Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Want to see what I've been up to?

Here's a sneak peek!

One of my girls wants to be a ballerina for Halloween.  We already had a leotard, but needed a tutu.  Why pay $30+ for one when I can make it for $10...besides, mine is way cuter!  I forgot to take pics while I was making it so I could offer a tutu tutorial (try saying that 10 times fast), but I found a good one here.

Aren't these cute?  I've been playing around with crochet hat patterns for a while, and I finally settled on this one.  I LOVE it.  You can wear them plain like these, or you can spice it up with some of these little cuties...

If you put the two together you get these...

Don't like these colors?  How about one of these?

I'll have them posted in my store in the next few days...along with few other things I have been working on lately.

Tons of projects and no power!

This past week has been CRAZY!!!  And to top it off a transformer near our house blew and we lost power.  It came on sometime in the middle of the night.  I had set aside some time to tell you all what I have been up to, but couldn't!  I will today though.  I have been very busy and can't wait to tell you all about it.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And the new winner is...

Steoger fam!!!  Just email me your choice of towels and your address.  You can pick any style in either the toddler (up to about 4 years) or child (4 years and up) size.  Once I know what you want, I will send it within two business days.

Thanks for playing and stay tuned for more giveaways and more items in my etsy store.  Don't forget that those of you who entered my giveaway are eligible for a 10% discount on your entire order if you order something from my etsy store. This offer is good through November 15th. Just put "hooded towel entry" in the notes to seller and I will issue you a refund of the 10% through paypall.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

And the winner is.....

Sawyers Family.  Congratulations!!  You did not include an email address, so email me with your mailing address and I will send you a towel of your choice.  If I don't hear from you by Tuesday night, I will pick a new winner on Wednesday.

And for everyone else that entered my contest, I have a little treat for you too.  I will be offering a 10% discount on your entire order if you order something from my etsy store.  This offer is good through November 15th.  Just put "hooded towel entry" in the notes to seller and I will issue you a refund of the 10% through paypall.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Hooded Towel Giveaway ends today!!

Only a few hours left to enter my Hooded Towel Giveaway.  See the details here.  Don't forget you can enter more than once.  I'll let everyone know who wins tomorrow!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Five Love Languages for Children

I read this book a little while ago and I LOVED it.  I can't believe how helpful it has been in improving my interactions with my children!

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a love languages book for couples and I read that this summer.  It was really a good read and very eye opening.  I reviewed it here.  At the end of the book he has a chapter about how the love languages relate to children.  I was very intrigued.  Then I found out that he teamed up with Dr. Ross Campbell to write one for children and I was so excited.

The concept is the same.  Everyone has a "love tank" and when our love tank is full, we are happy and feel fulfilled.  When our love tank is empty, we feel unhappy and unfulfilled.  Each person speaks a particular "love language" and in order to make sure those close to us have full love tanks, we have to know what their love language is and then speak it to them.  There are 5 love languages...Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service.

The difference comes in how children handle themselves when their love tanks aren't full.  As adults, we can talk about how we are feeling or try and change it.  As children, they know they don't feel happy or loved, but they don't know why or what to do about it.  So, they misbehave hoping that the attention they will get will help to fill their love tanks.  Drs. Chapman and Campbell believe that if a child's love tank is full, their "problems" will become significantly less.  They are still children and so will still act like children, but the tantrums, outbursts, hitting/any other physical form of violence, excessive crying, excessive clinginess, etc will diminish or go away when the child feels they are truly loved.  They also say that as parents, we are responsible for filling their love tanks.  It means the difference in having a well-adjusted happy child, or the opposite.

Reading this book made perfect sense to me.  It helped me figure out what my kids' primary love languages are.  I have to say, some were quite obvious, and others were not.  Once I knew what each of my kids needed, I decided to experiment with it.  I have been making a conscious effort to talk to my kids in their love languages for the last month.  I can't even believe the difference in each of them!  It is unreal.  They weren't ever "bad" kids, but they each have definitely had their moments.  Within a week each of them was more playful, easier to talk to, and more likely to do what I ask them without any resistance.  I also learned that some languages are easier for me to talk than others and that I need to be very aware of that when interacting with my children.  The really amazing thing is that I have recently seen my children take my lead when they interact with each other.  They are treating each other the way they see me treating them.  It is truly amazing and I am indebted to these men for writing this book and explaining a concept that can quite simply change a person's life.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.

P.S.  Don't forget my Hooded Towel Giveaway.  It ends tomorrow so hurry and enter...tell your friends.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apple Strudel Muffins

This week in preschool we are doing a unit on apples so for snack I had the kids help me make some apple muffins.  I haven't made them in a long time and I had forgotten how yummy they are.  They are meant to be made with chopped fresh apple, but we made them with dehydrated apple slices from my food storage.  I wanted the kids to see what happens when you take the water out of the apples and what happens when you try to put it back in.  They were good with dehydrated apples, but they are oh so tasty with fresh apples.  Enjoy!

Apple Strudel Muffins

2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peeled and chopped apples (chop them into small pieces)

1/3 cup browns sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cold butter
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare muffin tins (grease or use liners).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat together butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth.  Mix in vanilla.  Stir in apples and then gradually blend in the flour mixture.
  4. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin pans.  Sprinkle crumb topping over muffins before baking.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick tests clean
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Cut in butter until mixture is coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle on to of muffins before baking.  Lightly push the topping into the muffin dough or it will roll off onto your pan as the muffins rise.

Here are some of my preschoolers getting ready to help.  The girls were all about wearing aprons, but the boy...not so much.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to make hair bows -- Tutorial (take 2)

Let's try this again!
1.  Cut some cardboard into a C shape like these.  The taller the C, the bigger the bow.  These "bow formers" will make 1.5 in. bows and 2 in. bows.
2.  Wrap the ribbon around the cardboard like this using hair clips to hold it securely.  If you wrap it like this, it will give you 2 loops on your bows.  The more wraps around the cardboard, the more loops you get.  (I will show you different numbers of loops later)
3.  Using a needle and thread sew the ribbon together right down the middle of the letter C.  Try and keep the stitches pretty small, but don't worry if they aren't uniform.  You won't see them when we are finished.  It also doesn't matter what color thread you use.  You won't see it either.
4.  Once you have sewn it completely, take it off of the cardboard.  (Hint: fold the cardboard slightly and the ribbon will slide right off.)
5.  Slowly start pulling on the thread and start cinching up your bow.  You don't need to do it as tight as you can.  Just do it until the bow looks like you want it to.  Once you have cinched it to where you want it to be, tie it off.  I like to wrap the thread around a couple of times and then make a little stitch around the wrapped thread and tie a knot on top of it.  However you can get the knot to stay is fine.
6.  Now you need something to cover the center of the bow.  You can wrap it with ribbon, add some bling, sew on a button, or cover it with a knotted piece of ribbon.  For this one, I used knotted ribbon.  I tie a knot, and then tie another knot in the same spot.  It makes it stick up a little more, but it is personal preference.  Once you have tied the knot, cut the ribbon so that it is just short enough to wrap around the bow and can be secured to the back with a dab of glue.  BEFORE you glue it down, burn the ends of the ribbon so that they don't start to ravel.  THEN glue your knot onto your bow.
7.  Now we need to make the clip that the bow will go onto.  Do these just like the clips we used for the hair flowers.  Burn the ends of the ribbon, and then glue it to the clip.
8.  Before you glue your bows to the clips, cut the ends of the ribbon to where you want them to be.  I like to just to use an angled cut like you see here, but you could also to a V cut.  After you cut the ends, burn them slightly to keep them from raveling.  Then glue them to the clips and you're done!

Now, if you want to make bows with more loops, or bigger bows, keep reading.

This is a 4 loop bow with thin ribbon and different ideas for covering the center of the bow.  These are glued onto ribbon covered clips as well.
This is how to make a 3 loop bow.  This one is also much bigger than the others.  (4.5 in.)  They can be whatever size you want.  Just remember to make your cardboard C bigger.
I think the knot over the middle looks really nice, but I wanted to show you that with these bigger bows, you can put a smaller bow on top and it looks even better.  Both of them are 3 loop bows.  I glued the smaller bow onto the larger bow and then I put the knotted ribbon around both of them and then glued it to a clip.
And here are some of the bows that I have made.
You can also experiment with gluing flowers into the middle, or anything else you want to. They are your bows, so have fun! If you have any questions, or want me to demonstrate how to do something else, please email me at

P.S.  I'm turning off comments because I keep getting spammed.  If you want to leave a comment, just email me instead.  Thanks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New banner for my etsy store!!!

I have a new banner for my etsy store and I am so excited!!!  I know how to fumble my way through Photoshop, but I am not even close to being proficient with it.  I wish I was more gifted with graphic design, but I am much better with a hot glue gun and a sewing machine.  Cute models help too!

I have wanted a new banner for my etsy store for a while, but haven't had the slightest clue on where to start.  A friend of mine from college made one for me.  Did I mention that I love it?!  You should go to my shop and look at it and let me what you think.  (hint, hint)

She is the owner and designer of Cherry Blossoms--handmade hair accessories and the things she makes are amazing!  I have a link to her store and her blog on my sidebar.  Seriously, go check out her stuff.  You won't be disappointed!  She is ALSO the owner and designer of a graphics design shop called With Sprinkles On Top.  What can I say?  She has talent dripping from her fingers and I am lucky enough to call her my friend!

p.s.  don't forget my hooded towel giveaway.  It ends on October 16th.

Monday, October 5, 2009

How to get the stink out of towels

While the hair bow tutorial is having technical difficulties, I thought I would post something else.  The bow tutorial is coming soon...I promise.

Please tell me that I am not the only one who has come across a clean towel that smells fine when dry, but once it becomes wet it STINKS!  A couple of years ago I made it my mission to figure out how to get the stink out.

I have tried baking soda, vinegar, OxiClean, extra detergent, combos of all of them.  Nothing worked and I just couldn't justify throwing them out and buying new ones.  Well, all of that investigative work finally paid off!  Want to know what the trick is?  You have to stand on one foot, close your left eye and chant "stink-be-gone" 3 times per towel while they are in the washer.  :)  Just kidding.

The trick is Clorox 2 for colors.  Just use the normal detergent you always use, add 1/2 a cap full of Clorox for Colors and use hot water.  You can also throw your fabric softener in if this is what you normally do.  Put your towels (or whatever else might stink---your son's socks) and let the washer do the initial agitation.  Then turn the washer off and set the timer for 30 min.  Once they are done soaking, turn the washer back on and let it run through the rest of the wash cycle.  Then just dry them as usual.

That's all there is to it.  The stink is gone and you didn't have to throw them away and buy more.  If have never come across anything that this didn't work for.

By the way, don't forget to enter my hooded towell giveaway.  It ends on October 16th!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How to make hair bows -- Tutorial

So, I made a hair bow tutorial today and for some reason my card reader won't download the pictures off of my memory card and put them on the computer.  So frustrating!!!!

My hubby is at a meeting right now, but when he gets home I will see if he can figure out what is wrong.  I will post the tutorial as soon as I can!