Three for Thursday - Quality time with McKenna

Three for Thursday – Quality time with McKenna

Thursdays are generally a pretty busy day for us over here. We have some of my nieces over every week and we have a lot of fun! Although it’s amazing it means that I don’t have oodles of time to post. Enter “Three for Thursday”. This series is going to be a day where I focus on a DIY topic that I’ve been meaning to give thought, time and energy to but simply haven’t scheduled that time in. Thursdays are that day now!

This week I’m thinking about what I can do to spend quality time with McKenna. She has been a super trooper since Drea was born (and even before that when I was miserable during the last 4 months of pregnancy). She has also started acting out a bit more. I told someone about a month ago that I had to put McKenna in time out for the first time. Overall, she has always been a good listener and does the things I ask. The most I ever had to do was count to 3. It’s a different story nowadays. People say it’s because she’s three years old now but I think it’s because she needs more attention. I do my very best to give her attention but when Drea is screaming her head off I have to admit that she comes first. SO, all that to say that I started trolling my Pins for a few things that McKenna would enjoy. As I was going through stuff I had pinned to do with her I found a few themes that she enjoys which I think is perfect! Without further adieu here are our Three for Thursday!

 

Dinosaur LoveDinosaur Hat Dinosaur Feet

Dinosaur DIY’s:

McKenna adores dinosaurs! She also loves crafting (really any DIY) with her mama and pretend play so I figured let’s kill two (errrr three I guess?) birds with one stone! We are gonna have a DIY  dinosaur day next week! I may even see if I can put a couple of dinosaur books on hold at the library to round it out.

 

Gardening LoveGardening Sensory Bin Gardening Sensory Bin (with printable!)

Gardening DIY’s:

Lately McKenna has been obsessed with gardening. I got a gardenia plant for my birthday a few months ago and she helps me to water it every. single. day. I guess it’s good because I’m a pretty forgetful person and she often reminds me! Maybe she will be my little DIY gardener. I found a couple of interesting gardening sensory bins we could easily DIY and I figure we’ve been wanting to do more sensory bins so this will be on the agenda next week!

 

Mermaid LoveMermaid Tail  /  Mermaid Peg Dolls

 

Mermaid DIY’s:

Even though she skips through big chunks of The Little Mermaid it may be one of her favorite movies. She loves the idea of mermaids as they seem so magical to her. There are so many fun mermaid DIY activities! The first picture above is an activity that I have been wanting to do for her for almost a year. A year people! I can’t believe I’ve let it get away from me for this long. The mermaid peg dolls I found recently in a search for a mermaid sensory bin. I wanted inexpensive mermaids that we could add. It was a bonus that we could work on designing them together.

 

Life isn’t about pinning. It’s about doing. Pin less, Do more! I will share more after we’ve completed these activities! What are you going to do this fabulous Thursday?

 

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It's a

Gender Reveal Party Plan

The gender reveal is coming up this weekend!!! Can you tell I’m a little excited? As excited as I am, I’ve also been super busy (hence the absence last week) getting my house ready to sell. Last week we were able to book someone last minute to paint our house, and Brandon sent McKenna and I over to his mom’s house to be out of fume’s way. It was a nice change from scurrying around getting stuff done, but I had a toddler who didn’t want to sleep at all while there so it wasn’t all that relaxing.

Anyhow… the point is… that I procrastinated. I have had plans for all the things that I’m going to do for the gender reveal party for quite some time. This week I’m implementing most of it. Whoops! Lucky for me I have a wonderful MIL who came for a day to help me get a few things prepped and to keep Miss McKenna occupied while I ran the last few errands necessary.

Since it’s in the front of my mind I wanted to share some of the fun things that I am doing for the party. First of all, it is magic themed. Here is a little inspiration board for what I am going for:

party inspiration

Food: 1 / 2   Decor: 1 / 2    Costume: 1 / 2

 

McKenna is going to be dressed as a magician, and one of my nieces will be her assistant (to keep her on track – let’s be honest she’s a sporadic toddler). As the magician, she will be presenting magic tricks to reveal whether I am having a baby boy or a baby girl. We will see how that goes down but I’m super excited to find out so I probably won’t care during the performance.

I’m really excited to get everything together this week and to put my plans into action! I have a little bit of costume making to get done, a lot of shopping for food, and then putting up the decorations I got and making a few more for final touches! I’m wishing I had some magic at this point but it’ll be fun, so maybe just wish me luck 😉

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tutu and cape header

DIY super hero cape and DIY tutu

I’m back to show you how to make the adorable cape and tutu that I just gifted to my niece  last week. It’s not a new idea; there are TONS of tutorials on how to make tutus out there. But so many people still don’t know how to make them, or are afraid to try. I’m here to show you that it’s really not that hard, I promise! I will walk you through both and I can say that it didn’t take me longer than an hour to whip out both of them (and that included taking pictures).

Let’s start with the super hero cape:

super hero cape

 

Materials needed: I bought 1 yard of sequin material but based on my niece’s height I could have gotten away with 3/4 yard. If it were McKenna I could have used 1/2 yard so think about your little one’s height when making that decision.

Tools needed: Scissors and your hands 🙂

Step 1: Gather your materials and tools.

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Step 2: In order to figure out where to make the neck ties (as well as to where to start the slight diagonal cut downwards) I needed to get a neck measurement. Since my niece wasn’t around I used McKenna as a model and made it slightly larger. Once I knew how big the neck needed to be I marked it with pins on both sides of the neck so that I wouldn’t cut past that point. You will notice that this is the selvage edge so it looks slightly different. That helped me to cut pretty evenly.

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Step 3: It helps to start the cuts before cutting all the way down to ensure that you will get 3 fairly even pieces. Do this on both sides.

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Step 4: Continue the cuts until you get to the cape’s neck area where you marked with pins. Do this on both sides.

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Step 5: Braid the ties on both sides.

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Step 6: I used McKenna as a model for the first cut to get an idea of how I wanted the cape to drape and then once I had the first side done I copied it on the other side. I did it this way mostly because McKenna wouldn’t stay still but now that I think about it I’m glad because it makes it even.

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Bing, bang, boom! It really was that easy. I think I got it done in 10-15 minutes. 

 

Next up, DIY tutu!

DIY tutu final

 

Just to preface this, there really aren’t 12 steps but I wanted to make sure it was as clear as possible, so I may combine a few of them for the sake of being concise.

Materials needed:

  • Tulle by the roll in colors of your choice – I used two colors of pink (one roll each)
  • Ribbon to coordinate – I used pink sparkly ribbon (I like to have a stiff ribbon for this purpose)

Tools needed:

  • A piece of cardboard as big or bigger than the length you want your tutu
  • Tape to adhere your ribbon to a wall for ease of tying
  • Permanent marker or pen to mark ribbon with measurements

Step 1: Gather your materials and tools.

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Step 2 & 3: I measured my niece’s waist with the ribbon, and marked it with a permanent marker leaving extra length on both sides for tying at the end. I taped the ribbon on the wall.

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Step 4: I decided on the length of the tutu and cut a piece of cardboard to that length and wrapped the tulle around again and again until it was gone. I always make a note on the cardboard about which side I start on so I know where to cut.

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Step 5 & 6: I cut the tulle down one side so that I have a lot of pieces of tulle all double the length that I want the tutu to be.

 

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Step 7 – 9: I then take each piece of tulle that I cut down to size and I start tying them onto the ribbon making sure that the ribbon doesn’t get twisted up.

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Step 10: You will notice that I tie a bunch of pieces of tulle across the entire length but they are quite spread out. I do this so that the tutu doesn’t become lopsided.

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Step 11: Once I got my first group of tulle tied onto the ribbon, I duplicated steps 4-6 with the 2nd color of pink tulle.

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Step 12: Because I had two colors of pink tulle I wanted to make sure that I alternated pinks so I continued with the 2nd color and filled any gaps with both colors as needed. Two rolls ended up being perfect for this project!

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Stella's 4th bday

DIY presents for the win!

I have mentioned before that I love DIYing gifts when possible. Especially when I can make something that I KNOW will be adored! One of my nieces turns 4 years old today! It’s so hard to believe that it’s been a full 4 years since she was born. She is a spunky little girl that loves to play dress up.  Her favorites at my house are McKenna’s tutu’s (which I don’t even let her play with – I will explain that another time) and a tie dye silk scarf that the girls use as a super hero cape. I decided that I would make both a tutu and a cape for her birthday present.

Stella birthday pic 1

Let’s be honest, what’s better than being a ballerina princess and a super hero all at once?! I’m totally loving that girls are growing up these days with strength and femininity both available to them. McKenna loves the typical girl stuff but she also adores toys that people typically think of as “boy toys”.

Stella's b-day cupcakes1

Ok back to my niece! Since I watch these two nieces once a week we had a little birthday celebration the day before her birthday. I made some “monster cupcakes” and we had a little indoor picnic lunch (we live in AZ people, it’s too hot outside!) . We were going to do lunch first but I caved and let her open her present right away and she was beyond excited! I am so glad that she loved the cape and tutu as much as I thought she would. The rest of the day was spent playing in her newly acquired dress-up items and dancing around to Disney music on Pandora.

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independent kiddo

Independence doesn’t mean they don’t need mama love

McKenna has always been super independent, but she has grown even more so. The other day I saw her racing to go potty so I called after her saying, “honey, do you need some help in the bathroom?” Immediately she responded with, “no! I got this, give me some space!”

I stood there shocked. Where had she heard this phrase? What made her think she needed or wanted space? At 2 1/2 does my daughter really not need me?!  After the shock wore off  I gently reminded her of the need to wipe, flush and wash hands.

What happened next was an even bigger shocker. Once she was done she wanted to read books and have some “mama love”. Mama love is a phrase I taught her to say when she needs attention, cuddles and love from her mama. I never would’ve figured that directly after such an independent act she would want to sit and cuddle with her mama. But she did.

I have no problem with my sassy independent child. She likes her space. Guess what? So do I. I don’t expect space anymore, but McKenna does give it because she wants it herself.

I keep wondering what my next baby will be like. Will he/she be just as independent as McKenna? Or will he/she be stuck to me like glue? Either way I’m super excited to meet him/her and I’m glad to have a toddler who is mostly independent, but who also knows how to tell me when she needs mama love. Before this week I was slightly concerned that she would be seen as the independent child and I would have more urgent cries to attend to. I’m so grateful to know that she will speak up for the mama love she needs and deserves.

 

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Sloan's Colors Quiet Book

Sloan’s quiet book

I love making presents for people whenever possible. Adults are a lot harder because they usually want something specific or that is outside my DIY realm. Littles are by far the easiest to make homemade gifts for!

This little quiet book is one that I made for my niece Sloan when she turned 1. I love that she can practice her colors and shapes with this book. The shapes can all be lifted off, so it starts out with the shapes on a page near the back. She c an then move them to the correct corresponding page!

She is already almost 2 years old and I never got pictures of her with it, yikes! We took some time  playing with it last week and I snuck a few photos. Since I get to watch these two nieces once a week it wasn’t too hard. Getting my daughter and her older sister to leave her alone while she played with it was another story!

Rainbow and Red page

On the first page I made a simple rainbow shape out of (most of) the colors of the rainbow.

On the second page I sewed a rectangle of red and cut out a simple apple shape.

Orange and Yellow page

On the third page I sewed a rectangle of orange and cut out a little fishy shape.

On the fourth page I sewed a rectangle of yellow and cut out a fun sun shape.

Green and Blue page

On the fifth page I sewed a rectangle of green and cut out a leaf shape.

On the sixth page I sewed a rectangle of blue and cut out a butterfly shape.

Purple and object page

On the seventh page I sewed a rectangle of purple and cut out a little flower shape.

On the eighth page is where all of the shapes can live if they aren’t on their color coordinated page.

Crayon and Note card page

At the end of the book I added a half pocket for some blank index cards and an insert for 4 crayons. Miss Sloan loves to scribble so I knew this would be a hit. I hope that they can get some use out of it when they go out to eat or just need some peace and quiet!

A little about how I made it:

The book is almost entirely made of felt. The only other materials used were ribbons for the binding. I made the shapes by hand drawing the simplest objects possible and cutting them from felt.  I added velcro to the shapes so that they could be moved around.  To make the pages I used four large pieces of felt folded in half rather than 8 pages. This decision was made because I’m lazy, so I chose the easiest path possible.  After I got the permanent details sewn onto each page (the colored rectangles and velcro) I used a zig zag stitch along the edges to sew the pages together and finish it off. I made 2 button holes in the center of each double page and fed the ribbons through to tie it off. Prior to sewing the pages together I added the pocket for the index cards. The last thing I did was add crayon holders at the end of the book by sewing a few small lines on a pocket to separate each of them. It looks a little wonky but Sloan has never complained! 😉

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