Archive for October, 2011

Custom Baby Pom Pom Hat on Etsy

Friday, October 28th, 2011

It dipped down to a chilly 46 degrees today by the time I took the kids to the grocery store this afternoon.  Luckily, Evelyn has the cutest little hat to keep her noggin warm! 

One of my friends has a shop on Etsy and sells handmade crochet items such as scarves, cowls, and these cute as a button pom pom hats.  You can visit her shop, afternoonowldesigns, by clicking here.  Rebecca also does custom orders.  If you see something you like, but want a different color or want to tweak something here and there you just send her a message.

From the minute we got out of the car to the minute I put her back in, people were commenting on the hat.  “She’s adorable!” “How precious.” “Where can I get one?” “Is that handmade?”  Almost makes me want to buy one for myself!

If you haven’t heard of Etsy.com you should really check it out.  Simply stated on Etsy’s site, “Etsy is the world’s handmade marketplace.”  People from around the world post hand made items online for other’s to purchase.  Eveything from clothes, crochet, pottery, paper, dolls, jewelry, furniture, housewares, art, and woodworking to decorations, purses, candles, soaps, plus much more can be found there. 

I love shopping on Etsy for the uniqueness and quality of the items, but also to support my fellow craftsperson.  If you have a hobby that you love, why not share it with the world?  If I ever find the time, I’d love to join Etsy and open my own shop.  Maybe I’ll try my hand at pom pom hats for adults.  :-)

Thanks Rebecca – We love the hat!

Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

It’s pumpkin picking time again!  We took the little ones to the same pumpkin patch as last year for some fall fun. 

Last year, Evelyn was a few weeks away from making her grand debut and Oliver was my “baby” at 16 months.  Now he is all grown up and Evelyn is footloose and fancy free.

Our first stop was at the corn crib.  They filled this enclosure with about 2 feet of corn kernels.  I jumped in with the kids and it was pretty wild!  I bet it would be awesome to sleep on.  Corn kernel mattresses.  Hmmm…maybe we should market that. 

Second stop was a visit with the goats. 

Oliver always loves looking at the animals.

Evelyn didn’t know what to make of it.  A bear that walks and make noises?

Daddy and Oliver scoured the patch for some choice pumpkins.

We made a game of it and Oliver found quite a few.  Actually, Oliver’s game was chucking the pumpkins through the air, which we tried to “squash”.

Evelyn preferred to crawl over the picked pumpkins herself.  We picked a couple tiny ones for her and she proceeded to eat them like her brother did the year before. 

It was a beautiful day to be outdoors.  A hayride and corn maze later and we were ready to head home with our squash.  We have our annual pumpkin carving party this upcoming weekend. 

I am glad we spent the time out instead of in packing up our house.  I feel like we need to get the “lasts” out of our system before we move.  The last time for this…the last time for that…  I want to close these chapters before we start the new ones.

Toddler Play: Fun With Rice

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Want to keep your toddler busy for 30 minutes or more?  Give him a container of rice, some miscellaneous containers, scoops, and funnels and watch him go! 

This is a great sensory and fine motor activity for kids.  They get to squish their hands around in the rice and listen to it ping into the different containers.  He got a lot of practice pouring from little containers to big ones and vice versa using a funnel.

I highly recommend doing this activity on a baking sheet!

I have a Rubbermaid tote where I save random bottles, canisters, egg cartons, cardboard tubes, etc. for the kids to have fun with.

My little scientist had so much fun.  He was totally absorbed in his work for at least 1/2 an hour.  Dumping and filling.  Scooping and pouring.  Next time, I’m going to use food coloring to dye a cup or two of rice and let him experiment with mixing colors!

Handprint Picture Frame

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

After Oliver was born, I randomly came across this clay keepsake frame at AC Moore.  I imprinted Oliver’s hands when he was 7 months old and it is one of my favorite mementos from when he was a baby.  Luckily, they still sell these kits today and I purchased one for Evelyn too.  The regular price is about $21.  I used a 40% off coupon and got it for about $13.

The kit comes with the bi-fold frame, 4×6/5×7 mat, “acrylic glass”, clay, roller, and a clay tool.  You basically fill one side of the frame with the clay, make your impression, and bake it to set.  Super easy, fast, and inexpensive!

First, you knead the clay to soften it up.  This was the fun part!

I went ahead and made an oblong pancake out of the clay and then pressed it into the frame.  It reminded me of pressing pizza crust into a pan.

I used the roller to flatten the lumps and smooth out the clay.

The hardest part of this exercise was getting a squirmy 10 month old to press her hands in the clay.  At 7 months, Oliver was satisfied with whatever mommy wanted him to do.  At 10 months, Evelyn wanted to grab the clay, dig into the clay, squeeze the clay, eat the clay… 

By the way, if you make a mistake, all you have to do is reroll the clay and start over.  I had 2 full do-overs, 3 half do-overs for her left hand, and 1 partial do-over when I wrote her name in the wrong place.

The clay is soft and elastic.  Writing the name is trickier than you would think.  Once you are happy with everything, you pop the entire thing in the oven on a tray.  Detailed instructions are printed on the inside of the box that include oven temp and time.

When it’s done there was hardly any shrinkage or color change.  The product will harden even more as it cools.  Evelyn still wanted that sculpey clay!

I can’t wait until we move and I can put out our family photos again.  I matched a photo to the age of the handprints (10 months) and have such a nice momento that I’ll keep forever! 

When they get older I’ll probably put their latest pictures in the frame and it will be neat to have their baby handprints next to their too cool high school selves.

Fall Fun at the Corn Maze

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Daddy came home this weekend bringing crisp fall weather with him.  We went to a local corn maze for some fun in the sun.

They had tractors of all sorts, bouncy houses, play gyms, hay bales to climb, a sand pit, horses, hay rides, and a corn maze to go through.  The maze, horse and hay rides all required tickets – everything else was free!

Evelyn got lost in the toddler hay maze.  She kept thinking, “Why would I walk through this maze when I can just climb over these hay bales?”

Oliver thought that billy goats ate anything.  The goat was like, “Dude, that’s a rock.  Give me a cheeto.”

Evelyn kept the cheetos to herself.

It was a breezy and cool 61 degrees in the sun when we went.  The kiddos had cold little noses and frozen fingers by the time we left.  I need my friend Rebecca to make Evelyn a little hat for the winter (wink, wink).  Evelyn liked checking things out from the wagon and Oliver loved jumping in the bouncy house and running around.  It was a great way to have some family time before Daddy ships off to Atlanta again on Sunday.

Search the internet to find your local farm, pumpkin patch, or corn maze and see what they have going on.  Sometimes, you have to pay to enter the property and experience what they have to offer.  Other times, you can walk right in and have all the free fun you can stand for one bright and sunny autumn day.  It’s worth a look!

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