Saturday, 28 January 2017

Double Digits: Happy Birthday Halie


Double digits already?  Tween?  No more baby girl?  No more little girl?  I am treading lightly into this unknown territory.  I feel more unprepared for this next phase of parenting then I did being a first time mom,  I  honestly do.  I always imagined having kids under the age of five.  I always imagined up happily playing in grassy fields, under a warm sunlight, with our faces plastered with smiles.  Most of these things materialized but as you can imagine the picture painted above is not reality or a resemblance of  a real day to day life.  LOL. Regardless of the fact that my life is not a movie and we aren't the Brady Bunch, we do have a great life, ups and downs for sure, but a great family life.  Now my little baby girl is 10 and I find it both thrilling and terrifying at the same time because never have I imagined this phase of my life. 

 

 



 

 

 

 

I look at Halie and even though there are days that it's clear that she is about to moving into the double digits she is still very much our little girl.  She still dances, twirls, leaps and cartwheels all around the house like nobody is watching. She still asks to be read to, loves cuddling up on the couch,  comes into our bed on the weekend to visit, asks to be tucked in,  and sleeps with her "medo" (bear).    She is imaginative and creative through her art and dance and now her YouTube channel, yep she is on YouTube(check out the video below).  She is compassionate and determined to accomplish whatever she sets her mind to.  Even though she exhibits some behaviors of a tween, mood swings, eye roll, the "OKAY!" that is delivered in an far from okay tone of voice, etc, she still exhibits the innocence of a little girl in many so many ways.   Some days when I look at her I get chocked up especially when I think of how my life changed at the age of 10; it's when my family fled a war torn country and my life changed drastically (sidenote: I thought I was going to share a bit of that with you today but it just doesn't feel quite right).   I look at her and I am thankful that she has this opportunity to toe the line between innocence of childhood and young adult for a few more years.  I want to preserve and protect her childhood while also providing her with space and time to grew up in the most natural way. 


Halie learning to snowboard last weekend at Table Mountain!  We were so proud of the fact that she stuck to the bunny hill to practice her leafing while the rest of us had fun on the big hill.  By the end of the day she was able to turn both ways and get down the big hill slowly.  Her determination, dedication and perseverance made us truly proud.


 

I want Halie to grow up to be an empathetic, generous, open-minded, smart, realistic,  and a hard working individual but NOT yet.   I still wish for her to hold on to the innocence and to look onto  her life with  hopes and dreams and without boundaries. 


 

For her birthday party we will be going swimming, having pizza supper, movie night and a sleepover with 8-10 little girls.  HELP ME!  😅😊 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Fashion Friday: Dressing Up the Sweater Dress

TGIF!  Looking back on everything that happen this week, I am even more thankful Logan and I sized the opportunity last weekend to have a little time together.  The girls had a yoga class to attend  and we had a whole hour to ourselves, JACKPOT!  😊  Since the temperatures were mild, we decided to go for a stroll and a coffee date.  Just as we were heading  out, and after I was all dressed up, the white, fluffy stuff started coming down from above.  I 💓 watching snowflakes trickle down and covering our mostly dirty streets with it's white blanket. 

 

Usually I would wear my lulu lemon pants out for a walk but since we haven't had time lately to go out on dates and I spent all of Saturday cooking and cleaning, I decided to get all dressed up and have Logan snap some pictures. I fell in love with this sweater dress from the Gap for three reasons:

#1 The sparkles all over it are so fun and made it a perfect addition to my closet during the holiday season.

#2 I love the neckline and how it sorts of dips in the back, making it a little sexier and also how it casually slides off the one shoulder if you let it.

#3 Completely versitile, which is super important to me.  I want to have a dress that I can wear to work, out for dinner/coffee/lunch date, or for doing some shopping.  

 

 

 

The dress it self isn't overly fancy but throw on a faux fur coat, or vest, and immediately you are looking more glamorous.  I added my H & B jewellery,  for some extra sparkle and a little belt to cinch the dress in, and you've got fancier.  

 


Shop this post:

Gap Sweater Dress 

Chickwish Faux Fur Coat (similar) 

Aldo OTKB (similar) 

H & B Rose Gold EarringsBracelet (similar),  Necklace (sold out) 

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 





Thursday, 19 January 2017

Fashion Friday: One Dress Two Ways

Welcome to Fashion Fridays.  In an effort to be consistent and to keep things manageable, I will feature a look every Friday.  To follow what I am wearing daily please feel free to connect with me on INSTAGRAM.  I will post personal/family happening on various days of the week depending on our life stories. 

Today I am showing you how a favorite summer dress can easily be styled in the winter by adding some tights, a cable knit sweater and booties.  By a wave of a magic wand, voila, this cute summer dress is transformed into an adorable winter outfit.   It's feminine, pretty and a ray of sunshine on a cloudy, winter day.  Click  here to see how I've styled this dress in the spring and fall of last year. Here you can also see how I've styled this sweater with a pair of jeans and puffer vest. 


 

 

 

If  you know me, you know that I like to wear my clothes for more than one season and in many different contexts.   You'll often see repeats on the blog because I am a real woman, who has a real day job and a family to support.  Sure there are times that I indulge/splurge on items that I am eyeing up but more often I   I buy things that are affordable and trendy.  For the month of January I've made a commitment to myself not to purchase anything new but to use the items in my closet to recreate old favorites or new looks altogether like the one featured here today. 


What piece of clothing  do you style all year long? Happy weekend everyone!



Monday, 9 January 2017

Bell Sleeve Bliss

Sometimes in life you just stumble upon a top at the most unexpected times.  I went to help a friend shop for some professional pieces and when I laid my eyes upon this top I couldn't even pretend to resist, especially at 50% off!!!!!  I honestly had absolutely no intention of buying anything for myself but you know,  ❤ at first sight. 

 

Over the holidays we finally got snow.  The kind that you wake up to in the morning and makes your yard look like a picture postcard.  The ground was covered in a soft, fluffy, blanket of white powder.  I love looking at the freshly covered ground before any dirty little tracks are made by excited, little feet of children and paw prints.  I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures in this winter wonderland to showcase one of my favorite outfit combos of 2017!


 

This outfit is an easy combination for anyone to follow: colored pants, neutral long sleeved top/tunic, faux fur vest, long/tassel necklace and leopard/other booties.  I have to say that my faux fur vest has been on repeat a lot already, check  here and here for other examples.   Happy Monday all!

 

Shop This Look:

 

Design Lab Bell Sleeve Top (The Bay)

Pants (old) - Similar (Loft)

Faux Fur Vest (Old Navy)

Booties (old)- Similar (The Bay)

 

Linking up with:  Michelle Paige (Monday), GYPO  &  The Blended Blog (Wednesday), Elegance and Mommyhood (Thursday), Threads for Thomas (Friday)

 


Thursday, 5 January 2017

What Stories Will You Create Today? (Teacher Talk)

Today on the blog I am featuring something completely different than my outfits, style or family news.  As some of your know I am currently working as an Early Years and Literacy K-3 consultant.  I've always known that I wanted to be a teacher, in fact when I was 10 I told my parents that my goal in life was to be a "part-time Kindergarten teacher"!  Several years later I did become a Kindergarten teacher and my passion and desire to learn about how children develop their language skills have led me to the job I currently hold.  Below I am sharing some of my learning regarding oral language and how to connect it to literacy growth for children Prek - Grade 3.  Hope you enjoy this segment called Teacher Talk.  😍

 



 

Why is oral language critical to young children's development? 

 

Research would indicate that children who have a well developed vocabulary and oral language skills tend to:

1.  Understand complex language structures.

2.  Develop enhanced vocabulary to refer to while reading and understand how to differentiate between multiple meanings.

3.  Establish rules for speaking for a variety of purposes. 

4.  Have a strong foundation for learning to read (predict sentence structures and connect to   words that make sense from prior knowledge).

5.  Oral language builds a strong foundation for reading comprehension. 


 

Story stones provide children with an opportunity to engage in hands on literacy learning, through play and exploration, while also connecting the reading, writing, listening, and speaking strands together.  For younger children who are  gaining 2500 words per/year (Roskos, Tabors & Lenhart), retelling stories in their own words is a powerful way to encourage new language and sentences structures to be practiced and explored.  As children gain a better understanding of story structures (characters, setting, problem, solution, and ending) creating storytelling  invitations encourages children to explore their  own imaginations and to create stories.  If introducing this concept to children, encourage them to  practice telling their stories orally several times before you extend it to writing.  During the writing process have students use storyboards with pictures or pictures and text.  As a celebration of their learning, in older grades,  you might invite students to invite  family members for a story time in the classroom, building storytelling videos or sharing their stories with care partners. 

 


 Possible theme kits to create or books to retell:

 

1.  The Mitten by Jan Brett (story retelling)

2.  Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (story retelling kit)

3.  Honouring the Buffalo : A Plains Cree Legend by Ray Lavallee (story retelling kit)

4.  Farm Creative Storytelling Kit

5.  Castel/Kingdom Creative Storytelling Kit

6.  Winter Animals & Forest Creative Storytelling Kit


Please feel free to leave your comments and ideas so that we can collaborate!!!

 

REFERENCES:

Flynn, E. E. (2016). Language-Rich Early Childhood Classroom: Simple but Powerful Beginnings. The Reading Teacher, 70(2), 159-166.

 

Jamison, L. (2011). Read, write, play, learn: Literacy instruction in today's kindergarten. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. 

 

Roskos, Tabors & Lenhart (2004).  Oral Language and Early Literacy in Preschool: Talking, Reading, and Writing.  International Reading Association.

 

The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2016 



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

12 Days of Christmas Holidays: Krienke Style

This is a recap of how spent our Christmas holiday this year as a family.  It's always nice to look back and see how much time we carved out to be with each other and to enjoy reconnecting.  DISCLAIMER ALTERT!!!  Though I love reflecting on all of our special moments I want all my mommy friends out there to know there were plenty of "when is school back?" moments as well.  


Day #1 - Happy Birthday to Anya!!!!  This little munchkin turned 7 years old and these milestones in her life always make me full of mixed emotions.  I held Anya in my arms at least 75% of the time in her first year of life and  now she is very much standing on her own two feet.  Though she still loves to cuddle up with me often, there has been a significant change in the past year.  She is a girl, Girl.  She is social and independent.  She no longer pretends to be my "baby" :(  She has her own ideas and her strong will shines bright more and more often.  We took her out for a birthday dinner to Montana's, we've never been, and both of the kids loved it.  I took the opportunity to capture a few shots with the moose horns on her head.  Ha, ha, ha.


 


Day #2-  We took advantage of a nice day before the cold hit again and went skating in our downtown, on an outdoor rink.


Day #3- Logan was off with us on Dec. 23rd, so we ventured to the Forestry Farm.  The kids grumbled, not wanting to the leave the house, but once we got there we all had a good time!  Favorite animals of the day were the porcupine and the parrot that can say "hello" (who knew?!?  We go lots and we've never heard him speak before).



Day #4 Christmas Eve Day = busy for this mommy who had a lot to do still so daddy took the kids out to Ruckers so that I could wrap all the gifts up.   In the evening the girls had to leave cookies and milk for Santa and say goodbye to Buddy, our Elf on the Shelf.  They always get extremely sad when it's time to say goodbye to him (I on the other hand am less sad).



Day #5 CHRISTMAS DAY!  OMG, the presents.  I couldn't believe how many there were, we don't really even go overboard but they accumulate.   The girls were grateful and kept saying, "we are so spoiled" (in the sweetest way) and I have to say Santa treated me pretty good too.  My hubby arranged with my friends hubby to get my friend and I tickets to go see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in June!!!!! My parents, my two grandmas, and a family friend came over to celebrate with us and have a Christmas brunch. 


The girls with their grandmother and their two great-grandmothers.  This is a memory keepsake!

Day #6 Boxing Day-  It was cold and windy but out we went to the dog park for 15 minutes.  We took the sleds and let the kids go sledding while Tanner ran up and down and got his exercise.  We also had Christmas dinner #2.


Day #7 Spa Day- We made  mud masks (not overly successful but fun) and lip-gloss from a "spa" kit the kids got for Christmas.  We were serenaded by spa music and orange juice out of fancy, wine flutes.   



Day #8- A 6-hour long playdate with friends!!!!  (What could be better than that?!?)



Day #9 Snowboarding/Skiing-  We hit the slopes at the local hill, no mountain, but we still had a blast.  Halie took a snowboarding lesson and learned to leaf back and forth!  We were so proud of Halie because even though she spent a lot of time on her bum she is willing to give it another day in the near future (though she switched to skiing in the afternoon so she could join the rest of us on the chairlift).


Day #10-  We had the opportunity to babysit our nephew/cousin Cooper.  Anya went into full-on mommy mode and did absolutely everything for him.  Check out the sweet video of her reading to him.



Day #11- Happy NEW YEAR everyone!  We brought in the New Year with family friends at their cabin.  On New Years day we woke up to the most beautiful sight (no picture) but it was straight out of a movie scene.  All the tree were covered in hoarfrost and big, fluffy, white snowflakes fell for hours out of the sky. It was the perfect way to being 2017.  Wishing you all a happy, health and prosperous 2017. 

Love,  The Krienke's

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Winter Running

I live in Saskatchewan and generally our winters are long, October-March, often quite cold ( -20C is often the norm and gets way colder for at least 2-3 weeks) and the wind can be so vicious that it cuts you right down to the bones.  That all being said a few years ago I decided that I wanted to continue running with my group of friends through the winter.  As of yesterday I completed my first full December Brainsport Streak, you must run everyday in December at least one mile outdoors or on the treadmill.  I am happy/proud to say that I ran everyday and completed 143km in December!!!! 

 

 

I will say that I am somewhat of a fair weather runner, there are a lot of hard core people around her, and generally I move my runs to my treadmill once it's -22 C or colder.  In order to continue my running outdoors there were a few items that I needed to invest in, so here is my most basic list for winter running.




1.  Mitts/Toque/Balaclava:  I have poor circulation so I wear an old pair of snowboarding mitts.  The gloves for running don't keep my hands warm enough in the cold.  I also use an older toque and I did get a Buff/ Balaclava for the cold windy days, plus it's awesome instead of a toque on the not as chilly days.


Mitts 


 

 My wish list: Balaclava


2. Pants to layer:  I have a pair of Lululemon First Mile Tech Tight  (they come in three colors) and you can wear these on their own when the weather is mild, around 0C.  For colder weather I use a pair of fleece lined leggings that I purchased from Costco and I find that's a super cheap way to keep warm.  When the wind is  nasty or the weather gets colder than -20C then I wish I had a pair of Wind Resistant Pants


                                 

Lululemon First Mile Tech Tights


3.  Top layers:  I wear my mid-layer top from lululemon all the time!!!   You need a good mid-layer that's breathable.  I love it and I use it as my main layer in fall/spring and a mid-layer for winter running; it's well worth the money.  My best purchase was my Sugio running jacket that I received for Christmas a couple of years ago.  This jacket is the best!!! It's breathable, looks good, great fit, versatile and keeps me warm.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  It is $$$  but I have never regretted it. 


Sugio running jacket




Mid-layer tops Option 1; Option 2; Option 3; Option 4

4.  Spikes!  If it's icy where you live, make sure to get some spikes.  They are cheap and I was so surprised at how well they work.  One of the things I hated about running in winter the few times I tried was that you had to be slow and cautious which ruined my stride. Not with the spikes, you can just run! 

 

5.  Shoes.  I run a fair amount, approximately 25-32 km/week, so good shoes are key.  They are expensive but I do invest in shoes in order to help my knees, hips and back  stay on track.  I recommend going to a running store that will fit you in the right type of shoe for you.  Also put the shoes to the test a couple of times on the treadmill to make sure that you like the fit.  I get the same shoe now, just the newest model. 


6.  Socks.  I just wear my regular socks and it's enough for me but you could invest in some

Winter Running Socks to keep your toes warm. 


MONEY SAVER TIP:  Don't go out and buy everything new because winter running gear is expensive.  Go through your toques, mitts, and current running gear and use them as layers for the time being and invest in a good coat, spikes and pants (or get a pair of fleece lined leggings from Costco like me and wear your other leggings underneath). 

For more tips for running in cold weather check out this article Running Room


Some of my favorite shots from this winter:


Linking up with: 

The Blended Blog

Get Your Pretty On

Elegance and Mommyhood

Threads for Thomas