Monday, February 4, 2013

Play Vet Clinic and Felt Band-Aid Tutorial

Little Bean's favorite things to play with have always been her stuffed animals.  And she has a ton.  Thanks, in part, to my love of stuffed animals as a child that my mother held on to for me.  She loves barbies too and just HAD to have a barbie house from Santa for Christmas.  But, most often I catch her playing with her stuffed animals...feeding them lunch, tucking them into bed, etc.

So, when a friend of mine pinned THIS on Pinterest, I knew that I had to come up with my own version of a play at home vet clinic for her.  It cost me about $10 total. 

I picked up these cute wire baskets at the dollar store as well as the clipboard (below).  And then I went to Hobby Lobby in search of some dry erase labels for the basket.  I didn't find any, but I am glad since I saw packages of wooden stars instead ($1.50/4 stars).  Once I got them home, I drilled holes in them and then painted them with leftover chalkboard paint that I had on hand.  Then I just used some twine that I already had to tie them to the baskets.

Now she can't exactly write or read a lot yet, but I knew we needed to have some sort of "chart" for the animals.  I found the printable HERE.  She enjoys using these, but she likes it more when I can document detailed notes for her.

She was telling me that she needed band-aids for her animals today.  Her doctor kit came with a bunch of sticker band-aids, but those all got used up during one play date.  So, I searched for a tutorial to make some.  I was shocked that I couldn't find one.  I did find some for sale on etsy for $16, but that is a little steep for this.  So, I winged it.  And it's crazy easy to do.  Even once I started taking pictures to do a tutorial, it only took a matter of minutes.

Poor Fluffy
I used supplies that I already had on hand.  You only need some brown felt (or whatever colors/patterns you desire), some white felt, and some Velcro along with basic sewing supplies (scissors, thread, machine).

First, start with the Velcro.  You will only need to use the scratchy side.  So, yes, you will be stuck with unmatching Velcro pieces...annoying, yes.  Just cut it into whatever size lengths you would like...ours are between 2 and 3 inches.  Then round out the corners so they are shaped like band-aids.

After I had all these cut out, I just placed them on the felt and sewed them on, one at a time without cutting the felt.  Like this...

It will look like this...


After this was done, I just trimmed around the edge.  I left a bit of an overhang (of the brown felt).

Now cut a small rectangle of white felt to stick in the middle to be the absorptive pad of the band-aid.
 Sew on.


Voila!  That's it.  Now repeat.  And watch your child enjoy fixing all of her creatures.
Something tells me that Moosy has had better days.

This is her doctors bag.  It's mainly just the store bought kit with lots of extra syringes (minus the needles).  The girl loves giving the neck.  Weird?

We even have diapers for the tiniest of guests (courtesy of a friend who works in our local NICU).  Apparently, if diapers get dropped, they get tossed in the NICU.  Works for us!
Unfortunately, my little bean was being crazy camera shy today (which is very out of character).  So, no cute little vet pictures today.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

No Pain, No Gain Circuit Workout

Two days until Christmas...and I am stressing.  Anyone else?  I have too many presents to wrap and assemble, menus to plan, grocery shopping to do, cleaning, house guests, and on and on.  I love the quote from Christmas Vacation "I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery."  Sometimes it feels as though I pile on so much and set my expectations so high that I sort of forget to step back and enjoy everything that I have worked so hard on.

Working out is a huge stress reliever for me.  It is a fundamental part of my life.  I almost always find a way to fit in some form of exercise.  And at this time of year, I find that my workouts are even more important and more beneficial to my (mental) health.

This morning, I did a tough workout.  I really needed to push myself a little.  1000 rep workouts are amazing and so very effective.  I put together a circuit workout that combines cardio and strength.  I did 5 rounds which is a little over 1000 reps.  I was sweating, for sure.  There is only one exercise that requires weights, the plank rows.  I used a 10 pound dumbbell.  However, if you don't have weights, you could switch out the exercise for bird dogs done in full plank or simply hold a plank position for 1 minute.

I felt ten times better after I completed this workout today.  Even though I may be in the same room with the little bean, I am focusing on myself and my workout which is much like alone time.  And I am blessed. because she generally does not bother me during a workout.  She even works out with me some times.  She has actually become quite good at mountain climbers.  It's cute.

Enjoy your holidays.  Relax.  Decompress.  Enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mario cupcakes

A friend kindly asked me to do her sons birthday cake for his 6th birthday last weekend.  He is in love with Mario, so of course that is the theme we went with.  She found the inspiration for these cupcakes on Pinterest.  It was a really fun project...turned out a lot more time consuming than I had originally thought, but that is fine since I had such a great time doing it.

Mario looks a little portly...

 Sorry for the terrible picture...we were in a huge hurry to get these babies in the car and GO!  We would have been on time if I didn't have to stop at Starbucks every time I go somewhere.  It was a great party, all of the kids had fun and I think the birthday boy was pleased.

Meal Plan 9/30-10/6

Obviously, I am making this post a week late.  The bonus, I can include my reviews since there were a couple of new recipes tried.  Two that were absolutely amazing and I am sure will become regulars around here...which is saying a lot.

We are officially dropping below freezing every night here now.  So, last week we had to harvest all of our tomatoes.  Oh man, do we have a lot of tomatoes.  I made three batches of roasted salsa, a huge batch of marinara, and I chopped and froze about 15 quarts...and we still have a ton on the counter.

Meal #1:  Turkey burgers with avocado and green salad

Meal #2:  Penne with turkey meatballs (with parsley and onion) and marinara with sauteed zucchini...this marinara was really yummy...very flavorful...I will definitely make again.

Meal #3:  Mushroom grilled cheese with green salad...OMG, this was completely heavenly.  I didn't have white wine on hand and just used water...still out of this world.

Meal #4:  Avocado egg salad sandwiches with green salad.  I am a huge avocado lover and this sandwich was Ah-mazing.  I only used half of an avocado and I subbed the mayo with greek yogurt and also used half the curry powder suggested since mine is hot.

Meal #5:  Banana chocolate chip muffins with homemade turkey sausage patties (for breakfast).  This sausage was really good...too spicy for the little one, but perfect for mom and dad!

Treat:  Me and the bean also made some princess crown cookies with oodles of sprinkles from this recipe...the cookies really held their shape and are yummy.

What does everybody else do with all of their tomatoes?

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reader Circle Quilt Pictures

I feel like a proud mama, in a weird way.  I received the NICEST string of emails from a reader, Kimberly, who recently completed the front and back pieces of her version of the Little Bean Circle Quilt.  She did such an amazing job that I had to share the pictures.  She did a better job than I did on mine, for sure!

Instead of using a whole sheet as I did, she used squares and attached her circles to the squares and then pieced the squares together.  It looks amazing and she definitely has more patience than I do.  I love how she appliqued her son's name onto the circles.  Really clever.

Front of the quilt

Back of the quilt, which Kim claims she has to re-do since the fit isn't right.  Bummer!

(Yes, I realize these pictures are tiny, but every time I enlarge them they get blurry.  Please click on them to see them better.)

It humbles me that someone 1. actually read the blog and attempted the project and 2. took the time out of their day to thank me and share their success with me.  I am completely tickled every time I get a comment or a thank-you on this blog.  I know I don't have a large following, but the kindness of those who do read makes it so worthwhile.  So, thank you.

If anyone has any photos of completed projects from this blog, I would love to see them and share them!

Thank you so much Kim!  You have inspired me to keep up with the blog and to try to create more projects.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tabata Workout

Today I was awoken to the annoying squeak of our puppy's favorite 5:45.  Ick.  I was afraid that he would wake Little Bean, so I hustled out of bed and decided to take him for a run/walk.  I prefer to run, but Dexter prefers to sniff everything and freak out at every noise, so we move a little slow. 

I didn't feel that our outing was sufficient for exercise, so I decided to do some Tabatas.  If you aren't familiar with Tabatas, you should give it a try.  It is fast becoming one of my favorite ways to exercise. Basically, you exercise at an intense level for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds for a total of 4 minutes.  That would be one Tabata.  It is a great way to do HIIT (high intensity interval training), which is supposed to be way more efficient than any other form of exercise.

So, here is the workout that I did today.  It is a total of 30 minutes and boy was I sweaty!

Click on image to see in full screen

If there are exercises that you aren't familiar with, check out and do a search.  There are all sorts of videos out there that have been really helpful to me.

I use a Tabata timer app on my iphone which makes it super easy to keep track of where you are.  It has a series of beeps, so you don't have to look up at all.

Also, if you don't have a full 30 minutes, or you don't want to get super sweaty, then you can do just a couple of Tabatas.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Meal Plan 9/9 - 9/15

This is my first post in about 10 months. did I let that happen?  I guess life just got away from me.  I was inspired to start blogging again after getting the loveliest email from a reader who just completed her version of the Little Bean Circle Quilt.  She was so kind to take time out of her day to thank me for the project and she sent me pictures of her amazing quilt as well (which I will share in a separate post).  So, I am going to start back slow with a meal plan for the week.  Hopefully, tutorials and recipes to come...

Here is what we are eating this week:

Meal #1: Omelets with Avocado and Cheddar with Cucumber and Tomato Salad with homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette (gotta use up all of that produce from the garden!)
Meal #2: Spicy Tofu and Mint Avocado Salad (I baked the tofu sans the bread crumbs and added orange wedges to the salad)
Meal #3:  Slow Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup and 30 Minute Rolls (1/2 whole wheat flour)
Meal #4:  Cauliflower Quinoa Casserole with Grilled Chicken Breasts (I use homemade cream of mushroom soup that I keep in the freezer in ziploc bags)
Meal #5:  Margherita Pizza with tomatoes and basil from the garden and Green Salad

Also, this week, I made 3 large batches of this Classic Roasted Salsa to use up tomatoes, peppers, and onions from the garden.  It's delish!

I hope you all have a great week!