Making Homemade Baby Food Project

I remember that I heard a mom tell me once that she made her own baby food. I thought she was crazy ;) Now here I am a few years later making baby food and loving it! So feel free to think of me as a crazy woman!

Since it's been such a fun {Little Project} and so much easier than I thought it would be, I wanted to share how to do it (in case you are as crazy as I am!)

Some of the reasons I love making baby food:
1- I know exactly what baby Elle is eating
2- It's way easy to do your own organic baby food
3- It's easy
4- It really doesn't take much time (4 pears makes 12 3.5 oz meals)
5- WE'RE NOT THROWING OUT (or even recycling) TONS OF LITTLE JARS. Yes, I am a bit of a tree hugger and I'm so glad that this little change for our family is good for our world.
6- You have everything on hand in your kitchen to do it (if you have a blender and ice cube trays.)
7- It's cost effective (a nice bonus)

Want to try {This Little Project}?

This is a photo of my first batch. I steamed some organic carrots that we grew, then simply put them in the blender and pureed them. I use a tablespoon to scoop the puree from the blender into the ice cube trays. It's about 1.5 tablespoons for each " cube" of the ice tray. I put 2 layers of plastic wrap over the top of each ice cube tray and freeze for several hours (it takes longer than water).

When they are done just pop them all out and put them into a freezer bag. They last 2 months in the freezer and if you're baby eats like mine does, they won't sit there that long! Each "cube" is about an ounce so you know just how much baby is eating. I think this looks so much tastier than those jarred foods!

Then just get 2-3 days worth out at a time and let it thaw in the fridge until baby is ready for it. When we need a meal-on-the-go, I just put a few of them (and some rice cereal) into a clean pre-used baby food jar and we're good to go!

So far little Elle is a fan of peaches, avocado, apples, pears, carrots, and sweet potatoes. If you want to learn more or try it out, I've found all my recipes and how to store, freeze, thaw, etc. here:

Enjoy this Yummy {Little Project} ;)

Being UN-Scared and Prepared

I decided that the month of October would be my "un-scared" month. I know that goes against tradition for this month. But the kind of scariness I'm thinking of is the real-life things that can freak you out. I'm talking about things like: a house fire, a natural disaster, a family tragedy, etc.

A lot of the fears that are associated with these kinds of things can disappear if you feel like you are prepared ahead of time.

Here is a sample list of {Little Projects} happening at our house this month to help us be prepared instead of scared:

1- Have a 72 hour kit ready for every person in the family.

2- Have water purifiers on hand.

4- Take time each day to strengthen family spiritually (FHE, family devotional, prayer, scripture study, etc.)

5- Purchase/mount/learn how to use a fire extinguisher. We're doing one in the kitchen and one downstairs too near the laundry/furnace area.

6- Talk to children about what to do in case of a fire and work on stranger safety.

7- Learn more about how to cook on diverse cooking sources (propane, BBQ, fire, dutch oven, thermal, etc.)

8- Replace batteries in fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

9- Have multiple light sources on hand (flashlight, lantern, crank light, candles, etc.)

10- Work on having multiple heat sources available for home (fireplace, newspaper, etc.)

11- Update will and think about insurance needs.

12- Stick to the family spending plan

It only takes watching the news to remember that our world is a bit unstable. Hurricane Katrina-like and terrorist disasters can happen anywhere and it's nice to have a feeling of safety and control for your own family in a world that feels quite out-of-control sometimes. At these times the {Little Projects} you've done to prepare will bring you peace in the midst of uncertainty.

In a month that glorifies the scary I hope you find the time to make your world feel more safe and secure. I would love to hear what {Little Projects} you take on and hope that the links above help!

Funny Bones

This time of year is perfect for finding all kinds of things to help teach kids about their own skeletons. Here are some ideas:

A plastic skeleton that the kids can label:
We call him Mr. Bones. Since he's close to the size of a pre-school child the kids can see where their joints and bones are very easily.

We've also been playing some fun games and songs to memorize them.

Fun song for bones:
Use the hokey pokey with the names of the bone instead.
("You put your right phalanges in...")

Use the "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes" song
(Skull, clavicle, patella, tarsals....)

We made skeletons out of q-tips and glue. It was easy and fun to name the bones as we put them on.

Fun treat with bones:

And if you want to make one out of socks, check this out.

And if you have older kids, try this game or this game

Have fun celebrating that you have a skeleton this Halloween ;)

Halloween Outfits

My girls are excited for Halloween, and Halloween outfits are adding to the fun. I bought two small orange shirts and one XL adult orange shirt. We happen to have several old black t-shirts hanging around the house.

I cut the top third of the XL shirt to make orange stripes for my 2 year old's skirt, and the bottom 2/3 for my 5 year old's skirt.

IMG_1400 IMG_1402

I made the black stripes a little thinner just for looks. I then put a black ruffle on the bottom.
My 5 year old chose the pumpkin faces to put on the shirts. I cut the fabric out for the faces sewed them on by by sewing a zigzag around the different face pieces.


What are you doing to get ready for Halloween?


Buffet to Media Center

Would you believe that this:

Started out looking like this?

I love before and after photos because you can really see the fruits of your labor!

We have a long and narrow family room and needed a cabinet to hold the dvd player and dvd's. I couldn't find the right size of media center anywhere at the store or online. Then I realized that the size and height of the space was perfect for a "buffet" cabinet. I found this one for $20 on craigslist.

I haven't ever refinished anything before so I was nervous about how "little" this project was going to be. But I was also excited to give it a try. I figured if it didn't work out, I was only out $20, right?

Sanding the top smooth and a coat of primer took one Saturday. Then 2 coats of paint, and a board nailed to the bottom of the sides on the next Saturday brought it to this:
(The funny lines on the left of the cabinet are just a reflection from the tv).

It's just the "pop" of red I was hoping for in that room.

The drawers are perfect for holding dvds and when we need the player, we just crack open the door on the side.

And it goes great with the new pillow slip-covers that I just finished. One {Little Project} at a time...our house is finally coming together!

DollHouse Furniture

Once the girls had the dollhouse, they needed some furniture to go with it. I bought a package of 6 wooden rectangles at the craft store for a little over a dollar. We already had wooden spools which I glued onto one to make a table. I glued two half spools onto another to make a bed.

My girls have a bunk bed, and so requested one for the doll house as well. I used two of my wooden rectangles and hot glued them into the slots of those slotted popsicle sticks from the craft store.
Our wooden dolls as well as all other small toys enjoy the furniture and doll house

What do your dolls play with?

Pillow Make-over Project

This past week I got a {Little Project} done with pillow slipcovers that has been years in the making.

We got some couches almost 6 years ago that came with these
ugly pillows:
Every time I looked at them I wanted to get rid of them! Yet, it has been one of those {Little Projects} that I just never got around to-until now!

Making slip covers is so easy! Really! I guess I was just waiting to find some fabric I loved ;)

This is the way they work:
After measuring your pillow and cutting the fabric to fit snugly. Just hem the edges that will overlap on the back of your pillow, and sew up the top and bottom seams while the fabric is right-sides together; like the photo (but without the pillow inside.) That's it!

This is how it looks after you turn it right-side out if you peek inside the slip cover:
Just stuff that pillow in and you will FINALLY be happy to look at those pillows!

It's amazing how it really is the little things that really mean a lot.
I can't believe how much better I feel! These slip covers match the cabinet I just painted to go in the same room. This room just got a lot better!

Pillowslip covers are also fun to do for the holidays. I can't wait!

Have you finished a {Little Project} lately at your house that you loved?

Wooden Dolls

Awhile ago, I was looking for inexpensive wooden dolls and after looking at my options, decided I'd have to make something if I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I came across clothespin dolls on the internet. I started out by simply coloring the clothespin with sharpie markers and then added felt to make hats, hair and clothes.

After looking at some beautiful clothespin dolls on Etsy, I started using paint and putting large wooden heads on the dolls and stands. The clothespins, heads, and stands are all available at any craft store. At the craft store and online, you can buy wooden doll shapes that you can make other fun wooden dolls.

To add arms, I drilled a hole with my Dremel tool and added some twine with two knots for hands. My girls will color the wooden people with their markers to make their own dolls. The washable marker doesn't last forever, but slowly fades over months of use.

What do you use for your dolls?


Friday Favorites and Freebies

I hope you are excited for the weekend-I sure am! Here are some of the favorites and freebies I've collected to share with you. Enjoy!

If you love the whimsy of a gumball machine like I do, you'll love this easy DIY version that is perfect for Halloween!

This is a fun printable Halloween version of the game "Don't Eat Pete!" (one of our family's favorite's)

If you've ever thought you needed a loom for weaving, check out this homemade version. Think of all the great Christmas gifts you could do with it!

This is a beautiful way to share some cookies with a neighbor!

If you have a boy around your house, check out these targets that would be fun for HIM TO MAKE and then take out with his nerf gun ;)

Have a beautiful weekend! I'm so excited for General Conference-can't wait!