DIY Plastic-Bubbles-On-A-String

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Whattya need?

  • Blow-up plastic bubbles kit from craft or grocery store
  • String

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How do I make the bubbles-on-a-string?

 Step 1:  Determine length of string you want to hang.

Step 2:  Blow bubble and carefully tie a knot around the end before twisting off straw to seal.

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Step 3:  Repeat at desired lengths.

Step 4:  Hang.

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Created by Dane Holweger

A Fort I Can Live With

A couple of weeks ago as the kids and I were wrapping up breakfast, I asked Oliver what he thought we should do with our morning. He suggested we build a fort in the living room and after a moment of consideration, I countered with an offer to build a fort under the kitchen table.

He accepted.

We spent the morning draping sheets and collecting pillows and books from upstairs. We even enjoyed our morning snack under there – some raisins and cheese with milk. Oliver and Hazel were giddy about their new accommodations and Oliver announced that we should never take it down ever – or at least until Daddy gets home from work.

So, yay – Mama gets 10 fun points for being all cool and laid back and embracing the mess and laying under the dining room table with the kids all morning!

Except that it just about killed me. The dining room was no longer a dining room. There were raisins everywhere and Hazel kept bonking her head and crying when she stood up under the table. As dreamy as the whole event sounded, it was less than ideal.

Plus, there was nowhere to eat lunch. And by dinnertime, I had had enough of ye olde fort and I wanted to put dinner on a real table without trying to tell myself that sheets were kind of like tablecloths.

That evening I cleaned up our dining room fort, not at all regretting the fun memories I'd made with the kids that day, but certainly evaluating in my mind how this could go more smoothly in the future.

I had an idea.

After tucking the kids in bed that night I hopped on online and ordered a retractable clothesline. Two days later I kissed Ryan goodbye as he headed out for work, then led the kids upstairs to the playroom, package under one arm, drill in the other.

The installation took a bit of trial and error. The plastic anchors that came in the package pulled out of the drywall after just a few test tugs from me. Because I was expecting this clothesline to stand up to the yanks and flops of busy little people (not usually a job description for most clotheslines), I needed it to be extra sturdy and safe.

I pulled out the plastic anchors and fished around Ryan's workbench for a pair of toggle bolts. Much better.
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Another thing that was important to me in this installation process was commitment. Or, shall I say, lack thereof. I didn't want to have to live with that big blue thing attached to my wall every day. It needed to be able to be tucked away in a basket or a cabinet, and pulled out only when we were feeling fort-y.

I just so happen to have one wall in my playroom that offers a perfect hiding place for a wall bracket. Our wall grid (made out of lattice boards) displays interchangeable photos with bulldog clips, so I installed the clothesline bracket below one clip that hangs about four feet off the ground.

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{ps – before you start thinking I'm too clever, I got the idea for the lattice boards and clips from an old Martha Stewart magazine last summer.}

I hung the hooks on either side of the window on the opposing wall behind the curtains.

(I decided to buy a clothesline with two lines for the sake of options. Also, this way the forts we build will have a little bit of a roof and width to them for claustrophobic mommies.)

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A couple of pretty old sheets (yard sale finds) and some fabric yardage (also from yard sales) and we had ourselves a little town of forts before lunchtime!

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This project was so quick and so cheap (under $20!), I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner. No playroom should be without a retractable fort option!

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And there you have it! My dining room table is now clear for dining and the kids can set up a fort whenever they like (though I did hang the hooks out of reach for safety, so they technically have to ask me first.)

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Happy fort-ing, friends!

Post by Raechel : www.raechelmyers.com

Binky Bag

Is it baby/wedding shower season for your too? Our calendar is packed over here with showers and weddings (and I like it). 

A common phrase at my house is… "where is the binky?". So, I actually though about making something like this months ago for Clyde and his Binky Love (more of an obsession that I will regret later). We were invited to a diaper shower a few weeks ago and I always like to add something handmade. So I made a Binky Bag. 

It is so easy I can barely even call this a tutorial- but I will :) 

All you need is:

- a small piece of fabric (mine was 14" x 10")

- small piece of boning

-a ribbon

Basically all you do is create a pocket that is sewn on 3 sides and a 1" hem on the 4th side so you can insert your boning inside and your bag will always be open. There are a ton of ways to modify it, here are the bare bones of the Binky Bag.

1. My piece of fabric was 14"x10" and I folded it in half, right sides together, and stitched around 3 sides; leaving an entire side open

2. On the open side, serge around the top (or sew a hem)

3. With the bag still turned inside out, fold 1" down

4. Sew around the fold leaving an opening

5. (the opening)

6. This is the boning that you will insert into that opening

7. Flip the bag right side out and pin a ribbon to the top of the bag

8. Make sure to leave a gap (about 1") on the back of the bag so the ribbon doesn't touch

9. Sew the ribbon to the bag

Lastly, insert the boning into the opening and stitch it closed.

Make sure to leave the gap in the ribbon so you can tie it to the side of the crib or changing table.

No more "where is the binky?" Happy Mommie, Happy Baby.

Post by Taylor Urban : www.itstaylormade.com

Mermaid Party

Psst. Are you aware that you may have a Mermaid living in your house? Contrary to popular wisdom, Mermaids can live anywhere their little hearts and tails desire, not just in the sea as some books and movies would have us believe. They can live in city apartments and suburban two stories, and everywhere in between. 

If you do suspect you’re sharing your home with a real live Mermaid, stay calm and immediately throw her a party! Mermaids are very social creatures and are naturally attracted to fun in the sun.

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Now, a Mermaid party can be thrown anywhere, a beach is not mandatory. She’ll be just as pleased having it at the park down the street, in your backyard, or even in the living room if the weather refuses to cooperate. Just make sure to include these three things: Friends, Food and Fun.

Invite her closest Mermaid friends with these adorable “Come Make a Splash” party invites that are sure to get her guests excited from the get go.

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Next, serve sand dollar cupcakes, a magical birthday cake (don’t worry – it’s not complicated) and sand bucket lunches which should include, what else, gold fish crackers.

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And finally the fun! What Mermaid doesn’t like a water relay, a seashell dig and a flip flop hunt? Hint: All Mermaids love these games and can play them for hours.

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This Mermaid party is shore to be a big hit, and one she’ll remember for years to come!

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Post by Sara Westbrook & Brittany Egbert for One Charming Party : onecharmingparty.com

Photos by Nicole Hill Gerulat : www.nicolephoto.com