Popular Posts

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Crocheted baby hats for donations

I love to knit and crochet. I do both on a regular basis, doing one or the other almost daily. I make things for my children. I make things for myself. I make things for friends who are having babies. I make things to donate. It is something I do to keep myself awake in the evening.

One of the things I make a lot of is baby hats. I like to donate them to the local hospital for the new babies. They always need more hats, so I enjoy taking them a large bag of new hats every now and again. Since I am expecting again, I figured I would have a bag of hats to take with me when I go to deliver my baby (as I did with my last child) so they have more on hand. It was nice when I did this last time as it turned out they did not have any baby boy hats (except those I had just brought to them), so my son got a hat I had made and donated. Here's my start for an August baby.

I needed something quick and easy to make so I can make several during naps and evenings. I have so many projects going at all times I need some of them to be quick ones or the projects take forever to finish. I searched for different ideas, and found this one as well as this one on Pinterest. (Yes, I am definitely on Pinterest a lot for different ideas for many things.) I decided to make something similar as my donation hat. I don't follow a pattern per se, other than what I have found works easily for me for my purpose, though these are definitely where I drew my inspiration.

This is my crocheting bag. I also do small knitting projects out of this bag as I have many colors of yarn inside, but this is what I go to for these hats. I can fit several colors of yarn inside (my favorite for these hats is currently Caron Simply Soft yarn) and the outside pockets are great for all the other necessities or the hat in progress if I have to pause for a while. Yes, it is a Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty One (they are perfect for so many things and since I sell 31, of course I use what I sell).

Here is a hat after my increasing rounds. At this point, I just do my last rounds as is, without increasing any further.

Here is a finished hat. I like to add a stripe of a different color just to give the hats a little something fun without going too crazy. This keeps it simple while giving it a little extra.

I make different sizes to take since babies are not all born with the same size head. I make extra small hats for those born early, or twins, since they tend to have smaller heads and the newborn size would be too big. I make a small and a medium size as well (small for newborn size and medium for those babies who are born a little larger - say 10 lb babies). The hats are stretchy, but this gives a little more options for the nurses.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Night terrors

The most recent adventure we have begun with our toddler is night terrors. This is made even more fun with a 5 month old baby sleeping in the room right next door. Talk about sleepless nights on so many levels!!

Sleep terrors are horrible to experience as a parent. There is nothing you can do to help your child in the midst of the terror. You have to sit back and watch it all unfold before your eyes. Watch your child scream from fear. Watch your child shaking from fear. Watch your child crying and wanting to be consoled without actually being able to be consoled. Wondering when it will all be over and you can finally comfort your poor baby.

While they say these are not a cause for concern, try telling that to a parent in the midst of an episode while their little one is screaming and there is nothing you can do. Talk about feeling like the worst parent in the world! Then there is the "calming" words to let parents know not to worry, your child will most likely outgrow this in adolescent years. That is reassuring when the terrors start before age 3. Sure, my child will outgrow this, but it will probably be part of your life for the next 10+ years. That means for all of youth!

That makes regular childhood fun difficult. Sleepovers will probably be rare, and if they do occur, they will have to be at our house so we are there to watch over and help the friend(s) understand what is happening. Does that mean after the friend(s) experience the night terror for the first time, that will be the last time they want to attend a sleepover? Will we have to expect this from all our children as they tend to run in families? Is there something I have done as a mother/parent that has caused this to happen to my poor innocent child? So many questions run through my head and I am not sure I will ever have the answers, or at least as many answers as I feel I need.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Magnetic dress up dolls "spruced up"

Little Miss C got some new toys for Christmas that I decided to spruce up a bit. She got some magnetic dress up dolls that I wanted to make even more fun.

C loves Doc McStuffins and really likes Sofia from Disney. She ended up getting this Doc doll 

and this Sofia doll for Christmas. 

She also got this Cindarella magnetic play set.

I had to make the backgrounds more fun and last longer, so here is why I did:

I laminated the background photos that came with each set. They were just paper and I wanted them to last.
I used magnetic photo paper from the crafting section of Walmart and put it on the back of each of the small pages from the Cindarella activity set. This way they are also magnetic to hold the pieces on.

Then I used a small strip of the left overs on the backs of the ones from Doc and Sofia. I can 'hang' the rooms on a metal cookie sheet so it stays on the cookie sheet and can lean upright against a chair, couch, wherever. Then there is also more magnetic surface for the pieces to stick to, making it even more fun.

This works wonderfully at home and makes it better for car trips so pieces don't fall everywhere.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bisquick S'mores cookies

I love baking. I love cookies (and yes, cookie dough). I am currently pregnant and on light duty, meaning I am to sit with feet up whenever possible (especially while my 2 year old is napping in the afternoons). I also can't travel right now and am only to be out of the house for a short period of time. This leads to my boredom, and wanting even more to bake.

I decided yesterday I was going to try a recipe I found for cookies using Bisquick. I make my own homemade version of Bisquick, so I used this version. I also wanted to be able to eat some of the dough, so I made them without eggs, and added extra milk to make the cookies more moist. I love s'mores, and added a few ingredients to make the chocolate chip cookie recipe actually s'mores cookies.

These cookies turned out amazing! I loved the way they are so moist without having to leave them undercooked by a few minutes to maintain the softness. My husband said I was in trouble. Last week I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (which he absolutely loved despite not being the biggest fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combination - crazy, I know), and then this week made these cookies. He said if I was not home he would eat the entire batch of cookies (either kind) in one day. This coming from someone who is okay with sweets but would choose cheese and crackers for a snack rather than sweets.

I changed the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe to be eggless as well (so I could have a little cookie dough of course). These will definitely be made over and over as will the S'mores cookies. 

Want the recipe I used? Leave me a comment asking for it. Let me know you want to try these for yourself. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Making baby blankets

So we found out we are expecting a boy and there are very few options for blankets available locally right now. If there are any, they are mostly summer weight and we need winter weight.

I decided to just make a bunch of blankets after having made a few for our daughter and realizing how easy it is. I can choose what materials I want, what patterns I want, and what color combinations. I also made a carseat cover to help keep our littlest one warm this winter since he will be a late October baby.

Here are the blankets I made:

Carseat cover -

and blankets -

(Here they are all stacked nicely in my Thirty-One Perfect Fit Organizing bins. They will be stored nicely under the crib in these - and yes, I also sell Thirty-One.)

This is just a small soft square - a little Lovie blanket

This is a thinner, super soft blanket (one piece of material only) and I made one blue and one green.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Busy Bag activities for young children

Having a young child out at a restaurant or in church, one realizes there is a lot of "sitting" time where a young child requires something to maintain attention while waiting for food or the end of the church service. These bags are also great to just have in the car or diaper bag for backup for any reason.

I have searched many ideas on Pinterest and loved all the ideas. I am definitely not finished making bags for my little one (and future little ones), but here are the ones I have created so far. Many ideas came from different Pinterest pins on my board, so I will not really take credit for any of the ideas. I just wanted to show how I put my bags together in hopes it may help other parents.

I am open to other suggestions or any questions you may have.

These can be used for many different activities. Sort by color. Sort by size. Use to count. Use to make patterns. The possibilities are endless.


Use shoestrings with a bead tied to the end so anything added will not fall off the other end. Then let your little one add beads. Do a pattern, do all one color, just bead. Whatever you want.

Use pipe cleaners instead for a little more stability for younger hands.

Use milkshake straws cut into smaller pieces (rather than colored uncooked noodles so they don't break so easy) instead of beads. Or provide both in the bag.


This bag contains a wood base with two holes drilled in to insert short pegs. There are small wooden spools for the child to stack on the pegs.

An old spice container can be used to "poke" short dowels into for fin motor skills.


Use a small container with a hole in the center of the lid to poke small pom-poms through. Great for fine motor skills. (I added a rubber grommet to prevent cut fingers) You can also do this for buttons (which I have since added to this bag)

Make a small "I-Spy" bag with rice and small buttons of different shapes styles. This one has different animals, shapes, etc inside.


Put different stickers inside with blank paper cut in half so it fits in the bag. Then your child can play with stickers wherever you are. The blank paper works for drawing or coloring as well, so again, multiple activities in one bag.

You can add colored pencils or crayons to the bag if you choose.


Use regular or mini versions of PlayDough containers for this one. I took plastic cake-pop sticks and cut them into smaller pieces (sealing the ends with hot glue so nothing gets stuck inside). Then you just place the dough on a flat surface and let them "poke" the sticks in it. I got this idea from the local Child Development Center.


I put pony beads in a snack sized ziplock bag and included a small plastic bottle with lid for little one to place beads into. The beads can also be put in the different ice cube trays shown.

The q-tips can be placed in the ice cube tray on the left as another type of sorting activity. I know you can get different colored q-tips if you want to sort by color, or just use one to let them just explore if they are really young. Just watch your child very close with this bag.


I have different colored buttons in a sorting container. There are colored wooden cubes in a zipped bag. I got paint color cards from the local Menards and put them on index cards, then used contact paper to laminate them. The disks just have colors on one side and numbers on the other. (They are wooden disks I glued paper to and covered with Mod Podge to protect.) I have also added cards which have one color with several pictures of objects of that color that I laminated.


I took crafting foam and cut up different shapes in different colors. This helps with color as well as shapes. You can add cards with patterns for the child to follow to extend the activity. (See pattern cards in the next activity)

The popsicle craft sticks have foam glued to them for color also. You can create colored envelopes to place the sticks in or just use to learn colors.


I glued small magnets to different sized craft pom-poms so they stick to the small magnetic white board and won't fall off. The cards are not finished (as I have not cut them up and laminated them yet), but they can be used to follow color patterns. You can also include pictures the child can "paint" with the pom-poms.


I printed pictures of different animals, then glued them to colored card stock to make them sturdier. I "laminated" them with contact paper to preserve them. This bag has LOTS of different animal pictures to help little one learn animals or "play" as she wants. It keeps her busy for 30 minutes or more at a time.

Add words for the different animals for older children to match.


I used a label maker with magnetic label tape and made upper and lower case letters. This is more for older children (mine is not old enough quite yet) but the letters will not fall off a table/bench/lap using the magnetic white board or cookie sheet. This will help child learn letters, upper vs. lower case, and beginning spelling.


I sewed this to hold large crayons, or longer colored pencils. Fold it in half for the crayons, or leave it long for the colored pencils. This just keeps them all together nicely rather than a mess in a bag or tattered box.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cookie Dough Protein Dip

I love cookie dough! I have learned how to make it without eggs so it is actually safe to eat. They bake just fine, so this is how I have been making it for a couple years now. This is not the healthiest thing to eat, but it is delicious.

I wanted to create a dip for apples, grapes, pretzels, graham crackers, or whatever. I wanted it to be a little healthier as well as have more protein so it is good for pregnancy or breastfeeding. I made a recipe that can be altered to taste and is delicious. Plus, no flour!

So here goes:
4 Tbsp Jif Natural creamy peanut butter (or any flavor nut butter). (I have also used Biscoff
           Cookie Butter for this and it tastes even more like cookies)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 container (7 oz) Philadelphia 2x Protein regular cream cheese
4 Tbsp Good Grains Flax Chia Blend Ready-to-eat (this can be omitted or you can use just flax seed,
1/2 cup old fashion oats - dry (can be omitted)
1/4 c mini chocolate chips (or nuts, raisins, dried fruit, mini m&ms, whatever)

Mix the peanut butter and brown sugar till creamy. Add vanilla. Stir in cream cheese till mixed well. Add powdered sugar and flax chia blend till incorporated. If adding oats, add now. Stir in chocolate chips (or other mix-ins).

Enjoy with fruit, graham crackers, pretzels, or simply eat with a spoon.

So how bad for you is this dip? Not as bad as you would think. Here is the nutrition information if using the above ingredients:

Servings: 12
Calories: 137                  Sodium: 68 mg
Total fat: 6 g                   Potassium: 77mg
  Sat: 2 g                          Total carb: 17 g
  Poly: 1 g                         Fiber: 1 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg             Sugar: 11 g
                                       Protein: 4 g
Vitamin A: 3%               Calcium: 6%
Vitamin C: 1%               Iron: 3%