Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cup Cozy Giveaway

You all know how much I love making cup cozies so I decided to do a giveaway just in time for the holiday.   I'll be making a bright and funky colored cup cozy to give away to one of my readers.

Just leave a comment here letting me know you want to be entered.  Tweet or blog about this giveaway and you get an extra entry (just leave an additional comment).
I'll choose the winner at random this Saturday.

These colors will be sure to brighten any dreary winter day.

Great gift ideas: Wee Wonderfuls

Ever since a friend made us this bunny I've been in love with Wee Wonderfuls.
After having so much fun making my own bunnies for family and friends I decided to make their Pointy Kitty.  I had a lot of fun making it and I hope the recipient loves it as well. 

Wee Wonderfuls have some adorable free patterns and even more patterns you can buy.  I love that their patterns are simple and easy to follow even for a beginner like me.  In not time you can whip up your own set of animals for the munchkin in your life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A total mommy moment

I can't help it, maybe it's just me, but I love watching Garrett eat.

I just find it adorable, amazing and hilarious at the same time.  He's such a wonderful eater and he enjoys doing it himself.  He eats just about anything you give him and does so with such gusto. 

I love my little guy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Going to McDonalds does NOT make me a bad mom!

I'm hearing so many parents today who say "my child will never eat that" or "we don't allow that kind of crap". Now I'm very careful with what my family eats especially since I'm a diabetic.  Our meals are balanced and there are lots of fruits and veggies.
So when Ben says "McDonalds tonight?" I don't have a problem with it.   Admittedly ours has a playspace and it's great for Garrett to run around and play (especially during the colder months in New England).
While visiting Western MA for Thanksgiving we got together with my friend  Ali and her husband and daughter.  We decided to meet at McDonalds since it has a play area. 
Putting shoes in the cubby

Garrett and Ro got lots of time to play and hand lots of fun while us parents got to chat.

"But you let him eat that stuff?"  Yes, yes I do.  We get him either nuggets or a burger and apple dippers.  He'll invariably reach for fruit before anything else. He'll even eat bits of my salad.  Garrett is a good eater, he's not picky and will eat just about anything set in front of him.  I'd be more worried if he never got a treat, never got to eat anything different. Maybe it's not a mommy perfect meal but he doesn't eat it all the time and certainly knows that McDonalds is a special treat.

So don't worry mom it's ok to go to McDonalds once in a while.  It's all about balance.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Family Fun Day: Enchanted Village/Jordan's Furniture

Family Fun, at a furniture store?
It's why we love Jordan's Furniture.  Different locations have different attractions.  One location has a Mardi Gras show every hour.  Another has a village made out of jelly beans, a dancing fountain and a trapeze school.  It's even fun just walking through their store and looking at everything.

We decided to go to the Enchanted Village.

The display used to be in Boston but the city had to sell it.  Jordan's bought it and keep it on display during the holiday season.   
The line was long but it moved.  I'd hate to think of how long it will get in the next few weeks. 

They've done an amazing job of restoring everything and making it look so realistic.  Garrett had a lot of fun watching the displays.

Every 10 minutes or so they'd have a machine go off and make "snow" (it was really just bubble foam) and Garrett found this amazing and hilarious at the same time.

We had lots of fun and like my other Family Fun Days we didn't have to spend anything on our adventures.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great gift ideas: fused plastic

Plastic?  For a gift?  What about reusable bags, biodegradable and things that are safe for the environment?  You know that tube of plastic bags you have?  Well this is the perfect way to recycle them into something really cool.
I love the colors on this bag

Once it's fused the plastic gets very rigid.

There are tons of tutorials online or you could pick up a book such as Upcycled Accessories to get ideas.
I'm really enjoying working with plastic and coming up with funky creations.  One of my favorites is a purse I made for a friends daughter using the bag from our Halloween candy. 

You can even get more adventurous and add crayon shavings or confetti to your fused plastic to make different colors and pattern. 

Plastic bags are perfect for making bibs as well.  The best part is that you have all the materials at home and are reusing plastic bags in a fun way.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Upcycled gift bows

A few days ago a crafty friend of mine (who also happens to be Garrett's god mother) posted a link to a great DIY project for the holidays.   It isn't a gift, but a gift bow tutorial.  Not just any gift bow, but gift bows made from recycled magazine covers.
I had to try it.   It was fast and easy (2 things I love when it comes to getting things done for the holidays).   Here's my gift bow:

Instead of using a magazine cover I used a page from an advertisement I got.  It wasn't shiny but the paper was a nice weight and I love the jewel tones in the ad.   It took me about 10 minutes to cut, staple and then glue everything together.  Now I only wish I had more packages to make bows for.

The pants are finally finished!!!!

I'm so excited.  Garrett's skull pants are done.  I'm really happy with them and they'll fit him for a while.
The back
The Front


He wore them today and I bragged to everyone at playgroup who would listen.  I'm really proud of myself for making these.

Holiday card preview

Here it is the picture we're putting on our holiday cards this year:
What a big change from last year:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Family Fun Day: Cranberry Bogs and Plymouth Rock

It's almost Thanksgiving and in New England that means CRANBERRIES!  
So off we went down to Flax Pond Cranberry Co. to see their bogs.

Unlike the Ocean Spray commercials this particular bog is dry harvested which means that you can see the foliage in the bog.
I love the deep burgundy of the cranberry plants.  I asked Kathy (our guide) about the color.  It turns out that the color isn't from the cranberries themselves but rather from the leaves that change color in the fall just as the trees do.   

 We watched them sort out the cranberries.  Garrett thought it was funny how they bounced about.

He also hammed it up for the camera a little bit.  Which was fine with me because I love this shot.

 After that we got in the car and drove the next town over to Plymouth.

 Where apparently I am selling fried dough.

The park was full of re-enactors from different time periods.

 And a tent showing off pelts and other things that can be found when you visit the Plimoth Plantation.

No trip to Plymouth is complete without seeing Plymouth Rock.

Or the Mayflower 2, which always reminds me just how small the Mayflower was.

Garrett helped daddy walk down the street.

And then we decided to share a cup of hot cocoa and call it a day.

It was loads of fun.  Other then the cup of cocoa (and gas) we didn't spend a penny.  I hope that Garrett will grow up learning about the interesting things that surround him.  The history is truly amazing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Searching for Swag

I'm not usually one to gush about this sort of thing but I've been having lots of luck with Swag Bucks
Maybe I just want to show off my latest swag from their store.  I scored this adorable pink pearl necklace.

In an age where so many people want something for nothing Swag Bucks gives me something for doing what I do every day.  Searching the web.  Yup, it's that simple.  I use their search engine to search for things and get awarded swag bucks which I can redeem for swag like the necklace.
They even have a widget so you can click and see where there are special codes for bonus swag bucks hiding on the site.

I installed their toolbar and get even more points just for surfing the web.  Even when I don't have things to search for I can still get points by searching for my regular comics (instead of just going directly to the page).
It's fast and easy to accrue points and I've gotten several other swag items.

Who could argue with getting things for searching the web?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great gift ideas: coffee cup cozy

Lets face it, these days just about everyone enjoys a cup of coffee (or tea) in the morning.  Whether you buy a cup from the shop, brew your own, or bring your own cup to work you still have to hold that hot cup in your hand. But why use a cardboard sleeve when you can make your own custom cup cozy?
I'm in love with this simple pattern. It doesn't require a lot of skill or time.  Since it's fast you can make one (or many) in a short about of time.  I'm a big fan of projects that let me use up my fabric scraps and extra buttons. 

It's fun and easy to make one for everyone on your list.  Just swap out fabrics and buttons to make each one more personal for the recipient. They make great stocking stuffers or give them as a gift with a gift card to their favorite coffee place. Just think of the compliments they'll get walking around with a one of a kind cup cozy.  Plus you'll help keep those cardboard sleeves out of the trash.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boston for Beans

Let's face it, finding something to do on the weekend with your toddler can be expensive.  In Boston there are museums, aquariums and tons of cute stores.  Like most parents these days we're on a budget and need to find ways to have fun without spending tons of money. 
Since today was a lovely day, a crisp 60 degrees Fahrenheit, we went into downtown Boston. Instead of taking the car and looking for parking we decided to take the T.

 Before we got on the train I noticed some inspirational graffiti.

We decided to walk down historic Charles St in the Back Bay.

You can have modern signs.  Even the post office fits in with the Colonial vibe.

A sure sign that winter is upon us: fat squirrels!

A walk through Boston Commons and a stop at the playground before lunch.

We brought our own lunch and sat in the park and ate.  After which we continued on towards the water.
We walked down by the State House (where the Boston Massacre occurred) and on to Faneuil Hall (you can see the clock tower in the background) and Quincy Market.

We stopped for a little while to watch a performer at Quincy Market.  Yes, he was juggling a chainsaw.

On to the Aquarium.  Instead of paying to get in we stood outside and watched the Harbor Seal exhibit for a while.

We were all pretty tired so we took a walk along the water to get to a T station.

We did a lot of walking and had a wonderful time together without spending more then a few dollars.

Even if you don't live in a larger city you can still have fun exploring your city or town.  It's an inexpensive way to have a great day out together and discover more about where you live.