DIY Upcycled Doll Table

DIY Upcycled Doll Table

DIY Upcycled Doll Table from Chick-fil-A soup containers!

My family LOVES Chick-fil-A! When I say love I mean we probably eat there once a week. We all have our favorites and then we have our seasonal favorites! I absolutely love eating the Chicken Tortilla Soup from Chick-fil-A at this time of year. It is so rich in flavor and I like the spice it has! 

Chick-fil-A Soup

We were challenged to use our Chick-fil-A soup containers to upcycle. My kids and I threw around many ideas as to how we wanted to upcycle these containers. The winner was my daughters idea to use the containers as a table for her dolls! She has several 18″ dolls that she enjoys playing with daily. Santa even brought her a Jeep and travel trailer for Christmas. She has some furniture for her dolls but she didn’t have a table for them to enjoy their own tasty treats. 

 

We were able to make this table with a few easy steps! First we cut off the corners of two bowls and a lid. Then we glued the two open sides of the bowls together with hot glue. Next we glued the lid on the base of one of the bowls to make a table top. Last we spray painted it teal to give it a pop of color. Let it dry for a couple hours and presto chango the dolls have a great little table to enjoy their afternoon snack!

Upcycled Doll Table

Easter Egg A to Z Matching Game For Preschoolers

Egg A to Z Matching GameLast year I had seen this post pinned on Pinterest… Easter Egg Letter Matching. I decided that I should do this for my 3 1/2 year old daughter to help her with learning her ABC’s this week.

First I enlisted the help of my toddler and preschooler to find and match 26 plastic eggs for this game.1st Step

Then I marked an upper case and matching lower case letter on each egg.

 

We had lots of different eggs to choose from, many of which had things printed on them or were in the shape of an animal like a Hippo or Rabbit. I put the corresponding letter on those eggs to further help her recognize not only upper case and lower case letters but the beginning sounds to a word. (We have just accumulated these eggs over the years…not sure what stores they all came from.)

Rr (Egg Game)Tt (Egg Game)

Then I took all the eggs apart and placed them in a bucket. She worked her way through the bucket matching the upper case with the lower case letter on each egg.

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Once she was done matching an egg she placed it in a freezer bag so we could play it again and again.Egg Matching Game Fun

With a full bag in hand you can see how proud she was herself for completing this game! (Mommy was happy because she is learning while playing this game!)All Done

During the game we talked about each letter sound and words we know that start with the letter. We decided that later this week we will find an object that begins with each letter on the egg to place in them. Have you tried any fun activities like this with your kids? I’d love to hear about it so I can try it too!

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Pinterest Fail: Stacked Kids

I am sure many of you have seen the “stacked kids” photo circulate on Pinterest. It is stinkin’ adorable and I knew I had to try it from the first time I pinned it. When my baby turned 1 year old last fall I put all the kids in fun slightly coordinating outfits (that I learned how to pick out from other pins on Pinterest), then we headed across the street to the school yard field for a quick sunny day photo op.

Stacked Kids Fail

Here is my FAIL ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^! Getting kids to lay still while you lay another child on them oldest to youngest is NO easy task. After trying AND failing, I realized that it was a bad idea to try to stack my kids putting the youngest on top of a wobbly pile of squirming older siblings. Not to mention the oldest kid being squashed at the bottom.

BY THE WAY: I love all their faces…it goes from “Ahh, get them off of me!”, to “I could lay here all day.”, to “NO, I don’t want squished between BOYS!” to “What is going on here?” THEN there is my husband who was sure it was a FAIL as soon as I mentioned it. HAHAHA!

I did get a couple great photos of my kids that afternoon with other great tips I had found on blogs through Pinterest but I won’t likely be trying the ‘stacked kids’ picture ever again. Thought I’d share the photos I love from that day!

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Kid photo- Sept 12I was so proud of myself for having four completely different outfits for my children that all tied together with the bright green! Yay me for throwing this together last minute and following the “not to matchy matchy” pins I read all the time!

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Growing My Hair Out: 1st Post

I admit that I have chronic “I am about to have a baby I should cut off all my hair” syndrome. Case and point:

  • With my first son I went from having hair that was long (fell to my lower back) to cutting it just below my shoulders at 7 months pregnant.
  • During my second son’s pregnancy I cut it just a tad shorter to right at my shoulders. It had grown between my shoulders between pregnancies.
  • While pregnant with my daughter I FINALLY convinced myself to leave it alone and grow it out.
  • That lasted until I got pregnant with my last baby…then I went from long locks to under my ear mom bob.

After giving birth to my 4th I decided I really didn’t have a lot of time for my hair with having to get four kids dressed, styling my daughters hair, and getting us all out the door in a timely manner. I decided to keep the short hair and even went SHORTER with my hair cut. (You can see a picture of it in the post here.) >>Needless to say the shorter hair didn’t help me get out the door any sooner and I started a new rule that moms were aloud to be 5 minutes late per each child she had PLUS 10 extra minutes if husband was tagging along. (Just in case your keeping track YES I was/still sometimes am 20-30 minutes late to EVERYTHING….I should work on it, I know!)<<

Okay back to my hair. I no longer need to keep a short ‘easy to style’ haircut. I have decided I want to grow my hair out again. This time I hope to keep long locks longer than a year. I am hoping that some of these ‘Hair Growing/Hair Strengthening’ pins on Pinterest will help me speed up the process and have it grow healthy as it gets longer.

Here is my hair length as of 2/10/2013:

Back view of my hair…
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Side view of my hair…
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I’ll share the pins I try along the way and keep you updated monthly on how much hair growth I’ve had. In the meantime if you have any pins or tips to share about growing long healthy hair PLEASE SHARE! I’d love to hear any advice you have for me!
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With Love On Valentines

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Happy Valentines Everyone! I wanted to share a quick post of what special things we are doing at our house to celebrate Valentines this year.

First up is the dessert we will be serving our family tonight! We decided to try a pinterest find: Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries (I would love to share the link but it was broken). The picture shows them being placed in ice cube trays HOWEVER I don’t own any normal sized ice cube trays so I decided that an egg carton and IKEA little ice trays would have to do the trick.

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First cut the stems off the strawberries and place them in your trays OR cartons.

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Then cover the strawberries in melted chocolate and refrigerate for several hours. Remove, turn cartons/trays over onto cookie sheet and ENJOY!!

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We also baked up sugar cookies sprinkled with red sugar crystals, Red and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies AND Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Egg Free Chocolate Chip shaped cookies. (Both the sugar cookies and the allergy free cookies were cut with our cute Valentines cookie cutters.)

For lunch I sent my boys with heart shaped cheese, homemade chicken nuggets, a sugar cookie, baby tomatoes, and a Gatorade. They will be pleasantly surprised with their sweet treat!

Dinner we will be serving Heart Shaped Hamburgers, Cut Heart Hotdogs, and French Fries. Followed by the Chocolate Covered Strawberries for dessert.

Last but not least we will top the night off by exchanging Valentines with each other. On Monday each family member decorate a paper sack. We set the sacks out on the serving buffet in our dinning room. Then all week as the kids finished their Valentines cards they placed them in each family members sack. This year we bought each of our kids a book!  (They love to read and we found a few GREAT titles on sale at Target so we took advantage and picked up the perfect gift for each child!) Plus they will each receive a sweet note from us parents telling them 3 things we appreciate and love about them.

This is typically how we spend our Valentines. Just appreciating the loved ones we have in our lives and showing each other in small ways! I’d love to hear what special things you do with your family for Valentines in the comments!

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Easy & Effective Microwave Cleaning

One cleaning job I despise is cleaning the dreaded microwave. It has so many little crevices that you never know are there UNTIL they are caked in food. Plus, how does food get UNDER the spinning plate. However my hatred for a gross microwave out ways not wanting to clean it. I can not stand to be in the kitchen with a dirty microwave, it just disgusts me.

Typically I heat a cup of water for a few minutes in the microwave, remove the spinning plate to wash in the sink, then spray the microwave with kitchen cleaner, and scrub it all clean. Typically takes me about 10-15 minutes to get it all clean.

Well we had heated leftovers, that happened to all consist of red sauces (ugh!!) so I woke this morning and had to clean the microwave right away. I decided I would try a pin I had seen a while back.

1-photo (25)(I can’t believe I am showing you all this…it was BAD!! Eeekkk!!)

Heat 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar, plus a squeeze of lemon juice, in a microwave safe container for 4 minutes in the microwave. Leave it in the microwave for 2 minutes to let the steam loosen up the gunk. Then I dipped my wash cloth in the water/vinegar mix (be careful it is hot) and wiped the microwave down. Grabbed a paper towel to wipe it all dry. And DONE!! Seriously no scrubbing involved!!

1-photo (26)(Now this is MUCH better! I LOVE a clean microwave!!)

It literally took me maybe three minutes to wipe with the wash cloth and then dry with a paper towel, including the spinning plate and under the plate!! Oh and it smelt much better than the kitchen cleaner I usually use! I wasn’t overwhelmed with cleaning fumes nor did I have to spend FOREVER cleaning every crevice! It all just wiped right out and was left smelling fresh!

I will be using this method from now on! I give this pin 5 stars! Now go try it for yourself!

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Cleaning Sippy Cups & Pacifiers With Vinegar

1-Pinned itA while back I saw a pin for How to Remove the Stench from Sippy Cups…. if you are a mom of toddlers/preschoolers I know you know that smell! It’s the smell of curdled milk, mixed with fermented apple juice, with a touch of caked on mold. I’ve tossed many of sippy cups because I couldn’t get that stench out of my kids sippy cups. I was more than willing to try this method if it 1) saves us money and 2) makes my life easier. I also figured if it works on sippy cups it should work on pacifiers too!

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1-photo (14)Now before I could work on getting the stench out of our sippy cups, I had to sanitize the lids and cups because my kids have now all shared an illness and I didn’t want it to spread any further. So I went to Pinterest to find a pin I found a long time ago that I use to sanitize all lids (especially after we’ve shared an illness). It is mix of bleach and water I found that is the best for cleaning out all the germs.

I used the bleach and water disinfectant after I had ran them through the dishwasher.

1-photo (15)Then as soon as I was done disinfecting the lids. I threw all the parts of the cups into a 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water bath and let them soak for 30 minutes. (This is the same thing I did with the pacifiers.)

1-photo (16)I let them air dry for about a half hour then I dried the excess water off with a towel.

1-photo (17)It worked like a charm and they are now squeaky clean!

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1-photo (20)Now I must get to disinfecting the rest of the house so that no one else has to suffer through this yucky bug!!

I give these pins TWO BIG THUMBS UP! The cups and pacifiers in this house are all now sanitized and smelling very fresh! So next time your little ones cups and/or paci’s are stinky and need disinfected you should use these easy methods to get them in tip top shape!

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Car Organization (Pinned It/Did It)

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This summer I came across a pin that caught my eye, in a great way! Heidi over at The Castro Family Happynings posted about her Junk In The Trunk organization that I knew I had to try! We were about to head out for several road trips and I knew having an organized van would be a must with four kids and two adults in tow.

Well we were contemplating purchasing a new mini van because we weren’t happy with the way things had been going with our previous van. I LOVED the van that was pictured in the post. After finding out what kind of mini van it was I started doing my research, started test driving vans, and then fell in love with that van!! Needless to say we bought that van, a Toyota Sienna, and 6 months later I am still in LOVE with it! It fits our needs exactly with the optional 8th seat, lots of storage, outlets galore, plus so many features (most of which our previous van had but they actually work ALL of the time in this van).

So I got off subject here sorta but it does bring me to the organization of my van. As soon as we made the purchase of the van (her name is Grace, because she is very nice to us and speaks “gracefully” as she gives us directions), I set out to find the same seat organizers the blogger had used. I was sad to find out that Dollar Tree was no longer selling those organizers in their stores but after searching online I found out they sell them on their online store but you must buy the entire case of 45 (if I remember right). After asking a few friends if they wanted to purchase a few organizers from me for their cars I bought a case… and even bought another case because they were so popular and all my friends, family and even strangers wanted to purchase them from me. (Sorry off subject again, LOL)

Now let me take a second to show you the organization I had BEFORE in my van.

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It was an ornament organizing box turned into “On the Go” car kit. I made this myself after seeing a friend receive something similar, but smaller, for her baby shower.

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It stored an outfit for each child, crayon set for each child, extra diapers, wipes, baby food, formula, water bottle, sippy cup, juice boxes, snacks, tissue, a few toys, and baby tylonal. Now this worked great when I just had my two boys, but when my daughter was born it was difficult to get an outfit in it for everyone along with diapers, pull-ups, etc times 3 kids! We had four kids now so we had outgrown it but I need some inspiration to a new way to store it all. (NOTE: I used these items A LOT while on the go.)

NOW onto the AFTER organization I found and executed in my new van!

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Hanging on the back of the seats are three of the organizers I found at Dollar Tree. They are the 5 pocket organizers. This is now the home of most of what was in my organizing bin. The left organizer has: fruit snacks, emergency applesauce pouches, powder formula, baby num nums, extra set of baby silverware, throw away bibs, and juice pouches.

In the middle organizer I have; sunscreen spray & face stick, tissues, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, wet wipes, diaper, swim diaper, water bottle and empty water pouch.

The organizer on the left has; a mini roll of toilet paper, extra ear buds, extension cords, bungee cords, and an old camera (for when I forget mine).

*I’ll get to the small bag in a minute.*

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You probably recognize that red bin lid…I wasn’t ready to part with that bin just yet. I re-purposed it and it now houses a container for our jackets. The red small bag behind it is a travel emergency kit which hold things like flares, mini road cones, and other items you might need if you were stranded or broken down.

Now the small black back on the left (with the S) is where the kids extra outfits are now held. I have put each child a full outfit (including diaper/pull-up for my baby and preschooler) each in their own ziplock gallon sized back. and then put them inside the bag. On each side of the bag are pockets that hold an empty sippy cup and baby bottle.

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Now on the drivers side of my van is a spot where the extra eight seat is stored, we use it a lot for when friends and family need to ride with us so these items pretty much stay where they are but when we don’t need our eighth seat and we are storing it, we just unfold my big 31 bag and put those items right in (with plenty space left in the bag to store other things too! In this storage area is a role of paper towel, windshield wiper fluid, a first-aid kit, and my 31 bag (and lid to it). I also keep a small fold-able picnic blanket in here but if I left it when taking the picture you wouldn’t be able to see the other things stored here.  Hanging there is an umbrella.

I have a trash bag in each row and I make my kids take their trash out after we exit the van every time (this helps keep down on the trash and clutter in my van). Hanging on the back of each of the kids seats is one of these organizers but it only stores things like their little toys, pacifier, color books, crayons, and when we travel they put their DSI and Gameboy in them too.

This storage is AMAZING! If you are looking to get your vehicle organized not only for trips but for every day use I highly recommend doing this! You can cater it to exactly what your family needs on the go, it can grow with your family as your kids get older, it’s very minimal in space, and it saves lots of time from digging for items around your car!

I definitely give this pin/post 5 out of 5 stars!!
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Orange Juice & Baking Soda Facial

Hubby and I were up watching mindless tv Monday night after the kids were in bed so I decided to make facial scrub I had seen on Pinterest a couple weeks ago. The blogger used orange juice and baking soda mixture, you can find the her post HERE. I cut an orange we had in half (from Bountiful Baskets) and squeezed it into a glass cup then measured out the juice and baking soda into a small bowl. Once I mixed them I realized I needed more baking soda so I sprinkled in some more.

It is easy to apply it to my face and neck. It makes a lot of scrub so I convinced my hubby he needed to help use some, to which he reluctantly agreed.

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As we waited for the twenty minutes to pass our face first felt a slight burning followed by itching. Removing the scrub was easy but left our faces burning again. We applied a dab of lotion like the poster had mentioned which stopped the burning sensation. After our faces were dried we could immediately feel a difference of our skin. It left our faces feeling smooth and clean.

The original post says it is great at removing black heads, we didn’t see that it effected black heads at all. If your specifically looking for a black head remover I wouldn’t recommend this facial for that purpose. However I would still recommend this facial as a once a month treatment to strip your face of extra layers of skin, oil and dirt. Three days later our faces still feel smooth.

I would give this Pinned It/Tried It 4 out of 5 stars. It didn’t do exactly what I was hoping for but it is still a great face cleanser and very easy to do!

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