Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to Make a No Sew Pocho

My daughter is in a bit of a poncho phase. She has one she likes and I thought I would make her a new one that does not take any sewing.

My daughter is about 6 years old and so I needed about 3/4 of a yard of fleece. If you were making this for a girl 4 & under, I believe 1/2 yard would be sufficient. You need to use fleece in order for this to be a no-sew project.

I trimmed the fabric to the desired length, as well as trimmed away the curled edges. The I folded the fabric in half the long way and then in half again the short way. I then lined up my folded edges along the measuring guide.

Cutting the circular bottom was made easy by the fact that by measuring guide has arcs drawn on it as a guide to cut out a circular piece. My overall length of the front and back of the poncho is 18".

The next step (sorry, forgot to take a picture) is to cut the hole for the head. I unfolded it once (the short way)  and left it folded the long way. I then used a bowl to create this small arc and cut through the fabric with my rotary tool on to a self-healing mat (bu you could just use a scissors if you wish.)

So, you could stop right here and have a poncho like the one pictured above, no sewing involved whatsoever.  Of if you want you could take it a step further and do some minimal hand stitching and add pockets or some other kind of embellishment.

My daughter picked out the fabric she wanted and as much as I like the pattern, I thought it would look sweet to break it up a little by adding heart-shaped pockets. To keep hand-stitching to a minimum, be sure to use either fleece or felt when cutting out pockets.

I plan to add some pockets and maybe embellish around the collar. I will post a picture of it when I am finished.

Monday, January 30, 2012

GIVEAWAY & Review: Book - Christmas at Friday Harbor

Remember how I told you I was one of Lisa's Divas? I finished reading my copy of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor  by Lisa Kleypas and have shared it with my book club and have two hardcover copies to share with my blog readers!

I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read that brought you in to the lives of Maggie, Mark & Holly, who are three individuals struggling with loss and change in their own ways.

I was gifted with a swag pack in hopes that I would promote her newest book,Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor), which will be released on February 28, 2012. Rainshadow Road also takes place at Friday Harbor, but is a romance story of a new couple and is the first in a new trilogy.

Rainshadow Road was recently reviewed by Booklist:

"In the latest flawlessly written addition to her contemporary Friday Harbor books and the first in a new trilogy, Kleypas brings together richly nuanced characters, an emotionally riveting plot, and a subtle touch of the paranormal to create an unforgettable romance that is pure reading magic."--Booklist

Recipe: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

I have been reading about the Clean Eating Movement lately and while I often cook in a clean way, there are plenty of times that processed convenience foods win out. I needed a little inspiration to get back on track and reading books helps give me ideas and inspiration.

These cookies are unbelievably delicious and each of the kids ate 3 cookies right after they were (slightly) cooled. OK, I admit it, I had 3 right away too. I love that they are so good for you and taste good.

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
1/2 C canola oil
1/2 C dehydrated cane juice
1 egg white
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 T water
2 C old fashioned oats
2/3 C whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 C dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend oil and can juice together. Add egg white, extract, & water and mix well. Next add in oats, flour, salt, soda, cranberries & cinnamon. Blend well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on to lined baking sheets (or sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray). Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Bryton Pick

I recently had the opportunity to review Bryton Pick, which is a new innovative way to floss without the use of string and is re-usable. When I first received my sample and the literature, I was immediately drawn to the a few points that were highlighted in the literature.
  • It is made out of completely recycled materials.
  • It is made in the USA.
  • It is re-usable.
  • It is made with germ-resistant stainless steel cleaning strips.
  • The packaging also double as the carrying case.
I was give two of the Bryton Picks, which allowed for both my husband and I to try out the product. I thought it would be good for two different mouth structures to try it. What I mean by that, is that one of us has straight teeth with normal spacing while the other (myself) has crowded teeth that overlap in places.

We found that the Bryton Pick worked really well with normal spacing in between teeth, even snug spacing it worked well with. But my very tight molars warped the metal after using it and it was difficult to put back in between the tight molars. I could however, still use it with the rest of my teeth that had snug or normal spacing.

What I liked best about using the Bryton Pick is that it was quicker (to winding up floss as I went around my teeth) and my fingers were not being pinched from the floss wound around them. Normally, I find flossing tedious, but this was quick and easy to use. I also like that it come with a carrying case that is the size of a credit card so that you can easily carry it with you in your wallet. It can also be used by people with braces since it wire is not an obstacle.

You can also find Bryton Pick on Facebook and Twitter.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kids Craft: Evergreen Tree Scene

The inspiration for this project came from Frugal Family Fun Blog (have I mentioned how much I love all Valerie's ideas!).

We started out with the cupcake liners we had, which included: regular size white ones, mini white ones, and regular size winter theme ones.We then cut some in thirds and others in fourths so that we could have a variety of sizes.

Then we cut up some brown cardstock and a couple popsicle sticks to use for trucks. Our final supplies included construction paper to glue on to, glue, scissors, and snowflake candy sprinkles.

I gave my daughter the supplies and demonstrated how to make a tree with stacking the cupcake liner pieces and then she just started designing and gluing.

Here is one of the two scenes she created. She also cut out a crescent shape piece from the holiday liners to create a moon for her evening snowfall in the woods creation. I think it turned out super cute.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Pambra's Bra Liner

I had the opportunity to review Pambra's The Original Bra Liner. I was sent a package of three bra liners (two are folded in the picture).

The bra liner absorbs perspiration, thus extending the life of your bra and keeping wetness from penetrating your bra and clothes. It also helps keep your skin drier which enables it to help prevent chaffing and irritation.

The product is MADE IN THE USA!

It is available in 5 different sizes. They also make tummy liners, liners for mastectomy patients and  washable nursing pads (would have been handy to review those when I was still nursing a child!)

I have tried out the liners and I can say that I didn't notice they were there. They were comfortable to wear. I recently cracked a rib, right where the underwire of my bra presses. This cracked rib made it uncomfortable to wear those bras, but when I used the line it kept the underwire from pressing hard against my ribc age and made them more comfortable to wear. It was a lucky coincidence that these were sent to me to review at this time, but I am thankful for that coincidence.

One of the things I love on their website is they tell you exactly how to measure yourself for a bra!

You can find information about Pambra's on:
Their Website
You Tube

You can view one of the You Tube Videos here:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Create Photo Classroom Valentine Cards with Tiny Prints

Valentine Cards are such a fun thing for kids to exchange in the classroom. I am in love with these Valentine Cards for Kids.  With 235 choices, I am not sure my daughter will have an easy time picking out the cards she would like to share. Since we did not buy school photos (I didn't want to buy something that I could not see when we had a photographer doing pictures near the same time), she did not have anything to pass out to her friends.

I like the idea of using the one to the right to showcase my daughter's pretty face and missing two bottom teeth!

Although, I have to admit that I think the flower with heart petals and little ladybug and picture in the center is absolutely adorable!

I can also show off the little window in her mouth in the flower picture too. You just have to treasure these moments.

It is really going to be hard to choose one. I prefer the ones where I can put in a picture, I think it really adds a personal touch, but they do have many options that you do not need to all a picture for.

I did not forget about my son, even though he is not in school. He may be young, but he does have friends to share valentines with.

What I love most about this one for him is the truck on it. My son is such a little boy and is all about trucks, trains & balls. I think the little heart on the dump truck is so sweet.

So, my next obvious choice for valentine's from my son would be one with a train on them. And who wouldn't want a train filled with lollipops and a cupcake. Yum!

They also have a huge variety of Valentines Day Greeting Cards for adults (or anyone really!)

Thanks to Tiny Prints for giving me the opportunity to try out these valentine cards. They are gifting me with some free cards in exchange for writing this blog post. All of the written content here is my own.

WINNER: DVD "A Mile in His Shoes"

WOW! 323 entries on a giveaway that was on my blog. My largest amount of entries for a single giveaway on my blog. Thank you so much! Please keep coming back and entering more giveaways. I love to be able to share things with my readers!

The winner of the DVD "A Mile in His Shoes" as chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter is:

276 Dana Denay (Follow @jshallow01 on Twitter)

The winner will be sent an email using the email address provided notifying them and requesting your respond within 48 hours with your full name and address to have your prize sent from the company.

GIVEAWAY! 3 Redbox Codes!

It's Awards Time! The SAG Awards are on January 29th and the Academy Awards will be on February 26th! Yesterday the nominees were announced for the Academy Awards! Are you excited? How many of the nominees for Best Picture did you see? Who did you think should win?

Vote for the nominees of the SAG Awards and Academy Awards on the Movie Awards Game on Redbox for a chance to win 3 Years for 1-night Rentals.

Most years I have seen at least one nominated for Best Picture and this year it was "Paris After Midnight", but I did just finish reading The Help and plan to watch that movie with my book club soon. And since I have kids, I have seen several of the animated movie nominees. The Academy Awards nominees for Best Picture are: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse.

To help promote the Movie Awards Game on Redbox, they gifted me with 2 codes to use and 3 to giveaway. I love Redbox, even without this promotion. THERE WILL BE 3 WINNERS!

If you don't want to wait to win a free code, you can get a free one through this link. If you click on my link and it's your first time renting online, they'll give you a free one-night online rental credit. And I'll get a free rental each time you rent via my link during the program.

I will email the winners who will have 48 hours to confirm their email address. After confirmation of email address I will email back to the winners with their codes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

I was given the Versatile Blogger Award from Frugal Mommie of 2. Please check out her blog when you have a chance. She does a lot of really cool reviews and giveaways!

The rules for this award are:
1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link back to them. See Above.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself. (see below)
3. Pass this award on to 10 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they’ve received an award.

Seven Things about Jessica:
1. I grew up on a WI Dairy Farm.
2. I spent a J-term of college in Malta.
3. I am double-joined in my elbows (& I think I have passed that on to my daughter.)
4. I never thought I would be a runner, but I am.
5. Spaghetti is pretty much my favorite food.
6. I love caramel.
7. I probably wear too much black.

Here are 10 great blogs that I have passed the award onto. . . . Take a minute to check them out!

Recipe: Snow IceCream

Making Snow Ice Cream is a winter family favorite of ours. It's fun & it's yummy!

It's a simple recipe with only 3 ingredients!

Snow Ice Cream
8 C clean snow
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all together & serve!

I have frozen it before when we have not eaten all of it. It keeps, but it freezes harder than store-bought ice cream.

It is such a fun family activity.

My daughter has been helping me make snow ice cream for the last 4 years, since she was 18 months old.
My son, on the other hand, had no desire to help us make it. He only wanted to help eat it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Become a Moms Meet Ambassador!

I have been an Ambassador for Moms Meet for a couple years now and this fall became a Moms Meet Blogger. If you are interested in trying out new natural or organic products and sharing them with your blog or playgroup, then you will want to get signed up to be an Ambassador or Blogger for Moms Meet.

Sign up to become an Ambassador HERE. The Ambassador program give you the opportunity to sample new products with you playgroup & friends. No blogging requirement for this one.

If you do have a blog, then sign up to be a Blogger HERE. You can apply to be both an Ambassador and a Blogger.

Please enter in that I referred you by using my website url: http://savegreenbeinggreen.blogspot.com/ I have no idea if I get any sort of credit for referring you.

You can also follow Moms Meet on Twitter and Facebook.

Making Snow Play Dough

I bet you are wondering what makes this snow play dough. It's really not much different that regular homemade play dough except I don't add any coloring and do add mint extract and glitter.

Snow Play Dough Recipe  
2 1/2 C white flour
1 C boiling water
3/4 C salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 T cooking oil
1/2 tsp mint extract
glitter (I used silver & 2 blue colors)

Boil water and stir in salt. Mix until dissolved. Add oil, cream of tartar and mint extract and mix. Add flour and sprinkle in desired amount of glitter. Knead until smooth. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our First Visit from the Tooth Fairy

My daughter lost her first tooth. She has had two wiggly bottom teeth for about 3 weeks now. She was quite surprised when it happened. She was eating a banana and it just popped out and fell on the floor.

She was a bit scared, I think. She had a very worried sound in her voice and said, "Mommy, something happened to my tooth. Oh! I think it came out (insert worried tone.)" and she pick it up off the floor.

I then squeal and say, "Ooooo! You lost your first tooth! Well, that was easy!" Then it hit her what happened and she started giggling "I lost my first tooth! I can't believe I lost my first tooth!" She wanted to put it in a glass of water asap. Why the water you wonder?

Well, at our last visit to the dentist (just about 6 month ago) the dental hygentist told her how another girl her age put her tooth in a glass of water and when the fairy came it had to go in the water to get it and whatever color the tooth fairy is would be left behind in the glass. Isabel was so excited about the idea and asked if we could do it. I thought it was perfect, there would be no digging around to find the tiny little tooth. It was just a matter of switching out glasses.

I knew I was going to take a picture of her and upload it to iCaughtTheToothFairy and the tooth fairy options were all wearing the same color dress. So, picking out the water color was easy. My daughter is a fairy-fanatic, so we have talked about fairies a lot and she thought there would probably be fairy dust (hence the glitter) and there are different fairies, so next time it might be a different color. What fun!

So, here is her loot from the tooth fairy. Since it was the first tooth, she raked in a little more than she will for subsequent teeth. She received some fairy money (gold dollar) and a pack of Trident gum and then a book. The fairy money & pack of gum will be the usual loot, the book was extra this time. I look for any excuse to give my kids a new book. :)

If you look at the top picture, you will see she has a drawing and a letter next tot he glass. I wanted to keep the teeth (at least for now) and didn't want to worry about hiding them. So I asked her if she thought the tooth fairy would let me keep it. She thought that if we wrote her a letter asking her and if my daughter drew her a picture in exchange for the tooth, that she would be ok with that.

And then after a recommendation from a friend, I went in search of a Tooth Keepsake box and came across this craft kit ( Toysmith 4M Tooth Fairy Keepsake Box 34564) to make one! Plus, if I use some plaster of paris, I can reuse the mold for when my son reaches this milestone.

And finally, you can see the picture of the tooth fairy coming to visit my daughter as she sleeps!

I was no paid to write this post, not were any goods received. This post does contain affiliate links that in no way affect the purchase price of the reader.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Reminder - Lowe's Build and Grow Dinosaur

Just a quick reminder to sign up for the Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic to build this Buildasaurus Dinosaur that will occur next weekend on January 28th. These are fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Making a Juice Lid Snowman Activity

I have been collecting juice lids for a while because they just seem like a good start to a project. I got the idea to make snowmen out of them after I was watching my daughter play with her snowman felt board and commenting that she wished we could build a real snowman. Yes, me too dear! And then it occurred to me that the juice lid I just washed would make a good ball of snow once I painted it white.

I started out by painting 6 lids (plus the large craft sticks for the snowman craft we did at our snow play date) with 2 coats of white acrylic paint. After I painted the second coat I sprinkled glitter (silver, light blue and pink) on three of the lids to give it that new snow sparkle (PLUS, Glitter is FUN!)

Next I gathered a variety of supplies (craft foam, buttons, googly eyes, & felt) and started hot gluing individually cut (by me) magnet (from a roll) on the back of each item.

I also glued a magnet strip on the back of each painted juice lid as well. I thought it was necessary to use a magnet on everything so that toddlers don't get frustrated that pieces don't stay in place and then we can make our snowman over & over. I made a couple extra pieces, but we could mix the pieces up in to a variety of different combinations.

And then you play with it on a cookie sheet. Next week I will provide you with another idea for a magnetic activity using a cookie sheet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GIVEAWAY: 4 Amazon Gift Certificates! ($50, $25, $10 & $10)

Could you use a gift certificate for $50 to Amazon? You will have a chance to win 1 of 4 gift certificate to Amazon.com through this giveaway. Save Green Being Green has team up with Dnbusters Place and a bunch of other fabulous bloggers to give you the opportunities to win 1 of 4 gift certificates to Amazon.com

The 1 and only mandatory entry on the RC form is "Which site are you entering from", but there are many other optional entries that include liking a Facebook Page, becoming a Twitter Follower, Following on Google+, GFC, Email, or a Feedburner.

All of the blogs participating in this are as follows:

1. Dnbuster's Place ~ http://dnbustersplace.blogspot.com
2.Freebies Galore And A Whole Lot More http://tpankuch.blogspot.com/
3. Lessons Learned http://www.reflectionsonlessonslearned.com
4. Save Green Being Green http://savegreenbeinggreen.blogspot.com/
5. St Augustine Qpon Posse ~ http://staugustineqponposse.com
6. Marsha's Spot http://marshasspot.blogspot.com
7. Dutch girls Favorite things http://dutchgirlsfavoritethings.com
8. Freebees N more http://freebeesnmore.blogspot.com/
9. Sweeping the USA http://sweepingtheusa.org/
10. Baby James mommy http://babyjamesmommy.blogspot.com/

Please enter through Rafflecopter entry form below. If you don't see it, please click on the title to view the full post.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: DVD "A Mile In His Shoes"

A Mile in His Shoes was just released on January 12th and I was given the opportunity to review the movie and provide you with a giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a copy of this heartwarming and uplifting feel-good movie.

This is a heart-warming film from the Thomas Kinkade series that is based on a true story of a boy named Mickey that has Asperger's syndrome and also has an amazing pitching ability. It is a family friendly movie that I felt good about watching with my kids.  It was a good movie to teach about being understanding of others, having faith and the importance of friendship.

The movie was predictable, but I didn't mind that. Sometimes the predictability of a movie is what lends itself to making a good feel-good movie. I hope the winner (and you, if you choose to purchase it through the link below) will enjoy the movie as I did.

About Mile in His Shoes:

From the director of "Angels In the Outfield" comes an inspiring story about a special boy with an amazing gift, and the coach who believed. Dean Cain and Luke Schroder star in the gmc movie based on the book "The Legend of Mickey Tussler".

Snow Theme Playdate

I participate in a weekly themes playdate with another friend and our boys. We started this at the start of the school year and we take turns hosting. When we host, we chose the theme and plan the activities, snack & stories to coordinate with that theme.

We all know there is only so much planning you can do that will be carried out according to plan when you are working with toddlers. In that case, the moms drink coffee while the boys play with trains & buzz around the house on scooters.

I thought that I would share twice a month the theme that I plan this year. For my first themed playdate of 2012, I decided to pick the theme of snow (basically because I want snow so bad and we just don't have any here - seriously! It's January in MN, we need snow!)

The top picture is my snowman magnet craft that we will do. It was inspired by the snowman ornaments created by A Day of Wonders. Since it is after Christmas, I thought making magnets would be better. I thought it turned out pretty cute.

Our stories for our playdate are The Snowy Day: 50th Anniversary Edition (Did you know it's the 50th Anniversary of this book!?!?) and
The Little Snowflake.

I have been really wanting to make a snowman with my kids, but for now I need to settle for making one from a homemade magnetic activity and with snowman playdough. Tutorials on how to make both will be coming soon and then will be linked up.

And finally, and maybe the most important to the boys is the snack. I decided to go with a snack that would reflect what MN looks like this year when we get a few flurries. It's all brown with just a sprinkling of snow. Now, if this was last year in Minnesota, I would have had a piece of graham cracker with and whole bunch of white frosting (instead of the thin layer of nutella I am using this year) with a handful of snowflake sprinkles (instead of this year's dusting.)

And if that isn't enough snow fun - check out what we did as a family for the family project this month for my daughter's kindergarten class. She was sent home with a drawing of a snowman and we had to work as a family to decorate it however we wanted. I am not sure if you can tell by looking at the picture, but we made "snow" by gluing on a mixture of baking soda & salt. My daughter glued on the facial features and made the scarf & hat and got sticks from the yard, I gathered all the supplies & made the snow & cut out the books & nose & applied the glue over the entire snowman. My son sprinkled the snow on everything and my husband glued on the arms and buttons.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Am One of Lisa's Divas!

I am on of Lisa's Divas. I bet you are wondering - Lisa Who? Well, New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Kleypas! She has assembled a group of divas, provided us with the wonderful swag in the picture below (some to keep, some to share) in exchange for helping publicize her new book Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor) that will be released on February 28th. You can pre-order Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor) on Amazon (as well as other online bookstores for) for over 30% off the list price. You can read an excerpt from Rainshadow Road here.

You can also Like Lisa on Facebook of follow her on Twitter.

Wondering what I am doing with my 5 copies of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor? I am thinking that I will share them with my own book divas. I belong to a book club of awesome women and we call ourselves the 4B's.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Enjoying Outdoor Winter Activities on a Budget (Continued)

I know you have been waiting for this second part in how you can be Enjoying Outdoor Winter Activities on a Budget and the post is now up over at Northern Cheapskate.

Do you have any other tips how how you enjoy outdoor winter activities without a huge cash investment? I'd love to hear them!

WINNER: Tyler's Acid-Free Coffee

The winner of the Tyler's Acid-Free Coffee as chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter is:

#64 Julie (Likes Tylers Coffee on Facebook)

The winner will be sent an email using the email address provided notifying them and requesting your respond within 48 hours with your full name and address to have your prize sent from the company.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

$1.50 off coupon for Banana Chocolate Chip Kashi Bars

Click HERE to get a $1.50 off coupon for NEW Kashi Banana Chocolate chewy granola bars. Often you will see these bars on sale at  for about $2.50 a box, so this will make for a cheap box of organic granola bars. Be sure to check out Target, who often offer has deal where if you buy 3 boxes you can get a $5 gift card too. Print them off NOW so you are ready when the sales happen.
Also, you can go to the Kashi website and print off coupons for $1 off 3 Kashi GoLean bars and $1.50 of 2 Kashi TLC Bars.
And don't forget to enter in the codes from those Kashi boxes to earn points on Recyclebank and earn coupons & prizes.