Butterfly Fairy Wands DIY

Several months before her birthday, I asked Harlow what she wanted her party theme to be, and she answered with a hearty “TINKERBELL!” She said she wanted all of her friends to have fairy wings and wands.

After a quick trip to Etsy, I realized I was not going to be buying fairy wings or wands there. Even the cheapest gets pretty pricey when you have a dozen+ kids to outfit!

I was very lucky to find wings and matching skirts for $1/each at Dollar Tree online.

You do have to buy them in bulk, but I figure for that cheap, I can always give away or sell the extras. On Etsy, the cheapest I could find a skirt was around $4/each, and the cheapest I could find wings (that wouldn’t necessarily match the skirts) was around $5/each. Neither of which would have been a problem if I only needed a few, but with 12-14 kids, that got pretty pricey. And that was before the wands were added on!

The trickiest part, however, ended up being the wands.

I stumbled upon these, and they were so beautiful – I almost just bought them.
There were two problems, though… First, there was no pink incorporated in them, and one of my wing/skirt sets was pink. Second, they were pricey and only came in sets of 12 (which would have ended up being fine, since we only had 12 kids show up, but we had invited 14). For around $4 each wand, I just couldn’t justify the cost when I might end up not having enough anyway.

So what to do? Of course, I made my own… and it was SO easy!  Here’s how I did it:

Dowels – around $4 for 20 – craft section of local craft store – but you can get them ANYWHERE (and save even more money if you have the ability to cut normal dowels).
Glitter tape – under $6 for 2 rolls – craft section of Meijer
Ribbon – $1 for one roll
Hot Glue
Bulk Butterflies – $4 for 20 on ebay (still available)
Jewel stickers – Walmart – $1 for a whole sheet which was more than enough.
Jingle Bells – had on hand

Total: $16

Entire outfit total: $64 (not counting the fact that I had LOTS of extras that I can donate or sell).

Even if I ate the cost of all the extras, each kid still only cost around $5 total.


All I did was wrap the tape around the dowel, and hot glue each end to secure it.  Hot glue the butterfly to the stick.  Thread the ribbon through the bell, and tie it around the stick.  Stick a jewel on the top and bottom of the dowel to finish off the look and cover the “wood” part.  That’s seriously it.  I did all 14 of them in maybe 40 minutes.


Happy Crafting!


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Barbie Baby Bottle DIY (or you can cheat…)

Do you know how hard it is to find Barbie stuff?

Like, seriously hard.

I scour eBay and Etsy, but if there is something I have in mind that Harlow needs, I either can’t find it at all, or it is more money than I would ever care to pay. (Or maybe I’m just terrible at navigating these sites – which is very possible.)

For example, this one has three baby bottles (which would be good since Harlow has three Krissy Doll babies), but they look pretty boring (all one color) and are three for a total of $13! I’m sorry, but for $4.33 a piece, they just aren’t cute enough. Plus, did you notice they are used? Yikes.babybottle


I decided to try my hand at making my own using old pen parts, some pink nail polish, and hot glue.  (Admittedly, this won’t be free unless you have the pens laying around like I did.)  For the nipple, I used the nub of a stylus pen, and in one, the actual pen tip (don’t do that – getting it all free of the ink was a nightmare!) and in the other, just a dab of hot glue.  For the actual bottle, I used an old Christmas pen that had different colored rings on it. (I can’t find a similar pen online, but it had rings like these – second photo before paint.)

After I was done:


Finished Product

I was pretty proud of myself and what I had created!


And then…


I got a call from my sister asking if I wanted some baby bottles for Harlow’s Barbie babies…


Um… okay?  Sure?


Apparently you can buy a whoooole bag of them for just over $1 in the baby shower decorations department at Walmart.




le sigh.

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The Little Things


Greetings from the gloomy lower corner of SW Michigan! It is so humid (yet chilly?) and gray out. The sun is trying its best to shine through, but things don’t always go according to plan, do they?

However, inside it is a good day to talk about Harlow’s latest obsession. Barbie. Her grandparents hauled out the Barbie toys and house for her to play with on our visits about a year ago, and Harlow was instantly enamored. Eventually we got her a Barbie of her own (and the several more, including two Chelseas, three Krissys, and a Ken). For her birthday, Chris once again took out his building skillz and made her a dollhouse.


Before it was completely done…


Since then, I’ve tried my hand at a few little Barbie projects (although, to be honest, I’ve mostly scoured Ebay for Barbie swag.) The latest was to revamp some Gloria food (knock-off Barbie brand from waaay back). The food came to me looking terrible. The printing was off and the food looked just plain gross. So I set about making new labels using Harlow’s favorite foods. Just a quick Google search and some sticker printer paper and Ta-da!



Before: Notice the terrible double-printing and gross photos/colors.  Blech.


After: Filled with labels of Harlow’s favorite foods!

It looks so much fresher and up-to-date! I have about a bazillion more ideas I want to try, too, so stay tuned!

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Blinking into the light.

Closing in on two years ago, I decided to take a break from writing.

This post is like waking up from a looong nap, stretching your arms out, and deciding if you just want to go back to sleep or not. I’m still a little tired, and not much has changed. In some ways, things have gotten even harder.

Let’s back up.

Over the last (almost) two years, my daughter turned three, and then four. She is now in gymnastics, ballet, and swimming. She is still very demanding (but such an amazing kid!) and doesn’t give me much of a break in terms of “me” time. Her bedtimes have been insane since she turned four… we’re talking 9:30pm on a good night. All of this added running and bedtime shenanigans, plus the fact that my husband has taken to having to work 70+ hour weeks… doesn’t give me much free time.

Also, in there somewhere, I turned 38, my dad was diagnosed with cancer (treatments are going very well!), one of my nieces is graduating high school, one of my nephews learned how to drive, and my best old friend had a surprise baby (her oldest is in college!). It has been quite the whirlwind.

The thing is – none of these things are ME. Nothing has happened in MY life. I mean, sure, my family IS my life. But once again, I find myself in desperate need of an outlet.

My husband really tries to help – he bought me a new camera, a Cricut machine, and is currently redoing my craft/sewing/gift wrapping room as a Mother’s Day present. As hard as he tries, though, the one thing he can’t give me is time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Especially since I value my sleep so, so much. (Harlow still doesn’t consistently sleep through the night. Oi.)

So. Where does that leave me? Maybe here? Maybe if I start back here, I will have some sort of inner push to carve out more time for myself again? The bottom line, is that I need this. I suppose it is worth a try.

Cheers to possible new beginnings.20170306_105038

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Waving the White Flag

I’m really bummed to write this, finally, but I have to admit to myself that, at least for now, I’m

I just have zero time available to write anymore, and though I’m really sad about it, I am giving up for now.  I love writing.  It is an outlet for me.  I love sharing, and writing about Harlow, even if it is just something I can look back on to remember her at this age.  The reality of the situation, though, is that I can’t do it right now.  The “Terrible Two’s” are no joke, and things have been difficult since the move.  Harlow has mostly acclimated, but NOT when it comes to night-time, and naps, and… well, basically all my free time.  So, I’ll keep working on it, and working to get back here, because… I love it.  But for the meantime, I’ll miss you, Baby Steps.  Hope to see you soon.

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41 Days

41 Days.

Since there have been 41 days since my last post, here are 41 random likes/facts/things I’ve been up to/etc.

1.       I’ve been planning on writing a post on how to start your own mommy group for over a month now.  Stay tuned.  No, really, I promise it is coming.

2.       We’ve had Abbey for 5 whole years!  Her “new home birthday” was on May 1st.


The night we found her in a cornfield.

3.       Harlow is really into stickers.  It can be slightly disturbing, depending on the stickers.


4.       We had a baby turtle visit us.  I named him Snappy.


5.       Harlow & I started campaigning to be Harley Davidson’s first Mother/Daughter models.  We’re still waiting on the call.


6.       FOUR of my friends had babies.

7.       Harlow and I have started having lunch dates after gymnastics.  I love it.


8.       We met my in-laws’ new puppy, Pepper.  Abbey was excited as could be… Pepper had to warm up a bit.


9.       My friend passed away unexpectedly.  Honestly, I’m not going to write much about it right now, mainly because I still can’t wrap my head around it, and I get desperately sad when I think about it (which seems to be constantly).  He was doing well.  Making plans.  If you would like to know more about him, this is a lovely article written up about him and his sweet family.  If you wish to contribute, please do so here.  He was quite honestly, one of the best, most genuinely nice, funniest people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.  The world lost a good one.


10.   Harlow & I visited a really great place called Country Dairy when we stayed with my parents a few weekends ago (Chris worked & worked on the house).  Harlow loved the cows!


11.   Pretty sure Harlow is going to play soccer someday since about .25 seconds after this photo was taken, she was halfway across the field during my niece’s soccer game.  Not embarrassing at all, running out there to get her amid the chuckles of the spectators.  😉


12.   This is Harlow’s reaction to telling her I need to put her hair up.  Admittedly, the video is better…


13.   While at my parents’ house, I got bitten by something and it was insane!


14.   This happened…


15.   I tried to get a photo of Harlow wearing a Minnie Mouse shirt whilst playing with her Little People Disneyland, but it just… didn’t work out.


16.   Last weekend we had TWO toddler birthday parties.  It was so much fun, and so much cake!

17.   I love this shirt.


18.   My favorite/only(?) harmonica player (a local that tours with bands like The Verve Pipe) got married and his bride’s dress was incredible. (Posted on Facebook)


19.   I finally decided to have a full-body skin cancer screening.  I figure I’m 36, have very light complexion, and have been burned multiple times in my life (pretty much at least once a summer, despite my best efforts, some of them really bad).  Well, this happened.  Results and stitches out in 2 weeks.


20.   This is cute

wpid-screenshot_2015-06-03-09-57-29.png21.   I’m going to be joining my brother, one of my sisters, and her daughter for The Rhino Challenge 5k & obstacle course!  My stitches from #19 will be out juuuust before then, making me “legal”.

22.   Harlow was “Sheriff for the Day” at her daycare… just like Grandpa!

Her hair is always so crazy by the end of daycare.

Her hair is always so crazy by the end of daycare.

23.   There was a multiple showing situation this past week to try to rent out our house (rental) so we had to vacate (past toddler bedtime) for a couple of hours.  She did amazingly well with the help of chips and salsa.  (Although I think it was a bad idea, tummy/sleep-wise… she ended up sleeping with me after being up a lot in the night.)


24.   Harlow has been REALLY into picking out her own clothes again.  Here are the latest two.


25.   I got some flowers in an old epoxy powder container (gotta love working with scientists!)


26.   I also have a Life Hacks post in the works… I have a couple fun new-to-me ones to share!

27.   I want this http://www.sephora.com/up-close-beautiful-30-day-complexion-starter-kit-P387933?skuId=1641885

28.   And this  http://www.sephora.com/beloved?icid2=bd_beloved_us_050515_image

29.   And this http://www.sephora.com/mia-skin-cleansing-system-P285163?skuId=1311976

30.   And this  http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/inc-international-concepts-tie-dye-blouson-maxi-dress?ID=2115560&CategoryID=5449&LinkType=#fn=DRESS_STYLE%3DSun%20Dress%26SPECIAL_OCCASIONS%3DCasual%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D195%26ruleId%3D%26slotId%3D39

31.   I’m intrigued by this https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/blades

32.   I am really in the market for a cute, bright summer shoe.  Maybe these? http://www.6pm.com/jellypop-ferrell-orange

33.   I just bought Harlow a new swimsuit (she has 2 already… no judging) and another pair of swim shoes. (In my defense, one pair of shoes and one suit stay at daycare for water days.)

34.   I really need to get some sort of beach shade for this summer.  Like this, maybe: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/total-sun-block-beach-shelter/1040842646?skuId=40842646?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=BingAds%20label%3DFurniture&mcid=PS_bing_nonbrand_furniture_&creative=6136888777&device=c&matchtype={MatchType}

35.   I never would have described myself as a Taylor Swift fan, but music keeps coming up on my Echosmith Pandora radio station that I think, “Oh, I like this!  I wonder who it is?” and it is always Taylor Swift.  Color me shocked.

36.   I need a massage.  I haven’t had one since I was, like, 22 or something stupid like that.  I know it was before I was married.  The space from the base of my skull to either of my shoulders is so crunched up and has been for… well, since pregnancy/having Harlow?  A hot tub would be nice, too.

37.   Harlow has been asking non-stop for weeks to go to the beach.  “This summer we go to beach?”  Yes, honey, we will.

Ready to go, mom!

Ready to go, mom!

38.     We have three new baby birds in the rose bush by our patio door.


39.   I keep coming up with ideas for small businesses.  I really need to figure out how to bring at least one of them to life.

40.   It makes me happy when Harlow asks for tofu for dinner.

41.  Speaking of dinner, a while back I made (packaged) tortellini with “meat” sauce, and some biscuits on the side.  The tortellini was A). disgusting, and B). enough for about 1/2 a meal, and both my husband and I ate it.  There was a lot of the sauce and biscuits left over, so for lunch the next day, I made Italian Biscuits and “Gravy”.  It was delicious.


Well, alright!  Now you’re all caught up again (assuming you made it to the end of this long, somewhat boring post).  Have a great weekend!

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What I Did This Weekend – {April Edition}

By my very scientific calculations (finger & toe counting, mainly) it has been approximately 21 days since I last popped in.


So… what have I been up to in the last 3+ weeks?  Oh, man… lots! 


Harlow had three sessions of gymnastics. 

The Week of the Child was held at Harlow’s school.  She had Purple Day, Favorite Cartoon Character Day, Silly Hair Day, Super Hero Day (which I didn’t do anything for…), and Pajama Day.  It was pretty fun!


Purple Day & BIG smiles!


Dressed as Minnie Mouse… she was unamused that morning.


Wicked Faux-Hawk for Silly Hair Day!


Pajama Day!

I have about 76 grocery store trips under my belt (with another one on the books for today).

 We attended Harlow’s friend’s birthday party… gorgeous weather for it!


We finally got to break out the spring clothes! (for one day… then it snowed…)

I drank a LOT of sugary coffee (yes, I know I need to stop…). 

 I started eating salads this week(!) which is huge for me, since I’m a terrible vegetarian…  Cheese and carbs, baby!  My body doesn’t even know what to do with all those vegetables! 

 Erm…   I’ve watched plenty of Netflix. (Kimmy Schmidt, anyone?)

 Harlow did some coloring (and ate a crayon while I turned my back for 2 minutes to vacuum a room… guess I just can’t clean… darn.).


 Let’s see… we bought a house, and went for a couple of walks around the neighborhood.

 Wait, what?  Oh, yeah… we bought a house!

I mean… we haven’t moved yet or anything, but we digitally signed offers that were accepted by the current homeowner, so… yeah.  I’m excited and very, very anxious.  I hear that’s normal?  I’m most looking forward to the gorgeous walk-in closets and the amazing back deck.  I do have a bunch of photos, but since it is filled with the current owner’s personal belongings, I did not feel they were appropriate to post.


Soothing photo of Harlow picking flowers… breathe…

Speaking of anxiety… I’ve been the not-so-proud owner of BUNCHES of it for the last few months.  I touched on it a while back, but it has not let up.  I’m hoping it is mostly because of the BIG decision to buy a new house and all the uncertainties that come along with that… and that once we are moved in, I’m back to myself.  Time will tell.

Tell me!

What do you do to decompress when things start seeming unmanageable? 

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