Super Bowl 2020 Commercial Bingo

HEY GUYS!

This super bowl commercial bingo has been a big hit at our house, please enjoy these 15 pages for you to use at your own Super Bowl Party!

This is a great way to keep the kids engaged during a game that they could honestly care less about – HA! 

super-bowl-2020-bingo.psd

I used this website (ispot.tv) to get a list of super bowl advertisers; with that and a bit of photoshopping, I was able to make my own version of the commercial bingo game.

Grab this and a few prizes and you’re ready to go! ENJOY!

Click this link below for the PDF to print at home:

Superbowl 2020 Commercial Bingo

 

Big Sister Gift Bag

When we were expecting our son, I knew I wanted to do something special for our daughter since I knew we were going to be separated for a little bit while my husband and I were both in the hospital following my c-section.

I put together a little gift bag and gave it to my parents to give to her the morning her brother was born as a reminder that we loved her and to get her a bit more excited about meeting our new little guy!

This bag consisted of a few different things that I thought would be fun for her and would go along with the new baby theme….

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Our gift bag included:

  1. Big Sister T-Shirt; These are very readily available nowadays! I was able to find a really cute one at Old Navy but a quick online search would surely send you in the right direction.

  2. Baby Themed Stickers; I found these at our local Michael’s

  3. Fruit Snacks; Our daughter is OBSESSED with fruit snacks! Always good for little kiddos to have extra snacks around, especially while waiting at the hospital!

  4. “I Am a Big Sister” by Caroline Jayne Church; I found this book on Amazon.com and it is absolutely ADORABLE! I especially loved that it was a little girl with red hair who was getting a new little brother – seemed fitting!

  5. Disposable Camera; Admittedly, she was a bit young but pretty much anyone can handle taking pictures with a point and shoot camera…. right??

    • Just as a heads up, not many places will develop disposable camera film these days but our local Walgreen’s was able to send it out to be developed. BUT the photos came in REALLY grainy – so be prepared for it to be more of a novelty item rather than heirloom quality photos. Our daughter did love being our personal “photographer” so as far as entertainment value goes it was awesome!

  6. Big and Little Stuffed Animals; I found these two puppies that are the same just the larger and smaller version of each other, I labeled them as “One puppy for you” and “One puppy for your little brother” so she had something special to give her little brother. I hope that these will be cherished for many years to come!

Puppies

  1. Lip Smackers Chapstick; I was looking for another filler item and what little girl doesn’t love chapstick??? Am I right????

  2. Small Pink Backpack; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to pack everything in but I found this sweet little pink backpack at Michael’s on sale for like $2, it was a win win! But any type of gift bag, etc. would work too!

Backpack

I hope that you’re able to have as much fun putting this together and customizing it for your kiddo as well, it was a BIG HIT!

 

Genetic Testing: Nuchal Translucency and False Positives

So I’ve been debating for a while whether or not to write this post but the more and more I thought about it, the more and more I figured it’s better to share in hope that I can provide information or insight that can help someone else out there?

I am absolutely convinced that the false positive statistics are far higher than the doctor’s offices claim.

I was told that there was a 5% chance of this happening, and yet…

it happened to me twice?


The general timeline for pregnancy is: 

  1. Get a positive at home test result.
  2. Call your Dr’s office and schedule your first appointment, usually after 8 weeks,  most miscarriages happen very early on so waiting gives them a bit of time to make sure the pregnancy is indeed viable.
  3. Schedule appointments with your OB/Midwife every 4 weeks from weeks 8-28
    1. Generally you’ll have an ultrasound around week 20 to check the anatomy and determine the gender of the baby (if you want to know of course!)
  4. Schedule appointments with your OB/Midwife every 2 weeks from weeks 28-36
    1. Rh Testing is typically done at 28 weeks; this test is to determine your blood type and whether you are Rh Negative (ie: A-, B-, etc.), if you are Rh negative and there is a chance your child could be Rh positive, you will get a Rhogam shot to prevent issues of cross-contamination between your and your baby’s blood. See this link for more information about Rhogam and Rh-Negative Moms on whattoexpect.com
  5. Schedule appointments with your OB/Midwife every week from weeks 36-Birth (Generally 40 weeks but that is not a hard and fast rule).
  6. If the doctor’s have any concerns about your pregnancy you may schedule a C-Section for a number of reasons; one example is if your baby is breech – when the baby has not switched positions to head down in preparation for birth and can no longer move due to their size and how far along you are in the pregnancy. Typically a C-Section is scheduled at 39 weeks to lessen the chance of you going into labor naturally.
  7. You will then either deliver the baby via vaginal birth or C-Section. It’s a fact ladies, best to face it now haha!
  8. YAY! You have a baby!!!!! Let the real fun begin!

Please bear in mind that this is a very rough guideline for pregnancy – each one is different and there may be certain complications and issues that come along the way, and your doctor may do things much differently than mine – but generally speaking this is how your pregnancy will be structured. 

Okay so, back to my point. When I was pregnant with our daughter, I was over the moon and couldn’t wait for my first appointment to make things “real.” Those first few weeks seemed to be the slowest of my life! BUT 8 weeks did indeed come.

I had this vision in my head of how I thought things were going to go:

I’d go in, they’d do an ultrasound, we’d see that beautiful baby and hear the heartbeat and find out what we were having. Okay so maybe I wasn’t quite that naive but the fact is, if you’ve never done this before, you just don’t know!

So imagine my soul being crushed when I found out that that they weren’t going to do an ultrasound until 20 WEEKS?!?!?

  • Part of the reason for this delay is due to my particular doctor’s office, I’ve heard of others where it is common place to do one earlier to check on everything.
  • It is also fairly common to do an early ultrasound if you’re unsure of when you may have conceived, but if you’re fairly certain of your lady dates than this is kind of a moot point and unnecessary.
  • And of course insurance also has many parameters which dictate whether a costly ultrasound is deemed medically necessary so throw that extra wrench in there! Thanks insurance!!!

The next topic of discussion at your 8 week appointment is determining which (if any) types of genetic testing you would like to do. The earliest genetic testing we were offered was Nuchal Translucency which is done sometime between 11-14 weeks. This testing was covered by our insurance and included my hook word – ultrasound. This test is done, in particular, to determine your risk for Down Syndrome in addition to other chromosomal abnormalities.

I was off in la-la land, not even remotely considering that there could be a problem with our precious baby, all I heard was “you’re telling me I get to SEE our baby?!?! SIGN ME UP!”

I was virtually skipping out of the appointment being so excited that at our very next appointment we would get to see our baby 🙂

So there we were, 12 week appointment and we got to see our baby!

Everything looked great, baby looked good and nothing was of any concern to the ultrasound tech while we were there. The actual Nuchal Translucency was within normal range. The Nuchal Translucency Test is done by measuring the fluid at the back of your baby’s neck while their skin is still translucent – or see through. The typical range is below 3mm per our doctor. See this link for more information regarding testing

The NT Testing actually measures 3 separate items to determine your risk factor so you’ll go through the ultrasound in addition to a blood test:

  1. The actual Nuchal Translucency Measurement (done during the ultrasound)
  2. Whether your HCG Levels are elevated – this is the hormone that your body creates when you are pregnant – if it is present you will get a positive at home pregnancy test (side note: there are no false positive pregnancy tests, if that hormone is present you are pregnant, false negatives however, do happen) – elevated results could indicate a higher risk for Down Syndrome. (Measured via blood test)
  3. Whether your PAPP-A levels are low – this is a protein that is also measured and can be an indicator for a higher risk of down syndrome. (Measured via blood test)

Okay so that was A LOT of info, and please, please, please bear in mind that I am not in any way shape or form a medical professional, this is simply what I’ve learned from both my first and second pregnancies. 

After the testing and doctor’s appointment I left with a handful of “pictures” of our kiddo (albeit, no idea about gender yet, from what I’ve read and been told it’s virtually impossible to know the gender via ultrasound until at least like 15 weeks and beyond, even then it’s a guess until you get that money shot!)

Then a few days later, I received a phone call. My risk for Down Syndrome was found to be 1:180, I didn’t care that that left me with a 0.6% chance, I was scared.

Again, the thought that the test would be anything but a photo op was not something that I had entertained for a single second. 

The next step was to schedule an appointment with a perinatologist, they got me in within the next day or so. Of course, in my mind, it was of the utmost importance to get in me ASAP because something was definitely wrong. The perinatologist we were referred to could not have been any nicer, he calmly explained that it is common for these tests to result in false positives. They did an ultrasound in their office and confirmed that NT measurement looked good, that the nasal bone was visible (another good sign) and then talked to us about the next step.

The least invasive of the options we were given was the MaterniT21 TestAmniocentesis was another option but that would require a big needle and has a (slight) chance of causing a miscarriage. The MaterniT21 Test is a non-invasive blood test with virtually no risks to you or the baby so we opted to go that route.

As a heads up, this test is not always covered by insurance and documentation has to be provided to deem it “medically necessary.” Your provider should do everything they can to ensure you don’t get any surprise bills after the testing.  However; if you’re over 35 or considered high risk it is considered common practice do to this testing from the get-go without jumping through the other testing hoops, so insurance may not be as much of an issue. 

They told us the test results would take up to two weeks to get back, I can honestly say those were one-two of the most agonizing weeks of my life, the uncertainty was awful. BUT, we finally got the call.

I was indeed part of the 5% that get a false positive during their NT Testing.

On the plus side, they asked me “Do you want to know the gender of your child?” UM YES!!!!

The fact that you can find out the gender through this test is often why insurance is so picky about whether it is medically necessary or not – some people opt to do it to find out the gender weeks before an accurate ultrasound prediction can be made.

And right then and there, I found out on the phone, by myself, (in retrospect it was extremely anticlimactic but I was SO EXCITED!!!) that we were having a girl.

Seeing as I tend to have the most complicated, un-complicated pregnancies… I also have a negative Rh blood type and said daughter was breech. But those are stories for another day – HA!

Anywho, fast forward to our second pregnancy.

Sitting in the office, discussing the options for genetic testing, my head said – don’t do it. I asked my doctor if a previous false positive gave me a higher chance of having a another and he said no, he’d never heard of that. We discussed that the NT testing was still one of the best screening methods and the least invasive, etc. etc. etc. And while I’d done my best to convince my doctor he should let me, I was told I couldn’t just do the MaterniT21 Test from the get-go and that insurance would consider it an elective procedure due to my age and lack of high risk status (don’t get me wrong, it is an absolute blessing to not be considered high risk!).

And yet, I decided to go through with it again?!?

That darn ultrasound!

Was I really that desperate to confirm that there was actually a baby in there – YES!!! And I truly figured, well I guess I’ve already gone through a false positive and that sucked but we were okay. And if there was a real positive, we’d like to know in advance. But the fact was, the numbers were in our favor that everything would come back hunky dory and we would get to see our little nugget.

So I went in for the scan and the blood test, again – everything initially looked good.

And then I got the phone call.

This time our risk was 1:115 based on the testing. (0.9%) Again, still scary. 

But this time I wasn’t scared.

I was angry.

I was so incredibly upset with our doctor for telling me this wasn’t going to happen again, at insurance for not considering the blood test necessary, at myself for going through with the testing in the first place…. I could go on for days about all the reasons I was upset. But I was going to take this in stride to the best of my abilities. (Still shed some tears but who wouldn’t? Especially when pregnant and extra hormonal HA!)

My husband and I got in the next day for testing, the same perinatologist saw us and was suprised to see us come through his door, again, but was still just as accommodating and comforting as the first time. He even told us he wouldn’t require the same follow up with him should we find out this was a false positive again. And he went through the spiel all over, again, about options and we settled on the MaterniT21, again.

We got the phone call after 1 week, more accurately, on a Saturday night – this was my first indicator that everything was good – no way would they call on a Saturday night and tell us bad news!

And…. I WAS RIGHT! YAY, YAY, YAY!!!! FALSE POSITIVE #2! I had beaten the odds twice by becoming part of the (so-called) 5%!

This time, when they asked if I wanted to know the gender I requested that they write it down and I could pick up the envelope when we were ready and together. Um yeah…. that lasted until Monday when they opened…. But more importantly, my husband and I could open it together. A BOY!!! YAY!

I guess my hope of this post is to give others out there a bit of insight into the general pregnancy timeline, and to talk about genetic testing and the risk and results of false positives. And also, if you’re ever wondering why someone was able to find out the gender or their baby before you could find out the gender of yours, it’s often because they’re going through more than they might be telling you. Gender is just simply a bonus to all of that heart-wrenching extra testing.

I know that this story could have taken a much different turn if we had gotten an actual positive result and although we would have embraced any outcome in stride, we were blessed with a healthy daughter and are praying for another healthy baby at the end of this pregnancy.

And while I feel like it may be overly dramatic to focus on what happens when you find out everything is okay (and you may be thinking the same thing, I wouldn’t blame you one little bit), any way you spin it – it was scary going through that, especially twice.

And if this post eases the mind of just one other lady out there going through the same thing, it was worth writing.

Love,

Niki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Words: Gooey. Butter. Cake.

My husband is from St. Louis and before I met him I didn’t even know this stuff existed.

For almost 30 years I was truly missing something amazing!

Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is terrible for you. Like really, really bad….

When you see the sheer amount of powdered sugar needed for this recipe your teeth may already start hurting…

But, it is AMAZING!

Every time we go back to visit we pick some up at a local grocery store or bakery. And we drive it all the way back home, sort of…..

I’d love to tell you that we are able to control ourselves and not break into it on the drive home but that would be a lie. To be honest, it usually doesn’t even make it into the car in one piece!

I was looking to make this at home and ended up finding an amazingly simple and easy recipe for St. Louis Style Gooey Butter Cake so that we could have it anytime we wanted. Let me tell you, having the ability to make it anytime is also dangerous. When I was on maternity leave we may have gone on a little bit of a Gooey Butter Cake bender….

Anywho, this stuff is amazing, with the incredible condensed cake base and delicious sugary topping the only flavor I could compare it to would be like donuts.

Like if donuts decided to jump into the form of a lemon bar, minus the lemon of course! Haha

I definitely recommend you checking out the recipe here if you haven’t clicked the other link already! Especially if you’ve ever had any in St. Louis. This recipe is fantastic and tastes better than some of the ones I’ve tried even back in Missouri and it couldn’t be any more simple!

This was a special Father’s Day treat, you’ve got to restrict yourself to special occasions otherwise you’ll be hurting but I think every once and a while is okay.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day and enjoys this stuff as much as my husband and I do!

A New Bike! & Rediscovering a Lost Love

I had a bike. A really, really, really old bike. Like embarrassingly old! Like junior high old….

In my defense it was a pretty sweet Schwinn, they even gave me a whole $25 for it as a trade in. The same amount as an old, old, old Burley bike trailer that we got for free at a garage sale and was falling apart, actually, EPICALLY falling apart.

(Okay so I may be a bit bitter about the low valuation but I wasn’t expecting them to give me anything so I’ll take it regardless! HA!)

My husband loves to ride his bike and my old mountain bike was just not cutting it so it was time to upgrade. He has an awesome road bike and hauls around town so my only demand was that new bike allow me to keep up but also that he slow down, I want to relax and enjoy the ride, not race one another!!!

I knew I wanted something fun that I would be excited to ride, a little bit vintage and functional. On sale is always a plus too!!! This beautiful little bike fit the bill perfectly. It’s fun, functional, quick and comfortable.

I know people always say “it’s like riding a bike” you never forget, but man was I nervous! All those people watching me (or so I thought…) but it was the exact opposite, I hopped on and was on my way.

With my husband and daughter – dealing with intense separation anxiety, sorry kiddo! – watching me ride off into the sunset, or rather the blazing hot sun in the store parking lot. I absolutely fell in love!!! I used to ride my bike everywhere, I was the last to get my license of all my friends and took full advantage of the freedom I was allowed at the time. But I never thought I’d be excited to ride again and yet, it happened!

When we got home I could not wait to ride around again, we put the tot down for a nap, my husband adjusted my seat and I was off for a test ride. 15 minutes later I returned haha!

I’m so happy to report that I’m still excited about my new bike and now that we’ve officially replaced the old tattered Burley with a new spangled Burley Bee, I can’t wait for all the adventures to come.

The tot loves her new ride, I’m in love with mine.

But most importantly, my husband is excited we can all enjoy his hobby together.

So long story short…if you were like me and you’ve thought for years and years about getting a new bike – just do it! And don’t worry about looking silly in your helmet, they’ve come a long way since I was in junior high….

This Nutcase Helmet is pretty sweet right?!?! The perfect combination of safe, stylin’ and a little bit dorky, just like me 😉

Hope to see you in the bike lane friends!!!

Cheap Entertainment for a Toddler; BEANS!!!

In my constant search for entertainment for the toddler I’ve tried EVERYTHING! And I am in complete and utter shock of the things that stick and are the most fun to the kiddo.

For instance junk mail, I hate it but she thinks it’s soooo much fun. Shoes; not only the cutest thing to hear her say but endless entertainment! Tupperware, such a blast!!! In particular the two blue pieces that look like they should go together but don’t, that would annoy the beegeezus out of me but she loves it – who knew?!?

Anywho, this one was a doozy!

I picked up a couple of bags of pinto beans a cheap set of measuring spoons and cups and tossed them in a big tupperware tub. Done and done! Well, almost. I had tried this previously with rice and let’s just say that was less than ideal…. I’m still finding loose pieces floating around!

So I looked around and found one last integral part, a box. One big enough to put the tupperware AND the tot in! Which means… contained chaos!!!! Yay!!!!! Baby in a Box with Beans!!! HA

This was such great entertainment!!! Better than I had ever expected which was an absolute godsend when I worked from home! But you just have to keep an eye out for spoonfuls in the mouth, no bueno. The kiddo has just mastered using a spoon with her meals so she was super excited to “eat” with her spoons. Caught her a couple times which wasn’t as terrible as I imagined it could have been.

What I didn’t anticipate though was the dog! To her it was an over-sized dog dish with lots of fun things to chomp on – also no bueno….

But overall I’d still consider this a success! Less than $10 spent and probably at least an hour to focus on something else = win, win win!!!!

Beans, beans the magical….toddler entertainment! Have fun friends! 😊

10 Tips for a Toddler Easter Basket

First off, I must admit, I am no expert as this is the first Easter I’ve put together a basket for my daughter….last year I decided my daughter was too little to get into it – we’d just go to my parent’s house and enjoy dinner and the day together!

Yay!!! Sounded great!

…..Until I got to my parents and sure enough -my mom had assembled a basket for her darling granddaughter…. Honestly, it was so sweet but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about it. I had convinced myself the Easter basket was unnecessary and decided to wait until she was older, probably a totally rational thought but one I ended up regretting.

A little background on me…. I LOVE EASTER!!!!

It has always been my favorite holiday!

I’m not necessarily a religious person. The big draw has always been the beautiful spring setting, the more low-key family vibe without the hustle and bustle of Christmas and Thanksgiving, and duh, Easter Baskets! As I got older the family joke became the underwear my mom always put in our plastic Easter eggs, you knew you could count on stocking up for the year!

Anywho, did I mention I love Easter?

And I was bound and determined to design the best Easter basket I could come up with for my daughter!

However, I’m also an extremely frugal (let me clarify, I like coupons… but not so frugal I can’t go overboard – HAHA!) and functional so of course I had to pragmatically develop my game plan and here’s what I came up with….

1. NO CANDY;

Not because I’m that insanely concerned about the tot having candy, but I am concerned about her scarfing down a few m&ms too fast and choking or getting too hyped up and skipping naps. First rule of motherhood, avoid anything possible that could interfere with nap time/bed time! 

2. NO EASTER GRASS;

We’ve all seen that stuff – the plastic, stringy, colorful filler. Well all I see is a mess. Enough said haha!

3. INCLUDE SOMETHING SENTIMENTAL;

When I was little there wasn’t another Charlie Brown Movie that I loved more than the Easter Beagle. I cannot wait to watch this with my daughter, to hear her giggle and (hopefully) love it as much as I did, priceless!

4. KEEP THE ITEMS NEUTRAL;

Having a bunch of specifically Easter items puts a shelf life on items – ie: Pick out items that have a rabbit or eggs, etc. instead of Happy Easter plastered all over them. This ensures you’ll get better use of the items in the long run, yay! Gotta suck as much life as you can out of every item for your kiddos, goodness knows they outgrow things fast enough on their own! Which brings me to my next topic….

5. CLOTHES;

Kiddos need clothes. Kiddos wear clothes for like two weeks before jumping sizes. So adding clothes is like killing two birds with one stone! Win, win!!!

6. LEARNING TOYS;

Again something that you could feel good about giving your precious little toddler. In my case an egg puzzle that teaches colors in both English and Spanish!

7. LOCALLY SOURCED ITEMS;

This would help your basket be a bit more unique. I ended up finding that adorable little puzzle and realizing it was made locally, so not only did I find an awesome toy, I can feel good knowing I supported a neighbor by picking it up.

8. LARGER PLASTIC EGGS;

My daughter puts everything, and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING in her mouth! Rocks are a favorite delicacy much to my chagrin. GRRRR! So…

The bigger the eggs the better haha!

SIDE NOTE: I will watch my daughter with the necklaces! Although she hasn’t shown as much interest in putting those in her mouth as her beloved rocks thankfully!

9. FUN PACKAGING;

I specifically used clear cellophane not only because I had it already but it is noisy and fun to play with, almost another gift in itself! I also tied the clothes up to give her more things to open and play with.

10. A REUSABLE BASKET;

A coworker and I were talking about this…the baskets you pick up, use once and toss. So wasteful and honestly I’m not a huge fan of baskets that look like the rainbow threw up on them. Instead I picked up a chicken wire basket (with a 40% off coupon of course) that I could use as a decorative item in my home after the holiday is over. And then as an Easter basket next year, and the next year, and the next year, etc.

Hope the tot likes it as much as I do 😁

…..I also threw in the Hedgehog with Bunny Ears because honestly, who wouldn’t want a Hedgehog with Bunny Ears?!?! No one, that’s who. Haha!!!

SIDE NOTE: I was also a bit worried about the bunny on a stick but figure as soon as she gets to the cellophane she’ll forget all about the skewer…Plus it was so cute I couldn’t resist and (OCD side speaking here) tied all of my colors together of course!

While I spent WAY too much time planning and shopping and assembling with just this cute little basket to show for it, I hope all of that effort will help you design an awesome basket in just a fraction of the time!

Wishing you and yours the very best this weekend and HAPPY EASTER!!!

How to Protect Other Laundry from…DARK JEANS!!! (THE HORROR!!!)

Okay so this may be a refresher for some people out there but I NEVER knew these existed until recently, however; I have to share my latest miracle product….

(……..Drum roll please…….!)

Shout Color Catchers!!!!

Alright so this may possibly be the dorkiest post I’ve ever made (although that’s debatable…haha). BUT these things are truly a lifesaver for my poor, innocent other clothing that was just along for the ride with my pesky dark jeans!

In particular, brand new, dark jeans. YIKES!

I can’t bring myself to wash a load of laundry without the darn thing filled to the brim!

1. Because I’m busy and need to the maximum amount of laundry in the least amount of time.

2. Because I always have WAY too much laundry to do.

3. Because I like wrinkly clothes, who doesn’t, right?!? (JK, but laziness does come at a cost…sorry dress pants!)

Anywho, if you haven’t used these things before I strongly recommend you to pick some up. Your clothes will thank you!

Gone are the days of pink tinted shirts, or the green hat/boots that worked great for my daughter on St. Patty’s but used to be a lovely white, and no more dark stains on lighter sweaters!

Look at how much dye these little sheets picked up, did I mention they start out white?!?

I still don’t have the cojones to mix my light and dark clothing but I’m grateful to know I don’t have to worry about separating my clothing any further – WOOHOO!!!!

Sounds like a win to me!

20 Free Minutes? Yes Please!

20 Free Minutes Website.jpg

Lately I’ve been completely dumbfounded by the pile of toys going untouched in our home. Like many other parents – I stocked up on everything I could think of…educational toys, musical toys, toys that spin, stacking toys, blocks, stuffed animals, etc. etc. – you get the idea. Tons and tons of different things to stimulate a growing child’s mind. Only the best for your baby right?!?

And yet, all our kiddo wants to play with are things like the dog food/water, my glasses, everything in my purse (emptied and dumped on the floor), anything and everything in the dishwasher (always dirty of course), Tupperware, pots and pans, toilet paper, the toilet, trash cans, etc. etc – Really, I could go on for days about the multitude of items she goes after that I’d rather she didn’t!

I saw an idea the other day on Pinterest  where a mom had put cut pieces of fabric into an old wipes container, tied them together for the toddler to pull out just like a real tissue box. As I was scouring my home looking for an extra plastic wipes container, brainstorming running out to buy wipes simply for the container – thanks to the millionth cold I’ve had this winter – I used my last Kleenex. DUH! Free and convenient container. WIN WIN!

Then I started to think about the fabric and remembered a bunch of fat quarters I’d cut pieces off of back in the day to make pacifier clips, SCORE! No money down, that’s not something I can always say for my little DIY projects (HA – understatement of the century!!!)

Considering how anal I am this next part is a pretty big step towards recovering from my OCD; I actually used scissors and raw cut squares, rectangles, strips – whatever (no measuring, marking or cutting mat)! It probably helped that my daughter was crying at the time but we’ll chalk this up to a breakthrough regardless…..

And also, the tying them all together – ain’t nobody got time for that! Just shove those fabric scraps in the tissue box and….VOILÀ!!! Done, done and done!

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The cheapest, easiest, and fastest DIY toy yet!

I can honestly say that my daughter enjoyed this more than all of the fancy toys in her toy box, at least at this particular moment…. who knows what the next 20 minutes hold. For now, I’ll just relish in the fact that I got her to chill out and I got to sit. It’s the little things right?

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Taking Back Our Closet!

Okay so by my own admission, I will admit that our daughter has an obscene amount of clothing! Like kind of out of control. In my defense, everything is so flipping cute!!!

This weekend I decided to tackle the massive amount of clothing that had “accumulated” in her closet… Just so happens that she has the only walk in closet in our house on the smallest bedroom, weird design feature?

Anyways, in my most frantic moments while the tot has been napping or during the ten minutes I had to file through her clothes while she proceeded to pull everything out of her drawers, I was able to toss the clothes that no longer fit into the corner, close the door and forget about them! Yay for procrastination!!!

However, the time had finally come to address the pile. Much to my dismay, I also managed to mix all of the sizes together…

While it was a fun trip down memory lane looking at all those adorable outfits (especially the newborn ones *swoon*) it was a daunting task to say the least. But at the end of the day, it’s done, hallelujah!

Closet Website

To make the clothing more manageable I used

Ziploc Vacuum Storage Bags.

These things are an absolute godsend – took sheer chaos and turned it into an organized stack for future use, man do I hope that if we have another baby it’s a girl…but in the meantime, I’m just glad to have our closet back!!!

IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you FOLD the clothes prior to using the vacuum function, I was overly excited and overestimated the bags abilities, if you don’t fold it won’t get much smaller – so if you hate folding clothes, I’m sorry in advance!!!