Thursday, February 27, 2020

pediped Shoes- My Favorites + Giveaway

As spring and summer seem to be just around the corner - okay maybe a little bit farther away than that- I've been organizing and starting the shift out of winter clothes and into warm weather clothes.  That means it's time to start shopping for swimsuits, dresses and sandals... which I love.  I let my daughter (age 3) pick out her own summer sandals this year and I couldn't be more tickled with the ones she picked.  They are so sweet and so much like something I remember wearing as a child.

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post & I have received product in exchange for my post. .  All opinions are and continue to be my own and I only agree to compensation on products that I personally own and trust, so no bull here!  Giveaway items will be sent directly to winner from pediped.]

THOSE. FLOWERS. Eeeee! So cute. I love little girls sandals. Anyways, they are of course pediped shoes, which I have talked about on here before. It's one of my all-time favorite children's companies.  To see what I have had to say about them over the years, check out this post and this post!

[My daughter wearing the FLEX Minnie Glitter from pediped. They make great active toddler shoes!]

For a quick overview of who they are & why they do what they do- keep reading to see what they have to say (and from my experience time & time again is so very spot on!):

First baby shoes are such an important 'step' in the lifetime of foot health and care. At pediped, we dedicate ourselves to creating comfortable, stylish and high quality footwear that is designed to promote healthy foot development.
When looking for first baby shoes, try to look for shoes with soft, flexible soles, and large roomy toe box. Our pediped Originals are ideal because they combine soft leather sole, with soft leather lining and uppers to create the most comfortable crib shoe that will take them from crawling, to walking and then to running. Made with soft leather, they are ideal for indoor and outdoor environments. The soft cushion beneath their feet most mimics barefoot walking while providing enough protection for their feet.
First, you want to check if the shoe is comfortable. Bend the shoe at the ball and see if it flexes easily. Next, look at the materials and construction. is it breathable, is it made of leather or a breathable fabric? These are positive feature for first baby shoes. Try to avoid shoes that are stiff, with a hard rubber sole, or made of materials that are not breathable such as synthetics or plastics. It causes baby's feet to sweat and it also may change the gait on the baby if the shoe is hard.
When children are learning to walk, they like to grip and feel the floor. They also hold on to things and tend to shuffle. Shoes with no hard edges or soles will allow them to easily feel the ground and will not affect their gait.
If you do all these things, you are well on your way for promoting healthy foot development for your little one!

Visit for more information about foot development and choosing the proper shoes for your child.

[My son -as a baby!!!- wearing pediped's Originals Norm Grey. These are great baby shoes & the best shoes for new walkers!]

pediped® footwear was founded in 2005 by Angela and Brian Edgeworth. After their first daughter Caroline was born, Angela started to do a lot of thinking about footwear and the kind of shoes that would be best for her child. She wanted a shoe that was comfortable and stylish and that could be worn both indoors and out. Most importantly, she wanted a shoe that was healthy for her daughter’s feet.
After doing a lot of research, Angela discovered that doctors recommended barefoot walking or soft leather sole shoes, but the choices for infants and toddlers were limited. That is when Angela and her husband Brian decided to create the perfect shoe, which would be the "next best thing to bare feet”.
pediped® has become one of the fastest growing children's footwear brands in the U.S. and offers more than 120 designs spanning EU sizes 17-38 (US newborn to 6 Youth).   pediped’s three footwear lines include Originals® (soft soled shoes for children ages birth to 2), Grip ‘n’ Go™ (soft rubber soled shoes for children about 9 months to 3 years) and Flex® (rubber soled shoes for children about 1-9 years). pediped® is sold all around the world.

 [My son wearing FLEX Dani Grey Orange from pediped. I love that they have great shoes for boys that are cute too!]

From my son's first steps, through my daughter's adventurous spirit and into my son's last summer before Kindergarten... these shoes have been with us every step of the way. Every pair we have had is not only darling to look at but has been the best shoes for learning to walk, perfect for all our outdoor adventures, and I am so excited for summer and to see my daughter wear the first pair of sandals we've owned from them.  They are perfect for Easter and I'm excited to have an open breathable pair of shoes for her that has great arch support- that's hard to find in a sandal!

I'm also giving a pair away! pediped was generous enough to let me give someone a FREE PAIR of shoes of the Winner's choice! That means whichever shoe you want, in whatever size you want, in whatever colors you want! Just shop & enjoy!  Enter the giveaway using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to residents of the United States and Canada ages 18 years of age and older. Contest ends Sunday March 4, 2020 at 12:00AM EST. Winner is chosen randomly via

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Felt Doughnut Tutorial

It's been party-central on the blog here lately because it's my favorite way to create (and it involves so many DIYs that I have lots to talk about!)  So bear with me a few more times as I share about my daughter's 3rd birthday party and all the fun elements within it.  Today I want to show you how I made felt doughnuts. They were used as decor & then the kids at the party got to take them home as a favor to use in their own play kitchens!  So even if you aren't planning a party, you'll definitely want to read on and make these for your own imaginative play! Because after all, there's never a bad time for a doughnut.

[This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you. This allows me to continue making new content for the blog. Thank you!]

Have you ever read If You Give A Mouse a Cookie?  There's a whole series that includes the original mouse cookie, Moose a MuffinPig a PancakeCat a Cupcake and of course Dog a Donut (just to name a few). Our whole family loves these books!  My daughter's birthday party was themed around the series, meaning that each table or section was based on a different book.  This table was all about Dog and his donut!

I found this great tutorial on felt doughnuts and used the basic idea to make my own.  I'm not sure why she left an opening on the outside though so I changed that and also sewed the topping on before turning it.  Hope that makes it a bit easier for you (and less hand sewing so it's faster!)

First cut out your circles from felt (2 pieces) and cut a hole from the middle of each.  Then from a different color felt, create an icing piece (also with a hole in the middle).  I hand embroidered some sprinkles on it then top stitched with my sewing machine to attach it to my felt.  Don't forget to keep the middle hole spot open for turning!  Here's how it will look once the icing has been attached:

Next, take your 2 pieces (one just the tan felt, 1 with the frosting attached to the tan) and putting them right sides together sew all the way around the outside of the doughnut.  Keep the middle hole open. It will look like this when this step is done:

(The photo above is of 2 different doughnuts. On the back of it you will only see tan. On the front you will see the stiching from your frosting) It's like a little sandwich from the side view.

Next, carefully turn the doughnut inside out using the open middle hole.

After everything is turned right side out, use Poly-fil or another stuffing to give the doughnuts their shape and blanket stitch the middle hole closed.  It's easiest if you do a little stuffing, a small batch of stitches, some more stuffing, some more stitches until you make it all the way around.

The blanket stitch gives it a secure hold for a long play life and is visually a prettier stitch for projects like this (it's also a very basic, beginner stitch so it's easy to do!) 

That's it.  These doughnuts are pretty easy in terms of dimensional felt food and are about the cutest things ever!  We did all sprinkles with different colored frosting but you could do plain, just frosting, drizzle, nuts, the possibilities are endless!  What would you put on yours? Would you use them for a party like this (or an entire doughnut themed party?) or just for play? Let me know & follow me on Instagram!

Friday, February 7, 2020

'Toy Story' DIY Birthday Party

I am all about having fun birthday parties on a budget.  Creating memories and making it magical without buying a bunch of stuff that ends up getting tossed a day later.  Not to mention, I find joy in creating so having a big outlet for it makes me happy.  That's why I've blogged about birthday parties time and time again.  Here's a few from the past:

Book theme
Big Adventure [girl]
Construction theme
Tutus & Tools [girl]

For the first time ever, one of my kiddos actually wanted a cartoon-based theme: Toy Story.  Our house has become TS obsessed so it was no surprise to me (we dressed up as TS characters for Halloween too *here's a photo of us*) and I knew that it was going to be a fun and easy theme since it's such a common/popular one.  Pinterest has lots of ideas, a few in which I did but I also added a few that are new. So scroll on down and hopefully be inspired to create your own Toy Story party with almost all DIY elements!

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I used in my projects.  Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.]

Let's talk decor, food and my favorite- activities! First up...


The easiest way to decorate the walls for a Toy Story party is of course- Clouds!  It's a classic symbol from the movies and all you need is white paper. I also (very last minute) made an etch-a-sketch design on a white board and hung it up to add something else to the wall.  Looking back I wish I would have added red paper around the outside to make it look more real, but it was a late night, last minute thought.  You win some, you lose some.

Using some miniature toys that were too small for table decor and my son's little letterboard, I made it look like Buzz put together a special message just for him:

I also made some cardboard blocks and painted them to spell out my son's name.  These were surprisingly time consuming so if you are going to do them, start early!

As for the table decorations, I separated them into themes a little:

Grab a collection of "Toy Story" toys like Woody, Buzz, Rex, etc. and stack them on tables with books and blocks.  We didn't own any of these toys a the time (he got them that day as gifts!)  but a friend of mine let me borrow everything from her.  Thank goodness for friends!

On one table I did Woody & Rex with books and blocks and hung "Woody themed" colored balloons above it.  On another table I did Buzz Lightyear with some cars (and of course the Pixar ball!) and hung Buzz colored balloons over it. It's all about positioning here- see how his foot is propped up on a block and he's holding the ball?  You don't need to spend a lot of money, you just need to get creative!

On both the Buzz table and our third table (with a Chatter phone from Toy Story 3- found that at a yard sale!) I ran a long roll of white paper down the center of the table and placed cups full of crayons on it so that guests could doodle while they enjoyed the party!

While the paper & crayons is sort of an activity, I have 2 even more fun ones coming up.  But first, let's talk...


Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the easier the better. I used to plan a ton of interesting foods and it stresses me out.  This year, I ran with the "Pizza Planet" theme from Toy Story and ordered pizza for pickup! Best idea ever.  Just pick it up and bring it home.  If you can find a Pizza Planet Truck toy, set it next to the boxes for instant decor.  If not, even print out a photo of the PP logo and put that next to it.

I also placed a Mr. Potato head next to bags of "Potato" chips (again... so easy!) and made fruit kabobs with the card "You've got a friend in me" (you know, because the fruit is all hanging out together like friends- ha!)  Lastly I made a green drink "LGM (Alien) Juice" and sweet tea (labeled "to infiniTEA and beyond)

We also made cupcakes and placed them on the "Blast off Rocket Cupcake Stand" (I got mine from Party City for $6 and it's so sturdy I saved it for future use!).  The frosting is just blue, purple and green mixed together in an icing bag (Buzz Lightyear colors) and topped with the same colored sprinkles (I think I found them at Walmart).

My son had a very specific idea for his cake- asking for a picture of Woody on one side, Buzz on the other and it to look like a galaxy on the side.   Since I have zero artistic skill, I used a transfer technique similar to this, except I only piped the outline instead of making it entirely filled in.  On the sides, I started like I was doing an ombre icing and let it mix together some before adding Wilton Galaxy Sprinkles (a little pricey but worth it. They are cool and we are still using them up!)

I wish I would have used a transfer for the words too but I clearly overestimated my handwriting skills too. My son didn't care, so that's what matters.

Now onto my favorite part:


There are lots of 'Build a Forky' kits in stores & online but the character is chip board instead of an actual 3D utensil so I didn't like that idea.  Instead, we created our own.  On a table I laid out plastic forks & spoons, googly eyes, some sharpie markers (to draw the rest of the face), pipe cleaners, some generic play dough & cut apart craft sticks for the feet.  On a long piece of paper I wrote out the steps on how to build it (just for fun since it's pretty self explanatory) and set up a letterboard displaying the activity as well as a little embroidery I made previously:

[Photo from my Instagram page. Please follow me for more fun crafts!]

This was a fun little activity for people to do together!

Look at those great Forkies!

Then of course, was my big project for the birthday- a custom handmade Toy Story 'Face-in-Hole' (see my post on how to make it HERE).  My son specifically requested this and I knew I could make it.  It ended up being really fun for me to do and we still play with it every day 3 months later!

Lastly, my son had asked for a claw machine but seeing as I was already making the face-in-hole I thought that wasn't an option.  Then we remembered that his grandpa had a small one at his home.  In typical grandparent fashion, when we mentioned it, he spent a good amount of time making sure that it worked with individual bags of gummies per the birthday boy's request. (these kids are so spoiled aren't they? hehe) Needless to say, the kids loved playing it! Thanks grandpa!

Lastly, we whipped up this "Birthday Buzz" shirt, designed by the birthday boy himself (with some help from mommy!) using our Silhouette Cameo and heat-transfer vinyl:

I hope you've enjoyed seeing all the fun elements from our Toy Story birthday party and are feeling inspired to make your own. Some ideas are easier (or faster) than others but are all DIY and totally fun for a kids' party! Which is your favorite part? Don't forget to follow me on Instagram!