Wednesday, October 22, 2014

For the Love of Babywearing

There are so many reasons why I love babywearing. Yes, there are health benefits. Yes, there are convenience reasons. Yes, collecting baby and toddler carriers can become a hobby aka obsession but it's functional art! 



  1. Warmth
    • No need to lug a car seat into a grocery store or place a toddler into a cold shopping cart seat in the middle of winter.
    • Keeps both of us warm.
  2. Hands-free 
    • I can open store doors by myself.
    • I can crochet with a sleeping baby on my chest.
    • Easier to go through airport security and maneuver through the airport.
  3. On the go nursing
    • I can nurse discretely (most people don't even know it's happening!).
    • No need to sit down anywhere. Just stop, re-adjust, and keep on going!
  4. Break time
    • Being held and shielded from external craziness calms down a overstimulated toddler. Some times there's just too much so much to take in, we all need a break.
  5. Weight-bearing physical activity
    • Aside from chasing a toddler around, not much planned physical activity gets scheduled into a day.
    • My arms get tired holding a squirmy toddler. Wearing her keeps her calm and still and my arms don't get tired!




Check out your local babywearing groups through Babywearing International Org.

P.S. - We also LOVE our stroller. Let me count the ways (I love lists!).

  • When she was in the infant car seat, I loved being able to snap the car seat into the stroller. It made running errands with a sleeping baby so much easier. I didn't have to wake her up.
  • The stroller is a safe and clean place to change diapers when we're out.
  • If she doesn't want to sit and would rather be carried, I can wear her and put all of our shopping goodies in the stroller.
  • If she falls asleep in the stroller, I can enjoy a meal at a restaurant while she sleeps.
  • Some days it's just too hot to wear her. 
  • She can enjoy a snack in her stroller off the tray and place her cup in the cup holder. Anything she can do by herself these days is a plus for her!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014/10 {Parkers}

Smile with the Parkers!
 
 
So sweet, loving, and happy.

When I grow up, I want to be like daddy!

Grandma, the Baby Whisperer


Thank you for being part of our lives and for making us smile everyday!


Mommy & Me

 

 
The Parkers are full of love for food, family, and fun. Always ready with a good story over buttered biscuits and tea with a splash of milk, you'll wish they were your neighbors! Thank you for being part of our lives for letting me capture your beautiful smiles!

 
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

T-Shirt Leggings for Toddlers: Children's Blue



Nearly a decade ago, my husband and I (before we were husband and wife) spent our Friday afternoons at our local children's hospital. My husband and I became dragons and wizards as we read stories of adventure to children who were bed-bound. I convinced children to play "connect the dots" with the moles on my husband's arm. We drew murals on the windows and shrieked in surprised fright as window washers came by.




My blue volunteer t-shirt became a pair of t-shirt leggings for Little Miss E today. She ran in them. Danced in the rain in them. Sat on wet steps in them.



Thank you children at the hospital for playing with us so many years ago. We wish you the best of health and the happiest of memories for years to come!







How to create your own pattern: {Sugar Tart Crafts: Pants Pattern}
How to sew your own leggings or pants: {Sugar Tart Crafts: Pants Tutorial}

Monday, October 13, 2014

T-Shirt Leggings for Toddlers: Dada's Red T


It's hard finding pants to fit Little Miss E. About average in height but smaller in weight, she swims out of most pants in "her size" and if we size down, they might as well be capris. For me, most DIY projects come out of the need. My husband and I had a pile of old t-shirts that NEEDED to go and Little Miss E NEEDED pants that fit her properly.

Guess what happened next??



No tutorial shown because I traced a pair of leggings as a guide and extended the length and cut elastic to fit her on her waist. The beauty of using knits (which I had been scared to venture into for years) is that you don't have to hem anything if you don't mind a raw edge. The plus of using old t-shirts (aside from glorious upcycling!) is you can line up the bottom hem of the leggings to the bottom hem of the t-shirt and basically re-use the t-shirt hem (didn't do that for the red leggings but did do that for the second and third pairs not photographed here).

 
 
I was looking for a pair of leggings that had a smaller and higher waist so she could bend, squat, jump, and play comfortably.


I was looking for a pair of leggings that were long enough in the legs that her ankles wouldn't get cold when climbing the stairs or when she was being worn in a carrier.

 
Made out of dada's old and loved t-shirt, I found those perfect leggings for Little Miss E.  


 

How to create your own pattern: {Sugar Tart Crafts: Pants Pattern}
How to sew your own leggings or pants: {Sugar Tart Crafts: Pants Tutorial}

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fabric Doll: Little Miss E

Little Miss E now has her own mini me. 


Red felt Peter Pan collar over purple floral body with matching hair bow and slippers
 
 
She doesn't seem very impressed.

 

Red felt slippers over brown mini polka dotted tights



 

Future Variations:
  • body longer into triangular shape
  • leggings
  • sleeves onto arms
  • pigtails
  • ribbon sewn onto pigtails
  • yarn hair
  • doll clothing

Inspired by http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2013/02/girl-boy-fabric-dolls-pattern-pieces-included.html.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cardamom Buttercream Cinnamon Apple Cupcakes

Baby showers and cupcakes go hand in hand. I had the opportunity to host a baby shower for a couple over the weekend who choose an "apple" theme for their shower. So much fun with apples and fall!


Menu:
  • cardamom buttercream cinnamon apple cupcakes
  • cinnamon sugar rice cereal treats
  • caramel dip with apple slices
  • veggie tray
  • chips and salsa
  • apple cider
  • water
For the cupcakes, I was inspired by a fresh apple cupcake recipe (but used golden delicious and jonathan apples we picked from a local orchard instead of Granny Smith apples) and made 1.5 of the recipe but ended up with 48 cupcakes instead of 36 (probably because I didn't fill them as high and the apples I used were REALLY big...I'm pretty sure the chopped apple to batter ratio was near 2:1).

(I apologize for the blurry phone pics!)
FRESH APPLE CAKE:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • large apples, peeled and chopped
  • Paper baking cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apple. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely before frosting.



For the buttercream I used 2 sticks of butter at room temp creamed with 1 tsp vanilla, about 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, about 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, and then added powdered sugar by the 1/2 cup until it reached the right consistency and I thinned with apple cider. The measurements on the buttercream are nowhere near exact, it's a taste as you go sort of recipe!



Babywearing helps me keep hands-free while hosting a baby shower!

Love this cupcake stand!