Archive | Children and Play

Before and After: First Ski Lesson Mount Seymour

I’ve been looking forward to having my twins, my youngest children, ski for years. Re-discovering the mountains and skiing with my older kids was amazing 5 years ago and so when the opportunity to get my twins up Mount Seymour for a first ever ski lesson, I was stoked!  My girls are nine years old and pretty athletic but I didn’t want to tackle teaching them myself. All kids learn differently for other people, so getting Chad as our instructor was great. He was friendly, fun, patient and perfect to teach my girls.  I thought recording their progress through videos would be the easiest way to showcase what kids can learn in a first lesson. Here are three videos that show 1) 10 minutes into the lesson learning the snowplow (stopping or making a pizza with skis) 2) magic carpet on the bunny hill of Seymour that makes getting back up the mountain fun and easy 3) 30 minutes into the lesson my girls are skiing.

 

Mount Seymour private lesson. 10 minutes into the lesson. Learning the snow plow or making a pizza with your skis.

 

 

Getting onto the Mount Seymour magic carpet at the bottom of the bunny hill. This eliminates the fear of a chair lift for beginners.

 

30 minutes later into a private lesson with instructor Chad up Seymour Mountain. His patience with my girls was amazing! This is my favourite video because near the end of the video my girls encounter a bump in the snow and the huge smile on their face after they go over it was adorable.

 

Thank you to Seymour Mountain and our instructor Chad!  Your patience and knowledge was awesome and the snow conditions up Mount Seymour mountain are perfect for beginner or advanced skiers.

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Bamboletta Doll Magic and Contest

Sponsored by: Bamboletta Dolls

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

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Many years ago I heard about the doll maker on BC’s West Coast that makes beautiful Waldorf styled dolls. With my journey to discover toys made from organic materials and trying to reduce the number of plastic dolls quickly adding up for my daughters after every celebration, I wanted to learn how Bamboletta’s were different. It only took a minute to get hooked on the beauty and story behind these dolls that were produced with materials I wanted surrounding my girls.

If you are just discovering this business now, it only takes a day following Bamboletta Doll owner Christina on Facebook or Instagram to understand the passion and love she has for her business. She lets us into her magical world of living in a beautiful community and the process that goes into every step of the handcrafted dolls that originated in her living room many year ago.

Christina’s doll making process has stayed the same – with just more hands involved now. The vision to create a succussful business while still feeling connected to family and community is at the core of Bamboletta. They do everything from dyeing the doll’s wool hair, sewing all the bodies, and even making tiny underpants! Materials are sourced close to home, furthering the goal of helping keep a local economy stronger. Keeping this process as true to how it started has kept one thing alive in the dolls, which could never be outsourced, and that is love. ♥

About Bamboletta

Bamboletta creates outstanding natural dolls and doll accessories handcrafted with skill, care and a lot of love. The stories the Bamboletta team share through Instagram and Facebook, showcase the love that is poured into each of these dolls that are then shared around the world. These special natural dolls protect childhood and do not propel little ones into adulthood. Bamboletta is committed to provide a supportive, ethical, fulfilling, and creative environment for women to work in.

We are so excited to work with Christina again and give you the opportunity to win a Classic Bamboletta Doll! These dolls can take upwards of 12 hours to make and after watching the below video of how much love, detail, and people that touch and work on these dolls, you understand why Bamboletta’s business model is so special. This is not a doll that could ever be factory made. These dolls are loved every step of the way during the process to make them:


Do you have a little person that would love to a Bamboletta? We feel VERY lucky that Bamboletta owner Christina wants one of our lucky readers to have that chance! We will definitely want a picture from the winner of this giveaway!

One lucky winner will win this

Classic Bamboletta Doll – $240 value

Giveaway ends 10/1/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to Canadian and US residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Miou Kids – Fair Trade KnitWear

We have learned fast fashion comes at a price. It’s not displayed on the price tag, rather it’s the dark side of clothing consumers don’t see;  poor manufacturing practices resulting in chemical residue left on clothes. So it’s a pleasure to introduce you to Miou Kids’s line of clothing that has turned knitwear into beautiful, handmade fair trade collections made from baby alpaca wool and organic cotton. The Spring/Summer collection of organic cotton is their current hot seller and perfect for that special Easter outfit. article miou We have teamed up with Miou Kids for a contest and couldn’t decide between the adorable options owner Christine gave us for a contest prize (see above). Which one is your favourite? The lucky winner gets to pick. Here is more on Miou and what makes their collections different and earth friendly.

None can deny that making something from hand rather than machine is special. Both lines of alpaca and organic cotton Miou Collections are made by a certified fair trade company and knitters in Peru receive a fair wage and are able to knit from home while caring for their children. Organic cotton is used and any dyes are eco-friendly. So I guess Miou Kids would be the opposite of fast fashion. Designed by West Coast owner Christine, these collections are produced with nothing but safety, quality, and beautiful manufacturing practises. If I could get people thinking about the true cost of clothing, the question everyone needs to be asking is “why does Big Box clothing costs so little?” There is always a hidden cost to cheap clothing and it’s up to consumers to question what this cost is . . manufacturing practices, chemicals, environmental footprint, etc?

The photographer from Lark Rise Horse House that captured my twins Ecoparty, hosts Beatrix Potter and Easter portraits filled with tea parties, bunnies, chicks, and classic portraits. Any of the Miou line would be a stunning compliment for Easter or Beatrix photos.  Miou and Beatrix Potter are the perfect match – the knit bonnets are so beautiful they would make a special accessory for Easter this month. Before you enter our contest, here are a couple of interesting tips on ‘slow fashion’ from Miou that I through were very interesting. Did you know?

 1) Huge quantities of fossil fuel are needed to create machine knitted garment.
 2) Cotton is the most pesticide intensive crop in the world.
 3) Natural fibres not only have a smaller carbon footprint then synthetic but also have the advantage of being biodegradable.
 4) Alpaca is one of the most eco-friendly wool available.
Our thanks to Miou Kids for working with us to showcase clothing that’s produced with love and environmental commitment.  Good luck to all of you with the contest – I definitely want to see pictures from the winner! This contest is open to all residents in North America and will close midnight April 12th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Contest entry note ** I’m excited that my friends from Groovy Green Livin, Bit Of Mom Sense, and I Don’t Blog are on board to help spread the word about Miou and this contest. They are the extra entries on the Rafflecopter post so please give them some love and follow their blogs.

Related Posts:

5 Tips To Reduce Chemicals In Clothing

5 Tips For Hosting An Eco Party

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5 Tips For Hosting An Eco Party

My baby girls turned 8 years old and to celebrate we headed to their happy place Aldor Acres Farm in Langley. Not only were we blessed to host this party at this amazing farm, Raeleigh from Lark Rise Horse House Photography joined us to capture pictures and memories. I highly recommend bringing a photographer to special parties, especially if they are hosted outside.  The natural lighting, nature backdrop and that ‘eye’ that talented photographers have makes all the difference from snapping your own pictures. And it allows you to truly enjoy the day and be in the moment, rather than concentrating on working a phone/camera. Follow both of these businesses here and here because what they share on Facebook, will bring you many smiles.

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There is no reason for parties to generate more waste than practices in your everyday life. If you have an environmental commitment, it’s easy to incorporate these values into hosting a really fun Eco party!

5 Tips For Hosting An Eco Party

1) Limit Waste. You are hosting a party, not contributing to mass consumerism so why is a party any different than the rest of your life? Try to limit garbage. Especially if hosting at a park or farm, you don’t want to leave the event with a trunk load of garbage. We requested party guests bring reusable water bottles and used compostable tableware; palm plates, recycled napkins and wooden cutlery. We also requested no gifts which really helped limit non-recyclable gift wrap and plastic toy packaging.  The twins have special reusable party banners so this also limits disposable waste from cheap decorations.

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2) Re-think Goodie Bags. It’s easy to hit a dollar store and fill up a little bag of trinkets, but there are so many ways to send guests home with a give-away that is fun and eco-friendly. At this party we brought hanging baskets and the kids potted strawberry plants. They also received a little treat in a handmade bunny bag, but hopefully this summer when they see the first signs of strawberries, they’ll remember our party and their introduction to planting.

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3) Eco Party Games. Classic party games are always a huge hit. We started with an egg toss and since we were at the farm, we had lots of space. I can’t believe it was my kids first time doing an egg toss and to increase the fun we didn’t boil them first. One of my sons ended up with egg on his face and hair..it was awesome! This was the most popular game and we had to buy more eggs from Aldor Acres because they wanted to keep playing. We continued with sack races (old coffee burlap bags) and three-legged race using ties my husband doesn’t use anymore. The burlap sacks and ties gave the games a cool vintage vibe. The classic party games are always amazing..kids yearn for simple things. Fun party memory was all the kids watching the dads have a sack race.

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4) Host a Donation Party. As parents we feel guilty about many things. Since my twins have older siblings that only have donation parties, I started the girls early in life with no gift parties. Then last year I felt guilty that they didn’t have the experience of opening gifts and switched it to a gift party. I was quickly reminded of that huge layer of waste when party guests bring gifts. From the gift wrap to plastic packaging  – it’s a lot. We switched back to a donation party this year and it was amazing. We will be donating the money collected to tinykittens – a foster home for rescue cats and kittens. My twins love holding and watching kittens, so they are very excited to visit and deliver their donations to this amazing place and sponsor a healthy kitten from birth to adoption.

5) Give an Experience. I love hosting parties where guests get to experience something new or get a close look at things my family loves. From our love of Harry Potter, indoor rockwall climbing, forest fairy walks and scavenger hunts, to now sharing the magic of Aldor Acres. I love to watch the excitement from my usually introverted twins build and become contagious with their friends about party themes. When you love where and what you doing, so will the people around you. How often do you get to participate in a goat parade and help herd them? This along with holding lots of baby bunnies, goats, lambs,  hay ride, and having space to run and play with your friends. . . kids love it. And don’t be fooled, even the teenagers that come to the farm with us love it. There is no age limit bonding with animals and spending time outside.

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I think you would be surprised how happy a farmer would be to share their little bit of heaven with a birthday party. With the Spring and Summer months now here, think about booking your next party outside. Thank you to Lark Rise Horse House for capturing so many moments in time that I’ll want to remember forever. Also, Farmer Melissa and Katie for being incredible role models for my daughters. My kids know that behind the smiling faces that greet them at Aldor Acres Farm are very hard working farmers and it’s important to support such a valuable resource. Thank you for being amazing stewards for farmers in BC’s Fraser Valley.

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Related Posts:

How To Play Muggle Quidditch

Hosting A Harry Potter Party

Scavenger Hunt In The Woods

Eco Kids Party – Fairies & Forest Walks

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

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Oto Design – Fleece Made Eco

Mommy Footprint is starting 2014 with a passion for locally produced fashion. Future fashion posts will explain why the concept of sustainably made clothing is so important at a global level. The term ‘fast fashion’ and it’s parallel to ‘fast food’ is shocking because both are produced cheaply and quickly which lends a toll on the environment and human health. More to come on this topic.

Help me welcome  Co-owners Rachael and Allison who are the proud business owners behind Oto Design. My twins received an Oto dress and sweater before Christmas and live in them!  Not only does Oto Design produce fashion that kids love to wear, but they’ve done it with fleece that doesn’t contain flame retardants. My daughter that stays clear of polyester because of skin sensitivities has loved the comfort of her Oto dress. She also has sensory reactions to clothing and because the seams are on the outside of the Oto clothing, this isn’t an issue for kids or adults normally sensitive to internally sewn seams or tags. Check out the slideshow of a few Oto designs (yes they have a kids and adult line) and then we’ll talk more about manufacturing and a fun contest!

Oto Design is obviously very cute but they have some really cool business practices.  Here are some inside track facts on Oto Design:

-  made in Canada, Vancouver to be exact.
–  growing, streamlined production of their lines mean local jobs are created in Vancouver.
– Oto sources Polartec fleece that doesn’t contain flame retardants (and is made in the USA).
– Oto fleece is manufactured from recycled pop bottles.
– support two moms with a vision, great product, and a dream. I know big box stores sell fleece, but it’s mass produced using fast fashion practices and will contain flame retardants.
– Oto recommends spot washing the sweaters and then occasional wash in cold water, hang to dry. Ocean activists will tell you why this is amazing advice when a product is made using polyester. **

Here is your chance to win an Oto Design sweater. The lucky winner will win a sweater for an adult or child so it’s a great contest for all Mommy Footprint readers. The contest is open from January 29th until February 4th at midnight and all participants must reside in North America. We love the idea of an Oto Design for a special Valentines gift, so you might want to take advantage of their Valentine sale by entering the word LOVE at checkout until Feb 1st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Our washing machines aren’t manufactured with small enough filters to capture plastic sediment from polyester or other synthetic matierals from washing clothes. Toxic dyes used to produce clothing would also be a problem. If you imagine these micro sediments flushed into our ocean from washing and the animals that consume it – scary to think that small amount of dye and plastic is consumed by fish that we end up eating.

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