingo loving heart!

amazon flamingo duct tape carters caspari these are the days

1{dessert plates}|2|3|4

amazon flamingo 2 edit

5|6 {dog collar}|7|8

amazon flamingo 3 edit

9|10|11|12

amazon flamingo 4 edit

13|14|15 {Grosgrain Ribbon}|16

I’m in flamingo heaven.

Go Shout Love #companiesthatgiveback #payitforwardfriday #thesearethedays

go shout love companies that give back these are the days pay it forward friday

{from the website}:;

Go Shout Love was started with a vision of doing amazing things for amazing people. We feature a different family every month who has a child suffering from a rare illness and we spend all month long shouting love for them and celebrating them in big ways. We believe in the power of being loud and we hope you will join us in making some noise for these families. Head over to our shop where you can purchase some pretty amazing apparel inspired by our featured families. Half of everything we earn each month goes straight to our featured families to help with medical costs and related expenses!

I’ve been following Go Shout Love on Instagram for several months now, and each month I am both devastated and filled with hope for the featured family. I’ve seen it several times before in real life, families doing all they can to fight for their child’s life, but for the most part, being in Canada means the challenges don’t involve incredible medical bills. For these families, however, this is not the case, and Go Shout love is there to help ease their burden, even just a little bit.

It does my heart good.

go shout love companies that give back pay it forward friday these are the days

Each month new shirts are rolled out with custom designs based on messages the featured family wants to send. In August “Love Saves” was one such message, celebrating the lifelong connection between sweet Lucas and his hero, Olivia.  Lucas is living with a very rare liver disease and was recently blessed with a new liver from 3 year old Olivia, after losing her battle with Cancer. Love Saves ~ isn’t it perfect?!

Love Saves Kid's T-Shirt // Inspired by Lucas go shout love these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday

Septembers feature is a beautiful 14 year old girl, Lainey who was diagnosed in May with Glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive brain cancer.

go shout love these are the days pay it forward friday companies that give back

For Lainey, who is doing everything she can to stay positive and hopeful, her message is simple:

Victory Kids Tee // Inspired by Lainey // Go Shout Love these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday

Head on over to the Go Shout Love shop to see more of the September designs for Lainey, as well as some from previous months {yes, including Love Saves}, and let’s help give back to these families who are dealing with, what is for so many of us, unimaginable.

**Know a family you’d love to see featured? Go here for their nomination form*

A Boy Can Never Have Too Many Swimsuits Either #swimsuitsforboys #thesearethedays #notsponsored

Since I don’t think girls should have all the fun and because Amazon has an awesome selection for boys too,  here’s a collection for them too. After all, Jonah’s drawer is just as full {or over-full lol}.

It’s a real problem you know 😉

Have fun browsing, and shopping. And same as before, if you go to buy one and it’s sold, I’m sorry. *big grin*

adidas baby buns big chill carters flap happy hurley kanu laguna nautica osh kosh solo international us polo association wippette zeroxposur swimwear these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear

1|2|3|4|5|6|7

adidas baby buns big chill carters flap happy hurley kanu laguna nautica osh kosh solo international us polo association wippette zeroxposur swimwear these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear

8|9|10|11|12|13|14

adidas baby buns big chill carters flap happy hurley kanu laguna nautica osh kosh solo international us polo association wippette zeroxposur swimwear these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear

15|16|17|18|19|20|21

The boy section at any store is always so much more blah than the girls, so it was especially fun to see all of these awesome options for the little guys in our life!

Featured Brands:

Adidas|Baby Buns|Big Chill|Carters|Flap Happy|Hurley|Kanu|Laguna

Nautica|Osh Kosh|Solo International|US Polo Association|Wippette|ZeroXposur

A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Swimsuits! #swimsuitsforgirls #thesearethedays #notsponsored

Because if your kids are like mine, they can never have too many swimsuits. Here’s a fun little collection of girls swimsuits from Amazon that is making me all googly eyed. If you try to buy one and it’s sold, I’m sorry 😉

baby buns big chill billabong carter gossip girl hello kitty jantzen lemons and limes maaji nautica pink platinum roxy tiaobu vaenait swimwear these are the days amazon

1|2|3|4|5|6|7

lemons and limes carters nautica jantzen baby bums roxy vaenait gossip girl these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear 2

8|9|10|11|12|13|14

baby buns big chill billabong carter gossip girl hello kitty jantzen lemons and limes maaji nautica pink platinum roxy tiaobu vaenait swimwear these are the days amazon

15|16|17|18|19|20|21

I could go on and on. Oh and don’t worry, boys swimwear is coming up next!

Featured Brands:

Baby Buns|Big Chill|Billabong|Carters|Gossip Girl|Hello Kitty|Jantzen|

Lemons & Limes|Maaji|Nautica|Pink Platinum|Roxy|Tiaobu|Vaenait

 

Fancy Time in Kelowna #ManteoResort #thesearethedays

After checking out of our *not fancy* hotel, we got ready to visit our cousins at their {soon to be ours} actually fancy hotel. Jonah even got his fancy manners on :

fancy manteo resort these are the days cute like me kelowna

They were both SO excited ~ in fact, when I asked Brooklyn after camping what her idea of a great holiday would be, she said, “A fancy hotel with a pool and a twirly slide!” Little did she know…

I was smitten right away. The resort itself is beautiful and huge, and the views are stunning.

Manteo resort kelowna cute like me these are the days okanagan lake

Manteo resort kelowna cute like me these are the days okanagan

The pool area, although smaller than we anticipated {considering the size of the resort}, was awesome. There was the pool with twirly waterslide {for Brooklyn, no doubt}, a splash pad and kiddie pool area, plus two small hot tubs. We all had a blast and spent the better part of 6 hours there both days.

manteo outdoor pool waterslide kelowna cute like me these are the days

We loved playing in the water with the kids and laying poolside, while watching them make memories together. And then, ordering food and drinks to the pool {like we had done in Mexico} made the kids feel extra spoiled. #spoiledrottenistheonlywaytobe

Merman these are the days cute like me manteo kelowna

{Sidenote: Doesn’t Jonah look like a Merman?}

Because we were on the arrival list for later that day, we were able to use the facilities as hotel guests, rather than visitors of guests. I’m not sure it made a huge difference for our experience {except being able to take out towels lol}, but the staff was awesome made me feel like we were welcomed guests.

We surprised the kids finally and their reactions were perfect, though afterwards Brooklyn was a little upset we were staying two nights because she wanted to see her other cousin back at home {Seriously….kids can always find something to complain about. haha}.

Ours was a one bedroom suite {the LAST room available when I booked}, which ended up being so nice because of the kitchen ~ and of course the separate bedroom. And somehow, in that huge resort, we got booked in the room right beside my cousin! In fact, sharing a door in between our rooms, which was fabulous! But how does that happen? Crazy right?!

While there were things we would change {another day, another post}, we would stay there again. We really did have a great, relaxing time, and made some great memories. And there is no denying it is a stunning location. Our only regret really, is not having more time to discover more, both on the resort and around Kelowna.

okanagan vacation guide cute like me these are the days kelowna manteo resort

Photo from Okanagan Vacation Guide {a site I just discovered, but plan to use in the future!}

 

My new favourite kids dress #playalldaydress #brotherinnovis #brothercanada #thesearethedays

August has been filled with beaches, camping, pools and lots of sewing {on the beautiful Brother Innov-is} ! I kept my living room set up as my sewing room and enjoyed multiple Netflix marathons while sewing my little heart out. I’m anxious to play around with the embroidery features, but couldn’t stop making shirts for myself and several of the play all day dress for Brooklyn. Can you blame me?

palm tree play all day dress its always autumn these are the days cute like me girl charlee

 I used to make Brooklyn a towel dress each year {from a blog that no longer exists}, but this dress has quickly become the replacement. It’s so easy and fast…two pieces to cut out, plus elastic, and in about half an hour you’ll have the cutest play dress that can double as a swim cover. I’ve made Brooklyn 3 now and they’ve pretty much become her summer uniform.

Every Day Play Dress cute like me these are the days brother innovis brother canada

 I prefer to order my knit fabric from Girl Charlee {prices and selection *heart*}, but I found these two are my local fabric store and they were practically screaming at me to be made into dresses…add to that the prices were surprisingly reasonable, and it was a no brainer.

these are the days its always autumn play all day dress cute like me broter innovis brother canada 2 edit

I also had just enough coral/oatmeal stripe fabric {Girl Charlee} to make one for Brooklyn’s friend. They had fun at the outdoor pool sporting their *not matching but matching* dresses.

I have some serious plans to make dozens of these…DOZENS!

Sewing tip: If you are like me and don’t like to be overly meticulous {terrible, I know}, I recommend starting with striped fabric. It’s so much easier to sew the elastic on in a straight line, when you have a stripe to follow.

Otherwise, have fun! If you make one {or some}, share your photos on instagram and tag me @theseareyourdays. Also, don’t forget to give credit to @itsalwaysautumnblog and hashtag with #playalldaydress. I know she’d love to see your creations too!

family photo these are the days cute like me brother innovis brother canada play all day dress its always autumn girl charlee

Quick family snapshot from our day trip to Waterton, and Miss Brooklyn is sporting her palm tree dress!

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirts, T-shirts, Ra-Ra-Ra! #sewingfun #brotherinnovis #brothercanada #thesearethedays

Brother Canada provided me with a Brother Innov-is NQ3500D machine for trial purposes, but all opinions expressed are solely my own and do not necessarily represent or align with the views or opinions of Brother Canada.

I’m feeling a little jipped ~ how have I spent all these years not knowing that making shirts could be so easy and fun? Now that I know, it’s all I want to do. I’ve discovered a new love for knit fabric as is evidenced by the mounds that have taken over several areas of our house *oops*

pile of fabric girl charlee these are the days brother canada

And I still want more…

It all started with a post on Pinterest called *17 Absolutely Free Tshirt Sewing Patterns*  more specifically with the adorable Fun Summer Tee from iCandy Handmande. I was a bit leery at first because, quite frankly, my sewing skills are mediocre at best. But I forged ahead and was THRILLED with the results. Now if only I could have the same luck with my photography skills *eep*

I LOVED the floral/stripes combination shown on the iCandy Handmade post, I knew I had to start there. And oh my sweet goodness, I love the way it turned out. In fact, I have to force myself not to wear this particular shirt every.single.day. #truestory

fun summer tee coral floral these are the days brother canada

I wore this to work the next day and then just a couple of days later for a day spent with the in laws. In the hot summer weather, it was perfectly comfortable and airy.

coral floral icandy handmade fun summer tee these are the days brother canada

I couldn’t decide with my other floral whether to pair it with white or pink, so I did both. Ha!

navy floral fun summer tee these are the days brother canada

hot pink navy floral fun summer tee these are the days brother canada icandyhandmade

The pink one needs a bit of tweaking ~ I’m not loving the fit just yet, but I do love the combination. :)

The other day a couple of fabrics laying together caught my eye…coral stripe and lime green. I love colour ~ bright, happy colour ~ so I went for it. I feel a little like a watermelon, but the combination just makes me smile.

watermelon fun summer tee icandy handmade these are the days brother canada brother innovis

The Fun Summer Tee Pattern is so ridiculously easy to follow, I didn’t have to make any adjustments {except the pink one above}. Often times when sewing thin fabric like this, I have issues with it getting caught in the machine. But I was so happy to discover that wasn’t a problem with the Brother Innov-is. It seriously feeds the fabric through so nicely. My ultimate plan is to master the art of the double needle {the best option for knits}, I just haven’t taken the time to venture there yet. #chicken

I am having so much fun and as a result, my closet it about to be bursting at the seams…I mean, more than it already is, of course. 😉

{Go make one…or a dozen}

 

Why Going to the Gym is Easy for Me… #notwhatyouthink #thesearethedays #yearofme

I’ve always been a believer that we make time for the things that matter ~ That if something is truly important, we will FIND the time and MAKE it happen. For example, I’ve made the choice to make the time for the gym and because it’s important to me I’ve made the choice to sacrifice certain things in order to make it happen: time with friends, pedicure dates, kid-less grocery trips and a whole scad of other things I could do with an afternoon to myself.

go work out year of me cute like me working out

Sometimes this is only half the equation

BUT…I think it would be really unfair and a wee bit self righteous to claim that that is the only factor, that the only reason I’m able to go to the gym is because it’s important enough to me.

The truth is there are other reasons that going to the gym is not only possible, but easy for me right now:

1. I work part time allowing me the ability to spend my afternoon at the gym.

2. My kids are in school full time making my afternoon workouts possible and making it so they don’t take time away from our family time.

3. We can afford it. Yes it’s just $30 a month at my gym, but there was a time not too long ago, that even that would have been an unnecessary expense. No you don’t need a gym and for a long time I did home videos, but this time my goals are very specific and do require time at a gym.

4. The Captain is AMAZING and incredibly supportive. He is easily the biggest reason I have been able to commit to this. It’s not just about supporting my time at the gym either, he’s really stepped up to help even more around the house and with the kids.

walk outside get outside year of me these are the days

In the beginning, day 7 was *walk outside* day and it was easily my favourite.

Look, I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t important to me and if I didn’t have goals set, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t be ABLE to do this if it weren’t for the factors mentioned above and the support from the Captain. I’ve been a gym member 3 other times over the past 10 years and, each time there were different reasons it was both easy and difficult. And different reasons it didn’t last, but for the first time I actually feel like I am able to make this a permanent lifestyle. In addition to my commitment and motivation, everything is working together to make it work.

So go easy on yourself. Because even if it is important to you, other factors have to fall into play in order for it to work. Do what you can and when you can, do more. That’s it…as simple as that.

Reversible Sling Bags with the Brother Innov-is #sewingfun #brotherinnovis #thesearethedays #sugarbeecrafts

For years I’ve had several coordinating fabric sets just waiting to be used, so when I saw this project on Pinterest I knew I had to give it a try. So I set out to make one.

What I didn’t anticipate was making 5.

sewing troubles

I printed out the Reversible Sling Bag Pattern from Sugar Bee Crafts. I didn’t have enough of the fabric to cut the pieces on the fold, so I tried cutting 4 separate pieces instead {which I’ve since discovered I prefer anyways}. For some reason this had me all sorts of turned around and I ended up cutting pieces the wrong way and sewing them together wrong {so weird}, which resulted in becoming well acquainted with the seam ripper. #frustrating

Literally hours were spent on this first one and although there is no real rhyme or reason to the placement of the 3 different fabrics, I love how it turned out.

cross body bag 2I mean, how cute it this!!!!

I knew I wanted to make another one, mainly to redeem myself. haha

I kept to my preference of not using the liner (I don’t think it needs it) and cutting 4 pieces instead of 2 (I love the way a top stitched seam looks) and set to work.

cross body bag

The seams look so clean and finished with a top stitch.

And then I made 3 more. Ha! Once I had all the pieces cut it was only about an hour to complete, due in large part to the smoothness of this awesome machine. I’m honestly in love.

Earlier in June, I was watching my cousin’s two youngest kids for the week and they both asked for one. Miss M picked the fabric for hers and was THRILLED when it was finished, wearing it everywhere we went.

cross body bag girl cute like me sugar bee crafts brother innovis

Not to be left out, her little brother also wanted one. He’s big into superheroes, so Superman was no surprise. And he was SO excited to have a bag to carry his doggy in!

cross body bag boy cute like me sugar bee crafts brother innovis

Can you see why I had to make one more?

cross body bag 3I don’t have a photo of this bag with the recipient yet, so for now here’s a swatch of the adorable Hello Kitty fabric I used.

Now my only task is to make one sized perfectly for me to use this summer as a beach bag. Not to mention the long list of sewing projects that I’m anxious to try. Just wait until I get my hands on the embroidery functions ~ *squeal*

Brother Innovis NQ3500D cute like me

Photo used with permission from website

Disclaimer: Brother Canada provided me with a Brother Innov-is NQ3500D machine for trial purposes, but all opinions expressed are solely my own and do not necessarily represent or align with the views or opinions of Brother Canada.