Friday, July 29, 2011


Since we had all of 2 people enter the giveaway, you had a 50/50 chance of winning! I used and got #8, which was KC! I've contacted you and will get the water bottle adapter in the mail tomorrow (as long as the PO is open-some Sat. they aren't open for some reason!)
Thanks for entering!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On goodie bags

I know that goodie bags are falling out of favor, but as long as they don't have candy and are age appropriate, I like them! I'm trying to come up with something to give away for Zgirl's birthday party. I'm working with a limited (read=practically no) budget, so I'm looking for something I either have the materials for, or are inexpensive (no OTC, I don't have time to order)
Some ideas I've had include-
homemade finger paints (but I have nothing to put them in. I've seen them in baby food jars, but I don't know anyone who has any and I won't buy the food just for the jars)
homemade playdough (again, how do I present? I don't want to use Ziplocs)
melted crayons made into new ones in a mold (I'd have to buy a mold, because the only small one I have is skulls, and again, what to present them in?)
silly putty-this would be perfect if I had kept any of our Easter eggs around

Help? What have you made for goodie bags? What would you like to get? Would it be better to get nothing? It's a party for kids that are 3 and younger, and there will only be a few.
Friday, July 22, 2011

Harry and Horsie book review

Harry and Horsie by Katie Van Camp and Lincoln Agnew

This is the current favorite book at our house. It was featured at story time at the library (with a theme of bubbles) and Zboy was entranced. It has a horse, rockets, and bubbles-all things he loves. It has fantastic illustrations, and a wonderful story. When researching it, I saw they have also done another book, "Cookiebot-A Harry and Horsie adventure". That will be going on our wish list as well.
This is a book I would definitely recommend buying if your child like any of those things, and if you're a fan of vintage comic-type illustrations. Zboy will love getting it for his birthday.
Thursday, July 21, 2011

Green sprouts/ I play babywear product reviews +my first giveaway

I was invited to a focus group for a business that is based out of Asheville. The business is Green Sprouts/ I play babywear. It was a fun time-we brought our kids, talked about our favorite baby products, and got to weigh in on different ideas the company is contemplating. The company makes eco-friendly items that are perfect for parents looking for natural items.
The best part is that we got a goodie bag full of Green Sprouts products! I'm not much for disposable products, but if I was, these would be my choice. They're petroleum free, and free of other harsh chemicals, and are made from plants. The only negative is that they're made in China. If they were made in the US, they'd get full approval from me!
(I wasn't told to do a review or offer a giveaway-this is all on my own merit :) I wouldn't positively review anything that I didn't like even if I did get it free!)
Some of the products I was given include:
the aqua bottle

I actually already had one of these bottles, and I was really happy to get another, because my kids fight over the one we have. We have Kleen Kanteens with sippy lids, but they much prefer this one with a straw.
"New interchangeable design! BPA free! Bright colored polypropylene bottle with fun print and straw top with sliding lid. Contour shape makes bottle easy to hold. Dishwasher safe. 12 oz. Size: Stage 4/5 (24 mo-2 yr+)"
For the price ($7.99), you can't beat it. I definitely recommend this bottle for younger children (Zgirl is almost 1, and Zboy is almost 3, but they both love it.)

We got some disposable (but can be reused up to 10 times if washed in the dishwasher, more if washed by hand) snack cups, plates/bowls, and silverware.

Again, I don't like disposable products, but I DO like the price ($5.99) for each set, and that they are still reusable. I wouldn't fret if I left these somewhere. They are all made from plants, which is really neat. I especially liked the plate/bowl set, as they screw together, so you can keep things contained while traveling!

Next up is a pack of disposable placemats. We don't eat out much, and I am not much of a germaphobe, so I probably wouldn't use these much. However, they're much better than the plastic options (these are tree-free!) available at big box stores. They even come with soy crayons so the kids can color while they wait. Again, the price is right ($5.99)

This is a product I really like, and can see myself using a lot-a disposable compressed wipe, with a container that can be hooked onto your keychain. It's only $2.99 and a pack of 30 refill wipes is available for $5.99.

You just slowly pour water onto the wipe, and it expands. I hate carrying around a big thing of wipes for messes, so this seems really handy, and compact. The only downside is you need water to use it. Antibacterial and hypoallergenic!

We got a set of sea friends bath toys. I don't like most bath toys because they seem full of gross chemicals and are cheaply made. These are very nice quality, and there's enough for two to share. My one year old did try to eat them (as she does with everything) but they're fairly sturdy and just show teethmarks. $8.99

I got this bottle cap adapter.

Personally, I'll probably never use this, because I don't buy bottled water. We always use reusable bottles, and on the off chance we buy bottled water, my kids can just drink from it as is. That's why I want to pass it to someone who will use it!

Overall, I really like what the company stands for-safe toys for children. They sell a lot of clothing items too, but I can't review those as I didn't receive any and haven't bought any. If you live in Asheville, they have sample sales once in a while (that always seem to happen when I'm broke!) that offer the opportunity to try products at a great discount. These products are sold in Greenlife and Earth Fare locally.

What do you think? Do you already own any of their products? Are they something you would use?
How about a giveaway for the bottle cap adapter?(fyi, it's not apparent because the picture shows 2 tips. This is the toddler cap-it turns it into a sippy top-it's not a nipple) I'll cover shipping if you live out of state. Just leave a comment telling me your favorite iplay/Greensprouts product.
Get an extra entry if you follow me on Google! (leave an extra comment)
Get another entry if you send it to friends or share on FB/Google+/whatever. (leave an extra comment)
Get another entry if you +1 this page! (leave an extra comment)
Contest ends July 28th at 9 pm. We're using the honor system here, people! If you enter extra times, I'll trust that you're doing what I've asked. =) I don't want to check up on people. I think we're all basically honest.
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bunting tutorial (with buttonholes!)

I wanted to make a bunting for Zgirl's birthday, so I scoured the internet for tutorials to get a basic idea. None were quite what I had in mind, but mine is mostly based on this one at Whip up (I <3 this blog). So here is MY take on a bunting =) (be warned, extremely pic heavy)

So start off by printing out whatever word you want. I used Marker Felt font at 400 pt. (It may have been better at 375, but 350 on the tutorial I saw seemed too small) Trace them (backward) onto some wonder under. Iron onto the back of your fabric. I used a variety of cottons, but I imagine you could use just about anything you can iron. Cut out your letters, carefully.

Cut out a template for your triangle. Mine was 10 1/4" at the widest, and 13 1/4" up the middle. I had my awesome engineering husband draw it, because he has a steady hand (also, I hate trying to draw straight lines) Cut out 2 of each fabric for each triangle, or go nuts and do separate prints for each side. Do this carefully! I hardly use pins, but I used a lot to make sure I was more precise.
Iron your letter on.

Use whatever stitch you like to applique it on. I used the applique or blanket stitch on my machine. A contrasting thread may look better than matching.

Turn the triangle pieces to face right sides together. Sew all around (I used a 1/4" seam allowance on the sides and 1/2" at the top.) Leave a small opening to turn your triangle. Before turning, trim the tip of the triangle. I didn't do such a hot job, so my points aren't great.

This is what it looks like before ironing.

Iron carefully. You can topstitch or not-I think it looks better topstitched. (left-not topstitched, right-topstitched) and you'll have to either do a slip stitch to close the opening you left to turn the triangle, or catch it in your topstitching.

Here's where I was stumped-I didn't want to sew them onto a strip of fabric or bias tape, and leaving an opening to thread something through seemed like a lot of work. DaddyG (like always!) had a brilliant idea-use buttonholes! So I made two buttonholes, equal distances from the sides (1 1/2" from the tip of the point and 1 1/4" down from the line of topstitching if you care) and perfection! Now, if I ever want, I can reuse the letters for another bunting.

A tip I never knew-put a pin at the top of the buttonhole, so you don't accidentally slice through your stitches.

And I'm done! I used a ribbon I had laying around, but I think a solid color would look best. Up next is a "Happy birthday bunting".

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big break!

So sorry for the huge break. We traveled to OH for the 4th of July weekend, which took a lot of prep work. After we returned, I spent my week going from urgent care to ER to doctor. I'm finally feeling better, but trying to get plenty of rest so I can fully recover.
I'm slowly working on Zgirl's birthday bunting, as well as planning what else to make for her party (a pinata, among other things)
While I'm off resting, here are some of my favorite links lately-

Baby sunsuit tutorial
from Made by Rae
Feely balls filled with different materials (great for sensory play!) from Play Based Learning
Paper plate ring toss from A little learning for two
18 ideas for hand/footprints from Meet the Dubiens
Dragon wing tutorial from A Magical childhood
50 summer crafts from The Long Thread

And if you're on Pinterest, please add me and let me know, so I can add you back!

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