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Christmas Ribbon Busy Box

Friday, December 12, 2014

I was putting laundry away in our closet the other day and Little Miss Henley found my box of gift wrap.   She pulled out all of my pretty tissue and a bunch of ribbon that I have been saving hoarding for the last who knows how many years and had a field day with it!  She was a happy camper for at least twenty minutes, which is the longest she will do anything before she gets bored.  I was so happy to actually get a whole pile of laundry put away that I didn't even care half of the tissue paper was destroyed.

Since she loved the ribbon so much, and also has an affinity for cardboard boxes, I wanted to make a baby friendly and relatively indestructible toy for Henley to play with.  I have seen lots of busy boxes and books with ribbons and I thought that it would be a perfect, quick, and easy project to make a Christmas Ribbon Busy Box for Henley, especially to give to her while I am wrapping presents this season. 



What you need:

• Small cardboard box 
• Ribbon
• Scissors
• Tape
• Markers, Stickers, etc. to decorate the box if desired. 

Instructions:

1. Decide how many ribbons you want to use and poke that many holes in the sides of the box that are parallel to each other. I used the sharp end of my scissors to poke the holes and 9 pieces of ribbon for mine. Make sure to make the holes big enough for the ribbon to move through easily, but not so big that the knot can slip through. 


2. Tie a knot at one end of each ribbon and then string them through one side, in the box, then out the other side.  Finish by tying a knot in the other end. 


3.  Tape up the lid on your box.  Make it fun with some Christmas Duct Tape! I found mine at Dollar Tree :).  If you don't have Christmas tape, you could also decorate your box with stickers and markers, or better yet, let your little one do it!



I can't say that Henley loves this box more than getting into my box of gift wrap, because lets face it...babies love what they can't have.  She does, however, play with it for a few minutes and likes to fling it around by a ribbon or two, ha!  Once in a while she can actually pull a ribbon through, but I don't think she does it purposefully yet.





If you make this for your little ones, please share!  I hope they enjoy it!

Christmas Slime

Monday, December 8, 2014

We had quite a few rainy days this week...ugh! I know that here in California we need rain, but I hate it.  If it never rained I would be totally fine with that, you know, minus the whole drought aspect.


Rainy days are the worst.  I hate being cooped up indoors, especially with kiddos around.  I had my five year old niece with me last weekend in addition to my own little 8 month old and you can only do so much inside all day before everyone goes stir crazy.  Fortunately, I remembered that I had supplies to make slime and turned it into a fun, rainy day, Christmas activity. 

This is how you make Christmas Slime: 



What you need: 

• Bottle of Elmer's School Glue (118 mL)
• Red and green food coloring
• Glitter
• Water
• Borax (1/2 teaspoon)
• Small/medium mixing Bowl
• Cup
• Fork

Directions: 

1. Empty your bottle of glue into your mixing bowl.  Fill your empty glue bottle with water and add to the glue.  Stir until well combined.  I used a fork and whisked it, which I think worked better than a spoon.

2. Add a few drops of food coloring to get your desired color and stir to combine. 

3. Add a couple of shakes of glitter and stir. Don't worry, the glitter stays in the slime and won't get glitter all over the place! 

4. In your cup, mix 1/2 cup of hot water and 1/2 teaspoon of borax until dissolved.  Then, add to your glue mixture. 

5. Mix together until your water is completely absorbed.  The mixture starts turning into slime almost instantly!  I used my hands to mix instead of a fork after a minute or so.  Then, when it wasn't retaining some of the water I put my slime into a ziplock bag and squished it around in there to get it mixed extra well.




There ya have it! Squish it, use cookie cutters on it, make handprints and watch them disappear...we played with ours for quite some time!  Even Henley had fun!  She didn't know what to make of it at first, but was fascinated by it.  It was so neat to watch the girls make and discover the slime! We will definitely be doing this again.  


I'd love to know what your little ones think of this project!

Thanksgiving Floral Arrangement and The Bouqs Review

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by an up and coming online flower company, The Bouqs, about reviewing their product in exchange for a free bouquet.  There is something about having fresh flowers in the house that brightens my day, so obviously I said yes.


The Bouqs' main collection of flowers is the "Volcano Collection".  These flowers are grown in South America on a volcano, literally.  This collection takes a week or so for delivery, and is where I chose my bouquet from.  They also have the "California Collection", which is a little more expensive and subject to taxes, but offers next day delivery. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the youthful, modern design of the site and happy that it was extremely easy to navigateYou get a clear, concise view of what each bouquet looks like, and can select each one in three different sizes: Original (around a dozen stems, $40-50), Deluxe (two dozen, $50-60), or Grand (three dozen, $70).  Shipping is free, so you don't have to deal with crazy delivery fees.

The Bouq that I chose was "Dawn" in the "Volcano Collection".  I picked it because I loved the fiery orange color and thought it would be perfect for a Thanksgiving arrangement.  When it arrived, I was so excited!  The packaging was simple, yet cute.  The bouquet comes boxed and wrapped in brown paper.  The box has directions for unwrapping, arranging, and caring for your flowers. 



I unwrapped the flowers and they were gorgeous!  Despite being boxed and wrapped, they were fresh and unharmed, minus a couple of petals that were a little bent.  These roses were better than ones at the store by far, and just as beautiful, if not more so, than from a florist.



I removed them from the packaging and followed their directions, which were basically how I always care for my flowers.  Look at how beautiful the colors of these roses are!  Perfect for fall!



 



To compliment the colors in the bouquet, I took  square of burlap and wrapped it around the vase I had.  Then, I secured it with a rubber band and tied a burlap and orange chevron ribbon around it.  Perfect for my Thanksgiving table!



I received my Bouq on November 20th.  It is now December 4th and the roses just started wilting .  I changed the water out twice and they lasted me this long!  I have to say that I am very impressed with the quality of my bouquet.  I definitely recommend you check out The Bouqs for the next time you order flowers!



Disclaimer: I did not pay for these flowers, and I am an affiliate of this company, but they didn’t buy my opinion.

 

DIY Baby Swan Costume

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I love everything about it: candy, dressing up, decorating, trick or treating, and not to mention that Halloween is essentially the kickoff of the entire holiday season.  Trick or treating was always my favorite thing to do as a kid, and let me tell you...I trick or treated as long as I could! I may have even gone up until I was 18, haha!  Fortunately I had friends who loved candy as much as I did to trick or treat with.  I was pretty bummed when I was too old for trick or treating, but now that I have little Henley here, my trick or treating days are back in business! Anyone else excited to live through your little one and eat their candy? It can't just be me, can it?! ;)


Looking at Halloween costumes for Henley, I saw a baby swan costume at Pottery Barn Kids and fell in love!  However, chubby as she may be, the smallest size (12-24 months) was still a tad bit big. My friend had the idea to dress up together as Swan Lake, and I was set on that idea, so I decided to make her a baby swan costume!


What you need:


White onesie
Spools of 6" white tulle (sparkly and plain)
Spool of 3" white tulle 
Maribou boa
Crochet headband
Black and orange felt
Elastic

For the tutu skirt:
1. Measure the waist of your little one and cut your elastic accordingly.  Add about a half inch to the measurement for a seam allowance.  I don't like things tight on baby's belly so I made it just snug enough to stay on, which was 15 inches. She's a 6-9 months size in clothing. Line up the ends of the elastic and sew them together with a half inch seam allowance.  If you don't wish to sew, then you can knot the elastic, but account for that in the measurement.  

2. Cut about 60 strips of the 6" tulle to your desired length. For a 6-9 month old, I made the strips 18 inches long.  

3.  Place two strips on top of each other and fold them in half making a loop.  Pull the ends around the elastic and through the loop.  Continue until your tutu is nice and full.  I alternate plain and sparkly tulle.


4.  Weave the maribou boa around the tulle waistband.


For the onesie top: 

1. Cut 9 strips of 3" tulle five times the width of your onesie. 

2. Layer 3 strips of tulle and, using your sewing machine (or by hand), sew a gathering stitch along the top of the tulle with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Do this with the other strips also.


3. Gather the strips and pin them to your onesie, alternating the tulle ruffles and maribou feathers.  The onesie will stretch while you are sewing, so account for that when you pin the layers and leave extra length on the side you will end your stitches. 


4. Sew each row onto the onesie by hand or machine.  When using a machine, use a zig zag stitch.  It will allow the onesie to stretch when your little one is wearing it and not pop any stitches!


5. Make two loops of maribou and attach at the shoulders. 





For the headband:

1. Cut a triangle of orange felt for the beak. Cut triangle of black felt the same size as the orange triangle (for the black part of the beak) then snip a smaller triangle off of the tip. 

2. Glue the black to the top of the orange triangle. Place a white maribou puff behind the felt beak.  Glue to a felt circle and adhere to a clip or headband.

I apologize for the lack of pictures in this tutorial!  I made this costume after Henley went to bed and the lighting was not working for me...hopefully you can still make out how I did it, though!

Henley made an adorable little swan!  Her costume was a hit when we went trick-or-treating, which she LOVED.  Her first Halloween was one I will always remember.  



My Baby Soothing Must-haves

Monday, October 20, 2014

Henley is seven months old now!  I seriously can't believe how fast time is going by.  It seems like yesterday she was a newborn: crying, sleeping, eating...eating...and eating.  Besides using breastfeeding as a pacifier (guilty), I had to find other ways to soothe Henley.  I eventually got the hang of it (mostly) and now, I thought I would share with you my list of must haves to help soothe a fussy baby. Everyone seems to have different favorites and here are mine (and why):



Brica mirror: This mirror has been a lifesaver in the car.  It's super cute, lights up, and plays music.  There is a daytime/upbeat setting for when you just need to keep them awake and happy and a sleepy/calming setting for when it's time to nap.  There is even a remote control to make it easy to operate while driving.  I use it every time we are in the car!


Pack 'n Play with newborn napper: This was Henley's bed for the first three months.  She slept in our room in the newborn napper portion until she outgrew it.  There is a vibrating pack that adheres to the underside of the napper that helps soothe baby to sleep.  This definitely helped with calming Henley back to sleep when she woke up and no longer needed to eat so often.
Calming Vibrations Cuddle Soother :  Well, we call "her" Ellie.  This elephant soother is perfect for napping on the go.  It vibrates and plays music for ten minutes, which is great to block out noise and keep Baby asleep while you run errands.



Receiving Blankets:  These are not only for swaddling, but work for keeping the babe warm while you're on the freezer aisle in Target, or especially for impromptu burp cloths.  They are super easy to make, and you can see how, here.



My Baby Sound Spa: A sound machine is a MUST for helping baby to get to sleep and STAY asleep!  Most that are out there turn off within a certain amount of time, but this one is awesome and stays on continuously or you can use a timer.  I just leave mine on all day, haha!  Another great thing about it is that you can use batteries to make it portable.


There you have it!  My top five baby soothing items.  Hope that they help some of you with new babies!  For all of you other moms out there, what are some of your favorite ways/items to calm a fussy baby?