Saturday, February 23, 2013


I'm so excited!  I was just notified that I won my first blog giveaway & won five patterns of my choice from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, for FREE!  As 'Lucy' would say, "F, R, E, E, E?"!!!  Woo hoo!

I've been wanting to try out some of Peek-a-Boo's patterns for awhile after seeing other Mom blogs hail their praises but didn't want to spend the moolah at present...

So imagine my surprise when I saw my name listed on a blog post as the winner!  And now I have 5 patterns to delve into, making fun things for my little M's and hopefully some gifts too!

Image of Lil' Adventurer Backpack 
My first pattern choice was this little cutie...oh the possibilities!

Image of The Jackie Dress: 3 mos.-8 years 
And here is one of the dress patterns I picked for Livy- love the vintage lines:)

If you haven't checked out Peek-a-Boo before, jump over- she runs discounts for grouping patterns together, has a great Facebook page and tons of options!  I just printed out the pattern for the backpack and it's choc-a-block with photos and easy to follow instructions- perfect!

Happy Saturday,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Piggys & Penguins

So I've been in a mad dash to finish multiple sewing projects, mostly for my little Ms:)  On the docket were some PJ bottoms for Livy.  I ask you, who wouldn't love flannel piggys and penguins to lounge in???  Exactly!

First, the piggys:

These were supposed to be made completely from the red "pizzy" flannel but I cut my pieces early one morning moments after waking up (bad call) and thus made them too small:(  Note to self: never cut fabric/sew before 8am!!!  So, I took the scraps and embellished a pair of red knit yoga bottoms (resale) that I had just picked up.

The original trousers were a bit long so adding the cuffs gave me the perfect foil for adjusting the length & this was my first attempt at making pockets:)

And though these bottoms aren't as full of "pizzys" as intended, little Miss loves them!

Jonah was solving the mysteries of high chair buckles during this sewing escapade...and growing thicker "chops" like his Uncle Alex:)

This pair I'm quite proud of because it's completely re-purposed: these are the 'arms' from a pair of flannel PJs I wore in high school/college!  Since I'm very hot blooded, they didn't get much use, thus these penguin bottoms are almost new!

And using the existing hems with corresponding piping saved a lot of time!  They're a bit short (I knew they would be) but great for home and Livy loves not tripping on them since her "fawcees" aka "trousees" tend to be long due to wearing bigger sizes :)

And here is the master of the house playing in Livy's room with a favorite toy...

not throwing the dots but actually putting them in place, as intended!  Wonders never cease!!!

Neither of these PJ bottoms will win any sewing awards, but they're fulfilling their purpose in providing extra play clothes for Livy and allowing me to practice my new 'skills'!

The budget rundown?
Yoga bottoms: $3
Piggy flannel: approx $0.50
Elastic: had it on hand (approx $0.50)
Total: $4 for everything!

Flannel PJs: FREE
Elastic: had it on hand (approx $0.50)
Total: $0.50 for everything!

So for less than $5, I was able to give Miss Livy 2 new PJ bottoms!  Happy Mama!  And I had enough fabric from the penguin PJ top to make a skirt too, so stay tuned:)

Thanks for looking,

Friday, February 15, 2013

Designer Fabric Business Card Holders

Here's one of my recent 'completed' sewing projects...I made one of these 'Designer Fabric Business Card Holders' for each of the ladies in my family & they were so fun to make!  What a great way to promote your business:)  

I followed this great tutorial & found these scrunchies worked really well:)

TIP: Be sure to get the fusible fleece vs regular interfacing!

 Large chunky buttons are a must!

And I love the look of the contrasting fabrics from Stampin' up!

These little cuties are perfect to tuck into an upcoming Easter basket (it's just around the corner!) or just because, so have some fun with these fabric business card holders!

Thanks for looking,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DIY Stitched Felt Hair Clips

Last Friday, the Ricardo's (minus 'Ricky') participated in a little Valentines bash in our Moms & Tots group- it was great to see the tots marching around in their pink & red 'lovey' attire, celebrating this holiday:)  Did I get just one pic of this?  Sigh.  Alas, I didn't, even with my camera stowed in the diaper bag with such an intention- never happened.

There were fun snacks like popcorn bedazzled with red sugar, pink strawberry cake & caprese skewers...

Heart crazy straws for the tots and of course Valentines from my little Ms:)  For Eli, Livy crafted this and then helped create something special for the girls:)

These custom hair clips were quick & easy and I love them!  Each stitched felt piece is slightly unique and Livy helped decide which pieces should be allotted to Rose & Lily:)

I grabbed my handy dandy glue gun to whip these up and of course made one for Livy too!

And they fit into our Valentine boxes perfectly!

There's just enough time to make some of these Stitched Felt Hair Clips for V day so here's what you need:
  • Felt applique pieces (mine were from a previous Stampin' Up! mini catalog)
  • Glue gun
  • Barrettes of choice

Thanks for looking,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

WOW Toys

Over the past 6 months, 'Ricky' & I have been making some changes in what our little Ms are exposed to through food, toys, media etc....  It's not that what we were doing was horrendous- we're just getting a vision for something better..."Look out for the super chief, look out for the super chief!"

So I spent some time looking into safer toys.  There is much valid concern/warnings about plastics and since we're in the process of ridding our kitchen of plastics, it only seemed fair to champion my little Ms toys too!  I subscribe to a crunchy Mom blog and saw this post awhile back & specifically looked at this site (fabulous!)...which got me thinking/examining what changes 'Ricky' & I were up to making...

As a result of much consideration/discussion, I've opted to no longer buy plastic toys that aren't on the 'approved list' and to focus on as many wooden toys as possible- wooden toys seem to fare better with Jonah's exuberance:)

Well, imagine my surprise when I spotted a large WOW toys set at Costco!  I was familiar with WOW toys from my time spent in the UK as a child but hadn't noticed any here (they're not at Walmart, Target, Babies R Us etc...), except on line and at Toy Zone... 

Farm Friends 
This mammoth toy set is currently on Amazon for $38.10 & I paid $17.99 at Costco!!!  Hallelujah!!!  I knew it was a great price but didn't realize just how great...until now!

Livy just found this in her closet where I was saving it for a rainy day since they had gifts aplenty at Christmas- I was thinking to save it for Easter but when I stated to Livy, "This is present for later..." she put her head down and began to quietly cry piteous tears and plead, "Mama, I pay toys now!...Peez?"  I buckled.  I find myself having to say no so often that it was wonderful to be able to say yes...and I wanted to see her reaction:)

 She loved them!  It took me almost 20 mins to retrieve these treasures from their secure housing but once freed, Livy began arranging the farm stock and testing the different vehicles, making appropriate sounds:)  And once Jonah awoke from his nap, he made a beeline for the new toys and attached himself to "Bumpety Bump Bernie"- he honestly got the hang of the friction powered motor faster than Livy (Ms Control) who wouldn't allow it to bump along without her pushing it along..."I hep, I hep"!

Conclusion: yes, WOW toys cost a little more than some of the other 'non approved' leading brands but here is why I plan to purchase more:
  • They're PVC, lead, pthalate and fire retardant free, making them harm free for my little Ms:)
  • No batteries required- sold.
  • They encourage sensory stimulation, motor skill development, role playing, social interaction & exploration, to name a few perks:)
  • WOW toys have a great website, outlining their 2 month, 10 step process in designing/creating their products as well as their stand on making their products safe and fun.
  • They've won multiple 'Top Toy' & 'Good Toy' awards and continue to receive awards.
  • WOW toys are designed in London- need I say more?

WOW toys boast themes for the bath, farm, construction sites, fairytale, safari and many more and all sport jolly names like "Poppy's Pony Adventure" & "Tip-It Toby":)

So where can you purchase WOW toys?  Amazon & are options as well as our local Toy Zone... and Costco from time to time!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this encouraged you to champion your own toy chest!

P.S.  All the opinions stated in this post are my own- I wasn't compensated by WOW toys in any way...though I wouldn't mind:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Survived Flying with Tots...and So Can You!

I'm finally getting around to sharing some of the sweet moments we enjoyed while on vacation at Disney World a few weeks ago- it was extra special as Granddaddy & Gramma were with us too!

We originally considered driving and then at the last minute was strongly encouraged (by Granddaddy!) to fly with my little Ms while 'Ricky' & Granddaddy drove all the equipment down...

We found some incredible tickets that involved 1 stop vs my #1 choice of a non stop flight... so I opted to courageously take on Atlanta airport (the busiest in the U.S.) by myself since I'm Wonder Woman...sigh.

Here are a few tips & lessons that I learned- hopefully these will save you some frustration:)
  • Choose non stop flights.  Period.
I cheaped out, getting tickets half the cost of the 'non stop' ones and decided by the end of the trip, I would never commit social suicide in that way again, or put my little Ms through the unnecessary rigors associated with extra stops.  Since tots can pre-board, our 54 minute layover in Atlanta gave me enough time to hit the restroom to change diapers (be prepared to wait in line & good luck finding a large cubicle to fit a stroller etc...), rush to my gate and pre-board the next plane...where we were seated on the last row...sigh.  That's right: 44 D & E aka exile.

  • If flying with a "lap baby", take a moment to contact your chosen airline beforehand to get specifics on what equipment you can bring on board.
If flights are not booked solid, airlines will allow the "lap baby" to have their own seat where a carrier/car seat can be secured.  If you've brought said carrier & the flight is booked solid, they will check your seat at the gate & you can pick it up as soon as you get off the plane.  
The same goes for a stroller which made things feasible for me, keeping Jonah contained while in the airport and then checking/receiving my stroller in the tunnel...thing:)
A certain amount of water for formula, bottles, baby food etc... can be taken aboard as well ( I believe it's enough for 8 hours worth...).  The trick is getting through TSA with said liquids first...take a glance around to ensure no one is preparing to broadcast you on YouTube before you start ranting & raving at the TSA employees...just sayin:)
  • Bring enough snacks... and then some more.
Unlike "Lucy", I wasn't attempting to smuggle a 20# hunk of cheese on board, but I did make sure to pack snacks that my little Ms enjoy as well as a few 'treat' snacks and loaded my bag for the day.  We went through most of the food, plus the flight snacks and a bagel that I picked up in the airport for them!  The munching kept them busy while flying and during some of the waiting in between.  Snacks = sanity.

Here are some of the things I packed: Annie's "Cheesy Bunnies", Zip Cinnamon Apple,

  • Bring appropriate activities...aka iPad!
I brought 'Ricky's' iPad so my little Ms could watch "Micka Mouse" if they got antsy- we used it on 2 of our 4 flights & I'm so glad I took the trouble!  Headphones weren't even necessary and it gave my little Ms something to focus on besides our few square inches of cramped space:)
  • Bring an extra change of clothes + sweater/hoodies
When we left TX, it was cool but I knew FL would be warm so I dressed my little Ms in layers- they used their hoodies while flying as it inevitably gets cool (also make great pillows/neck supports when rolled up!) and then shed them once we reached Orlando aka humidity capital of the U.S.
Extra clothes are for accidents- we didn't have any, but I assume that's because I was prepared!

  • Pack passys &/or lollipos
For little ones, be sure to insert a passy during take off/landing as it will help their ears- passy inserted, Jonah had no problems & this was his 3rd time flying:)  For bigger kids, lollipops are great- I had special "Micka Mouse" lollis for the occasion:)

  • Be prepared for a long wait at security aka the gauntlet
Children are not required to take off their shoes (so generous) but if they're in a carrier/stroller, they'll have to be carried/walked through with you while the equipment is 'frisked'.  I was allowed through a special arch while balancing the Big O Boy and holding Tornado's hand which helped but don't expect TSA to help fold down strollers, hold kids hands, smile etc.... and I didn't find many fellow travelers too bothered about helping either.  Best to prepare for doing everything on your own, and if you're met by a guardian angel who offers a helping hand, you can graciously accept vs grumbling at the lack of chivalry in our modern age...

  • Backpack Leashes!
We already had a leash for Livy but I also purchased a leash for Jonah so he could run off some energy in the airport, while still attached to me- came in very handy and gave me much peace of mind.  We used the leashes for our little Ms while in the park at Disney World too.  By the end of the trip, Livy was getting the hand of looping her leash on the stroller and trotting alongside me as we zoomed through the airports!
  • Wash your hands, please!
I swabbed my little Ms with hand sanitizer and washed hands when we had a chance but as I was zooming through the airport, security etc... we didn't do so as often as we should have.  My little Ms were assaulted with "ickies" when we returned home and while it may not have been due to something specific from traveling, they were exposed to plenty (hazards of public transport) so 'wash your hands, please'!

Well, I think that about wraps up my 'traveling with tots in air' wisdom:)  Hope these tips help make your vacation more hassle free and next I'll be sharing some of the highlights of our time at Disney World...with a 1 y/o & 2 y/ times!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Gingerbread Cookies

During one or our weekly jaunts to Sprouts I stumbled upon some clearance in the refrigerated section...

...included were these all natural cookies from Immaculate Baking Co.  I've been wanting to try an Immaculate product (Cinnamon Rolls, Pie Crusts, Cookie Dough etc...) so this was the perfect opportunity!

Now, I should preface this by saying that I hardly ever buy pre made dessert since I love to bake and I believe homemade is best...but every now & then it's nice to pop some cookie dough in the oven in just a few seconds...and it's a great chance to get my little Ms involved with very little trouble mess:)

Cute little dough rounds, smelling of ginger and ready to be baked...

...but first, instructions specify to roll the cookies in the included pack of sugar- sweet & pretty!

Baked & cooled I opted to sandwich them with some leftover cream cheese frosting I had on hand, turning these little spicy gems into something quite decadent & semi- homemade:)

And best of all, I had no regrets about the ingredient list!  Quick & easy AND all natural- thumbs up for Immaculate Baking Co.!!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bento Breakfast

I've been following this Mom blog and saw where she did a Bento series about the lunches she created for her young girls and how they loved their Bento boxes...

So after much thought & weighing up the pros & cons & considering my campaign to decrease/not add household plastics...I took the plunge & purchased a few starter pieces to try on my little Ms...

Livy wasn't sure what to think at first...
 ...but she quickly got the hang of it & exuberantly enjoyed each bite of her "toasty":)

And after a quick wash, Livy proceeded to play with her Bento accessories at the table for the next half hour..."Dozzy, Tat, Araffe, Tey Bear..."

By the afternoon, she was requesting that her "cheesy bunnies" be placed in her new "pizzy" for snack time...

...they were a hit!

I'm always looking for fun ways to make meal time more creative and enjoyable, especially while promoting more healthy foods for my little Ms & the Bento box premiere was a great success!

FYI, I got my Bento supplies here:)

Happy muching,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Buttoned Up Valentine!

It's been a long week as my little Ms and now Ricky & I battle through virus terrain...the really hard part is being sequestered at home...for days...and days...sigh...

So today, I determined that sniffles & coughs would no longer keep us from having some fun...thus we started on Valentine crafts:)

Cut a piece of medium weight wire, long enough to make a heart shape...

For another craft using Wire Works (or alternate wire) check here- this can easily be themed for Valentines too!

                                  ...then choose buttons...                                              

 ...and begin stringing onto the wire...

...shape into a heart & twist the ends, curling down to protect little fingers.

Olivia loved her heart!

Next, attach some ribbon of choice to be hung on a Valentines tree, around a decorative candle, jar, door knob etc...  

Finally, tuck your button heart into a Valentine box for a friend:)

Enjoy & thanks for looking,