Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Detangling Doll's Hair

Rapunzel's hair was looking a bit tangled lately.  

I read several ways to repair a doll's hair on pinterest, but all involved fabric softer which I don't use.  So I came up with my own strategy that worked great.  

First I detangled the hair as best as I could.  Then I added some dish soap and rubbed it in the hair.  
Next I soaked the hair in HOT (heated in the microwave where it was almost boiling) water.

Added a few drops of regular conditioner and combed the hair out.  Then I soaked again in the HOT water.  I brushed the hair again and left it to dry overnight.  

In the morning the hair was soft and smooth and brushed easily.

Clare is happy to be brushing Rapunzel's hair once again!  
(And now she's longing for a Flynn Rider doll!)

Linking here:

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Peak at our Week

{Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary today for a case of the Friday Quick-Takes.}  

1. Clare is really gaining confidence and speed in the water!  
She placed 2nd in two races at her swim meet this week!  

2. Quiet time (when Ellen naps) = TV time for the older two kids.  A gaggle of matchbox cars joined in for some R&R while Ellen slept the other day.  

3.  We watered our neighbors' vegetable garden last week while they took a trip to the Rocky Mountains.  They brought us back a unique souvenir!  These chocolate peanuts were devoured in less than a day.

4.  Other neighbors were kind enough to gift us with some of their home-grown garlic.  They grew the one on the left, the one on the right is store-bought.  Impressive!

5. Enjoying my bright summer toes - Charged Up Cherry!
(Ellen, Clare, and I are all sporting this new color!)

6. We went ahead and helped ourselves to the school supplies that are already out.  I always fear they will be picked over if I wait, especially when we need 8 glue sticks for 1st grade (down from the 20 we needed last year for kindergarten)!  And, yes, I was kind enough to let Clare get a "fun" Hello Kitty notebook.  

7. Happy Friday!  (That's all I've got!) 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

In Full Bloom

Our sunflowers bloomed!  The kids were excited since they started them out from seeds this spring.  

And now we are checking "grow a sunflower" off our 2012 summer bucket list

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whose Pumpkin is it?

Last year we grew a huge pumpkin vine from one seed.  (I'm - somewhat unsuccessfully - attempting to grow pachysandra in that space this year, so we skipped out on pumpkins.)  

Right about this time of year last year when the pumpkins were about the size of softballs I took a nail and lightly scratched the kids' names on them.  Just deep enough to gently break the skin.  

Come October when we harvested them, everyone had their very own personalized pumpkin on Halloween!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bacon Cheese Dip AKA "To Die for Dip"

This appetizer dip is so not good for you, but so amazingly good....mostly because it contains BACON.

1 block cream cheese
1 cup mayo (NOT Miracle Whip)
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
Handful or so of green onions (more or less to your liking)
1 small bag of real bacon bits

Mic first 4 ingredients together.  Microwave for about 2 - 3 minutes.  Make sure center is warm.  Put bacon on top and microwave for 30 seconds - 1 minute.  (Don't overcook or it will get greasy!)  
Serve with wheat thin crackers.


Linking here:

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Eat Mor Chikin"

Last Friday was "Dress Like a Cow, Get Free Chicken Day" at Chick-Fil-A.  The kids and I were happy to participate for a complementary lunch!  (Ryan says I "live off the land" when I take part in things like this...)  For me, it was entertainment and lunch for the kids all rolled into one.  

Thanks for a delicious lunch, Chick-fil-A!

Wishing you a fun Friday!

Cleaning the Dishwasher...Inside and Out

Sharing some of my favorite dishwasher cleaning goodies today...  In no particular order, here are some of my favorite ways to keep my dishes, and hard-working dishwasher, sparkling clean!  

1. I discovered Weiman Stainless Steel wipes after we upgraded our dishwasher 2 years ago. 

They keep the front of my stainless steel dishwasher looking like new.   

3. My favorite dish washer detergent:

Finish dishwashing tabs leave everything spick and span!

4. And for a shiny finish, I love adding OxiClean Dishwashing Booster to a load of dishes.

Everything looks like new!

Happy Dishwashing!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Traveling Tips

Like everyone else, we have done our fair share of traveling this summer.  

3 kids + 46 hours in the car + 13 total days away from home means a mom needs to have a plan...or all trips will miserably fail!

I have found that the best way to pack the kids' clothes for a trip is by using ziploc freezer bags.  Living out of a suitcase is never ideal, but when complete outfits are packed together, everything down to socks and underwear are easy to access when they are needed.  

As for keeping kids entertained in the car...let's just say there's a reason why we did some nighttime traveling this summer.  On our usual 9 hr. trips to Grandpa and Grandma's house we usually rely on some of these things for backseat entertainment.  

May your summer travels be safe...and sane!

Linking here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chia Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Ryan and I have joined the chia seed epidemic.  I tweaked a few recipes to our liking and we have been enjoying these chia banana oatmeal muffins (made with no butter, oil, or sugar!) for a quick and easy breakfast.

Chia Banana Oatmeal Muffins

2 tablespoons chia seeds
3/4 cup flour (could use whole wheat)
3/4 cup oatmeal
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup applesauce
1 egg

Combine chia seeds, flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, and baking soda.  Mix bananas, honey, vanilla, applesauce, and egg.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Bake in greased muffin pan at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen moist and delicious muffins.

Linking here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Here Comes Baby

First off, I'm not making any announcements here!  My older sister is expecting her first baby in September, which will make me an aunt for the first time on my side of the family!!

I have been giving her my two cents on all things baby over the last few months.  
(Don't worry, she has asked for my expertise input!)

I ended up compiling a list on anything and everything to help prepare for baby.  
Here is my finished product...

(*I have never done bottles or cloth diapers, so I'm out of the loop on any recommendations.)

For Bebe:
  • Diapers, wipes, rubbing alcohol, q-tips, baby powder or diaper rash ointment, ointment and gauze if it’s a boy (hospital may give.)
  •  Purrell / Germ-x by changing station.  I think it's easier to wash hands with that than attempt to wash hands while holding baby 10x a day.  (But that’s just my opinion.) 
  • Baby wash and/or shampoo.  Baby lotion.
  • Thinner baby towels and washcloths.
  • Comb or brush.  
  • Nail clippers.  Will want to bring these to the hospital because baby will have long paper-thin nails.  Sometimes it’s almost easier to peal/bite them off because they are so thin. 
  • Bulb syringe and thermometer.  (Hospital may provide.)
  • Baby monitor.
  • Crib sheets and crib mattress cover.  (I have 2 of each.  If the sheet is soiled, the pad most likely will be, too.) 
  • Crib bumper pad. 
  • Lighter swaddling blankets.
  • Larger thin blanket for nursing under when out and about.  (Too thick and they might get too sweaty underneath.  Larger so you can feel you are covered enough, like when you are at church.) 
  • Burp cloths.
  • Changing pad and cover.  (I only have 1 cover and it’s fine.  I usually leave a burb cloth on it at first when poop is especially messy.)
  • Binks.  My advice would be to force it, but I won’t judge.  :)
  • Diaper bag or any large bag with smaller pockets.  I end up using this as my purse the first 6 months or so.  So you might want to find something that has a smaller zipper pocket where you can keep your wallet, keys, phone.  You don’t want to be lugging around the car seat and 2 other bags. 
  • Changing pad or thicker/larger burp cloth or blanket to keep in diaper bag to change diapers on when you are not at home.
  • Wipes travel case for diaper bag.  
  • Stroller and infant car seat.  Will be in infant seat until around 9 months or when they are too long to fit in it while facing backwards...or get too heavy to carry in it.  The car seats come with a base which makes them very easy to get in and out of the car. 
  • High chair of some kind.
  • Bouncer seat.  Or just something for them to sit it while you are eating, showering, cooking,  doing laundry, folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, or anything else that is easier to do with 2 hands.  I would keep a bouncer seat upstairs and then you aren’t lugging your car seat up and downstairs when baby needs a spot to sit.    
  • Baby swing.  A swing usually = SLEEP for baby.  Perfect for all above activities.  
  • Onesies, sleepers, clothing in general.  Keep in mind that they will poop through things.  And that some gifts might be that of clothing.
  • Long-sleeve undershirts.  The kind that covers their hands are esp good so they won’t scratch their face when they sleep.  I like to let them sleep in just an undershirt at night with a swaddling blanket the first 6 weeks.  Then there are no pants, snaps, etc. to deal with during nighttime diaper changes.  
  • Bibs.  Use for spit-up and teething.  Baby saliva can stain clothes.  If you don’t use them for these purposes, your baby will eventually eat spaghetti and chocolate ice cream...
  • Baby spoons, plates/bowls, sippy cups - I only buy the Gerber sippy cups.  They are the only ones that don't leak and the stoppers are interchangeable from the two-handle starter cups to their toddler cups.

For Mommy:
  • Feminine products - 1 months supply, no tampons.
  • Nursing bras - at least 3.  Two for daily use.  One for sleeping in for about the first 6 months.  I would get something softer (not underwire) for nighttime.  Wait to buy these until the end of your pregnancy to get the right size.
  • Nursing pads.  Only use disposable - you will leak through the washable ones.  Thicker at first for daytime and nighttime.  Thinner ones for daily use after the first few weeks. 
  • Handy/easy snacks: cheese sticks, almonds, granola bars, fresh fruit and veggies, etc.
  • Freezer meals.  Between friends and family and what I freeze, we are usually set for the first month.  

If you are still reading this...is there anything I forgot or something you recommend?  Please share!

Linking here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

How We Spent our Week - Quick Takes Style

Happy Friday!  

1.  Jude found a newborn picture of himself (with doting parents) and decided it needed to be properly displayed on the bulletin board downstairs by the laundry room.  

2.  If looks could kill.  Or maybe she's working on her version of the Zoolander pose?    

3.  We have been asking for more responsibility around here, particularly in picking up after yourself and helping with the nightly clean up.  Clare put the dolls away in the dollhouse the other night and I found the mom and dad like this the following morning.    

4.  Jude's 2nd breakfast:
Cheese?  Check.
Tongs?  Check.
Garlic press if needed?  Check.
Batman winter pajamas?  Check.

5.  Ellen, AKA Miss Shoe Fashion Police, has a new favorite pair of shoes.  It doesn't matter that they are black patent leather and it's the heat of July.  They especially make quite a statement when paired with a bathing suit.  

6.  At the grocery store this week, the Hot Wheels display caught Jude's eye and I let him pick a car out to take home.  That one new car was brought home and introduced to the others that haven't been out in awhile.  Days upon days of "new" entertainment here.   

7.  We made no bake cookies the other day in honor of my brother Max's birthday.  They are his favorite cookie/dessert and we were happy celebrate many miles away!  

Enjoy your weekend!

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ice Cream in a Bag

I found this recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream in Family Fun and the kids enjoyed making our very own ice cream (no ice cream maker needed!).

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine ingredients in a sandwich baggie and seal to close.  

Place 1/2 cup coarse salt in a gallon-sized freezer bag, then fill with ice cubes.  

Place smaller bag inside larger bag and seal the freezer bag.  

Shake for about 5 minutes.

Open and enjoy!  

(This made enough ice cream for 2 children-sized cones.)

A tasty afternoon activity and treat!

Linking here.