Family Photos

When Luca was a month old, we had newborn and family photos taken. A big thanks to our lovely photographer Brittany of Brittany Esther Photography for doing such an amazing job! 

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Instagram Magnets from Sticky9

Can you remember the last time you printed photos? I think the last time I printed any pictures was when Eric and I got married. That was 5 years ago last weekend! As you can see, May 30th 2009 was a glorious day in the Rocky Mountains!

It blows my mind how much life has changed since 2009. The pace has especially picked up over the past 8 weeks since Luca came into the world! On May 30th, 2014 Eric and I took Luca to the spot where we got married. The boy was drooling and somehow managed to still look cute! I want to remember these special little moments in another 5 years and thought it was time to look into printing some of our family photos.

photo (37)I decided to order Instagram magnets from Sticky 9. Sticky9 was born in London in 2011 out of a love of Instagram and a desire to make cool, real-life stuff from digital content. Below is a little look at the photos I ordered and I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 12.51.41 PMIf you are interested in ordering your own Sticky9 Instagram magnets, use the promotional code FRIENDX7I5 to receive 15% off!

It’s a Boy!

If you follow my Instagram Feed, you will have seen that I gave birth to a sweet baby boy. Luca Ole Niven was born Saturday, April 12th at 10:35PM. He weighed 5 Pounds 8 ounces and surprised us by coming 5 weeks early. We chose the name Luca because I liked it. My brother tells everyone I named my son after that hot doctor from the TV show, ER. We picked the name Ole because it was my late grandfather’s name and he was the most wonderful man. 

luca 01The last couple months of my pregnancy were really tough. I was diagnosed with a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). The main symptom of ICP is intense itching. It was complete torture. My whole body was itchy around the clock for nearly 2 months. I would lie in bed and cry at night because I was so restless, uncomfortable and sleep deprived. I would not wish this condition on my worst enemy.

While ICP is not dangerous for mothers it can cause problems for babies. If untreated, ICP is associated with an increased risk of premature labour, still birth, fetal distress and meconium staining. As a result, I spent the last six weeks of my pregnancy attending regular ultrasounds and appointments with specialists. After consultation with an obstetrician and perinatologist, the plan was to induce my labour on Easter Monday at 37 weeks. 


Our impatient baby decided not to wait until Easter Monday. On April 12th, I woke up at 6:00AM because my water broke. I called our midwives and arranged to meet them at the hospital. My wonderful midwife Susan warned me that because the baby was early, they would likely spend time in the NICU. This conversation did not really register with me until much later.

We arrived at the hospital around 8:00AM. By 10:00AM, I had started the pitocin drip to kick-start my contractions. The contractions were painful and intense but surprisingly manageable. I had amazing coaching and support from Eric and my midwives. I laboured mostly sitting on an exercise ball but also spent time lying on my side trying to get some rest between contractions. To keep the rhythm of my breathing I remember singing the chorus to the Lonely Island song “I’m on a Boat“. 

By early evening I was 10cm dilated and ready to push. I hated pushing. It didn’t come naturally to me and I felt like I was getting nowhere. After about an hour our baby went into distress and an OB was called into the room to consult. The OB determined that Luca was positioned posterior and recommended an epidural and a manual rotation of the baby if I wanted to avoid a c-section. I had the epidural and felt sad and dejected. After coming so far, I was not going to have the natural birth I envisioned and planned. 

After a short nap, I started pushing again. Luca’s heart rate fell again and the OB used the vacuum to get him out quickly and safely. Once I delivered Luca, the doctor handed our baby to Eric to announce the baby’s gender.  Eric called out “It’s a boy”! Hearing Eric say those words was incredible and it made me so glad we didn’t find out our baby’s sex before hand. 


I was so happy that I was able to avoid having a c-section and I got over the disappointment of not having the natural birth I had planned for. A few days after giving birth, my midwife told me that she was sure I was going to be rushed in for an emergency c-section. I am so glad I was able to deliver vaginally and avoid the difficult recovery associated with a c-section. 

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After Eric cut the cord, our sweet baby boy was whisked away by the NICU team to make sure everything was ok. Luca had perfect APGAR scores has been a healthy baby boy right from birth! Unfortunately, being born at 35 weeks gestation meant he had not yet developed his sucking and swallowing reflexes and as a result had major difficulties feeding.

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The boy spent his first 12 days in the NICU being tube fed and learning how to breast feed and gaining weight. Leaving the hospital and going home without Luca was emotionally draining. I can’t imagine how parents with very sick babies spend months going back and forth to the hospital.  

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Luca came home  April 24th and we are adjusting to life as a family of three! He is such a sweet little guy and I look forward to sharing updates on this blog as he grows up and further develops his sweet personality. luca07

Baby’s New Chair

This weekend, the glider for the baby’s room has arrived! We bought the floor model from a store here in Calgary called 4Living. It was by far the biggest splurge in this room at a whooping $900. We bought the floor model, the chair is regularly $1200! Lucky for us, we have generous family and have put gift money towards the purchase of the chair. 

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The chair has clean modern lines and fits relatively well within the tight space of our nursery. I used the panoramic feature on my phone to give you an idea of how the chair fits into the space. 


Next on the list is dealing with that dresser, jazzing up the curtains and picking out some art for the walls.

Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

Whenever I make cookies Eric complains unless they are classic chocolate chip. Earlier this week, I decided to make grapefruit sugar cookies. As expected, Eric complained about my choice of baking. After a few bites my husband ate his words. These cookies turned out to be so delicious that he loved them.


I am telling you, this little recipe may be one of my favourite cookie recipes of all time. I nearly had to whip up an extra batch because we ate them so fast, I barely had a chance to photograph the final product. Word of warning… these little cookies taste so delicious because they are filled with a crazy amount of butter. So much butter, that they should probably be called butter cookies. 

Do you have any plans for the weekend? I started started a new crochet project and a new t.v. show last night! I intend to spend much of the weekend watching Sherlock and crocheting my newest project. I started working on another baby blanket. I figured I should probably start making a blanket for my baby. 

I am also hoping to spend sometime working on my calligraphy skills! I am a total beginner, and here is a little taste of my progress to-date.

calligraphyLooks more impressive than it actually is! I am currently working on tracing a set of letters. Getting my hand used to the motion and the consistency of the ink. In a lot of ways calligraphy is more like painting than writing. 

Grapefruit Sugar Cookies
Yields 30
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  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 Tablespoon grapefruit zest
  6. 2 1/2 cups flour
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 Tablespoon milk
  10. 1 Tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice
  11. 1/4 cup butter, softened
  12. 1 package of light cream cheese, softened
  13. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  14. 2 cups powdered sugar
  15. pinch of salt
  16. fresh grapefruit juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in vanilla, egg, and grapefruit zest.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to mixer and combine. Add milk and grapefruit juice, and stir until completely incorporated.
  3. Roll dough into Tablespoon-sized balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn golden on the edges. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  4. To make the icing, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and well mixed. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar and salt. Stir. Mix in fresh grapefruit juice one tablespoon at a time until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency. I used 2 tablespoons of juice.
  5. Spread cream cheese icing over the cookies once they have cooled completely and enjoy!
Adapted from Lulu the Baker
Adapted from Lulu the Baker
Big Box Detox
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