DIY Barbie Swimsuits

Is it just me, or is there something exceedingly creepy about naked Barbies?  Maybe I’m biased because I know the History of Barbie, but, just… ew.

Anyway!

The first few Barbie Dolls Harlow received were the kind with built-in bathing suits.  I loved them!

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Princess Leilani (aka Nikki) is Harlow’s favorite!

I thought it was such a great idea to have a permanent “covering” on the dolls!  It didn’t hinder the fashion aspect of the dolls in any way, and it kept things from getting seedy between wardrobe changes.

Then she started getting dolls without the suits.  Ugh.  I was so tired of seeing Barbie boobs everywhere!  So I decided (with Harlow’s help and permission!) to give them all a swimsuit makeover!

Needed:

  • Painters tape
  • craft scissors (the kind that make fancy patterns)
  • Nail Polish – I used the cheapie kind for $1.99, and even found some on sale, 5 for $5!

 

I just cut the tape out in a pattern, placed it where we wanted the lines of the suit to be, painted, and let dry!  SO easy and pretty quick!  I love the result.  They look SO cute!

 

Harlow loves them and is so happy with the results!  We have about 3 more to do, but I think they turned out wonderfully!

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Everything you need for the beach (and much more, probably).

Have I ever talked about going to the beach?  I can’t remember, and honestly, I’m too lazy to look back.  However, since we have lived in a beach/lake town for almost 13 years, I’m quite the expert.  Before having Harlow, my beach day could fit in a single bag.

  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Book
  • Music
  • Water
  • Cute beach bag

Since having Harlow, I’ve had to add a few things… but they are all super necessary.  I promise!

  • Two towels
  • Three kinds of sunscreen (adult, kid, and kid face stick)
  • Portable kiddie pool
  • Bucket to fill portable kiddie pool
  • Mesh portable kiddie pool bag
  • Giant blanket/sheet
  • Sun tent
  • Portable potty in the tent for emergencies
  • Scads of sand toys
  • Mesh sand toy bag (actually, several mesh bags…)
  • An entire cooler full of snacks and drinks
  • Beach umbrella
  • Two beach chairs
  • Two pairs of sunglasses
  • Beach cart to carry it all in
  • Two pairs of water shoes
  • Hat
  • Change of clothes
  • Garbage bag for trash

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Did I forget anything?

I ALWAYS get comments from other beach-goers about the amount of stuff I bring, but they are overwhelmingly positive.  It looks like a lot (and it is) but it all sets up and breaks down super quick and easy, so it really just makes for a nice, relaxing, comfortable day.

I didn’t link to anything, because, well, I have barely any readers, so why do the work?  But if anyone does read and wants links to what I have, or similar, let me know.  The pool is the big one.  After a lot of trial and error, I moved away from having a blow-up kiddie pool and it has made a TON of difference.

 

Happy Beaching!

 

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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.
wands
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:

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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.

 

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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.

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!

 

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

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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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