Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bubble Bottle (6 months and up)

In one of my weekly e-mails from BabyCenter they included the following activity for fun. It's like a mock-up lava lamp. 

Bubble Bottle by

Remember the hypnotic effect of watching a lava lamp? Here's a toy that will have the same impact with your baby, and you can make it yourself for pennies. It's sure to become a favorite around the house.
Appropriate for: 6 months and up
Skills developed: Dexterity, familiarity with colors
What you'll need: A clear plastic bottle with a tightly fitting screw-on lid; food coloring; vegetable oil, water, an Alka-Seltzer tablet

Fill a large, clear plastic bottle, such as a soda pop or water bottle, three-quarters full of vegetable oil. (It's helpful to have a funnel for this step, though not necessary.) Fill the rest of the bottle almost to the top with water. Add ten to 12 drops of food coloring. Then break the Alka-Seltzer into small pieces and drop one into the bottle. Put the cap on and watch it start bubbling! When it stops, you can add more Alka-Seltzer to start the bubbling all over again.

Remember: Each baby develops at a different pace, so if yours isn't quite ready for this week's activities, don't worry — just try them again in a few weeks.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Easter Card Quickie

I pulled out my supplies and set out to make simple but time-consuming Easter cards. I used Martha Stewart's template.    I cut out the first egg (I didn't have an exacto knife) and it took me a long time. Looking at our list of 16 cards to make I improvised. I used the original template and also scaled it down when I printed which left me with two egg sizes. I used already made cards which sped up the process.

What I liked most about the project:
- Even my 3 year old boy could do it.
- I wasn't the only one cutting out eggs
- Most of the creative decorating of the cards was done by my children.
- They were simple to make, but I imagined if I were the one receiving them, they would definitely touch my heart.

P.S. I liked how simple/cute Martha Stewart's cards were, but I was limited on time. So here is my version. It took us about 2 hours to make 16 cards.

Supplies Needed:

  • Martha Stewart template
  • scissors
  • markers/crayons/colored sharpie marker(s)
  • scrapbook paper
  • already made cards or and paper stock you can fold to make a card
  • envelopes
  • (optional) stickers/glitter/etc...

1. Print out the template to the scale of egg you would like.
2. Cut out the template. Around the border and then cut the egg out of the center.
3. Find the scrapbook paper you'd like to use to make the egg. Place the template on top and trace the template onto the paper. I used a sharpie which helped my 6 year old cut it out.
4. Now place your template and place it on the card you would like to place the egg. Trace the egg template onto the cover or inside of your card. I used a sharpie. Coordinating the color of the sharpie with the color of the paper you are using (1) helps younger children place the egg easier, (2) Can add a nice effect to the card.
5. Have your child glue the egg in place on the card.
6. Give the child creative license to decorate the card.
7. We signed all the cards with the family name.
7. On the back of the card we put, "Made with love by: ________" (insert child's name)

This was a great coordination project, it helped my younger kids stay in between the lines when gluing the eggs. You could skip outlining where the eggs go.

I did this project with a 9 year old, 6 year old and a 3 year old. They all equally enjoyed making the cards. The three year old was patient enough to make one card. You should have seen his proud face as he finished!

We made these for family (lots of Aunt's and Uncle's). THey had fun picking and choosing who they were making a card for.

Here is how our cards turned out!

This one was by me!

If you made Easter cards/crafts/projects and posted it on your blog, please share with us! Happy Easter!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My New Favorite Site

Anyone interested in food storage might adore this site I found a few months ago!

It is a network of blogs to help plan, buy and eat your food storage. The site I use most right now is the:

Food Storage BabySteps

Along with links and tools, you can sign up on their e-mail list and they will send you their Baby Steps checklists that help you plan your food storage as well as other prepare other items like your emergency plan and 72 hour kits in manageable steps.

Let me know what you think and please share your ideas on how you are preparing for you/your family. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I've never been attached to buying one brand of diapers for my kids. However, I would stick to either Pampers or Huggies, and buy whichever one was on sale.
A few months ago, we had about 2 diapers left at home, so we needed to make a trip to the store. Unfortunately, it was during a week of many bills we had to pay, and so we had to use an old Target gift card with a leftover balance of about $8 to buy the diapers we needed.
I knew we'd have to buy just a small package to last until the next pay day, but neither Pampers or Huggies had any packages of diapers that would fit our budget.
I had to make a choice between Luvs or the new Target brand, Up & Up. I tried buying the old Target brand diapers and Luvs before to save a little money, and I wasn't satisfied with either brand. So, I decided to go with the Up & Up brand. I figured it was just a small pack anyway and our little guy pees so much that he'd go through all the diapers in less than a week for sure, then I'd buy the big pack of Pampers from Sam's Club.

Well, I never bought those Pampers from Sam's Club, because these generic diapers work just as well, if not better, than those other name brand diapers.

*Plus, I compared prices, and they're even cheaper than buying the diapers from Sam's Club. (At least at the one here. I don't know about Costco... you could always check for yourself!)

Try them! I'm sure every kid is different, and they might not be great for your little ones, but they work really well on my son who used to leak through all of his diapers if we didn't change him at least every hour! I think it's worth the try, considering that they're almost half as much as the name brands!

Their wipes are great too! I think they're better than the old Target brand wipes! I'm so glad that they've improved with this new Up & Up stuff!

Also, baby wipes work really well at getting off make up... even waterproof mascara! My eyes are really sensitive and would burn whenever I used eye make up removers and wipes. Try using your baby wipes next time to take off your make up! It's something you most likely already have at your house!

Have you tried either of these products? What did you think?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why we love the library (and you should too)

Books introduce your children to a world of excitment and learning. They entertain, teach, and fill your child with wonder and creativity. So a building full of free books is a wonderful place indeed! Whether you have your own collection of books or not, you're always going to find something new and engaging at the library. Here's a few things you should know are available at your library:

1. Board Books- Although our current library has very few, your library should have bins or a small bookshelf with board books to check out for your toddlers who are still pretty hard on books. These are the only library books I leave out, the paper-paged books are hidden in the closet so my toddler won't tear them. Great way to introduce your baby to the wonderful world of books!
2. Storytime- Your library probably has a storytime available at least weekly. Some libraries even have several for different age groups. A librarian picks a weekly storytime theme, reads stories, sings songs with the kids and does fingerplays, and provides an activity/craft at the end. Our librarian is fabulous and goes all out with decorations, dresses up and gets the kids participating with a smile! Call your library or go on their website to find out when yours is. Or if you have several libraries in your area, check all of them to find the day that works best for you. Your library may offer special events during storytime too like puppet or magic shows or holiday specials like an egg hunt for Easter. Check for a calendar or e-mail sign-up.
3. Movies- We never rent movies anymore. The library has lots of kids, family, and grown-up movies to check out. They offer a lot of educational movies too like the "Signing Time" videos my daughter loved or videos taht taught Spanish. We've checked out popular Disney movies, classics, new releases, exercise videos, and TV series at our library.

4. Music, Read-Alongs, and Books on tape/CD- Unforunately we have a small library now and our CD and read-along selection is very limited but when we were in Vegas we used to check out a few kids CD's every week and listen to them driving around in the car. At home I'd pop in a read-along (book with tape) for my kids when I was too busy to read to them myself. Lately I've been getting story tapes and CD's for my kids to listen to when they go to bed. Fun quiet activity and great way to boost your child's reading comprehension. You can also find these items for adults too. Get your cleaning done while someone reads to you or try some new music.
4. Miscellaneous- Depending on the size of your library you may have other materials for check out. Our last library had Leap Pad books and cartridges along with Leap Pad systems to check out seperately and Hooked on Phonics games. Tour your library, ask the librarian, or check online to see what's available at your local library.

5. Reserving Items- Ask your librarian for an online PIN number for your library card. You can use this PIN number on the library's website to place items on hold for yourself. So from your computer at home you can search for your favorite story titles or movies from not only the library you visit but all the libraries in the area, put in a request for that item, and they will send it to your library and you just have to pick it up at the front desk. This way you have more materials available to you and have to spend less time finding them. I use this to get books appropriate for my duaghter's reading level and to find the most loved titles. Find a reading list from the library website or other source that will give you the best titles and/or splits them into reading levels and put these titles into your searches.

6. Summer Reading Programs- Libraries offer summer reading programs that offer prizes for reading, fun activities and special events. Register at your library to get a reading log and list of events. This isn't just for readers, they count kids who are read to as well.

Hope this is helpful! Reading really is a great activity for your children and it's never too early to get them excited about it. How many of you use the library (or plan to after reading this)? Is there something about your library that you've enjoyed? Any other tips I've left out here?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Day for You

The most important thing she learned over the years was that there is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a great one. -Jill Churchill

May your children be angels,
may your house stay clean,
and may you know that motherhood
is the most important and rewarding job in the world!
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 1, 2009


These are my tomatoes. I GREW TOMATOES! I've never been so proud, so don't tell me about gardeners who grow a full array of vegetables to supply food for their entire family, unless you have all their secrets.

Now that we're in the south with the rain and better soil and lots of yard space I've been feeling a need to get a garden going. I had great success with tomatoes last year and want to expand but feel completely lost on how to do this gardening thing right. I went to a gardening workshop but walked out feeling overwhelmed. I'm worried I'm going to spend all this time and money only to end up killing everything so I'm trying to learn what I can and make the best of it.

We have an excellent Preparedness Specialist in our ward who sends us e-mails often. He sent me this gardening link from the church. I'm hoping I can access the television series from BYU Broadcasting on the internet.

Has anyone done gardening? I would love to hear any tips or words of encouragement on the subject! I'm really interested in hearing how to simplify and use supplies you have on hand (e.g. plastic bottles and egg cartons for seed starters, leaves for mulching, newspaper as weed barrier- you know Myrtle stuff). I'm going to a free composting workshop to find out how to put to good use all the tons of leaves, grass clippings and food scraps I have. I would also love you forever if you can link me to a site (especially a blog) that explains gardening to you in simple steps.
I lined the almost ripe tomatoes on my windowsill to finish ripening. It made me feel so good everytime I'd look up from my dishes to see all these fresh tomatoes I'd grown. Tomatoes are a great place to start and are very encouraging in your gardening efforts.