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Quick and Easy Royal Icing Recipe

Quick and Easy Royal Icing Recipe

Royal icing is one of my favorite icings to make. It whips up so quickly, tastes yummy and the artistic possibilities for decorating those cookies that come along with it…JUST AMAZING! You know me by now, I love anything that can lend itself to a little bit of artistic flair! ūüôā

Today I am sharing with you my favorite royal icing recipe. It is by far, tried and true. This is the one that has been used in good ole dad’s bakery for years! Shhhh…don’t tell him I shared. ūüėČ

 

Royal Icing


Ingredients

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp meringue powder
5 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla (or other flavor extract)
Additional water for thinning to desired consistency

  1. Combine meringue powder, vanilla extract, and water in bowl, mixing on low.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar and continue to mix on low.
  3. After all powdered sugar has been incorporated continue mixing until the icing has a matte appearance. This is after approximately 5 minutes of mixing.
  4. Slowly add additional water and mix until desired consistency is achieved.

Store frosting in an air tight container. If frosting tip becomes clogged use warm water to remove clog.

NOTES:
Use a spoon to check your icing consistency. Do this by letting the icing drip off the spoon back into the bowl. ¬†Slightly thicker icing is ideal for piping edges and fine detail work. A little bit thinner consistency works great for flooding cookies. I personally aim for a consistency between the two and am able to use the icing for both outlining and flooding the cookies! ūüôā There is my laziness showing through again. ¬†This allows me to only have to color one aliquot of icing as opposed to doing two: an outliner and a flooder.

Happy cookie decorating, and my favorite part….COOKIE EATING! YUM! ūüôā

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The Ultimate Guide to Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick

DIY cookie on a stick tutorial

As promised, here is the first of many tutorials, Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick, that are the result of my daughter’s EPIC unicorn first birthday party…and my it was epic! ¬†My goal, is to help anyone who may want to recreate this unicorn party for their family and friends. This party theme lends itself nicely to kids birthday parties as well as baby showers. It is such a universal and fun party theme. The sky is the limit with the creativity surrounding this type of a party.

One of the most important elements of a good party is good food. In my opinion good food also means fun food! And seriously, what could be more fun than food on a stick. ¬†Think about it. Those super fun experiences in life always seem to have food on a stick…the circus you can get cotton candy, fairs and carnivals always have yummy snacks like corn dogs and meat on a stick…yeah, really what it boils down to is food on a stick IS THE BEST! So, of course for my little sweet’s party, we had to have cookies on a stick.

Although the idea of making cookies on a stick may seem daunting, it really isn’t bad at all. I have been making all types of pastries, cookies, sweets, and desserts since I was about 12 years old. Growing up, my family had a very popular German bakery, so really, baking is in my blood!¬†Now, I am here to share my wealth of baking knowledge and teach you the tricks of the trade to make you baking so much easier!

How to Make a Cookie on a Stick 

First things first! Start by whipping up your favorite batch of cut out sugar cookie dough. If you are feeling like taking a short cut, you can even use a box mix to whip up your cookies. I won’t tell anyone if you do ūüėČ

Once you have prepared your dough, you want to roll it out and cut out your shapes. The key with cookies on a stick is that you need to roll your dough a little bit thicker than normal. I personally roll my dough 1/2 inch thick for cookies on a stick, but you can get away with ¬†3/8 inch. I use this rolling pin with guides¬†to help make sure that my dough is the correct thickness. Super helpful, as the dough thickness is what will make or break these cookies. If you do not have thick enough dough, the stick will fall out of the cookie and then you will have a crumbled cookie not on a stick. ūüôĀ

After your shapes are cut out (I made¬†unicorn and cloud cookies) you want to place them on a cookie sheet. ¬†Make sure to leave room to insert the stick ( this happens post baking). My cookies were approximately 2 inches and I was able to fit 5 on a pan for baking. Once you have the cookies on the pan, bake per the recipe’s directions.

Now, once the cookies are done baking, as soon as they are removed from the oven you need to place the stick in the cookie. You want to insert the stick from the bottom of the cookie and slide it up inside the cookie about 3/4 of the way. DO NOT MOVE THE COOKIES OFF THE PAN. If you do, this will cause the sticks to fall out. As the cookies cool, the dough wraps around the stick and helps secure the sticks, but while the cookies are warm, the sticks have not yet been secured. These are my favorite sticks for cookies!

cookies on a stick

I let the cookies cool on the pan for about 7 to 10 minutes. Then I move them to a cooling rack. I use a spatula to carefully move the cookie from the pan to the cooling rack.

unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

I recommend waiting at least 2 hours for your cookies to fully cool before preparing to decorate them and use royal icing. It is super quick to whip up. You can check out my go to recipe here. I prefer to make my royal¬†icing ¬†one consistency that has the ability¬†to outline and flood a cookie. Some bakers prefer to make icing with a slightly runnier consistency for flooding cookies. I find this time consuming, especially when icing cookies, but if this method works for you, than go for it! There really is no wrong way to decorate a cookie! Ultimately, you are going to eat it right?! ūüôā

Place some of your icing into a pastry bag and use x tip.  Add the remaining frosting into a squeeze bottle. For each cookie, start by tracing around the edge of the cookie using the icing in the pastry bag. Then, take the squeeze bottle and fill in the cookie with icing. If you have small bare spots you can use the tip of the squeeze bottle to help direct the icing. I recommending doing two cookies at a time. If you do more than this, the icing used to edge the cookie will not blend in with the fill icing. The two cloud cookies on the top left in the image below show where I did the edge of too many cookies before flooding the inside of the cookie and had this issue happen.

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

Since my base color for both the cloud and unicorn cookies was white, I  went ahead and did all the cookies. Depending on your cookie design, use the appropriate  food colors to tint your icing and apply a base layer of icing on the cookie. Once you have a base layer, than go back and add in the details.

How to Decorate Unicorn and Cloud Cookies

To finish up the cloud cookies, once the initial layer of icing has slightly dried (approximately 15 minutes) I went and did a swirly border around the edge of the cloud. I also piped a little heart in the bottom, right corner of each cloud.  For the detailed cute little cloud faces, I used these awesome food markers, called FooDoodler. They work like a dream and enable precision design. So glad I bought this set, and it was a steal at only eight dollars on amazon. Finally, I used gold food paint, also scored on amazon, to paint the little hearts and add a little bling to those cutie clouds! My party theme accent color happened to be gold, so I incorporated it into the cookies. I may be bias, but I think they came out super cute!

The unicorn cookie details were a little more challenging, in my opinion. I colored three portions of royal icing, one each, pink, blue, and green. Next, I layered the colors¬†in one pastry bag and used a writing tip to decorate the tails and manes. I was hoping to get a multi-color effect for the mane and tail, which I did.¬†However, when the pink and green colors mixed they, did get a little bit muddy. The execution and theory of how I did it works. I have done it in the past, and will also show how I did it in an upcoming post for my rainbow meringue ‘unicorn poop’ cookies. My issue was in color choice. Next time, I won’t use the green.

I used the same multi-color icing to also pipe a small heart on the unicorn’s side as well as pipe the hooves. I also went back and added an accent strand of hair in the mane and tail of each unicorn. By waiting and doing this a little bit later the accent strand was slightly raise up above the rest of the mane. I then busted out that gold food paint again and painted the hooves, heart, and accent hairs gold. After that, I used my food markers again to add a cute little eye. Voila! Unicorns on a stick!

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

If you want to duplicate my cookies you can get the unicorn cookie cutter from SheyB.com and the cloud cookie cutter from Amazon.

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Throw Your Own Epic DIY Unicorn Party Series

unicorn birthday party cake

Well hello, hello! It has been a little time since I have popped into the blog. Life got a little crazy with the travel and the holidays, but I am back and have a treat for everyone!

Little miss just turned¬†one (yes seriously…already; I may be on the verge of tears) *sniff sniff* but I will prevail with this post ūüėÄ To celebrate her first trip around the sun, we decided to throw her a unicorn themed birthday party! It was ¬†just as magical as her first year was for us!

My over-zealous, super craft happy excited self had created a laundry list of stuff to make for this party. I did so many projects (meaning I went WAY overboard), but the great news for you is that ¬†I am going to do an entire “throw your own epic mystically magical unicorn party” series chock full of DIY tutorials! ¬†These tutorials will cover decor as well as fun unicorn themed foods! I can’t wait to share. A few of the tutorials that will be coming your way include:

  • DIY¬†unicorn party hats (headbands)
  • DIY sky scene setter background and fluffy puffy clouds
  • Fast and easy no sew rainbow ruffled table skirt
  • Unicorn cupcakes
  • Unicorn Meringue “poop” cookies
  • Unicorn rainbow cake

There are so many¬†more in addition to those listed above,¬†but I want to keep a few surprises for everyone! So stay tuned, as the epic DIY unicorn party series starts later this week!! Below is my little unicorn, who passed out right in the middle of her first birthday party! It was HER party, and she slept if she wanted to! ūüôā

unicorn birthday party

 

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Baby’s First Bumpkin Holiday Art

baby bum pumpkin art

Happy fall ya’ll! ¬† I felt the need to make some seasonal art and I always love to incorporate tiny humans! Then it came to me, I will make a bumpkin! ¬†What is a bumpkin, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat! ¬†A bumpkin is a pumpkin crafted by using the tiny bum of an adorable little human.

To make a fall bumpkin painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human bum
  • orange paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to that bumpkin (I used copics)
  • foam sponge brush¬†(or your fingers)
Supplies needed to make Mistletoe baby art print.

I suggest executing this¬†project in a place that is easy to clean. ¬†since it tends to get little messy. Nakedness and orange paint on their bum, boy do they squirm! ūüôā ¬†I suggest you wear old clothes too! The mess factor is really up there with this project.

I do my baby art projects in the kitchen on the floor. Take the foam brush and apply orange paint to your tiny person. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush (or smear it with your fingers; lets be honest that is the easiest way). Gently dab the paint onto the cheeks of your little one. You want to stay to the exterior of the bum (don’t get too close to wear the cheeks meet). Once you have adequately applied paint to those little cheeks go ahead and sit your little one on the piece of paper. Lift the baby straight up off of the paper to get a nice bum print! Basically, you are using baby’s bum as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload.Yes, you have a bum print! Now make more! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! And also in the fact that when your tiny human is 16 you are going to have some awesome embarrassment potential with this little art piece.

Next, bath time is in order for that little person! Make sure you pay extra special attention to cleaning off that little bumpkin of yours!  While that fun tubby time is going on your bumpkin print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it. ¬†I got a little crazy and added some crazy curling vines from the stem and a shadow, too! I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first bumpkin I ¬†titled it with not only her name, but also that it is in fact her first bumpkin. You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s bumpkin below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own!

Now, you have a precious little bumpkin keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make a bumpkin I would love to see how it turns out! This is my all time favorite baby painting craft I have done so far. Baby bums are uber cute!

 

Happy Painting!

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Mistletoe and Holly: Baby Holiday Art

DIY baby christmas footprint art tutorial

Happy December! My favorite season is upon us, and what better time than to make a little holiday art using your tiny human. I want to commemorate my little darling and all her adorableness…so why not make some mistletoes?! What, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat!

Making baby art is super easy and super fun. I used my tiny human’s sweet little feet.¬† My little lady loves it and giggles and laughs the entire time!

To make a baby mistletoe painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human¬†feet
  • green¬†paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to those sweet toes (I used copic markers)
  • foam sponge brush¬†(or fingers)
  • baby wipes (to remove excess paint)

It is important to take on this project in a place that is easy to clean as it can get a little messy. Those little humans tend to be quite wiggly and I swear the wiggle factor increases exponential when they have¬†green paint on their feet! ūüôā ¬†Also, make sure you are wearing old clothes and it helps to have the little one completely naked.

20161116_182002

I usually conduct this entire process while sitting on the floor. It makes it much easier and reduces the mess factor. Take the foam brush and apply green¬†paint to it. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush. Alternatively, and to be honest, what I actually do, is just smear it on her feet with my finger. ūüėÄ Gently dab the paint onto those tiny little feet (after you give them a few kisses of course). You do not want to use too much paint, as you will not get ¬†a nice print. Once the feet are ready, place the baby’s foot onto the paper! ¬†I find it easiest to do one foot at a time. Basically, you are using baby’s foot¬†as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload.¬†Eeeekkk! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! What an awesome keepsake, or holiday gift for a grandparent!

20161117_203145

Next, take that paint covered little human and go give him/her a nice little bath. We love tubbie time in our house. It is always filled with giggles, laughs and splashes!  Actually, the family fun that we have with this project is the best part! While that fun tubby time is going on your mistletoes print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it.¬†I like to add holly and berries. I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first mistletoes (and Christmas for that matter)¬†I also title it with her name! You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s mistletoes¬†below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own! One of my favorite tips, if you are using baby as a stamp, make a few as they make great gifts for grandparents!

20161203_213557

Now, you have a precious little baby foot keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make some mistletoes I would love to see how it turns out! They are just the cutest little craft in my opinion!

Stay tuned, next week I will be posting another tutorial¬†for tiny human holiday art! I can’t wait to share! Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and I am so excited to share my first Christmas with my tiny human!

Life is good! Enjoy every moment!

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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 ūüôā ¬†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. ūüôā 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!

jklhlkjhlkj

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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!

20161030_103557

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.

20161030_104757

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!

 

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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!

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Thrifty Thursday: Swap.com for Affordable Kids Clothes

affordable children clothing from thrift store

Have you heard? Raising kids is EXPENSIVE! Especially when you make it your mission in life to be your tiny human’s professional stylist. It’s a tiring job (and super rewarding), but someone has to do it! Well, do I have news for you! I have found an amazing resource for kid clothing; the online consignment store Swap.com.

Let me tell you a little bit about this treasure trove. This site allows you to sell and purchase gently used clothing. Clothing does not have to be designer clothing, just in good condition. I find it to be super ideal for my daughter, who is outgrowing her clothes almost monthly.

Admittedly, at first, I was quite skeptical. I figured the clothing would not be in super great condition when I received it and I would be super disappointed. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I placed my first order, rather hesitantly, and when the clothes arrived I couldn’t believe all the high quality items I got for such a great price. I had purchased the tiny human four Gymboree outfits, a few items from Carters, and two Disney princess dresses (because of course we NEED princess dresses)!

The way the site works is you create an account, which you can do here. Once you have your account, you can browse through all their clothes. Daily updates of the inventory keep your options open and there is always something new to discover.

There are great search filters on Swap.com to help you find just what you are looking for. You are able to search by gender, season, brand, size, type of clothing and price. Swap.com doesn’t only offer kids clothes; they also offer teen and adult clothing. Granted I haven’t purchased any of that just yet, it is available.

I did just order my first shipping label from Swap.com and am excited to sell some of my tiny human’s clothing that has gotten a little too snug on her. I love the selling options this company offers too! Not only can you sell your items for cash, you can also trade items or donate items to charity if they don’t sell. Oh, and speaking of not selling, if your items do not sell¬†after a certain time frame Swap.com will buy the items. It may not be as much as you were hoping to get for the item, but it sure beats not getting anything at all for those used clothes!

I highly recommend this site and see that it will be saving me a great deal of money in the years to come. I love browsing the site and picking out new outfits. Seriously, I get lost browsing on Swap.com for hours. All the clothes I purchased looked brand new and super stylish. To be honest, most of the clothes I have bought (Calvin Klein, Baby Guess, and Baby Gap) I would never pay retail for knowing the short time frame the little lass will be wearing them. This site makes the prices reasonable and I still get to reveal in the glory of all those comments about how  I have the cutest and best dressed baby around! Yep, that sure is another momma win!

If you want to try out Swap.com I highly suggest you use my referral link .  The current promotion the site is offering is 20% off your first purchase. Also, if you connect your Facebook account certain items will become available for purchase at discounted prices.

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Creative Crochet Style: Fall Hat Edition

Happy fall ya’ll!¬†Hope you are a having a wonderful day and enjoying this beautiful fall weather. With this fall weather and the cooler temperature, I am in the mood to whip up a festive fall hat for the tiny human. What says fall better than an adorable crochet pumpkin hat?! The only thing I can think of is a tiny human wearing it!

easy crochet pumpkin hat

 

See! Seriously, there is nothing better than that! Anyways, I got this pattern from Ravelry. If you are not familiar with this website, it is a community for knitters and crocheters. This site offers patterns, suggestions for yarns, , forums, and social networking among crafters. This site is a fabulous resource.

This particular hat pattern, Pumpkin Harvest Hat, was designed by the talented Cathy Kurtz.

I whipped this hat up in about an hour, after I tucked the little miss into bed. Sometimes that crochet bug bites when I least expect it. ¬†The yarn I choose for this project was Vanna’s Choice Yarn in Terracotta and Red Heart Yarn in true green. I used a 4.0 mm (G) crochet hook, which is¬†the recommended size.

The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. My¬†one word of caution ¬†regarding this pattern is that it seems to run small. My tiny human is very petite to begin with (ie she isn’t even on the growth chart; don’t worry though, she is growing at a steady rate and super healthy) and this hat is extremely snug on her. I will confess, I do tend to crochet very tightly, so that may have something to do with the sizing.

Following the pattern to a tee, which is sized to fit 6 -12 months¬†resulted in a super snug hat. To provide you a sizing idea, my tiny human is currently 8 months (head circumference in the 25 percentile) and we are talking very snug on that little noggin of hers. If I were to make this hat again, I would definitely adjust it by using the next size up crochet hook. I think that would pretty much solve all my size issues. The nice thing about the Vanna’s Choice yarn is that it had a little stretch to it, so I was able to stretch it out enough so she will be able to wear it for the fall season.

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This hat ¬†makes an excellent addition to any tiny human’s wardrobe. I love that it is festive, but not holiday specific so I can get more use out of it than just Halloween. Little miss receives so many complements on this hat every time she wears it. I have actually been stopped in the grocery store and asked where the hat can be purchased. I call that a momma win!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to Ravelry and get the pattern and whip it up. Your tiny human needs a hat!

crochet

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