The Classic Zen Swaddle by Nested Bean

Friday, July 18, 2014

 Nested Bean contacted me telling me they introduced a new swaddle called the Zen Swaddle Classic and I had to have my hands on it!  It's been a few months since I've written a review on their Premium Swaddle HERE and let me tell you, the Zen swaddle i little man's favorite.  We love the Premier but the Zen Classic is perfect for summer!  It's light weight and the cotton is super duper soft. 

He use to have a love hate relationship with being swaddled but now it's an essential part of our bedtime routine.  He is knocked out in two minutes flat after being swaddled in the Zen!  

The Classic is so cute too and comes in three different colors.  A neutral white, pink and blue like this one. 

The construction of this swaddle is pretty much the same as the Premier [pictures from the Premier]... 
a small lovely newborn pocket 

and my favorite part is the wide and soft Velcro that they use.  Makes it easy to wrap those wiggly worms up. 

The Classic is also lightly weighted, which is what makes the Zen different than other swaddles.  It's what I love about these swaddles.  Again, this doesn't affect it when washing.  Just Velcro it shut, wash and dry.  The Peruvian cotton just seems to get softer with each wash.  

There are a lot of swaddles out there and I know the Zen costs a bit more than others.  This was probably the only thing I didn't like about it. After having the Premier for months, I can tell the difference and know why it costs what it does.  The fabric they use on these swaddles is quality.  The cotton on the Classic is just so so soft [I can't say it enough] and the Zen swaddles we have will definitely be passed down to family who have kids in the future.  Plus I love all the little details, like the stitching on the bird.  Way to go Nested Bean!

This was his first time using the Classic and as you can see it was a hit.  It's super easy to use and much safer than using a regular receiving blanket.  I wrapped him like a burrito and right away his eyes just started to sink...

Until BAM he's out cold.  

He's already sleeping in two six hour shifts and being swaddled is part of the reason.  On those rough days I also swaddle for naps and he will sleep for two to three hours all wrapped up.  I can't get enough of watching him sleep.  So sweet! 

He loves Nested Bean's Swaddle and so do I!  You can check it out on their website HERE or on Amazon HERE.  

Until next time.  Toodles!

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Making Crayons

Friday, July 11, 2014

School is out and summer is in full swing.  This means I had to fill our calendar with things to do and places to go.  Here's an easy and fun way to fill some of that free time... making crayons.  

Instead of throwing away old crayons I usually collect them in a jar and save them for those spontaneous days when we need to do something.  
I think her favorite part is peeling the paper off the crayons.

Fill any silicone mold.  These are for a dollar at Ikea.

Bake it at the lowest setting until the crayons melt.  Then let them cool before popping then carefully out of the mold.

Don't these look a little familiar?!  We made them to go on the kids table for her Dr. Seuss first birthday party.
Do you have any fun and easy summer activities for the kiddos?

Until next time.  Toodles!

Tutorial: Zebra Tote

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Here is a quick mini tutorial for the tote bag I made for the birthday girl from the Zebra Themed Sleepover Party.  It would be the perfect beach tote for summer.

 I started with a square piece, sewed down a pocket, pinned the straps from the bottom going all the way around like shown.  Repeat for the back side of the bag. Sew the straps on each side. 

 Once you get to the top rim of the bag, skip about a fourth of an inch.  If you don't, you will run into trouble when you sew the lining of the bag in.

I used teal for the bottom of the bag and doubled the rectangle piece of fabric to make the bottom stronger . You can also use interfacing to give me more stability.  Sew it to the bottom.  Repeat for the back side of the bag.

Turn the bag inside out and sew all the way around leaving the top open.   

If you want you can box out the bottom to give it depth inside.  Check out my other tutorial for details on how to do this.

Sew the lining just like you did with the outside of the bag but leave a little section at the bottom open.   Box the bottom of the lining if you did so to the outside portion.  [SORRY no photo].

 I pinned the straps down to make sure I didn't sew them on accident.  

Tuck the lining into the front of the back.  Both should be right side out.  Pin along the top.  Sew all around the top.

Pull the bag right side out through the opening you left in the lining.  For more details about sewing the lining into a tote check out this tutorial.

Iron it.  Sew along the top and the strap down.  Before you know it you will have a tote! Easy peasy ad it takes less than an hour to make.

Until next time.  Toodles!

Living Room Progress: Rustic Frame Collage

Monday, July 7, 2014

My hubby thinks it's crazy that I seem to pick huge projects to do right before we pack up and move but I can't help myself. Before Germany I went Tupperware crazy and organized our pantry. The nice thing was that when we moved into our new house everything was already set. This time around I chose to finish the picture frame collage I've been meaning on working on since forever. With the help and guidance of my sister and two besties [who know I am interior decorating challenged] it turned out great! 

The wall was inspired by this pin.  That collage was a little modern for my taste but I liked the set up. I have a more rustic, log cabin distressed sort of style. I chose the wood and metal piece with the slightly cheesy phrase from Target as my focal point.

The total cost of the wall including the prints was about $180. 

Here's the breakdown... the frames with the red asterisks are from Michael's... 40 percent off plus and extra 25 percent off making both $43. The light wood ones with the green asterisk are from target on clearance for $8. The rest are from TJMaxx and Home Goods between $5 and $12 depending on the size.

 Probably my favorite thing about the collage is seeing all our memories and the places we've been blessed enough to see. There are pictures of five different countries on the collage. I love that I can finally display the pictures I've taken.  Can you guess where we are at in these pictures?

It was a pain in the butt to hang up but worth it. I laid out how I wanted it to look on the floor first and used this tip to hang it all up. My one suggestion would be to save up and try buy all your frames at once. It's easier to visualize it that way, rather than buying it one by one. 

Our living room is still a work in progress that we are adding to little by little. We're doing it Dave Ramsey style so it's taking a little longer to get it all together. Along with the collage we recently got this couch that I am still in love with.  I love white and cream linen couches like the ones from Pottery Barn and this is the knock off, but so much more comfortable.  It's the Friday sectional from JcPenny. Can you spot the little man?
Here's what sold us on it....
1. Protection Plan. If there is a stain, tear or whatever that they can't fix on the slip cover they will completely replace the entire slip cover for free in five years. Amazing. 
2. The ENTIRE slip cover comes off and can be washed in the washing machine. I've washed the seat ones already and they wash great. I love it! 
5. All the cushions are reversible making the time between washes longer. 
3. It's filled with down feathers and overly comfortable.
 4. The big winner is the chaise and single seat to the left of it.  Both can be moved to either side.  Chaise on the left... sure. Chaise on the right. Why not. Perfect for us since we move a ton. I also like that you can keep making it bigger by adding those single seats.  In the picture I only moved the chaise and not the extra seat too.

 They also gave us this awesome cleaner. Even though the little lady is the clean police and doesn't let anyone eat or drink on the couch her chocolate fingers still manage to find their way to the cushions. This cleaner has gotten so many different stain... shoe scuffs, crayon, chocolate, baby spit up, and the list goes on.  It's amazing.

Now we are still on the hunt for the perfect coffee table or ottoman so for now we are using the kids table.  I spray painted it teal and it's actually working out great.  It's the perfect size and gives her a place to eat, drink, and play

So that is our living room progress.  What else is on the list?  New throw pillows, a rug, blankets, coffee table, side table, lamp, and TV stand.  I just have to consult with my decorators as to what works best. 

Until next time.  Toodles!

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