DIY Dip Dye Ombre Apron

A few months ago, I found this gorgeous apron at the thrift store.  A friend of mine had just moved out by herself so I thought it would be fun to get it for her as a gift, and then customize it a little bit.  I decided to do an ombre dip dye to modernize it a little.  I will share the instructions below.  And, I also was able to dye this shirt, also thrifted.

This post contains affiliate links. If a purchase is made through the use of one of my recommendations, I may receive a small commission, which would be a lovely little blessing for my family

Supplies:
Powder Dye. I used a pink Rit dye, you can find a similar one here.
An apron, or something to dye (similar)

Instructions:
Follow the instructions on the box to prepare your dye.  I mixed it with water in my sink, mostly because of the available counter space beside it where I could place my apron.

Put most of the apron into the sink, leaving out the parts you don’t want to dye.

Wait 5-10 minutes, depending on how dark you would like it, and move it a little bit out of the dye.

Keep doing that, 5-10 minutes at a time, until you have dyed your entire apron.

Once finished, rinse it all out with cold water and then put it through the laundry on cold by itself a few times.  After that, you’ll be good to go!

And that is how they turned out! 🙂

xoxo,
Alysa

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Toddler-Friendly & Baby-Friendly Oatmeal Cookies

One of the best things that we got for my daughter (so far) has to be the learning tower we have for her in the kitchen.  She’s able to be at the same level as the counter-top and she can “help” with cooking.  So far, she’s just been present while I cut up meat and peel veggies, and usually just samples the veggies as they’re getting chopped up.  Today, we decided to make some cookies together!

Autumn used to be really into the mixed fruit and veggie pouches, but lately she hasn’t been so interested in them. The other day, we attempted to give her one and she ate none of it.  I thought it might be nice to make cookies out of it so then I can give them to Aiden, too.  I wanted to find a cookie recipe that didn’t have any sugar, and I found one here!  This recipe I am about to share is an adaptation of the recipe from food.com.

This recipe is egg-free, flour-free, and sugar-free!  I like that it’s egg-free because it means that Autumn can help me and I don’t have to watch her like a hawk to make sure she doesn’t sample the cookies before they go in the oven.

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup your favourite fruit and veggie pouch (we used a Love Child Organics one made with apples, pumpkin, raisins and cinnamon, but you can pick whatever kind you like/have around)
2 cups oats
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and prepare pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mash bananas
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients with the mashed bananas
  4. Spoon batter onto the pans.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool on pan and enjoy!

These cookies were incredibly easy to make, and my toddler said “num” as soon as she tasted a bite and kept asking for more, so she really likes them.  I am also comfortable giving them to my 7 month old because they’re made with all good things.

She LOVED helping make the cookies, and waiting for them to be done.

Enjoy <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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Make Your Own Advent Calendar for Adults

DIY Advent Calendar for Adults

It’s nearly December 1, which means it’s nearly time to start using our Advent calendars!  For our entire marriage, Andrew and I have made each other Advent calendars.  Last year and this year, however, I get to use the one they sell at David’s Tea!  I still like making one for my husband though.  I had considered getting him one from the supermarket, but I felt that the chocolate ones were boring and uninspired.  Plus, you can’t add cute little notes in those ones.  So, I’ve made one for him again this year!  Here’s what I did:

Step One: Collect All the Supplies

DIY Adult Advent Calendar

  • 1 empty advent calendar from David’s Tea (or, you could use the Starbucks one, like I did last year.  Find my post about it here)
  • Various treats, depending on the person you’re making it for
  • Paper & a pen

Step Two: Write Cute Notes

Do it yourself advent calendar

Write 24 random cute notes specific to your person.  I’ve done cute quotes, I’ve put activities I want to do with them on the day it gets picked, etc.  I’ve also done one where it was a bunch of puns and pick up lines based on my husband’s interests.  Whatever you want!  I just really like the cute notes because I think it adds a little something extra to it!

Step Three: Fill Calendar With Treats

DIY Advent Calendar
diy advent calendar

Since I bought a variety of prepackaged and not prepacked treats, I was able to put some directly into the boxes, and the others I put into the tea containers from the advent calendar!  It was so nice to be able to reuse these little tins because they are so cute. Plus, Andrew will have a sneak peek of what treat he’s bringing with him for lunch that day 😉

Step Four: Put them back at random

DIY Advent Calendar with Reused Calendar

And give to your giftee, or enjoy for yourself! <3

I think my favourite thing about this calendar this year was the fact that I was able to reuse the adorable calendar from last year!  I love that I could use every part, and my husband gets his own individual and unique advent calendar.  Plus, this would be great for kids, too.  If you use the little tins, you can put in a kid-appropriate amount of candy, too!

xoxo,
Alysa

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DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation

DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation

One of the best things we acquired recently (and when I say “recently”, I mean “more than a year ago”) was this Little Tikes kitchen.  We received it from our old church.  It had been donated to them years and years ago, and actually Andrew says that it is the exact same one that his mother donated to the church.  So, in essence, our daughter is playing with the same kitchen that once belonged to her father and uncle.  So it’s a pretty special kitchen.

I was happy to receive it, too.  It’s such a cute little kitchen.  Except, I wasn’t such a huge fan of the colours.  But that’s so easy to change!  I decided to do a little DIY project with it.

Here’s what you need:
Plastic play kitchen
PLASTIC spray paint – I purchased the spray paint from Rona.  It’s meant specifically for plastic furniture that stays outside, so it works really well for a toy like this that will potentially be wiped down a lot.
Basic tools
Newspaper and Masking tape
Time

Here’s how you do it!

Step One: Decide what you want to paint
diy little tikes kitchen renovation
For me, I was not a big fan of the bright yellow and green, so I knew that I wanted to paint the roof section as well as the sink/stove top sections.  I didn’t paint the actual phone, but I did paint the phone holder.

Step Two: Take it apart
diy little tikes kitchen renovation    diy little tikes kitchen renovation diy little tikes kitchen renovation diy little tikes kitchen renovation diy little tikes kitchen renovation

There are quite a few little bolts like the ones pictured above.  I used a wrench to get the yellow plastic part off, and then a regular screwdriver to get the bolts out.  It was actually significantly easier than I anticipated and didn’t take very long at all.

Next, I needed to figure out how to take off the sink portion.  The tap came off very easily, as did the knobs.  There were hidden bolts that were made of plastic under the sticker, and those were pretty much ruined when I tried to remove them.  It was  hard to get this portion off.

diy little tikes kitchen renovation

Under the sink, I had to take off a metal loop, and then the sink/stove top came off!

diy little tikes kitchen renovation

Step Three: Clean it!

diy little tikes kitchen renovation diy little tikes kitchen renovation

As you can see, the inside of the sink/range was pretty dusty.  This kitchen is from the 1990’s and was well loved.  I just hosed it off because it was spring at the time.

Step Four: Remove Stickers
diy little tikes kitchen renovation
This was actually much harder than I thought it was going to be.  After sitting there attempting to peel the stickers off, my husband and I found that the best way to accomplish this easily was to use a hair dryer!  He was able to get all the stickers off in one piece very easily just by using heat.  Pro tip 😉
We just removed the stickers on the sides and the one going around the roof portion, but we kept the stove top stickers, and the stickers to indicate the vent on the inside of the roof.

Step Five: Cover the stickers you wish to keep

diy little tikes kitchen renovation

Here are the parts that I wanted to paint.  I needed to cover the grills and the vent stickers.

diy little tikes kitchen renovation diy little tikes kitchen renovation

I used newspaper and masking tape.

diy little tikes kitchen renovation

Step Six: Paint!

diy little tikes kitchen renovation diy little tikes kitchen renovation
diy little tikes kitchen renovation

I chose to do the roof of the kitchen a mint green, and the sink/stove top in silver.  I wanted it to look similar to a stainless steel counter top.

Step Seven: Let it cure
The best tip that I got from a friend who had painted a different Little Tikes toy was that they didn’t leave it for long enough.  I think I left it for too long though.  I let the first few coats cure for about 4 months.  Not because it needed it, but because I had a baby right after I started.  That step is totally optional 😉
I did my final coats after four months, and then let it cure for about a week.  If you’re wanting to get it done faster than I did, waiting a week will be long enough to let it cure.

Step Eight: Put it back together!
DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation

Et voila!  It was hard to remember which bolt went where after more than four months, and I did have a black bolt left over that I’m not sure where it came from, but there you go!

DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation

And my daughter loves it.. which is really the important part 😉

xoxo,
Alysa

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DIY Thank You Gift for your Midwife

I was very lucky, in that I was able to get a Midwife for my second pregnancy.  In Manitoba, Midwives are part of Manitoba Health, and so we don’t have to pay extra for their services.  It’s included in our healthcare.  It’s just really tough to get in.  The stat I’ve heard is that 50% of pregnant mothers who apply for a midwife actually get one.  So I felt really, really lucky that I was able to have one.

And my midwife was pretty amazing.  There were a lot of things I didn’t like about the aftercare in the hospital, and so I wanted to avoid being at the hospital as much as possible.  But that’s a post for a different day.  I loved my midwife so much, her level of care and everything she did for us before, during, and after the birth of my son.  At the 6 week appointment, we say goodbye to our midwife and then continue on with our family doctor.  So, at the 6 week appointment, I decided to give her a little gift to show my appreciation for everything she did for me and for Aiden!

Supplies:
Blank Mug
Ceramic Paint Pens

A mom in my May Babies group on Facebook posted the idea there, and I used it as well! It’s such a cute idea:

DIY Midwife Thank You Gift DIY Midwife Thank You Gift

I also included some chocolates, because her recommendation for getting my milk to come in was to eat chocolate.

I then put it in one of the baby gift bags that I had received for Aiden because I thought that would be a cute way to reuse these little bags!

DIY Midwife Thank You Gift

A few weeks after I gave it to her, she called me to thank me for it! She just loved it, and she said all the other midwives were jealous of her mug and asked her where she got it. 🙂 Total win!

Other things I might have put with the mug:
A gift card for coffee somewhere (Tim’s, Starbucks, etc)
A gift card for a nice dinner out
A variety of tea or a bag of coffee beans

What would you give with a midwife mug?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Guest Post: Activities for Little Hands

Hi! I have a lovely guest post here from Kate from the blog “Amazing Beautiful Individual“. Make sure you check out her blog and her social media at the bottom!  When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, I started to wonder about the kinds of things that I would do with Autumn as I was taking care of a new little baby.  Kate has some great ideas, and I can’t wait to try them 🙂

Preschool Boredom! It’s that restless age where your child is determined to get into things and is screaming to be engaged more than ever! You may be struggling especially if you are carrying or have welcomed more children into the world. With a baby on one hip and a preschooler on the other what can you do to entertain the hyperactive toddler?

Preschool boredom can be a thing of the past if you fill your cupboards with sensory activities & interchangeable tools for mid morning playtime. This is the time your child is most alert and you have the opportunity to wear them out, fill their tummies after play and enjoy some rest in front of a movie once your finished.

Here I give you some Preschool Boredom Busters. Some which can be played with in combined activities which I feature more of in my own blog “Amazing Beautiful Individual“. I write about the highs and lows of parenting and keeping your children engaged. I also write about the days where your children sometimes need to take a back seat and Mummy Time is just as important.

So Lets Discover these boredom busters staring with Preschool Boredom Buster…

Activity 1 – Two Ingredient Sensory Play Sand

This activity has 2x Ingredients! Can you believe it? Plus it can also be kept in containers for a longer shelf life. Say goodbye to expensive doughs and sensory clay and make your own. Please note for a less or more mouldable version of your sand adjust the oil to your likeness.

  • 2 Cups Of Flour
  • 1/2 a Cup of Vegetable Oil, Coconut Oil or Baby Oil
  • Optional Food colouring (Mixed with the oil)

All you need to do is add the oil to your flour and mix away! you end up with a fluffy mixture of mouldable flour which feels like soft silky sand.

diy sensory play sand

Activity 2: How to Colour Pasta

This is a more complex activity which requires more preparation however once done can be reused and kept in storage containers for a longer shelf like. I suggest doing both Rice & Pasta in the same preparation session which can be used on different days to entertain your child.

You will need:

  • Uncooked hollow pasta like Penne or Macaroni (you can also use rice)
  • Paper Towel to line your tray (you can also use baking paper)
  • A tray to dry your pasta in or an outside table lined with paper
  • Zip lock bags or containers
  • Vinegar (white)
  • Choice of Food colouring

How to Colour Pasta – Instructions

  • Set out the chosen amount of pasta or rice you will need in individual bags. One bag of pasta for each colour you are using
  • In each bag of pasta pour enough vinegar in to wet the contents without too much excess in the bottom of the bag. Add a few drops of colouring. If the colour isn’t distributed enough just add some more.
  • Now that each bag is coloured put it in your tray which should be lined with paper . Pour the pasta out and spread to dry. The paper will soak up any excess vinegar
  • Drying time will vary depending on how wet it is. I prefer to prepare this activity the day before.
  • Now the pasta is dry you can put it in Zippy bags, Containers or play with it straight from the tray.

diy colour pasta

3. Shaving Cream Sundaes

You will need:

  • Plastic Party Shot Cups
  • Shaving Cream (organic for sensitive skin recommended)
  • Natural Food Colouring

this is a neat little activity for outside or in the shower. Fill your little shot cup up with shaving cream and dip a spoon into some food colouring and spread it throughout the top of the cream. Kids think these are hilarious initially because they look just like a tiny ice cream sundae! What do my kids do with them?

  • Pretend Feed Their Babies
  • Play Ice Cream Shops in the shower
  • Use a paintbrush and paint with the cream on some paper
  • Wash things in the outside paddle pool

In my blog I create videos & show you how to combine the projects I write about over a series of weeks so you can continue to engage your child with the items you have made!  I hope you enjoyed these basic activities and your children enjoy them for many months to come!

Author: Kate Shelby

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DIY Princess Silhouette Nursery Art

DIY Disney Princess Silhouettes

So, for Autumn’s room, I really wanted to do a princess theme.  For the first year of her life, I had the banner from my baby shower up in her room, and the theme kind of took off from there.  We have since taken it down (mostly because we were using thumb tacks to keep it up and I didn’t feel comfortable having that hanging above her bed with thumb tacks), but the theme stayed.  I wanted to do something simple, yet obviously princesses, so I decided to do Princess Silhouettes!

DIY Princess Silhouette Printable

YOU WILL NEED:
4 frames
black paper
white paper
A Disney Princess Printable (download here)

STEP ONE:
Download printable and print it out.

STEP TWO:
Cut out each individual princess, and then cut it out using the black paper.  I used black card stock.

DIY Princess Silhouette Printable

STEP THREE:
Glue onto white pieces of paper that fit into the frames and place in the frames.

DIY Princess Silhouette Printable

STEP FOUR:
Hang and enjoy!

xoxo,
Alysa

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DIY Headband & Hairclip Holder

I had been looking for a hairband/hair clip holder for my daughter’s room for a little while, and thought it would definitely be the most fun to make one myself! I didn’t like any of the things I could find on pinterest though.  There were a lot that sit on a table, and I wanted one that would be hanging on the wall.  There were also a few that seemed really complicated, when I wanted something simple.  So, I came up with one on my own!

Here’s how to make one for yourself, too!

diy hairband holder,

YOU WILL NEED:
A piece of corkboard
Wooden clothespins
Some lace
White paint (optional)
A glue gun and glue

DIY hairband holder

ONE:
Measure out the lace and glue gun it to the back of the cork board.  The lace is so you can attach hair clips as well as headbands.  I decided to do two rows of lace, because you can never have too many hair clips!

DIY hairband holder

TWO A:
Paint the clothespins.  I chose to pain them white, because it goes better with the decor in my daughter’s room.  It’s totally optional though, and you can leave them if you’d like.
TWO B:
Place the clothespins where you would like to glue them  I decided to do two rows of 6 each, for a total of 12 clothespins.  My daughter has a lot of hairbands, so this will be able to hold all of them

THREE:
With your hot glue gun, glue the clothespins in place.

FOUR: 
Hang on the wall and cover in clips and hairbands!

DIY hairband holder

And you’re done!  It was the easiest project ever.  The thing that took the longest was waiting until we had time to physically hang it up in her room.

xoxo,
Alysa

 

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DIY My Family Book

DIY My Family Book for toddlers

A little while ago (potentially even a year ago) I had this idea to create a Family Book for Autumn to look at with pictures of her whole family.  All of her parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles.  We are in the tradition of seeing most of our family every other week, and so having pictures to look at would help her to remember who they were.  Also, eventually the sight words might help her learn to read.

Here’s how to make your own!

What you need:
-A photo album
-Pictures of your family
-Cue cards
-A Permanent Marker

My Family Book DIY

I had recently found this old vintage photo album at the thrift store, and thought it was perfect for this! You could also use a small scrapbooking album as well.  Whatever looks best to you 🙂

My Family Book DIY

Get pictures of all your family members! And write their names on your cue cards.

My Family Book DIY

Finally, place them in your book in an order you think makes most sense.  I did:
Mama and Daddy
(then I left a blank page to put in pictures of Autumn and her brother)
Babcia and Avi (my parents)
Uncle and Aunt (my brother and his fiancee)
Aunt (my sister)
Grandma and Grandpa (Andrew’s parents)
Uncle and Aunt (Andrew’s brother and his wife)

This was the order that made the most sense to me, but you can do it in literally any order you like!

There you have it!  Autumn has liked looking through the book so far, and we can’t wait until we can show it to our new little one starting in May.

xoxo,
Alysa

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DIY Toddler Made Valentines

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

I haven’t made Valentines in a few years, but thought it would be fun to get my daughter involved this year and make a few!  Here’s how we made them:

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I decided to use some pink colours.  I spread some paint over a large piece of paper like so:

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

And then let my daughter to her thing:

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

Let it dry overnight so it’s totally dry.      DIY Toddler Made Valentines

Use a pencil to mark off how big you would like your valentines to be.  I chose to make mine 3″ x 2.75″.  I wanted to make them fairly small, just like the ones I would have given out in elementary school.

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

Next, we cut the valentines!

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

Every part of the paper looked different, so each valentine is slightly different.

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

Then, using a sharpie, I wrote some valentines messages on the front (examples include “xoxo” “be my valentine” and “you’re sweet”, but you can write anything you want!)

Toddler Made Valentines

Then, on the back, I wrote “To:” and “From:”, just like the commercial valentines.

DIY Toddler Made Valentines

Now they’re ready to give out!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xoxo,
Alysa

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