Jul 20, 2011

Thinking About Newborn Cloth Diapering

I started cloth diapering about a year and a half ago when my second son was 4 months old.  Seeing how he was young and "normal size" I went with a variety of one-size pocket and AIO diapers for my stash.  Now looking at my stash there is no way many of these diapers are going to fit a newborn! We don't have the luxury of being able to afford $12-18 newborn diapers so I'm either gonna have to buy some good prefolds and covers (maybe second hand?) or I'm gonna have to get handy and make some of my own.

I have plenty of diaper fabric just sitting around, so the obvious choice would be to make my own.  My worry is that I'll make myself a whole newborn stash only to find that the don't fit or don't work well.  I had tried making my own AI2 diapers and had the fit down but leak issues through the stitching at the legs.  What is your opinion? Should I start trolling sites like Diaper Swappers for cheap used diapers or start making my own AIO or fitteds & covers?

Jul 13, 2011

New Purpose

I am hoping to start posting on here again in a regular fashion.  I will still be posting on green living topics though soon they will have a newborn slant as I am pregnant with my third child.  I started cloth diapering my second child when he was about 4 months old so the newborn diapering will be new for me.  I will share my pregnancy and newborn journey with you as much as I am able with two little ones running around and my pregnancy exhaustion.  Thankfully, I am mostly over the terrible morning sickness that plagued my first trimester.  I hope you are all still interested in hearing my story as it unfolds.

I understand that some of you might still be having issues with my blog, I'm not seeing any issues on my end so if you could send me a detailed message or comment (including what browser version, symptoms, etc.), I'd be happy to try and figure out what's going on!

Apr 27, 2011

The Bug is Fixed

Well, it seems that the technical difficulties I was experiencing have been fixed.  I think there was a bug in one of the plug-ins that seems to be fixed now (through none of my doing)!  Anyway, if you are still experiencing errors please send me a message or leave a comment so I can try and fix it.  Now, I just have to deal with my ancient crappy computer acting up. :-p 

I have many irons in the fire right now so I can't guarantee that I will have any more posts up this week.  I hope I can squeeze out one or two next week! Hang tight and hopefully soon I'll be back to normal (or at least as normal as I get.)

Mar 25, 2011

Technical Difficulties

I am experiencing technical difficulties with my site and posting today...I hope to have my Eco-friendly Friday post up this evening but you may have to wait a few days until I have things sorted out.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Mar 22, 2011

Car Seat Safety

I know I'll a little behind the 8 ball by posting this today, but my computer was not being agreeable yesterday.  I will be so happy when I have saved enough to buy a new one!!!!

The American Academy of Pediatrics released new recommendations for the use of car seats and boosters that are going to be an adjustment to those of us who have small children.  We saw recently the change to older children using boosters longer, and these new standards now are designed to keep the youngest members of our family safe in our vehicles.

I know some (including my husband) think that keeping an older child in a booster while in middle school if they aren't the proper height is humiliating.  I think that as this generation in our car seats now will think it's normal and expected, just as wearing a seat belt is now.  Just because we weren't required to do something as a child does not mean that it was the safest thing that we could have been doing. 

I highly recommend you checking out this article on the new guidelines which also addresses some of the common questions/concerns parents have.  It would also be a good idea to look at some of the other resources available on the AAP's site.

I would also suggest that you go to get your seats checked at a safety seat check location and re-read your seat manual.  I have seen many seats installed or used incorrectly and it's worth the 15 minutes.  The biggest things I suggest you check are: that the latch tether strap is flat and tight, that you apply pressure when installing (I kneel full weight into the seat as I tighten the tethers), the chest strap needs to be aligned over the nipples or the armpits on infants, and remember to attach the top tether to an anchor point (not a cargo loop.)

Mar 18, 2011

Eco-Friendly Friday

This month we have been talking about ways to green your home.  Today we are going to green your laundry room! 

I was lucky(?) a couple years ago to have my old top loading washer break so we replaced it with an energy efficient front loading machine which saves us water and energy consumption.  Another easy way to save energy is to line dry your clothes instead of using the dryer, of course that is not always possible.  My dryer has a moisture sensor so I can set it to any degree of dryness and it will adjust the time accordingly. 

Laundry detergent and household cleaners are another important part of greening your home.  You can purchase an increasing array of environmentally friendly cleaners (though it's a good idea to look into them to make sure they are not just green washing).  You can also make your own if you are so inclined and there are a multitude of recipes online and plenty of books for purchase at your local book store.

Do you have any suggestions for greening your laundry room that I missed?

Mar 15, 2011

Busy Busy

Wow, is it really almost 9 pm already?  This day has flown by! Today was one of my "kid free" days so I could get some work done.  I ended up doing a ton of laundry, working a little on each of my business, and meeting with a friend from church to do some future visioning.  I'm always amazed at how quickly the day goes by when you start checking off the items on the good ol' to do list.  I will say that I don't know why I bother putting things like vacuuming, laundry, and cleaning bathrooms on the list...they seem to magically turn dirty again the moment they are checked off!

I really had wanted to post this morning to let you know that I was going to be one of the WAHM mamma's featured in The Spotted Box this month.  If you've never heard of The Spotted Box, you really need to check them out.  They put together boxes filled with coupons and samples of various Eco & family friendly products for you to try out.  They stock on the 15th of the month at noon, 3 & 9 pm EST and usually sell out almost instantly.  It seems that all the boxes have sold for this month, but be sure to check them out next month as I believe that are going to be having an awesome box from what I've heard so far.

Well off to my knitting I go...

Mar 11, 2011

Eco-Friendly Friday

For the second installment of my "Green Your Home" series I thought we could focus on the Bathroom.  The biggest impact of the bathroom is through water waste and there are many simple yet effective ways to combat that waste.  I would hope that if your reading this blog you already use cloth towels instead of the disposable type! Other ways to green your bathroom you might not think about are:
  • Add a water saving aerator to sink faucets.
  • Consider changing your shower head to a WaterSense version, really not as expensive as you might think and easy to do on your own.
  • Change the flapper in your toilet to a low-flow alternative, again cheap and easy to install on your own...I've done three myself!
  • Make sure you fix any leaking faucets.
  • Take short showers and turn the water off while soaping up.  There are some shower heads that even allow you to turn the flow into a dribble so you don't get a cold water shock when you turn it back on.
  • Turn the water off while your brushing your teeth.
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Make sure the lights/fan are out when the bathroom is not in use.
  • Females - you could use reusable feminine care products like the Diva Cup or cloth pads.
  • You could even subscribe to the notion "If it's yellow let it mellow...if it's brown flush it down."

Our biggest issue is needing to run the faucets for a long time while waiting for hot water to arrive.  There are several different systems on the market now for instant hot water heaters that can be installed along the pipes.  We would love to do that (especially for our Kitchen sink where it takes forever to get hot water) but that is a higher cost fix that we simply can't afford at the present moment. 

I'm sure there are other ways to green your bathroom...so what do you do?

Mar 10, 2011

Overwhelmed by Life

Somehow everything going on in my life snuck up on me and took over...at least that's how it feels.  I barely have time to breathe some days it seems!  I've always been busy, but it feels like I had more time when I was a young girl of 16 and in every club imaginable at school.  I have so many items on my "To Do" list that I never seem to get to my "Want to Do" list.  Has the pace of life really changed that much?  I worry what things are going to be like once my boys are in school and have sports practice, cub scouts, and any other number of activities.  Just today I have spent a majority of my day working on things for my two home-based businesses and almost had a panick attack when I realized what time it is.  I still have a zillion things I need to get done and I only have about an hour to do them! Needless to say many of them are not going to be done.

I am definitely struggling with balance it seems. How do you maintain the balance in your life...or are you as off kilter as I am?  Sometimes I feel like everyone around me is coping so much better than I am, but I often wonder if they are actually in the exact same spot I am putting off a "everything's cool" front like I attempt to do. 

Mar 9, 2011


Any time a new cartoon movie is advertised on the TV, my almost 5 year old begs to go see it.  We don't bring him to the movies very often, but occasionally as a treat.  It is important to us that it is a movie we think he will enjoy and would be appropriate for him.  Recently, a friend decided to bring her young daughter to see Rango and was upset to see how violent and in many ways inappropriate the movie was for her daughter.  She assumed that with the PG rating and the cartoon cast it would contain the occasional adult focused jokes that would mean nothing to a young child and otherwise it would be a fine movie.  I had been planning on seeing that same movie and now I'm thinking twice about it.  It caused me to search out a way to check into the ratings for these movies, as a rating of G, PG, PG-13, etc. often means very little.  Each family has their own values to uphold and something that offends my friend might not offend me.  I have two sites I'd like to share with you to help you decide if a movie is appropriate for your kids or not. 

The first is Parent Reviews. This site will tell you why the movie has been given its MPAA rating and goes into more detail about the movie.  They give letter grades for Violence, Sexual Content, Language, Drugs/Alcohol, and the movie Overall.  The offer a detailed review by an experienced reviewer, detail on the content of the movie, a place for reader comments and more.

The second is Kids in Mind. They offer a 1-10 rating system for sex & nudity, violence, and profanity then break down each of those ratings with scene details from the movie.  This site is a bit more straight forward than the other, in that it does not give a review, just summaries of the questionable scenes for you to decide if it is appropriate or not.

Hope that helps!

Mar 4, 2011

Eco-Friendly Friday

I've been toying with the idea of a running theme, over a month or so, with my Friday posts.  I decided that I would devote March to simple green changes you can  make in your life.  Just like with dieting, if you make one small change a week it will add up to a whole lot of good at the end!  Each week will focus on an area of the house and give you suggestions for greening your space.

One of the easiest places to decrease waste is in the kitchen, so I'm going to start there.  Some ways to go green in the kitchen are:
  1. Use cloth towels for drying hands, wiping messes, and as a dish cloth.
  2. Use eco-friendly cleansers - you might even reach for natural cleaners like baking soda and lemon juice. There are many websites out there with recipes if your interested in making your own.
  3. Reduce the use of plastic baggies, wrap, and wax paper to store leftovers or pack lunches. If you must use something other than a reusable container, opt for something that can be recycled like paper bags or aluminum foil.
  4. Let your dishes air dry after washing (ie. don't put the dish washer on "heated dry"), this saves a whole lot of energy consumption.
  5. Buy food with a minimum of packaging when possible (think fruits and veggies..insert shameless plug...brought home in reusable produce bags like the one's I sell on Etsy).  If you must buy prepackaged foods, opt for packaging that can be recycled like cardboard egg cartons over the Styrofoam variety. I also try to avoid anything that is individually packaged.
  6. Unplug appliances that do not need to be on all day such as coffee makers, toasters, and any other small appliances on your counters. 
  7. Make sure any major appliances you replace are Energy Star Certified.

What are other ways you go green in the Kitchen?

Feb 28, 2011

Great Green Deal Finder

I'm willing to bet you love a good deal as much as I do.  I have been following a fabulous website over the past year and thought it's about time I shared it with all of you.  Ecobunga! is one of my favorite sites for finding deals and giveaways for green products and services.  They recently switched from a full website of listings to using a Facebook page, but you don't need to be a member of Facebook to take advantage of their page.  Some of the recent deals they have listed are coupons for Newman's Own Organics, Derma e Skincare Samples, and a chance to win a vegetarian cookbook.  If you like saving some green while living green, you definitely need to check them out!

Feb 25, 2011

Eco-Friendly Friday

I will freely admit that I am a bit of a techno geek. I love gadgets. After receiving some gift cards over Christmas and my birthday from my family, I decided to buy a Nook Color. Honestly, I had not even given an e-reader a thought until I started looking into them for my Mom. It is an amazing little green machine and a bit of a money saver too. I say that it is a green machine because it not only allows you to go paper free for books, but you can also receive magazines and newspapers on it.

There are many reasons I really like the Nook (including the Dictionary function where you click a word for a definition.) What surprises me the most is how often I have to fight my oldest son for use of it, as he has several children's books stored on it. I love that it gives the option with some of the children's books to have the story read to them, or they can read it themselves. With the read it yourself option they can still touch a section and have it read to them if they have trouble. It is also quite intuitive to work, he can pick it up and navigate effortlessly to his books and have them read to him.

Beyond the paper-free aspect, there is some money savings as well. Many of the ebooks are cheaper than their paper versions. Your local libraries website most likely has many ebook titles available for lending without stepping into the library itself. The online Barnes & Noble store also offers many titles free - including a free title every Friday! They also have in-store specials if you bring your Nook in, but I have not had a chance to do that yet so I really cannot speak to it. If you happen to have a friend with a Nook there are also certain "Lend Me" books you can share peer to peer like a library loan.

Barnes & Noble is supposedly working on additional apps for the Nook. Even though I do like the Pandora and Sudoku, I am anxiously awaiting the release of a RSS Feed app so I can easily read all my blog feeds with it.

I thought I would miss the feel of a book in my hand, but really, I just love how easy it is to access new books. I have read more in the last few weeks than I probably have in the last year. With kids, it is not so easy to go looking through the stacks at the local library for a good book, but I can handle browsing online with spare minutes here and there, as I am sure you can!

Feb 23, 2011

Great Cloth Diaper Change

Do you have a baby or toddler in cloth diapers and want to be part of a bid for the Guinness Book of World Records? If you answered yes, you need to check out this site: http://greatclothdiaperchange.com/.

On April 23, 2011 all over the United States (and in a few international sites) cloth diapering Mom's and Dad's will be getting together to change cloth diapers.  The event is to raise awareness of modern cloth diapers in honor of Earth Day. 

Right now there isn't a location in Houston. Any of my Houston fluffy butt Mom's or Dad's interested in putting together a Houston location for this event with me?

Feb 22, 2011

Where I am with Cloth Diapers

As a busy Mom (aren't all Mom's busy?) I often struggle with balance.  I try to balance the time I spend caring for my family, the house, trying to bring money in, and taking care of myself.  I am far from perfect and at any given time one of the pieces listed above is neglected (and it is not the kids!) I have had to balance my love of being a crunchy green mom with the realities of life.  I love cloth diapers, but they aren't always convenient.  I have a rather small stash, which is getting smaller as my little one is starting to grow out of a few of them.  I also have a terrible time with cloth at night - he either leaks or wakes with a rash.  I have gotten to the point that we use cloth around the house and disposables when we are out, when all the diapers that fit are in the wash, and at night.  I do have a nice night-time fitted and wool longies, but it is only able to be used a couple times a week.  I am no where near where I would like to be with cloth use, but until I can manage to make some diapers on my own (that don't leak) it will have to do.  My youngest is now two and about to venture into potty training.  I am hoping that I will be able to use cloth trainers on him, but at this point I'll have to make them myself or save up for a bit to afford a toddler stash.  So, I'm calling out to my cloth diaper friends...do you know of a great (I'll even settle for good) cloth trainer pattern or inexpensive premade trainers? I'd love to hear about your favorites!

Feb 18, 2011

Eco-Friendly Friday

Today is a beautiful day here in Houston! It's hard to believe sitting with the windows open that only a week and a half ago I was afraid our water pipes might burst and that we had a nice coating of ice on everything outside those same windows.  What this warm weather does mean is that it is time for me to start sewing the seeds for this years vegetable garden.  Last year I had my husband build us a small raised bed vegetable garden. We got a few carrots, some cherry tomatoes, parsley, and a huge amount of basil out of it.  It wasn't the best bounty ever, we had a few problems with bugs and rabbits attacking various plants, but it wasn't a total loss at least.  We hope this year will be better and that we learned from our mistakes. 

This year we are planning to grow carrots, bell peppers, hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, basil, and maybe try scallions again. I did a simple web search for "when to plant vegetable garden" and found a great article in the local paper with a listing of when to plant various vegetables.  This is the page I found for my Houston peeps...http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/gardening/features/6871773.html. Burpe's website also had a lot of growing information for all regions and if you put in your zip code will tell you what you should be doing in your garden each month.

Having your own garden is a great way to go green and potentially save some green.  So, plan that garden and get out there to play in the dirt!

Feb 12, 2011

The *Ahem* Joys of Being a Parent

Well, I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to get an Eco-Friendly Friday post up yesterday but it was all I could do to get out of bed.  I spent most of the week taking care of my oldest son who had some flu like bug and he repaid me by passing it along to me.  Isn't it always the way? The parent that does the sick care ends up sick themselves, despite cleaning and hand washing. So, I spent the day with fever and chills doing all I could to keep down small sips of water.  Thankfully, both of the boys were fine and we were able to send them to daycare so I could rest. I'm feeling better today but still not 100%.  This is suppose to be very busy weekend for us so I'm not sure I'll get any other posts up today, but Monday I should be able to return to a normal posting schedule. Hope your Friday was better than mine!

Feb 10, 2011

Eat To Live - A Book Review

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. The funny thing is that I know how I should eat and the health consequences for not. I recently read the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. at the suggestion of a local midwife I had met. The book touts on the cover that you can lose 20 lbs. or more in 6 weeks and hosts numerous endorsements by other medical doctors and diet experts.

Honestly, I found the book a tedious read. The first seven or so chapters speak to the state of the American diet and the consequences of it with titles such as “Digging Our Graves with Forks and Knives: The Effects of the American Diet, Part I”. The book gives background and data supporting the nutritional benefits of his proposed diet and is smattered with real life success stories of his patients. I am sure there are some people that really do need to read all of the effects and the reasons to eat healthy foods, but I am not one of them and felt that I was being whined at for most of the book. I agree with everything he had to say about nutrition based eating and he does support his work with scientific data (which the chemist in me loved!) The rub comes when you put his plan into action. I managed to stick to his “plan” for 2 weeks and it was tough. The basics are to eat a vegetarian diet consisting of unlimited vegetables, fruits, beans & legumes. He does want you to limit cooked starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and avocado. If you are on the most aggressive six week plan you also eliminate all dairy, meat, snacks, fruit juice and dried fruit. Seems easy enough, but it was nearly impossible for me to stay within the plan anywhere away from my house!

I did have success on the plan and lost 12 pounds in the course of two weeks (7 of which I have kept off after going back to my semi-normal diet) and I do hope to go back on the less aggressive plan. My biggest hindrance at this point is my kids. They will not (and did not) touch the meals I ate while on the plan and had to make something for myself and for them at every meal. That gets old real quick!
Overall, I think the book is very informative and boasts a plan that will work if you can manage to stick to it.

*Note - I have not in any way, shape, or form been compensated for writing this and have no ties to Dr. Fuhrman or his publisher.*

Feb 8, 2011

Maintenance Complete!

Well, I believe I am done converting over to a new template and getting everything up and running again in record time (for me anyway!)  I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, and/or reports of problems you have while browsing my new design. Enjoy!

Feb 7, 2011

Upcoming Maintainance

I just wanted to write a quick note to let you all know that I have not abandoned the blog again, I just launched my Etsy Shop and have started a second business (more to come on both of those later) so I've been a wee bit busy!  I am also getting a bit frustrated with my blog template and issues I'm having adding certain functions, so I will be re-designing my blog.  That will cause some temporary issues so please bear with me through the process.  On the bright side, when the site is back up and better than ever I will be running a re-launch celebration giveaway!

Jan 26, 2011

4 Year Old's Say the Darndest Things!

Sorry I have been missing the last few days, I have been trying to rest in every moment of free time instead of writing.  I have a cold and a double ear infection.  Lucky me!  Anyway, I don't have any fun pictures to share for Wordless Wednesday so I thought I would share a funny statement my 4 year old came out with today.

We were driving by a construction site so he asked what they were building.  I told him it was going to be a restaurant.  His response was "Oh, as if there aren't enough restaurants in the world."  I could barely contain my laughter.

What funny things have your kids said lately?

Jan 21, 2011

Is Technology Killing Our Planet?

I love being a "crunchy" momma and I love being a techno geek, but can I be both at the same time?  I will let you in on one of my dirty little secrets: I have my computer on (being used or in hibernate mode) and plugged in almost 24-7.  I know it's terrible.  I know my little laptop must be causing a significant draw on my meter (though less than the fridge and dryer) not to mention increasing our monthly electricity bill.  My one saving grace is that we put our money where our mouth is and buy 100% Texas wind energy.  So just how terrible I am being with my computer?

According the US Dept of Energy my laptop draws about 50 Watts probably adding a few extra from phantom load when it's not in use.  To compare to some other "essential" household items: a 27" TV draws about 113 Watts and a clock radio comes in around 10 Watts. If you'd like to see where I'm getting these numbers and see more check out this article on estimating energy use: http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/appliances/index.cfm/mytopic=10040

I figure that if my computer draws 50 Watts an hour it would use about 36000 Watts (36 kWatts) per month.  My last electric bill stated we used 556 kWatts in the month, so it was about 6.5% of our usage. I guess I'm not doing as much damage as I thought with my computer alone, but everything adds up and it was noticeable.  I pledge to do better about turning off and unplugging my computer when it's not in use and finding other ways to decrease power consumption.

What are you favorite ways to reduce energy consumption?

Jan 18, 2011

Learning to Read

My oldest boy is now almost 5 *gasp* and I certainly do not know where the time has gone.  He is a very bright little boy, I swear it's not just Momma speaking! I have had many people (including elementary educators) tell me he will certainly be in the Gifted & Talented program once he gets to school.  That being said, I have one teenie tiny issue...he is just like me!

I remember being in kindergarten and first grade and getting so totally frustrated if I couldn't make something work a certain way that I felt it should, or if an art project wasn't turning out perfectly I would often abandon it, and reading...oh reading was my Achilles heel!  I wanted so desperately to know how to read, but I couldn't and I wasn't getting it the way I was being instructed at the time.  I distinctly remember a time I was trying to read while sitting at the top of the stairs by my play room and getting so frustrated that I couldn't read a simple book that I had a fit and threw the book down the stairs.  I finally got the hang of it after a move and in the course of a year went from barely able to read "The dog sat" to reading Nancy Drew books.

I do think my little man is a bit a head of where I was at his age reading, but I see the frustration in him.  He wants to read but gives up in a fit when he doesn't know a word.  The worst part is I have no idea how to help him!  I remember the feelings but I don't think there was ever any relief other than from myself taking a step back and trying again.  I am trying to equip him with the problem solving skills to master reading without me interfering to much but it's not working.  He knows all his letters, capital and lower case, and he knows most of the sounds they make.  What I can't get him to do successfully is sound a word out.  He will say all the sounds the individual letters make and spell the word but he won't put the sounds together. I often think of giving in to the infomercials for "Your Baby Can Read" thinking they must be able to get him to read.  Then I remember it's just an infomercial which very rarely deliver the results they say it will.

So I ask you: What are your tips for encouraging reading? Did you or do you have a "intense" child like mine that you helped learn to read?  Should I continue repeating the steps he can take to figure it out on his own or just let him be and continue to just read to him?

Jan 17, 2011

Menu Monday?

I've been trying to decide what to write all day.  I wanted to come up with a fitting tribute to the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but alas the writing bug did not bite.  The only thing that came into my mind was..."Hmmm...I wonder if anyone would be interested in seeing a Menu Monday?" This would be a feature on Monday's where I post my plans for dinner during the week and possibly link to recipes that are online.  So does that interest any of you?

Jan 14, 2011

Eco-Friendly Friday

Over the summer, I had my husband make a compost bin and we have been filling it up ever since! Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfills and it will help the soil for your plants as well. There are many different composting options out there. There are big recycled plastic balls you can easily turn, barrels, simple wood frames, double bin frames, small boxes for porches (great for worm composting) or even just a pile on the ground! When I was looking into the subject I often visited http://www.howtocompost.org/, but a simple Google search will return many results. Your local newspaper will probably have an article or two on composting in the spring gardening section as well.

Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill. You might be saying to yourself "it's organic material it will decompose at the landfill." Your right, it will decompose at the landfill but will take much longer to do so!  When you put it in a plastic trash bag you keep it away from the elements, then at the landfill they cover it with more trash and dirt.  When your organic material is all covered up it takes much longer for it to decompose.  Anyway, having a compost bin is a great way to get rid of your yard waste and some kitchen scraps while making your vegetable garden or flower beds very happy.

We decided to build our own two-section bin using plans I found online at Lowe's hardware stores (http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/idea-library/projects/Building-a-Compost-Bin-0109.aspx) there are many other plans you could choose from at different sites. We do love our bin and add to it daily. We have a large metal compost canister (with a charcoal filter which knocks out the smell) placed next to the sink so it is simple to just toss our coffee grounds, fruit, and vegetable scraps right into the container then bring it out to the bin once it's full. Our biggest challenge at this point is adding enough brown material, thankfully we were the recipients of a bale of hay after Halloween so that is helping out! I am looking forward to some tasty vegetables to come out of our raised bed garden with some homemade compost turned into the soil during our next growing season! You'll have to check back in a few weeks for that topic though!

Jan 12, 2011


My oldest son has started loosing baby teeth.  The surprising part is that he is only 4 years old, so he is on the early side but still considered normal.  I shouldn't really be surprised seeing how he popped his first tooth through during his third month!  Anyway, I hadn't made him anything to put these lost teeth in.  The first tooth was swallowed (he didn't even know he lost a tooth!) so we just left a note for the tooth fairy.  The second tooth we left a note again so we could keep the tooth for his memory box.  When the third tooth came out I had to get creative and put the tooth in a box for the fairy.  All the while he was pestering me to make him a tooth pillow.  Yesterday, I finally got around to it during his afternoon nap (Thank you pre-school for tiring him out!!!)  I was trying to work quickly so I did not take pictures during the whole process.  I will go through the steps so you can make one for yourself.  This really is a quick & easy project!

Step 1 - Gather your supplies
You will need a sewing machine, thread, sharp needle (for hand sewing closure), pins, sharp scissors, fabric (I used felt so I didn't have to worry about fraying), paper for a template, filling fiber (I used silky polyester), and a fabric marker or embroidery floss to personalize the pillow if desired.

Step 2 - Cut your fabric
I made a tooth shape and a rectangle about twice the height of a quarter and a little wider out of paper.  I then placed the tooth shape over two layers of white felt and the rectangle over one layer of blue felt.  Pin the templates in place and carefully cut around the pattern.

Step 3 - Assemble the Pocket
I decided to have the pocket be fully enclosed with an overlap style opening so the little teeth don't fall out easily.  Take the rectangular piece of fabric and place it on the table with the long side perpendicular to you. Fold about 1/3 of the fabric down from the top then bring the bottom up creating an overlap of about 1/2" then pin the sides for sewing.  Sew the two sides closed with a narrow seam allowance. Trim the fabric close to the seam then turn the pocket right side out.  Decide where you want the pocket to be on the top piece of your pillow shape and pin in place.  Top stitch the pocket onto the upper fabric.

Step 4 - Assemble the Pillow
Place the right sides of the pillow together and stitch the two pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving the inner curve of the bottom of the pillow open to turn and stuff the pillow.  Trim the corners close to the seam and turn the pillow right side out. 

Note: If you wish to personalize the pillow using embroidery, do that before sewing the pieces together.  The use of a fabric pen can be done after they are sewn together but before it is stuffed.  Make sure you trim any "fuzzy's" on the felt before using the pen or you'll end up with fuzzy writing edges like you see on mine!

Fill the pillow with stuffing to your desired fullness and then whip stitch the opening closed.  Voila! You have a hand made tooth pillow for the little one in your life!

Jan 11, 2011

A Resolution to Write

The Holiday's have come and gone and my house is returning to its normal routine. I do not usually make New Year's Resolutions, but for some reason I decided to this year. I resolved to do two things this year:
  1. Post regularly to this blog in an attempt to get it going again, and
  2. Start selling my Produce bags (and other handmade crafts) again.
Do you think I can do it? I sure hope so! The second is important as we really need to bring in some more funds or I will need to go back to working outside the home. Therefore, you are reading the grand re-opening of The Simplistic Mom Blog and I hope to have the grand opening of my Etsy shop within a month!
Now I just need to organize my thoughts and decide what I will start blogging about first! Anything you are particularly interested in hearing about or hope to see with the re-emergence of my blog? I'd love to hear from you if you are still following after my long reprieve!