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Ribbon Resources for Adorable and Affordable Ribbon

Ribbon Resources

Some of my favorite projects revolve around ribbon. They are so beautiful and  versatile. There are so many uses, colors, and styles out there these days. I can’t lie, I must confess, I am a ribbon hoarder.  That and glitter, I hoard that stuff, too, if I am being totally honest, but shhh don’t tell anyone 🙂  Oh yeah, and maybe sequins…and anything sparkly and shiny! With the Christmas season upon us, that is even more of a reason to get out the ribbon and everything that is glitzy and glimmers.

So I digressed slightly.  Anyways, I have tons of tutorials I am going to be posting in the next few weeks that incorporate ribbon… a little series I am calling the 12 Crafty Days of Christmas! That means, if you decide to test out some of my projects, you are going to need to score yourself some awesome ribbon. I want to make your life a little easier. So instead of you having to search around to find adorable ribbon for a great value, I did all the leg work for you!

Below I am listing my resource list for all my favorite stores to purchase ribbon and ribbon related accessories. Accessories include things like marabou poufs and trim, feathers, netting, elastics etc. I tend to use a lot of the accessory items in my hair bows I make for the little miss!

I have purchased from all of the companies listed and have had great experiences. Drum roll please:

These are my favorite online shops, and honestly the place I purchase the majority of my ribbon.

And a bonus, my favorite place to buy tulle for all your tutu needs! The Tulle Shop also carries ribbon. However, I have only purchased tulle from them

Next up, my favorite brick and mortar specialty stores. There are good deals  to be had if you shop these locations right. Specifically, I am talking about the chain craft stores:

  • Michaels
  • A C Moore
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Joann Fabrics

I like to purchase holiday ribbon from these shops. Specifically, I wait for the 20%or 30% off your entire purchase coupons to come around. Then, I try to buy the ribbon that is already on sale. This has worked great this past month. I bought a ton of Christmas ribbon at Michael’s that was 50% off and then I used my 30% off my entire purchase coupon. I basically stole that beautiful ribbon!

These stores have had the 30% off your entire purchase coupons two times in the past two months. They are usually only valid for 24 hours. I highly recommend signing up for their text notifications. There is always  a text the day they have an awesome sale. I just grab my craft supply list and run to the store. Yes, I keep a list of supplies I need, like a grocery list, so I can stock up when things go on sale.  Another great thing about these stores is that they match each other’s coupons!

A couple other brick and mortar stores that I frequent are:

  • Dollar stores
  • Walmart
  • Ocean State Job Lot

Now, these stores are very hit or miss. If I am there shopping for something else I might take a  quick peek and see if they have any ribbon that interests me. Sometimes you will strike gold, especially at the dollar store and job lot. I have a few times at both of these stores.

Finally, there is one other place I purchase ribbon. If you need to build your ribbon stash, and especially, if you don’t need large sections of ribbon I recommend checking out eBay. I have  purchased ribbon scrap bags. They are usually sold by weight . I have purchased 1 lb ribbon scrap bags and loved them. The particular bags I purchased were sorted by colors. I purchased bags of purple and silver scraps. Most pieces were at least 18 inches long. Which, was more than enough for my purposes. I love the scrap bags because they allow for lots of variety in my little lady’s hair bow while keeping the costs down.

Ribbon scrap bags are also available on Etsy, but the price is usually significantly higher. I suggest sticking to eBay for them. The downfall of these scrap bags is that they are grab bags. So you have no idea what will be inside. That being said, most sellers have decent pictures of the item so you can get a general ideal.

A few of the online boutiques also offer the ribbon grab bags. They seem like they are a good value, but I have not purchased any, yet. 🙂 I feel it may be in my near future though!

Well, there you have it. You have now been thoroughly updated on where I like to shop for all my ribbon needs. I would love to add to my reference list, so if you have a great source let me know!

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Easy Homemade Baby Food – Fast and Affordable

 

 

diy homemade baby food puree

Hi Everyone! Today, I want to share a little bit about my journey of feeding a bottomless pit, aka, my soon to be 9 month old daughter. I did a lot of research when it was time for her to start solids. I went back and forth between baby led weening and the puree method. To be honest, I like the concept of baby led weening, BUT and this is a big BUT, when I tried to implement it, after one try I knew it wasn’t for me! She coughed, she gagged, and it STRESSED ME OUT! So it wasn’t for me. I am not here to debate the subject and if it works for you, then go for it. It just did not work for me. Homemade baby food seemed like a better option to me. That is the route we went; baby purees.

My tiny human started her adventures in the eating world at the ripe old age of 6 months. I started her off with cereal, fruits and veggies. I want control of what goes into her little body ( I am admittedly a type A personality/ total control freak) so making her food is the obvious choice for me. Initially, I thought it would be a daunting task, but after some research homemade baby food is pretty easy!

The first step is to decide on a few fruits and veggies you want to make. I purchased this great book that showed me the basics of making baby food.

homemade DIY baby food easy

A quick side note: baby should not have spinach, kale or other leafy greens due to the high amount of nitrates. These items, as well as honey are not be given to a baby prior to turning one year old. Other than that the world is your oyster for what to feed your baby. I started the little miss with bananas, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, avocado, peaches, and mangoes.

The first step of making homemade baby food is to cook your food  (if needed). For veggies, like peas, I just steam them. Sweet potatoes, I usually bake in the oven. Based on my research, the preferred methods of cooking food for baby prior to pureeing, are either baking or steaming. Other methods, for example boiling, result in some nutrient loss and therefore I do not recommend. Thus, for veggies needing precooked I always bake or steam.

Fruits tend to be  a little easier to prepare, as most don’t require cooking. Bananas, mangoes, and avocados are super easy, just remove the peel. Stone fruits just need the pit removed, and berries are probably the easiest of all – only needing to be washed.

Side note #2: Make sure your produce selection is fresh and flavorful. I  always sample the item to  make sure it is at its peak flavor. If fruits and veggies are out of season a great option is to use frozen. The freezing process maintains all the nutrients and there are no added chemicals or preservatives. I tend to stay away from canned fruits and veggies due to the amount of salt in these items and potential chemical leaching from the packaging.

Once your prepare the food, cut it into large chunks and place it into a food processor just like I did with the banana in the picture below. I personally use this Ninja and absolutely love it.Any food processor or blender will work fine, including the ones marketed specifically for making baby food. I choose to get a food processor because I know I will be able to use it in the future too!

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Blend up your fruit or veggie in the food processor. Add a little water if needed to obtain the desired consistency. The fruits usually do not need any additional liquids. Most veggies will need a small amount. The consistency you are trying to obtain is similar to a bisque. This is what my banana puree looks like. It only took about 20 seconds to completely puree these three bananas in my Ninja!

diy homemade baby food banana puree

The next step is to take your puree (once cooled) and place it into your freezer tray. I personally use the Mumi & Bumi freezer trays  , which I received as a baby shower gift ; I so love them! Using that freezer tray, each cube is approximately 1 oz of food. Ice cube trays would work just fine too and I bet you already have them at home! The ice cube trays also make 1 oz sized portions. I add the puree to the trays by spooning it into the cavities. Place the cover on your freezer trays or wrap the ice cube trays with Saran wrap and place in the freezer for 24 hours.

diy homemade baby food puree banana mumi&bumi freezer tray

The next day remove your puree cubes from their freezer containers and place into freezer storage bags. Use one bag for each type of puree you made and  always make sure to label and date every bag.

My method of madness for making homemade baby food is to make two types of food each evening while I am whipping up dinner. I do this for a few reasons. First, I have two freezer trays so I like to use the maximum capacity I have available. Second, I have limited time, as the tiny human only has soooo much patience with me to watch me make food from her high chair once she is done eating. Especially if I am not letting her eat it right then. Ok, I’ll be honest, she taste tests everything for me. It cuts down on the screaming, so whatever works. Making two food types takes about 10 minutes, if that. I usually do this every night for about a week and then I have 1.5 to 2 months worth of food at the end of that week.

Making homemade baby food makes me feel confident about what is going into little miss. It also is very cost effective and enables her to try a lot more flavors than she would typically encounter. I love that I get to feed her fresh seasonal produce. As the seasons change she is getting to experience new tastes and textures.

A few final tips on homemade baby food:

I recommend to make individual flavors of purees. What I mean, is your cubes should consist of just one ingredient. Now, as baby gets older you can make complex mixtures by adding various individual cubes together. An example would be one cube of strawberry and one cube of banana for a strawberry banana combination. The options are virtually limitless!

As baby gets older and is more comfortable with texture (this will become obvious when baby starts to mash their food with their gums) don’t feel like you have to put everything through the food processor. This last week I just made little miss some butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I baked both in the oven and when they were done I just scooped them out from their peels and mashed slightly with a fork. I added a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to the squash and a bit of cinnamon to the sweet potatoes. My tiny human enjoys her food only if it is incredibly flavorful. The crazy kid loves spices! I took this mash, which was somewhat chunky and spooned it into the trays and froze as described above. You can see the texture of the squash in the image below.

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Meat can also be pureed and frozen if you choose. I personally did not freeze meat. My pediatrician advised me that my daughter could have very very very tiny bits of meat at 6 months. It was actually recommended, since breastfed babies can tend to become iron deficient at that age. She did not do well with the meat for the first month of solids (again with the gagging and coughing….oh it was horrible and SCARY), so I just gave her the baby cereal fortified with iron instead. Once she started the food mashing stage (about 7 months), I reintroduced meat. Man, she is a carnivore! She cannot get enough meat and she can’t get it fast enough. I swear I almost lost a finger feeding her tonight. I usually just share a little of whatever meat I am having for dinner with her now.

Remember, feeding baby is an individual journey and you need to find what is right for you and what works best for your family. A combination of multiple approaches is perfectly fine. This is the approach that has worked best for our family. Currently, little miss will be turning 9 months in a few days. She started on purees and I slowly incorporated texture and finger foods. Now, the little food monster eats pretty much anything (within reason)! We had no issues with her learning how to manipulate food in her mouth or chew properly.

My tiny human gives this tutorial on homemade baby food her seal of approval (and she has a really high standard, ya know!) I hope you find this information helpful!

 

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DIY Baby Legs Tutorial: Halloween Edition

quick diy leggings

So its Halloween time and we are getting our costumes ready! This is little Miss Ellarose’s FIRST Halloween! I am so excited to celebrate this with her! I LOVE ALL THINGS HOLIDAY!  Ella is going to be a very girly jack-o-latern. I bought her an adorable pumpkin Jack-o-latern onsie. On this little shopping spree of mine, I also had bought her a different outfit on clearance that is  for New Year’s Eve and it has an AH-MAH-ZING black and gold glittery tutu. Wouldn’t you know, that it is also just perfect for her costume. SCORE!  That left me with one dilemma. How to keep those little baby legs of hers warm (and super duper adorable and stylish)??

Perhaps you have heard of baby legs. Those super adorable leg warmers in all sorts of fun patterns and styles for babies. Well, if you know me, you know I want one of every color…and that is just not in the budget….so instead I have a way to make adorably baby legs for a fraction of the cost. Oh yeah, and its pretty fast too! I made this one pair in about 15 minutes. I highly suggest making them assembly line style (4 or 5 pairs at once) and they go even faster!

Lets get making some baby legs!

First you need to go shopping! Isn’t that the best first step ever?! I love to shop.  Anyways, you need to find some women’s knee high socks (you can use girl’s if you are making these for a baby) in a pattern you like. Buy a few pairs. Trust me, once you start making these you can’t stop, and you won’t want to. You will suddenly be filled with an overwhelming desire to ensure ALL baby legs EVERYWHERE are covered in adorable leg warmers! These make great gifts for those naked baby legs in your life, too!  A few great places I have found to buy socks are Joann’s Fabric, Ocean State Job Lot, Target, and Walmart.

Since this is the Halloween edition of baby legs, the socks I have picked are orange and black striped. I got these at Joann’s for $2.00. These will make the perfect edition to that tiny human’s jack-o-latern costume for sure!

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Using your adorable little model, determine how long your baby legs need to be. Then add an inch. Now get out your scissors and chop up that sock!

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Don’t mind my little assistant there. She likes to help with all my craft projects. That is Beetle aka Little Miss Beet Beet. Yes, her nickname is WAY longer than her real name. I have know idea how that happened, but it did!

Next, make a slit (from the side where you just cut) on each side of the sock. Do this for both socks. IMPORTANT: Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT cut the top of the sock. It is already finished. That’s the beauty of this. We only have to finish one side!

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Now, turn those socks inside out.

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At the edge you just cut, fold the fabric up 1/4 inch. Then fold it an additional 1/4 inch. Pin the hem in place. Use lots of pins. This is not the time to be stingy with those pins!

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See. I wasn’t shy with the pins. Look how many I have in those socks! Now, it’s time for the fun to begin. Set your sewing machine to the longest straight stitch available. Line up the edge of your hem of the sock with the presser foot on the sewing machine.  Sew the hems on each of the sides of the sock separately, as you normally would, back-stitching at the beginning and ends of each hem.

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Ok, now you are going to pin the two sides of the sock together at the hem. This is to keep the hem lined up. Then, remember those slits we cut, we are going to go to the top of the slit and sew from the edge of the sock just above the top of the slit at an angle down through the hem of the sock. Use a 20 to 30 degree angle. You don’t want to go too steep or it will result in a really tiny open to get that little foot through. Trust me, some one MAY have done that during the trial phase of this tutorial.

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This shows you the angle that I sewed my leg warmers at.

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Once you have sewn  your baby legs, you want to cut off the excess material

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Now for the best part. Turn your baby legs right side out and go find the nearest pair of baby legs you can get your hands on and test these bad boys out!

 

baby-legs3

Seriously, are those not the cutest legs ever?! And it is so perfect mommy is loving making baby legs right now because the tiny human just started to crawl! Baby legs make for great stylish knee protection!

This tutorial works great for babies to toddler sized legs when using women’s knee high socks. If the baby legs you are planning to clad in leg warmers are chubby add a little additional length because as the leggings stretch out they will lose some length. My particular baby is a skinny mini so I don’t really lose any length when she wears them.

Another great variation is to add significant additional length. This will result in a slouchy style legging now and will also allow the leggings to be worn a lot longer as your tiny human grows. The leggings just won’t be slouchy as your child grows. They will become more  fitted instead.

Now, check out my little pumpkin! Isn’t this the perfect first Halloween outfit ever?! Its only missing one thing….a ridiculously loud and frilly Halloween hair bow. Ought oh….I feel another tutorial coming on!

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Ok, your turn now! Go make some baby legs! I can’t wait to see how yours turn out!