Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Unexpected Blessings Picture Patterns

Jocelyn and I have had our eyes open for a neat pattern block set since we saw some on Amazon. I was going to buy a set but figured I'd wait until after September when it was in the budget. Granted we still want a nice wooden set  but we were blessed today with a free set from our local thrift store! FREE! YEPPY! It's a Discovery Toys set and all the pieces are there. We couldn't get home fast enough to use it. For the past hour she's been sitting at the table sorting, stacking, and making neat patterns and pictures with her new set. We've been very blessed lately with school supplies that just seem to turn up or we find amazing deals. Just wanted to share her excitement.
My blogging will pick back up after the 12th of Sept. We are preparing for our local festival which requires hours of crafting and sewing on my part and tug of war attention getting from the rest of my family. Finding the time to squeeze in everything in near impossible.
Until then....school away my dears!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010



 Here's another great giveaway! This is for TWO Leap Frog Counting Puzzles. The two at the bottom of this pic! (Not the shapes puzzle, my daughters snagged that one!) We love everything Leap Frog but the puzzle stash is over flowing. These two Counting puzzles are brand new and in excellent shape.
If you want a chance to win both counting puzzles....

  • FOLLOW this blog and leave a comment letting me know you're a follower with an email to contact you if you win!
This giveaway is open to US residents until Saturday, August 28th at 8:00 P.M EST, at which time I will randomly choose a winner. Please be sure you leave a way to contact you in your comments (via your blog or an email address). If I don't hear back from you in three (3) days, I'll have to select another winner.

GOOD LUCK!!!! Check back at  Homeschool Creations for more great giveaways!

Curriculum Clean Out!!!!


 Add an awesome craft book to your stash of school supplies! I happen to have a duplicate so here ya go!
If you would like to win this cool 128 page craft book.....
  • Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment letting me know you're following with an email address to contact you if you win! 

Check out the other great giveaways at Homeschool Creations !!!!!!

This giveaway is open to US residents until Saturday, August 28th at 8:00 P.M EST, at which time I will randomly choose a winner. Please be sure you leave a way to contact you in your comments (via your blog or an email address). If I don't hear back from you in three (3) days, I'll have to select another winner.

BEST OF LUCK!!!! Check back for other giveaways!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mama Jenn is having a giveaway!

MAMA JENN is having a giveaway for Confessions of a Homeschoolers Geography Curriculum!
Check it out here!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


          "Ready to bargain shop mommy!"
  It's been said "a penny saved is a penny earned." Past generations mastered the art of saving a buck but somehow along the line the materialistic desire to keep up with the Jones' sent us into a nasty spiral of spending. We think spending less time in the kitchen is solved with buying convenience foods to just pop in the microwave. We buy boxed meals instead of cooking from scratch. We buy the bulk bag of brightly colored munchies on the end cap cause we think its cheaper. We fall for the latest fads and run to the malls for the perfect accessories. Our world is filled with the constant output of advertising just to get us to buy the bigger and better. Who decided the "name brand" box was better for you than the plain labeled generic. I had two different boxes of Rigatoni in the cabinet last week and compared them. Believe it or not they were EXACTLY the same ingredients, nutrition facts, & everything! The one cost almost .55 more!

Even better don't you love the "pre" packaged gimmick! Nice little packets of munchies, cheeses, mixed fruits for your fast paced lifestyle. If you ever sat down to do the math you'd see it would be cheaper to buy the big uncut block of cheese and divide it up yourself. "But it's fast and it's easy to grab!" Yes exactly and that's what you're paying for the ease of convenience.
Isn't it funny that most envision the "frugal" or "cheap" as the crazy lady with all the cats who pays with change or the old guy with the cases of canned fruit and the twenty coupons. Welcome to the next generation!!! We still use coupons and we are just a wee bit crazy! No we don't run around abandoning hygiene and new clothes for the sake of a buck. This generation is doing it in a whole new way! We have the advantage of the web to get exactly the coupons we need. We've got pretty little reusable shopping bags. We have entire networks of bargains right at our fingertips. We don't have to wait for the leftover coupons to get passed from the neighbor only to find the ones we needed someone already cut. Internet Baby! Print 'em, Cut 'em, Use 'em!
It's not about just saving a penny but creating a better lifestyle for ourselves, our wallets, and our stomach. Use what we can & reuse if possible.

Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.
That should be how you approach your incoming and outgoings. Look at everything you use and see what can be done with it.

So how do we save money on groceries, its fairly simple. 

  • Don't buy name brand unless it proves to be cheaper than generic. The only exceptions to this are some basic ingredients like flour which I refuse to buy cheap stale white crap.  
  • Clip coupons. Get you coupons HERE
  • Stick to the list. Just like you have to train and discipline children you MUST stick to your guns in the store! It's easy to go in for a few items and walk out with a cart load. If it's not on the list don't buy it!
  • Cook meals that are economical and healthy. If your time is limited cook meals to freeze and just thaw when needed.
  • Buy fruits and veggies that are in season.
  • Shop local farmers markets and discount grocery stores
  • Dress up the leftovers. If the family doesn't like leftovers, give it a makeover. Spaghetti takes on a new taste by tossing it in a frying pan w/ olive oil and a few spices.
  • Cut back on meats. (That's a whole other blog!)
  • Invest in a bread maker or make fresh bread by hand. You'll never pay $4 for a loaf that you can wipe out in one day! It's super easy really!
  • Ditch the cabinet full of cleaning supplies and go with the basics. Vinegar is key! (another blog!)
  • Use cloth napkins and have a bin of kitchen "rags" (bar towels) for quick clean ups instead of expensive paper towels.
  • Pack lunches in reusable containers   Check out Easy Lunch Boxes HERE
  • Compare local grocery circulars Giant Food Stores and Redner's Warehouse and                            Country Harvest (doubles coupons) and Target coupons! and Walmart 
  • Cut back on sweet treats and stick with healthy easy snacks... dried fruit, carrots, dried nuts and seeds.
Hope this has helped to inspire some thrifty shopping. It's not easy since most folks are set in their ways and are not ready to give up the fancy ketchup! Happy Shopping!!!!

simple sublime GIFTS... book review time!

I'm not the type to buy general craft books since nearly everything nowadays can be found online not to mention the awesome tutorials and unending ideas. But HELLO! Look at that Apron! I was instantly entranced with that chic "wonder"ful apron. I had to have it! Off I went searching the awesomely huge web for anything about it. How on earth did she get the childhood bread memory slapped onto that adorable apron? Thus the question that forced me to buy the book. After thought I could of just gone to the local big book store flipped open the cover and BAM read the simple trick but no had to have it! Minor regrets only because I'm never that easy with my money but it's gonna be okay, atleast that's what I'm telling myself.
So the review.
I'll be totally honest I'm not crazy impressed by the assortment of projects. There really isn't much assortment at all. Jodi Kahn has an apparent love affair with fabric transfers! A fairly large chunk of her ideas revolve around printing pics of everyday things like a soup labels or name tags and iron them onto items. I did think the Soup can was cute since my girls would love plush little cans of soup for their play kitchen.
With the exception of the illusive wonder apron you can find the how to on nearly every other goodie in this book online. Shrinky dinks for charms, notebooks and gift tags from cereal or candy boxes, fabric covered cards and photo frames, recycling towels into bags or quilts. All fairly elementary to the experienced sewers and crafters but certainly a cute gathering of ideas for those who like it wrapped up in a colorful book. I could see providing this book to up and coming crafters or those with no creative imagination. The step by step instructions are good but again I love the internets wealth of step by step "photo" tutorials and everyones feedback after they've tried to conquer a craft.

Jodi Kahn is a very sweet and crafty lady, I've enjoyed her on Martha Stewart and her Simply sublime blog occasional peaks my interest with this or that. Her book although in my opinion leaves not much more than the sixty other craft books already residing on the Barnes & Noble overstuffed shelves. This being said that darn apron had me! If you're the crafty type who can independently create your own apron or garment without instructions do so and don't forget the parchment paper, wonder bread wrappers, and your ironing board! Yea it is that simple! One other thing I learned but could of found right here on the web was Freezer Paper is the key to making your very own printable fabric.
You can buy Simply Sublime HERE on Amazon. Buy it! Don't Buy it! Or wait for it to hit the used book table.
I purchased this book on my own accord and was not paid, asked, or swayed by the Author or Publisher as to my opinion of this book.

Proto backback... tutorial later

So much to do and so little time but for starters there has been a battle over the one and only toddler backpack in the house. Jocelyn and Ariana want to carry it around but you know how that goes. Sharing is not a strong quality for them as of yet. So I set about to create a new backpack for Ariana. The original  probably came from something like Weekly Reader or Highlights and was the perfect size. Sitting on the living room floor with my measuring tape, pen & paper I drafted a general pattern from it. All the while the girls kept running off with the measuring tape, scribbling on my measurements, and still fighting over who gets to wear it next. I managed to get a rough pattern made. I just used what I had on hand since this would be an extremely rough run. I hate wasting fabric and supplies on proto types. I had some medium weight canvas like stuff that fit the bill just fine. I thought I had some piping but must of been dreaming. I did however have some cheap shoe laces and bias tape, combined they fill in for piping.
I hadn't bothered using a proper zipper foot in years but heard it was a good idea for piping and I had to put in a zipper too. So I learned with only a little mumbled cursing how to use it...OMG that was easy. Then the trick was how to get all the pieces together in a fashion that would not require me to tear it apart a zillion times because of poor planning. The very unique backpack was finished after numerous interruptions of "mommy, more crackers, I gotta potty, She has my book!, Bellas crying mommy," blah blah blah.
Keep in mind this was only a test run so I didn't bother with being neat or using proper hardware or fancy straps. Just cut and dry basics.
Here's the original I'm trying to replicate....

And here is what I came up with....Ignore the sloppy sewing, trial run remember!

When I get it "tweaked" to my liking I want to use adjustable hardware for the straps with nice thick shoulder straps. I like the gusset pocket but have to perfect the flap and closure. I only used the make shift piping on the back seam but it could be used for the front too. I certainly think it could be either way although it does give it a more finished look and helps hold the form of the pack itself.
Sometime in September Ill try to get around to making another with the right supplies and maybe do a step by step tutorial. Who won't love to have a cute personalized backpack!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The weather was cool enough for me to tolerate this morning so Jocelyn and I decided to get the playroom in order. Can't say it'll last long but nothing a snow shovel can't fix! lol! This room will be constantly evolving since the wee ones interests are sure to change but this it it for now.
We had previously divided the room with the yard gates but ditched that idea since it wasn't keeping the toys or the tots contained. Plus it was needed for the outside play area.
The grand tour... Originally this room was the enclosed side porch and the "main" entrance to the house but our plans are the finish the room for the tots and make the actually front door accessible. Mind you the money has to be there to get this project started but you can't help but dream. So one day it'll happen. Right now we can only use the "playroom" during nice weather. Too hot or too cold and it's useless since it needs proper insulation and a regular outside door. So for now early morning and late afternoon is the only time it's comfortable out there. Hopefully we can get it mostly completed by winter so we can still use it.
So anyway onto the fun stuff...
We have the floor covered with the playmat except where the main path is to the door. This give the tots some designated toy dumping space and keeps dirty foot traffic off their play area.
For the organizing junkies out there...
Pappy built the custom cubby for the Ikea bins so the smaller toys are all neatly organized. We've got some more labeling to do but they work like a charm!
I added a rectangular shelf that James made in highschool since they needed more space for odd toys.
An Easter bucket works perfect for the sidewalk chalk
Dollar store bucket for bubbles
A wire trash bin for bat and balls 
A large clear bin for building blocks
Clear storage boxes with individual slots for matchbox cars
Huggies wipes containers for crayons & markers
Then the stray bookshelf works great for books, puzzles, coloring books, lacing cards, etc.
Baby doll accessories are stacked in the corner
Riding toys slide under the bookshelf
 We leave the picnic table inside since it makes for a great place for the kiddies to color and serve each other yummy pretend kitchen treats! On rainy days or when I just can't watch them outside I bring the small slide in, too.
For the time being baby gear has to occupy a corner but it doesn't seem to be in the way yet.

I love having a designated place for the kids to play. Having all their toys in the bedroom was out of the question since I am a firm believer that a room full of toys reeks havoc on a restful room meant for sleep. They are only permitted to have a small bin of quiet toys in the bedroom and a hanging net with stuffed animals. I didn't care for all the toys in the livingroom either. But we do have a toy box in the livingroom that doubles as extra seating with misc and baby toys. That keeps livingroom toy clean up a breeze. Jocelyn so far has shown that she can sort playroom toys from the livingroom toys when it's time to clean up, which makes my life easier!
As far as the school stuff, we inherited a beautiful antique ice box that originally I wanted to use for storing linens and kitchen wares but Jocelyn had other plans! It's not organized yet but it will house our school supplies. I figured placing it in the diningroom will make for quick access for school and easy clean up for meals. Of course this plan could change too since my organizing tends to revolve around the space and pieces I have. So who knows! More blogging about that another time!
So that's the start of letting you into my house one organized corner at a time. No promises on how long it'll take before the next corner is presentable!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teaching them the world!

So the dishes and laundry are piled high and here I sit blogging. Yep I would rather share my latest adventures than conquer the massive mess that is creeping through the house. My neatly organized diapers stash has been toppled buy the tots, a trail of cherrios follows everywhere Ariana has been, and toys that I swear were cleaned up 5 minutes ago are back on the floor for me to trip over. Yet here I sit in my own little world laying out ramblings of nothingness.
So we've started Jocelyns official "preschool" days a week or so ago and I've been searching blogs for ideas and curriculums to expand our horizons. I've come across tons of info, so much that in fact it's become a bit overwhelming. I need to just get the school stuff organized, get some ink for my helpless printer, and create my own curriculum. I guess I'm just to picky. I find fault or something lacking in nearly everything I come across. I know one of the best perks of homeschooling is being able to pick from here and there and teach what you want. I guess I'm the type who likes it all organized and layed out in front of me well in advance. Like I need to mentally see "the future" before I begin. I don't care for not knowing in advance what's going on. Thus I foresee I'll be sitting on Sunday nights planning the weeks lessons and activities just so I can feel some sort of control. Mind you I can be flexible and have no problem with seizing a moment for learning but I want our foundation curriculum and objectives lined up. So maybe I'm a bit controlling and obsessive!

So far we have established for our preschool and kindergarten years................
Reading / English... We want to do a weekly "letter" study.
Language studies... Sign language and I've already chosen a Latin program that will takes us from preschool to high school.
Math... As far as math I don't know what I want to use but I do know what I don't want (so okay I hate saxon!). Granted right now it's just number recognition and such.
World Studies... We've already started doing cultural themed projects, wrapping in music, arts, language, etc
The rest is still on the table. A lot of late night web searching yet to figure out Science, History, Music and the Arts but most of that will be combined studies.

You've gotta admit taking on the task of teaching children everything from basic life skills to advanced math it can be a bit daunting.
So maybe I seem a bit over the top with just teaching preschoolers but honestly I want them to have it all! It's my job as their mother to give them what they need and prepare them for the world. Have ya looked outside lately? That's one big and scary world out there. It'll eat you up and spit you out if you're not prepared!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crayon Puzzles...HORRAY!

Trying to find something to occupy two tots on a miserably hot day inside can prove to be a challenge! Not to mention when Momma is sleep deprived and baby is needy. So break out a box of crayons and start peeling! Yep...we peeled crayons and took some time to test them out before breaking them up. I had bought a silicone puzzle mold from IKEA ages ago and still hadn't used it so in went the crayons. 300 degree oven until they melted, didn't watch the clock but only took about 15-20 minutes. After being nagged every few seconds if they were done, we took them out to cool for about a half hour. Gentle removed them, only broke one and BAM...cool puzzle piece crayons that really fit together!
The tots think they are awesome and Jocelyn says "beautiful!"

Oh and another goodie of news.....
ARIANA is walking by herself!!!! She decided to grace us with her new Independence on Father's Day and has been toddling about ever since! YEAAAAAA!!!!

Highchair projects???

So I was hitting up our local freecycle and didn't think twice the other morning when I saw someone getting rid of two wooden highchairs. Mind you most of the time with freecycle you never really know what your getting until you pick it up but I couldn't resist. Classic old wooden highchairs are hard to find, let alone FREE!  We have one of our own very similar to the Jenny Lind style I picked up  and thought maybe one of these would be in better condition. But it gets better!!! All the highchairs have obviously old crappy hardware and safety belts are nonexistent so I found a website that sells the hardware and the belts. So for about $22 I can replace the belts and hardware and whether or not I restain or paint them, I can upcycle these babies for less then $30 a piece. The Jenny Linda sells for $90+ on amazon!
Now if only I could find the time to do it! Hopefully they won't sit and be forgotten about. Perhaps I can make this one of my "Mommy alone time" projects.
What to do with them afterwards, who knows???? Maybe gift for a new baby or sell them? OH FUN!

This is the link for the hardware... http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=794

The Jenny Lind chair I think I'll just lightly touch up and refinish, add new hardware and such. The second one I'm not sure, maybe a funky repaint or stain? Any ideas????

Saturday, June 19, 2010


So how many diaper do you need for a tot and newborn?
Honestly, it all boils down to how often you wash and change.

My current stash with Ariana (15months) & Bella (2weeks)...
15 covers and pockets for tot
16 "bar" terry towels as inserts
8 bamboo fleece flats (double layer)
12 covers & pockets for newborn
3 small gdiapers (converting them to snaps, hate the velcro!)
Misc bamboo doublers, washclothes, birdseyes, flats, etc.
15 Premium Regular size unbleached cotton indian prefolds
15 Infant size unbleached cotton indian prefolds
15 Preemie size unbleached cotton indian prefolds (use as lay-in inserts)
3 shorty woolies & 3 longie woolies for tot
4 shorty woolies & 2 longie woolies for newborn
2 snappis for prefolds

I wash every 2-3 days depending on fast we go thru them and the weather. The sun has successfully bleached out stains everytime!
Will be hitting the machine in the near future since Ariana is finally outgrowing the original covers I made her. Hopefully we'll have her potty trained sooner than later!


She's beautiful and a bundle of cuteness!!!! So I promised our "labor" day story and here it is....
Well start with May 25th Doctors appt... The plan for this appt was to stir things up and head to the hospital but change of plans, we were 3-4cm, 80% effaced, -1 and decided to go home and wait for nature to take it's course with no idea we'd make it to our next weeks appt. We spent the week doing last minute tidying and I of course had to get bossy about every little thing.
Tuesday June 1st 2010....I knew for sure this was it. There was no way in hell I was coming home after this appt. I was determined to have this baby even if it meant hitting the local ER! So after getting my appt time screwed up we arrived for our appt after a McD's lunch. (I just had a chicken salad & Iced tea) The In-Laws meet us there. Despite the doc being a bit shall we say an "ass" about going to the hospital, he finally agreed after seeing that we were now 6cm, 100% effaced, & +1. So we scooted over to the hospital, thankfully finding out the doc I want (Abbruzzi) would be doing our delivery. YEA! Seriously her tiny hands didn't scare me like the other docs "baseball" glove sized hands! Plus she connected on a momma level much better.
Okay so we settled into our room, checked our progress and apparently I had been contracting every 2 minutes and they were pretty strong. Water was broken at 4pm and we were off! See I've got this crazy pain tolerance that amazes all the staff. "You're seriously okay with that pain?" So we did two rounds thru the halls and came back to the room to sit on the birthing ball (those big exercise balls) After what seemed like only 15 minutes, I assume that was it since I only made it thru 3 songs on my Mp3 player. (All the while giving orders and trying to maintain control over what cameras we needed, kids drinks, etc.)Yes music while contracting at this point was great as a distraction atleast until the last few were so strong I had to focus. Oh music choices would make the older generation cringe....Hinder and Godsmack rocked me thru those contractions. Anyway those last few contractions had me hanging onto James and burying my face in his shirt, I should admit here I think I may of bit him and nearly pulled his shorts down...LOL! I recall hearing my Mom say something about, "we need you to move now, right now!" and suddenly a half a dozen arms drug me up onto the bed, while James I believe stated, "Um, I see hair!" Yea so that hair was Bella crowning, if it wasn't for sitting on that birthing ball she would of just birthed her way onto the floor! Hum? That explains alot! So the rest went so fast I had to refer to the video James cousin JeNell was taking.
Once I hit the bed, I reached up for the squatting bar, stupid thing by the way since it was nearly impossible to reach with a huge belly in the way! After another strong contraction, Mom got in my face and told me to get on top of the contractions and focus. I vividly remember her calm but very stern voice, "Look at my eyes, Listen!" coaching a  "Yes Mom" out of me. With my younger sister Sarah at my back and James over my shoulder, Mom at my side....another contraction my crazy self yelling  "I can't do it"....we all knew on those very words that baby was coming out! I've muttered that same line with both of the other girls and seconds later they were born. So with two majorly focused pushes ...bam....woop... there she was.... all 8lbs 10oz of baby girl!!!! Yea it really was that fast, like holy crap! 7:17pm she made her lovely entrance leaving me a bit shall we say amazed and sore but with only one tiny tear needing a few stitches. YEAAA!!!!
So while I was being tended to and Bella was attempting her first meal I demanded dinner....Sonic cheese burger, banana shake, and fries! (hospital food sucks!) OH YA!
That's basically it...no drugs or epidural, just the wonderful pain of old school labor! So it's been just over 2 weeks and baby Bella is growing beautifully and I'm surviving. Needless to say Jocelyn and Ariana are doing a fine job at driving me nuts but that's to be expected. Now officially a family of 5....weee!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jocelyns "Super Epic Birthday Cake"

Nothing is better than the smile on a three year olds face when she discovers the cake she's been begging for is right in front of her! Many special Thanks to "Whisk Kid" http://whisk-kid.blogspot.com/2009/08/say-it-with-cake.html for her incredible recipe and video instructions via The Martha Stewart. After watching the "color" episode, Jocelyn insisted on this cake. So we found Whisk Kids blog and went to town making plans for this EPIC cake. I must of read the directions a dozen time and watched the video clip over and over just to make sure I didn't miss anything.  I bake all the time but this cake had to be perfect!

FOR THE BAKERS OUT THERE....Just a note on the Frosting & Cake... We only used the first batch of Frosting for her cake and it was PLENTY for our liking. Tasted so good too! Second day leftovers I recommend setting out of the fridge for a bit before ya eat it so the frosting softens up. Also, I had made the cake itself a week in advance and froze the individual layers wrapped in cling wrap and freezer bags, then set out to thaw before icing. Worked like a charm! The frosting I made the morning of the party.

So a very happy 3 yr old had the party of her dreams centered around "you can make that cake mommy!"
Lil Miss Jocelyn your Smile says it all!!!! Happy Birthday baby girl!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The waiting game!

Yep we're still here waiting for baby Bella to show her pretty lil face! I'm keeping busy trying not stress out but y'all know patience is far from my best quality! So how does one keep her mind off of the long wait!
Plant anything in the garden I can get my hands on... Clean the same things over and over... Let the house get trashed just so I have something to fret about... Bake yummy goodies including Jocelyns 6 layer bday cake for next weekend... Chase a big black rat snake out of the tree and save the baby robins... Making big project plans for after d-day... Get label crazy and slap labels on everything... and my two favorites... EAT and SEW SEW SEW!
My latest cute project is the pillowcase dress Jocelyn is so adorably modeling above. OMG! It's so cute and easy to make. The pillowcase was one that James' late Nana had embroidered. I have a few more I can't wait to make! I don't know about you but they look so old fashioned and cute I can't resist! Jocelyn loves it and I had to nearly pry it from her body tonight just so i could wash it. LOL! Off to go hunt down a bunch more to get creative with... Is is crazy that I want a cute lil top for myself made from one? hehehe!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Diaper Washing

So again here's another topic that everyone has their preference and the best way to do it. So here's my diaper washing how to...

Between washes I store the dirty diapers in a "wet" bag (for travel and the nursery) and/or the "dirty" bucket (sitting by the washer).
After a diaper change if it's just a wet one I simply throw it in the bag or bucket. If it's a yucky one it gets a good shake over the toilet and any solids, get flushed. One great thing about breastfeed babies is their poo washes right out in the wash! Once they start eating solids, well that's what you get solids! Ha! I avoid dropping wipes into the toilet since our toilet would probably have a fit! Honestly best to keep them out of any toilet unless you want to call the plumber!

 Cold pre-rinse with no detergent.
Hot or Warm Wash full cycle with detergent, sometimes on this rinse I add a splash of vinegar.
Another Cold rinse.

I line dry in the sun 99% of the time. The sun is the best bleaching agent and kills bacteria. When the weather is not working with me the covers hang dry inside. The inserts, prefolds, bar towels etc, I run in the dryer til they are dry. I hate using the dryer for anything so I'm constantly watching the weather to coordinate my laundry time!

Again for very detailed washing instructions and even some of the science of maintaining ph levels see...

As for detergents I use my homemade recipe but there are lots of detergents that are free of phosphates, fragrance, optical brighteners and dyes that you can find. The above link is also good for that. I've also heard that Charlies Soap is great for diapers but I have no personal experience with it yet.

So good luck on your diaper washing challenge! Once you get a hang of it, it's a breeze!

LiL' Diapering 101

I could write a book on cloth diapering so I'll try to keep it short and sweet, along with plenty of great links covering the books worth I could write here. Have fun dig thru the links and learn, learn, learn!

So here's just some quick diapering 101 using cloth diaper styles I prefer. Keep in mind you'll find what you like the best just as I did with trial and error. Every lil' one is unique as are those messes! There are dozens of different methods and diaper styles out there find what works best for you!
For starters, I like using a simple diaper cover with a layed in "insert".  Below are (left to right)
100% Cotton Unbleached Indian Prefold, Homemade Bamboo Fleece Flat, & 100% cotton Bar Towel
Here's what the diaper cover and the Indian Prefold look like ready to be put on baby. Simply fold prefold in thirds and lay in, folding down any excess to the front or back which ever you prefer.
Another option is using the POCKET diaper with the insert of your choice. Here I used again the Indian Prefold folded in thirds. I left it hanging out so you can "SEE" where it goes, naturally you'll slip it all the way in. A quick note on most pocket diapers including these that I make... If you are using diaper creams place something like a baby washcloth or similar lining on the diaper where it will act as a barrier between the diaper and the cream. Diaper Creams are a PAIN in the tush to wash out of suede cloth (which is what I use here) and many other fabrics. Save yourself the major headache and remember to "line" your diaper before using creams.

Yet another option for that tiny tush... below is an Indian prefold being fastened with a SNAPPI. Like the good ol' standby diaper pin but without the nerve racking "omg! I just stuck the baby!"
You can use the Snappi and prefold inside a regular diaper cover or in a "woolie" also known as Wool Soakers, Wool Cover, Wool Longies, etc. I hear your shock at the word wool but believe it or not it is the #1 best option for baby, hands down!
No it's not itchy!
No it's not hot!
No it's not hard!
Need more info on the benefits of wool covers....

Now for the cool links and info, where to find?, how to wash?, what is it?

http://www.cottonbabies.com/   Best prices for Indian prefolds.... search "prefold"

http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/index.html  Prefolds and excellent baby pic examples, SNAPPI too!

http://clothdiapers.thefunnyemu.com/  Practically everything you need to know for cloth diapering, including styles, washing, etc.

http://www.zany-zebra.com/how-many-cloth-diapers.shtml  More opinions on diapering!

http://www.gdiapers.com/ (can also be purchased in store at Babies R Us) NOT ready to take on the full cloth diaper experience? I love gdiapers! Yes I should be pushing my cloth diapers but I've used gdiapers with their disposable liners and with washable liners and they rock as a great hybrid diaper! My only complaint is I hate the velcro diaper chains that I pull out of the wash. Try 'em! If you prefer snaps you can always track down a diaper maker as myself and have them converted to snaps. Yes I will convert them for you! My pro snap press is sitting here waiting to be put to work!

Just an ending note...the biggest complaint I've heard and seen with cloth diapers... "we sprung a leak!"
My opinion you have leaks with disposables too! With cloth diapers make sure your "insert" isn't sticking out too. Keep in mind those super soaker chemicals in disposables, sadly baby can be left in that diaper for hours and hours! YUCK! Cloth diapering (as should all diapers) should be changed as soon as baby wets or ATLEAST every two hours. This keeps baby happy, avoids diaper rash, and even encourages potty training. Everyone has their reasons for cloth diapering... money saving, no chemicals, eco friendly, safer and more comfy for baby, etc.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Until we get up the actual fencing around the yard I had to come up with a way to contain the children while I hang laundry and do yard work. So here's my solution! The Super Yard works perfectly keeping them from running off! Mind you Jocelyn doesn't stay in there too long since she prefers sitting on the steps writing with her sidewalk chalk or helping in her garden, but for the most part it's working out just fine. I'm considering investing in a couple more panels to make it just a tiny bit bigger. It fits nicely under our flowering shade bush that I've trimmed up like a canopy over their play area. That way they have partial to full shade all day.
Anything to keep them safe and my life a tiny bit easier!


I'm sewing like crazy and just want to keep one of everything!
I LOVE this Cute OWL print!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sunshine means new dresses!

The beautiful weather brings out pretty blooming flowers and the perfect excuse to make sundresses! Jocelyn has outgrown nearly everything so before we go wardrobe shopping for summer, why not start with a smocked sundress perfect for her little sisters birthday party and for Easter. Now I can't wait til she wakes up from her nap and tries it on! Pictures a bit hard to see the detail but better pics over the weekend when she gets to wear it...yea!
For great instructions on easy smocking go to the Martha Stewart Website and search "smocked sundress" includes video instruction, too!

Recycled Sweaters & Party Hats!

Crafty Crafty! Don't know what it is but I'm just full of ideas and things to do this week! Next on the list a cute outfit for Jocelyn maybe? So thanks to a fellow blogger Katrina's inspiration and a great pattern I made up a ton of longies and soakers. They are perfect and soooo easy to make, I was actually surprised. I recycled the wool sweaters I picked up on my last trip to the Salval. SO SOFT!

Then it was time to get crafy with some party hats! The birthday girl has her own that I had bought for Jocelyns first birthday and it is being used for every birthday girls party. But now that there's a wee bit of jealousy to contend with, I thought a new party for Jocelyn and her cousin would be perfect! So after burning my fingers with my dreaded glue gun we came up with some cute and appropriate party hats. I did Jocelyns on a head band to make it easier for her to get on and off. Her cousin Anthony's is just cool and I stuck with the classic elastic.
Off to actually get some chores done and of course make something else! WEEEE!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"They're cute! Can we eat them now?"

It's been 9 months since we took in our feathered friends and hoped for eggs. The days, weeks, and months went by and no sight of eggs. Talk around the dinner table was if they didn't start pulling their weight we'd be having chicken dinner! The scene was becoming a bit depressing as over the long bitter cold winter we lost two of our hens leaving us with four birds to count on for possible eggs. They had been getting very "broody" and I was worried we may have to seriously eat them for dinner. "Why won't they just lay?" was the question. So we made some changes...bought different feed, pulled the half roof off the outside pen to let in more light, added crushed oyster shell to their feed, increased their table scrap "greens" etc.

Well to my great surprise after doing some morning chores I headed up to feed and water the birds this morning. Taking a peek as usual to see if there were any eggs, when to my great surprise, it just couldn't be....... TWO EGGS!!!!!!! The neighbors had to hear my squeals of excitement as I praised our birds for a job well done and ran back in the house to show Jocelyn what her chickens had layed!

Jocelyns most adorable response..... "They're cute! Can we eat them now?"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jocelyn's Rag Doll

Well, of course I couldn't make Ariana a doll without Jocelyn begging for one too! So I made one up this morning to keep her occupied. Won't mind making a few more but have to make some adjustments to my pattern. She's cute and Jocelyn says, "she's perfect mommy!"
Now it's off to play catch up on all the chores I let slide this morning!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Topsy Turvy Doll

This has been a project I've been wanting to create for awhile now and thought it would make a perfect gift for Ariana's 1st Birthday. There was a topsy turvy doll floating about the past few generations of girls in our family and it has since gonna missing in action. Maybe she'll turn up someday but I though it was about time a new gal was introduced to my girls. I enjoyed making her so much I may just have to make a few more!
Start to finish it took about 4 hours, wouldn't of taken so long but I had to come up with a design and pattern. Not to mention the dress was like trying to figure out a jigsaw puzzle! I love how simple she is. Now I'm temped to make up some more and of course see if they'll sell!

Here she "they" are, in need of clothes...and with their final wardrobe!

Happy 1st Birthday my little miss Ariana!