Sunday, June 29, 2014

Don't Wipe Your Tushie With Tulle: A No-Sew Patriotic Tutu

People have told me that making tutus is super easy.  I didn't believe them of course, because sewing machines and I are NOT friends.  Not friends at all.

Sewing machines and I were frenemies for a semester or so back in high school.  I argued with a bobbin for awhile, fought with thread, and got a couple of cute teddy bears out of the deal, not to mention a tank top that was so scandalous that it made my mom gasp and that I never ended up wearing.

But then Pinterest happened.

And I saw a pin from Jackie and noticed that there was very little sewing involved.  I figured there had to be a way to cut that down to NO SEWING.

I went to Hobby Lobby and explained to the nice woman there that I had no idea how to even buy fabric, and she was wonderful and helped me pick out all this stuff:

My first few tries were duds.  First off, I just stuck whole strips of tulle through the stretchy ribbon instead of looping it through.

So I pulled them out and started over.  But this was fine with The Boonga, since it gave her time to play with the carpet tape.

My second mistake was that I spaced the tulle too far apart.  I went back and filled in each little square on the stretch ribbon.

This was also fine with The Boonga, since it gave her a chance to invade the 90%...Yes!  90% BAKING chocolate I had on the counter.  I won't even eat that stuff.

Did I mention that I don't sew?  I also don't measure.  So the first one turned out to be too small.  Which was also okay.

It gave The Boonga another chance to experiment more with the materials.  And use some of the nice white tulle to wipe her tushie afterward.

Why did she decide that her tushie needed wiping, and not the chocolate all over her shirt?  Who can really say.

Meanwhile, in my determination not to sew, I just tied the ends of the stretch elastic ribbon together.  I meant to buy some stick on velcro, but I forgot.

And the too small one wasn't a total loss, since she could wear it as a veil:

I hot glued on some little stars - some of them buttons and others little hang-y things I had found in the July 4th section at Hobby Lobby.  Finally, the correct size was finished!

The only problem was that she a little bit hated it.

Did I mention that I don't measure?  It was too long and she kept stepping on it.

So I wrestled with the scissors again and made it shorter.  Much better.

All said and done, it was tedious, but only because I started from scratch so many times.  If I had only done it once, I think this would be about a $10 project, maybe $15 at the outside.  And most importantly, NO SEWING!!!!

(Surgeon General's Warning:  This post may or may not be linked to some or all of these informative and entertaining blog hops).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Oprah Loves My Play Dough! Well...Oprah Never Tried My Play Dough. But She WOULD Love it if She Did.

It's the summer of the eternal play dough. Apparently. And I invented a new kind of coffee play dough that Oprah would love. Because it has coffee. And plus, I threw in some coconut oil so I could say it was good for my skin and nails.

The-Guy-Who-Knows-A-Song-About-A-Chicken drinks a LOT of coffee. Which is lucky, because our coffee maker is broken and the only amount of coffee he can make is ten cups.

Yes, ten cups at a time. And it's a lot of coffee, but it's also a lot of coffee grounds.

A LOT of coffee grounds. I saw a ton of recipes on Pinterest for No Cook coffee play dough, but because I went temporarily insane, I decided it would be a good day to cook with The Boonga repeat the words, "That's hot!" and "Ick! Get your head out of the garbage can!" as many times as humanely possible.

Plus, I had cream of tarter that I wanted to use up.

We used pickling salt, because as per the rules, I couldn't find the plain ole' salt until 10 seconds after we finished making the play dough.  It might have been eight and a half seconds.

And then I let The Boonga pour stuff in and stir it up.

Secret preschool teacher trick! Or maybe it's just a mean mom trick...notice that the stove is NOT lit. She just THINKS the pan is very, very hot. Honestly, I've even gotten away with this with five year olds.

I just light the pan for a few moments to give the kids that nice, warm, "I'm cooking!" feeling and then turn it on again afterword.  Presto! Danger reduced to a minimum.

 Of course, it doesn't work for things like cranberry sauce, where seeing and hearing the popping is half the experience, but it's perfect for play dough.

This play dough didn't come out as coffee scented as I thought it might (probably because despite the ten cup a day minimum, we ended up using water as the liquid).

But the texture is super fun, and The Boonga thought it was delicious.

It also makes for a very nice and incredibly inexpensive eye mask, since caffeine is easily absorbed into the skin and is a vasoconstrictor. It can help rosacea, sunburn, and dark shadows under the eyes.

No really! OPRAH SAID SO!

This play dough has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Or Oprah for that matter. But it's still awesome:

Here's where I got the card for the recipe:

Thank you Erin! Not my sister in law Erin. An Erin I met through my friend Google.

And that's it for now!  I'm starting link party next week.  Please comment below if you'd consider participating...because I'd hate to go through the whole set up and have it be a dud!

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Don't Put Cat Food in Your Ears!" and other parenting triumphs

The Sweet Pea texted me that my having put a piece of fresh pita bread in with her ukelele that I was sending to her at camp was "the most Jewish mother thing you've ever done!"

I, on the other hand, thought I had reached that pinnacle some years back.  I was on the phone with my aunt the evening before My Boy's sixth birthday when I ended up telling him,  "If you don't be quiet until I'm off the phone, I'm not going to let you turn six tomorrow and you'll have to stay five!"

Did I mention I teach parenting classes?

Well, that kid is 16 and old enough to know that even if Mom's a control freak, she can't actually prevent birthdays (But oh the money that I could be making!!!!!).  I have different parenting problems, like trying to get him to hug his baby sister.

I try not to really force him to interact with the baby too often, for fear that I'll drive him even further in the other direction.

It's not that I suddenly reverse strategy without warning, so much as how EASILY the guilt pours forth with no notice whatsoever that catches me by surprise:

Baby - "Hug!  Hug!"

Me, to my boy who is totally ignoring her - "Give her a hug!  You're going to give her a...a...complex?...What is he going to give her?"

Older Gal - "Yeah.  A complex."

Boy (still doing his best not to get anywhere near her)

Baby (continues trying for a hug)

Me - "Yeah, you're going to give her a complex.  And poor relationships with men.  And then she'll probably marry a drunk."

Boy (no reaction)

Me - "And then you'll have a drunk for a brother in law.  And he'll probably hit you up for money all the time."

Boy (attempts hug with as little bodily contact as possible).

Incidentally, the line is kind of long for my parenting classes.  You might want to get on the waiting list now.


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