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family life

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FUN WEEKEND OF TENNIS


A little over a month ago I had the great privilege of spending a weekend with my family filled with lots of fun tennis activities. I got to test drive a Mazda which my kids still talk about. The kids and I got to try out some new tennis rackets and play tennis for the first time. Finally, my husband and I got to see Murray & Djokovic in the Montreal Rogers Cup finals. This was definitely a weekend we won't forget! 

Here is a little video giving you a taste of everything we did. 



We got to pick up the Mazda on Thursday and by the time we got home, it was already too late to go out and play tennis. We still managed to have a little fun and got creative with the car's headlights and took some funny and experimental photos. 




It ended it up raining all day Friday, I can't tell you how disappointed we all were. The kids and I couldn't wait to get that sunroof open and hit the tennis courts. Finally, mother nature listened and not only was Saturday a beautiful but one of the hottest days of the summer.  


We took the car for a spin, so smooth and with all the fancy features it was going to be hard to go back to our old car! The kids favourite besides the sun roof had to be the computer screen and the talking GPS system. I have to say the sound system was quite appreciated too! 



The kids tried to find their best tennis outfits for the occasion. I think we did pretty good! It's a good thing I am hoarder because I found some wrist bands to complete the looks. 




We had a lot fun and the kids are looking to going to Tennis Camp next year! 


We dropped the kids of with my sister on Sunday and my husband and I had a day to ourselves, something that doesn't happen very often. 


We got to the Uniprix Stadium a little early and got to walk around the venue. We saw the courts being prepped and the warm up session. 


We got to see the double's finals, as well as the single's final. It is such a different experience watching a game live as it is watching it on TV. If you are a tennis enthusiast, I highly recommend you go watch a game, even if it's not the finals. This is definitely something I would love to attend again.


The Murray and Djokovic match was such a nail biter. Despite the excruciating heat they mustered the energy to play a high energy game. 


It was Murray for the win!


The kids were a little disappointed they didn't see us on the television but were happy to have us back. They are also still disappointed we gave the Mazda back. Now every Mazda we see, they remind me how cool the red one we had was. I have to say I miss it too. 


Thank you Mazda Canada for giving my family a weekend to remember! We are looking forward to more tennis filled weekends next summer. 


***This post was sponsored by Mazda Canada. I got to test drive a Mazda and tickets to the Rogers Cup final in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you Mazda for the opportunity. 


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Westmount Greenhouse: Easy Bohemian Dress DIY

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Westmount Greenhouse: Easy Bohemian Dress DIY

We visited the Westmount Greenhouse a couple of weeks ago, one of our favourite winter getaways here in Montreal. I needed to take some photos for my

DIY of this Easy Bohemian Dress

I prepared for the

Sewing Rabbit

( which is live today). We just love to be surrounded by all the exotic trees and flowers. The kids have fun looking for all the fallen flowers and make bouquets. They also enjoy watching the fishes and turtles in the pond. Here are some photos I took during our visit and if you are in Montreal, I strongly recommend you pass by this lovely place. It is not the Botanical Gardens or anything touristy, just a low key greenhouse with good vibes and a peaceful environment. There are more photos on the 

Sewing Rabbit 

 website, as well as a step by step tutorial for making the dress MissE is wearing. 

If you are interested in making this dress for your daughter or perhaps even yourself, check out the

Sewing Rabbit

for the easy tutorial and step by step instructions. All you will need are 7 rectangles, a little bit of elastic and sewing lot's of straight lines. Perfect for warmer weather or as a swimsuit cover up and super quick to sew too. 

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The Adventures of MissE and MisterM


Perhaps you remember THIS post I wrote last summer! My intentions that saturday afternoon was to make a little video of the kids and well the editing process just didn't go as I had planned. Fast forward 6 months later and here I am with my first film, part 1 of many I hope... The Adventures of MissE & MisterM. 


Adventures of MissE & MisterM from Celina bailey on Vimeo.

Please keep in mind that this is not perfect in any way and I am learning along the way, for example my first mistake was shooting vertically, the second is that my editing process of the photos and the film aren't the same and lastly, next time I will be shooting video I will keep filming a little longer past the moment to give myself more leeway when editing.

As much as I love capturing just that one moment in a photograph, there is something very special about capturing your kids on film. I am excited to make many more of these and explore different possibilities.

Thanks again LADIDA for providing both kids with their awesome tops and being the inspiration for this little video.


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The Real Santa Claus...


We had the priviledge a couple of weeks ago to visit the Real Santa Claus at the Complexe Des Jardins here in Montreal! I only told my kids that morning that we were going to visit Le Pere Noel, 
and it was going to be their first time visiting him. Well it didn't go quite as I thought it would... 



I was delighted when I got a press invite in my inbox, I thought the kids would really enjoy the experience. I was pleasantly surprised with all the activities the Complese Des Jardins shopping mall provides for the kids during the holiday season. First up was the train ride. I don't know what it is with this train ride, but kids beg us to go on it every time. At this point MissE seemed very anxious to meet the big man and Mister M was just happy to go for  the ride. 


And off we went!


We were amongst a few other families, mostly small children and even a newborn, as we waited our turn, I could see Mister M was getting uneasy. He has been wanting to see Santa Claus for years. Even during the summer time he looks up in the sky and tries to spot him. I think the anticipations was just too much for him. He kept asking if he was the REAL Santa Claus. Of course he was. 


I really thought MissE would be the timid one, but she walked up and talked to Santa like if he was her best friend. He better bring her that doll she asked for!


MisterM refused to get up, he hid behind me. There was no just no convincing him. "That" kid was mine! 


Santa Claus got up from his chair and came to MisterM, crouched down and we were able to snap a pic. Look how tense Mister M is. 


We received some really nice photos of the kids and Santa, and even a placemat. The photographer and his team were great. MisterM wasn't the only kid who got overwhelmed, some were scared and they had lots tricks to get the kids to take some really lovely photos. 


The center offers many other activities until january 1st.  If you are in town, it's a great place to bring the kids and do so shopping while you are at it!  You can see the full schedule on their website HERE. One of the ongoing event is the amazing fountain show, seriously how high the water goes is phenomenal, you can see this on any given day.  There are talent shows and visiting choirs, many different activities planned for the kids. With 2 weeks off from school, I will be studying the upcoming events for sure. The kids and I actually really enjoy strolling downtown, so stopping in the Comple des Jardins and doing something specifically for them will be a big bonus. 


One of the fun things to do, is my kids favourite... a ride on the Carousel. It is a really pretty and authentic looking. We don't have them on every street corner like in Paris! 


The kids had fun getting some balloons and as much as we wanted to stay for the cooking show, we had to leave to meet up with their dad. 


The shopping center has put some great facilities together, with a family room, perfect for feeding babies and changing diapers or taking some time out from all the christmas madness that a shopping center can be. They also have strollers to lend out. A coat check. They really thought of everything. 


If you are in Montreal have a look at Le Royaume du Vrai Pere Noel and let me know, we could maybe meet up!


 Now isn't that the smile of two happy kids!!! Have your kids had the chance to meet the "real" Santa Claus? 

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POPEYE and OLIVE


I am a little late with the Halloween post, lets just say it's just been a crazy month. I wanted to share a little of how our week went. 
First we had some fun carving the pumpkins, my kids love doing this. Usually I come up with some designs but this year it was all the kids ideas, they drew up what they wanted and kept a close eye as I carved away. I even ended up using a drill! You will have to check my Instagram account for the outcome. 



The kids finish school early on friday, I cannot tell you how excited they were to get dressed up. Originally, I wasn't going to sew my kids costumes this year, I was just going to let them wear something from their dress up box. However, the kids have been watching some cartoons on Youtube with their dad and Popeye is one they really enjoy. So when we were discussing what they could wear for Halloween, I brought up the idea of Popeye & Olive Oyl and everyone got so excited. It's a good thing I consulted the kids before I bought the fabric, because they didn't want just any Popeye & Olive costume, they wanted the ones from the cartoons they had been watching which happened to be from the early 40's. And as you can see Popeye was dress all in white and black. Oh and of course Sweet Pea was part of the equation, but the outfit had to be baby blue. 


First up is Popeye. I bought the hat on Amazon and got it just on time. Then, I self drafted the top and made it with a wonderful cream Ponte knit jersey. Definitely something Mister M can wear again. The pants are the easiest thing to make in the world! No side seams or zipper, just an elastic waistband. I wanted a straight leg to give them that sailor look. Now, the arms were so much fun to make! I added 2 layers of a skin color lycra dance fabric for sleeves, with the outer layer shaped to look like Popeye's forearms, then I stuffed them lightly with some batting and added the tattoos with a fabric pen. The little black scarf is just a piece of lightweight fabric cut into a triangle, I didn't even bother to hem the edges. Finally the pipe is made with a toilet paper roll and some brown electrical tape stuffed with gold tissue paper and a wooden brochette stick. 







For Olive Oyl, I used the same pattern I did for my Sewing for Kindergarten yellow top and modified the collar to have a double layer and a scalloped edge. I added some scalloped cuffs to the sleeves as well. I made the collar and cuff oversized to give it more of a dramatic effect, it is a costume after all. Miss E went fabric shopping with and insisted on this red satin, to avoid a major tantrum I let it go, but I would have chosen a red knit instead had I shopped alone. The skirt is self drafted, basically a rectangle with a ruffle at the bottom. And Sweet Pea is wearing an upcycled tee-shirt.






As soon as the sun had set we were ready to trick or treat... It was so cold we ended up wearing our winter puffy vest under our clothing. Good thing I thought of that when I made the costumes! Oh and can you guess what I dressed up as? 




We walked a few blocks, filled our buckets and came home to hand out some candy. It was cold, but all in all it was a fun night. I hope you had a lovely Halloween. Leave a link in the comments so I can come check out what yours kids dressed up as.

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Le TAZ


October is a busy month. I know it's been really quiet here this week, the kids have been off from school most of last week and some more this week. I have been working on a few posts for next week as well, on top of doing some pattern grading, Halloween costume planning and I am busy busy busy putting Issue 03 of STYLO together which is coming out the first week of November. So I haven't been slacking! 
Here is a little peek as to how we like to spend rainy or cold snowy days...  If you live in Montreal I highly suggest you check out Le Taz, it's great indoor skate park, a perfect place to bring your kids and let them have a blast. You can rent any of the equipment  from scooter, skateboards, rollerblades and bikes. My kids bug me to go almost every weekend!




























Don't be surprised if they crash on the way home! 
See you Monday with my I Heart Marcel Marlier Post. 

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A Rainy Kind Of Day... In Photos


I have been taking a really amazing photography class about storytelling with the very talented Molly Flanagan. For this weeks homework our goal was to tell a story in less than 20 images and I thought it would be nice to share it here today.

I know a few of you have asked for more personal post and well it doesn't any more personal than this, come walk with us on what  was one of those typical autumn days: a grey and rainy kind of day. My husband had the great idea of going out for a walk, question of getting some fresh air, but no one was all that thrilled by idea! I googled "how to take photos in the rain" and got really excited when I found out all I really needed was a plastic bag and a lens hood. With my new found excitement, taking photos does that to me these days, we convinced the kids it would be fun to jump in puddles and go hunting for leaves. We all got out of pyjamas, into our rain gear and on an adventure we went! Through some secret passages and alleyways around our block we roamed. We came home a little wet, however with smiles and a pile of leaves that are now being pressed between the pages of a big fat book. Here's our little story in photos... 



















How was your weekend?

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" A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"

MissE- turned 5 this week! Where does time fly? The one thing that doesn't change are her big brown eyes.

MisterM-  and I spent the week together. Grade 1 starts tomorrow.  We had some great mother & son moments. 

I started a new photography class this week and got to understand metering. So these photos are unedited ( SOOC). I think I am slowly getting it! Now onto learning about ISO and aperture and white balance! Wish me luck.

If you are participating in the 52 project share your link in the comments I would love to see what you are up to. I know I haven't posted every week, i need to go back and pick out my favourites from every week I missed.
To find out more about the 52 project check out the  Practising Simplicity blog. It's never too late to start!

Have a great week! 

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" A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"



MisterM-  I find that as he gets older he smiles a little less each day. He used to be such a smiley baby, I hope he keeps that big smile and joie de vivre always.  

MissE- she is the most serious of the two, perhaps she has an older soul. However, she is definitely goofier than he is. 

I couldn't help including the top photo- I took an incredible and inspiring online photography class with Kirsten Lewis  about Storytelling through photography on Creative Live. I cannot tell you how my world and view has changed. I am not a professional photographer and will never make a living from it but this class has opened my eyes and makes me want to document my kids life in a whole new way. I might be starting a new series on the blog- I need to think about it more but as soon as I figure the details out I will let you know all about it. 

These were taken with my Nikon D60 ( I lost my D3200 in London)  and with my 35mm lens - all in manual shooting mode. I had a lot of trouble getting the face bright in MisterM's shot but that smile was too good not to share! The photos aren't technically perfect and I have a lot to learn but I am very pleased with the emotion I get from them. 

If you are participating in the 52 project share your link in the comments I would love to see what you are up to. I know I haven't posted every week, i need to go back and pick out my favourites from every week I missed.
To find out more about the 52 project check out the  Practising Simplicity blog. It's never too late to start!

Have a great week! 

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" A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"


MisterM- waiting patiently for his piano recital to start. I am not sure he was nervous at all. Very serious, yes! He did amazing. 

MissE- with those big brown eyes she can get away with almost anything! She is growing up so fast.  

I read my beginners book to photography this week. These were taken with my Nikon D3200  and my 50mm lens. I will not lie, I use the auto function and light room for some post editing. However, I did shoot some photos in manual mode this weekend- on the blog this week, I promise!

If you are participating in the 52 project share your link in the comments I would love to see what you are up to. 
To find out more about the 52 project check out the  Practising Simplicity blog. It's never too late to start!

Have a great week! 

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" A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"


MissE- messy hair all. the. time! 
Mister M- my little winker. 

Both taken with my i-Phone. I am a little frustrated with my dslr at the moment, i just need to sit down with someone so they can teach me how to use it. I am useless trying to figure it out on my own. I did buy a book- let's see how that goes! 

If you are participating in the 52 project share your link in the comments I would love to see what you are up to. 
To find out more about the 52 project check out the  Practising Simplicity blog. It's never too late to start!

Have a great week! 

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