Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DIY Trellis

We're selling our house and needed plants for the front stairs to "spruce it up" a bit.  So I bought Mandevillas because I heard they are hard to kill and since I tend to kill most plants I buy, I thought these were a good match.  And my goodness, I've done nothing to them and they're growing like crazy!!  So crazy that they outgrew the mini trellises they came with.  So I went to Walmart and Lowes looking for trellises....are those out of style these days?  Because no one carries them.  So I made my own.

Step One: Find two 4 ft long sturdy sticks and two 12" sticks.  These are the sizes I used, but you can make them bigger or smaller depending on where you want to put your trellis.

Step Two:  Lay out your trellis to the pattern you want.

Step Three:  Use twine to secure each intersection.  Wrap a few times around one diagonal then switch to the other direction.  Tie in a secure knot in the back of the trellis.

Step Four:  Stick in your planter and place your vines accordingly.  Looks like I'll need a bigger trellis soon.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rear-Facing Carseat for your TODDLERS

I've posted about this on facebook before, but I feel like it fell on deaf ears (or blind eyes?)  So after reading an article on Parenting.com today about child safety, I feel like saying this about kids in carseats again: “REAR-facing is 5 times safer for two-year-olds.” -Dr. Baer, child safety expert

"The fix: Follow the newly-issued guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics that advise parents to keep their toddlers in REAR-facing car seats until age 2 OR until they exceed the height or weight limit for their car seat, which is typically 20 pounds for an infant seat, and 35 to 40 pounds for a convertible seat. Even if your child’s legs are touching the back seat of the car, or even bending so they’ll fit, it’s not unsafe and NOT a reason to turn your child around too soon."
(*info taken from a recent article about Child Safety on Parenting.com http://www.parenting.com/gallery/car-seat-laws-requirements-installation?pnid=318525 )

Don't want to believe me?  Watch this... Crash Test Dummies  Google it for more.  Head on collisions are far more serious than a rear-ender.  

I've heard these arguments:
1. I've already turned her around forward facing, she'll be mad if I turn her back around.
I say: So you don't want to enforce rules with your child? Your 2 yr old knows more about safety than you do? And you'd rather her have a broken neck?

2. I don't know how to install the seat.
I say: Take it to a fire station, they'll do it for you. Not an excuse.

3. Other kids will make fun of him for being rear facing still.
I say: Kids make fun of kids no matter what. Wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry? Wouldn't you rather have your child tell you when they're an adult that they remember being made fun of, vs not having your child make it to their adult years?

4. A rear-ended accident would cause the whiplash if they're forward facing. 
I say: Do you want whip-lash from a minor rear ended accident, or broken neck, paralysis, or death from a head on collision. You choose.

5. The odds of getting into a fatal head-on collision are so small, it won't happen to us. 
I say: I don't have those statistics, but my mom was killed in a head on collision so they do happen to normal people.

This is such a simple fix.  You may be one of the lucky ones who never gets in the accident which would be wonderful on so many levels.  You might be one of those parents who has had 3 or 4 kids already and never had an accident so why not keep doing things the way you have been, right?  If you got cancer would you want the same treatment doctors were doing 10 years ago?  nope.  Maybe you're a grandparent who isn't up to date on all the new research...tell your kids!

I can't say it enough, this is such a SIMPLE thing to do to protect your sweet babies and toddlers!  We run around our houses making them childproof, buying covers for our outlets, gates for stairways, locks for cabinets...why not childproof your car!?! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making Dinner Fun!

I really lucked out with a non-picky eater.  Kaylee will go for anything green and leafy before eating anything else on her plate.  She loves chicken, turkey, hamburger, steak, potatoes, pasta, fruit, and veggies.  In fact, she refuses to eat cake!  She does like cake pops though!

Tonight's dinner was Love Burgers with spinach salad.  I could have given Kaylee a regular burger and she wouldn't have cared, but I wanted to spruce up her plate just for fun.  Normally I would chop the mozarella up into cubes but Kaylee likes to eat cheesesticks, so I left hers long.  I used a large heart cookie cutter to cut the bun and burger.

Salads can be fun!  Add random things to your salads to entice your kids to eat the whole salad...we eat fresh spinach because I think it tastes better than romaine or iceburg.  Items I add are: cheese, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, mandarin oranges, hardboiled eggs cut up or sliced!  Heck, let your kids put ingredients onto a spinach leaf and make a little taco!  The bright colors make them more fun too!

Make a "Hamburger Salad" - croutons (cut up buns), crumbled hamburger, tomatoes, onions, cheese cubes, maybe a honey mustard dressing

How about a "Pizza Salad" - shredded cheese, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms

Have you tried a Salad on a Stick?  Use shish-ka-bob skewers, slide on different salad items then eat right off the stick!  That idea just came to me, I think we'll make those tomorrow!

This salad has steak, chicken, olives, cheese, apples, blueberries.  She ate that entire plate full.

I'm not an expert but I don't see anything wrong with letting kids "play" with their foods enough for them to get the feel for the textures.  Toddlers explore with their hands, so why not let them "explore" their food before they commit to eating it?  

Here's Kaylee "exploring" spaghetti at about 11 months old.

With that said, if we're in a restaurant I don't let Kaylee eat her macaroni and cheese with her hands, she has to use a fork....or two forks.

okay, okay you caught me...I did let her go forkless at Smokey Bones once.  In her (my) defense, she was only 15 months old and I forgot to bring a little fork for her.

Well, my goal in writing this blog was to give you ideas on how to spruce up dinner for your kids, but it turned into a "scroll through iPhoto reminiscing about the last 2 years" instead.  So I hope you enjoyed my food lover!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Many of you know that I used to make Kayteedids Hairbows.  I've stopped selling them now but I still make Kaylee's bows.  I love being able to whip one up before we head out somewhere (a girl has to match at all times you know!)  But alas, I've outgrown my love affair with making hairbows.  So I was delighted to stumble upon a shop on facebook awhile back.  Here's my disclaimer:  They have no idea I am writing this blog, I don't know the shop owners, I have paid for every single bow I own of theirs, and I never told them that I would advertise for them.  I am strictly writing this as a mom who has fallen in love with someone else's bows and wants to tell the world...or at least all 6 of you who read this blog. :)

I'm unsure of how I stumbled upon Julia's Bowtique, but I did and I'm never looking back.  She had posted a set of basic hair bows for sale and I couldn't pass up her amazing price!  I don't remember the price for my first set but it was something along the lines of $1 per bow...UNHEARD of in the bow-world!  The set of 5 I purchased were red, green, blue, yellow, and purple 4" bows on alligator clips.

Now, I have to say that I am a skeptic when it comes to online shopping.  (I know that's bad to say since I'm an online seller myself!)  But Julia's Bows were AMAZING!  I'll say it again, A-MAZ-ING! They are the perfect size, well made, quality ribbon, fast shipping, and GREAT prices!!  Just this week I realized that Kaylee *needed* more bows for her collection, so I got this set of 12 for $16 total (including shipping)!!!  That is $1.34 per bow...did I mention that this price is UNHEARD of?!  She has an extensive list of colors to choose from and I got these bows in less than a week from when I paid.  Impressive all around.

My daughter isn't a super frilly, girly-girl so these solid colors and polka dots are right up her alley.

BUT never fear, check out the Julia's Bowtique website for more amazing, elaborate, and fun bows for all occasions!!  You can find them on facebook too!  http://www.facebook.com/juliasbowtique

Friday, August 19, 2011

Auction for CureSearch for Children's Cancer

Through a friend in my mom's Bible Study a couple of years ago I was introduced to the story of Eve, a 2 year old (at the time) who was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor (cancer of the kidneys). As much as I feel like I stalk her mom's blog, I won't try to wow you with statistics because I'm sure I'll get them wrong. BUT you can read her blog for yourself... Eve vs. Wilms

Eve's mom Christy is absolutely hilarious and writes from the heart. Eve is currently cancer-free...woohoo! But Christy continues to be a warrior in raising money for research to help current and future families. She'll be hiking The Ultimate Hike in October as one of her many fundraising gigs.

So in honor of Eve and to help Christy, I am auctioning off a Kayteedids Lovey and 100% of the total sold price will be donated to CureSearch for Children's Cancer - the organization that the Ultimate Hike is designed for.

The auction is on Facebook with the help of The Mom Shoppe who has a lot more followers than I do. Click here to go to The Mom Shoppe, "like" the page, then go to the multi-vendor album. Look for this blanket to bid on (#33)!  Just to clarify, my blanket is the only one being donated to this charity.  The other items are strictly for the vendor unless it states otherwise.

If you don't have a facebook account but would like to contribute to the fundraiser, click here to donate The Ultimate Hike.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I did it!

I finished knitting my very first scarf!  In my previous post you'll notice that I started with red yarn and skinny needles.  Well, my hands hurt so bad after get that far along that friends suggested I try larger needles.  That worked!!  I upgraded to a 15 instead of 10's.  And I found yarn that was less "stringy" which made it difficult for a first timer like me to follow where my actual stitches were.

Here is my finished product!

I used the basic knitting stitch for the entire thing.  And I didn't follow a pattern (because I never follow directions until I'm half way through with something and realize I did it wrong) so it's a bit wide for a scarf, but the person who is receiving it as a gift will love it no matter what it looks like.  He'll have to remain nameless though incase he's reading this. ha!

Up next?  Another scarf! This time I'm learning the Purl stitch, and I learned my lesson so I'll be making this one skinnier.

I followed this youtube video.  There are no words so you don't have to have your sound on!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A new hobby

My sewing room is next door to Kaylee's room and although she usually sleeps through my sewing, there are times she does wake up. So I've decided not to sew at night to make sure she gets a full nights sleep. But what I've found is that I'm very bored after she goes to bed! My A.D.D.(truly diagnosed) kicks into high gear when I try to sit and watch tv or a movie with my husband in the evenings. I'm normally on the laptop throughout an entire movie, or up doing things and I typically miss out on key parts and my poor husband has to explain things to me. So I've decided to take up knitting! I'm hoping it will keep my brain and hands busy while still allowing me to focus on the tv! We'll see...

My sister suggested finding a tutorial on youtube so here's my first attempt, 30 minutes worth of work so far. Watch out...everyone is getting scarves and washcloths for Christmas!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kaylee's 2nd Birthday party

When I had Kaylee, I decided that I would make her birthday dress every year until she wants a store bought one.  I figure if I resign myself now to the fact that she will indeed prefer a store bought one someday, it won't sting as much when she says it officially.  For now, I can pick the colors and pattern although I do look forward to the years that she gets excited about picking the pattern and fabrics herself, and maybe even helping me sew!

This year I found my pattern and immediately knew I wanted to do black and white damask with purple accents.  I have no idea why that came to me, other than the fact that Kaylee looks good in purple.  So I made this dress with my amazingly helpful sewing teacher, Nancy.  The dress spurred my love (obsession) of damask and so the party theme was created.

Flowers: Mandy Haak of We Like Flowers Twitter: WeLikeFlowers
Happy Birthday banner: Ooh LaLa Crafts Twitter: Ooh_LaLa_Crafts
Cupcake toppers: Ooh LaLa Crafts Twitter: Ooh_LaLa_Crafts
Paper Straws: Hey Yo Yo Facebook: Hey-Yo-Yo
Cake: Annika (a 13 year old cake baking genius! She hand piped the damask!)
DressKayteedids couture (aka mom) Twitter: KayteedidsShop Facebook: KayteedidsShop

Food: mom and friends
Water Bottle labels: mom
Pinwheels and gift bags: mom and friends

Monday, June 27, 2011

A rainbow is never a failure

Well, I was hoping this was going to be my first "introductory" blog post that would wow all my friends with my amazing ability to pour some jello.  Unfortunately, I do not have the amazing ability to pour jello!

Kaylee's 2nd birthday is this coming week and we had another family over for a BBQ to celebrate.  Her big birthday party will be at Grandpa's house in California in a couple of weeks.  (Be on the look out for that blog post!)  So for this mini-party I had the brilliant plan to make these from Glorious Treats blog:
(picture courtesy of Glorious Treats blog)

I couldn't find fancy glasses like she used but I did find basic drinking glasses at Target - 4 for $2.50!  With Kaylee down for her nap, I set out to achieve a masterpiece.  The recipe I was following didn't say how many desserts this would make so I bought 2 small boxes of each color to be on the safe side.  Note: You only need 1 box of each color to make 8 small glasses.  Unless you mess up like I did and have to start over...but more on that later.

I started with the purple layer.  Really you can do whatever color order you want! Red, White (cool whip) and Blue for the 4th of July, the colors of your favorite sports team for a party, Red and green layers for Christmas...oh the list goes on!

This is my left-handed pouring while right-handed photographing in my attempt to be like The Pioneer Woman...I wonder if she uses a tripod?  That would have been nice.  But I digress.

You make the jello using the quick set method.  After several attempts I found that using slightly less boiling water and slightly less cold water to get a thicker pouring jello which was easier to create layers with.

Next pour in your bottom color to whatever level you prefer, reserving about 1/3 of the liquid jello. It can sit out while the other stuff chills.

Here's a tip: When you pour your layer of jello, take a spoon and scoop out the bubbles.  Better yet, scoop out the bubbles when it's still in the mixing bowl!!

Put your glasses in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.  I used a tray for ease in taking the glasses in and out of the fridge each time.  Now put your jello mixing bowl in the sink, add hot water and let it sit while you go off and do your laundry, clean the house, iron clothes for 30 minutes....oh who am I kidding, I watched tv.

When you go to make the next layer of jello, your bowl will be clean and all remaining jello bits will have dissolved. Rinse and start the next color!  Easy clean up!

Take 1/3 cup of cool whip and mix it into the remaining purple jello.  The directions I had said to "pour the mixture on top of the slightly set purple jello already in the glasses" but my coolwhip mixture was not pourable so I spooned it on top and then carefully spread it evenly over the purple jello layer.  I was so proud and even caught myself dancing egotistically around the kitchen.  Note: don't do your celebratory dance until you know you've actually done it right!

Then you put this into the fridge to chill for 15-30 minutes.  See how this can be an all-day feat?  Okay, fast forward 15 minutes, and we're onto the next layer.

Now here is where I got tripped up and had to change my original plan.  Hopefully you can learn from my mistake.  But if you do and yours turns out great, don't tell me about it.  Kidding! I'd love to see it!

Repeat the steps for making the quick-set jello with your next color.  I chose blue.  See the ice?  That's the quick set method.

Take the glasses with your purple and cool whip layers out of fridge and pour the blue jello onto the purple cool whip layer.  Just like that, so easy....WAIT!!  Who am I kidding?  I completely bombed at this step. And no, there are no pictures because I was too mad, maybe even a tear or two.  I tried pouring the blue jello from a pyrex pitcher and the stream was too thick...It busted right through that delicious cool whip layer right down to the purple layer.  That caused the cool whip layer to float to the top.  So after I ruined 2 glasses that way, I switched to a measuring cup thinking it would give me a wider stream.  Nope, ruined 2 more.  4 left.  So, using the measuring cup I dribbled the jello literally one drop at a time.  This worked for 2 of them, the other 2 bombed as well.  So what did I do you ask?  I dumped them all out and started over with the purple layer.

Oh I should mention that Kaylee had awoken from her nap, played, eaten dinner, and gone back to bed for the night before I started in on my new attempt.  So please don't think I was neglecting my (almost) 2 year old for some jello.

2nd attempt at the purple layer poured & chilled - check.  This time I decided to forego the coolwhip layer and go for this look from Zakka Life's blog instead.
(picture courtesy of Zakka Life blog)

At this point I figured out how to pour jello slowly, widely, and softly!  But I was too tired at this point to attempt the cool whip layers again.  Are you ready for this magical tip?  A spoon.  A regular old flatware spoon that you eat cereal with.   Such a simple solution that my complex brain couldn't think of it....Hey! No need to laugh at that!

Okay, so you spoon on the blue layer, let it chill for 30 minutes, make the green layer, spoon it onto the blue layer, let it chill for 30 minutes...yada yada yada and this is what I had by the end of my dessert project:
 See why I said to scoop out the bubbles?

I also did not use a piping bag to make my cool whip topping look like perfection, but I suppose this was a lesson in being okay with non-perfection anyways!  We'll call it artistic!  Yosemite's Half Dome anyone?

All in all it was still an impressive dessert.  As you can see, no one liked it...

Another tip:  If you have little ones who like to play "kitchen" or "store", open your jello boxes by sliding your finger or a knife under the entire flap (don't use the "press here" marks) then glue or tape it back shut to add to their kitchen!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Under Construction

The Kayteedids Couture blog is currently under construction.  Please bare with us as we get it all snazzy and dressed up for you!!  In the meantime, you can read my guest blog below and check out my favorite shops and blogs on the left!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Favorite Finds for Kids!

**This is a copy of the guest blog post I did for Eisley Rae Clothing Blog**

Hi! I'm Kate of Kayteedids Couture, a boutique full of snuggly baby blankets! My husband, daughter and I live on the outskirts of Raleigh, NC but we are originally from San Jose, CA.  My mom taught me to sew at an early age and now that I have a daughter of my own, I have rekindled my passion for sewing and creating.  I am enjoying getting to know other moms who also have a love of sewing or being crafty (like Alyson here at Eisley Rae!).  I also LOVE to share new things and support fellow handmade sellers!

So with that, onto my Favorite Finds for Kids!  The retail world definitely knows how to market to new moms.  Every time I see a fancy toy with bright colors and all the bells and whistles I say “Oh! Kaylee NEEDS this!”  It sings, it dances, it flashes colored lights…you’d think I was still a kid too!  Kaylee is 21 months old and I’m still learning that even when we bring home that fancy toy, she still prefers her wooden blocks, her books, and her favorite loveys.  When I sit down to build a tower, put puzzles together, and read a book with her I realize that these are the priceless moments.  The quality moments where I watch my daughter’s fine motor skills develop, hear the subtle new words that come out in her chitter chatter, and see her personality come to life.  I’d love to showcase my favorite shops who lovingly handcraft items that I think are true necessities for all children and mommies, starting from birth.  And none of them needed flashing lights to drawn my attention!


Paul Chung on Etsy
Your baby might not care how you decorate his or her nursery, but you sure do!  And how cute would a nursery be with these Alphabet Letters!  Or think about your 2 and 3 year old learning their ABC’s with these on the walls of the playroom!!  Paul Chung creates these adorable digital art prints that you can purchase individually or in sets.

I also love this shop because Paul Chung is a DAD!  It warms my heart to see artistic Dads in the handmade world.


For a soon-to-be new mom, Diaper Bags can be a difficult item to register for and buy.  But not at Sewn Creations!  These are designed and made by a mom who knows from experience what you really need in a diaper bag! 

But what really got me are the ADORABLE Sewn Creations toddler backpacks!  I will be ordering one soon for our trip to California this summer.  How cute to see my little 2 year old (in June) walking through the airport with this on her back, carrying her OWN snacks, blanket and stuffed puppy!


Junie None on Etsy
At Junie None you will find the most amazing quilts and baby quilts that you will ever lay eyes on.  I can attest to their high quality too!  I have a Junie None Playmat AND Baby Quilt! The Playmat is so versatile…from tummy time as an infant to a picnic blanket at the park!

The little quilt is just the perfect size to snuggle your little one in their carseat or stroller, and can easily be carried around as they grow!! 

Heather at Junie None is as sweet as can be and you can bet your quilt will be made with more love than it can possibly hold!  And mommies, there are quilts in your size too!  Check out her shop for so much more!


Tiny Giraffe on Etsy
You MUST visit Tiny Giraffe’s shop!  Amy handcrafts wooden blocks that are to die for!  These are a great gift for babies and toddlers!  Building with blocks develops fine motor skills and what better way to be practicing than with Tiny Giraffe blocks!  Check out her Easter Basket Goodies for fun ideas of sweet gifts to put in your child’s Easter basket this year!

I’d also like to add that these blocks would make amazingly cute décor in ANYONE’s room or house!  You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these!

I love unique stuffed animals.  Actually I love all stuffed animals, but I especially enjoy the animals that you typically don’t find in stores.  So I immediately fell in love with the Mateo & Tobias Woodland Creatures!  Raccoons, Crocodiles, Foxes, Oh My! 

What is even more exciting is that when you go to Mateo & Tobias for the animals, I promise you will get lost in all of their other listings for such fun décor and artwork!


This is a new and budding business that I know will go far!  Affordable custom T-shirts for boys and girls of all ages!  All of their designs are hand sewn with an eye for detail!  These are a great way to spice up your little boy’s wardrobe or personalize your daughter’s very own princess!

Lena and Lauren have kids of their own and know how hard it is to find that "exact shirt" you're looking for.  They are a JOY to work with and are so crafty I guarantee you'll be more than please with their designs!  Head over to the Sew4Him Custom Creations facebook page to say hi!

littleandbigK on Etsy
My friend went to Australia this year on vacation and bought Kaylee this super cute Kangaroo shirt at a local craft mart!  Lo and behold they are an Etsy shop!  These shirts are amazing quality, so soft and sturdy, and the designs are too cute!  I love the "baseball" look to the t-shirts!

I can also attest to the long lasting quality of both the shirt AND the design printing.  I have washed Kaylee's numerous times without a hint of color fading or cracking!  Impressive!

THANKS FOR READING!  I hope I've inspired you to shop handmade! Please come visit my Zibbet shop or the Kayteedids Couture facebook page! I'd also love to meet you on Twitter @KayteedidsShop

*All photos are property of the shops listed and have been used with permission of the shop owners.