Saturday, September 10, 2016

Toothless and Hiccup Babywearing Costume (from How to train a Dragon)

Last Halloween my Daughter we should all go as My Little Ponies. My husband wasn't super keen on the idea and voted on "team" costumes instead. His first idea was that he should be Hiccup and William should be Toothless, from How to Train a Dragon.  While that was a cute idea, I quickly realized it was an opportunity for an epic Babywearing costume. My husband was happy with the change of roles and the work began!


William's Hiccup costume began with purchased brown
leggings and a green long sleeved shirt. I made him a furry vest and booties to finish the look. He also got a non-movie accurate hat, but this is October, at night, in Canada! Hats on babies are not optional

Jason's costume was basically a pimped out black sweater. We made all the features out of foam and hot glued them together. The red section of the tail was printed and then modge-modged to a piece of foam.

Our carrier was the Galaxy Grey Ergo, for which I made a pleather slipcover, to give it the true "saddle" look

How AppleCheeks and the baby bundle are helping me win Pokemon Go!

I confess, I am a pokemom! Yes, I play that silly game, and AppleCheeks are helping me build my pokedex. I get it that these two things seem miles away from each other, but they really do go together.

Many mornings, I admit, I don't get dressed. This leaves me doing my chores around the house with no pockets on my person. But one thing I always have near is a mini-zip. This month The Baby Bum sent me one of their exclusive serendipity mini-zips as part of my Baby Bundle, so it has been my new go-to grab. I am most often wearing a baby carrier, so this gives me an easy way to attach my mini-zip and turn it into a faux pocket.

You may know that a component of the game is to walk kilometres to hatch eggs. Now as a I am running around my house, I am not going to miss out on those steps,  it's not unusual for me to do 1 or 2 kilometres basically going in circles! So I pop my phone in the mini-zip with the game open and go to it!

I guess that proves that I can be a mom, I can be cool, and I can use AppleCheeks for anything!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

new Applecheeks Charts

It has been awhile since I updated the charts on the blog, so here you go! Since AppleCheeks have been releasing new covers and mini-zips at an unprecedented rate, these were in need of a major update.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How to tattoo a shirt

We all know those image transfer papers can be so super annoying and expensive, but I have found a cheap and easy way to add a little "branding" to items. Normal temporary tattoos are super easy to find in almost any image you could desire and applying them to any flat fabric is easy as pie.

-cut out tattoo
-something to use as an applicator (popsicle stick)

1.Remove the plastic layer. Apply a generous layer of mode podge to the face of the tattoo and press it onto the fabric.

2.Wait for it to dry
3. Use a wet cloth to wet the back of the tattoo and slide off the paper.

Seriously, that is it! I told you it was easy! My little pirates are very happy with their new outfits, and I hope your kids will be as well.

Organzing with exclusive swag from The Baby Bum

I may have mentioned in passing that my fabulous husband was awarded the title of "Best AppleCheeks Husband" in the contest run by The Baby Bum last christmas. After months of back and forth to get the design just perfect. Now all that work has come to fruition and I am excited to get things rearranged. My prize was technically the Hobo bag, but they were super nice and sent me a key fob as well! My May Baby Bundle was perfectly timed and brought me the serendipity mamaessentials bag, so everything got a refresh!

First lets start with a little backstory, when I was working through my design concepts with my friend, one became an obvious choice for me. This makes the bag even more special to me and a great way to combine my three loves: Evie, William and AppleCheeks! Each of my kids had their formal pictures taken three times in their first year, Newborn, 6 months and 12 months. For each of these photos they wore the same "signature" colour. It kind of happened as a mistake. Evie wore Raspberry Sorbet for her newborn pictures as it was the only current pink when she was a baby. I don't remember a conscious choice to put her in it for her sex month pictures as well, but with them the tradition was born! She obviously wore RS for her birthday pictures to complete the new trinity. When William was born I knew it was a tradition to follow so I chose Sailor Blue for his signature diaper. Partially because I just freaking love Navy Blue, and just a wee bit because it is so sought after. So when I realized just how special this exclusive could be, there was no turning back.

So let's talk about my new Hobo. My first Hobo bag was from the first red apples run and was the basic model. My new bag is model 2.0 and I love it! It includes two inner pockets which, obviously coincidently, hold a mama essentials on one side and a stuffed mini-zip on the other. I love how I don't have to be constantly digging for my purse when I want to get anything.

The serendipity mama essentials is also the new model, inside is a series of three card slots. Well, since I have the Baby Bum wallet to hold my cards I had to improvise! You know what else they perfectly hold? lipstick! My wallet was always burying my lipstick at the bottom of the bag, now it is right at the top and so perfect.

I am so excited to have this new edition of my day-to-day bag. Not only do they have so much wonderful new meaning, they also have some great upgrades to keep me super organized.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mini-zip Mania!

So most of you know that this year has been dubbed the "Year of the Mini-zip". Not only because each release has had a mini-zip released with it, so far this year, but because we have been promised a new mini-zip release for each Mommy Con event. So far we have seen:

First Crush
Unicorn tears
Lemon Zest
Purple Rain
 So that means we are half way through this season and each time the possibilities are decreased. If we look at the history of mini-zip release in chart form, we get:

A good portion of the historical line-up have already been produced in Mini-zip form, I marked these with an AppleCheeks apple. In addition there are lots that I would personally rule out, either because they are the same PUL colour as an existing sac, nearly the same colour as an existing sac (like SB and Believe), they are season colour set (like Joy! or TOC), or because they are a discontinued print. This leaves us with only:
-raspberry sorbet
-dark chocolate
-emerald city
-pink about it
-crazy love
This is not a long list when you consider we still have 4 to go! Now as they showed us with Unicorn Tears, they could come out of left field and bring us a brand new colour for one or more of these releases. Right now UT and the Strip are the only minis available in exclusive colours, but I could go for more!

But if I had to guess which four we might see coming back I would wager on:
-dark chocolate
-Raspberry Sorbet (Just because I am asking pretty please!!!!!)

What do you think the new releases will be?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

April Baby Bundle

Upon opening my April Baby bundle, many people would think the Austin Tie-Dye co bamboo blanket would be the show stopper. But I see past a simple Believe mini-zip to see a true expression of AppleCheeks spirit, brought to me by the co-operation of three amazing companies.

First, let's talk about retailer exclusives. A small selection of retailers have made the commitment to carry an exclusive AppleCheeks colour. This colour only available from that retailer and typically are available in all the sacs and diapers. AppleCheeks exclusives have included:

-Beet it (Lil Tulips)
-Emerald City (SnuggleBugz- retired)
-Serendipity (The Baby Bum)
-Believe (My Lil Sweet Pea)
-Always on my mind ( Nature's Baby Basket)
-Ocean's Playground (Fluffy Bottom Babies)
-Prairie Sky (Tiny Tree Hugger)

Did you see it? Right there in the list is your clue. I have spoken several times, in these monthly posts, about the beauty of Serendipity, which is the Baby Bum exclusive. But this time I have a Believe, which is the exclusive to My Lil Sweetpea, what is up with that? The answer is such a perfect example of the love in the AppleCheeks community. Every one of these retailers is more than welcome, and frankly expected to hoard their precious exclusive and keep it, well, exclusive to themselves. But the ladies at MLSP and TBB have executed a product exchange, which brought both amazing colors across the border. This going above and beyond in the name of sharing the AppleCheeks love to as many people as possible is at the core of the community and I am so proud of these retailers for exemplifying it!

To speak of my mini-zip directly, I am so excited to have a navy mini! I have been building up my stash of Raspberry Sorbet and Sailor Blue, and since neither have actually been made into a mini Believe will have to do! Now I just need to petition for Raspberry Sorbet.

My other item was a Bamboo blanket from the Austin Tie Dye Co., It is super super soft and pretty large. It would make an excellent swaddle, but of course my kids are far too big and wiggly to let me try! I have been making use of it as a scarf so I get to enjoy the feeling on my face all day long.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Super Easy Super Capes!

As a bit of a change from my normal Princess Dresses, today we are making Super Capes! Evie recently saw the SuperHero  Barbie movie, so she has been requesting an of her own. In every play scenario she always names William as her sidekick, so it was pretty obvious that he needed a cape too, plus they are so easy I knew I could whip them up in a few minutes.

-cotton material (less than a meter)
-seam binding (I chose gold for some real super hero flair!
-fusible paper for some bling! or alternatively you could glue some felt

Step 1:
-create a symmetrical tapering rectangle proportional to the size of the child.

Step 2:
-run the seam binding sround the cape, starting at one upper corner. When you reach the other upper corner leave a long tail to tie.

Step 3:
-starting on the same corner run a second piece across the top and leave a tail on that side too

Step 4:
-cut your design out of the paper/felt and iron/glue it on

Step 1:
-reduce the size to a more superhero-esque shape

Step 2:
-colour with sharpies

Step 3:
-sew seam binding around to finish the edges

Then enjoy the fruits of your labour and watch your kids enjoy!

John Frieda in-shower lightening treatment

My latest voxbox from Influenster was a little different than some of the others I have received, this one was specially chosen for my blonde hair. Normally I highlight my own hair at home, but this was suggested as a way to blend my roots in. I only get time to do my hair a couple of times a year, so this seemed like a quick alternative, to buy me a little time between treatments.

The treatment is done in the shower, which does make it easier, but eventually caused a problem. Once I got the the tab open on the two chambered formula, you just apply it like shampoo, wither on the roots or all over. But then my problems arose. I used it in a small shower and I ended up having to open the curtain to get some air, that stuff is strong! Next time I use it I will definitely choose a more ventilated area.

But there is no denying the results, I think it did indeed fulfill the claims that it would lighten and brighten. Overall I am satisfied with this product and would consider buying it again.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WOE and Floyd, and organizing with the March Baby Bundle

Well as usual AppleCheeks has listened to their fans, but managed to turn the request into something amazing and surprising! The company has a history of rereleasing older in demand colours, but always with a twist. First Crush is just a little richer and brighter than Lavender Fields and Believe is brighter than Sailor Blue. Notice a theme? Brighter is about the clearest description of Floyd and Watt on Earth you can get!

Floyd is an electrified version of Samoa, making it a bright warm pink. It is very possibly one of my personal favourites as I love love love warm pink and despair of ever owning a Samoa myself! I love that they have taken the opportunity to get so close to my dearly desired colour, but have taken the opportunity to literally amp up the colour! Of course AppleCheeks is know for their off the wall names, and Floyd is no different! Did you see what I did there, Floyd, as in Pink Floyd! Watt on Earth was given the same treatment as Floyd and is a newly electrified version of Appletini. Now if you thought Appletini was bright you have something to see in Watt on earth, it is like it does indeed contain a 100watt bulb. So bright I can't even capture it on my camera!

Now in my March baby Bundle, I was so pleased to receive both these new colours as well as To The Core mini-zips. They came at the perfect time as I was inspired to create a new Grab and Go swim suit system. Each of our kids' swim outfits have been matched up with coordinating mini-zips. Sadly my daughter has outgrown her swim diapers, so her bags only include her swimsuits. But my Son's mini-zips include one rash guard and 2 matching swim diapers, just in case! Now with summer approaching a cute swim outfit is just a grab away for me or for anyone else!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2016

Were you cloth diapered as a baby? Chances are if you were born before the 1960, you were. Yet now disposable diapers are often seen as the only option for babies, and many never even consider using cloth diapers on their babies, despite the fact that they offer many benefits over their disposable counterparts.

Cloth diapers are:

Economical: A typical baby will wear around $2500 in disposable diapers before potty-learning. A cloth diaper stash can be purchased from around $200 to $1000, and will last through multiple children. Not to mention the cost of clothing ruined by disposable diaper leaks, a problem much decreased in cloth.

Easy: The flats and pins that many associate with cloth diapering and no longer the most common style. Many diapers now involve waterproof covers and absorbent inners. They are very comfortable for baby and almost as easy to put on as a disposable diaper.

Healthy: Cloth diapers do not possess the dangerous chemical agents that are present in all disposable diapers.

Convenient: Whether you collect your diapers in a small trickle or in a large lump, you are sure to always be prepared. You will never be rushing to the store to pick up an emergency box or trying to store huge boxes of diapers, waiting for baby to grow into them.

To help raise awareness about cloth diapering and to encourage the sense of community amongst cloth parents and babies, we will be hosting THE GREAT CLOTH DIAPER CHANGE 2016 on April 23rd in the Rotary room at the Boy’s and Girl’s club. We are asking for a $2 donation at the door, with proceeds to benefit the Real Diaper Association, a charity which provides cloth diapers to children in need.

We will be attempting to break our record of over 8400 diapers changed at events globally in 2014. This year we have 227 registered locations in 19 countries, with 20 locations in Canada alone! This is the 6th anniversary of the change, and the 5th time an event has been held in Saint John. We will also be having a mom to mom cloth diaper sale.

We welcome anyone who uses cloth diapers or who is interested in cloth diapers.  Come and change out of a disposable to signify your new love for cloth diapering! Our registration opens at 10:15 am with the change happening at 11:00 am sharp and we are looking forward to prizes, food and most importantly, companionship.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

February Baby Bundle and Mini-zip mania!

This year has officially been declared by AppleCheeks as the "Year of the Mini-zip", that is the strength of the current interest in Mini-zip sacs. The fan culture has driven the desire to such an extent that we even changed the official name! Once upon a time this size was known as an All-purpose sac, officially, but the fan created colloquial name has now become the official name.

Why this obsession with these sacs? The original name says it all! They really are all-purpose, they are so useful with babies, and outlast the diapering days with their usefulness. I know that I have used them for more things, and more often, than I can possibly list, but I will try!

Lets start with the obvious:
-1 stuffed AppleCheeks diaper
-cloth wipes and AppleCheeks gentle cleansing spray
-1 change of clothes for a baby or 1 change of bottoms for a toddler
-2 learning pants

Slightly more out of the box:
-small toys
-baby shoes
-medicine for the diaper bag

Big kids
-epi pens
-crayons or other art supplies

-mama cloth
-first aid kit
-greeting cards
-thank you cards
-purse essentials, to keep track of them in your diaper bag

Basically they can be used for anything you might throw in a ziploc bag, but without the waste.
Sarah was nice enough to send me a mini-zip and sz 1 sac in the new Kiss n' Teal colour. I like the colour on a diaper, but something about the uninterrupted concentration on a sac really makes it pop, I love it! As always Sarah is quick to tailor requests with her subscription, and knew exactly what I was missing in my collection. I have already received the delightful shipping notice on my March bundle, and a little birdie told me it is something gorgeous and innovative from the awesome creative team!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Rapunzel Headdress costume

So I am sure most of you are aware of my two year long project of making Princess dresses for Evie. For her Birthday this year I made her Rapunzel and Merida dresses. Though her hair is fairly long hair, she keeps telling me that she will have "Long Rapunzel hair when I a big girl". So I thought I would speed up the process and give her an artificial braid. I did a similar look on her doll last year, but now it was time to upsize it! You can call me the crazy Pintrest Mom, but it is so fun to make something so beautiful with only $10 in supplies. I was lucky enough to find this yarn on clearance, so it just spoke to me! It really looks almost like real life blonde hair, it is just so perfect! I could have gone with yellow yarn to make it more cartoon-like, but the realistic blonde just seemed to fit the theme better.

-70 yards of chunky yarn
-1 headband
-hot glue

-Cut strands of yarn into double the desired length of the braid
-Tie each strand in a single knot along the headband, until you have reached each end
-Split the center strand and use 1 piece of that and both pieces of the next knot to begin the french braid.
-Braid until you complete a half circle and pin it, and repeat on the other side
-Once they meet in the middle combine the two braids and braid it down to the end.
-Clip any scraggly pieces
-Now it is time to decorate, go crazy!

Well you may notice I definitely didn't go crazy, I let my inner Disney-Geek show and attempted to replicate the flower layout as closely as possible. To attempt this pattern you will need :

-large orange/yellow flowers
-small pink flowers
-tiny white flowers
-small purple flowers
-1 large purple daisy

We have a special event to attend tomorrow night, so I am sure Evie will now be the best dress little princess in the audience! Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments, and happy crafting to you all!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A unresting kind of rest

So in a moment stupidity I managed to screw up my ankle on Friday, not serious enough to warrant any attention, but enough to keep me off it for a bit. So this has left me mostly confined to my chair for the better part of 36 hours, and I am already a little crazy with it. I commend any person who finds themselves on rest for any greater amount of time, I can imagine how maddening it could be!

So far I have a small collection of observations:

-Why the heck is daytime TV so pathetic! Of course this is compounded that our PVR is full of nothing but kid's shows, and nothing to amuse those around here with any higher sense of taste. I am reduced to watching home improvement and real estate show that I care not a wink for. I get excited whenever I find a good rerun of The Big Bang Theory on, as a half hour respite from the doldrums.

- It is actually pretty easy to play with my big girl while stationary. She is happy to bring coloring or dolls or a
plate of "tea" my way. Not to mention she is keen to help me and take care of me, and will help fetch things if needed.

-My little guy on the other hand is still a force to be reckoned with. He manages to find and destroy so many things in the space of an hour it is nearly impossible to remain stationary. He has little desire to be up unless he is getting some boobie or is taking a nap. Mostly he just go go goes and wreck wreck wrecks! Thank goodness for big sister who is willing to fetch me towels when he manages to dump out a cup of water all over the floor. A cup I thought was high enough, but nothing is every high enough now!

-No matter how much "online" work I think I have in a week, when you try to take care of it all at once, it really still isn't enough to keep you occupied. I can only post so many AppleCheeks posts in a day without being spammy, same goes for the Blog. My Jamberry contacts are most up to date, and of course most of them are out living real lives during the day anyway!

-My husband is a good one. He is pulling most of the weight with the kids, and cleaning and cooking, he even invited guests over this evening. He still tends to me uncomplainingly and in fact babies me, perhaps more than I even need.

So as it comes down to it, I am very glad my ankle is improving quickly, and I can soon give up this "resting". One looks towards such a break as relaxing, but I am sorry to say it quickly becomes tiring and it is no fun. I will be glad to get up and do something about the projects I see around me and participate in the running of the house again.

Friday, February 26, 2016

My Little Pony Pinky Pie Birthday Party!

So it happened, my big girl is 4! But frankly much more exciting is that we got to have a 4th birthday party. Evie's love of my little pony started last spring and has burned bright through Halloween, and which was the obvious choice for her party theme. We started working with the basic "My little Pony" Theme, but Evie then requested a cupcake party. Since her favorite Pony is Pinkie Pie, a 'Pinkie Pie Cupcake Party" seemed natural. So was I determined to make her the pinkest, sweetest party ever!

First up is of course the invitations. I used Canva to design a base image, to which I added a Pinkie Pie quote, and sent to be printed. I then added a 3D Pinkie Pie element and some bling.

Next most important is an outfit for the Birthday Girl herself! I tied a no-sew gigantic tutu as a base for the skirt I recycled from her Halloween Costume. I then hacked up a long sleeve t-shirt and added big tulle puff sleeves and a custom transfer, again created by myself on Canva. The finally finishing touch was her own set of super blinged out pony ears.

Evie always makes William her sidekick in whatever game she is playing. William has been given the role of Spike so many times, I knew she would think it was so funny to actually dress him as Spike! I salvaged one of Evie's old sweaters and added felt, foam and a whole lot of super glue, to create a practically free outfit for him.

People will only be pleased at a party if you feed them! I tried to keep with the theme and have only pink food. We served
-Cheese and Cherry sandwiches
-Ham sandwiches
-Pink Chocolate dipped cookies
- (pink) fruit pizza
-(pink) fruit skewers
-Pink Lemonade punch

To keep with the Cupcake theme, the kids decorated their own cupcakes as both an activity and a treat. However I didn't make them share with their parents, when I found this pinkie pie I couldn't turn down the opportunity, and made a plain cake for the adults too.

Now most important, in my opinion, is the decorations! You all know I am a bit of a DIY queen, so I spend months of craft time preparing for these parties. This year I designed the banners (Canva again!) myself and had them printed, before I strung them up. I also decorated with a lot of Tissue Paper globes, which I hung up to imitate balloon bunches, like Pinkie Pie's Cutie Mark.

And last of course, I was determined to be the fun mom, so I got a shirt and ears too!

 I hope that some of this tutorial has inspired you, and I cant wait to see the awesome Pinkie Pie Parties it inspires!