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Monday, March 29, 2010

Still Waiting...

So, just to update you all. The first induction we did (2 days ago) was unsuccessful. The contractions were pretty intense, so they didn't want to do more than one round of the "magical gels." So they sent me home to labor there, but guess what? The contractions stopped almost immediately upon leaving triage. Sooo....scheduled to go in for another induction round in an hour...praying it works this time (with minimal pain, of course!!), and that we have good news to report tonight or in the morning!!

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Paper Easter Egg Tutorial {on a dime}

Okay. Time to take you back to elementary school. Time to papier-mache, that is!

Do you remember how to do this? No? No problem. I've got you covered. And this project will yield the absolute cutest Easter decoration ever...and it's a great activity in which to get your kids involved!

What you'll need:
mod podge
brush (I like the foam ones for this project)
papers (tissue, wrapping, newspaper ~ get creative!)
craft knife

1. Blow up your balloon/s until you get the right size and egg shape you want.

2. Mix 1 part water to 2 parts mod podge into a bowl and stir (good step for your littlest ones to do to participate!).

3. Cut up the papers you're going to use. Try square-sized paper for smaller "eggs" and strips of paper for larger "eggs." You'll need at least 3 layers of paper for your eggs, so make sure to cut up enough...and to make it really special, try using different colors for your inner shell and outer shell. Also, if you're going to use tissue paper alone, you should do about 5 layers of paper {and do your lighter colors on the inside and darker on the outside so that the dark doesn't show through to your shell like ours, unless you like that look, of course!}.

4. Begin adhering the papers to your egg. Make sure to use kraft paper, old newspapers or other beneath your egg/s while you do this step, as this part is messy {we also used a bowl to catch the majority of the mess}! For heavier papers (like newspaper or wrapping paper), try saturating in the glue mixture and then pasting on, and for finer papers (like tissue paper), just put on the balloon, and use your brush to paste on. Repeat this process until all layers have been pasted on.

first layer

second layer

4th and 5th layers...time to dry
5. Let dry about 24-48 hours.

6. Carefully take a craft knife {or similar type of blade} and begin cutting into the egg to pop the balloon. Cut in a zig-zag pattern all the way around the egg (about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom) to create a freshly-hatched-egg look.

7. Remove the ballon, and "voila!" You're done! Instant beauty for your Easter display! Use the egg to store grass {we cut up colored paper into strips and crinkle-folded by hand} & any Easter decor you'd like {I'm currently seeking out a cute chick to place inside!}.

8. Place your egg's top cock-eyed on the top, or at the bottom, or use separately as a dish {see pics below} ~ whatever your Spring-lovin' heart desires!

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Current State of Being

Sooo...as I write this, I am 1 day past my due date and scheduled to be induced this weekend. Of course, I have mixed feelings on this, but ultimately I just want to have the baby, ya know?!? So, I must ask, since I wasn't induced with my first, have you been induced? If so, how was your experience?

That being said, there will be a delay in posts over the next week or so...but, alas, I shall return with some wonderful things for you! What's in store, you ask?

Crafts, tutorials and more GIVEAWAYS! {You may have noticed several "coming soon!" ~ they will come after the products have been tested out on our newborn, once she finally decides to make her fashionably late arrival!}.

Be in touch with you soon!

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Easter {Activities}!

With Easter right around the corner, I thought I'd bring some creative Easter ideas to you! Feel free to post any other ideas you have in the comments, so we can share even more Easter love!

Easter Grass (do one week before Easter!)
Don't you just hate that icky, plasticky grass they sell for Easter baskets? Instead, try the natural stuff -- looks and feels great, not to mention, it won't be getting all over your floors! For your Easter basket, place a plastic liner in the bottom with a few rocks for drainage; then add soil (about 2 inches) and toss in some wheat (or rye grass, although this may take longer to sprout!) seed. Add water, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place in filtered lighting, and remove plastic wrap after 2 days (should see it start to sprout). The grass should be there by Easter!

how beautiful does that grass look?

Easter {Gift} Basket
Take a gift bag in the pattern/color of your choosing (I like bright solids, like teal, orange or fuschia), and cut the top 2/3 off with decorative scissors (scalloped, pinking shears, or make your own design). Cut a small slit on either side, and loop through some coordinating ribbon (the thicker, the more stable it will be) in both slits. Tie a knot to prevent your ribbon (handle) from slipping out. Use this little basket to deliver Easter cookies, treats or otherwise {you can also use as a traditional Easter basket if you're short on one!}. To get the kids in on this craft, let them decorate the basket with stickers, markers, glue and glitter or all of the above!

Bird Nest Cupcakes
Bake cupcakes as normal. Once cool, frost and put coconut (plain or toasted ~ whatever you prefer) onto the entire cupcake's top (this is your "nest"). Then add {small} jelly beans into the center for your "eggs" {cute as a button!}. Just did these yesterday with my 3yo, and he thoroughly enjoyed dipping the cupcakes in the coconut and topping with the jelly beans {although he enjoyed eating them even more}!

here are the nest cupcakes we did...we also did some plain for those who don't like coconut

Marbled Easter Eggs
Just take 1 tablespoon each of oil and vinegar and food coloring of choice into each cup you're going to use to dye the eggs. Add enough water to cover an egg and swirl around with a spoon. Quickly dip an egg in and out and pat dry with a paper towel. Repeat with as many colors as you like. (Read more on this here). Keep adding dye to your cups as necessary to maintain enough for the swirling effect.

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

{Lovely Clusters}

Lovely Clusters is gathering a list of bloggers who also create lovely things ~ brilliant! So I thought I'd give you the link to her blog, and also answer some questions that she has for the bloggers/creators.... And for those of you new to my little blog here, this will be a nice introduction for you to meet and learn a bit more about me!

*Intro to myself...
I am married to a wonderful husband of 7 years, and have a 3yo son and almost-here (as in, DUE TOMORROW!) baby girl on the way! I love the Lord with all my heart and am a type-A {perfectionist, "to-do" lister and non-stop action} personality all the way!

*What I create...
I come from a background in political science, finances and interior design {I know, I know...such a combo}, but have comfortably landed myself into the world of creating {designing and sewing} kids' clothing, baby accessories and children's toys. How did this happen? After having my son and receiving too many baby blue and "charactered" items, I knew I wanted more modern, "couture" baby accessories and clothing, and so began my business, Adam's Blankie {couture baby gifts & bedding}, Haute Tot Couture {couture children's clothing} and Gourmet Play {natural felt play toys, shaped crayons and more}.

*Images of what I create...

double minky, watermelon dots ruffled edge cuddlie blankie

spotted owl bib

"rockstar" crib bedding

"amped up" doodle diddie crayon roll

black and white damask bib and burp set

knottie sensory ribbon lovie blankie in "morning glory"

boys buttoned shirt in "zoology"

girls ruffled dress/shirt in "tweet tweet"

heart-shaped frosted felt sugar cookies

chunky star crayons

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com


Here is a list of the {latest winners} for our giveaways!

K & K's Chubby Cheeks - Shannon - thr*******my@verizon.net
Seventh Generation - Jodi - jod****@comcast.net
Susan Brown's Baby - Bison61 - tir******92@yahoo.com
Crunchy Clean - KC, of course! - mam***C@gmail.com &
Ashley - dem*********ss7@gmail.com

{Thank you} again to all who entered!
If you see your name listed, you should have already been emailed with instructions on how to claim your prize.
We will have more NEW giveaways posting soon...just have to wait for our baby girl to arrive to test most of them out first, though! She's DUE TOMORROW, so it shouldn't be long!!
Thanks for your patience.

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

Monday, March 22, 2010

{Altered Couture}

I have been SO inspired by the magazine, Altered Couture, that I've decided I'm going to start using some of this inspiration to make some "new" clothing! No, not for me {at least, for the time-being}, but instead for our baby girl! There are just so many options for girls' clothing that just are simply not available for boys {e.g., ruffles, lace, pleats, eyelets, ribbons, bows, flowers, etcetera!}, so the sky is the limit, and I'm so stoked about getting started and into the "girly world" for a change!

As soon as I get some items done, I'll show them to you, so that you know what I'm talking about. I'm not sure, at this point, if such clothing pieces will eventually become part of the Adam's Blankie or Haute Tot Couture lines, though...we'll see how it goes. Any requests?!?

"Altered Couture is a 160-page publication dedicated to altered and embellished clothing and accessories. It is filled with gorgeous photographs of altered jackets, t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, skirts, and more, accompanied by easy-to-understand techniques and endless inspiration. You'll find new ways to transform your own garments and accessories into fabulous works of wearable art. Now you don’t have to throw your clothes away! Altered Couture will show you creative ideas on how you can add a twist to your attire with just a few resources: dyes, paints, bleach, rubber stamps, threads, buttons, beads, and more!" ~www.alteredcouturemagazine.com

Happy altering!

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

{Drowning Prevention}


I'm still trying to get some pledges for our Drowning Prevention campaign {an issue very near and dear to my heart...special blog coming in May to give you more details}! So to get you all pledging and in the mood to help out, I'm going to be offering one of those of you who enters a FREE Sushi Bib and Burp Set from our Adam's Blankie store! {As an alternative, please remember that 5% of all our profits from Adam's Blankie are donated to this charity, as well! So you can "donate" by making a purchase there, too!}

Just think...if every blog follower contributed only $5, we'd make our goal!
Let's all "chip in!" and make a difference!

To be eligible to win, you must donate to our cause! Winner to be randomly selected May 15th, 2010.

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

"Fluff the Bum" Cloth Diaper Event

For those of you into cloth diapering {or wondering if it's something you want to try out or not}, as I've recently been getting into, just wanted you to know that Eco-Cheap Mom is going to be hosting a month of cloth diaper giveaways! Starts April 1 and goes the whole month! Enjoy!

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

{babybyrds} Review & GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

babybyrds offers high-quality personalized prints for your children. The designs are all created by Christen, who is a graphic designer, photographer and wedding planner. All this to say, she's got the arts & creativity down pat! Her whimsical prints are modern and sophisticated yet simple. Most feature owls and birds {hence the business name}, although there are other icons available such as giraffes, robots, cars and more. That being said, Christen is always happy to design a custom creation for you, so the sky is the limit, and don't hesitate to ask! All colors are customizable, although, babybyrds has already designed them with what's popular in the baby nursery in mind - that is, lots of chocolate brown and white with pink, blue or green. Additionally, you can add your child's name and birthdate details, too, of course.

We recently received a personalized print for our daughter who is expected to arrive shortly! We chose her initial with an adorable bird on it{the "Chloe" print}, and customized it with pink, black, green and white details. It came packaged extremely well, without any dents or blemishes. The print was created on archival photo quality matte finish paper, meaning it should last and last, and avoid fading, as well.

I completely adore these prints, and am currently looking for the perfect frame for ours! It's completely professional and adds just the right adorable, charming touch to the nursery that we were looking for! These prints would make FANTASTIC baby shower or birth gifts, as they add not only add art and "pop" to the room, but also serve as a quality heirloom to be passed on to baby/child.

BUY IT! Visit babybyrds to purchase your own personalized children's print for your own nursery or child's room; or purchase for a deserving friend! I promise ~ she'll love it!

WIN IT! babybyrds is generously giving one very lucky Haute Tot & Baby Couture reader their very own customized 8x10 choice of print! {open to US & Canadian residents only}.

Mandatory Entry:
You must be {or become} a public HTBC blog follower on Google Friend to enter (1 entry)! Then visit babybyrds to find which print you'd choose if you won! Come back here and tell me what it is in 1 comment (1 entry). Be sure to leave your email address in the entry so that I have a way to contact the winner! If there is NO EMAIL left, another winner will be drawn. Winner will be chosen via random.org and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize or another winner will be chosen. Entrants can enter through April 7th. Winner to be chosen April 8th, 2010 {open to US residents only}.

Additional Entries!
Once you've completed the mandatory entries, do any of the following for more chances to win! {Again, please be sure to leave your email address in each entry!}

*Subscribe to our blog (2 entries possible; 1 via google & 1 via email feedburner (must be activated to count as entry)).

*Include our blog in your blog roll and include URL (1 entry).

*Become a fan of Adam's Blankie on Facebook (1 entry).

*Follow Adam's Blankie on twitter AND tweet about this giveaway with the following tweet, (1 entry - can be done daily):
"Win a children's customizable art or birth print from babybyrds @adamsblankie! Enter at www.hautetotandbabycouture.blogspot.com!"
(Be sure to leave a link to your tweet/s!).

*Post our blog buttons on your blog and include link to blog. (6 entries possible - 3 for Adam's Blankie Etsy shop button and 3 for Haute Tot Couture blog button).

*Blog about this giveaway and include the link to your post (3 entries).

*Enter any of our other current giveaways for one entry each (up to 3 entries possible) and leave a comment letting me know which giveaway/s you entered.

Please note, I was not paid to do this review.
Opinions are strictly my own, and no one or nothing else has influenced me in my review.


Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com

Children at Play.

I believe I've mentioned this place before, but I'm so enamored with it, that I thought it would be worth writing about {i.e., showing} again.

To celebrate our little guy's birthday this past weekend, we took him to the Phoenix Children's Museum. Ooooooh, what a treat this place is! If you're lucky enough to live here, you simply must visit if you haven't done so already! The museum is in an old school-house {NOT your typical schoolhouse either, might I add} that's actually 3 stories tall. Each level has spectacular activities for the kids, including a level especially for about 2-4 year-olds, which our little guy simply adores and where he'd spend his whole day if he could.

What I am so impressed with is how they utilize the simplest of everyday utensils and tools to make the vast majority of their amazing toys and activities! They have chandeliers made from silverware, ball rails made from cups and PVC pipes, & reinforced actual grocery containers for use in their market/shopping center. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.... But, alas, a picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, so I thought the pictures we took would be more inspirational than anything I could write about it! Enjoy! And let me know, is there a fabulous children's place in your neck of the woods? We'd all love to hear {and see, if you have pics!}...afterall, we all travel now and then, and just may stop by if we're around your parts....

part of their "fort" room

learning to create with their "wooden tree" toy

in the "noodle forest," one of our little guys' absolute favorites!

a glimpse into the market {grocery shopping} center; there are shopping carts, checkouts with registers and real "beeping" sounds, as well as what looks to be a loading/unloading truck {mural} complete with rolling rails to slide the groceries along.

what a clever gate!

isn't this "shoe wall" adorable & oh-so-creative?

washing up in their "art room" ~ several tables with whatever the craft/s of the week are, along with a huge castle to paint, and groovy music to boot!

kids' "plinko" game ~ where will it drop?!

the "ball room" ~ another favorite of ours with loads of rails, chimes, and ways to release and watch balls rolling, rolling, rolling!

how cute is this bathroom sign?

put the puffy balls in, and let the air shoot them through the "tunnels" and out the hole! {you can even change which direction the air blows, and hence, which course the balls will take!

one of the "mirrors" above the sinks in the bathroom

this photo doesn't do this justice, but this shows what's yet to come...part of their amazing, 3-story "climber" due this summer! can't wait! {don't you love the flying bathtub?!}

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at adamsblankie@gmail.com