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September Bullet Journal

September is almost upon us! I love September because that means we are getting ready for fall, which is my favorite season. I am hoping for a long fall season, because they tend to be short here and the snow comes quickly. For September’s bullet journal, the focus will be the love aster flower. I had a lot of fun creating these spreads. I let things get a bit loose and interpretive on these ones. Asters, to me, tend to look wild and free so I wanted to keep the same wild look in my September bullet journal spread.

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but this summer has been crazy! There has been a lot going on in our lives and in the world. I have also been working on many projects and will share them with you just as soon as I get them wrapped up.

As always I have taken inspiration from Shayda Campbell. She has some amazing artwork and bullet journals on her page. You should check her out!

Cover Page

September Bullet Journal

September’s bullet journal is dedicated to the beautiful aster flower. I kept things simple in this spread. A simple pen line drawing with some water colors. I also included a quote that perfectly expresses my feeling towards the coming fall.

Monthly Calendar

September Bullet Journal

I included another full page monthly calendar for this month; I find I like having the ample space. I also started my dip into the more wild drawings of aster flowers.

Expense Tracker

September Bullet Journal

This monthly expense tracker hasn’t changed much other than adding new flowers. This layout seems to work for me.

Blog and Engagement and To Do List

September Bullet Journal

So that’s it – my September bullet journal! I had a lot of fun creating this spread. It was refreshing to be a bit wild with the flowers this month. What did you think of the spread? Let me know in the comments down below!

Nursing for over 2 years

I have been nursing for over 2 years.

Right now I am expecting reactions somewhere between “eww!”, “why?”, and “how did you do that?”

I thought I would share my journey with breastfeeding because it’s been a long, and I feel informative, one. There seems to be such a stigma about breastfeeding. In truth it is both very natural and a difficult body function. We need to speak out and try to make long term breastfeeding normal (because it is!).

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Recommendations

Let me start off by saying the World Health Organization recommends that children be breastfed for 2 years and beyond.

“From the age of 6 months, children should begin eating safe and adequate complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years and beyond.”

https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_2

For some reason here in the US, nursing for an extend period of time is characterized as weird. In other parts of the world, nursing past 3 years is normal. I found this great article about these trends that is worth a read: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/parenting/baby/how-long-should-you-breastfeed.html

Starting Out

I started out nursing shortly after Little One was born. He arrived in a bit of a dramatic fashion and you can read all about that here. When we started to nurse it was a bit delayed. After a couple times trying with it not going great, a nurse realized that Little One was tongue tied. A pediatrician came in the next day and did a procedure to fix the tongue tie. In the meantime I pumped and fed him using a syringe. It was definitely not how I pictured my first nursing experience to go. After another day, Little One was latching much better, but still not as well as he could be.

Enter the nipple shield. If you don’t know what this is, it’s a thin piece of plastic that goes over the nipple that helps a baby latch. The message I kept receiving in the hospital was try to get the baby to stop using the shield as soon as possible to avoid nipple confusion. I was so stressed out about this and kept trying without the shield. Ten days after Little One was born we had his first well baby appointment and I spoke to my doctor about this. She told me not to worry and use the shield as long as Little One needed it and that eventually, he will stop. You know what? She was right! In his 3rd month Little One stopped using it and hasn’t used it ever since.

Now every baby is different and every situation is different, but this is what worked for us.

The first couple months

I was recently talking to a friend whose sister-in-law just had a baby. She was telling my friend how the baby was so good and on a feeding schedule. My friend was considerate but not feeling great about herself because she had a rather difficult birth and nursing experience and it brought up some old feelings.

I honesty gave a bit of a laugh. The baby is two weeks old – just wait until the baby starts cluster feeding. That nice little schedule is going to go out the window. Now every baby is different and so is every family. Not every baby goes through a cluster feeding phase, but a lot do!

Cluster feeding is when the baby wants to nurse repeatedly for a couple hours stretch. He will take a nap and want to cluster feed again. This process normally lasts for a couple of days, then goes back to normal. A couple of days after that the cluster feeding starts up again. This normally starts in the the 3-4 weeks of life and can last a couple of weeks if not longer. The reason this happens is because nursing the baby triggers mom’s body to produce more milk.

There is so much growing that a baby does during the first couple of months. Cluster feeding is how the baby gets the mom to make as much milk that he or she needs.

Little One and Cluster Feeding

Little One started cluster feeding in his 3rd or 4th week of life, but I can’t quite remember. I felt like the only thing I was doing was nursing because I was doing it for days on end. This might be too much information, but during this time I developed a sharp pain when Little One nursed on the left side. I spoke with my doctor about it and she said it was one of those things that needed time to adjust and to keep using nipple cream. (This one is good for soothing and this one is great for tougher situations).

Eventually the pain subsided, but it took about a month. I could have very easily bowed out at that time and made the switch to formula. Knowing how good breast milk was for my Little One, I decided to stick with it. I am also quite thrifty so I didn’t want to pay for formula!

The cluster feeding lasted for about 3-4 weeks before we developed more of a balance. In the off days of cluster feeding, your body will continue to produce more milk. I used this time to pump and freeze the mild for later use.

Going back to Work and Pumping

After my short maternity leave I had to go back to work, which meant pumping there (this is the one I used). I was constantly struggling to produce enough for the day and trying to build a reserve. I would often do extra pumping sessions to help build my frozen stash.

My doctor recommended to just worry about producing enough milk for the next day. However, I wanted to have extra in the freezer because I was just not crazy about pumping.

I want to take a moment to recognize that I was only successful because I had a work environment that accommodated me. As a society and a work force we need to change to make pumping at work available to everyone! I read so many stories of women who stop pumping because they aren’t able to at work. Nursing is so important for the heath of a baby. Give moms the tools to keep it up. Pumping is hard enough without the extra challenges of an unaccommodating work place.

It is important to know your rights when it comes to pumping in the work place. Check out this website from the Department of Labor which indicates what the law states about pumping in the work place. While it is the law, it takes mothers (and fathers!) advocating and speaking up for their rights to effect change.

I spoke with my employer before I got back and set up a plan for pumping. The nature of my job has me moving around a bit. I do have a private office that I used to pump in. However, when I was on the road I often used my car adapter to pump in the car or reserve a meeting room in my other office location for privacy.

Speak up! Know your rights! Hold your employer accountable!

1 year

I made it to one year. That was my goal – at least one year of nursing. At this time I decided to stop pumping at work. It was a huge relief. Through my pumping experience I built quite a stash. I was able to send milk with Little One to day care until he was 18 months old!

We developed a schedule at this time. Little One would nurse when he woke up, right after we got home from day care, and again before bed. Also, on the weekends we would nurse before he went down for his nap.

18 months

Around 18 months Little One stopped wanting to nurse when he got home from day care. He wanted a snack instead. The first time it happened I cried. My little boy was growing up and that special connection we had was coming to an end. While we have kept up the morning and night nursing sessions, it was sad to lose this one.

2 years

We have reached two years! Little One is still nursing before going to bed at night. Sometimes he decides he wants to nurse in the morning, but it’s not an everyday thing. If he isn’t feeling well, sometimes he will want to nurse randomly during the day.

We have a good balance. Little One eats solid food during the day and for each meal. He will nurse right before going to bed. This is an important step in our night time routine. You can read more about that here. I have decided we will keep going as long as he wants to.

To all those out there who view nursing for over 2 years old to be weird, I have to say it really isn’t. In most parts of the world it is normal. I have nursed my son since he was born and we have grown together. It’s not like I have suddenly started nursing a two year old. It’s a natural connection only a mother and baby can have.

Final Thoughts

So that’s the story of how I been nursing for over 2 years. My big takeaway is that nursing is hard, but it is worth it for your baby. Because of this, I do believe fed is best and you need to do what is right for you and your family, whether that means breastfeeding, using formula, or a mixture of both. I have also learned that moms have to stand up for themselves! Advocate for the right to feed your baby in whatever way that means! Hopefully with more moms and dads speaking out we can bring about the change for a more accepting society and work place.

I would love to hear your nursing stories. Have any of you tried nursing over 2 years? Let me know in the comments below!

DIY Face Mask

We are in strange times, and everyone is still kind of processing everything. Hopefully you all are doing well out there and finding things to fill your time with. I am so grateful that my husband and I have been able to keep working. Both of us are working in human services/care. I have been able to transition to working from home and my husband is still going in to work. Initially I wasn’t going to make this into a post. However, with the encouragement from my husband I decided to go ahead with it. There is so much information out there on how to make a DIY face mask, and the one I am making is made to specializations that my husband wants and needs for work.

He works in a long term care facility and has frequent interactions with seniors. One of the things he needs out of his face mask is for it to be made of cotton fabric. Also, to have at least 3 layers and to have different material on the front and back. This way someone can tell the difference between the inside and outside of the mask. We also wanted to make it really comfy around the ears so it can be worn for a long time. Another feature I added to this DIY face mask is a bit of tucking around the nose area to make it fit better.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Supplies

I was able to make this mask with scraps that I had from leftover projects. I made two different sizes, a medium size (perfect for me) and a large size which is more appropriate for my husband.

Check out this post on basic sewing terminology for any of the sewing terms in this post.

Cutting

I have made two different sized DIY face masks. The medium is 8 inches by 10 inches and the large is 8 inches by 12 inches. For each mask you will need to cut three pieces of your given size – one for the outside, one inside and the final is the layer that is next to the mouth. That needs to be a different color. You will also need two hair ties. Where the two ends of the hair ties meet, there is a bit of a hard melted area. Cut on either side of the melted area and this will form a string shape. You will need to do this to two hair ties, one for each ear. You could also use elastic, though I didn’t have any, but I did have extra hair ties.

Process

The next step is to press in three pleats into the mask so it can expand to cover the nose and mouth. To do this I pressed the fabric in half then made three approximately 3/4 inch pleats. The big thing is when you have the pleats folded the short edge of the fabric needs to be 3 and 1/2 inches wide. This took a bit of fiddling but it worked in the end (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) Repeat the process on the other two pieces.

DIY face mask making pleats

Next, stitch close to the edge along the side so the pleats stay in place.

This next step is optional, but I found it was helpful. Take the front piece of the mask and place it right side up. Next, take the hair tie and pin it to the edge of the fabric about 5/8 inch from the edge of the fabric. Make sure the lop is turned in toward the center of the mask. This will make sure when you flip the mask the elastics are on the outside. Stitch the ends of the hair tie carefully down. This is a lot of bulk for the needle to go through, so take it slow. I found it help full to stitch the hair tie down first so it didn’t slip out on me when I was trying to sew it all together.

Putting it together

It is really important to place the pieces in the right order before sewing. Place the top piece down, right sides up with the hair ties pinned down so they don’t get in the way. Next, place in the inside piece (it doesn’t matter what side is facing up) but make sure the pleats are going the same direction of the top piece. Finally, place the back piece right side down and make the pleats go in the same direction. Pin carefully and leave a spot open so you can flip it. I like to double pin where I plan to leave a space open. See the picture below for reference.

DIY face mask layering

Carefully stitch around, back stitching at the start and end, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Carefully flip through the hole that was left and press it with an iron. Finally, stitch around the edge leaving a 1/4 to 1/8 inch seam allowance and close up the hole left to flip.

DIY face mask flipping
DIY face mask

Lastly I folded the fabric back on itself along the edge on either side of the nose about 1/4 inch and stitched along the existing seam. This creates a bit of molding around the nose.

That’s it, a DIY face mask! It took me less time to make (around 15 minutes) the second time. Before giving it to any one make sure you ask about washing instructions. I know that my husband has to hand wash his and leave it at work.

I hope you fount this helpful and that you are saying safe.

c

Getting Organized in 2020

Getting organized in 2020 seems to be a topic on everyone’s minds for the new year. The question is – how is one to get organized? One of the most useful tools for organizing my life is the bullet journal. A bullet journal is a a cross between a journal and planner. It allows for the flexibility to create spreads (pages) that can help you reach your goals.

This will be the third year that I have done a bullet journal. I have had much success with keeping track of my life, like keeping track of important dates, important information, keeping lists, and tracking my goals. The best thing about a bullet journal is that it is completely customizable to fit the needs of each person.

Inspiration

This year I spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to organize myself and how to best utilize my bullet journal for this blog, too. In the past I took to Pinterest to find ideas for spreads. However, this year I am mixing things up.

One of my favorite Youtubers is Shayda Campbell. She, for example, is doing a year of flowers. Each month is inspired by the flower of that month. I decided to take inspiration from Shayda and also do a month of flowers following her drawings. This year I will be mixing it up, though, to create spreads that help me organize my life. I will be using the flower drawings to bring continuity to my bullet journal. I do like the feeling of opening nice pages – it motivates me to get things done! Check out Shayda’s page, where she has great tutorials on how to draw each of these flowers.

One of my other favorite Youtubers is Amanda Rach Lee. I drew some inspiration from some of her spreads for my own, as well. She’s definitely worth checking out.

2020 Bullet Journal Set up

Bullet journals can be a great place for you artistic types to have a place to doddle and make creative spreads. Bullet journals can also be quite minimal (you could have the essentials without taking time for sketching). While I like to do some drawing on my spreads, I hope those of you who want to use a more minimalistic style can still use the layouts to help you reach your goals.

I also have a section of spreads that are specific to blogging. That is the great thing about bullet journaling – you can customize it to whatever you are focused on!

Beginning Set Up

So with out further ado, here is the set up for my 2020 bullet journal…

Bullet Journal

This is the cover page. I followed Shayda’s tutorial for this one. I loved how simple it was and how it set up a nature-centric feel for the journal.

2020 Cover page

This is my cover for introducing the new year. Again, I was pretty faithful to Shayda’s design. She does a dutch door for this page, which is awesome. However, I wanted to do something different for the page after so I didn’t make a dutch door.

I also like to include a yearly calendar in the front of the bullet journal. Next to it I included a quote that hopefully will help me keep perspective this year.

Future Log
Future Log

These last two pictures are of my future log. This is one of the most used spreads in my bullet journal. I am constantly flipping to it to write down important dates and refer to it when creating my monthly layouts. I got a little over-excited and wrote down all my events, so those white boxes are just covering those up for me.

This next spread is a grid spacing sheet. I got this idea from Amanda Rach Lee. It helps when making spreads so you don’t have to count out the spaces. Next to it I included a Harry Potter quote (you have to take a look at my Harry Potter nursery to know we are obsessed). I intend to make the last page in my bullet journal “Mischief Managed.”

Yearly Tracking/Note Pages

This spread is for my budget and expense tracker. In each monthly spread I include an expense tracker and then take those results and log them in this general tracker. It is nice knowing where the money is going each month!

This is a budget tracker strictly for the blog and also a growth tracker where I can record my monthly results on Pinterest and other tracking systems. I also included a tracker to document the posts I have published, which is below. The last of my blogging spreads is a blog post ideas page and a Pinterest boards tracker.

Bullet journal published post
Bullet journal blog ideas spread
Bullet journal pinterest spread
Bullet Journal home spread

The last page is my home projects page and my home cleaners page. You can get the recipes to all my Eco Friendly home cleaners here. I left a page blank after this one for a spread to plan our family vacation this year. I am not ready to start planning yet, but I wanted to leave some space before I started my January monthly spread.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of the bullet journal? Is it something that you could use to help organize yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay tuned for my January spread set up. Is this something that you would like to see more of? Let me know in the comments!

One goal that I know many people are working on this year is being more Eco friendly. Check out these other post that might help you reach those goals.

Eco-Friendly Homemade Cleaners

Eco Friendly Homemade cleaners

I have some exciting news – I have developed my first product! Hopefully it can help you create more Eco-friendly homemade cleaners in order to avoid chemical cleaners and, among other things, help with your budget.

Let me back up for a minute. So this all started when I was talking to my coworker about the homemade cleaners that I use. She expressed a desire to do the same but found finding recipes confusing and had no idea where to start.

I have been using homemade cleaners for years and have always just had the recipes in my head. Then when Little One arrived my husband started to take on more of the cleaning. However, he did not keep the recipes in his head. This lead me to writing the recipes on the back of the bottles for him. This way he could read the directions and refill the cleaners any time he needed them.

So with these two events my first brain child came about. So without further adieu, my first product is a digital download of labels and recipes that you can place on spray bottles to use in your home. I know it’s a pretty simple idea but it really makes life so much easier.

* Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart

The Recipes

Included in this download are the following recipes for your more Eco-friendly home:

  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Foaming Hand Soap
  • Fabric Freshener
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Laundry Stain Remover
  • Laundry Scent Booster
  • Floor Cleaner
  • Cloth Diaper Stain Remover (for those of you cloth diapering)
  • Spider Repellent
How It Works

These are available right now as a digital download. You can head over to my store and purchase them for only $2! Once the purchase is made you will get an email with a PDF attachment. You can print as many of the labels as you like.

For best results, print the labels on sticky paper. You can also print them on regular paper and use clear tape to put them on the bottles. You can find sticky paper at Target or Amazon.

What You’ll Need

Beyond having your preferred paper for printing the labels, you will need something to put them on. I personally love these glass spray bottles that I found on Amazon, but any spray bottle will work. Spray bottles are also available at most box stores and dollar stores. You will also need a foaming hand pump dispenser. I have been reusing some plastic ones that I got years ago. I found these great mason jar style dispensers on Amazon. You will also need a mop bucket and a container for the laundry scent boosters.

Making the Cleaners

After sticking the labels on each of the containers, use the recipes to create your very own Eco-friendly cleaners.

Most of the recipes include adding essential oils. I personally love using peppermint, lemon, and lavender, but you can choose whatever scents you like.

You will need the following ingredients:

Just Wait Here is the Best Part!

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win 6 glass spray bottles!

Order Now!

Click this link to head over to my store. You can download the labels and attach them to any bottle of your choice.

I have also been thinking about getting the labels printed and having hard copies available. Is this something that you all would be interested in? Let me know in the comments below.

Floor Pouf

DIY Floor Pouf

I wanted to add a floor pouf to Little One’s nursery. We spend a lot of time snuggling in the chair and realized it would be really nice to have a foot rest. I also wanted something soft for Little One to climb over. He is getting to the age where he is climbing on everything, which is great for his motor development, just not always great for my furniture.

I decided to make this floor pouf out of some Marauder’s Map fabric that I had left over from another Harry Potter project. I also picked up some starry night fabric form JOANN Fabrics. Both of the fabrics are flannel and 100% cotton, and I repurposed a zipper from an old craft project that I am no longer using. You are never going to believe what I used to stuff it…keep reading to find out!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart

If you’re in the beginning stages of sewing, check out my beginners guide to sewing terminology.

Cutting the fabric

For this floor pouf I cut the following pieces of fabric. You can find the Marauder’s Map fabric here.

  • 20 1/2 inches * 20 1/2 inches – 2 pieces (top/bottom)
  • 13 inches * 20 1/2 inches – 4 pieces (sides)
  • 9 inches * 13 inches – 1 piece
Floor Pouf
Step One

The first step in creating the floor pouf was installing a zipper along one of the sides. I thought this was a necessary step for what I chose to stuff the pouf with. You can skip this step and just leave a hole to flip it right side out and hand stitch closed, if using regular stuffing.

Sew one of the sides together with the 9 inch piece. Line up right sides together and loosely stitch with a basting stitch. Press with an iron.

Floor Pouf

Placing the zipper centered on the seam, pin one side of the zipper down on the seam allowance. Stitch it into place and repeat with the other side of the zipper. You may have to move the zipper while stitching. To do this place the needle down into the fabric. Then lift the presser foot and slide the zipper tab out of the way. Place small horizontal stitches at the beginning and end of the zipper. For the rest of the seam go back over it with a regular size stitch, back stitching at the beginning and end.

Flip the fabric over and use a seam ripper to open the fabric where the zipper is. The next part is optional – fold a piece of fabric over the zipper, iron down and pin in place. I decided to do this step to help prevent Little One from undoing the zipper. After finishing I realized that I should have added Velcro to help keep this closed. You can do that now.

Floor Pouf
Step Two

Stitch the side piece to the top, placing right sides together and stitching with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end, also stop the run of stitched 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric. Repeat this process on all four sides.

Step Three

Pulling the top piece of fabric out of the way, pin the right sides together. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and back stitch at the beginning and end. Repeat with the remaining sides.

Floor Pouf
Step Four

Stitch on the bottom piece placing right sides together, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and back stitching at the beginning and end. Either open the zipper or leave a hole in one of the seams for flipping. Flip right side out press the seams with an iron.

Step Five

The final step is to stuff the floor pouf. You could use stuffing like this…but I stuffed it with baby clothes! I know it’s a little weird but I have so many outfits that Little One has outgrown, I don’t want to get rid of them yet. This puts them to good use. With the zipper I can easily take them out and replace them with stuffing later on. But for right now it is great storage. It also adds a lot of weight to the pouf, which helps keeps it stable when Little One is climbing all over it.

Floor Pouf

What do you think of this floor pouf? Have you tried making it? Let me know in the comments below! Also, for more Harry Potter decor/nursery ideas see my post here.

How To Make A Dandelion Painting

How To Make A Super Easy Dandelion Painting

Every season I like to change up the look of my living room chimney mantel. After taking down my winter mantel, I decided to get started on the spring decoration. Most of the items that I use I have thrifted or found at garage sales – it really is amazing the gems you can find! Join me as I explore how to make a dandelion painting.

I wanted to go with a design this spring that would work for me in summer time, too. I chose items with a soft color palate of greens, blues, whites and light woods. After playing around with each item, placing them and replacing them, I found that the mantel was missing something.

At first I was thinking that a sign of some sort would be nice. I have always loved the quote “The difference between a weed and a flower is a judgement” and thought it would be a nice addition to the mantel decor. I just so happened to have a spare canvas to do this project, so I got started. First, I needed to decide what my background for the text might be. An obvious choice for an overlooked and underappreciated flower is the dandelion. Next it was time to get painting. You may be wondering where the quote went…well, I liked the dandelion on its own so much I decided to leave it as is. Sometimes less is really more!

Step One

I promise that this is a really easy painting that any skill level should be able to do. The first step i how to make a dandelion painting is to gather supplies and get ready to paint.

I will note that this painting can take time to dry between steps, so this is a multi day project. But still really EASY!

The next step of this painting is to decide what colors you want for the background. It is best to pick varying shades from light to dark. I went with more blues but you could go with any color. Below are the paints I used.

This first technique is very easy. Using the tubes of paint put dots of the paint across the canvas. I worked from dark to light with some varying in between. As I said before you can do any colors you prefer. Next I applied my paint brush back and forth across the canvas until the whole thing was covered in paint. This is a good time to add more paint if an area needs to be lightened or darkened. Know that there might be excess paint on the canvas. You could either try to get some of it off or leave it – it will just take longer dry time. I chose to leave mine because it gave it a really nice textural quality. It’s a little hard to see in the pictures but it kind of looks like the wind is blowing.

Allow this to fully dry before moving on to the next step.

How To Make A Super Easy Dandelion Painting
Step Two

The second step is to add the stems of the dandelions. I used the following paints for my stems. When picking the paints, it’s best to use a medium for the middle of the stem and a lighter and darker color for the highlights and shadows.

Draw out the stems on the canvas using the base color. I went for two dandelions but you could do as many or as few as you want.

How To Make A Super Easy Dandelion Painting

Next, using the light and dark colors as highlight and shade, I chose to add the highlight to the left side of the flowers and the shade to the right. I also shaded where the stems cross each other. Finally I added some touches of green to brighten the whole stem up, mostly down the middle of it. I also added little leaves on top of the stems with my light colored paint.

Allow for it to dry before moving on the next step. It shouldn’t take too long, it just depends on how thick the paint was applied.

How To Make A Super Easy Dandelion Painting

Step Three

The third and final step is to add the puffy part of the dandelion. I used the following colors of paint to achieve this.

Going from dark to light, I used my fine paint brush to make the petals of the dandelion. Using the dark color first, focus closer to the stem and increase the size of the flower with each new color. Using the paint brush, start with a dot on the outer rim of the flower and drag your paint brush towards the stem. This will create each petal. I also used the same technique to create some petals around the flowers in the air to make it look like they are blowing in the wind.

How To Make A Super Easy Dandelion Painting
How To Make A Super Easy Dandelion Painting
How to Make a Dandelion Painting

That’s it, I said it was going to be easy! This was the perfect addition to my summer mantel. I just love how it turned out.

Have you tried this how to make a super easy dandelion painting tutorial? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

Check out my series on small bathroom makeover.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 1

small bathroom makeover
Small Bathroom Makeover Part 1

So this is an ugly bathroom…I am not ashamed to admit it. This is what it was like when we moved in three years ago and the time has come for some TLC. While I do have some grand plans for a full renovation, our budget is not allowing for that right now. So to make this a happy space to enter I am doing a mini makeover! My budget for this makeover is $300 and not a penny over (but hopefully a lot less!). The bathroom currently measures at 7’6″ x 4′, plus a tub/shower combo and a small linen closet.

Major Problem Areas

Not being able to do a major renovation right now, I needed to prioritize some of the major problems, which are the following:

  • The painted wall paper – That’s right, the painted wall paper. Hopefully it comes off easily.
  • Drip marks on the walls and trim
  • Old, yellow, dirty flooring
  • The grout line around the counter top – There is this weird stick edging strip around the counter top. I am not sure what it is or why it exists, I just know it needs to go.
  • Dated handles on the vanity
  • Hard to clean louvered closet door
  • Disorganized closet

Make Over Plan

Now that I have identified what I need to fix with this bathroom, it is time to make a plan! The first task is to get the walls ready for painting. This means removing the wall paper, sanding the walls, and filling any holes with joint compound, as well as removing that sticky stuff around the counter. Once all that is done, it is time for paint! I plan on painting the walls a nice soft sea glass color, as well as painting the floor a light gray. I have seen examples out there of people painting their linoleum flooring so I thought I would give it a try. The trim, door, and closet will also be painted.

I’ll then remove and replace the closet door with a new one. I will also replace the handles on the vanity and add shelving above the toilet. Lastly, I will be organizing the closet and getting rid of anything I don’t need.

Existing fixes

We’ve lived in this house for a little over three years. Upon moving in, we made a couple changes in this bathroom and then concentrated on other rooms in the house. The first thing we did was replace the shower head. Among the two bathrooms, one of the heads had a very low flow and the other one had so much pressure that it hurt to be under it. The next thing to go was the toilet. We replaced it with a more eco friendly low flow toilet. The old one ran all the time and used a lot of water. After the toilet we replaced the faucet. It was constantly dripping and so low that it was hard to wash our hands under it. For these reasons, we decided to get a higher faucet.

Thanks for joining us for small bathroom makeover part 1. To see the start of our renovation, check out Part 2. We will be removing wallpaper and painting…say goodbye to this boring ugly bathroom!

Heat Pack for Nursing Moms

Sometimes nursing can really suck! With sore nipples, clogged ducts and engorgement, it’s a wonder that breastfeeding moms can keep it going. But we do, because we love our little ones, and at the end of the day, we know that it is what is best for them

After successfully nursing my little one for over 10 months now, I have learned a couple tricks and have come up with this DIY heat pack that can really be a life saver. I first came up with this design after dealing with a clogged duct at work. You can read my tips about that here.

These heat packs are great for several reasons. First, they are round and slim so they can fit inside a bra top. Second, they have the quadrants that contour to rounded shape. Third, they hold heat pretty well. Finally, this DIY version is eco friendly. I used 100% cotton to avoid micro plastics in the cloth and utilized rice as the filling.

Heat Pack Tutorial

Creating these heat packs should take about 10 minutes, start to finish. See the Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology for further explanations of the terms and techniques.

Supplies

  • 100% cotton fabric (flannel is preferred as it will retain the heat better)
  • Thread
  • White rice
  • Needle
  • Funnel (or similar device)
  • Something to use to cut a circle (bowl, small plate, etc.) For example, I use my breast pads because I am already comfortable with the size)

Process

Step 1

Start by choosing fabric and cutting four identical circles. In my opinion, the best fabric to use for this project is a 100% cotton flannel. The flannel is very soft and will retain the heat better than other materials. This is a perfect project to use up some scrap fabric. For example, the fabric I used was left over from a quilt that I made little one.

Step 2

Next, place right sides together leaving a one inch opening and pin around the edges of the circle. Stitch around the edge of the circle, back stitching at the opening at each end, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Before flipping inside out, clip V shapes into the seam allowance every one inch or so. This will allow some give and make flipping the circles much easier. When cutting the V be careful not to cut the seam.

Step 3

Next, flip the circle inside out and press it flat with an iron. The following step can be a bit tricky… on the right side of the fabric stitch a straight line starting from the middle of the opening left, ensuring to leave space to turn the raw edge in. Stitch a vertical line, back stitching at the end and beginning point.

This line should create two separate sections of the heat pack with each side being able to be accessed by the opening left in the top. Then using a funnel, fill in each section a little less than half way with white rice.

Using pins, push the rice down to the bottom and pin a straight line horizontal to the first line you stitched. Stitch a line across the heat pack – this will form the four quadrants. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the line.

Finally, fill the remaining heat pack with rice on each side. Then pin the opening closed and hand stitch.

Congratulations, you are done! Now repeat with as many heat packs as you’d like.

Using Heat Packs

These heat packs are great and really don’t take much time to assemble. If you are able to use fabric scraps and rice from your pantry, they can be very inexpensive and fall in line with zero waste goals.

To use the heat pack, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. However, don’t microwave for over 30 seconds, otherwise you can run the risk of burning the rice. Then check the level of heat before placing in your top. Reheat as needed.

An extra bonus of these heat packs is they can be used as cold packs, as well! To do this, just place them in a freezer until you are ready to use them.

Have you tired making these or similar heat packs? I would love to see the results! Please comment or post pics below.

Harry Potter Wall Decal

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good! It’s quite a fitting saying for over Little One’s diaper changing station, where he is often up to no good!

We found this wall decal at Target. They have a large online inventory of Harry Potter items and with this item, they have many styles to choose from. We thought that this one was perfect for Little One’s nursery.

The decal was very easy to install and has not pealed or bubbled at all. Little One loves looking up at it, but hopefully not getting any bright ideas!

I have been very impressed with all the items Target has made available for Potterheads. Have you found any great finds? Let me know in the comments below.