Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas Eve Boxes [Stuck On You feature + Giveaway]

It's December!!! It's December!!! I'm so excited to share with you maybe my favorite holiday tradition (and we have quite a few!)  We do it every year and it's not only simple but makes for years of special memories that we get to relieve every time we decorate the tree.

You're going to want to start this with your family this year, I know it!  It's the Christmas Eve Box and it can be customized any way you'd like, but I'll let you know how we put ours together:

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Stuck On You but all opinions are ideas are my own. Giveaway voucher is a gift from Stuck on You to one lucky winner chosen at random by]

The concept is simple: Create a box for each child in your family.  Let them unwrap this "gift" on Christmas Eve.  They'll be excited about opening a gift early and they can wear their jammies that night!  Here's what (and why) I include in our boxes:

1-Pajamas.  Usually a "christmas" or winter theme, something that they'd look super cute in on Christmas morning!  I've never gotten my kids matching ones but this year I knew they would love it because they love their other matching outfits that they own.

2-Books.  Books are so very important to our family and my kids adore reading. I always include a Christmas themed book inside their boxes.  We are all excited to crack the book open and read it together that night. This year I changed things up a little and included two extra special books for my kids.  For my daughter, a custom book with her name in the story and for my son a wipe clean activity book to use in the car as we do all of our holiday traveling.

3-Special Ornament. Every year I (usually DIY) an ornament based around a "big event" that happened to them that year. In the past I've done things like: 'first trip to the ocean/beach", "first flight", "becoming a big brother", etc.  This year I highlighted my son starting preschool and since my daughter reached several "biggies" in her first year of life, this year we opted for a 'favorite things' theme instead.  *keep an eye on the blog next week and I'll detail these a little more*

[His actual ornament has a vinyl logo of his preschool on it but I changed it here for privacy reasons!]

I'm so excited for the kids to open their boxes this year.  I also really like that my daughter is going to finally have her own name book.  Her brother has several of his own (we're big fans) but this will be her first.  There aren't a lot of good Christmas ones out there and this one is absolutely perfect.  Here's why:

1. I LOVE the messages within the story.  I chose The Christmas Deer and it tells about all the different reasons that Christmas is important to the different animal characters. It covers a wide range of reasons including music, food, time with those we love, Santa and baby Jesus.  I love this because no matter who receives this book, they can find something that they connect with.

2. It also includes the child's name within the book multiple times.  It's not just slapped on the cover but worked within the story.

... it also includes the name (front) and date (back) of the book so it can be preserved in their memory box if you wish!

3. It comes with an activity book!  I'll be honest- I thought this was attached to the book at first and I wished the book just came by itself (my daughter is still a little young to do the activities) but when I realized it was separate, I was thrilled! I can either save it for her when she gets older, or give it to my son to do now.

[The coloring pages are perfect for my daughter though!]

Counting, coloring, mazes, puzzles, spot the difference and even craft projects are all including in this little workbook!  How darling is this?!

My only complaint about the book is that I wished it would come in more "neutral" options.  Of course they need to know "boy or girl" for the "s/he" references in the book but I don't love that it has to be pink for girls and blue for boys.  My daughter does love pink, but not all do.  However, the Santa Town story book is set in more neutral tones for someone who is really looking for that, so I love that they do have that option available.

No matter what you choose to put in your Christmas Eve Box, make it special for your little one(s).  We've only got 18 years  (or so) to make memories like this, so let's make them count.  Psst: These Christmas books are even on sale right now on their website, so you can get custom books for way cheap!  Order by December 7 to get your book in time for Christmas!

How about we give away a $40 voucher to shop at Stuck on You?! You can get yourself TWO personalized books with that!!!  Just enter to win using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What would you put in yours?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

ErgoPouch [Updated Review] + Giveaway

If you're new here, I'll update you: I am a mama.  A stay at home mama.  My little craft blog has changed over the last 4 years and instead of only sharing household DIYs, I've grown to add a lot of projects that are perfect for families, busy mamas and kids.  I've also opened my blog up to exploring some of the best baby/kids products out there.  It's a whole new world of products and I love being able to tell you the truth about each one of them (and I especially love being able to GIVE YOU FREE GOODIES because I love you guys and want to give you great stuff)

Today is a special treat, because I am giving away an awesome product, but I'm also giving an UPDATED review of this company that I've reviewed in the past. That means I've had a lot longer to "test it out" and I have a few new things to tell you:

{Disclaimer: I have received free product from ErgoPouch in exchange for an honest review of the product. This post contains a link to my initial review as well as my updated views on the product. Giveaway items are sponsored by ErgoPouch}

First things first, if you aren't familiar with how ErgoPouch "layers" sleepwear works, read about it HERE (it's a really cool system they've created).  Next, if you'd like to read my initial review, check it out *here* (it'll give you all my initial feelings about it and details about all the cool features)

Now.. onto my updated review.

I own both the 0.2 TOG and the 1.0 TOG "warmness" both in long sleeves. I'll talk about both here.

There are a few things I've really grown to LOVE even more as time goes on:

1- The 3-way zipper. I thought this was brilliant before but it is the best thing ever if your kiddo is potty training.  Other one-piece pajamas have to be completely stripped off if your babe needs to potty but ErgoPouch's 3 way zipper allows you to unzip and go- yes, even for little girls!!!

{Yes, she's actually going potty. The zipper is unzipped all the way in the back and as far in the front as you can see in the photo. SO much easier than standard footies!}

2- The different TOG numbers really do matter.  I can feel a physical difference between the 0.2 and the 1.0 TOG pieces that we own.  I love that we have a "warmer" option for those nights where it's a little more chilly.  They also make a 2.5 TOG for those extra cold nights!  And of course, the entire layers collection allows for you to mix and match pieces to perfectly dress your child in any season.

3- They have the most beautiful prints. In my first review I featured the adorable "clouds" fabric but as it's gotten colder outside, we've been using the one that we have in the print called "spring leaves". I found myself just staring at the colors and design on it the other day, it's so beautifully made.  These would not only make quality gifts for someone but are simply beautiful too.

4- The fold over "mitts".  I'll be honest, we have to fold the feet mitts over before putting them on my daughter or she refuses to have them closed off.  However, I love that we have the option for those on especially cold nights when her little feet get cold.  We don't use the hand mitts but especially for younger babies, these would be life savers!  We went on a "doughnut run" the other day in our jammies and since she had the mitts over her feet I didn't make her wear boots in the store (judge me all you will.  She's taking advantage of being able to do this while she can!)

But wait...

There is something I don't like as much as I thought I did before:

- The 3 way zipper.  (huh? I thought you said that was your favorite part you crazy lady...) Yes, I love it for potty training and I *thought* I loved it for diaper changes but it turns out that most nights it's just as easy for me to take the pants all the way off that it is to work around the partial opening from the zippers. This is just my personal experience and maybe since I used to like it I'm just doing something wrong now.

Either way, I wanted to be upfront with y'all on that change in my opinion.

Would I still recommend these?  For sure. These are legit quality jammies (sleepwear) and they are so adaptable to a variety of sizes, temperatures and needs.  And as I said before, they are cuuuute!

Why don't you go ahead and enter to win a pair while you are here? Just follow the prompts on the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, November 9, 2018

Felt Thankfullness Turkey (no-sew)

*Have a holly, jolly Christmas...* Oh, sorry.  I'm one of those straight-to-Christmas-skip-past-Thanksgiving types.  And I'm married to a man who loves Thanksgiving more than any other holiday.  Out of respect for him, I don't decorate for Christmas before December... but I'll admit, I don't do a lot for Thanksgiving either.  This year I thought I should make a little more effort to celebrate Thanksgiving for my husband but also to use the opportunity to teach my children about being thankful and understanding how blessed they (we) are.

So I came up with this interactive piece of decor that my 4 year old is OBSESSED with.  It's been a definite hit in our home and I bet it will be one in yours too!

Every day we grab a felt feather from the pocket and my son tells me something he is thankful for that day.  Then we write it on the feather and stick it up!  Felt naturally sticks to felt so you can rearrange the feathers every day and re-use this DIY every year (just cut new feathers to write on).  What an adorable reminder of how blessed we are and a fun way to get the kiddos involved!

It's very easy to make and the thing that took the most time was cutting out the letters by hand (which still wasn't very long)  

Here's what you'll need:

- Felt (for the large background piece, purchase "by-the-yard" felt, for the feathers and turkey you can do by-the-yard or the smaller pre-cut sheets)

- Hot Glue Gun

- Scissors

- Googly Eyes

- Sharpie Marker


For the turkey, I traced two bowls/containers, one larger than the other, slightly overlapped.  Then I cut it out for his body shape.  Next, just cut a nose and snood (that's what the red dangly thing is called. I just looked it up!) and attach them and two google eyes with hot glue. The turkey itself will not be glued on so that you can pick it up and put feathers under it every day.

For the large piece, just cut a square or rectangle.  Since it is felt you don't need to finish the edges in any way.  I later added a strip across the bottom to hold our extra feathers but if I had thought of this first I could have just made my big piece extra long and folded it up.  Both ways are fine.  If you choose to add a separate piece, hot glue along the 3 edges, leaving the top open.  I also glued two vertical lines to create "pockets" which helps to keep it from sagging open.

Next, cut out your letters and hot glue them on.  MAKE SURE you lay your letters out first (before gluing) or you'll likely run out of room!

Lastly (or whenever you want. Order doesn't really matter a lot) cut out your feathers.  I made 22 feathers to last us up until Thanksgiving day (because after that, it's ALL CHRISTMAS y'all!) but you could also do the entire month of November and cut out 30 feathers instead.

How pretty is that turkey with all those feathers on it?!  I can't wait to see what things my son is "thankful" for.  So far he's come up with:

- "my house"
- "matching outfits" (him and his sister have some matching clothes and so do me and him)
- "applesauce"
- "baby chicks, cows & ducks"
- "my birthday"
- "books"
- "Elizabeth"
- "Highlights Magazine" (which I totally spelled wrong on the feather.  Left out an "H". oops!)

My 4 year old LOVES this and as soon as he wakes up in the morning he runs over and goes "oh, we forgot to do this!"  We've only been awake for 10 minutes but okay buddy.

I love seeing what he comes up with every day.   Some are funny and I wonder where that came from and others are just plain sweet.  Either way, it opens up the conversation about "thankfulness" and helps all of us learn to appreciate all the blessings we really have.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hidden Message Tote Bag

For those who follow our business page, you might have seen that my mama recently had a knee replacement. During her first week in recovery, we had a physical therapist come to the house (my mom is staying with us). Luckily for us, my mom was able to request the same therapist she had for her other knee replacement a year ago- who we all ADORE. My son especially has taken to her and has even kept a "thank you" card for an ENTIRE YEAR (he was 3 years old) that she wrote him for sharing his mini pumpkins with her.

It's adorable. Since we probably wont be seeing her ever again, we wanted to do something to let her know how special she is to us. On the other hand, a lot of companies don't allow employees to accept gifts from their clients. So here's what we came up with:

Oh there's a little more too it though.. keep reading.

My son loves to sew. He's made a couple pillows but this was hist first bag. I cut everything out an he did all the sewing... up until his little sister came in the room and then they got distracted and started playing (hehe)

We used this tutorial from Crazy Little Projects and made one very special adaptation...

Can you see what we added? Here's what it looks like when turned inside out:

Using a sharpie marker, I wrote "Made by" and let me son write his name in a piece of fabric. You could also use a fabric marker but I've found that Sharpie tends to stay on fabric pretty well on it's own (just ask all the clothing we've accidently drawn on). 

After he wrote his name, I cut the fabric out in a rectangle large enough to hold a standard sized book. We knew that our therapist loved to read so we thought this bag definitely needed a special pocket for her book! The pocket is sewn onto the inside panel of fabric PRIOR to sewing the bag together (that way the backside of the stitching doesn't show through the front of the bag)

Of course, she could also use the bag with the pocket on the outside as well. This bag is reversible!

Since her and my son had a special relationship we thought she would just melt over the added bit of love that we snuck into this bag. This would be great for moms, aunts, grandparents or anyone who would love to see a special note every time they reached inside their bag. I think it would even be great for students and friends to see a special reminder just from you, secretly tucked away.

Who would you make this bag for? And what kind of message would you put inside! I'd love to know so please comment and inspire others to create!