DIY Natural Diaper Cream

DIY Natural Diaper Cream

diy_natural_diaper_cream

When I had my first child I was given lots of gifts and samples.  I was determined to try out cloth diapers, but found out you can’t use regular diaper creams on them.  It has to do with the unnatural oils clogging the fibers of the cloth.  I was lucky enough to receive some sample natural diaper creams from a cloth diaper guru friend of mine, The Ecco Chic.  Well, samples have a way of being limited and soon came a time when I needed to get more “natural” diaper cream.  Sure I could have made it ultra easy on myself and bought some pre-packaged cloth diaper approved diaper cream, but it tends to be more expensive than your average over the counter cream.  So needless to say I was determined to do it cheaper.

I couldn’t tell you where I ended up finding the final recipe I use for my DIY Natural Diaper Cream, but I’ve kind of made it my own now anyway.  It is sooooo easy and totally worth it.  You know exactly what is going into your cream and touching your baby’s bottom.  Don’t forget, skin is permeable and any chemicals you put onto your child’s skin can leach into her body and blood stream.

diy_diaper_cream_ingredients

DIY Natural Diaper Cream

While my daughter entertained herself in the pack and play I made a new batch of diaper cream.

About 1/8 cup of bees wax pellets (maybe a bit more but less than 1/4 cup)

1/3 cup organic virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup shea butter

1 tsp vitamin e

You can heat them all up and pour the mixture into a container (to store it in) or pour it into a bowl, place the bowl inside another bowl with an ice bath and blend it with a blender. It gets nice and creamy. If you don’t blend it the mixture has varied consistency but it really doesn’t matter – it all melts on baby’s bottom anyway. I purchased the container at IKEA in a set of four.

If you have a little one try it! It is safe for cloth diapers and doesn’t have questionable chemicals like commercial creams.

DIY Natural Diaper Cream

DIY Castle for Birthday and Theme Parties

DIY Castle for Birthday and Theme Parties

When asked my two-year-old daughter said she wanted a Castle Party for her birthday.  Not a princess party, which is what I was expecting, she specifically said she wanted a castle.  I passed this by my husband and to my further surprise he suggested we rent a bounce house castle.  This man would do anything for his baby girl.

I was into it.  With our daughter as the only child, I can give her my all and perhaps more than I should(if there is such a thing as a parent).  My husband may say I’m over the top, so needless to say I was all over this castle party like a crazed woman on Pinterest.of upper-class families that have bought their perfect party.  That’s great if you can do that, but forThere are oodles of Princess parties out there, and frankly most of the Pinterest post are the rest of us it takes a little elbow grease and ingenuity.

So now you know the castle bounce house was ordered, and I decided to purchase invitations with a coupon offer I received from tinyprints.  The invites said that all of the guests were invited to our daughter’s castle.  Beside the bounce house being a giant castle, I wanted create a castle-like entrance.  My mind wadered to draw bridges or some kind of “cobblestone” runner.  Pinterest wasn’t much help in my opinion.  I saw towers made of balloons which I had zero interest in assembling.  I reigned in my imagination and voila I created this very doable arched entrance to our castle fortress.

DIY Castle for Birthday and Theme Parties

stone_castle_towers

I taped several cardboard boxes together to make the castle walls.  To make the scalloped edge for the top I measured that end and divided by 5 to give me five equal parts.  Just measure and cut the indent.  I believe I did 4 inches deep.

stone_castle_greyarch

I taped some cardboard together for the middle arch.  Sorry, no trick here.  I eyeballed it and drew the curve as equal on both sides as I could.  Relax.  It’s not that deep.  You can do it!

stone_castle_template

I created a stencil by drawing organic rock-looking shapes on a rectangle of cardboard.

stone_castle_pattern

I sprayed sparingly, you can always add more but can’t take it back, so the rocks would look dimensional.  Especially darken the edge of the shape so it looks like shadow.

stone_castle_arch

I tackled the arch first to see how it would go.

stone_castle_painting

I turned the stencil 180 degrees so the pattern would be as obviously repeating.  That’s why I used a rectangle shape, so it would be ease to lock the pattern together either way I turned it.

diy_castle_birthday

Tada!!!  The castle was complete.  We had a more difficult time getting the stakes into the ground than expected to their was a gap at the bottom of the castle, but the effect was still pretty neat.  I hope you enjoy this DIY Castle for Birthday and Theme Parties and that it inspires you to get crafty for your own kid’s party.

 DIY Castle for Birthday and Theme Parties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud Dough Toddler Activity

 

 

Cloud Dough Toddler Activity

Cloud_Dough_on_www.edcjohnson.com

So if you are anything like me you may just be desperate to find activities that your toddler can do without ingesting something toxic, choking, and will manage to keep her attention for longer than 5 minutes.  Yeah, good luck.

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.56.20 PM

Well I went on the hunt for various activities and honestly I couldn’t tell you who to credit because I found this idea on several pages, Cloud Dough.  Cloud Dough can be made nontoxic, 100% organic if you would like.  It is as safe as it can be.  Your baby can eat this stuff, and chances are she will try at least once, and be completely unharmed.  To top it off this is a great example of sensory play that little developing minds need to grow.

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.57.29 PM

You can use as little as two ingredients, or rock this DIY like a boss and make it scented with only one more ingredient.  So EASY!

 

 

Cloud Dough Ingredients

Flour

Oil

Artificial Drink Mix (Optional)

*If you use all organic ingredients then, hey, it’s organic Cloud Dough

 

I wanted to make a small batch so I used what I had found to be the easiest recipe 8:1 ratio and cut it in half.  I did 4 cups of flour to 1/2 cup of olive oil. 

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.58.18 PM

Mix in the oil, I just used my hands, until it has the proper consistency.  I discovered I needed to add a bit extra.  You don’t want it wet, but you don’t want it too dry either.  The best way to test it is to get your hands in there and try it out.  If you take a handful of the dough and squeeze it should hold its shape, but if you poke it with your finger it should crumble again.

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.58.58 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.59.09 PM

Now if you want to make it scented then you should NOT use olive oil.  You will want to use an unscented oil such as grape seed oil or sunflower.  There are others but these are probably the top two I would recommend.  Now add a drink mix packet such as koolaid or other generic drink mix.  I tried both.  The generic worked just as well and I also wanted to use it since it is unsweetened.  I totally recommend using UNSWEETENED drink mix.  I believe it will be a lot less likely to attract bugs if you want to save the Cloud Dough Toddler Activity for another day.  And trust me, you will totally want to save it. 

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.59.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.59.34 PM

Here are some pics of my daughter enjoying the Cloud Dough Toddler Activity at around 12 months.  The bonus feature of this activity was that our 75 pound lab who is frightened of the new little person running around the house joined the fun.  This intoxicating scent was to tempting to resist.  I think it was a real social break through for my two girls. 😉  If you like this Toddler Activity you may also like my Handmade Wrapping Paper Tutorial.

Cloud Dough Toddler Activity   

 Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.59.48 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.00.04 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.00.18 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.01.19 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.02.17 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.01.55 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.00.53 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.03.00 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.03.16 PM

Fairy Fun First Birthday Party

Fairy Fun First Birthday Party

 

My Fairy Fun First Birthday Party was inspired by my heritage, Irish, and my daughter’s birthday March 18th. Labor started on the 17th, but she missed that birthday by several hours. That’s okay; we still wanted to add a little St. Patrick’s Day fun to our party, minus the leprechauns.  Fairies quickly became our theme and I scoured Pinterest for various ideas but many featured parties seemed unobtainable (many with big budgets I couldn’t afford) I set off to make DIYs that any mom can tackle for a tasteful fun at home party.

I created my own fairy costume for my daughter, baked/assembled many treats, created decorations and a fun art activity for the littlest guests. The sweet treats I created included chocolate mint shamrock pretzels, chocolate caramel acorns, fairy berry brownies, rainbow cupcakes and shamrock sugar cookies. There was also a plethora of purchased candies in glass jars, decorated with vinyl cut by a Cricut, DIY candy dishes (made from thrift store metal candlesticks and empty glass candle jars), DIY lollipop flower pots, and disguised Tic Tacs.  Burlap goody bags were stenciled with my daughter’s initial.

Many special food items were neglected during picture taking, but there were such items as rainbow fruit wands, snail pinwheel sandwiches and toadstool boiled eggs with tomato tops. You can also see the other special items such as the DIY fairy costume, the number one fairy wreath, and the decorate fairy home art activity for the kids.My Fairy Fun First Birthday Party was inspired by my heritage, Irish, and my daughter’s birthday March 18th. Labor started on the 17th but she missed that birthday by several hours. That’s okay DIYs that can really be done by one mom for an at home party.

Feel free to ask me questions.  Enjoy the pictures!

Vendors:

Elizabeth McTeague Photography:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-McTeague-Photography/130795460296924
/>
(Most of the Photography)

Dryicons: http://dryicons.com/

(Pattern used for invites)

fairy wreath www.edcjohnson.com

 

 

number 1 fairy wreath at www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com  fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com  fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

I put pudding in between the layers of cake.  I thought it would smash better.  Well, it became the leaning tower of cake.  Oh well, it still smashed well.

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com fairy birthday on www.edcjohnson.com

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

DIY no-sew headband holder

This DIY No-Sew Headband Holder started with my first child, a daughter (now 15 months), and the newly found problem of  drowning in headbands and barrettes.  I was keeping the barrettes in a cosmetic bag but digging through to find a specific one was getting pretty annoying, and when you are trying to run out of the house with a baby waiting it simply takes too long.  I began looking on Amazon for a solution.  I saw many bulky paper-towel-roll sized headband holders, but I didn’t want something to take up counter space and to clutter up the room.  Voila!  I found a headband holder that hung on the wall, but they were asking way too much for it.  They had to be crazy.  I could totally make that for only a few dollars.  Yes, if you rock the Joann’s fabric and craft stores coupons you literally can do this project for about $6 depending on which materials you buy.  So let’s get started!
tulle tied to plastic ring

tulle wrapped on a ring
You may do this step with ribbon, but I happened to have some tulle left over from another project.  You may hot glue the end of the ribbon to the plastic ring, or tie the end of the tulle to the ring, and wrap it around until the plastic ring is covered completely.  When finished glue the end down, or tie a knot if you are using tulle, and trim the ends.

DIY_headband_holder_7

Fold over and hot glue the end of the 1.5″ ribbon.

DIY ehadband holder

Center the 1″ ribbon on top of the 1.5″ ribbon, fold over and hot glue it to the back of the DIY No-Sew Headband Holder.

DIY_headband_holder_9

This flat section is where you will place the barrettes.  You may make this as long as you wish but I chose to have mine be 20 inches long.

DIY_headband_holder_10

Hot glue the 1″ ribbon to the 1.5″ ribbon at the 20 inch mark.

DIY headband holder ribbon

Take the 1″ ribbon at the 5 inch mark and shift it over to the 4 inch mark (where my finger is).  The extra slack will cause the top ribbon to bump.  Hot glue the top ribbon down.

DIY headband holder

Then place a second strip of glue on top of the same spot then fold over the extra ribbon to create a loop.  That loop is where you will hook your headbands.  Repeat these steps for as many loops as you wish to have.  I had six loops for my project.

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

Now that you know how long your project will be you may cut the end,  fold it over and hot glue it into place.

DIY headband holder hanger

Loop a piece of ribbon through the plastic ring.  I used a thinner scrap of ribbon I had left over from another project I did, but you may use the 1″ ribbon.

diy headband holder

Trim and hot glue this ribbon to the backside at the top of the project.

diy headband holder

This is what it looks like when it is finished.  You could stop here but may have noticed the dimpling where the hot glue is.  Well, I have a solution for that.

DIY_headband_holder_3

To add the silk flower over the spot first cut the head off the stem with a pair of scissors.

DIY_headband_holder_4

The scissors may not cut all the way through the wire.  Wiggle the wire back and forth until it snaps.

DIY_headband_holder_5

Now you are ready to hot glue it in place.

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

I didn’t like how far the flower was off the ribbon, so I ended up pulling it off, removing the green part and gluing it back down…but of course I forgot to take a side view picture.

DIY-headband-holder-12

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

You can see that the dimple is completely covered and the flower even hides a bit of the ring.  TADA!!!  You are finished with your project…at least the no-sew part.  It is perfectly fine to leave it there, but I wanted to add some pzazz.  I also thought the charms would weigh down the bottom a bit.

DIY-headband-holder

You can use any set of charms or a pendant, but I would recommend one(s) with a little weight to them.  I found these at Joann’s in the jewelery section.

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

I simply used an arms length of white thread, knotted it at the end and looped/sewed each charm with twice.  There wasn’t room for all of them to go across so I added two on a thin ribbon I had and then sewed them on the same way.  Okay, now you’re done, really this time if you followed me all the way to the end.  Wasn’t it simple.  I’m so glad I didn’t pay for one and I think these will make great gifts for my daughter’s friends in the future (or even other new mommies of girls).

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

Here are some pictures of my DIY No-Sew Headband Holder in use.  Let me know if you try this DIY out and how well it worked for you.

DIY-headband-holder

DIY-headband-holder

DIY-headband-holder

DIY-headband-holder

 

 

 

DIY No-Sew Headband Holder

 

Handmade Wrapping Paper Art Activity

Handmade Wrapping Paper Art Activity

handmade_wrapping_paper

Summer is in full swing, and you may be looking for things to do with your littlest little.  Sure they can play on the playground, go in a floaty for a swim, or maybe even use crayons to color, but you are searching for a major art activity that your baby could do even at her age.

Well, it so happened that Father’s Day was coming up and ding, ding, I got an idea.  My 14 month old daughter was going to make the wrapping paper for her Daddy’s gift!  Genius right?!  My husband is a pretty sentimental guy so I thought it would be the perfect touch to the heartfelt gift he to receive.

handmade_wrapping_paper_supplies

Handmade Wrapping Paper Art Activity

Items you may want for this activity:crayola_tempera_paint
Large butcher paper
tape
Crayola Artista II Washable Liquid Tempera Paint
paper plate
rags (one completely damp for cleanup)
(optional) paintbrush and water cup

 

 

 

I began with taping the butcher paper to the tiled floor.  Do NOT do this over carpet, you will regret that decision in a big way.  If you do not have a tile surface in your home, you may want to do this activity in a cement garage or driveway.

art_project_preperation

Okay, here is where the fun begins.  I first started by painting my daughter’s foot with the yellow Crayola Artista II Washable Liquid Tempera Paint I received as a sample during an art teacher convention, but soon found that it was overrated, much like her wearing a shirt, and simply stuck her foot into the paint on the paper plate.

yellow_painted_foot

I allowed her to run across the paper and stomp her feet that made adorable little footprints.  Soon we got her hands involved.  I pressed her hand from the plate to the paper.  When she saw the effect that placing her hand on the paper had she was all in on this art project.  I no longer had to help her.  She experimented with painting with her hands, mixing the colors and how different hand and feet strokes made different sounds and effects.  She was getting really into it as you can see from the pictures.

toddler_painting_art_project

Luckily more paint was on the paper than on her, but she wore her fair share.  We only had two rouge, runaway baby incidents.  Here is where that damp rag comes in.  A fully wet, and wrung out, rag can make quick work of little footsteps that veer off the paper.

read_painted_hand DSCF0079

Here comes the art teacher in me.  I highly recommend using yellow first.  It is the lightest/weakest color.  Then follow with using red.  If the yellow is still wet, that is perfectly okay since yellow and red mix to make orange.  (Wait you mean my child is going to learn color mixing during this project?!  Yea!)  And last you may use the blue.  It is the strongest of the three colors and can easily dominate, so it is difficult to go in the reverse order.  The great thing is if your red hasn’t dried yet that’s perfectly fine since red and blue mix to make purple.

red_paint_baby_foot

Sure you can experiment with different colors though I recommend that you let them dry inbetween, unless you feel comfortable with your understanding of color mixing.  It’s okay to keep a little parental control while making the handmade wrapping paper art activity since we want our child to have a successful art project with a positive relationship with art and color.  I used to warn my littlest artists that we don’t randomly mix a bunch of colors together because they mix to make a “pooh-pooh color”, and we definitely don’t want our art to look like pooh-pooh.  We can always leave random color experimentation for another day…not for wrapping paper you will use on a gift.

painted_baby_hands

After we had used all of our paint up, my daughter face-palmed herself leaving a crimson red hand print over her eye and in her hair.  She was already covered head-to-toe in paint anyway, but that was the clincher, so off to the bath tub we went.  The bath water turned purple.  I think she enjoyed that as well.

baby_taking_bath

Finally, you may be freaking out about my cloth diaper.  Crayola Artista II Washable Liquid Tempera Paint is washable!  Her diaper cleaned up perfectly fine.  There was a tiny spot of blue shadowing that soaked into the lining, but not noticeable unless you knew it was there and examined it up close.  These washable tempera paints do clean up well.  My only caution, through my experience as an art teacher, is to be wary of blue, black, or magenta on white.  They may leave a slight shadowing that you would not wish to have on your favorite blouse.  I have my own pile of “art clothes” and I recommend you do as well so you may feel uninhibited when you play with your child.

handmade_wrapping_paper_art_activity

Try this activity out with your child.  They don’t have to be your littlest child.  It can be fun with any grade school aged child, you will simply have a varied result with their age and skill level.

Handmade Wrapping Paper Art Activity

Here are some more pictures from our handmade wrapping paper art activity!  Enjoy and let me know how your own ART-venture turns out!

baby_girl_finger_painting   handmade wrapping paper art activity   handmade wrapping paper art activity   handmade wrapping paper art activity   handmade wrapping paper art activity

handmade wrapping paper art activity   handmade wrapping paper art activity

Cellphone Baby Picture Mom Hack

Cellphone Baby Picture Mom Hack

If you are anything like me, you have a gazillion pictures of your baby on your cellphone.  In fact, I have taken so many pictures of my baby over the last several months I had to download them to my computer a few times to make room on my cellphone for more pictures.  

I started to notice that I had more cellphone pictures than regular photographs from a digital camera.  On one hand that was great I had at least one photo from every day of the first few days of her life, and if you are a parent as well you know how much your child changes as they grow that first year.  

So, I pondered, what should I do with all of these baby pictures from my cellphone?  They were just sitting on my computer collecting virtual dust.  Ding, ding!  I had an ingenious idea.  I was going to put the pictures into one of those online photobook maker sites (my baby’s great grandmother had purchased us a Groupon for one) and voila.  I’ll have a great looking book of all those pictures which I know I will look at more often than if the pictures remained trapped on my computer.

Cellphone Baby Picture Mom Hack

cellphone_picture_mom_hack

My big suggestion is to put them in order of date and even place the date of when the photo was taken under the picture so you may see your baby’s progress as he/she grows. 

Check out the results and consider doing this for yourself.  There are always great deals on Goupon or Living Social for the various digital scrapbook sites. 

Cellphone Baby Picture Mom Hack

baby_picture_hack

20140602_165247

20140602_165230

20140602_165208

20140602_165154