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Back to School with Zazzle

Back in the Season

Back to School with ZazzleWell, that year went by fast.

Here we are, back in the season, scooping up all of the clothes, gear and supplies for our offspring to head back in to the classroom to grow and learn all the things.

You know the last thing your kid wants is the same “_______” as someone else, so wouldn’t it be great to surprise them with some personalized coolness and unique duds that no one else will have? Zazzle can make this happen for us, friends!

AND you can get 30% off right now through Sunday 8/21 using code ZBIGDEALFORU at checkout!

 

The Backpack

Back to School with ZazzleFirst off, I LOVE these bags from Zazzle – they are lightweight, easy to clean and large enough to hold plenty.

Back to School with ZazzleBack to School with Zazzle

I totally dig these for my littles AND for myself, because hello – these are awesome for the beach, park, gym, wherever. They would make a great sports bag too!

Check out my newest backpack designs here, or peruse the amazing Zazzle gallery of other unique backpack designs. They even have popular Game, Movie and Comic characters for the little fans out there.

The Lunchbox

Next on my list for my dudes was a new lunchbox. Again, I wanted something totally unique for them and I hit the jackpot with these Yubo lunchboxes. Back to School with ZazzleThey are totally customize-able and come in hundreds of designs! Back to School with Zazzle Back to School with Zazzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I like the most about these is the fact that the faceplates COME OFF – so if you want a new design, you can just order new plates instead of a whole new lunchbox. Think about the possibilities — different plates for different seasons, or each new school year, etc. They come in other colors besides blue, too! Back to School with ZazzleIt’s all washable, AND it COMES WITH the containers AND the icepack! Back to School with ZazzleSo there you go — everything you need to pack your child’s lunch (or yours for that matter, I may indeed make one for myself). You can find my designs here, or checkout all the cool lunchboxes that Zazzle has to offer here.

Shirts

Let’s talk clothes. Shirts in particular. Kids love shirts with words. Funny sayings, things that express who they are and what they are into… I happen to know a lot of kids that are in to sports. Like, REALLY in to sports. ALL THEY DO is eat, sleep, and play their sports. Back to School with ZazzleEnough said. Check out my collection of back to school shirts here (more to come, I’m adding new designs daily!), or peruse the entire gallery of SO MANY awesome and unique shirts on Zazzle.

Supplies

Have I mentioned that I love all things paper. I love love LOVE notebooks in particular – anything I can write or doodle in makes me SO happy. Back to School with ZazzleGet your child writing with these custom notebooks and journals! Great for taking notes, journaling, keeping scores… you name it.  Check out my favorites here or view the entire collection that Zazzle has to offer!

Back to School with ZazzleIf you have an avid list maker, artist or poet on your hands, these pocket journals are THE BEST! You can customize the outside and choose what type of paper is on the inside: blank, lined, grid or checklist.

I love the idea of customized binders – nowadays the older kids need one for every subject so why not provide them with super cool subject binders. Back to School with Zazzle

You can put any text on them, so you could put their name or initials, the class the binder is for, etc., and they come in 1″, 1.5″ and 2″ sizes. You can find my designs here, or the entire gallery here. You can get popular characters like Superman, Batman and all of your favorite Disney friends!

Tech

Don’t forget phone and tablet cases – there are so many beautiful and customize-able designs available on Zazzle! Here is my newest design from my Back to School shop — you can get them with a shiny or matte finish, available in 3 colors.  You can find this and the rest of my cases here, or check out the rest that Zazzle has to offer here for iPhone, Samsung, Nexus, iPad and Kindle!Back to School with Zazzle

So, my friends – go shop with confidence knowing that your kids will have the good stuff this year. Be sure to check out my Check Mate collection, featuring all of my latest checkered goodies inspired by my little dudes.

Get 30% off right now through Sunday 8/21 using code ZBIGDEALFORU at checkout!

Want to see ALL of the Back to School goodies available on Zazzle? Check them out here:
Shop Back to School on Zazzle

Happy Shopping!

Outtakes….. :o)

IMG_9845                     IMG_9872                     IMG_9831

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Best Buys for Baby

Oh Baby! Best Buys for a New Arrival

Our littlest, Vaughn, just turned 10 months old.

Vaughn_10Months

A whole 10 months have gone by since he showed up and turned our whole just-figured-it-out-after-the-first-child world upside down. I’m not going to lie, it has been challenging going from one child to two – I mean we really had NO idea how hard it would be!

BUT, Vaughn has been such a blessing and in some ways, handling him has been so much easier because I actually knew what I was doing this time. With Logan, we had no idea — we couldn’t believe they let us take him home! But we figured it out, and now, after two little dudes, we have mastered the art of baby care-taking. :o)

BoysAndTrainsI thought it would be helpful for any new or soon-to-be Moms out there to see what I have used and loved during the baby stages of both my babes.

These are my favorite products and I swear by them! So whether you’re looking to add to your stash or create a registry or buy some gifts for someone you know that is about to enter the wonderful world of parenthood… these are winners. ALL of these can be purchased at my favorite store and best friend, Target.

 

Stroller & Car SeatLogan_Britax

One of the biggest purchases, the stroller is essential for parents on the go. The most important features to me were that it should be lightweight, easy to fold, rugged so I can go on trails, and it should recline and have a nice sun shade.

Britax_VaughnI found it all in the Britax B-Agile! Super light weight, and I could fold and lift it into the car with ONE HAND – meaning I could have a baby on my hip and still get it done. Winner Winner! It has survived amazingly well through both kids so far and we still use it regularly. The greatest part was that it easily allowed for the Britax B-Safe car seat/carrier to snap in when the boys were under 6 months. Vaughn is still in this car seat today.

Britax B-Agile & B-Safe Travel SystemBritax

 

 

 

 

Baby Monitor Vaughn_Monitor

We had a different monitor with Logan that has since been discontinued, but now that we have Vaughn, I can’t imagine having anything other than the Motorola. We have TWO cameras, one in each boys’ room, so I can spy watch over both of my angels (it can toggle back and forth automatically for you, or you can do it manually). The sound and video quality are amazing, and you can even connect it to wifi to check in remotely. Also it acts as an intercom so I can totally yell encourage the toddler to stop playing and go to sleep….. IMG_9209 I’ve also used it to watch my husband read to Logan in his room because it is just the sweetest thing ever :o)

Motorola Video Baby Monitor

 

MotorolaMonitor

 

 

 

 

 

Vaughn_Ergo360Baby Carrier

I had the regular Ergo with Logan but man oh man do I wish the 360 had come out back then. SO MUCH BETTER! Neither boy enjoyed facing inward, but since the 360 has the facing out option, I use it with Vaughn everyday – and I have peace of mind knowing he is sitting on his behind rather than crushing his boy parts and messing up his hips. It’s easy to put on and very adjustable for all shapes and sizes!

 

 

Ergo 360Ergo360

 

 

 

Baby SlingVaughn_Sling

Even if you get a carrier I HIGHLY recommend having a sling as well! They are especially useful in the very early months, and if you’re just hopping out of the car for a minute or running a quick errand, or need your arms free around the house or whatever, the sling is the quickest way to grab baby and go. For me, it was a lifesaver when I started taking Logan back and forth to school. I had to get out of the car (and bring Vaughn with me) twice a day for just a couple of minutes. The car seat carrier is HEAVY once the baby is over BalboaBabySling10 pounds so the sling worked perfectly. You can totally use your Ergo, but it takes a few minutes to get baby situated and strapped in, so the sling saves time!

Balboa Baby Sling

 

Baby Care

BoonGrassI have two of these now – one for baby bottles and nipples and all that, and the other for Logan’s plastic straw cups. They look cool and allow everything to dry quickly — I will totally use them for my wine glasses once we have moved beyond the bottles and suppy cups!

Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack

 

 

wetbags

You’ll need these for all stages. Trust me. Wet or poopy clothes (because blow-outs WILL happen), or perfect for bathing suits too!

Wet Bags

 

 

 

BloomingBabyBathThis is just genius and oh so cute. We were SO hesitant to give the boys baths when they were first born. It was terrifying — these little tiny guys all cold and vulnerable — you’re afraid you will break them! But you don’t. This bath really helps — bathing them in the sink is the easiest!

Blooming Baby Bath

 

babyganicsI cannot say enough about this line of products. I absolutely love everything and believe me, we have almost all of it. The Hand/Face/Baby wipes are GREAT for all ages for cleaning up (they are so messy!), the bodywash and shampoo are awesome, and I love love love the sunblock. It’s organic AND affordable — often those two are hard to come by in one shot! 😉

Babyganics!

 

Best Baby Buys

Oh so lovely, cozy, and absorbent. Can’t ask for anything more in your bibs, burp bloths and blankets. Logan still uses his swaddling blankets in his crib and he’s THREE. The burp cloths have a snap so you can also use them as a bib. PERFECT!adenanaisburpie

Aden + Anais

 

 

 

NurseryIMG_8915

Boys_Crib

Do NOT overlook Target when shopping for the Nursery! We actually found BOTH boys’ cribs at Target and saved SO much money. The quality of both are perfect and both are convertible into Toddler beds, which will save us money down the road.

They have adorable bedding sets and crib sheets too!

Vaughn_Crib2

So there you have it. I’m sure as the boys grow older I will compile more lists of must-haves and favorites, but for now, these are the things I love and can’t live without.

What are your favorites? I’ve got a 3 year old and a 10 month old — always looking for new great products!




*I am a Target Affiliate – Items purchased via these links will result in this Mama earning a wee bit of commission, and thus help me to keep on keepin’ on as a SAHM. 🙂

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DIY T-Shirt Hack – No Sewing Required!

I’m all about easy these days, what with the 4 month old and the potty training 2.5 year old running me ragged. I want easy hair, easy makeup, easy and practical clothes…anything to make this chaos easier.

No Sew T-Shirt Hack

No Sew T-Shirt Hack

 

During one of my nesting phases I pulled out a few T-shirts from the hubbo’s collection of throw-aways that I thought I could turn into something fun and useful for myself.

So, here is one of those upcycle projects that is so easy, you’ll want to go steal all of your hubbo’s shirts and make your own! It’s perfect for working out or hanging out around the house in — and yeah, I totally wore it to the grocery store.

 

DIY T-Shirt Hack – Easy, No-Sew Upcycle Project

Supplies:

  • Large T-Shirt – knit material, preferrably soft and well worn, bonus if it belonged to someone you love
  • Scissors – sharp ones or you’ll get hacky
  • Feet. You’ll see.

1. Lay your shirt flat on the ground

Lay shirt flat on the ground

Lay shirt flat on the ground

2. Cut shirt as shown below. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and remember since it is knit, the edges will roll. If you want a deeper plunge at the neck, or longer armholes, make it so!

tshirt_frontcut

Cut shirt as shown here

3. Discard the arms and collar, but save that handy bottom piece!

tshirt_cutback

Save bottom part of shirt

4. Cut the bottom piece at the seams so you have two strips, and throw one away – you only need one!

tshirt_cutend

Cut at seam to make one long piece

5.  Flip your shirt over so the backside is on top facing you. Gather the center of the shirt in between those two armholes with your hand.

Gather back of shirt with hand

Gather back of shirt with hand

6. Center the strip you kept from the bottom of the shirt underneath the gathered back of the shirt.

tshirtback2

Center the strip you cut from the bottom of the shirt underneath the gather

7. This is where your feet come in to play! Wedge those babies at the top of the straps so you can pull on the shirt without it going anywhere, and start to twist the ends of the fabric strip around the gather.

Feet make great tools - use them to hold the shirt while you twist

Feet make great tools – use them to hold the shirt while you twist. Thankfully my toes are hidden, because I sure need a pedi!

8. Wrap it around and around until you have two short ends left and tie them in a knot (or a bow if you want a bow?). You can choose whether you want it on the outside or the inside.

Tie a knot or a bow, on the inside or the outside (your preference) when you have two short ends left

Tie a knot or a bow, on the inside or the outside (your preference) when you have two short ends left

9. That’s it. Just ssssstreeeeeeetchhh your shirt out in every direction so the edges curl and you’re good to go

Stretch it out

Stretch it out

The finished product — I’m wearing a black sports bra underneath but I sometimes branch out and wear a hot pink or flourescent yellow one (fashion maven, I am).

                                         diy_tshirt_front diy_tshirt_back2

Selfies — All about the easy: bun and yoga pants, baby!

                        tshirt_diy_selfieback  tshirt_diy_selfiefront

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Glam Tank Top Tutorial

 

Glam Tank Top

Glam Tank Top

NOTE: This is my first tutorial. It should also be stated that I am a mostly self-taught sewer, with no professional experience, and I tend to go the lazy route. I’ll see something I like and try to recreate and improve upon it using the “Dani” method — the easiest, least time consuming way possible. Though I still strive for quality! 😀

This tank top happened one night when I had plans to go out with my girlfriends for a girls night — we are all moms, everyone except me having multiple children, so I’m sure you other moms can relate to needing a night out with your girls every once in a while. As my daily wardrobe usually consists of yoga pants, a tank top and sneakers, I look forward to actually getting dressed in grown-up clothes when I do get to go out for a girls night. I want to get pretty and feel like “I still got it!”

That's me, attempting to look like a pro

That’s me, attempting to look like a pro

While Logan napped in the afternoon I started ruffling through my closet looking for something cute to wear. There were plenty of cute things but they were all old, all had been worn before, and nothing seemed to fit the night’s agenda for dinner out in our downtown beach-side community of San Clemente. It’s casual. Like, really casual – most people sport flip-flops year round. But at night, the girls like to get dolled up, and you really want a balance of casual and chic. You don’t want to over do it, but you don’t want to look like you just came from the beach, either.

What to wear, what to wear! As I stifled the panic and anxiety, wanting to avoid a full-blown wardrobe meltdown, I wandered in to my sewing room – a haphazard mess of a room that is my happy place – and saw a gleam of sparkle coming from my stash of scraps. This nice shiny silver sequined thing that was left over from something I had made for my niece when she was going through her princess phase caught my eye. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cute to just slap that on a tank top and wear it with some white skinnies and wedges? OH YEAH! And I knew I could probably get it done before the little one in the next room woke up too, so I quickly got to work and made a whole new wardrobe item for that evening’s adventure in less than a half an hour. I took pictures as I went, knowing that I wanted it to be my very first tutorial.

Had to share this one — Logan got in on the action during my selfie:

Mommy’s Little Helper

 

Here is how I did it – this is a great project for a beginner!

Materials:TT_p1a

  • A tank top – any color, any style. (Mine was a $5 black racer back bargain from Target, sort of loose fitted)
  • A piece of fabric with some bling. Length should be the length of the front of your top, plus 4 inches. Width – as wide as you want, mine was 4 inches. (I found mine in the remnant bin at Joann’s!)
  • Coordinating or contrasting thread. (I thought some neon yellow thread would be cool, but I didn’t have any so I went with black, the same color as the tank top.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>And now the fun part!

Lay your tank top down on the floor/desk/cutting table, and place your strip of fabric centered on the front of it. Place it so that there are two inches above the neckline, and two inches below the bottom hem. At the top, fold the edge over the neckline, once more under itself, and pin in place.

Fold over edge, fold agin under itself and pin

Fold over edge, fold again under itself, and pin

Pin your bling in place down the front – depending how squirmy it is, you may want to use a lot of pins to be safe.

Pin Pin Pin

Pin Pin Pin

Run a basic stitch at the neckline, about 1/4″ down from the top edge to hold your bling in place. Reverse stitch a few times at the start and end to make sure it is sturdy. If you don’t have a reverse stitch button on your machine, you can do it manually by hand!

Stitch across the top

Stitch across the top

Pull up the needle, turn the fabric so your tank top is perpendicular to you. Now change your stitch to something that will cover the edge nicely. The picture shows my settings – I wanted it to look a little ragged, not have a satin stitched edge. Note also my handwritten L & W to tell me which is length and which is width. 😀

My settings for the length stitch

My settings for the long stitches down the front of the top

Using your stitch of choice, sew down the length of your bling, keeping it’s edge right in the middle of your presser foot. This will keep it straight so keep your eye on it. Slow down if it gets away from you!

Keep edge in the middle of your presser foot

Keep edge in the middle of your presser foot

Your top should look like this now!

Halfway there!

When you get to the bottom, pull the needle up, cut the thread and pull out your top. Now do as you did at the neck of the top, and fold the bling edge over the bottom, fold it under itself and pin in place as shown in the picture.

Fold over the edge, under itself, then pin

Fold over the edge, under itself, then pin

Put your top back under your machine. Change your machine back to a basic stitch, and just as you did at the top, sew the bottom of the bling on to your tank top. Make sure you reverse stitch a few times on each end to lock it in.

Stitch across the bottom

Stitch across the bottom

Change the settings on your machine back to the stitch, length and width that you used for the length of the bling, turn your top so it is perpendicular to you, and sew that baby all the way up to the top!

Glam Tank Top

Glam Tank Top

Hooray! You did it! Feels great, doesn’t it?! Now you have jazzy little top that you can dress up or down using the bottom and shoes of your choice.

 
I’ve added this to the link party at Whipperberry too – be sure to check out the other great crafty tutorials there!

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