Thursday, May 31, 2012

Product Review - Soda Stream

If you haven't heard of a Soda Stream you should look it up and try it out. It's my favorite kitchen gadget EVER! I've had mine for about a year and a half now. I wish I had one of the cuter colorful ones, but mine still works fine. It's really simple to use. You fill the bottle with water, carbonate it, and then add the flavors.

I have a Soda Stream Genesis that I got at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I used a 20% off coupon which made it pretty reasonable. It comes with:

 - Soda Stream Stand
 - Carbon Tank
 - 2 large soda bottles ( the smaller colorful bottles are purchased seperate)
 - Soda Sampler pack

They seem to have more and more flavors everytime I go back the Bed, Bath & Beyond. When I first got it, it was only the basics. They range from $4.99 to $6.99 a bottle and they are even sold at place like Target as well.

My two favorite flavors are Diet Orange and Diet Fountain Mist ( Diet Mountain Dew). I like that they have a lot less ingredients than regular Diet Sodas and it's definitely cheaper in the long run. Even the non-diet versions have less calories than traditional sodas.

These are two of the newest flavors. Carbonated Crystal light is awesome! I love that they make a lemonade because we don't let the girls drink soda and this way they can feel included.

They also have carbonated water options, but in my opinion they remind me of alkazelser. I love carbonated drinks and really like that I can choose how much carbonation there is. My hubby doesn't think that it tastes like the "real" flavors, but if you like a variety of sodas, then this is for you. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

End Of Year Teacher Gift

It's that time of year. I'm sure you all have seen Teacher Gifts all over Blog land. A while ago we bought Fabric Crayons on a whim while shopping at Joann's. Since then, Maddie has been bugging me to try them out. I thought that a Teacher Gift would be the perfect opportunity.

Of course I forgot to take a finished picture of the Teacher's gift before we gave it to her, but I sent the crayons to school with Maddie and asked her teacher to draw Maddie a picture for a special end of year gift for her too.

The Supplies needed for this gift are:

 - White (or light) fabric
 - Fun fabric for the back
 - Fabric Crayons
 - White paper
 - Iron

I had Maddie draw a picture that she thought her teacher would like. In her words, this is a barn with Mary, baby Jesus, Maddie and Ms. M. Can you tell goes to a Christian School? I wanted her name to be on it as well, but the drawing transfers backwards so I had her write her name on a page in pencil and traced over it in Fabric Crayon on the back of the paper.

Her teacher lives on a farm and is married to a rodeo cowboy so this is the fabric she chose on the back.

Now Maddie and her amazing Pre-K teacher have matching pillows to remember each other by. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How I Clean - Carseats

Yes, I let my girls eat in the car. As a result, their seat, especially my youngest's, get really gross. I mean crumbs galore, dried up fruit snacks, gross. Am I the only one? Because of this, I wash the car seats at least once every other month along with shop vac-ing the back seats a few times a week. I guess that's the price you pay with an on-the-go family. 

Please tell me other people have car seats that look like this.

After many years of scrubbing carseats, this is how I do it.....

Start by taking off the cloth cover and all the straps. If you've never done this before it can be really tricky and kind of confusing. The first time I took a car seat apart I separated the straps front/back then left/right.

Once everything is separated throw the cloth cover in the washing machine on a regular cycle, but do not dry. They start to come apart at the seams in the dryer. Learn from my mistakes on that one. Take all the straps and latches and soak them in a sink of warm water and dish soap. (If it can clean the food off your dishes, then it can clean the food off your car seats).

I usually soak the straps for an hour or so. Most of the dirk soaks off, some of the small spots will and buttons you will need a toothpick to get to. The water afterwards is pretty aweful looking, but better there than next to your little ones skin.

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Here is how it looks after a good cleaning.

This car seat is almost 2 years old and it still looks brand new thanks to regular cleaning.

After all this time I was starting to get bored with the same old seat so I decided to update it with a car seat cover that I found at and the Dora strap covers that I made her.

Here is my beautiful little Abby enjoying her freshing cleaned and newly update car seat. I think she's happy with it. :)

Linking up at: 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Car Seat Strap Cover

Now that the weather is warmer, that means more tank tops and halter tops. That also means the car seat is leaving marks on my poor Abby's shoulders. I decided to try to make her some fleece strap covers.

Now hopefully her straps won't dig into her shoulders and she'll smile at her favorite Dora sitting with her in the car. They were super easy to make.

All you need is:

2 pieces of fleece, 4 1/2" x 10"

4 - 5" pieces of velcro
2 of the hook side (scratchy)
2 of the loop side (soft)

Fold each of the 10" pieces of fleece in half "hamburger style". Stitch 1/4 inch around the outside of the fold.

Sew one side of the velcro to the left side of the square about 1/8 inch around the edge. Then flip over the square and sew to opposite side of teh velcro to the left side of the back. After both are sewn on it should look like the picture on the right.

Once the straps were folded up, I hot glued 2 Dora bottle caps onto each of the straps.

Looks super cute with her new Dora Seat Cover.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pretend Play Oven Mitts

My girls love their party kitchen. They have plenty of pretend food, but they lack some of the fun accessories like oven mitts and aprons.

I started with the oven mitts. Maddie had fun being my 'hand model'.

We got some copy paper and traced about 2 inches around the outside of her hand and cut it out.

Then we traced the pattern onto what was left of her birthday skirt fabric. (The only fabric we has with food on it. Seemed fitting.) Abby decided that the pattern was boring and colored it in. We also traced it onto some white fleece for the soft inside of the mitt.

Next, put the right sides together and sew 1/4 seam allowance along the bottom. Then turn the mitt over so the wrong sides are touching.

All the oven mitts I have are quilted on the outside, so I thought that would be a nice feature to add. I stitched the lines about 3/4 inch apart along the whole surface. This is through both layers. Then put the 'cupcake' sides together, stitch 1/4 seam allowance around the outside, then turn the mitt right side out.

Here's my Maddie modeling her new oven mitt. :)

And here's the close-up.

In the end, I made one for each of my girls.

**WARNING** Though obvious, these are only for pretend play. I'm pretty sure they would be somewhat less than effective around a real oven. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Halter Tops

Summer is coming fast and my girls need some cute summer tops. I thought that halters would be fun to make and relatively easy, but I wasn't sure how to draw up a pattern. I found this chartover at The Green Wife and it was exactly what I needed.


I got the girls' measurements together and grew up the patterns on the back of some Christmas wrapping paper. Use what you have, right?

 Here's the front. My little one LOVES dinosaurs. I was super excited to find this fabric because the colors are pretty girly.

Abby showing off the T-Rex. I used floral ribbon for the front and the strap to up the girly factor.

My Maddie posing. This is the look she gives me every time I tell her it's time to take a picture. 

 She chose Fairy Odd Parents fabric for her top.

Who doesn't love a good twirl picture. :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tooth Fairy Pillow

My 5 year old got into the car at pick up today and said that she had a loose tooth. I almost died. She just turned 5! I'm not ready for such a big milestone. It was my bright idea to give her that apple. I'm hoping that it will stay where it is for a little while longer, but just in case, I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to do something special for the tooth (whenever it decided to fall out) to get her excited about the tooth fairy. I thought that a special pillow to put the tooth in would be perfect. What better than one shaped like a tooth?

My sister's oldest is starting to lose teeth as well, so I though I would make one for her boys as well. :) It was super easy. Here's how it goes....

I started by drawing out a basic tooth shape and a pocket out of white felt and a smile out of black felt.

I used a straight stitch to attach the mouth and used 2 large buttons for the eyes.

I stitched a zigzag along with top of the pocket for accent, then stitched it onto the back of the pillow.

I stitched the 2 sided together with the "wrong" sides together, leaving about 3 inches at the top to fill it, then I stitched up the fill hole.

It turned out better than I thought. I can't wait the show Maddie in the morning. Hope it's a while before we get to test it out. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Product Review - Remington Tangle Tamer

I'm not one of those moms that lets my girls go out with crazy hair because they wouldn't "let" me do their hair. My girls have had ponytails/braids/clips, you name it, since their first sprouts of hair. On the down side, they both have fine/fly away hair that tangles like nobody's business. That's where this awesome gadget comes in.....
 This is a Reminton Tangle Tamer. I got it on Amazon for like $7. The price seems to fluxuate a lot from what I've seen. I was skepticle, but was getting tired of the crying when it came time to brush out tangles. It works on wet and dry hair and it is a dream. The little teeth looking things rotate through the hair and don't get caught at all. It has 5 star reviews everywhere I've seen as well.

I love that my girls say it tickles when I comb their hair instead of hurts. My 5 year old even ran it through my hair and it feels like a head massage. It's great. If you're raising a sensitive head. It's a must have. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Butterfly Dress

With Maddie's birthday and the Talent Show, I've been making a lot of things for my Maddie lately. Abby looked at me a couple days ago and said, "Where's my dress Mommy." So the last couple of days I put this together.

My beautiful girl's favorite color is Yellow. It fits her personality. I used  the same pattern for the top as Maddie's  puppy dress, just a little bit smaller. This was my first attempt at a circle skirt. It was going to be a little bit shorter than I wanted so I added the bright blue 'sash' to it. The piece I had in my stash was almost exactly the right size, like it was waiting for this dress. I lined it with the same dark pink as the butterflies as well.

Here's the back. I can't beilieve how long her hair is getting. I added a yellow zipper from my stash. Now for the obligitory twirl picture.

I love how warm the weather is for the middle of May.