Professional kid wrangler

Professional kid wrangler

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Handy 'upcycle' chalkboard sign (No chalkboard paint required)

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Handy 'upcycle' chalkboard sign

(No chalkboard paint required)

   Anyone who knows me personally recognizes my need to find a bargain. I hate paying full price for anything, especially things I can make myself. I love thrift stores and finding second hand deals. So when my partner and I decided we needed one of those fancy chalkboard signs for shows, I wanted to try to make us one for as little money as possible.

  The first thing I did was visit our local Value Village. Although I much prefer Bibles for Missions in Bowmanville (I haven't had the chance to visit the Oshawa location yet), I was pressed for time (as always since I have three kids under five) and I knew Value Village would have what I need.

  Although most tutorials advise painting a mirror, I decided against it because of the weight and the possibility it could break. Instead I chose this little gem, which I believe is a calendar holder. I liked that it was made from nice wood and that there were two separate areas for writing.

I had some leftover chalk paint from Michaels, I bought this with a 40 per cent off coupon from my Michaels app. I used it to repaint the front of a small dresser and for this project and I still have half a tub left. I used a small sponge paintbrush and a small bristle brush. The sponge brushes go on sale at Michaels 10 for a $1 and the bristle brush is out of a pack from Dollarama. I happened to have both on hand.

For the blackboard part I did not want to pay big bucks for blackboard paint and I knew I had some black Dollarama paint kicking around the house. I tried some free Facebook pages to get some grout but then remembered my dad recently refinished his bathroom. I only needed about a tablespoon so my pops was happy to give me a little making my chalkboard paint cost me less than a dollar.

The first thing I did was do a first coat of the chalk paint on the outside wood area using the large sponge brush. If you leave it with just one coat it will have the 'shabby chic' look, but because I am a perfectionist control freak I had to do a second layer so it was completely covered.

Next I took the top of an old margarine container and poured some black paint on it. I then added about a spoonful of grout and used my (washed out and clean) sponge brush to mix it and apply

And that's it. I used the finer brush to clean up any mistakes and to do the edging. The little bit of grout in the paint turns it into a chalkboard! This cheap project is fun and easy. Perfect for anyone looking to add a little fun to their space.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

10 things a parent has to do that are grosser than diapers

10 things a parent has to deal with that are grosser than diapers

Many falsely believe changing diapers are the biggest cross parents of young children are forced to bear. As a mother of three girls under five, I can tell you that on a daily basis, diapers are the least of my worries. Sure it's still gross. I mean, no parent upon seeing their toddler flee to that "special pooping corner" feels glee at the imminent stink and feeble attempts to change them before they sit. Yet it's still the least of my day to day disgusting tasks. Many would falsely assume three little girls wouldn't be that disgusting to deal with. Well, my friend, you are underestimating my brood.

10. The stinky milk bottle you find in the back of your van.

Ever smelled sour milk? Have you ever had to actually open it's container and attempt to pour its contents down a (hopefully) clean sink. Just thinking about it is enough to make me throw up in my mouth a little. I have thrown out many a good bottle because I just didn't have enough strength that day to try and force those disgusting chunks down the drain with a spoon.


9. puke (baby)

Yes, I have divided this category by age. I was lucky, I didn't give birth to a puker until my third (and coincidentally last) child. Before little E came into my life I didn't know the joys of spit up. But, she didn't spit up after meals like most babies. Instead she would wait a good 40 minutes and then puke about a cup of hot partially digested breast milk down my shirt in the middle of Walmart. How does one deal with this type of situation? In my case, I had no choice but to attempt to wipe it off and shop on.



Nothing makes you feel like more of a failure as a parent as a child who fails to wipe his or her own butt. Having to pick up and deal with a my little pony crap crusted panty is enough to make any parent shed a little tear of shame.


7.The potty

Just when you think you have freedom from diapers a new face of gross hits your home. A plastic chamber pot that you will have to simultaneously beg and bribe your child to use so you can then pour it's contents into the toilet (watch for splash back!) then clean it and fight the urge to burn this plastic torture device.

6. Wiping your kid's butt

From the moment your kid does their first "dookie" on the potty you feel this sense of freedom from diapers until you realise you are still doing the gross half of the diaper job with no real end in sight. You can try to end this dirty chore early but then you will be faced with every parent's Nemesis (see number 8.)


5. Boogers

From the moment they are born until they finalise get it together and learn how to blow their nose, your kid's boogers are your problem. Literally. By starting their life out with you picking out these offensive creatures, naturally they graduate to sneezing in your face and then wiping their noses on your shirt five minutes before you walk out the door.

4. puke (kid)

The only thing worse than having the stomach flu is when your kid has it. I can recall a lovely visit with my grandparents when my daughter suddenly began barfing partially digested raisins all over the house. My grandparents were up and out the door before you can say, 'grab a bucket.'

3. Poop-in the tub

My oldest daughter did this little ditty on the reg. From the time she was born we would know the bath was done when the water went brown. As she aged we would be alerted to the 'floaters' by the screams of her sisters. There is nothing as humbling as having to grab a floating log with your bare hand.

2. poop on your hand

Before you can even change a diaper a seasoned parent will check it. Often the method involves pulling the diaper to look down at the bum and often this involves getting a handful of poop. Often in public, always completely gross.


1. Poop on the walls

The grossest thing that ever happened to me as a parent was when my middle daughter had a short-lived (thank God) fascination with poop and I would find her smearing poop on the walls instead of taking her afternoon nap. There was one fateful day that still makes me shudder. She asked to sleep in her sister's bed and then proceeded to smear her pillow, blankets, toys and walls with her 'afternoon delight'. True story.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

How to make your own SNOWGIE!!!

How to make your own SNOWGIE!

Snowgie hanging out with OLAF
If you are anything like me, you fell in LOVE with Snowgies when you saw Frozen Fever. The little guys who pop out every time Elsa sneezes to cause trouble stole my heart and I knew I needed one of my own. I figured they looked simple enough, so I made up a simple pattern to share. 

Materials list:

White sport weight yarn
size 6 mm hook
Black felt approx 2 inches by 1 inch
Blue felt approx 2 inches by 1 inch
White felt-very small piece
Yarn needle
glue gun

Crochet terms 

MR-magic ring
HDC-half double crochet 
T/O -tie off 


Round 1- MR, chain 1, 6 HDC into the ring (6)
Round 2-Two HDC into each stitch (12)
Round 3-One HDC, < (18) 
Round 4-Two HDC< (24) 
Round 5-8 HDC in each stitch around
Round 9 Two HDC > (18) 
Round 10 One HDC > (12)
Round 11 > and T/O (6) leave a long tail to sew 

Magic ring with 6 stitches


Round 1- MR, chain 1, 6 HDC into the ring (6)
Round 2-Two HDC into each stitch (12)
Round 3-One HDC, < (18) 
Round 4-6 HDC in each stitch around
Round 7 Two HDC > (18) 
Round 8 One HDC > (12)
Round 9 > and T/O (6) leave a long tail to sew 

Feet (make 2) 

Round 1-MR chain 1 and 6 HDC into ring (6)
Round 2-One HDC < (9) 
Round 3 Two HDC , (12) 
Round 4 One HDC into each stitch T/O with a long tail to sew

To assemble: 

Stuff the head and body and sew together using a yarn needle. Next stuff and sew on both feet. they should be to the side of the body and not right underneath. VERY IMPORTANT-The head is the larger ball so make sure you don't sew the feet to the head. Next take your black felt and fold in half and cut out a circle. It shouldn't be a perfect circle as the Snowgies eyes are kind of blockish. Then shape your blue felt into a mouth and the white into a tooth. Glue onto the Snowgie with a hot glue gun. Make sure the eyes are lower down on the head about two thirds of the way down. You can always reference a picture from google as I did :0) Happy crocheting! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Going back to school and having young children.

I had my kids at a young age and never got the chance to get a post secondary education. My plan after having my son was I would wait until he was old enough to start school, which he will be starting this fall but during that time I had a second child who is now 18 months old, so I wasn't sure if I would be able to do that as planned, being concerned about how she would adjust to someone else watching her for the day and daycare costs for two kids was nerve wracking.. but I decided it's time.

 I need to do this for myself and most importantly my kids. When I made the decision that I needed to get this started I went to talk to the school and found out that the next starting date for my program was only 10 days away, Yikes!

 I went for it though and it has been a lot of adjusting for my kids and myself in a very short period of time but I am excited to say that everything is going well! They are just starting their second week and my son loves it, to him it's just playtime, so that is great. My daughter, as expected does have some adjusting to do though.

The first few days with all the commotion and excitement I was able to slip out without her even noticing but she has caught on to what's going on and gets a little upset but I give her the little crochet Olaf which she carries everywhere to helps comfort her and from what I hear it doesn't take long for her to calm down and from then on she has a good day, so that is good to hear!

 When my day is done and I go to pick them up there is nothing but smiles from them so all and all it is going really well. The workers are super nice and great with the kids. Everything from their meal plan to their daily routines are amazing. I am more than thrilled with the daycare and I know my kids are in good hands...

Although I think it is a mixture of common colds this time of year with a bunch of kids couching and sneezing all over the place and then the added sugar from Easter, but they have seen better days with their health. All goopy and sneezy, I have been wearing boogers and eye goop the past couple days, Blah! The holiday is over though and I have hidden the rest of the sweets until they feel better I have also added more Vitamin D, Echinacea and Vapor rub to their daily routines, so hopefully they will be back to themselves very soon. Anyways, back to school. I will be taking esthetics and spa operations which I am very excited about.

This program will help me to build this company that we have started, it will also help to give me a better understanding of different skin types, conditions and so on. Of course wanting to take a more natural approach to things there will be addition courses I will be taking afterwards, and I look forward to that too.

 I love spa services (who doesn't?) but more than that there is no greater feeling than to do something for someone else. While we were at The Bee's Knee's doing hand massages for their 'Ladies night out' we had a lady come up to us telling us how she just wanted to say thank you for creating these products, that our products have been the only thing that has worked on her daughter who has extreme eczema. That everything else has cause her to have flare ups but our baby butter is working, and she even keeps asking for it! It got me a little choked up as I was thinking, I am so happy we were able to help. I had never met her before but have had a positive effect on her and her daughter's life. Talk about no greater feeling. Wow!

 We look forward to continue to create safe and natural products for your little ones, and us adults as well because honestly I use the products just as much on myself as I do my kids! I am also looking forward entering into this next chapter of my life exploring post secondary school and to expand my knowledge on what we do, and how we can do better. Thank you all for all of your continued support! xo

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Homemade Play Dough using JELLO

Homemade Play Dough using JELLO

I don't know what happened to store bought Play Doh since I was a kid, but in my opinion, long gone are the days where clean up is as simple as stamping your table with a large mound of doh. As much as I want to give my kids their super fun sets featuring the latest Princess or a super cool ice cream shoppe, I find myself saying no most of the time because the clean up is just insane. What was once a beautiful ice cream sundae will suddenly burst into a million small pieces which will instantly harden on my kitchen floor. The leftovers are then smushed from brillant hues to a nasty shade of brown reminant of my early diaper days.

Luckily for my kids and myself I found a mutually beneficial solution, thanks to my many mornings spent at my local Ontario Early Years. Somehow, their play doh wasn't a huge mess dispite the many little hands giving it a workout. It also smelled amazing. My daughter's teacher, Trina, told me the secret, which is this recipe. In her version she used kool-aid instead of jello but I found jello easier to find.

1 cup white flour
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp of salt
2 tbsp of alum
2.5 tbsp of oil
1 package of Jello

pour flour and water into a saucepan and wisk until smooth. Next add the alum, salt and oil. Stir well and then add the Jello. Place the sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly until it forms a dough and you can no longer stir. Let the dough cool. If it seems sticky you can add a little flour. I store mine in the fridge. We made strawberry (red)  and wildberry (blue) so even if the kids want to mix the dough it will still look and smell pretty!

We actually made our play dough for the Easter bunny to hide so we put tiny balls into bags and then into eggs (so it didn't dry out overnight). The kids loved this project!

How we took Easter down a notch

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk in Three Ingredients

Homemade sidewalk chalk with three ingredients (glitter optional!)

This Easter we decided to make a few items for the Easter bunny to hide for us. One of my kids absolute favourite things to do in the spring and summer is draw with sidewalk chalk, so this year we decided to try and make our own.

Hannah was pumped for this project!

Shopping list:

1.5 cups Plaster of paris-(I got mine at Home Depot and it was cheaper than Michaels with a coupon!)
A couple squirts of Paint (I used dollarama brand)
1 cup Water
A dash of Sparkles (completely optional although my daughter did not think so ;)
A couple of plastic containers
A silicone mold or cupcake pan ( I got mine from dollarama)

Combine water and plaster of paris. Mix well and make sure you completely combine. Seperate the plaster into the containers. Add paint to color, at this point you could also add sparkles if desired.

It is very important if you are using a silicone mold to place it on a cookie sheet before you fill it. I learned this the hard way and it was a bit of a mess to move. If you are using a cupcake pan you are fine. I filled my mold with a little of each colour to create a tye dye effect. I think it came out looking pretty cool. We also just remembered the sparkles at this point so we added them at the end. It would have looked cooler to add them and the paint together.
She went a little sparkle crazy
After this we simply waited about 12 to 18 hours and popped them out!

Have fun and happy Easter!

 Wanna see how I am taking a simpler approach to Easter?