Saturday, December 28, 2013

Handmade Dog Toys

Yesterday I shared our homemade doggie biscuits- today I'm sharing some plush toys that I made to pacify little canine chompers after indulging in their pumpkin treats:)

 I chose the classic 'dog bone' shape, found an image online (although it would be simple to just free hand!) and began cutting my fabric...

...which I scored at a garage sale- black felt & a cute black & white quilting cotton with doggie verbage:)

I cut a black felt back & white cotton front for each bone and sewed RST (right sides together), leaving a gap for turning- I also ran my pinking shears around the perimeter.

Once turned out, I ironed flat and stuffed chock-a-block with polyfill!

I then delved into learning the "invisible stitch" and hand sewed each gap closed.

These may not last long but were made with love and Livy enjoyed helping to stuff these gifts for her canine cousins:)

Next, I'll be sharing the 'people' gifts:)

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Well, now that our Christmas gifts have been shared, I can share the details with you:)

In keeping with my love of themes, I used a "Baby it's Cold Outside" theme as a springboard, creating something to be shared indoors for our family, including the canine members:)

For our beloved doggies, I chose this recipe for an all natural, treat- I didn't have any "guinea pigs" but the reviews were good so fingers crossed these biscuits are being enjoyed!

This was a perfect activity to get my little Ms involved, so with much flour and dough flying, we began!

Livy dove in with her "favorite shape" aka the mini heart cookie cutter...

...and quickly got the hang of popping out the dough...

...while Jonah found that his tummy somewhat inhibited his ability to cut very many biscuits...

...but he didn't mind arranging the "star!" and "har!" biscuits on the cookie sheet and popping a few bits of dough into the bag of flour- "mess!":)

Livy, my serious helper, switched to the star cutter...


...and with four baking sheets laden with stars & hearts, Mama baked them:)

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

1 15oz can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 Tbsp all natural peanut butter
3 cups whole wheat, brown rice flour or GF flour- we used GF!
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup oats (optional if your dog is on a grain free diet)- we left out the oats too!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degreess
  2. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs & peanut butter.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats & cinnamon, if using.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into the dry and pour onto floured work surface- dough will be sticky so have extra flour on hand:)
  5. Roll out to approx 1/2 inch thick and bake for 30-35 mins, until golden brown.
  6. Place biscuits on cooling racks and let cool thoroughly- the biscuits will harden as they cool.
  7. Store in an air tight container and use within 2 weeks.
*Cinnamon is safe for doggies but not pumpkin pie mix which is toxic!!!

We ended up with over 6 dozen treats since we used small cutters but this will obviously vary.

There are many dog treat recipes floating around the web so I would love to hear of any that you make:)

Next I'll be sharing part 2 of our homemade doggie gift:)

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Baby M's Hair Organizer

Baby M has already received multiple hair bows, hence the need for an organizer...

So I hung this framed iron grate (which weighs a ton!) in Baby M's room that I white washed eons ago...

...added some grosgrain ribbon tails and hot glued some bows together...

...but I still need to finish the rosettes to cover the hardware at the top- not holding my breath this will be complete before her arrival though as I can't find the needed ribbon:/

A Welsh love spoon was added...

...and a few more Beatrix Potter residents so she'll be in good company:)

Now back to locating that pesky ribbon....

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY Quilted Burp Cloth

Since I was busy stitching up cloth wipes, I opted to also make some "special" burp cloths for Baby M.

FYI, a stretch needle really helps when sewing with minky and plenty of pinning:)

I made these using some extra large fat quarters (cut in thirds) so once pieced and sewn together the burp cloths measured 23 x 14 inches.

A little cutting, ironing, pinking and stitching resulted in these "special" burp cloths- so glad I made the effort and hoping Baby M will enjoy them:)

They're not perfect but they're handmade with lots of love & look lovely with Baby M's room decor:)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DIY Cloth Baby Wipes

 I just tackled another pin, in preparation for Baby M's arrival- cloth baby wipes.  
I've used cloth wipes previously but bought them so this was a new project for me- I'm a firm believer that cloth is better for baby bums, especially newborns:)

So I took 2 of Livy & Jonah's "seen better days" flannel receiving blankets:
  • cut them into squares on my cutting mat with my handy dandy rotary cutter
  • rounded the corners with scissors
  • placed them RST (right sides together) & sewed around the edges, leaving a gap to turn
  • turned them out & ironed flat
  • stitched the opening closed.
 And that's it!

I didn't fuss with these, making each exactly the same size or stitching around the entire edge since these are ultimately for piddle & poopies:)

I won't bother stating how long I procrastinated about completing this project since it was so easy- let's just say, I'm thrilled that it's done!  And I plan to make another dozen or so...

I made 22 double sided wipes from these 2 receiving blankets and for free- happy Mama and soon to be happy baby bum:)

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Candy Lei

With Baby M's arrival quickly approaching, I've been trying to grab as many opportunities to put my feet up as possible, which often includes a little therapeutic pinning:)

One of the many holiday ideas I've recently pinned includes the 'candy lei', an ideal stocking stuffer:)

Even better candy lei idea!
photo courtesy of pinterest
So I sat down one evening after my little Ms were asleep with some Halloween candy, pipe cleaners and clear cello wrap...

 ...and in no time, I had candy leis!

I simply cut widths of clear cello wrap (approx 5 inches), spaced the candy, rolled the cello wrap and tied off with pipe cleaners- easy!

Be sure to roll down the ends of pipe cleaners so there are no sharp points 
to potentially stick little fingers:)

Clear Cello wrap: $1 (Dollar Tree)
Pipe Cleaners: free/stash (can be found at Dollar Tree)
Candy: approx $4

I was able to make 2 double strand leis and 2 single strand leis for $5- these should provide a sweet surprise on Christmas morning, nestled in certain stockings:)
Don't limit this fun project to Christmas though- would be great for any special occasion and a great opportunity to get kids involved:)
Another successful pin- thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"It's a Moo Moo!"

For anyone possibly under the false impression that everything I attempt is successful and comes together with zero frustration, I thought I would share a recent debacle...

I found this bold green print at Hobby Lobby on clearance and purchased some in the hopes of making a maternity item... sat for a while as I considered multiple options (BTW, this is the norm) and then I opted to make a skirt that, once attached to a tank top, could be a great summery maternity dress.

The green fabric was rather sheer (maybe cotton voile?) but with sufficient gathers and leggings underneath, felt it would work so I started stitching and attaching...

...only to discover that "going with the flow", putting in little preparation wasn't resulting in immediate success- the plan was to make a belt/sash to cover the seam but it still bugged me:/

In addition to the messy seam, the back of the skirt was belling out to where one couldn't distinguish which side was the front & which side was the back with Baby M's continuing growth:/

I wasn't despairing yet though, so I made some further alterations (no easy task when trying to adjust & pin by yourself when 7+ months pregnant) only to concede after several attempts,
"It's a moo moo!" & ditched it:/

Lucy experienced similar results so at least I'm among friends:)

Not all of my ventures result in completion & success but I look forward to learning along the way and enjoying the journey:)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DIY Tea Stain Remover

For the past 6+ months, Baby M & I have craved black tea (decaf!) and been drinking mugs of it each day.

Here's the result:/

My poor mugs have been acquiring more & more buildup until I just couldn't stand it anymore, so today I tackled the problem with a DIY, natural coffee/tea stain remover.

I simply sprinkled some baking soda in the bottom of each mug, poured a little hydrogen peroxide in and swirled to combine...

...then I scrubbed with an old toothbrush...

...and voila!  All clean!

This process took just a few minutes and resulted in 'brand new' mugs.

*Several mugs were extremely stained- two applications did the trick though!*

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gluten Free, Homemade Hamburger Helper

I recently came across a fellow natural Mom sharing a recipe for a homemade, real food version of hamburger helper & was intrigued- I've never actually had hamburger helper but knew people resorted to such for ease & low cost...

...however, the ingredient list for such convenience is frightening!

Enter a homemade, real food version:
Ground beef
Salt and pepper
Tomato sauce
Cheddar cheese

  This ingredient list was simple & I could tell would make a "pound stretcher", one pot meal evoking fall comfort so I gave it a try today:)

Ready in under 30 minutes, this makes an excellent weeknight, family friendly meal, sure to please & I made mine GF!

Homemade Cheeseburger Helper

1 lb. ground beef
½ tsp. salt (I used more salt)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 clove minced garlic (or ¼ tsp. garlic powder)
½ onion, chopped fine (or 2-3 tsp. onion flakes)
1 ¼ c. tomato sauce
1+ tablespoon yellow mustard
1 ¾ cups water (I added a tad more water)
2 ½ cups short pasta, any shape (I used GF penne)
 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

  • Brown the beef in a large skillet with the salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. 
  • Drain the fat and add the tomato sauce and mustard, stirring gently. 
  • Add the pasta and water, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally. 
  • Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve!

I coupled this entree with sauteed summer squash & it was perfect:)

Better Than A Box

This recipe is included in the Better Than A Box cookbook that I'm  hoping to acquire:)

Hope you enjoy,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick or Treat!

Despite my girth now rivaling a pony & my energy levels being in the negative (just 3 weeks till Baby M's projected arrival!) I knew we needed to make an effort for trick or treating this year:)

We started the day with a phone call to Gramma where Livy sang "Happy Birthday" very sweetly to "Framma".  October 31st is not celebrated as Halloween here at 423 East 68th Street since it's Gramma's birthday:)

However, we do make an effort to get the kids dressed up & gather "swee swees".
Last year, Livy was Goldilocks...


 ...and Jonah was a bear, of sorts...

...since he wouldn't keep his hat on!

Goldilocks didn't mind though:)

This year, Livy was Princess Snow White!

As you can see, we couldn't wrangle any costume on Jonah this year:)

Livy just caught a glimpse of her glow stick lighting up, courtesy of her friend, Jude and was in awe:)

Jonah, our "Great Pumpkin" was thrilled to receive pretzels amongst the "other stuff"...

...and happily munched and meandered while Livy socialized:)

Next year, I'm hoping to make creative costumes for all 3 little Ms and Jonah won't have a choice but to wear one of them!!!