Monday, October 29, 2012

Cricut Cards

A while back I received a Cricut machine as a gift.  It looks like this :

Basically, its a machine that cuts paper based on cartridges that you buy.  For instance, you get the animal cartridge, you can cut out animals.  These cartridges aren't cheap ($20-$60), so I try to get them when people give me gift certificates to Michael's.  The more shapes it cuts, the more it costs.

I'm not great at using the cricut because I don't have the patience to wait to cut out tons of layers, nor do I want to waste lots of paper to make one tiny piece a different color.

That being said, I really like the Cricut, and I use it a lot.  I make cards with it all the time, and little embellishments for gifts. I even bought a cartridge that gives you the pieces to make great 3D flowers.  It is really easy to use, too.  You stick in the cartridge, and the keypad (each cartridge comes with a different keypad), punch in what you want to cut out, slide in the paper, and the machine does the rest!

Here is the front of a card I made this weekend using the "Create A Critter" cartridge.  See what I mean about the lack of colors...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baby Beanie

As I mentioned yesterday, I was working on this beanie pattern for Griff.  Well, I finished, and its a bit large for right now, but I'll try again.

Definitely a cute pattern, that's for sure!
Hopefully it will fit by Christmas...

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I've been slacking on the posts this week, mainly because I've been busy!

We went to an animal expo last weekend and got our photos taken at a photobooth, which was fun.  I also got my hair cut with bangs.  I wish I had someone to do my hair everyday, it was nice.

I'm in the process of cleaning the junk drawer, and I've also been putting together some etsy sales, which is awesome.  I have a hard time promoting my shop with how busy I am, but somehow I've managed a few sales here and there. 

I'm also making a hat for the baby, following this pattern, but in 6 month size.  It is HUGE and is way to big for him, but I'm going to finish it as practice and maybe it will shrink when I wash it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tiger Swallowtail Lifecycle

We all know how this story begins:

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf.

Then, one day a little caterpillar POP! came out of the egg.

He ate and ate (my dill), and he got a little bigger.

Then 2 days later, he wasn't a tiny caterpillar anymore.  He was a BIG FAT caterpillar.

Then, after he was done eating and growing, he crawled over to the flowers.
Here he was met by an ugly mean praying mantis.

The human (me) hit the mantis with a wooden spoon (yea ok, I was a little scared of it), and it ran away.

After the caterpillar was safe, he made him self a little home, called a chrysalis.

He stayed inside for about a week, then out came.....

a male Tiger Swallowtail!

Friday, October 19, 2012

And the winner is....

MATT R.!  Your prize will be sent to you Monday AM!  Only 8 people entered, and it seemed unfair to NOT giveaway the prize, so I will be giving it away anyhow.

As I learned from this experience, Rafflecopter is not as straightforward as it seemed to be.  A few people were confused as to the requirements of the entries.  It is easier for me as it randomly picks a winner for me, and organizes the entries.  We can try a different way next time.  A learning experience!

Congrats Matt!


I will start by saying that I don't own a single piece of white clothing.  My husband doesn't (besides undershirts), and my son doesn't.  I don't know what it is about white, I just don't like it when it comes to clothing. 

I had a bunch of new, some used, white clothes for the baby, and I decided that I could dye them all, some to sell (the new), and some to wear (the used).

I stopped my the store and picked up these materials.  Normally I wouldn't buy the tulip brand, as its not as high quality as the other dye, but I wanted the squirt bottle that came with the pack.

 Here is what came in the Tulip Pack.  The gloves and squirt bottle were what I wanted.

First step is to soak you shirts in HOT water.  
Next, squeeze them out and twist as desired.

Here is a little tutorial on the standard tie-dye pattern.

I laid out all my pieces onto a trash bag (any non-porous work surface will do).  I didn't twist all the pieces as shown above.  Some were secured in a stripe pattern, and some had multiple twists.

Here is where your creativity comes into play.  Mix the dye as specified on the package.  I did the colors separately because I only had one squirt bottle.  Ideally, you would have as many as you have colors.

Then, squirt your shirts.  I did combinations of brown and blue, and brown and green.  A couple ended up all blue, all brown, and one all green.  The less white you want, the more dye you squirt into the cracks of your shirt bundle.  This IS NOT an exact science.  The beauty of tie-dye is that it is a surprise!

After letting the dye sit overnight, unravel each piece and rinse well in the sink or a bucket.  You can then do a load of laundry with the rinsed items (cold, extra rinse).

Here are my results.  As you can see, the green isn't as true to color as the blue and brown (terra cotta).  That is due to the quality of the dye. 

When I have the time, most will be up in the shop once I add my special touches!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Solar Powered Rainbow Maker

One of our wedding gifts was a gift certificate to the MoMa store (Museum of Modern Art).  We had a difficult time picking items, but one of the things we chose is one of my favorite things that we own.

Its a Double Solar Powered Rainbow Maker!!!

Here is a photo of one you can buy online.  It is no longer available at the MoMa store :(
get one!
This thing is awesome because you can stick it and forget it.  The sunniest window in our home happens to be our bedroom window, so there it lives.  The baby and I hang out in there a lot.  That is where he takes his naps (in our bed).  He loves the dancing rainbows.  Here he is watching them.

We have had this for over a year now, and it has broken.  I've had to unscrew the tiny screws and piece it back together after it fell off a window in the kitchen a while ago.  I had to use tiny pliers to get the little metal teeth to grab onto the prisms again. Sometimes the gears need a little kickstart.

Overall, if this stopped working, I'd buy another one.  Prisms are a great way of introducing science to your baby without even realizing it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Taking care of 'diaper rash'

For the past few weeks, baby has had a redness in his baby leg folds, around his neck, and on his upper groin area.  I knew it wasn't typical diaper rash because I've dealt with that before.  Usually kids are itchy and it hurts them when you wipe.  This wasn't that...

I started by using Aquaphor, which was recommended by the pediatrician initially for eczema.  This helped the leg folds temporarily, but not the other areas.  Here's his baby folds.

I let him hang out without a diaper.

I changed his diaper ALL THE TIME...

We made sure to dry him well after a bath...

After 3 weeks (yes, I waited that long), I decided to use a more common diaper rash treatment (zinc oxide) in his diaper area.  This took away the redness, but it still looked pretty bad.  I decided to call the pediatrician and see if I could get some advice over the phone (haha).  I had to come in, and she told me that it was a yeast infection.

The pediatrician said that this type of rash is more common in babies that wear non-traditional diapers because they don't whisk away the wetness.  Okay... We chose gDiapers to avoid diaper rash.  If you google "gDiapers rash", all that comes up is that gDiapers prevent all types of diaper rash.  Don't worry I still love gDiapers, they are amazingly easy, cute, and good for the environment.  It probably started in his neck and creases, and then traveled to all the other wet areas.  He chose to model his neck rash in this photo.

You can tell a yeast rash from a typical diaper rash because it has a specific location that is red and raised.  Also, it doesn't go away with typical rash treatment.

The simple solution?  Athlete's foot cream.  Specifically, Lotramin.

Save yourself the co-pay and try it out if your baby ever gets a rash that won't go away.

On the bright side, we have a 15 pound 3.5 month old.  We have 2 weeks until his 4 month check up.  I can't wait!

First trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Organizing Baby's Dresser

When I began this project, the dresser drawers look like this :

I had drawer organizers from Ikea that I had purchased that fit well in the larger drawers for separating different types of clothes.  This was a good opportunity to put away the things that had been outgrown, and make it so I could easily find items.

The newly organized hat drawer

I didn't take before photos of the other drawers, but imagine everything thrown in unfolded.  Now check it out!

The key is to separate by type.  I have a section for pjs and bibs in one drawer.  Then, pants and shorts in the other.  Pants and shorts are separated by the drawer organizers.

On the bottom, short sleeve onesies, long sleeve onesies, and t-shirts.  The item in between are light cardigan type things he will never wear.

I also like folding everything so that you can see each item.  That way you don't have to search through ALL the onesies to get the one you want.  It makes it easy and keeps things organized.

*Dresser is the Kendall from Pottery Barn.  We like it so far, and its a plus that you can remove the changing station as baby gets older.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Easy Candy Corn Layer Cake

I linked to this cake on my pinterest page last week, and decided to take Sunday to make this cake.  It's from box mix, so its pretty easy...

We took a trip to the store to get the ingredients that I needed, and here we go!

2 white cake boxes, 4 frosting, oil, 6 eggs, yellow and orange food coloring, candy corn.

 First, I mixed the two box mixes separately.

 Then, I separated the batter into 5 bowls, each representing the 5 layers the cake will have.

 I added the food coloring to 4 of the bowls, leaving one white for the white layer.

 I only had 2 pans, so I had to do 3 baking sessions.  This worked out well because then I could wait for the layers to cool separately, and work on the frosting as I went.  I started baking with the bottom layers first.

 As each layer cooled, I added some frosting and stacked the layers waiting for them to cool in between each layer.  As you can see my cake is lopsided, and not flat.  Its a learning experience!

 After the whole cake cooled I added a final layer of frosting over the whole thing, and my decorations.

This was my first attempt at a layer cake, and it turned out alright.  Each layer could have used more frosting in between, and I could have used a more saturated food coloring for the darker colors.  I think this cake is definitely halloween party worthy (although I made my husband take it to work!)  I might make this type of cake for any holiday, with different colors!

Friday, October 12, 2012


In honor of fall, I'm doing my first ever giveaway!

The winner will receive one throw pillow by Honeysuckle Handmades (myself), a $25 value!  This pillow is made out of the highly desired 'Woodland Friends' fabric.  One of a kind, and prefect for your couch, child's nap time, bed, and more.

There are many ways to enter, and even ways that you can enter daily!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, there must be 10 separate entrants for giveaway to be valid.  Please share this giveaway to win!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Joining "My Gym"

This week I finally decided to sign Griffin up for "My Gym".  Its basically like a gymboree for kids of all ages.  Its a Mommy and Me type class until 3 years old I think.  Today was the first class.

I was a bit nervous because the class falls right in the middle of nap time.  As suspected, he was fine until halfway through, where he had a meltdown.  Class continued on as I had to bounce him around with his pacifier until he fell asleep.

The other mom's said that it was normal for the first time, but I wanted to say, "he is not overwhelmed, 11:45 is a terrible time for a baby class, he is tired".  Instead I said, "oh, ok good, hopefully next time will be better".  I have 1 week to switch around this little bugger's schedule, which I hope will be successful.

He fell asleep during swing time, so after he fell asleep I stuck him on the big swing and he woke up and chilled out for a while.  He cried again when the teacher showed me what to work on for next time which is :  flying like an airplane, reaching up and saying 'up', and I'm supposed to learn the words to "Peter Pointer", which I know already.

It goes like this :
Peter Pointer’s up and Peter Pointer's down
Peter Pointer’s dancing all around the town
Dance him on your shoulders, dance him on your head
Dance him on your knees then tuck him into bed.

I can't wait until next time

Beauty Surrounds Us

Sometimes I complain about where I live.  Its too generic, there isn't much culture...  sometimes I forget about what we do have, which is nature all around us.  It is especially beautiful on a rainy day like today.  I have a new drive through the canyons behind our house, and I know I will look forward to it now for a few reasons.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Early teething signs and tools

As I mentioned yesterday, we might have a teething baby on our hands.  It seems a little early for teething, but he is definitely showing the signs.

- drooling - This kid's shirt is always soaked in the front.  There is always the danger of a glob of drool landing on you.  He is coughing a bit, which is also a sign of excessive drool.  If you put him on his tummy, get ready for the floor to be soaked!  Check out his shirt...

- gnawing - If its by his mouth, he bites it.  He will also make this cute growling/cartoonish biting sound.  Imagine if you had to make the sound of chewing.  Thats what he does.  Here is poor Charlie getting his nose chewed.

-crying - This could be attributed to the growth spurt, but who knows....

-waking - He occasionally wakes up from naps screaming, just to fall back asleep right away without help.  He is also sleeping less, which I commented yesterday that could be from the growth spurt.

-the last sign is not eating, which he is NOT doing.

To aid in this teething dilemma, we thought maybe purchasing some teething objects that had characteristics that his stuffies and hands couldn't accomplish, would help.  After debating in Babies R Us, here is what we chose.

The Mam mini cooler with clip. 
We chose this because it was small, and you could freeze it.  The ring seemed like it would be easy to hold.  Clip is a bonus.  Mam is awesome because they have a whole teething series as your child gets older.  This one is for 2 months and up.

 RaZ-Berry teething pacifier
We picked this one because, again, easy to hold, and its kind of like a pacifier.  The bumps are supposed to soothe the gums, and as an added bonus, its cute and I like raspberries.
 Sassy Teething washcloth
We got the grape one.  While we were in the store a woman said that her child liked sucking/chewing on frozen washcloths.  We don't really have any baby sized washcloths, so we opted for this.  I haven't washed it yet, so no real review.

When baby is crying, I've been trying the teething items, but nothing really works.  Maybe he isn't teething, but for some reason he is starting to look like a vampire with those pokey white-ish gums.  The cold seems to be weird for him... he does seem to like the RaZ teether.

They say babies can 'teethe' months before the first tooth actually comes in.

A couple links-
5 signs of teething
Teething milestone