Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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{14 days more to try out} 

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7 favorite DIY finds for valentines day
They include links to tutorials and printables so you can easily follow along at home!

Plus I am adding this last one for an even 8 great Valentine's DIY ideas! 

Red, White & Pink 

This one is my sister-in-laws-not only is she an incredible baker but she has incredible food photos! Be sure to check it out. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

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Today we worked with play dough!  Baby Bear and I took out a cute little set with a mini roller, 2 press forms and a storage bucket.  It was something that we were giving and I want to make my own colored dough so I know that all of the ingredients are safe to play with and (gulp!) eat (ugh..hopefully not!) You can even see the little bit that she tried to put in her mouth in the photo on the corner of her lips.  It was great to play with the play dough and work on the names of colors and shapes too.  She has super dexterous fingers and great small motor skills so she was able to work the dough pretty good.  I would do something first and then she was able to imitate it with her cute fingers (except the tasting part..I discouraged that!).  She liked the roller it has and also the squishing the dough onto the animal forms.   


Sunday, January 29, 2012

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project 365
driving in the snow

{Day 29} outside in the snow

I love how it gets so quiet when it is snowing.  I was driving out in the snow and it looks like I live on a scenic country road with the snow and the trees lining the road.  
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Project 365

{Day 26} swans in my pond

I think that the swans look so elegant and gorgeous with the snow around them as the backdrop.  I  know that the Trumpeter Swans do not like to migrate if they don't have to, so I guess that means that we will have a very mild winter! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

V-Day Top 8 DIY finds

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 Baby Bear Hugs -Top DIY finds for Valentine's Day
top 10 DIY valentine finds
For Valentine's Day I saw so many different things that I wanted to try on Pinterest! Valentine's Day is all about telling people you love them- and who doesn't need to hear that someone love them? -with something that was handmade!  My husband who is not a native English speaker, once told someone that {when cooking} to make something taste good "You need to MAKE love in it"!  We love to tease him about that, but it is so true that something handmade with love always is nice.  I picked my favorite 8 {in no particular order} to share with you and please click on the links below to see the instructions or printables!

The Criteria that I had for picking my favorites 
that they had to have DIY instructions so you can easily make them
be made by a 'person' who blogs
materials were easy to get
something that most people could follow 

Western Valentine Printable 

Crayon Hearts 

Coffee Sleeve   

Valentines Day Arm Warmers
 Sweetheart pops by

  See Through Hearts 

matchbox valentine 

Plus I am adding this last one for an even 8 great Valentine's DIY ideas! 

Red, White & Pink 

This one is my sister-in-laws-not only is she an incredible baker but she has incredible food photos! Be sure to check it out. 

we would love to see what you are making! please share a link or email with us

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

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Something Colorful
{Day 26} Colorful Expression

Baby Bear loves to be silly and enjoys trying to make me laugh.  She was eating her ice cream and licked her lips and I thought it was funny, so ever time she took a lick she looked at me to see if I was watching!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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guilty pleasure

Guilty Pleasure
{Day 24} sleeping on MY bed

So this is not MY guilty pleasure, but it is my dogs! She recently started to sleep on the end of our bed.  She never would even jump up so we could pet her, but she saw my sister's dog doing it and will casually jump up and pretend like she was always there.  You can even see in the camera that she is uncomfortable with the fact that I am noticing her on the bed! I just wish that she would cuddle, but baby steps!

look what I found laying on my PILLOW today-LOL

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

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something old

Something Old
{Day 23} My Great Grandmothers Ring

I love jewelry! Great stones and designs are my passion, but there is nothing like a family heirloom that has family history behind it.  This ring was given to me on my Bat Mitzvah by my Aunt.  I always liked to look at it any play with her ring and she said that it would be mine when I was old enough since she had all boys.  It was given to her by my Great Grandmother when she was a teenage also.  The Ruby is a Kabalistic symbol of protection and that is how I feel when I wear my little piece of my family's history.  

Play kitchen food from things you already have around the house

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Play kitchen food from things you already have around the house.
{ How to make your old containers into play food }

things for play kitchen

I talked before about how I wanted to make Naomi's Kitchen but settled on an upcycled one.  I decided that I could add my own touch to her play kitchen that had more of an handmade feel.  I collected boxes and containers that were small but that were representative of things in our kitchen that she would see me use.  

She already has a bucket of fruits and vegetables that she will use with her other play food.   I wanted to see how the containers fit and I put them in the kitchen.  Baby Bear was really interested in what was happening and came over to play.  She liked the boxes but wanted to know what was inside and it confused her that they were empty.  Next, she took out the clear plastic berry container and tried to put her fruits and veggies in. It was really exciting for her to open and close the clam shell!  

I decided that I was onto something!  I didn't even have to re-decorate the containers yet and Baby Bear was really happy.  I think that I will slowly work on making new labels for her jars and boxes.  The creamer container aka her new milk, yogurt cups with cute Trader Joe's Designs already on them and the plastic clam shells will stay as-is, but the rest will soon get a makeover!

play food for kitchen

Monday, January 23, 2012

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Re-Potting Your Plant
{& using an old plastic lid for potting drainage}


 I admit it, I neglected my plants ever since I had Baby Bear.  I used to fertilized and prune them, but alas, they are left neglected and hardly watered.  I looked at one of my sad plants and decided that I needed to revive it or toss it out.  I chose to revive it! For one thing, I love the fact that they naturally cleanse the air.  I also really want Baby Bear to grow up and learn how to take care of the earth.  

The first thing that I needed to figure out is what pot that I would be using.  I already have a really nice pot that I was not using anymore (because..a-hem..I killed the plant).  The pot does not have a drainage hole and i did not have any old clay pots around or rocks to put in the bottom.  I looked around for what I could use and took a plastic yogurt lid out of the recycling bin.

Plastic lid


Find a lid that fits in your new pot and then make holes in it with a knife or scissors.  You will need to place it on the bottom so that the rim touches the bottom of the pot and elevates the lid so that there is room for the water to collect and not touch the plant roots.

re-pot top

Mix your soil with some fertilizer per instructions on the fertilizer package.  I prefer to use TerraCycle brand because you do not need to add water and I love their business practices.  They package their products in old pop bottles and it is made of worm poop.  You can find it at Home Depot and Whole Foods Market.


Cover with a small amount of soil.  You want it so that when you put the plant in that it will sit 1/2 inch under the rim.  

pot with soil

Break up the root ball very carefully on the bottom so that a few of the roots come loose. Place your plant in the pot and fill with potting soil/fertilizer mixture up to the same soil line that it currently has.  

Water your plant, but do not over water it.  Most house plants like to wait until their soil is dry to add more water.  It is important to check on what the recommended watering instructions are.  Place your plant in it's optimum light conditions and it may look sad for a few days but will begin to perk up as it settles into it's new home.  It would also help to get root stimulator to add to the planter as per directions (Make sure NOT to get root stimulating HORMONE).


{my soap box moment}

I feel that allowing children to participate in [safe] projects and cooking around the house is a vital part of their learning.  Baby Bear is only 15 months old and I let her work with me when I am doing something [that will not hurt her].  She knows how to feed the dog because I let her help me carry the food cup to the dog's bowl.  She now likes to do it by herself and yes, she occasionally spills along the way, but our dog helps with the clean-up! She also helps when I am baking bread or putting ingredients in a bowl.  I always let her hold the fresh fruits and veggies when I am cooking before I need them so that she will {cross my fingers} want to try them.  My mom also taught her how to smell the spices in the spice holder.

                                             baby bear planting
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The Ceiling at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan
The entire theater is encompassed in design and the ceiling shines like a jewel.  I am posting this as inspiration for future art projects.  I hope the design inspires you.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

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project 365

my shoes
{Day 22} ~ shoes that I love

So these shoes actually just sit in my closet most of the time.  I like to look at them.   The shoes with the rhinestone buckle get to go out for a hot date night {rarely} and the occasional wedding {very rare that they will actually match the dress}.  I can count the times that I have worn the blue sparkles on one hand {with jeans once, with a costume twice}. I have other name brand expensive shoes, but there is something about these two pairs that give them character.  I just keep them on the shelf in my closet because I still love to look at them and they always make me smile.  
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project 365
my reflection
{Day 21} my shadow 

I tried to take a picture of something cool with my reflection, but they turned out like ugly blobs.  I settled on my shadow instead.  I have a hard time looking in the mirror sometimes with my after-baby body.  I have been working really hard at the gym and ramped up my routine to include spinning (I know you already read about my love for the Real Ryder Bike), TRX, Basic Training Classes with Mike, and Pilates.  It has been almost 16 months and I still have some way to go but I am trying to feel better about my body and love it for the fact that it was able to make such a beautiful human being.  I did not edit out anything and I took an honest photo of myself from the side and I actually feel really good about it (that is something that I have not been able to say in a while).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

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 <  Coming Soon!  >

My tutorial on a Children's Play Barn made from cardboard (and super cute)

~Here is my inspiration~

Baby Bear loved this when we were at the library and it looked like a pretty simple and modern design.  I thought that it would be an easy project to create using cardboard.  I would love to make it out of wood but who has the tools and wants to make a mess with sanding and cutting.  I already have the pattern made out and I am just waiting for my legal size paper to come in the mail.  If you would like a *sneak preview* of the design so that you can make one yourself (and share with my readers) please email me and I will send the PDF over.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

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Someone I love 
{Day20} My husband~ Mr. Baby Bear Hugs

This is Mr. BBH and I on our date night this week.  We have not gotten to have very many and it is so nice to get out and have adult time to be together.  
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project 365
{Day 19} Diet Coke

I know this is so boring, but this was the sweetest thing that I had today.  We were going to go for dessert after the show, but nothing was open on the way home.  
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Something I purchased
{Day 18} Tickets to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me

OK. So I did not actually purchase them on the 18th, but I didn't purchase anything that day.  I got the tickets for Mr. BBH's birthday and we went on the 19th.  It was really cool to see the show being taped live for radio.  I love Mo Rocca and he was one of the panelists that night! If you have never listened to the show, you need to go to NPR's website and listen to the free podcast.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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I saw some really amazing art storage ideas today at The Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield, Michigan.  This is only the starting point for all of the mesmerizing ideas that they have at this place. 
The first storage idea is for finger paints.  

FC paint dispenser

There are no-touch dispensers that you just press from the bottom, so you get an easy and hopefully mess-free dispense.  The paint cups are kept right next to the dispensers as well for easy usage.  Not only is it functional, but it also looks really sleek and modern as decor on the wall with the colors filled up inside.

Now my FAVORITE idea EVER!
The bubble gum machine as an art material holder and dispenser.  

art dispenser at FC

I love color that they chose so that the machines pop against the blue paint. Not only is it really fun and exciting to look at, but you can also see all of your choices for materials as its own art piece.    It is so colorful and fun that Baby Bear could not keep her hands off!  She did not want to leave this room. 

 (You can find out more about what the Friendship Circle is at www.friendshipcircle.org) 
my favorite charity

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Make Your Own Comic Strip
A Baby Bear Hugs Free Download

I made this comic strip for teaching today.   I have a student that I tutor/teach that needs some interactive learning tools that can also assess his understanding.  He likes digital things, but sometimes that gets too distracting because he can easily find a way to look at something that is off the topic.  His mom says that he loves comics (we also use them as a teaching tool instead of reading plain type) and so she said that we should make our own strip.  

I love this idea and decided to make a fun strip that you can fill in with your own comic.  I will post some student drawing soon!

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Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.

Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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water~droplets of rain on the window
{Day 17}  Baby Bear and I look out the window at the rain coming down

Monday, January 16, 2012

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Morning routine

my morning routine~waking up the baby and getting her ready
{Day 16}

This part of the morning routine has not been so fun lately.  Baby Bear wakes up and does NOT want her diaper changed.  She says 'no no no no' and runs!  I can sometimes get her to stand up on the table and puts she her hands on the wall like a criminal with her tushie facing me.  Sometimes she sings and gets distracted, so then it is OK. Never thought such simple things could be so complicated.   

Sunday, January 15, 2012

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Things that make me HAPPY
{Day 15} Being Silly!

I Love that Baby Bear is starting to have a sense of self and tries to make us laugh.  My sister put something on her dog's head and Baby Bear thought it was hilarious, then she imitated it and it made us laugh! It has been a few days now and she will get silly and give me a look to see what I think and then will giggle along with me.  It makes me so happy that she is smiley and funny.  

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book i am reading

Book I am Reading~Baby Bear's new favorite book
{Day 14}

I am reading Baby Bear her new favorite book by Mo Willems  There is a Bird on Your Head (a elephant and piggie book).  It is really cute, funny and simple! I highly recommend the series of books as a great baby present or birthday gift.  
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in my bag
My Bag~inside my teaching bag
{Day 14} 

I am totally being that rude person that nobody wants at a presentation that is typing on my computer to add this! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

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Close-Up ~ My face
{Day 12}
Close up view of my eyes.  I was trying to get the green color of my eye.  It looks like I have sunbursts if you really look in my eyes because there are yellow and brown stripes.  You can kind of see the brown stripes!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

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Natural Cleaner tutorial

This is a SUPER Simple cleaner that is easy to make, safe, eco friendly, and effective and many surfaces. The best part is that you do not have to worry if little hands get a hold of the bottle because there are no toxic ingredients. 

What You Need
Spray Bottle
Distilled White Vinegar
Essential Oil Scent (optional but highly recommended)

Take a clean spray bottle and fill it half with water and half with vinegar.
I chose lavender oil and I put 10 drops in the mixture, and 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil.  I really prefer to use Thieves Oil.  It is a mixture of essential oils that have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties plus it smells nice and so it adds a double whammie to the cleaner.

Then use it to clean on almost any surface (it is acidic, so not a good idea for granite)

I find that it helps to break down grease and oil on pots and pans when i spray it on them before I wash them off. 
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