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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DIY Tutorial: Marble Run

So with the lazy days of summer upon us, I've been trying to come up with and/or find some crafty ideas to keep my 4 year old out of the dreadful World of Boredom...and AWAY from the t.v. as much as possible!

This is actually an idea I came across a while back, and have since been saving up our empty paper towel rolls in order to create it!  I must confess that this is NOT an original idea of mine.  I was first introduced to the concept at the Phoenix Children's Museum here in Phoenix {by the way, if you're a Phoenix local, and haven't been yet, you simply MUST go to the Phoenix Children's Museum -- sooooooo ridiculously creative and fun for the kids!}.  At PCM they used PVC pipe for this, which I was initially going to emulate, until I came across the same idea but done with paper towel rolls instead - much easier and basically FREE!  I wish I had the original link I found online, but I never bothered to bookmark it because once I saw it, I could tell just by looking at it how it was made {that's what happens when you own every type of craft and supply known to mankind - ha!}.

So it's super easy and not a huge time commitment to make - BONUS!  And, once made, you can always change up the tracks, meaning your kid shouldn't get bored with it very quickly - another huge bonus, and even keep adding more tracks as you keep emptying more paper towel and toilet paper rolls!  So here's what you'll need to get started:

empty paper towel and/or toilet paper rolls/tubes
hot glue gun
duck tape
fridge OR magnetic board
stickers, markers, paint or anything you might want to decorate them with (optional)

Cut the tubes {if desired} into the sizes you want.  We kept some the original length, and cut others down to different sizes ~ it's best to have a variety, I think ~ works better for more angles, tighter corners and smaller spaces.

Next, decorate the tubes however you want!  My son just wanted to draw on them a little, so I let him go at it with some markers.  Then I reinforced sections of the tubes with duck tape {to make them more durable}.  We used plain red tape because that's what he wanted {I also bought some utterly adorable black and white houndstooth duck tape, too, but he wasn't about to have it - darn!  Just have to save it for another project, I guess!}. *NOTE: I covered some of the tubes in the duck tape FIRST and then let him draw on the open/brown spaces ~ this changed order was only to "preserve" his designs.

Now you're going to cut some openings on the ends of your tubes.  I cut two slants toward each other and then cut straight across to connect them.  Make these slanted cuts about 1 -2" into the tube {on both ends}.  *NOTE: You cut the openings ONLY on the "top" side {pick a side and go with it - either will work}.  So you're cutting two openings total PER TUBE - one one either side of the tube, and both of them on the "top" side of the tube.  Hopefully that makes sense....if not, just check out the images, and you'll see what I mean. 

Lastly, take your hot glue and glue on the magnets onto one side of the tube.  Glue them on so that your openings you cut are facing up, as imaged in the picture above.  Also, I would highly recommend buying the large round magnets versus the cuttable kind, because the round ones are stronger, which comes in handy for this particular project. Use at least 2 magnets per tube and preferably near the ends {this will keep your tubes from sliding on the fridge/magnetic board -- it's important that they don't slide because you'll discover part of the fun is getting the tubes lined up perfectly so that your marble can make its way through the entire run without sliding off somewhere!  And if your tube keeps sliding around, it's going to be frustrating for your kids!}
magnet glued onto the side of the tube

Set up the marble runs/rails in a pattern such that all the openings are lined up with one another.  You can set these up on your fridge, a magnetic board or any other magnetic surface!  {We chose the fridge for now, but we'll be moving this activity to my son's magnetic board in his room soon - that way he can have it up all the time, and I won't get tired of looking at it!}  Get your marbles out, and let it go for a ride!  As noted earlier, you'll probably need to adjust the angles and spacing on them to figure out just where they need to be to make it down the entire run - but this is a huge part of the fun!  And once your kiddos have mastered one run, it's time to take them down and start a new one!  We also discovered that you can have different runs feeding into other ones - intersections!  We also decided to put a big cooking pot at the bottom of our run to keep the marble from going everywhere.  {We had started with a little cup there at first, but quickly discovered it's much easier to use a bigger pot, of course!}

Have fun with this one - we're loving it at our house! 

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

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NEW Bridal Couture!! {insert squeal here!!}

Since having introduced our hair accessory line to adam's blankie, I have since been encouraged to start a bridal line of accessories.  Okay  You twisted my arm.  I'll do it!  {EEEEEEEEEK!!}  I LOVE weddings!  In fact, I think if I didn't enjoy creating accessories, I'd probably look into becoming a wedding planner!  So the fact that I had overlooked doing a line exclusively for brides is beyond me - but alas, here I am!  In full "bridal mode!"

So this past week I went shopping for some goodies (kids in tote and all!) and came home to start creating...  I came up with my first four pieces this week and can hardly wait to start designing some more!  After putting some thought into it, I also decided that all pieces will be completely one hundred percent original and unique!  No two will be exactly the same -- because I think that's the way it should be for the beautiful bride on her most special day!

I haven't yet listed these in the shop, mainly because I'm still trying to find a vendor for small shipping boxes.  {I simply refuse to send these in a flat envelope with padding...they're sooo worthy of a box!!}  So once I get those figured out, I'll begin listing on Etsy {whoo-hoo!}!

I am also offering bridesmaid and flower girl hair pieces, along with garters {which can be made to match the bride's hair piece}!!  And, of course, I WELCOME custom orders!  So if you are a bride who would like to get the design process going for all your hair couture needs, feel free to email me at adamsblankie@gmail.com, and I'd be happy to going with you on this joyous and gorgeous adventure!

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Celebrating the 4th of July {Ideas to Inspire!}

Hope you all are having a fantastic week so far and are actually enjoying welcoming in summer around your parts!  As I'm sure you can imagine, we do *not* welcome in summer in Phoenix {well, us "rational" ones, anyway}...we instead dread the upcoming 5 months of sheer blistering heat that torture us desert rats.  For me, the start of summer is the start of my own personal countdown to the winter!
That being said, I've always enjoyed the 4th of July!  Growing up in the midwest, we were able to do our own fireworks - an event that I always looked forward to!  Now that fireworks are legal {to buy yourself} here in Arizona, I'm especially looking forward to introducing my kids to my own beloved childhood tradition!

So to welcome the upcoming festive holiday, I am bringing a post to you from one of my newest & inspirational friends! Heidi from cherry blossoms {be sure ya'll check out her blog - it's full of gorgeous pics and creative ideas!} is one of the most adorable, sweetest people you'll ever meet!  She's highly personable and extremely down-to-earth - two traits I admire greatly!  She is going to kick off a series of guest blog posts I'll be doing throughout the summer months...so please sound off a great big "hello!" to Heidi!  {Here she is...}

 Hello Everyone!
I'm Heidi from cherry blossoms and I am so excited to be guest blogging for Kari today! I officially met Kari a few months ago when I hosted a baby product party in my home and we both learned we are originally from North Dakota! {I know, small world!} I am also a big fan of Kari's adorable headbands {wish I had her talent} and bibs, as my little girl can often be seen debuting her Adam's Blankie couture items.

Being a first time mommy and a working mommy {I'm a school social worker} I found it's important to have outlets...one of my outlets has become blogging. I love to blog about fashion, baby product items, baking {cupcakes!}, party inspiration, and basically anything that fancies my heart at the moment.

With summer in full swing and the 4th of July only days away, I thought it would be fun to feature some inspirational ideas!

Flag banner to greet your guests

Bean bag toss for the kids

a holder for sparklers. {My favorite!}

delicious cupcakes

or how about this delicious red, white, and blue sprinkled cake via paper and cake

Wishing you all a happy and safe 4th of July holiday weekend!

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

Friday, June 17, 2011

{Spring Into Summer} WINNER ANNOUNCED!

A big "thank you!" to all the fans who joined in on supporting our First Annual {yep! check back again next Spring for an even BIGGER adventure!} "Spring Into Summer" giveaway!  It was such a pleasure for me to work with each of the vendors {not to mention discovering some FABULOUS new products, might I add!} involved, and I can only hope that we'll work together on more future endeavors!

Soooo...onto the moment you've all been waiting for....  I drew a winner this morning, and the lucky winner is:

with comment:
"Liked": Hooked by Kristen, L'alfabeto, Nikki Nak, Noel's Paperie, Oh Snap Photog, and Origami Owl."
(The winner has been notified via email and has claimed the prize package.)

What a super duper special day for Miss MamaMimi!!!  I can only imagine the feeling...but it's just gotta be a good one!! :)  And again, thank you to all our fans for entering and supporting us!  And another HUGE "thank you!" to the amazing vendors for supporting this effort, as well! 

This all being said, if I could just add one thing...  Would you all please continue to support these vendors by continuing to check their shops and facebook pages?  They deserve your business, not to mention they offer some fabulously unique and creative products to boot, so please, please do be sure to check them out and keep them in mind for any future purchases!  And, please, please, do not "unlike" them on facebook.  :(  It is so disheartening and will only lead to vendors not getting on board to join in on such giveaways in the future.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

adam's blankie {SPRING INTO SUMMER 2011} giveaway! {over $900 worth in prizes to ONE WINNER!!}

{Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh booooooooooooooyyyyyyyyy!!!} 

Today is THEE Day!!! 

One of you ladies is about to win a BOATLOAD of goodies
from some spectacularly creative and wonderfully beautiful businesses!
I'm so {SO!} excited to get this thing going,
and even MORE excited for whomever one of you super duper lucky ladies is actually going to win

the adam's blankie "Spring into Summer" mega giveaway!!

{{the details}}:

22 vendors have pooled their fabulous products together to give to 
That's right.  One of you is going to win a prize package
valued at $965.00!!!

The products and/or services up for grabs are showcased below,
and the details for how to enter are at the bottom of this post!
We'll let this giveaway rock for ONE WEEK ONLY,
so be sure to get on it NOW!

Alrightee then, let's get started! {big smile!!}

gift card to their shop {$25 value}

gift card to their shop {$25 value}

1 free mini photo session {$150 value}
{valid for a San Diego located shoot only!}

FotoTale Designs (shop)
FotoTale Designs (on facebook)
gift certificate to their shop {$50 value}

Fresh Dirt Photography (shop)
8x10 gallery canvas wrap {$25 value}

Hana's Handmade
Hana's Handmade (on facebook)
gift card to their shop {$15 value }

Hooked by Kristen (shop)
Hooked by Kristen (on facebook)
gift card to their shop {$20 value}

gift card to their shop {$20 value}

Night Owl
Night Owl (shop)
Night Owl (on facebook)
gift card to their shop {$25 value}
one vintage petti romper {size 0-9 months; $15 value}

Noel's Paperie (shop)
Noel's Paperie (on facebook)
one party package {value up to $75} including:
1 dozen custom handmade invites with envelopes
1 dozen matching favor tags
1 dozen matching thank you cards with envelopes

Oh! Snap Photography (shop)

Oh! Snap Photography (on facebook)
one free session {$200 value}

Origami Owl (shop)
Origami Owl (on facebook)
gift card to their shop {$35 value}

gift card to their shop {$35 value}

gift card to their shop {$25 value}

one free camera strap of choice {up to $25 value}

Splash Designs (shop)
Splash Designs (on facebook)
gift card to their shop {$30 value}

The TomKat Studio (shop)
The TomKat Studio (on facebook)
The TomKat Studio (blog)
The TomKat Studio (on twitter)
gift card to their shop {$25 value}

To The Nines (shop)
To The Nines (on facebook)
gift card for some amazing shoes! {$50 value}

gift card to their shop {$40 value}

Alright, so now that you're all salivating to score these mawww-velous finds,
let's start entering to win!!

Entry #1 ~ Mandatory
Visit ALL the shops, then come back here to tell me your TWO favorite products/services from any of them (no, not from each one...just two TOTAL...unless you like more, of course!) :)
Be sure to leave your EMAIL ADDRESS so that we can contact you should you win!

The following are optional entries {to score more chances to win!}.  Please be sure to LEAVE ONE SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ADDITIONAL ENTRY!!
And again, please be sure to leave your email address with your comment/s.

Entries # 2 -5 ~ optional
Post ONE comment for every SIX shops you "like" on facebook {so 4 entries possible here!}.  Per new facebook regulations, we cannot MAKE you leave a comment there {although if you'd like to do so, you're more than welcome to, of course!}; however, in order to claim their prizes, you must "like" their page.
Entry #6 ~ optional
Post about this giveaway on your facebook page, including a link to this page, and leave a comment here with the link to your post!

Entry #7 ~ optional
Blog about this giveaway, including a link to this page, and leave a comment here with the link to your post!

Entry #8 ~ optional
Tweet about this giveaway, including a link to this page, and leave a comment here with the link to your tweet!

Entry #9 ~ optional
Post about this giveaway on a message board, including a link to this page, and leave a comment here with the link to your post!

Winner will be posted on this blog on or around June 16th, 2011.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to their winning.  An email will be sent to all the vendors and/or their social media managers with the winner's information, but it will be up to the winner to contact each individual shop and/or social media manager to claim his/her prize/s. (Details regarding this will be emailed to winner).

Please understand that each business has graciously offered their time and services for this giveaway, so let's all please be appreciative of this, and respectful of the time it might take them in getting their product/services to you.

Thank you all so, SO! very much for your support of adam's blankie!
I am humbled by your support and so thankful for each and every one of you!
And another Hee-YOO-ge "thank you!" to each vendor! I am proudly fond of each of you and your products and very appreciative of you providing your time and talents for this giveaway!

Much love to you all!  And, last but not least, GOOD LUCK!

{{the nitty gritty}}
There is no cash value to this giveaway. Items are non-transferable. Winner assumes all risks and responsibilties associated with them.  adam's blankie is not liable for any risks and/or matters concerning the products/services.
Facebook is in no way related to this giveaway or responsible for anything pertaining to it.  This giveawy is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
As a participant, you are providing information solely to the vendors and not to Facebook.

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