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Mid-summer stay at Fairmont Chateau Frontenac.

Le Chateau Frontenac was perfect. It was romantic, enchanting and the epitome of grandeur and the level of sophistication and service created the magical experience perfect for my two young girls, ages 4 and 8.

Lobby of Le Chateau Frontenac

Our room was exquisite. It was a spacious, high level room with a breathtaking view of the courtyard. It was a comfortable setting for my husband and I and our little girls.

We started our adventure by exploring the chateau. It is known as a national historic site of Canada. We roamed around the hotel and saw the artifacts from 100 years ago. The Chateau was built in the late 19th century and has welcomed many prestigious guests including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Artifacts from as early as the 1600s

In the afternoon, we dipped into the pool. It was a roof top, indoor pool with an open terrace. It was a heated pool with a kiddie pool and a jacuzzi. My girls had an amazing time. My hubby and I were impressed at the family friendly atmosphere. There was accessible life jackets for kids, swimming toys and floating devices. The mini plush fairmont robes was adorable!

In the evening, we ate at a nearby restaurant and strolled along the Dufferin Terrace and enjoyed complimentary gelato from Le Chateau. It was a sweet treat to end the night.

Fairmont Frontenac

We had breakfast at The Dufferin Restaurant with views of St Lawrence River both days. It was so delicious! We decided to order two chateau premium breakfast and shared with our little girls. We were started with warm brioche bread, citrus whipped butter balls and homemade jam. It was followed with Greek yogurt parfait, berry compote, nuts and granola. Next up was a platter with black bread, cheese mousse, smoked salmon, cherry tomato and cheddar salsa. Then, there was the main course, my hubby had an omelette with cheese and mushrooms and beans, potatoes, toast and fruits. My main course was a serving of three Belgian waffles served with bananas, chocolate garnish and praline nuts.

The girls enjoyed doing a scavenger hunt in the castle! They scurried around in the halls of the ground level and looked for clues to solve the secret word. They had so much fun and were so excited to receive a treasure from the chest.

Saint-Louis Forts and Chateaux National Historic Site is below the Dufferin Terrace which is right behind Le Chateau Frontenac. We did the tour to see the ruins from the 1600s and the archives that are stored. My older daughter loves learning about history and we always trying to find ways to encourage it. She had fun exploring beneath Le Chateau and seeing the antiques. We usually make up imaginative stories or exaggerated stories to keep our younger daughter entertained.

After our short excursion, we came to our room to change into our swimming clothes and found the sweetest surprise! We were celebrating our anniversary and my sweet sister collaborated with the hotel to arrange a surprise treat! Sparkling water, a family picture in a beautiful silver frame, two fairmont chocolate bars, two packs of gummies, a pack of cards and a souvenir book about Fairmont Frontenac.

My family absolutely enjoyed our stay. It was enchanting enough for an anniversary and entertaining for my little girls. I was so impressed with the kid friend activities accessible for the girls. There was also a game room for the girls.

I liked the fact that Le Chateau Frontenac is located in the heart of Old Quebec. In our two day stay we were able roam around the streets and see a lot of picturesque places that were all walking distance with two little girls. We explored the souvenir shops, ate gelato and enjoyed crepes at a cute small cafe.

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Drive-thru slam dunk bday bash

We needed a fun but safe birthday party for our 8 year old girl. We didn’t want another covid-style party but we couldn’t have a huge gathering, either. So we decided to do a drive-thru All-Star theme birthday party!

We always do themed birthdays for our girls and my hubby and I make everything on our own. Balloon garlands, personalized backdrops, loot bags, favours and even the birthday cake! I’m so happy he is creative and willing to get involved in birthday planning just as much as I am and will go above and beyond to make it extraordinary for our girls, all within a budget.

A couple of weeks ago, Layan decided she wanted to do a basketball birthday party. She likes the Los Angeles Lakers and as it was her 8th birthday, it only made sense to do a Kobe Bryant theme, seeing as he had his legendary number 8 retired as the greatest Laker to ever wear the number. With such short notice from the birthday girl, we weren’t able to get a number 8 Lakers Kobe jersey so we decided to create our own, using a Lakers’-inspired font to depict Layan’s name on the front as well as the Lakers’ jersey font and the famed Kobe Bryant era number 8. We even re-imagined the New Orleans All-Star logo for Layan’s birthday itself and had it added to the shirt.

Go baby girl!

As it was an All-Star themed birthday, we had organized three drive through competitions; A 3-point shootout, for which we set up three racks of basketballs, a skills competition involving timed completion of a basketball skills course and of course a Slam Dunk competition, judged by a group of 7, 8 and 9 year olds. We also had a TV monitor set up with live scoreboards of each competition, one for younger participants and one for the older participants.

The group of kids including the birthday girl were the judges.

The leaderboard kept everyone engaged and wanting to take the top spot.

Everyone took their shots on the streets then walked through the backyard to take a photo with the birthday girl.

My little family ❤️

The personalized loot bags and individual charcuterie boxes are were most popular!

Every birthday, we like to do a personalized chalkboard! It’s always so much fun creating!

Layan wanted the most simple birthday cake this year! She asked for a basketball cake! And I made it just the way she described it. I didn’t expect to cut the cake because I thought we’d need to social distance at all times. Last minute, we decided to sing happy birthday 6 ft apart and it was as perfect as it could be.

It was a beautiful birthday celebrated all day with family and friends. We had the most perfect weather and everything went smoothly! Until next year!

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School’s Out! So let’s Party!

What a year to remember! My big girl did her grade 2 through virtual school. It was a bitter sweet year, I was skeptical but I thought this was the best decision for us. Academically she excelled and I’m so proud of her. She deserved a nice surprise to celebrate with her little sister. The last day of school was a HOT day. It was the perfect weather for a cute garden/pool party.

Tea party for two

It was an enchanting set up that was pretty easy as I borrowed almost everything from the girls playhouse. The hanging jelly lanterns, the Ariel balloons and the pool were the perfect touches to make the party magical.

Cheers to a good year!

The girls enjoyed their individual mini two-tier high tea set up. They sipped on ice cold water and ate fruits, cheese and cookies.

After the snacks, the girls opened their mermaid basket treats to start off their summer holidays. They loved it!!! A little mermaid stuffy, compact brush, jump rope, whistle, yo-yo, crayons and two mini size colouring books.

And then the party really started! The girls jumped in the pool, swam and enjoyed their afternoon.

Start off to a great summer!
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Unicorn, sparkles and rainbows birthday party

And just like that my little girl, Layla, turned 4 years old! I absolutely love planning my girls’ birthday parties and go all out!

Layla is the definition of sugar and spice and everything nice. She’s the little girl that loves playing dress up with matching hair pins and shoes every single day. She can play with dolls and unicorns on a daily basis. It became part of our bedtime routine to read our favourite bedtime story, “Squishy Squash Unicorn.” Then we talk about how we will dream about flying unicorns high up in the sky and sliding down the rainbow into the puffy cotton candy cloud. She was so excited for her unicorn themed Covid-19 birthday party.

Another covid-style birthday party

It was a second year in a row that I was having a Covid-19 birthday party for her and we were all a little disappointed. I wanted her to have a party with lots of cousins and friends but unfortunately we couldn’t because of the lockdown. I decided I would try my best to make this day as special and as magical as I can.

Happiest little 4 year old girl!

I ordered a pastel balloon garland from Amazon and added a unicorn banner behind the balloons. I also ordered a big rose gold number four balloon and pink and gold confetti balloons to add to the bunch. To top it off, we had a huge gliding unicorn and a singing unicorn helium balloon. The space looked so magical, especially for a little girl that loves unicorns. I brought up the girls white rainbow rug from their playroom and used their white small table for the cake and cupcakes.

We set this up the night before her birthday. She was thrilled when she woke up on her birthday and saw this.

It’s become a tradition for me to make the girls a homemade themed birthday cake. This year, my mom helped me by baking the cake and cupcakes and we decorated them together. It looked beautiful. I also made unicorn sugar cookies on popsicle sticks, which was a fun breakfast treat for the birthday girl.

Home made Unicorn cake, cupcakes and sugar cookies.
Make a wish baby girl.

I used the girls princess tea cart to display the unicorn and rainbow inspired plates and cups. Everything was pastel coloured and fit the theme well.

I also made sure the birthday chalkboard was also unicorn inspired! It’s become such a fun part of our birthday traditions. Layla woke up bright and early and was so excited to open her gifts! She enjoyed unwrapping everything and playing with her big sister, Layan.

When Layla was born, during her first birthday, we decided to give our older daughter, Layan a small present so she doesn’t feel left out on her sister’s birthday. It’s become a yearly thing and now they both receive a small present on their siblings’ birthday. It’s incredibly sweet of their grandparents and aunts and uncles to also take part with the extra gifts! Lucky girls right?!

This picture was taken at 5:45am! Look at those happy, sleepy eyes!
Lots of smiles and giggles all day long.

The day was beautiful. It was sunny and we were able to snap a few pictures outside.

Layla was also fortunate to have a few family members pop by to say happy birthday. She was thrilled! To end the day, the ice cream truck came around at 7:30pm and stopped right in front of our home! Of course, both girls had ice cream bars before bedtime!

The night ended with Layla saying to me before she fell asleep “mommy this was the best day ever!” It felt so nice to hear her say that! She felt all the love and magic around her. She had big smiles and giggles the entire day. We love you so much baby girl!

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All About Me

Hello! I am Safiah, a mommy to two cute little dolls and a wifey to a very loving hubby! I have been contemplating for a while to start a blog but life has always been so fast paced that to sit and get started seemed impossible. Now the world is on lock-down, everyone is at home and I thought this is the best time to start this journey.

Six years ago, my little Layan made me a mommy and it changed my world forever. Layan is the most gentle, kind hearted, sweet little girl that loves playing basketball. Four years after, we welcomed our second little girl, Layla to the pact. Layla is a fiesty, chatty, girlie-girl that loves dressing up in Princess dresses. These two little girls are almost four years apart, but they are inseparable and it literally melts my heart watching them together.

We are also crazily obsessed with Disney! We go to Florida every year to meet Mickey! We love watching Disney movies, have disney-themed birthday parties for our girls and love using disney as part of our girls’ fashion and home.

Being a mommy is not easy, some days I cry, some days I laugh, some days I am so exhausted that I can’t wait to curl up in bed and watch a movie (I won’t even make it through half a movie) but I won’t trade being a mommy for anything in this world. It is the most rewarding gift.

Through my blog, you will learn about my journey through motherhood. I will share easy, cost efficient craft ideas, fun holiday activities, birthday party planning and anything else we do together!

The Most Epic Quarantine Backyard Project for 2020

It started off as a small quarantine project. My husband (Rizwan) and I were chatting one evening.
Rizwan – “Should I build a playhouse in the backyard for the girls?”
Me – “Yeah, sure. That would be nice. I always wanted a playhouse when I was a little girl.”

The inner child in me was ecstatic. I thought of all the childhood memories we would create. The number of birthday and backyard parties we can have. Our summer evening listening to music and having the girls play in their very own playground and endless garden summer parties. The options were limitless.

We told the girls and they were thrilled. My older daughter Layan loves to be outdoors. She would stay in the backyard all day if I allowed it. My little one, Layla, on the other hand, is very impatient and expected the playground to be completed in a day!

I honestly would have been satisfied with a playhouse large enough for our two girls to fit inside and move around and that’s what I expected my hubby to build. Rizwan does not like simple and he wanted to create an enchanting Disney-style playground in our backyard. We absolutely love Disney. We go to Florida every year for two weeks in November. Unfortunately, this year we would not be able to go anywhere so he wanted to create a magical playground for our girls. It took about 4 months. He basically devoted all his time when he was not working to building the playground. I was in awe of the magical space he created. My girls are obsessed with it.

He built each girls their very own princess kingdoms. He built Layla a Princess Rapunzel tower with a yellow turbo slide representing Rapunzel’s long golden hair. The tower is so spacious and easily fits two little chairs and an easel with books. The girls love to role play. Layan pretends to be the teacher and Layla is her student. They have endless fun playing and sliding down the super fast swirly yellow slide.

I love all the little details Rizwan put forth to ensure it was as authentic a representation of Princess Rapunzel’s tower as possible. The roof shingles (cut out one-by-one), the princess-themed window trims featuring a symbol of each princess’ story – carved out by hand, the cute flower pots hanging at the windows and the inviting space so the girls can easily move around. I remembered one summer day we were playing in the backyard and it started to pour. They ran into the tower and asked if they can stay in there until the rain stops. I allowed them and it was such a simple moment at the time but now as I reminisce, I remembered hearing them giggling and they were so excited to shelter from the rain in their very own castle tower. It was the cutest thing and a memory I will cherish forever.

Behind Layla’s tower is a bridge connecting to Layan’s Cinderella castle. Layan’s castle has a balcony, a skylight ceiling and a rock climbing wall plus ladder to enter the castle. I put two chairs on the balcony for the girls to sit and enjoy summer nights. They absolutely love taking their dolls on the balcony and enjoying the weather. I love their imagination and the hours they play outside.

I love the French castle-type doors with the black door handles that look like they are from a medieval draw bridge in a Magical Kingdom. My big girl Layan loves cars, so Rizwan wanted to make the playground as enjoyable as possible by creating different areas for the girls to have endless fun. Beneath Layan’s Cinderella castle, Rizwan built a garage for their electric cars and shelves for Layan to store all of her toy tools.

Another thing that the girls like doing every day is pretend play, like every little kid. We wanted to make pretend-play as fun as possible. Next to the garage, beneath the bridge, Rizwan created a shop with a kitchen and a huge glass window so they can pretend to order for take out or dine in in the adjoining dining area, beneath Layla’s tower. In the kitchen, Rizwan made shelves for their pretend food and a stand for their Mickey Mouse BBQ. He made a second set of shelves for their pretend dishes and a stand for their battery operated sink with real water.

Beneath Layla’s tower, we put a Kidkraft table and chairs and a small blue battery-operated chandelier. When it’s dark and we put the chandelier on, it lights up and the entire area sparkles. It looks so magical. To enter the restaurant, there’s a small door with an arch and pink floral vines, just like Rapunzel would have had!

Except for Cinderella’s staircase, the playground was completed by the beginning of August. Next spring, we would like to paint everywhere, work on the interior, add picture frames, curtains and more furniture to make it more cozy for the girls. I’m so excited for this. Most importantly, we will have to replace the grass after the completion of the construction.

At the end of August we added LED strip lights to both castles. They are smart lights that are music synced. It’s so beautiful to play music in the backyard and have the lights glow to the music.

We had fun decorating the playground for Halloween and making it spooky but cute with Mickey Mouse pumpkin wreaths.

For Christmas, we added a lot of light and music effects. We added garlands to the bridge and big red bows to look festive. It looked so enchanting, especially when it was covered in a blanket of snow.

What started off as a playhouse became a magical playground kingdom with a Rapunzel tower connected to a bridge behind leading to Cinderella castle, with a garage, a shop and a restaurant beneath!

Rizwan created the most magical place in our backyard for our little girls. His talent is remarkable and I’m so proud of what a devoted dad he is. He is most definitely the definition of a #girldad. Thank you for making the most amazing playground for our girls. I can’t wait for next spring to finish the interior decorating portion. Don’t worry guys, I will update you with part 2 when it’s complete.

Rizwan required a lot of help and we are so grateful for all the family and friends that came to assist early in the mornings and sometimes late in the evenings. Thank you all for your tremendous kindness, we are so grateful for it all.

Creating an inviting space for growing minds.

What a year! I was apprehensive about virtually homeschooling my daughter in September. I was so worried that it might be a setback in my daughters learning. I asked myself “how would they be active and socialize with kids their age?” There were so many ‘what-ifs’ and concern surrounding how to ensure it would be a smooth transition into a positive environment and a promising learning year.

With Layan being 7 years old and Layla being 3 years old, I wanted to convert their playroom into a productive learning environment that would be suitable for a Grade 2 student as well as a preschooler. I needed the area to be set up with spacious desks and a wall to display necessary work for everyday learning requirements. I wanted the girls to add little trinkets to personalize their space and enjoy being in the area as they would be spending most of their day in this space.

I needed a quiet reading space to encourage active reading on a regular basis. I wanted it to be an area where the girls can escape and be in a comfortable sitting area without distractions. The teepee was the most perfect setting for quiet reading time. I set it up with pillows and a fluffy carpet to ensure it is cozy. The twinkling lights added a nice effect that makes it exciting to read stories and let their imaginations run wild.

My preschooler still naps! It was important to have a daybed for naps/resting. It makes it so much easier to have both kids on the same floor throughout the day. Adding the mint Lorena Canals rug made the area extra playful and fun. It is also a washable rug that looks brand new when it comes of out the washer.

This Kallax organizer from Ikea is the best way to keep toys, crafts, puzzles and a mini library organized and hidden away. The amount of things I have stored in these bins is mind-blowing! The bins and doors make things look less cluttered. I am really satisfied with this purchase.

Our pretend play area is actively used by both of my girls. The pastel pink mid-century modern Kidkraft kitchen, washer and dryer was one of the best purchases. The girls absolutely love playing in this area and we have so much fun dressing up the area to flow with the seasons.

It was so much fun creating this inviting space for my girls. They absolutely enjoy playing here all day long!
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Canada Day backyard fun!

Happy Canada Day! We had so much fun celebrating Canada Day in our backyard. Every year we would go for a drive to see fireworks but this year with quarantine and not much happening in the city, we threw our very first epic Canada Day party!!

Balloons! My newest obsession! Having a balloon garland adds a party-like effect to any gathering. And for my table, the most simple yet delicious snacks any kid would desire- popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy! My girls loved and enjoyed every bit of it!

Now let’s talk about our Canada Day outfits! Walmart was amazing to find last minute affordable t-shirts and swim suits for the girls.

Layan wore a one piece red bathing suit with a sequin maple leaf which looked like an Olympian swimsuit. She loved it!

Layla wore a chic two piece bathing suit which suits her girlie personality. The fringes and tiny maple leafs were so cute!

With all the sweet treats, the girls drank tons of water as they enjoy using the water fountain themselves (which was a great way to keep them hydrated!)

We ended the night listening to fireworks and doing tons of sparklers! Happy Canada Day everyone, until next year!

Virtual Princess Birthday Party

My little princess turned 3 a few weeks ago. Layla wanted a Rapunzel birthday party so we had a virtual one-on-one party with Princess Rapunzel and it was so cute and memorable.

Her dolls and sister attended her party and Princess Rapunzel attended the party virtually! It was a 30 minute one-on-one session with Princess Rapunzel from @ever_after_princess on Instagram. Princess Rapunzel told them her story, had sing-along songs from her movie, played games and sang happy birthday to Layla. Layla was so excited and was giggling all night.

As for the cake, I made it with fondant and I was really happy with the way it turned out. Layla was so excited and couldn’t wait to eat it! She loves fondant! So a Rapunzel fondant cake was a big hit!

Cake cutting with her big sister and daddy.

Every year I make a personality time capsule for the girls. It’s so much fun creating it and recording their likes and to see how their interests evolve from the previous year. My favourite part of her time capsule this year is, when I asked Layla what she would like to be when she grows up she said a princess. We love you so much baby girl.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/safiahtar/

Backyard Quarantine Birthday Party

It’s my baby girl’s 7th birthday. This year, due to quarantine, it was just us with her grandparents and aunts and uncles but we are hoping to have a bigger party with her cousins and friends in a couple of weeks. I wanted her birthday to be special and we were lucky to have beautiful weather to make it a memorable evening.

A few days ago, I asked Layan what type of cake she wanted, she said an Orca cake! So Layan and Layla baked a cake, I used buttercream to add a wave effect and hubby made an orca with fondant. She loved it!

The set up turned out great. I re-used the balloon garland I made a few weeks ago and added a few blue balloons. We decided on an Ocean-themed party. The balloon garland was supposed to be the coral with the table set up as “under the sea.”

The popcorn machine and snow cone machine were a big hit and it was great for a hot summery day! My mom made appetizers and cute cupcakes and I used the girls bath toys to decorate the table. Everything turned out great!

I have a chalkboard I use every year for the girls’ birthdays. It’s so easy to do and it’s such a great way to show what the girls’ like and to describe their ever-changing personality.

Cutting cake and blowing candles was so much fun! It was so windy so it took us a while to keep the candles lit but it worked after a few attempts. It’s so worth it to capture these moments. We love you baby girl, hope you had a memorable birthday!