Weekend Sewing Projects

So, once I started sewing little things for our Iceland trip with the I-Spy bag I posted yesterday, I didn't really want to stop. I also picked up some alphabet beads when I was at Michael's and I used them to make an alphabet I-Spy bag as well.

I-Spy Bag

Alphabet I-Spy Bag

I'll be using this for letter recognition for now, then as she gets older she can use it for finding the alphabet, and when she is even older for finding words in the letters.  I put a little wrist strap on this one made of fold-over elastic (foe).  She carted it into the car with her this morning to take to school, so I consider that to be a success.  Nothing is supposed to go to school, but she wanted to keep it with her just for in the car.

Dolls Sleeping Bag and Quilted Pillow

I had stitched up a tiny bit of quilting 3x4 when I was like 16 for Girl Scouts.  I've held on to it in my little sewing basket for all these years.  This weekend I stitched it to a back and stuffed it to make a little pillow.  Then I stitched up a little sleeping bag with a sweet little ruffle for her dolly.  She was already in bed at this point so I put it on her chair for her to discover in the morning.

My daughter playing with her dolls new Sleeping Bag and Quilted Pillow
You should have seen her eyes!  They were so wide, she was so excited about this.  I have pictures, but she's just in underwear (potty training) so I don't want to put them online.  Here's a little close up of when she found them though.

DIY I-Spy Bag

For our trip to Iceland I made an I-Spy bag for Kirsten. Sometimes they are also called Seek and Find bags or Peek-a-boo bags.  I used assorted image buttons from Michael's and a set of alphabet beads.  This is a picture heavy post, so click to see the entire step by step in pictures after the jump.  This was my first sewing project start to finish that I did all by myself, ever!  So be kind, please :)  My techniques may not be right at all, but if I can do this, anyone can! Click on any of the images for a much bigger view.

DIY I-Spy Bag

Have Toddler, Will Travel - Carry-On

Yesterday I covered entertainment carry-on for my 2 year old toddler, now for the "keep my sanity" toddler related carry-on I'll be bringing along.

1) Change of clothes and a pack of travel wipes and small towel - Just in case, you NEVER know what will happen.
2) Removable Glue Dots - Will help keep her entertained with some printable scene sheets I've created, but I won't be letting her have free reign with them, so they'll stay with me.
3) Blue Painters Tape - Anything I don't want her playing with I'll put a piece of tape over, like the call button!
4) Extra snacks - Raisins, crackers, cheese sticks, carrot sticks, oatmeal cookies, baby applesauce (since that's allowed through TSA)... Rather than dealing with any sort of melt-down, I'll have a variety for her in case she really doesn't want raisins. At home she gets to choose, but then she eats what she chooses and I'm firm about it. I'll be a LOT more flexible on the plane to avoid a tantrum though. So don't judge the mommy on the plane giving their child whatever they ask for, she might not normally be like that.
5) Thermos Foogo Phases Leak Proof Stainless Steel Straw Bottle - This is the only sippy cup coming with us, stainless steel and leak proof. It claims it will keep things cold or warm for 10 hours, I'll be putting it to the test!
6) Gummy fruit and earplugs - For take off and landing to help with ear pressure, something to keep her jaw moving.  Maybe lollipops, but we'll have to try one before we go to see how messy that gets.
7) Children's Tylenol and Benadryl and a small medicine syringe - She's been congested lately so I'm sure we'll need these.
8) Stroller Blanket - For nap and then while she's playing we'll tuck it underneath her and into the seat in front of her to catch any little things she might drop.
9) A few folded grocery bags - To use as trash bags, and just to easily corral things until we take out the carry on bag to put things away again.
10) Extra earplugs for the rest of the passengers - ok, not really.  But I kind of want to pass some out to the people immediately behind and in front of us with a note of premature thanks and apology, just in case.

Have Toddler, Will Travel - Entertainment Carry-On

We're heading to Iceland shortly and I've been getting things together that we might need to have things go as smoothly as possible. It is an approximately 6 hr flight, which really isn't too bad. However, it is a 6 hour time change for us as well, and that part will be a little harder to handle. It is also almost constant daylight in Iceland right now, so I'm planning for a way to help with that.  The links are not affiliate links, I just added them so you can see what I have for her.  I'm only packing 5 "surprise" bags per direction (one for each hour), since there will be time during take off and landing where we'll be busy putting things away or settling in and not allowed to have stuff out anyway.  The surprise bags will each include 2 activity books, 2 finger puppets, a paper scene for her to build with glue dots and a snack.  Crossing my fingers that this will go well.  I'll share the printable paper scenes next week.

1) Dover Little Activity Books - 10 books, 5 for each flight  - 4-for-3 on Amazon : I focused mainly on the Invisible Picture ones (just need a pencil) and the coloring ones, they are small in dimension and will hopefully keep her pretty occupied.  I stuck to animals mainly and ABC type selections, however I couldn't resist the Little Airport sticker book and hope I don't end up regretting it.

2) Ohio Art Travel Doodle Sketch : A "drawing pad" that you can use over and over and over again, what's not to love? She loves to "color", which is basically her scribbling with any type of writing utensil.  I don't think she'll care that there is no color to this, just black lines

3) Triangular Crayons : Crayons that won't roll off the airplane tray table? Yes, please!  I can't remember if I got her the 8 count or 16 count, right now I'm hoping 8 count so I don't have 16 crayons to keep track of during the flight.  Just because they are anti-roll doesn't mean they are anti-fall.  I might need to try to whip up a crayon roll this weekend to hold them.  They're just straight line sewing, right?

I-Spy Bag
4) I Spy or Seek and Find Bag : Hopefully, this works out well for her.  I think it will.  I made these for her and she has had fun looking at them a little, so I'm hoping she has the attention span to handle something like this.  I made two, one with little objects and this one with alphabet beads.

5) Finger Puppets : ours are from Ikea, we have a whole bunch from various places.  I'll be putting 2 different ones in each bag of the hour.  By the end of the ride we should only have 10 to deal with. I'll stick with the animals she loves, fishies, puppies, tigers, etc.

6) Portable DVD Player and a few movies : ours has about a 9" screen and it is several years old at this point so I can't find it with a simple search.  It's nothing fancy, but it will hopefully keep her entertained for a little while at least.  Her attention span will tolerate a full movie only if it's loaded with puppies or if it is Winnie the Pooh.  So we have some shorter movies that she loves, but we purposefully have kept hidden for a while.  She'll be super happy to see them, I hope.

7) MP3 Player : Mine is like this, but an older model.  I'll load up with her favorite songs, "Wheels on the Bus", "I'm a Little Teapot", "It's Raining, It's Pouring".  In another folder, I'll load it with her favorite songs to have me sing at night time, "Baby Mine", "Winnie The Pooh", "Bubbly", "Good Night Sweetheart", "Put Your Records On".  That way we can shuffle a folder, depending on whether it's nap time or awake time.

8) Favorite Books - Jamberry, Good Night Moon, and Tumble Bumble will hopefully be enough, board books are heavy and take up a lot of room.  I could probably just bring Jamberry and she'd be happy! I'll also have some books on tape on the MP3 player, and I can probably recite 10-20 purely from memory.

9 & 10) Pooh Bear and Blanket : These two go hand in hand. They are not exactly entertainment, but we won't get through the flight and naptime without them.  The blanket goes with her everywhere!  Pooh goes with her most of the time too, he's actually in a Tonka trunk just to the left of her when I took this picture.

Just a Minute... in May

Jen formerly of August Street, now Crafty Type, used to have a Just A Minute feature, which I enjoyed. She is no longer doing it, but I think I'll go ahead and reflect on my months just the same.

Reading... The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby and Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off "Auto" and Photograph Your Life like a Pro by Rachel Devine and Peta Mazey

Making... travel packages for our trip to Iceland

Watching... Once Upon A Time

Listening... to I've Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra

Loving... dinners on the patio and playing with Kirsten in the backyard

Dreaming... of Skyr, Kleinur, br├║nterta and sk├│laostur

Planning... our trip to Iceland, preplanning plenty for air travel with a toddler

Baking... Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Outdoor Dining

In the Upper Midwest, we've reached the time of year where it's not too hot, not too cold, not too buggy and often the biggest concern is how breezy it is outside. The perfect weather for outdoor dining is upon us and I'm taking advantage of it as much as possible. Every evening when I get home I've been asking hubby if he thinks it's too windy to eat outside.  I'm asking his opinion, because otherwise I'd be out there every evening, too windy or not!  I can just see us chasing down the napkins, or biscuits or my daughter's half empty cup across the yard.

Glass of tea in the backyard with Kirsten and Daddy playing in the background
Enjoying a glass of tea while watching Kirsten and hubby play ball.

Since I do tend to push the limits of when it's suitable to eat outdoors and when it's too windy, I try to do a few things in order to make dining outdoors a little easier.

If possible, put the food on your plates in the kitchen rather than serving "family style".  That way you are just carrying dinner plates outside and not all the dishes and condiments and other things you might need.

Wrap the napkins around silverware to prevent them from flying off until you are ready to sit down.

Stick to heavier veggies and fruit speared kebab style, rather than lighter things like spinach salad.  I watched almost half my spinach salad blow off my plate one evening with one particularly gusty breeze on an otherwise lightly breezy day.

An outdoor table cloth with a bit of elastic sewn to each corner to wrap around the table edge or heavy washer weights sewn to the hem will help keep your tablecloth from blowing up and taking other things with it.

Do you have any tips that make dining outdoors easier for you?

Reducing Stains with Toddlers - Homemaking Tips

My daughter is 2, she does really well feeding herself, but lets face it... she's 2. She's going to get stains, and I'm not going to keep buying her clothes just for them to get stained right away.  Here are a few things I've started doing in the last 2 months because I was tired of the stains.

1) I keep her school menu in the nursery.  Some of you are probably thinking, "How does that help?!" But yes I use my daughter's school menu in the nursery. "Why?" So I can look at the menu and pick out the clothes she'll wear for the week based on the stains she is likely to accumulate that day. Spaghetti, go red; blueberries, go purple. I hate dressing her in stained clothing, but I know she's just going to get more stains. Now I try to minimize stain appearance, so I can dress her in stained clothing and not worry about her looking like a mess.

Tomato Sauce and Chocolate = red shirt or no shirt in this case!
2) To prevent stains at home, we take her shirt off at the dinner table and she gets her bath right after dinner.

3) After she's done eating and we're going to wash her hands and face, she always wants to touch the wall or the chair or me.  So we've started walking to the bathroom with our hands held high in the air.  I walk like this too as an example.  No more handprints to be cleaned up after.  We look silly, but it's SOOOOOO worth it.

4) This tip works for girls, more so than boys: If we are going somewhere where she has to be dressed up and there is food involved (like a restaurant, wedding, funeral, party) instead of a bib, I bring her apron.  It looks cute on her, and it covers a lot more.  Saves her cute dresses from stains without undressing her in public, but I don't have to try to feed her and fight with her saying "me do it".  Let's be honest here, she stopped wanting to be fed and started grabbing for the spoon herself about the same time she started eating solids.

5) If she does gets stains, I have the Martha Stewart Stain Guide handy.

Maybe I should start wearing red shirts on spaghetti day too!  I hope these help!

Mother's Day and Monday Musings - Rajneesh

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

Before I was a mother, when I was wished a Happy Mother's Day it was painful, a reminder that it didn't matter how desperately I wanted to be a mother, I was not one.  It was the one day a year that I wanted to hide and not be around anyone except my hubby.  The well-meaning people who would wish me Happy Mother's Day didn't know how much pain they were causing, at least I hope not.  Being a mother was something special, something wonderful, and I wanted my Mother's days to be about honoring my mother, not being reminded that I wasn't one yet.

Now it is one of my favorite days of the year, because finally after waiting 13 years I bear the title, "Mother", and it is oh, so much more than a title.  It is a day that I spend constantly aware and ever so thankful for the little girl in my life.  Also, because becoming a mother myself has made me really appreciate the love a mother has for her child, the love my mother has for me, so much more.

My darling baby girl

When my hubby asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day I expect he was wanting a restaurant name to make a reservation.  I really just wanted a relaxing day at home to enjoy my family!

Coffee and the broken tree while talking with my mother

So instead, a little grocery shopping was in order.  I ended up waking up unusually early, so I sat out on my patio and chatted with my mom at 5:30 in the morning over a coffee, just me and the broken tree.  Then I got baking and cooking, I made fresh biscuits, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs with chives from the garden, mushrooms in parmesan sauce and fresh fruit.  It was delicious!  We had a lovely breakfast on the patio, and spent the day enjoying the backyard and playing with Kirsten.  A simple lunch of cottage cheese and fruit after the huge brunch and then we finished off the day with hubby grilling for us.  We spent almost the whole day outside on a gorgeous breezy spring day and I couldn't be happier.

mmmmmm biscuits

Sausage Gravy

Chives from the garden

They surprised me at breakfast with a gorgeous necklace with her birthstone and mine.  She helped pick it out at the store so all day she was saying "my necklace", it was cute. Thank you my darling girl and sweet hubby for making this a wonderful Mother's Day.

After putting together the patio furniture hubby lay down on the table wrap
She covered him with her blanket and tucked him in with her bear and then
started patting his back and saying "hush hush" then she popped down so
she could see his eyes "Hi Daddy!!! Get up?!?!"

Happy Mother's Day!


I always knew my mother loved me, but it took becoming a mother myself to understand the completely boundless unconditional love that she has for me and my siblings. I can never adequately express the newly found appreciation that I have for my mother.  We've always been close, she's always been my rock. It's more that I now realize she wasn't just the rock... she was the rock, the air, the water, the everything. Whatever I needed, she was. I love you mom. Thank you.

Thank you to my daughter. You are the most amazing little girl and I can't imagine my life without you. Without you I would not be mommy and there is no one else I'd rather be.

Happy mother's day to all the amazing women in my life... my mother, my Grandma, my Amma, my sister, my aunts, my cousins, my in-law's, my friends.

Happy mother's day to you my dear friends, I hope you have a wonderful day with those you love.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - Recipe

When I first moved to Grand Forks about 17 years ago, we lived in a hundred year old home in an older part of the city. The back corner of the yard had a huge clump of rhubarb. It was the first time I had seen a rhubarb plant and I don't believe I had ever tasted it prior to moving there. I thought it was a big oversized weed of some sort. Well first I thought it was a flower of some sort, but by the end of the first year with no flowers in sight I figured it was like a hosta or a weed. We had no other plants or flowers by it, just the rhubarb.

Rhubarb Harvest
Rhubarb Harvest

So one day when hubby's best friend and wife came over for dinner and a little wedding planning, we were sitting around out back talking and I mentioned pulling up the rhubarb. Except I think it was more like "pulling out that ugly thing and put in my pretty flowers". She was mortified and told me it was rhubarb and told me she'd take it if I didn't want it. She walked over to it, snapped off a stalk, wiped it off on her pant leg and took a bite. "Go grab a small bowl with some sugar in it" she instructed me. So, I grabbed a small bowl from the kitchen and put about 1/4 cup of sugar in it and took it outside. She dipped a stalk into it and handed it to me to take a bite. Oh my! The marriage of the tart and sweet, it was delicious! So I kept the rhubarb, of course! And, I went on a rhubarb recipe quest.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling

When I moved to this house 8 years ago, there was no rhubarb and I didn't think to split my rhubarb and bring half with me when I moved.  After living in this house for about 2-3 years I was missing my rhubarb, so I headed to our local nursery and bought two rhubarb plants.  All was right in the world again!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie ready for the oven
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie ready for the oven

This is a super simple Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, after you make it a few times you have it down, no recipe required. My first rhubarb harvest of the season happened tonight, and since I made strawberry jam yesterday, I thought rhubarb called for a pie.  Unfortunately, I was slipping it into the oven at 10pm, so the lovely natural light for photography was gone for the evening.  So forgive the next few pictures please.

Like the icky pan I use for pie filling spill over catches?
It's more than 17 years old now, but hey it still works.
I do add a pie crust shield before popping it in the oven.

Two recipes back to back, it's just that kind of a weekend I guess.  I'll be making more popsicles tomorrow as well, though I promise I won't post them twice.  I'll be making scones tomorrow though, should we go for 3 recipes in a row? Maybe I'll save those for another week.

A couple of the strawberries got a little dark, I should
have tented the pie with foil for the last 5-10 minutes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

2 cups strawberries
2 cups rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice, or lime if you are out of lemon like I was tonight
1/4 cup tapioca
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter, cut into 8 cubes

Mix together in large bowl, let sit while you make the crust.

This is a single crust, double the ingredients depending on what you want for crust. I use a food processor to make my pie crust, and I use Amy Karol's pie crust ratios off of her cheat sheet, approximately.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 stick of butter, cold and cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
4-5 Tbsp ice cold water

Crust Wash
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp water

Add first four ingredients to the food processor, and pulse a bit to coat the butter and break it up a bit, like 4-5 pulses.  Pour in about 4 Tbsp of the water, and pulse a bit, drizzle in a little more until it just barely comes together.  Then pour it out and push it together into a disk (2 disks if you are doing a double crust), wrap in cling wrap and stick in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Remove the disk(s) from the fridge, roll it out and drape it into your pie plate. If you are doing a double crust, fill it and add the second crust now. Form your edges, however you like.  I like a pretty pinch.

In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk.

Brush the crust that will be exposed while baking with the wash.  If you are doing a single crust, fill it now.

Stick it on an old baking tray to catch any spills. Add a pie crust guard, or make your own with aluminum foil. (It should cover the crust on the outer edges so it doesn't burn.

Bake it at 400F for 55-60 min.

After baking let it rest for a while so all the juices don't flow out as soon as you cut it.

Serve with real vanilla or strawberry ice cream, or mmmmmm a dollop of fresh whipped cream.


Popsicles - Recipe

If you like this blog on Facebook you saw me mention an easy popsicle recipe yesterday, I made them last night and we enjoyed them as a snack after school/work today.

I forgot to take pictures while they were in the making, but luckily I remembered to snap pictures with my phone before they were eaten! They were yummy, but messy! Perfect for a stripped down warm afternoon. I like that these are made with real fruit.  I used a small bag of frozen strawberries, for the fruit juice I used the liquid from the bag, then added back in 2/3 cup of the strawberries.  I used my emulsion blender to puree the two together, then added the honey and pectin and pulsed it a couple of times with the blender.  Using the emulsion blender made clean up very easy.

Homemade Popsicles

2/3 c fruit puree
2/3 c fruit juice
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp fruit pectin

Mix together really well, make sure there are no pectin lumps.
Pour into popsicle molds.
Let set about 5-6 minutes.
Push sticks in about half way.
Stick in the freezer for 8-12 hrs.

Makes about 8 popsicles depending on your mold size.

Homemade Strawberry Popsicles
Homemade Strawberry Popsicles

Homemade Strawberry Popsicles
Also, this week was Teacher's Appreciation Week!  Did you remember? I brought cookies for all of the staff at Kirsten's day care, but then for the admin and all of the toddler teachers I made these little sweet jars with M & M's.  Nothing too fancy, but a little something to say thank you.  There are 2 toddler classrooms, but all the teachers watch her during recess and also at the end of the day as the numbers dwindle down they combine classrooms, so I wanted to include all of the toddler teachers, not just her class.  I made the labels earlier, but I assembled and delivered them without coming home for pictures, so you get an instagram from my phone picture, but you get the idea.

Birthday Party Guest Book Idea

Oooooops! I mentioned in the post about Kirsten's first birthday party that I'd share the guestbook idea I used this year. I even took pictures of it, and somehow forgot to post about it. Susan reminded me yesterday, so here it is. I created a book with Shutterfly using the pictures from this past from her first birthday until about 2 weeks before her 2nd birthday. I had guests sign the liner pages and will be doing this every year. By the time she is 18 she'll have a great little collection of books full of pictures and things to remember about each year complete with greetings and well wishes from the people who love her.

Names blurred to protect the innocent

Freezer Cooking

Do you do "freezer cooking"? For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, it's when you take one day out of your month and prep/cook like crazy filling your freezer with homemade casseroles or other things to make dinner prep through the rest of the month easier. I tried it once, with a complete month's menu and instructions from Saving Dinner and vowed I'd never do it again!!! It was insane, took me more than 3 days for all the prep and didn't significantly cut down on my dinner prep (not enough to make it worth the effort at least). The only thing it really helped with were the "what do you want for dinner?" conversations.

I've been following a few blogs for a while now that advocate freezer cooking and I ignored those posts and just read everything else. As I was about to skip another post today by Life As Mom something made me read it. In retrospect, I can see why my foray into freezer cooking failed miserably, and made me hate it and vow never to do it again.

  1. There were 22 different meals. Sounds great, right? Wrong! So many more things to prep and cook!!! Rather than making 5-7 meals and dividing it into 3-4 bags or trays to spread over a month, I was making 20 different meals. Talk about insanity!
  2. The huge variety made it a very expensive endeavor. I did not save ANY money that month and actually spent way more than I normally would, even if I factored eating out or ordering in once a week.
  3. It took 1 full day and 2 evenings to do all the prep work. It was just hubby and I at the time, so no toddler to distract me at all. I can't even imagine how bad it would be now that my daughter is constantly distracting me.
  4. It didn't save me much time. The concept was assemble the raw ingredients to be cooked on the day you ate them. There was probably 2 maybe 3 meals where the prep work was significant enough to result in decent time savings on the day they were made.
  5. It wasted a LOT of gallon freezer bags.

In the end, it just wasn't worth it and I haven't done it again since. Not saying it won't work for anyone, it just didn't work for me and my family.

Attitude adjustment time... after clicking around some of Life As Mom's freezer cooking posts I think I'm going to give freezer cooking a try again, with some significant adjustments to what I tried last time.


  1. I'll make granola, two loaves of oatmeal bread, a batch of bagels, egg muffins and a batch of toaster waffles to supplement eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit and apple sauce for breakfasts.
  2. I'm going to go through my personal recipes and pick out 5-7 that I think would freeze well that will use a lot of my normal pantry ingredients.
  3. I'll adjust each of them so they'll make 3 meals for my hubby, daughter and I.
  4. I'll make a grocery list, and basic assembly list from those recipes.
  5. I'll shop Friday night and rather than use 1 day to do all my cooking and assembling, I'll make 1 meal each night.  A little extra time each night to create meals for the rest of the month.
  6. I'll let you know how it goes and what recipes I chose and how well they freeze.

My goal will be to choose a vegetarian entree, a fish entree, a leftover generating entree, and a crock pot entree; then I'll round out the rest with favorites. By leftover generating entree, I mean things like roasts or tenderloins where the leftovers can be incorporated into other meals, IE shredded for soup, sandwiches, tacos, etc for weekend lunches.

A couple of resources to help with Freezer Cooking:
Life As Mom
Money Saving Mom
Organized Home
Fearless Freezer Cooking

Corn Starch - Nursery Tips

Have you heard that you aren't supposed to use baby powder? When my daughter was born I received baby powder as part of a gift basket at a baby shower, and was told not to use it discretely by another mom. So I looked it up, apparently the talc can cause breathing issues and seriously, is anything safe for babies anymore? Another gift I received had cornstarch based baby powder in it, so I looked that up... safe, yay! So I keep that in her diaper bag, since it has a twist top to close it. However, on her changing table... a bottle with cornstarch from my kitchen. Yes, really. It's less than half the price.

Corn Starch Baby Powder

I had a round cork topped glass bottle that I wasn't using for anything else and so I just filled it with cornstarch and I just sprinkle directly out of it every diaper change. We call it "tickle powder" because as a baby she always laughed because it tickled when we put it on her. We've been very lucky and only had to deal with 2 bad rashes since she was a baby, and they are NOTHING compared to bad rashes I've seen on other kids. I really do think the corn starch has helped with drying her from the wipes and wetness before putting a new diaper on. I just sprinkle it on and then do two pats with her diaper which sort of disperses it (I hope that makes sense) and attach the tabs after the second pat.  When she was a tiny baby I used to apply it with a cotton ball, which I still do when she has red bumps that I specifically want to target.

On another note, I received 4 tubes of various diaper cream as gifts. The first time she had a bad rash I used diaper cream on it, after two days when it wasn't clearing up at all I just used corn starch on it to keep it dry and it was gone the next day. I haven't used diaper cream since and finally gave it all to her daycare to use up. I don't know if this will work for everyone, but it has worked well for us so I thought I'd share it.


When I started posting again I had added IntenseDebate comments to allow for commentluv and a few other features, but I've recently heard from some people that they never commented because they didn't want to have to create an account. There were other options, but yes you had to have an account on some platform (wordpress, facebook, etc to comment). So I've dropped IntenseDebate, and with it lost any/all comments from the last month. However, hopefully people will comment more with it gone, and I love to hear from you and that's really what this is all about... sharing ideas with each other. Anyone know how to get CommuntLuv on Blogger without using IntenseDebate?


Monday Musings

If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.


I had good intentions of giving some link love back to my favorite blogs with the snippets and links in my blog roll, but I see instead of just adding link love to my blog, it has spammed trackback links to my favorite blogs. Which was NOT my intention at all. I apologize if you had trackbacks on your blog and it spammed links to mine as a result.

Taking Care of the Little Things

It's been a busy and interesting week, I spent last night setting up a Facebook page for the blog. I know quite a few people like to track their blogs through Facebook these days instead of traditional readers.

Like Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers on Facebook... Pretty please.

Kirsten LOVES to push the buttons on the front of the dishwasher, and we usually keep it slightly ajar so she doesn't start it accidentally. So she was pushing buttons and somehow turned on the child lock. Child lock... brilliant! Except I had no idea how to turn it on or off, so I got to spend some time the other night trying to figure out how to turn the child lock off. Bonus to this though is I now know how to turn it on!

After I went through the two closets, I spent some time this week taking care of a few little things and spots around my house that have been driving me crazy for a while. It's funny how many times I'll look at something and it'll bother me, but I think I don't have time to take care of it right that moment. It turns out some of these things took me less than 5 minutes to deal with from start to finish. LESS THAN 5 MINUTES??? Why, oh why, didn't I take care of them sooner? They're minor, trivial things, but it's still nice to get them done. A dear bloggy friend of mine, Susan, wrote about this very thing this week. I wonder if there is something in the air, or perhaps the season? I read her post and knew EXACTLY how she felt. I feel a little less stuck today though, than I did on Monday. Hopefully I can keep going for a while, I still have a few BIG projects to accomplish this spring.

Getting the little things off my mental list felt as good as getting the big things done. So if you have 5 minutes, maybe tackle the small pile of papers, or the phone dumping ground, or the little table in the entry or the pile of shoes, or whatever little thing has been bugging you for a while. When you are done, come back and share a cup of coffee with me... we'll chat a while.

Packing - Trip Planning

I am going to Iceland this summer for about a week and a half. I've made two trips in the last three years where I didn't follow my normal routine for packing and trip planning and it showed. I usually make a list of things I will need and I mark them off as I'm packing them both departing and returning, so I know I'm bringing everything home with me. Usually I'm gone for a week or more, so I tend to bring more stuff, so the list really helps.

First, I went to Minneapolis to visit with Kiy and would only be gone 2 nights, and needed a minimum of clothing/accessories. So, no list. As a result I forgot something, and had to pay to have it shipped back to me. If it was a tube of toothpaste or something along the disposable lines, no problem, but in this case it was my down pillow I got in Iceland. I couldn't just replace it at my local Target. I'm not saying write down a precise description of everything; 3 - shirts, 3 - jeans, 1 - pillow would have sufficed in this case.

The second trip was two years ago when my daughter was born, can you believe I forgot to bring the camera???? I had taken it into the nursery to take pictures since we were finishing up a few last minute things when we got the call that she was on her way. We had an hour to put things away, grab our stuff, run the dogs to my brother-in-law's and head out of town. Halfway there I flashed on an image of the camera sitting on the shelf in the nursery where I left it and almost started to cry. Hubby said "We'll just buy a new camera" which we did as soon as we got to town. The new camera wasn't as nice as the one we had, but it got us through her first three days. Forgetting the camera was COMPLETELY avoidable if I had ran through a quick list.

Now with a little one to pack for as well, lists are more important for me than ever. I can't imagine the crying and hysterics I would endure if I forgot her beloved blanket or Pooh somewhere. It's bad enough when her blanket is in the washing machine. Thankfully, I don't have to cart around near as much as when she was a baby, but trying to carefully plan for what she'll need for 8 days in Iceland is going to be difficult. I'm actually in full potty training mode just so I can hopefully eliminate a large number of diapers and wipes and all that that entails from the list. She'll be quickly thrust into a "big girl" world like real tableware and no crib. I'll try to prepare her a bit over this month.


I also picked up a Trunki for her from zulily or OpenSky for more than 50%, I can't remember which.  I'm thinking it was OpenSky though the more I think about it.  She loves riding around on it and calls it her car.  I'm hoping getting used to it and then having it packed full of special things for her trip will make everything go smoothly.  Well, as smoothly as one can hope for with a 2-year old!

Do you have any tips for traveling with a toddler? I'll be compiling a list of what I am doing for a post in a couple of weeks, I'd love to feature your tips as well!