DIY Popcorn Costume

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Every year I really enjoy making a homemade costume for Echo. One year he was a duckling, last year he was a Lego block, and this year he was a bucket of popcorn. The town that we live in does trick or treating at the businesses, and everyone loved Echo’s popcorn costume! He looked so cute!

Materials:

-Large cardboard box

-brown packing paper

-packing tape

-white string

-white tissue paper

-red and white acrylic paint

-yellow watercolor paint

-hot glue gun

-tacky glue

-painters tape

My first step was cutting the box to fit Echo. The box we used was long, not square. I taped the box shut like it would be if i got a delivery. Then i stood it up lengthwise.  I cut the bottom off so it hit right above his knee. Then I cut an opening in the top leaving about an inch and a half around the edge. I then took two long pieces of scrap fabric (or you could use sturdy string) to make straps to hold the box up. You can secure it with hot glue or tacky glue. Before recycling the remnants of the box, cut two small (about 6″x4″) pieces to make signs for the front and back of the box.

The part that took me the longest probably was painting the stripes on the box. For one color you can section off the stripes with painters tape to get straight lines. For the other I had to freehand it, because the painters tape peeled off what I already painted. Oops! The stripes should be about an inch apart. I think I did three coats of paint on each color stripe. While you’re at it with the paint you can paint your small sign pieces red. After it dries, paint on the word “POPCORN”. Then attach it, using tacky glue, to the box once it is completely dry.

For the popcorn kernels, I rolled up 6″x6″ pieces of brown packing paper into balls. I then used the packing tape to tape completely around it to make it keep its shape. I probably made 30ish of these balls. I then took the white tissue paper and cut it into 6″x6″ pieces.  I took one of these pieces and wrapped it around a ball, pinching just below the ball. That is where you tie a piece of string to keep that shape. You can then take the ends of the tissue paper and fold them under and tape them to the ball. This creates dimension. And then you have your popcorn kernel! Then you just repeat that a bunch of times.

 

Next was attaching the popcorn kernels to the box, a shirt, and a beanie. I used safety pins to attach them to the clothing items, and tacky glue for the box. For the red shirt I only did one row of popcorn around the collar. On the inch and a half edge at the top of the box I attached a row of popcorn using the tacky glue. Then I grabbed one of E’s beanies and safety pinned more popcorn to that.

The last step was to paint a little bit of yellow watercolor onto each of the popcorn kernels to mimic butter. You do not want to drench the tissue paper in water otherwise it will fall apart and rip.

This costume does not hold up in rain, so make sure you have an umbrella with you if there is a chance of rain.

 

This costume turned out so cute! Hope you and your little ones enjoy this DIY Halloween costume! Thank you so much for reading! Like and share this post 🙂 what was your little one for Halloween this year?

Third Birthday!

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Beep Beep! This year I did a cars & trucks theme for Echo’s third birthday party. He is obsessed with them! So here are the snapshots of the celebration! I shared some pictures on my Instagram page, but wanted to write a blog post too (even if it is really late).

 

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Traffic Cone Banner

 

 

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Street Tables

 

 

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Lunch from Chipotle & Chalkboard Birthday Sign

 

 

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3rd Birthday Sign (one of my favorite things to do!)

 

 

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Birthday Boy

 

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Happy Birthday! E isn’t a fan of cake, so we do cookies.

 

 

 

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Time for presents!

 

We had so much fun celebrating Echo with family and friends! What has been your favorite party theme for your child? Share below 🙂

The Third Year

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We celebrated Echo’s third birthday! One thing I love to do after his birthday every year is write a post about what we have learned and positive things from this past year. So here we go!

  1. Holy Rollercoaster of Emotions! This was definitely the year that E found more of his voice. That meant that he was using more words and talking more (YAY!), but there was also the tantrums and testing. I’m going to speak to our situation for a minute and share what worked for us. Pretty early on when he was yelling at me, flat out saying no to me, and having complete meltdowns, I realized that Echo responded better when I was firm but calm. He didn’t respond to me or my husband yelling at him. We were just basically telling him that yelling was okay by doing that. Not to say I don’t have my bad days and lose my patience completely. For us, I give him the “mom look” (you know the I mean business look) and firmly correct him.                                                                                                                                                                      IMG_1641
  2. Next Level! To go along with the first point, Echo found a whole other level of energy. He is always doing laps around the house, his school, and exploring outside. This is honestly something that I love. We can go to the park, play outside, go on errands and E is totally up for it. Sometimes it can get him in trouble (point number 1), but I honestly love that he is an active energetic toddler. We have daily dance parties, and love being outside.
  3. Unique! Each kid has their own personality. E has always been very observant and slow to warm up to people. That’s just how he operates. I was so happy that he has made friends at school! It took a little adjustment period, but he loves playing with his friends now. There are still moments where he gets overwhelmed and will pull back. For the most part though he is becoming more social. We just had to take it at his own unique pace.
  4. Treasure Each Moment! This is a personal one. A few weeks ago I wrote about our losses in 2017. I think it just made me treasure each moment with Echo more. He is our first baby, so every moment is a first with him. Time is going by so fast! I love our little adventures, everyday moments, the rare toddler cuddles, and conversations with him. Everyday I try to be present with Echo and soak up these moments.                                                                                                                                                                IMG_1656

I really enjoy doing these recaps of our year. Sharing little thoughts as we head in to the next one as a family. I’m ready for more firsts and learning lots! What was your favorite thing this past year? Comment below.

 

Loss (*Trigger Warning*)

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I have struggled with the right way to write about this subject. What do I say? How do I encourage other women and families that are going through this same thing? My number one thing with this blog is that I want to honest, authentic, and encouraging. Beyond this point is the raw emotions and words of what I have gone through this past year. I’m not looking for pity, I am hoping that in sharing my experience I can let other women know they aren’t alone in this.

Why was the first time so easy? 7 months into marriage, Sterling and I got pregnant with Echo. I gave birth to a happy, sweet baby boy and we were over the moon. We went back and forth for a bit as to whether we wanted to have another baby. It has now been over a year and half since starting to try and conceive. January and May will be forever in my heart. Though I lost the pregnancies very early (at 5 & 6 weeks), I hold onto the thought of meeting those babies one day.

I struggle to find the right words and even questioned whether I wanted to share anything about this. My family never talked about infertility or miscarriage. They always talked about how easy it was for women in my family to get pregnant. In January when I got the positive test and then lost the pregnancy, I was not sure how to feel. I was confused, sad, and overwhelmed. I thought I did something and it was my fault that the pregnancy didn’t stick. How was I supposed to cope with losing a pregnancy? I didn’t cope well. Then in May having the same situation happen again, really took a toll. Just after the second loss  I met with my midwife where we discussed it all. She referred to the pregnancies as “chemical pregnancies”. I walked away from the appointment confused and frustrated again because I felt like my losses were minimized and brushed off. It is really tough getting a positive pregnancy test and then have that taken away. The highs and lows of these emotions have taken its toll on me.

It is now January, and I still don’t know how to feel. I don’t have the right answers. We have not gotten pregnant. And I’m emotional. I tell my story and share my emotions in hopes that I can encourage other women who are going through loss. Each story is different, but you are not alone. You don’t have to grieve alone. One thing that really helped me was sharing all this with my closest friend. Knowing that I wasn’t alone, and that I had my husband and my friend in my corner. You are so strong, and this hurt will be healed.

I started this blog to take you through my journey of going green, and to share family life with you all. This is my real life. It’s hard, not perfect, and crazy. I really hope that in sharing my struggle and hurt, that it helps you in some way. If you are feeling depressed or hopeless please talk with a doctor or counselor.

Thank you so much for reading! How have you overcome loss in your life? Comment below.

Great Finds at JBF Issaquah!

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Are you ready to get your shopping on? I attended the Primetime shopping at the Issaquah “Just Between Friends” sale on Thursday night. The Issaquah sale goes until Sunday, so you still have time to shop this great sale! Today, Friday, is a regular shopping day. Saturday is the half off day, and then Sunday is the 75% off day (everything without a star and marked donate). You can go to “Just Between Friends” website for all the details on the Issaquah sale.

Here’s the fun part of shopping these sales, I get to share with you the great deals I saw or purchased at the sale!

One of my favorite things at the sale is the “Melissa & Doug” toys and puzzles. I have found a tool set and some chunky puzzles at previous sales. This sale I checked out the food and kitchen accessories because Echo LOOOOVES his kitchen. There were so many different sets and ranged from $12-25 for the small ones. I picked up this wooden Velcro cookie set (so cute!) for $16. That is a 20% savings from it’s retail price of $20.

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One thing I was on a mission to find was rain/snow boots! We live in a town that gets a bit of snow, so I wanted to gear up for the cold weather that is quickly approaching. I found these red “Land’s End” boots that are in great condition for $8. These boots retail for $50-80. For this calculation I assumed it was the $50 boot. That is an 84% savings! Love it!

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The next item that I purchased was an “H & M” fleece lined coat for $12.50. Echo didn’t have a heavier coat for this winter so I snagged this one! These coats retail for about $35, which means the coat was 64% off. It is in such good condition and am excited for Echo to wear it.

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The last item I purchased, that I’ll share with you, is a long sleeve flannel button down from “Gymboree”. The flannel shirts from Gymboree retail for about $32, and I paid $5. That’s another 84% savings!

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There are so many great items at the sale. One item I saw but didn’t pick up was a pair of white high top Converse (personally can’t do white with a toddler). They were priced at $18, and retail is $69. So someone can grab them for a 74% savings.

Anything you need from nursery to toys to clothes, the Issaquah sale has you covered. This sale they have lots of Halloween costumes for the kiddos. Hope you all get a chance to go check it out! There is still time to shop!

Thanks so much for reading! Do you shop consignment clothing?

JBF Issaquah Sale & Giveaway

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Shopping for outfits, toys, and gear for our little ones is so much fun… until you see the hefty price tag that comes with it. Have you ever walked into a kids clothing store, just to walk right back out the door? I totally have, because I refuse to pay a ton of money on clothes that will be outgrown in no time at all. Well I found the perfect solution to this issue! The “Just Between Friends” (JBF) sale!

JBF is a consignment sale, of gently used or new items, that has many events all over the nation. You can head to jbfsale.com to find your local event. Here are just some of the things that may be available at the sales: clothing (infant-teen, as well as maternity), diaper bags, pack & plays, strollers, toys, items for feeding, nursery gear, and so much more. I love going to my local sale because I can get clothes 50-90% off retail, Melissa & Doug toys 25-30% off retail, and pretty much anything Echo could need at a deep discounted price. I have gone to every JBF Issaquah sale since finding out I was pregnant with Echo. It has helped my family stick to a budget while still getting Echo super cute clothes.

Here are some of the items I picked up at the March sale!

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$90 for so many clothes and shoes!

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My favorite shirt I picked up for Echo, rhino shirt.

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Osh Kosh Tan Skinny Jeans

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Tucker & Tate black sneakers

If you sign up to consign or volunteer, you get to shop a pre sale before the public is able to. This is a great opportunity for families to make some cash for all of their gently used or new baby gear. I would definitely encourage any families with lots of clothes, toys, or gear to consign.

If you live in the Seattle area, come shop the Issaquah sale! I am giving away a Primetime shopping pass for the Issaquah sale which starts at 4pm on Wednesday October 4th. This is an opportunity to shop before the public. I will give one ticket to 2 winners and will announce them on Friday September 29th! Here’s how to enter: sign up to my email list (click the “follow” button and enter your email), like “Just Between Freinds Seattle East” on Facebook, like “The Lil Things Blog” on Facebook, then come back here and comment “done”. Super simple! Good luck!

Thanks so much for reading this! Share this with your friends so they can enter too. Hope to see you at the JBF Issaquah sale!

 

Happy Little Camper Review

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Have you ever looked at what is in your baby’s wipes? It is shocking what some companies want you to use on your child. Up until now I have made my own baby wipes from paper towels, pure castile soap, coconut oil, and water. Recently I started looking at better options than conventional baby wipes and found “Happy Little Camper”.

Happy Little Camper is a 100% non-gmo cotton baby wipe. They are hypoallergenic and biodegradable. These baby wipes contain organic Aloe Vera which leaves the skin nourished and refreshed. They have a great thickness to them and are very soft. It’s important that the wipes aren’t super wet and also not too dry. These are the perfect balance. They are durable and stand up to any mess (pee, poop, and after meal clean up). I am really happy with how these wipes perform!

These wipes are free of fragrance (known to be a huge toxin), silicone, parabens, polyethylene glycols (polymers of ethylene oxide), and polyethylene terephthalate (synthetic plastic polymers). It is also free of chlorine and ethyl alcohol! I liked that these wipes are free of some of the big nasty chemicals!

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Most families are on a budget, mine included. We aren’t made of money and the diapers and wipes cost adds up quick. These baby wipes are the same price as conventional wipes, but without some of the nasty chemicals. A 72 count pack is $3.99. They also have to-go wipe packs (3, 20 count packs) for $5.99.

If you are looking for a better baby wipe option, definitely check out Happy Little Camper!

Have you tried Happy Little Camper? Comment below 🙂 Thank you for reading!  Remember to click follow to get email upsdates on new content!

 

Sun’s out, Bugs out!

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Since Seattle has gotten a little bit of warm weather, the bugs are starting to come out. Insect repellents are full of crazy toxic chemicals. Last year I started hunting for better alternatives that still perform!

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Every year I get sooooo many bug bites! I do not know what it is about me, but mosquitos love me. Last spring/summer I made my own bug spray that I used. It is an essential oil mixture that performed AMAZING! I did not get any bites on the places I sprayed. I don’t use this on Echo, because I don’t know the exact dilution of my mixture and it hasn’t been tested. It is super easy to make and works great. Here’s the recipe:

-4 oz. blue glass spray bottle

-Fill 3/4 of the way with water

-Add 2 Tablespoons Witch Hazel

-Add 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil & 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (I use Young Living)

-Shake before each use & spray on

Puracy Natural Bug Spray

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For Echo, I really like using the Puracy Bug Spray! One of the big things that I like about it is that it is 100% DEET free. It’s also free of other nasty substances like Formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and more. It is made up of essential oils and botanical extracts which smell great! The peppermint, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, and Vanilla all blend well together. It isn’t greasy when you spray it on your body and then rub it in. It is recommended that you consult with your child’s physician if you intend to use it on a baby younger than 6 months. I used this on Echo last summer when he was 17-21 months old. He had no reactions or anything to the spray itself. He didn’t get any bug bites, so it performed great! It is also pretty budget friendly at $12 for a 4 oz. spray bottle. We only used one bottle last spring/summer. Puracy was definitely a better option than conventional bug sprays for my family!

Hope you are all enjoying this Spring sunshine! Have you tried natural & non toxic bug sprays? Comment below 🙂 share with friends.

Thrive Market

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Due to my health struggles and how difficult it has been to live a normal life, I was on a hunt to find a place to buy natural/organic foods for my family online. I kept seeing other green living bloggers post about this online market called “Thrive Market” and decided to check it out! I think I have been a member for about 6 months now and love shopping through them.

To shop you create a profile and start a 30 day trial, then at the end of the trial period you start a membership which costs about $60 a year. One of the really cool things about Thrive Market is that when you pay for your membership, you are also sponsoring a low-income family so they have access to healthy foods! I have looked at other healthy/organic stores for the products i like to buy through Thrive, and you really are getting a good deal.

A feature that I really like about Thrive is that you can shop according to diet restrictions. Each product has multiple “values” which could include gluten-free, vegan, made in the USA, supports charity, and many many more. It makes it easier to find what you are looking for.

Some of the things I buy from Thrive Market:

One Degree Organic Foods- Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Cocoa Crisps

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We eat this cereal as a dessert most of the time. It is very sweet and chocolatey, so it makes the perfect sweet treat here and there. These cocoa crisps are organic, non-gmo, gluten-free, and vegan. Our whole family can eat them. The only negative is that for my house full of guys, the 10 oz. box doesn’t last long haha. But that isn’t that big of a problem.

Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil

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We used to use a lot of olive oil, but I was reading about smoke points (I’ll write about this in a different blog post) and wanted something with a higher smoke point. We tried out this avocado oil and love it! It is 100% avocado oil, and comes in a dark glass bottle.

Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels 

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One thing that I struggle with is finding things that fit with the restricted diet that I stick to. These chocolate morsels were a great find for me because they are gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free (and free of a few more common allergens). We are a house full of cookie monsters, so this makes it possible for us all to eat chocolate chip cookies!

Primal Kitchens Chipotle Lime Mayo w/ Avocado Oil

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This is one of our absolute favorite products to order! It is seriously so yummy! It has a good kick and great flavor. We use it on sandwiches, sweet potato hash, and also use it as a dipping sauce for meats. This product is also another great find that fits with my restricted diet. It is gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar free. It is also organic and uses cage free eggs. This mayo is added to my cart with every order haha.

Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers

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This is the number one cracker in my book! Simple Mills has three flavors that are dairy free: Sundried Tomato & Basil, Sea Salt, and Rosemary & Sea Salt. They also have a Farmhouse Cheddar flavor which is rBST free. They are all gluten and soy free as well as organic and non-gmo. These crackers are also toddler approved! Echo’s favorite is the Farmhouse Cheddar flavor, but he likes them all.

I also want to add that their customer service has been very helpful. Recently one of my sauces broke during transit, and I contacted them on how to replace it. Because they are an environmentally conscious company, they won’t just send out replacement products (which I thought was really cool). As a customer, it would be easy to freak out and say no I want my product. But as someone who is environmentally conscious I admire that they stick to their guns and just give you store credit so that you can purchase it with your next box of products.

No matter what your diet, definitely check out Thrive Market! What was your Thrive Market experience? Comment below 🙂 like this post and follow the blog.

“Just Between Friends” Consignment Sale

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If you have seen my Instagram stories, you know that last night was the “Just Between Friends” (JBF) Sale. Every fall and spring there is a sale near me. It allows me to get good quality clothes for 50-90% off retail prices. There are sales all over the Puget Sound area and the entire nation. To find a location near you, check out Just Between Friends.

My mother-in-love and I go to every sale to stock up on the upcoming season’s clothes. The one last night was the sale that I shop for spring and summer clothes, which Echo had none of. We spent a total of $83 on clothes. All the clothes and shoes were gently used and in great condition! I even scored a few designer brand items for super cheap. Below I will go through a couple of items that i picked up and what I saved.

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I am obsessed with this rhino shirt! So cute and different! It is from EGG baby and retails for around $50. At the sale I snagged it for $3, seriously. That comes out to 94% savings. It takes time to look through everything but there are such great clothes at the sale.

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We are a Vans and Converse family, so I really liked the style of these sneakers. They look like good shoes for church, since they are a little more dressy than the usual sneaker. At the register, the cashier was like “Oh! Tucker & Tate, good find!” and I had no clue what was so special about them haha. Well then I looked it up and these are sold at Nordstrom for $45+. They are in great condition and I only paid $9. That’s 80% savings.

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Along with Converse and Vans, we are a skinny jean family. These Osh Kosh skinny jeans would retail for around $28. At the sale they were $3! That is 90% savings.

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As a whole, based on this receipt, I saved 78% by shopping through a consignment sale. All the items would come out to around $400 at full retail price, but I paid $86 total. Children can totally dress fashionable on a budget :). Honestly, if I paid the full price for a lot of these clothes I would be paranoid about them getting dirty. I feel like I can relax and let Echo be a kid in his clothes!

Do you shop consignment sales? Comment below with your experience. Remember to subscribe to my blog for email updates on new blog posts!