Monday, April 30, 2012

Ideas for Reusing Ribbon

Between birthdays and holidays, you may end up with a lot of ribbons of all different colors and sizes. Instead of throwing them away, save them to use for the following ideas.
  • The most obvious thing to do with ribbon is to reuse it next time you wrap a present. This works really well with family because you can keep using the same ribbons over and over, whereas if you give it to a friend you’ll need to buy more ribbon for future presents.
  • Use ribbons as fashion accessories. Tie or braid small ribbons in your little girl’s hair; tie large ribbons around her dress like a sash; replace your belt with a long, fancy ribbon; add ribbon to purses and shoes for pizzazz.
  • Give small ribbons to your little girls to use as accessories for their dolls or to tie to their bikes.
  • Use ribbons for crafts, such as ornaments, homemade cards, jewelry, bookmarks, scrapbooks, and key chains.
  • Ribbons also work as holiday and wedding decorations. For example, tie ribbons in your wedding color to the cake knife and server and to champagne glasses. Or wrap ribbons around stair rails and tie them around candles.
  • Tie small ribbons around napkins for a simple but elegant napkin ring. Switch the colors every now and then for a quick decoration change.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

More Baby Shower on a Budget

This afternoon I hosted my second baby shower--and on a budget (though I admit it was easier this time because it was very small and my sister-in-law helped). The theme was baby Winnie-the-Pooh. I got a banner and balloons on clearance at Party City. I found a baby shower bingo game at the thrift store and a free printable online for a memory game, and we used the back side for a drawing game.

I also made a Winnie-the-Pooh diaper cake. It's a lot easier than it looks! Just tedious. I bought a gift set at Walmart, took out the diapers for the diaper cake, and used the rest of the contents plus some more goodies for the memory game (you show the guests everything in the box/bag, they have to write down everything in it from memory, and the mother-to-be gets to keep it all).

The favors were large baby jars filled with gummy bears. The Pooh die cuts on them and the diaper cake my sister-in-law made with the baby Pooh Cricut cartridge I got really cheap on ebay.

All in all a very easy and inexpensive baby shower! For more ideas, read about the first baby shower I hosted on a budget.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Frozen Vegetables

A few days ago while preparing lunch, my son didn't want to wait any longer and reached for the bag of frozen vegetables. I gave him some, thinking he would make a face and spit them out. Quite the opposite happened: he made a cheesy smile and asked for more! He has been eating them that way for the past few days now. What a weird child. I think he likes them because the cold feels good on his gums and teeth. But whatever the reason, I'm just glad we found a way for him to eat his vegetables!


The winner of the Brittany Chavers Studio rose necklace giveaway is comment #93 by Selma. Congratuations! You are one lucky and envied winner!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Featured Seller: Cindy from Moon Beans Gifts & Jewelry

I met Cindy through the LDS Etsy team. She is a great promoter and artist. Some of my favorite things from her shop, Moon Beans Gifts & Jewelry:

Here is a little more about Cindy and her shop:

About Cindy
I'm a busy mom of three teenagers, married to wonderful guy for 21 years now. I'm originally from Texas, but I came out to college in Utah, met that great guy, and never left!

About Moon Beans Gifts & Jewelry
 Moon Beans Gifts and Jewelry specializes in cute and affordable jewelry for little girls and in unique, very wearable jewelry for ladies.

Our Utah workshop consists of mom Cindy and teenager daughters, Sarah and Ellen. All of us have various crafting experience, Ellen working two years as a jewelry student and apprentice, Sarah as crafter and designer, and Cindy as hands-on grunt and web specialist. Our three very different tastes give us an eye for new designs and great patterns.

I've always been a crafter. When my kids were little, it was sewing toddler clothes, Halloween costumes, doll dresses. Then when I had time, I started scrapbooking. Now I've taken on the challenge of creating great-looking jewelry at affordable prices. I especially like working with stones. I love the way they feel when I work with them and they way look when they're done. My favorite pieces are the ones using rough stones. But sometimes I like to make something out of felt - back to the sewing, I guess!

When I'm not busy crafting, I love reading. I'm a super fast reader. My goal is to finish 200 books this year, and I'm sticking to my schedule pretty well. I also love making and eating dessert.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Reuse Cookie Sheets

Reusing regular household items is an easy way to save money and go green. But coming up with new ways to use things is not so easy. What in the world can you do with grubby, stained cookie sheets besides throw them away? A lot more than you think! Here are some ideas for how to reuse cookie sheets.


Clean the cookie sheet and glue on fabric. Use the decorated cookie sheet as a serving tray for food, like sandwiches or tea. Cookie sheets, decorated or plain, also make great TV trays for eating on the couch or floor. Use the more unsalvageable cookie sheets as clearing trays when cleaning up after a dinner party.

Use an old cookie sheet to carry things from one place to another. For example, if your kids want to color outside, put the paper and coloring utensils in the cookie sheet and carry it outside. The paper will stay clean in the cookie sheet and in place with magnets and the crayons won’t roll all over the yard.

Do messy crafts on the cookie sheet for an easy cleanup afterward. Cookie sheets work great for glitter projects, finger painting, play doughh, or anything involving glue.

Use as a drip guard when cooking in the oven. For example, if you have an unsteady hand, put your pumpkin pie on the cookie sheet first before putting it in the oven. The drippy mess will be a lot easier to clean off a cookie sheet than the oven.


When on a picnic, your cookie sheet can double as a serving or eating tray and a card table. Simply turn the cookie sheet upside down for a slightly raised table.

Decorate the cookie sheet with patterned paper and ribbons to use as a magnetic board (see photo). Drill a hole in one handle and hang the cookie sheet in your office or kitchen to post reminders and lists. Or make it kid friendly for your kids to use it with their magnets when you want them out of the kitchen.

Paint or glue on a target to use the cookie sheet as a cheap magnetic dart board. Drill a hole in one handle to hang it up.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sugar Radar

photo by Kasey Albano
I'm positive toddlers are built with an internal sugar radar. Several times in the last few months my son has seen me eat something he's never seen or eaten before but knows is sweet and delicious and will whine for some. He doesn't do that when I'm eating a fruit or vegetable he hasn't seen or eaten before. How does he know? The aroma is somewhat of a giveaway, but not all the time. Funny how he went from refusing to eat his birthday cupcake to recognizing and wanting treats.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guest Post: E Hernandez Designs

Welcome to Emma Hernandez of E Hernandez Designs! Emma makes fun stationery and address stamps:

She has written an honest and refreshing post for this blog:

Finding Time for ME

After my oldest child was born, I decided to take a year off of work (I was an elementary school teacher, so I was lucky to have that option). I stayed home for that year, and 4 years later I’m still home. I now have 2 beautiful, amazing girls. But, the truth is, even though I chose this, sometimes I am bored by it. I mean, really bored by it. For example, I’m usually in bed by 10 p.m. My to-do list consists of doing laundry, making grocery lists, and cleaning out closets. I talk about potty training and feeding schedules. I worry about balancing the budget, making sure to get dinner out on time, and if I can find a babysitter so I can go to a dentist appointment by myself.

These are all important things that help my family go round. But I have been thinking about this routine a lot recently. Do I love my family? YES. Am I happy? YES. Am I fulfilled as a person and as a woman? Not completely.

And then I read this statement from Kristen Houghten in her book And Then I'll Be Happy! Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First:

“Motherhood should never be a case of "self-identity" theft. You need to make the right choices that will ensure a normal and respectful relationship between you and your children. Learn how to enhance your children's lives without neglecting your own. There are ways to be a good parent without neglecting your own needs, wants, and goals.”

I want my children to know that because I love them, I take care of myself in all ways--physical, emotional, and spiritual. So, I’m now on a quest and I’m excited! I’m looking forward to rediscovering myself. I’m not quitting being a stay-at-home mom. I’m just going to make sure I prioritize more time in my day for ME. ☺

Check out the blog E Hernandez Designs for more great posts, including a guest post by me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cool Names I'm Not Dumb Enough to Give My Kids

We all know what quirky names celebrities give their poor children. Here are a few words I think would make pretty names but would never actually use. Before you think I'm too weird, remember that many traditional names are also words, such as Heather and Jack.

Canyon (I've heard of a boy with this name)

What names do you like but would never give your kids?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Brittany Chavers Studio Rose Necklace Giveaway [CLOSED]

I don't remember how I found Brittany Chavers Studio, but I sure do remember why I love it! Brittany makes elegant, fashionable jewelry; her 4000+ sales are proof positive. Here's more proof:

She also has another Etsy shop, Dashing Destash, for those of you who like to make your own jewelry.

Brittany Chavers is giving away this aqua rose necklace to one of you lucky winners!

Mandatory Entry: Visit Brittany Chavers Studio and tell me your favorite item.

1 entry: Like Brittany Chavers Studio on Facebook.

1 entry: Follow Brittany Chavers Studio on Twitter: @bchaveresstudio

1 entry: Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Facebook.

1 entry each: Post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on Thursday, April 26. The winner will be announced Friday, April 27. Please leave your email address in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open worldwide. Good luck!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Seconds for Caden

Caden has experienced many seconds lately (photos do not match scenarios):

1. Last night he slept the entire night, and in his bed, for the second time in his life. For those of you unfamiliar with our story, Caden has never been a good sleeper. Not surprised--sleep problems run in my family. And his personality is very curious and nosy, so when he was a baby he hated missing things. He is much better now, but still wakes up a lot out of habit.

2. Caden got his second haircut last Friday. He did worse than the first time! But he got a sucker and devoured it.

3. He saw my brother and his family for the second time Easter weekend. Last time he saw them was as a baby when he was blessed in church. He loved his cousins! His favorite was Genesis. He learned her name ("Ge-sis") and Isaac's.

4. We went to Benihana's for dinner last night, second time for Caden (first time was last June). It was the most enjoyable time we've ever had eating out with Caden!


The winner of the KW Bloom crocheted baby bloom toes or dinosaur hat is comment #33 by The Zoo. Thanks to all who entered the giveaway!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Got It!

Yesterday afternoon I got a photo of the third baby bird. See the beak in the back?

Finally he popped up for a better photo opportunity:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Surprise

Remember my post about the two nests under my porch awning? Well, yesterday, Easter Sunday, my neighbor told me she saw a baby bird in the nest!

Then this morning I saw another baby bird in the nest! I heard their sweet chirping early this morning too.

I thought I saw another fuzzy head, but wasn't sure. However, later I saw a third beak pop up! That one was camera shy. He wouldn't come back up for his photo debut. His brother, however, is not shy at all.

It is so wonderful having a little bird family in my backyard! I love spring!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Gift Exchange

Sonya Kanelstrand hosted an Easter gift exchange in which I participated. The item(s) had to be handmade, so I gave someone in Phoenix Easter gift tags, all occasion gift tags, and a "key to my heart" die cut. I received an adorable upcycled bunny from Tanya of Manila Extract in Hawaii.

This was so much fun! I would love to host an exchange on my blog. Would anyone be interested? You don't need to have an Etsy shop, but just be willing to make something.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Banner!

A wonderful fellow Etsian, Jewel Charsley of Strawberry Jude Handgrown, offered to make me a custom-designed shop set. Even before I replied, she had already painted an idea. Although we only ended up using a part of it, it is too beautiful not to share:

I hated seeing it chopped up to fit the banner size, so we went with just the wooden sign with some honeypots and bees. After a million color changes, this is the final product:

She also made me an avatar, which I used for my new button on the left sidebar, and two "Reserved Listing" avatars.

Isn't Jewel an amazing artist? And person! Visit her shop for more beautiful work.

Monday, April 2, 2012

KW Bloom Crocheted Baby Bloom Toes or Dinosaur Hat Giveaway [CLOSED]

Kiersten of KW Bloom contacted me to host a giveaway for her. I am very excited to showcase her shop! Here are some of my favorites:

Baby Hold n Play Ring

*Excellent prices! Especially for the mobile.
*Bright colors.
*Variety of items.
*Friendly, communicative seller.

*Although I like simplicity, I still think her wreaths could use a little more embellishment--more flowers or maybe a bow.
*More baby toys, mobiles, and boy things, please!

Kiersten is giving one winner either 2 crocheted flower baby bloom toes or a toddler dinosaur hat.

Mandatory Entry: Visit KW Bloom and tell me your favorite item or an item you would like to see in her shop.

3 entries: Add KW Bloom to your favorites on Etsy OR heart your favorite item in her shop. Leave your username.

2 entries: Add Kiersten to your circle on Etsy. Leave your username.

1 entry: Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect.

1 entry each: Post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on Wednesday, April 11. The winner will be announced Thursday, April 12. Please leave your email address in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada. Good luck!
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