Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homemade Baby Wipes

A while ago we were asked to do a guest post by Kristen over at Peace, Love, & Crafts (thanks for having us, Kristen!!). Since she is expecting a little one, we decided to share a baby-related tutorial: Homemade Baby Wipes! In case you missed it, we thought we'd post it here today!

What you need:

  • a round plastic container with a tight-fitting lid (the one we chose is a little big, but it's what we had on hand)
  • thick, strong roll of white paper towels (we prefer Viva brand, as it is very thick and strong but also soft and cloth-like)
  • Sharp, serrated knife to cut paper towel roll in half
  • 2 cups water that has been boiled and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. baby shampoo or baby wash
  • 1 Tbsp. baby oil

First, cut your paper towel roll in half and remove the inner cardboard tube.

Then mix your liquid ingredients in container and place one of the paper towel halves inside, cut side down (save the other half for the next time you need to make wipes). Put the lid of the container one tightly and let it sit until all the liquid is absorbed. Next, turn the container upside down and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then turn it right side up, open your container, and "start" your roll by pulling a towel from the center of the roll.
Ta-da! You have just made baby wipes that will not only clean your baby's skin, but make it feel super-soft as well! Plus, these wipes are way cheaper than commercial brands and don't contain mystery ingredients. If you would prefer to make washable, reusable wipes, simply use this solution along with cloth wipes! As you can see from this happy little guy, these wipes also make a great drum......and seat! Enjoy!
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Rag Wreath

Once again, the lovely Benita from The Adventures of Driving Miss Daisy has passed on a super-cute project to us! This rag wreath is so simple to make using materials you probably already have at home! This is a great scrap-busting project that looks fantastic!

What You Need
  • Wire Clothes Hanger (who needs a wreath form?)
  • Fabric
Take your wire hanger, leave the hook on, and shape the hanger into a circle. Cut your material into 1x6 inch strips. Simply tie the strips onto the hanger sliding them tightly together as you go.
When you cannot squeeze any more fabric strips onto the hanger you are almost done! Fluff the strips to make the wreath full. For the hook (if you want) take a half inch strip of fabric, about 16 inches long and tie one end to the hook and wind the rest around the hook to cover it. Fabric glue the end to stay put. Top off with ribbons or any other embellishments you wish and voila!

Thanks to Benita for another great idea!
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Homemade Gatorade

Our kids (and husbands) love Gatorade. And in this hot summer weather, getting plenty of fluids is important. But buying it at the store can get a bit pricey. So we've looked around and found some great homemade recipes that taste exactly the same with comparable nutritional content as the commercial brand. This one came from Children's Memorial Hospital - you can't get more reputable that that!

What You Need:
  • 32 oz water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 packet unsweetened Koolaid
  • *optional: 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or 1/2 cup fruit juice (if adding fruit juice, reduce sugar to 3 Tbsp.)
Mix all your ingredients together, chill, and enjoy! And as you can see from the info below, the nutritional content of the homemade sports drink vs. Gatorade is pretty comparable, although if you are going to Participate in extreme, prolonged exercise (like marathons), the homemade version is not recommended.

Comparison of Nutritional Content:
16 oz Gatorade: 28 gm carbohydrate, 220 mg sodium*, 60 mg potassium, 104 cals

16 oz homemade: 26 gm carbohydrate, 288 mg sodium*, 40 mg potassium**, 100 cals

**adding the 1/2 cup of fruit juice would add about 150-250 mg potassium**

But how does it taste?

Our experts give it a thumbs up!
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Monday, July 19, 2010

5 Minute Halter Top

Seriously. This is so simple that it may even take you longer to pull out your sewing machine and set up than to actually make this top! How fabulous is that?! We found this idea here, and with the hot weather we've been having around here lately we thought now was the perfect time to whip one up!

What You Need:
  • 1 large square scarf (or large square of material, hemmed on all sides)
  • something to tie around your neck (cord, ribbon, necklace...we used a chain to add some sass!)
Lay your scarf face down on your work surface so that it looks like a diamond. Then fold over the top corner a bit so that you have a flat edge.
Sew across that edge to form a casing (not sure if the photo shows this very well...). You can cut off the extra fabric from the folded corner if you'd like.
Run your cord/ribbon/necklace through your casing and tie it around your neck.
Then tie the corners on the left and right side around your back (if they are not long enough to tie around your back, simply sew on some fabric or ribbon to crate a longer tie).
Ta-da! You now have cute summer halter that took almost no time to make! You can even change out the cord/ribbon/necklace you used to give your top different looks to fit your mood! And it looks great with skirts, pants, or jeans! So go out and enjoy the warm weather in style!
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chocolate-Covered Blueberries

Sometimes you find a taste treat that, while being completely heavenly to eat, is not really the prettiest. Such is the case with these Chocolate-Covered Blueberries. But while they may not win any beauty contests, the taste of this simple but oh-so-amazing confection will surprise you: super-chocolaty but also really refreshing! Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best!

What You Need:
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or shortening
First, wash your blueberries and lay them out on paper towels to dry completely (the chocolate won't stick to them properly if they are wet) and let them sit for a while to warm to room temperature, if needed. Cold berries will adversely affect the chocolate, so making sure they are room temperature is very important! Then put them into a large bowl.

Next, using a double-boiler or your microwave (we have done it both ways successfully), melt your chocolate chips and butter together until smooth. Then pour it over your blueberries. Gently mix them until they are all pretty well coated. Drop small spoonfuls of the chocolaty berries onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.
Put your cookie sheets into the fridge and let them get good and cold. Then it's time to eat and enjoy! They may not be pretty but they are delish! Really, though, what could be more beautiful than chocolate and blueberries?
But watch out because they are addictive!
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Flower Pens

There are those special, fun occasions when you just want to jazz up a ballpoint pen. Flower pens look like a stiff stem with a beautiful bloom at the end. At gatherings where you want party guests to play games or sign a party book like baby showers, weddings, and birthdays, these flower pens add just a little fun to the already festive occasion. Jill is actually using these at her wedding reception next month!

What You Need:
  • Artificial Flowers
  • Glue Gun or Super Glue
  • Pens
  • Floral Tape
First, warm up your hot glue gun or prepare the super glue. Remove the lids to all the p
ens that you will be decorating. *TIP* Check the pens to make sure they work before you add the flower & tape. Then, remove the ink cap from each top of the pen. Clip the flower off the stem, leaving enough length to insert down into the pen.

Hot glue or super glue inside the top of the pen and press the flower firmly into the glue (in the pen) until dry. Start taping at the flower end of the pen. Guide the tape while winding the pen in a circular motion. The tape should cover the entire pen down to the tip in one long vertical strip. The floral tape becomes tacky as you work with it, so there is no need for glue with it.

Secure the tape by pressing it gently down with your fingers. Lay it to the side and start on the next pen!
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fish Hunt

Today we went to one of our favorite places here in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium. We decided to challenge the boys, and make a scavenger hunt for them to play while we were there. If we found all the fish on our sheet we would go out for ice cream afterwards.
This game would work for so many other places, zoos, parks, museums, gardens etc.

First we drew a chart with words and pictures for each fish, animals and plant we wanted to find. Then we made copies for each child. We even found fish stickers to mark each item after we found it.
They had a great time looking at all the sea creatures...
...and marking them on their charts!
We found every single one!!
Now time for ice cream!!!!!
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Bike Painting

**We are guest blogging over at Peace, Love, & Crafts today! Head on over to see how to make Homemade Baby Wipes!**

Some artists use brushes to paint their masterpieces. Some use sponges. And some use their hands. Our Picassos? They like to use their bikes!
What you need:
  • Large piece or roll of paper (or maybe use a sheet!)
  • Tempera paints
  • Bikes, scooters, roller skates...anything with wheels!
  • Large rocks or tape
Lay down your paper in an area where your kids can safely ride but also that you don't mind getting paint on. Secure your paper with the large rocks or tape (we used rocks but next time would use tape as the wind still was able to blow under the paper). Squirt out some large blobs of paint.
Then let your kids get rolling! Have them ride all over the paper, being sure to roll through the paint blobs. You might want to recommend to your kids to take off their Star Wars costume before doing this project - they can get a little messy!
Finally, stand back and admire their one-of-a-kind masterpiece!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Patriotic Flip Flops

The 4th of July is almost upon us, and while you may have put out a flag or two and of course made a beautiful wreath, we think that your feet could use a little patriotic primping as well! With this quick project you can turn some plain flip flops into fabulous flip flops!
What You Need:
  • Flip Flops
  • Fabric (we chose patriotic patterns)
  • scissors
Using you scissors, cut a series of 1/2" by 4" strips (for adult-sized flip flops we used 28 on each one). Using single knots, tie the strips around the flip flop straps, pushing the knots close together as you go.

Keep adding pieces until your new flippers are soft and patriotic!
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