Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DIY: T-Shirt Scarf in 11 Steps

 Step 1: gather old t-shirts

Step 2: cut off the hem of the t-shirt


Step 3: cut t-shirt horizontally into 1" strips from bottom of shirt until you reach the armpits

Step 4: Cut off sleeves

Step 5: cut off the hem of the sleeves

Step 6: Taking all of the hems, make one cut in each so that you now have a strip of fabric instead of a ring. Then, cut the strips into 5" long pieces

Step 7: Take one t-shirt ring, and stretch it out so that it goes from looking like the top strip to looking like the bottom strip

Step 8: take the now stretched out t-shirt loop and wrap it around your hand (the palm part) and slide it off so that your fabric loop is now stacked in a circle.

Step 9: repeat steps 7 and 8 with all of the t-shirt loops

Step 10:  using one of the 5" strips of hem fabric, tie two of the t-shirt loop stacks together.

Step 11: repeat step 10 until your scarf is the length you want it!

All done! Wear it proudly, you look both classy and fun in this scarf. :) This is also a great way to make a t-shirt garland for special occasions--and it's so easy to clean because all you have to do is throw it in the wash!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mother's Love book review and giveaway

Mother's Love: Inspiring True Stories from the Animal Kingdom is a book that I was recently sent to time for Mother's Day...and I must tell you, even though I wasn't able to get this post up before Mother's Day (work schedule, my sister's wedding, toddlers, oh, and my hot water tank bit the dust, leaving me with a flooded basement), this book is so very sweet and I love having it in my collection as it is an encouragement to me as a mother and also a wonderful piece to share with my children!

(excerpt from the press release of Mother's Love:)
MOTHER’S LOVE: Inspiring True Stories from the Animal Kingdom ($9.95 hardcover), by Melina Gerosa Bellows, with a foreword by actress Kate Hudson, features heartwarming tales that show there is no stronger power on Earth than a mother’s love, even among our winged and four-footed friends.

From a mother duck who tugged at a pedestrian’s pant leg with her beak to get help for her ducklings who had fallen through a sewer grate to an elephant that stood on her hind legs to lift her baby to safety in a flooded river to the cat that ran into a burning building five times to rescue her month-old kittens — despite singed fur, scorched ears and blistered eyes — MOTHER’S LOVE tells of heroic and touching animal feats that prove humans are not the only ones who go to elaborate lengths for the sake of their young.

In her introduction, Gerosa Bellows writes, “Perhaps these stories touch me so deeply because they illus trate the common bond of moth erhood. They show that mothers are mothers, no matter what species. Animals and humans alike have the natural ability to distinguish the unique cry of their own offspring from the cry of other babies. We are hardwired to love, protect, and care for our young. After all, the survival of each of our species depends on it."

There are two things that I love more than the rest about this book. The first is that the photography is phenomenal. There are sixty shots of mother and baby animal pairs (and ones that you wouldn't think would be pairs, but that got adopted in!) which really capture the emotion behind the relationship. The second thing I love is the powerful quotes on mothering which are interspersed throughout the text. This is a great book to share with your young children as the photos are large and the stories are short, and also a great book to keep on your desk to encourage you on your own mothering journey!

As I did work last Sunday, I still haven't been able to share Mother's Day with the mothers in my life--that's today's task. So as I bestow (what else?) books upon my mothers and hopefully get some snuggle time with my own babies reading Mother's Love to them while kissing their heads and having them in my arms, I want to offer you the same opportunity. You can win your own copy of this delightful book!

Two winners will be chosen. The first winner will receive TWO copies (one to keep and one to give to her mother), and the second winner will receive one copy of Mother's Love.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post and the opinions expressed are my own. Book for review and giveaway provided by Entertainment Marketing Group and National Geographic.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Should we allow our daughters to play with Barbies?

 When I think of my childhood, I think of my seven sisters and the hours we spent playing "Freeze Tag", forming "spy" clubs and kickball "clubs". I remember magical forts built in the woods, paths mowed through the field, and lots of make-believe playing indoors. One thing I don't remember are Barbies...because we never had them! And you know what? I never felt that I missed out.

Fast forward to today: I have a three-year-old daughter, and somehow, her firefighter-paramedic-drummer mother gave birth to a girl who has to play "ballet class" every day, wants to wear pretty clothes and paint her nails all of the time, and who would have every princess-related Disney item possible if I allowed it! I didn't encourage this behavior, but I have allowed her to move in the direction she naturally chooses when it comes to "tom-boy" or "girlie" related things by having both available and being excited with her as she experiences and learns new things, regardless of which end of the spectrum they belong.

I thought I was doing, ok, right? I mean, she's three-years-old...I don't have to worry about this stuff too much yet, right? Maybe, maybe not. Meet: The Real-Life Ukrainian Barbie Doll. This 21-year-old from the Ukraine is reported to have transformed herself into a real life Barbie Doll, and according to the video linked above from ABC, she isn't the only female to have done this. WHAT?! I daresay that I don't need to explain or speculate any further than to say that I'm shocked by this, and I would be horrified at my parenting if my daughter ever was so critical of her image that she went so far to transform herself, and to a non-human image, on top of that!

Where did this parenting go wrong, or is there an underlying mental illness that was triggered somewhere along the way? I think that we can clearly say that this woman played with Barbies as a girl, but with as many adults who had Barbies as children and are now normal, functioning adults with a healthy self esteem, can we really link the over-sexualized self conscious behaviors common to today's young women to just Barbies?

My daughter doesn't have Barbies, and I had never planned for her to have them simply because of the unrealistic over sexualized toys that they are. What about Disney princesses, though, who also often are found to have unrealistically small waists, larger than life breasts, and who always need a man to make their "happily ever after" to come true? Where is the line to be drawn?

Do you allow Barbies and princesses into your home, and did you play with them growing up?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vegan Foods Protein Chart

Great resource for figuring out all of your protein needs without having to rely on animal products! It's also interesting that some of the very high protein items listed here are also very high in iron content. Makes me want to reconsider being a vegetarian again. ;-)