Sunday, February 14, 2016

{Be Mine Valentine} DIY Valentine Monster Card Box


Our little man had a Valentine's Day Party at his school this past Friday.  The teachers asked the parents to bring a card box and Valentine's Day cards.  Of course, being the Domesticated Diva I wasn't going to bring an average box or average cards for my son.  I decided to make him a monster themed box and cute valentine's day cards.  Here's what I came up with.

|what you will need|

+ shoe box
+ glue gun
+ styroform balls
+ foam sheets
+ letter stickers
+ craft paints
+ pipe cleaners

|how to|

{1} Cut a hole on the lid of the shoe box.  Make sure the hole is large enough about 4 x 7.  Use the glue gun to glue the lid to the box.  

{2} Use craft paint to color the box.  Use two coats, making sure the paint is dry between coats.

{3} Now the fun part...decorating!  I started off glue gunning the eyes (Styrofoam balls) to the top. I cut out the monster's feet out of foam sheets.  Then I spiraled the pipe cleaners for the monsters antennas and glued hearts on top of them.  I had left over small wood heart shapes that I painted black for the eyes.  I cut out random shaped teeth and glue gunned the teeth to the inside of the box.  Then I just used letter stickers to spell out my son's name.

|final product|

|diy valentine's day cards for teachers and classmates|

I also made labels for Valentine's Day cards for his classmates and teachers.

|for his classmates|

{cheez! i'm crackers over you valentine!}

{for the teachers}

{a little treat for a teacher so sweet!}

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DIY Party Ideas


Matty is a huge fan of the show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  So it was only fitting that it was his theme for his first birthday.  There were so many ideas that could be centered around this theme.  I made about 90% of everything, it was time consuming but very worth it.  Below are a few things I DIY'ed.  I think everything came out great!  

|DIY Mickey Mouse Monthly Milestone Banner|

|DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Favor Tags|

|DIY Mickey Mouse Dessert Table Backdrop|
|DIY Mickey Mouse Birthday Banner|

|DIY Mickey Mouse Food Risers|
|DIY Mickey Mouse Clubehouse Birthday Milestone Poster|
|DIY Rice Krispies Treat Pops|
|DIY Funfetti Popcorn Favors|

|DIY Cake Pops|
|DIY Mickey Mouse Initial Letter|

|DIY Mickey Mouse Theme Table Centerpiece|

|DIY Mickey Mouse Photo Booth Frame|
|DIY Picture Head Photo Prop|

|DIY Mickey Mouse High Chair Banner|
|DIY Mickey Mouse Birthday Headband|

|DIY Mickey Mouse Cake Topper|

Friday, September 25, 2015

Baby and Mommy Favorites- MONTH SEVEN to MONTH NINE


Our little man is now on the go!  He is crawling everywhere and pulling up on everything!  It seems like my little guy is more like a toddler than a baby.  Time sure does fly by!  Here are some of recent baby and mommy favorites!

{1} Bright Starts Around We Go Activity Station, Doodle Bugs: We love this activity center, because it doubles as a makeshift walker as well!  It's great because there are different activities around the base, so Matty never gets bored!

{2} Circo Toddler Boys‘ 3-Pack Bicycle Dot Crew Socks:  Why are these socks awesome? - First, they don't shrink.  Second, they don't fall off.  Third, they are soft.  Lastly, they are affordable.  Need I say more!

{3} Laugh & Learn™ Learning Letters Monkey App:  My sister introduced this app to me and boy is it a lifesaver!  When little man is getting cranky in the car or at a restaurant, I put on this app.  It immediately calms him down and keeps him entertained.  It's pretty "baby friendly", all they have to do is tap the scream to go to the next song.  It's pretty awesome!

{4} Baby Buddy Baby's 1st Toothbrush: My son is obsessed with this toothbrush, which he thinks doubles as a teether.  It's made from 100% silicone and easy for baby to grasp.  It has little soft silicone bristles on both the top and bottom to ensure a good cleaning.

{1} Munchkin White Hot® Inflatable Duck Safety Baby Bath Tub:  This tub is a great transitional tub for your little one! It is also travel friendly, which is great for a baby on the go.  It inflates easily and fast!  

{2} The First Years Take & Toss Toddler Bowls with Lids - 8oz, 6 pack: We use these containers for Matty's daycare and for snacks on the go!  I love how these are durable enough for many uses, but affordable enough that you can lose them and it won't hurt your pocketbook.

{3} North States Superyard XT Portable Playard: We knew right when Matty started crawling we needed to baby proof ASAP.  With tile floor, stairs, and lots of breakables, this playyard definitely came in handy in our Family Room.  It is easy to use and all the sides come apart, so you have endless configurations with these panels.

{4} Plum Organics Baby Super Puffs Purple - Blueberry & Purple Sweet Potato 1.5oz:  Matty loved these puffs when he started eating table food.  I love that they are organic, and they are very tasty.  

{5} Bright Starts Lots of Links: These links are great for on the go.  We link toys to his carseat, stroller, playyard, and just about anything it will hook on.  I love how it really does come with lots of links...18 to be exact.  These are great for when baby starts to throw toys; which prevents dirty toy and from toys becoming missing.

{1} Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table:  This is hands down Matty's favorite toy!  He love all the sounds and lights it makes!  I love that it keeps him entertained for a long time.  It is very stable, so baby can stand and lean on it with no problems.  The legs are easy to remove as well.

{2} NUK Gerber Graduates Insulated Straw Sports Cup 9oz:  I love that this straw sippy doesn't have too many parts too it.  It also twist close and is insulated, so it keeps drinks colder longer.

{3} Whole Foods 365 EVERYDAY VALUE ORGANIC HOMESTYLE MINI WAFFLES:  These have to be Matty's favorite breakfast item!  He gobbles these up in minutes!  We love these organic ones from Whole Foods.  

{4} Neat Solutions Sili-Stick Table Topper:  These come in handy when eating on the go!  It provides a clean, germ free surface for baby to eat on.  It easily rolls up and rinses clean with soap and water.  It sticks very well on the table, so baby can not peel the place mat off.  
{5} Veggie Fries- Carrots & Potatoes: These are a great alternative to eating vegetables.  They are extremely low in sodium (30 mg per serving) compared to frozen french fries.  They only take a couple of minutes to bake, and are pretty delicious too!

{1} Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash Clarifying Cleanser:  I have been using this face wash for more than three years now.  I absolutely love it!  Before I was using Kiehl's products, but this foaming face wash performs as good as my $20 face wash.  It is very gentle on your skin and doesn't dry it out.  I like that it is pretty much scent free too!

{2} Physicians Formula Super BB All-In-1 Beauty Balm Powder:  This is a great BB powder for a mommy on the go.  It provide good coverage, but is still light on your skin.  I love that it contains SPF 30.  

{3} Noosa Yoghurt:  I am obsessed with this brand of yoghurt!  I love all the flavors especially the Strawberry Rhubarb!  This is the ultimate creamy yogurt!  I absolutely love it!

{4} Etsy Personalized Necklace (Seller jjewelry1):  I got this necklace as a gift from Hubby for Mother's Day.  I forgot to include it in my Mommy Favorites for months three to six...opps.  I wear this necklace everyday.  It's small enough for everyday wear and is made from sterling silver!  I love the cross and pearl detail.  The seller shipped the item quickly and it was exactly what I wanted.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Miniature Garden DIY


I have always been fascinated by miniature gardens.  They are truly whimsical and just put a smile on my face.  I took a shot at doing one for mother's day.  It was so easy to do and I had a great time making it.

|what you will need|

+ pot of your choice (I picked a pot that was fairly shallow, but had a wide opening)
+ decorations for your miniature garden (all from Hobby Lobby)
+ succulent plants
+ aquarium gravel
+ soil

|how to|

{1} First, figure out the layout of your miniature garden.  My pot was not that large so I tried to utilize as much surface area that I could, so I planted the plants towards the side of the pot. 

{2} Next place the aquarium gravel on the soil.  This will act like your "walkway" in your miniature garden.  Also, I placed the miniature garden fencing along the border of the pot. 

{3} Now the fun part...decorating!  I bought all the decorations at Hobby Lobby.  They actually had a section at the store dedicated to miniature gardens.  I got the fence, mushroom, bench, birdhouse, and metal wagon, and snail at the miniature garden section.  I got the miniature pots and garden tools at the doll section of Hobby Lobby.  You can definitely play around with the set up of your garden.  I really enjoyed making this cute miniature garden and hope to make a larger scale one in the future!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Baby and Mommy Favorites- MONTH FOUR to MONTH SIX


The past three months our little guy has grown leaps and bounds!  He started rolling over and eating solids at 4 months, started getting teeth and sleeping in his crib at 5 months, and now he started crawling at six months.  Time is really flying by.  It's easy to say that he and I have a lot of new favorites the past few months! 

{1} My-Ku-Ho Cloud Pillow: Matty loves this pillow so much.  It's made out of a soft jersey cotton material and is great to use for tummy time or to feed him a bottle under.  It literally feels like you are laying on a cloud.  We love it so much we have it in both blue and grey.

{2} Amazing Baby by Enfamil App: I just randomly stumbled upon this app.  It is great to find out new exercises, activities both developmental and play that can benefit your little one.  It has activities for bath time, play time, quiet time, outdoor time.  It shows activities targeted for your child's age, which is awesome!

{3} Exergen Temporal Scanner Infrared Thermometer: Matty got his second case of the sniffles at four months.  This thermometer is user friendly and so quick to use.  We use it after he gets his rounds of shots, so we can monitor his temperature.  It's great for babies that are on the move, because it is so quick and easy. 

{4} Skip Hop Grab & Go Stroller Organizer: Love this brand!  We have this stroller organizer attached to our City Mini GT.  It attaches with Velcro and is made out of neoprene material, so it easy to clean!  It has two large cup or bottle holders and a central space in the middle for things like keys or cell phones.  It also has a zipper compartment that can be taken out, so basically a built in clutch...genius!

{5} Oball Rattle: Matty is absolutely in love with this ball rattle!  It's so easy for him to hold with all the holes.  It's made out of a pliable plastic, and you can attached it on a car seat or stroller because of the many holes.  Matty likes to throw it now, and then he crawls to get it.

{6} Baby Einstein Reef Play Gym: Matty loves this little play gym!  There's a lighted musical turtle in the middle to he is so fascinated with.  We still have the play gym and Matty still likes to bat at the turtle.

{7} Munchkin Soft Tip Infant Spoons: These are the perfect size spoons for purees and baby food.  The handle is long and easy to maneuver.  The spoon part is small enough to get just the right amount of food in the baby's mouth.  They also come in a pack of six and are reasonably priced.

{8} Baby Bullet by Magic Bullet Complete Baby Food Prep System: I knew I wanted to make Matty homemade organic baby food.  I use this thing at least three times a week!  I love how compact the unit is.  You can leave it on your countertop and it won't take up too much space.  I also like that it has a milling blade, so you can make your own oatmeal and rice cereal!

{1} Breathable Mesh Crib Liner by Breathable Baby: Matty started to sleep in his crib at five months.  We knew regular bumpers were a no-no, so this was the next best thing.  It prevents him from getting his arms and legs stuck in between the crib slats.  It also has a little bit of cushion in case he rolls onto the side of the crib. 

{2} Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier- Frog: We use this humidifier so much.  It's easy to use and clean, and they have the cutest animal designs.  It also gives off a soothing white noise which is pretty calming to a baby.

{3} Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Baby Nasal Relief: I love this saline spray!  It gives an even distribution of saline and it's really easy to use.  Before this spray, we used the drops.  With the drops, we didn't know how much saline was getting in his nose, but with the spray it is so much more easier to control. 

{4} Fisher Price Soothe & Glow Giraffe: After Matty started sleeping through the night in his crib, I started to introduce this Soothe & Glow Giraffe.  It plays lullabies for 15 minutes and has a soft light that glows when the music is playing.  The best thing about this toy is that the music slowly quiets and the light slowly softens until the 15 minutes is up.  We introduced it as part of his bedtime routine and it has worked out really well.

{5} Pamper’s Baby Dry Diapers: We use these diapers as Matty's overnight diapers.  They guarantee 12 hour protection on the box.  He has never leaked in these diapers.  When I wake him up in the morning, his diaper is soaked to the max but not a drop has leaked out.

{6} Crazy 8 Chambray Slip-On Crib Shoes: We love these shoes!  They are slip on, so you don't have to mess with any shoelaces.  They are also very soft and are a chambray denim which is very stylish.

{7} Carter’s Keep Me Dry Waterproof Fitted Quilted Crib Pad: We use this over Matty's crib mattress.  It's soft and easy to put on.  It also doesn't have the annoying plastic layer that a lot of waterproof crib pads have. 

{8} Munchkin Formula Dispenser: At five months, we transition Matty to formula.  This dispenser comes in handy when on the go.  It has three compartments, and all you have to do is put the amount of dry formula in each compartment.  We never had an issue with powder leaking out.

{1} Aden & Anais Classic Crib Sheets: Love these fitted sheets!  It's the same muslin material as the swaddle blankets.  They are super soft and light and perfect for warm weather months.

{2} JL Childress Full Body Changing Pad: This changing pad is awesome!  It's "full body" so that means it will cover every inch of your baby (both length and width).  It may be full body, but still small enough to stuff in your diaper bag.

{3} Brica Baby In-Sight Mirror: This mirror is just the mirror you need to keep an eye on your little one.  It was much cheaper than the ones at Target, and does the same exact job.

{4} American Apparel Infant Poly-Cotton ¾ Sleeve Raglan: Love the baby clothes from American Apparel!  The cotton is super soft and light, and the designs are very hip and versatile.  We have these cute little baseball 3/4 sleeve shirts in red, blue, and neon yellow.  That's how much we love them!

{5} Oball Grip and Teethe Keys: Oball just makes the greatest products!  Our son is obsessed with these teething keys!  They have the same holes as the Oball Rattle Ball, so it's easy for your little one to grasp.  Also at the end of the keys are rubbery textured ends, which is perfect for your teething little ones.

{6} Munchkin Click Lock 2-Pack Food Pouch Spoon Tips: Love these spoon tips that screw onto the baby food pouches.  These are perfect for on the go feeding.  They have a open and lock mechanism, so there won't be any accidents.  I also like how it comes with a cap and they are fairly easy to clean.

{7} Carter’s Pull On Chambray Shorts: Love bottoms that are easy to put on and are stylish at the same time.  They are soft and they are the pull up kind with no buttons or zippers to mess with. 

{8} Gerber Organic 1st Foods Pouch: The baby food in pouches are so convenient.  They are easy to stuff in a diaper bag, and you really do not need any spoons or bowls.  You can feed them directly from the pouch.

{1} Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Cereal Bars: These cereal bars are great for a quick snack or a quick breakfast when you are running out the door.  I love that the fruit filling isn't too sweet and that they are more natural. 

{2} Almay Liquid Eyeliner: I love this eyeliner.  It has a tip applicator that is mistake proof.  It is long lasting and really affordable.

{3} Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty Dish Soap: This soap is great for everyday use.  It's tough enough to get rid of grease and mess, but gentle enough on your hands.  I also love the scent of this dish soap.

{4} Pledge Multi Surface Everyday Cleaner: This is my go to cleaner for glass, stainless steel, granite, etc.  You can use this cleaner on almost anything.  I love the spray nozzle on the container; it ensures even coverage of the cleaner.

{5} Thomas’ Original English Muffins: My other go to breakfast item.  I love eating these English Muffins with a little bit of butter and some fruit jelly.  It really fills me up, and is a healthy alternative.

{6} Old Navy Women’s Slim Boot-Cut Yoga Pants: Which mom doesn't own a pair of comfortable yoga pants?!?  These yoga pants are so comfortable, and are easy to throw on with a cute t-shirt and some tennis shoes.  They are super stretchy and super soft.  Love these!

{7} Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Enamel: This nail enamel is bomb dot com!  It truly last 7 days without chipping.  It's easy to apply and fast drying!  It is way more affordable than a gel manicure or shellac.  I can't wait to stock up on more colors!

Friday, May 8, 2015

DIY Mother's Day Footprint Art


Who doesn't like homemade gifts?!?  I mean anyone can just buy something.  It takes effort making something, especially when your 6 month old is helping make it.  Well, Mother's Day was just around the corner, so I decided Matty would make something a little special for his Grandma!

|what you will need|

+ picture frame (I used a 5x7)
+ thick white cardstock
+ nontoxic finger paint
+ sponge brush
+ painters tape
+ thin permanent marker

|how to|

{1} Cut out the white cardstock to 5x7 dimension.

{2} Tape the cut out card stock to either a scrap cardboard piece or a firm folder using painters tape.  This allows for stability and (hopefully) less chance of messing up.

{3} Since we were making a heart, I chose the color red.  Take the sponge brush and brush a light coating of finger paint onto the bottom of your child's foot and toes.  Gently press the foot onto the cardstock.  This is easier if you have another person helping aka your husband lol.

{4} Repeat step 3 on the other foot.

{5}  Allow the paint to dry for at least 2 hours.

{6} Once paint is dry, write "I LOVE GRANDMA", "I LOVE YOU MOM", or whatever phrase you choose around the outline and repeating the phrase until you write it all the way around.

{7} Frame the cardstock, and you are done!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Diva Eats: South African Piri Piri Chicken Wings Recipe


Hubby and I have been on this South African foodie binge lately.  First, we went to Springbok. Then a couple months later we dined at Peli Peli.  Before visiting these two restaurants we had never tried this type of cuisine before.  Let me just say South African food is the bomb!  The food is full of flavor, spices, and seasoning that jumps out at you!  I was inspired by the flavors and wanted to recreate something similar at home.  We usually have grilled BBQ wings at least once a week, so I decided to do a South African twist on the typical chicken wings.

|what you will need|
{for wing marinade}
+ 10-12 chicken wings (about 2.5 pounds)
+ juice of 2 lemons
+ 3" piece of ginger (roughly chopped)
+ 1 bunch of green onions (sliced)
+ 1/2 cup hot sauce of your choice (I used Louisiana Hot Sauce)
+ 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
+ 6 cloves of garlic (minced)
+ 1/3 cup cilantro (chopped)
+ 1 jalapeno pepper (sliced)
+ 2 teaspoon salt
+ 1 teaspoon black pepper
{for wing sauce}
+ 4 tablespoon of butter
+ 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
+ 1/3 cup cilantro (chopped- reserve about 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on the finished wings)
+ 3 tablespoon hot sauce
+ juice of 1 lemon
|how to|
{1} To make to wing marinade, mix the hot sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, vegetable oil, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, green onion, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. 
{2} Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and pour the marinade over the chicken wings. Mix well. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and marinate for a least 2 hours preferably overnight.  Try to mix the wings in the marinade every few hours. 
{3} Heat your grill to medium high.  Place your chicken wings on the grill and grill the wings about 8-10 minutes per side.  Continue to baste the wings with the marinade while the wings are grilling.
{4} While the chicken is on the grill, make the wing sauce.  Put the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, put the garlic, cilantro, hot sauce, and lemon juice in the sauce pan.  Reduce heat to medium low and let the flavors mingle together for about 5 minutes. 
{5} Once the wings are grilled, drizzle the wing sauce over the grilled wings.  Finish the wings, by topping them with fresh cilantro.