Repurposed Apron to Sundress

 Do you have an apron you no longer need? How about re-fashioning it to a child sized dress?
Supplies needed:
Tiered apron .
Sewing machine .
2" velcro .
Coordinating thread .
Scissors .
Buttons x2.
To make your own:
1. Snip off ties of aprons. 
{Note: These will be your dress straps}
2. Stitch up the ends of the apron.
3. Measure where you want the straps to be and…
4. Pin into place.
5. Take a break to play with your model 2-yr old :)

6. Stitch the straps in place. 
{Note: We sewed our straps underneath the top layer of the apron and followed the stitching of the fabric to hide our stitching}
7. Snip off the excess apron ties.
8. Sew a 2" velcro strip on each flap of the back of the dress to secure it.  
9. Sew 2 buttons on the front.
Now just let your little dolly run wild in her new dress!
Post by Kelli and Kristi  :

Counting Caterpillar


When my son was little, one of my brilliant friends (Hi Addi!) made a Counting Caterpillar for her son. Naturally, I had to make one, too. Now it's Charlotte's turn to have a caterpillar of her very own. While she might be a bit too young to learn her numbers, the early exposure can't hurt anything, right?


All you have to do is cut out some circles (I traced around a cereal bowl), add some numbers, feet and a face and you're done. Simple as can be.


Happy Counting!

Post by Christina Williams :

Affording Organics


For the longest time, up until oh, about 40 minutes ago, I didn't think we could afford to go completely organic. But we did it, today, and within our budget.

Groceries in Orlando aren't cheap, and the organic foods are often double the price of conventional. We're a multi-generation household with my parents here with us, and feed four adults and one child. Sometimes one of the adults eats enough for two (way to go, dad) which means we often plan meals for five adults and one child. We spend anywhere from $175 to $250 on groceries every week, depending on which staples are running low.

Slowly, over the last three months, we've managed to eliminate most every non-essential processed food item from our weekly shopping trip. We no longer buy packaged cookies, crackers, popsicles, chips, cake mixes, BBQ sauce or ketchup, to name a few, for a couple of reasons: (1) I have a soy allergy that prevents us from buying most anything that's been processed and (2) these foods are so easy and quick to make at home with ingredients we can actually pronounce.

For the first time this year, by process of elimination, we were able to go completely organic.      I spent $191.95 this afternoon at Whole Foods. I bought every vegetable, every fruit we normally buy, but this time, every single piece of produce was organic. I managed to find an organic, soy-free crackers that I could snack on, organic milk, cheese, sour cream and (drum roll) organic ricotta cheese with nothing but milk, culture and a trace of salt.

The only thing I didn't purchase was meat because our freezer was already stocked, but estimated it to cost another $50, which would bring us to our $250 budget. I'm so proud we did it!

What about all the foods we left on store shelves?
We haven't bought them since December and honestly, we don't really miss them. We've been eating more fruits and vegetables for snacks, and have been making our own cookies, cakes and popsicles from scratch. I've also been making my own BBQ sauce and ketchup in small batches.

You can do it, too!
For the next three weeks, pick three processed food products you normally buy — crackers, chips, snack mixes, packaged cookies, anything you did not make yourself, but could — and stop buying them. Add up the money, which I assume will be close to $16.00, and buy two pounds of grass-fed beef, or divy it up between organic vegetables and fruits of your choice. When your three weeks are up, do it again.

Post by Dawn Viola :

Three Years Old


see the long feet?

the lack of diaper bulge in the back?

the spoon actually making it to the mouth?

the self-serve breakfast mess with a side of play clay? 

These are the undeniable signs that my baby is now three years old. Woe is me for I definitely cannot stop time.

For the past year I have carried a tattered receipt in my purse. On the back I have jotted down things Ryan said as we were out and about. To me it reads as the most beautiful poem in the world, here it is with the translations in italics:

Two Years Old

sebben dollars    

according to Ryan everything costs seven dollars

Broggy the Doggy- woof!    

his favorite game to play with his brothers

Poopey the Cat -meow   

a saucy cat he often morphs into when hurt or hungry or tired

last week    

just about everything happened last week

ruby juice in my ba ba    

75% H20, 25%  rio red Sunrype grapefruit juice,  served in a bottle

so booo-tiful   

the words that make me cry

the Germans are coming   

too many John Wayne war films with the boys,  gets a big "shuush"

no poo in my diaper Mom  

he definitely pooped his pants

can i watch a show?   

he loves to watch movies

Wufus , Wufus  

 Rufus, Rufus

you hold my hand?  

i'm nervous

me go to Winners?    

best kid in the world!

where's Poppa?!?   

poor Nana, he's obsessed with my crazy Dad

Dad take my nucky    

Mom, give Dad heck for snatching my soother

Wufus ate my cheesies  

Rufus is raiding his snack yet again

yay, my brodders  

yay, my brothers

i dunno…

this is how you start the answer to just about any question

me go shopping?   

these words bring Mommy great relief and bliss

Farewell two years old, I will miss you dearly. 

Three is generally a really fun age but it also means a big step away from babyhood and lots of tears from moi. With each boy this transition has been more heart wrenching as each time it becomes more and more clear just how fast the time with wee ones slips away. 

Perhaps that is why my boys are spaced around three years apart. Wish I knew I was done with babies….when I was a complete mess after my last c-section I swore I would remember when this time came upon me. I do, but in a rose-colored glasses kinda way. Not a drugged up, beached whale, overtired, cabbage on my engorged boobies kinda way. Except for all the needles, stomach staples and the dreaded epidural…I remember those things all too well.

Our God is surely a sneaky baby-loving power that be. It doesn't help that my boys are also dying to have another sibling and have been asking for a baby…except Ry who asked for a bird.

Happy Birthday my beloved Ry Ry. I am so blessed to be your Mama. You make me laugh, keep me on my toes, fill me with hope and wonder and warm my heart every single day. You'll always be my baby.



Post by Kerry MacLeod :