cloud mobile
A few days before Alessia was born, in my last-minute nesting craziness, I freaked out because she didn’t have a mobile above her crib. Now never mind the fact that newborns can’t really see beyond a few inches from their face, and the fact that we weren’t planning on having her sleep anywhere but our bed for the first month or more. That didn’t matter because I had it in my head that we needed a mobile and we needed it now.

At this point I was on modified bed rest, so going out shopping wasn’t an option, nor was shopping online because there wasn’t time to have it shipped before she arrived. So I had to make something with materials we had in the house, and I had to be able to do it while sitting comfortably in bed or on the couch. After scavenging around the house for materials, I knew exactly what I wanted her mobile to look like.

Since it is hung above her crib, I wanted it to be peaceful, and help her relax and sleep (ha!), not stimulate her with bright colors and keep her awake. This little cloud mobile was super easy to make and I love the idea of her laying in her crib looking up at the clouds floating above her while she drifts off to sleep.

To make your own cloud mobile you only need a few materials and about 2 hours. And yes, you can make the whole thing while sitting comfortably on the couch.

cloud mobile
You will need:

  • a piece of thin cardboard (I used a piece of a cereal box)
  • white stuffing
  • white linen
  • a thin wooden dowel
  • a needle
  • white thread
  • scissors (not shown)
  • crazy glue (not shown)

how to make a cloud mobile
DIY cloud mobile
Directions:

  1. Draw a cloud on your piece of cardboard and cut it out to make a stencil. Then make one stencil slightly larger than the first and one slightly smaller than the first. You will end up with 3 cloud stencils: 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small.
  2. Use the stencils to cut out 1 pair of large clouds, 4 pairs of medium clouds, and 2 pairs of small clouds from the white linen. You will have 14 cloud pieces when you are finished cutting.
  3. Take a pair of cloud pieces and stitch around the outside of the cloud using a running stitch. Leave a small opening.
  4. Stuff the cloud with the filling and finish stitching up the cloud.
  5. Repeat until you have 1 large cloud, 4 medium clouds, and 2 small clouds.
  6. Cut the dowels so that you have 1 large piece, 1 medium piece, and 1 small piece of dowel.
  7. String a long piece of white thread through a medium cloud using the needle.
  8. Attach the string to one end of the medium dowel and tie securely. Repeat with another medium cloud on the other end of the medium dowel, making sure that the strings are the same length so that the mobile will hang evenly.
  9. Continue attaching the clouds to the dowels like in the example. Every so often, stop and hang from your finger to make sure that everything is even. Once all of the clouds are attached and it is all level, secure each place where the string is attached to the dowel with a small drop of super glue.
  10. Hang your mobile and enjoy looking up at the clouds!

easy DIY cloud mobile

*Be sure to take extra precautions when hanging this or any other mobile. It is not a toy. Keep out of the reach of children.*

Healthy Ice Cream Made with frozen bananas

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not eat chocolate. Never have, never will. Even as a little kid, I despised the taste and refused to eat it. (I know what you are thinking…I have heard it my whole life!) So when Avery was born, I was not-so-secretly hoping that she would be like me and refuse the stuff. Well, she went in the opposite direction and is a little chocoholic!

For a while, I was in denial and never made anything with chocolate in it. But then anytime we were out and someone would say the word chocolate, she would squeal with delight. So I finally admitted defeat and allowed chocolate in the house. And now I even look for recipes that will satisfy her chocolate cravings, and still have some sort of redeeming qualities.

My sister-in-law first made this treat for her when I was still in denial about her chocolate loving ways. It is super quick and easy to make, and it is healthy! Plus it uses up all the half-eaten bananas that get left daily.

I’m sharing the super easy recipe (can it even be called a recipe when it is this easy?) over on Modern Parents Messy Kids today, plus a few variations for all of us crazy chocolate haters out there.

Mini Notebooks - March

Month 3 of the year of mini notebooks project. March. In honor of the Irish.

May you never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.
Irish blessing

Mini Notebooks - March

You will need:

  • a plain mini notebook
  • white twill tape
  • green felt
  • scissors (not shown)
  • a needle and thread (not shown)
  • glue gun (not shown)

DIY Felt Shamrock

Directions:

  1.  Cut 4 small rectangles out of green felt.
  2. Trim the top so that it looks like a camel. (with 2 humps)
  3. Using a needle and green thread, make a few stitches through each rectangle, as shown.
  4. Repeat until all 4 rectangles are on the thread.
  5. Bring the ends together and pull tight until all of the rectangles come together into a circle.
  6. Tie the string tightly, making a shamrock shape.
  7. Take a piece of twill tape and wrap it around the mini notebook.
  8. Hot glue the ends of the twill tape together (but not to the notebook), making a band around the notebook.
  9. Hot glue the shamrock to the twill tape.

Happy March!

To see the rest of the mini notebooks in this collection, click here.

Valentine
My sweet little Valentine needed something special to wear today, but I just wasn’t feeling the pink and red hearts I was seeing everywhere. A simple black and white outfit was just what she needed, and since it doesn’t scream Valentine’s Day, she can keep on wearing it.

And in case you are looking to make a heart onesie for the little Valentine in your life…

1
You will need:

2
Start by freehand drawing a heart on the rough side of the freezer paper.
3
Carefully cut it out using the x-acto knife. You are left with a little freezer paper stencil.
4
Iron the piece of freezer paper to the onesie, smooth side down, using a hot iron without steam.
5
Using the foam paint brush, dab the fabric paint onto the onesie. Do a few coats to make sure it is fully covered. Let the paint completely dry, following the instructions on your fabric paint, then carefully peel off the freezer paper stencil.
6
DIY Heart Onesie
Happy Valentines Day!
Valentines Baby

DIY Valentines Pencils

It is almost Valentine’s Day…are you ready? I am usually scrambling to get things done at 11pm the night before, but this year we actually finished a full 5 days before Valentine’s Day! If these sweet little Valentines look familiar, it is because they are basically the same as last year’s Valentines Bubbles, just a different shape.

heart pencils from Target

We started with these cute colorful pencils from Target. They came in packs of 8 for just 1 dollar, making this a super inexpensive project.

Valentines Pencils

I am not sure what it is about pencils, but my four year old is obsessed with them. I think it makes her feel more grown up to use a pencil to write with rather than crayons, or maybe it is just that she enjoys sharpening them so much. Whatever the reason, she loves having a ton of pencils ready to write with, so it was an obvious choice for this year’s Valentines for her preschool friends.

DIY Heart Pencils

As always, this was such a simple project. I printed the little strips on label paper, then cut them out and stuck them on the pencils. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as she would say.

Easy DIY Valentines Pencils

Now, in all fairness, I had to show you what her Valentines actually look like. I am a perfectionist and love beautiful images as much as anyone. But I also love promoting my daughter’s creativity and encouraging her to make handmade gifts for her friends. So while I was putting a few of these together, she was doing the majority of them. And these are the ones that she will be handing out to her friends on Friday. Aren’t they perfect? She was so proud of how they turned out!

a 4 year old

So while you are browsing Pinterest, looking at all of the beautiful images, keep in mind that they were probably not made by a 4 year old. But don’t let that discourage you from letting your kids make their own Valentines – even if they don’t turn out Pinterest worthy. I love hers so much more than mine – they are so perfectly her. And if you want – you can always do a few yourself, like I did, so you get the best of both worlds.