Thursday, July 30, 2015

How to fold an Origami Paper Crane

Housewife Eclectic: How to Fold an Origami Paper Crane

I have loved Paper Cranes ever since I was a child. When I was in elementary school, my mom bought me a copy of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and I read it over and over again. It is the story of a young girl in Japan after the atomic bomb. When she is 12 years old she is diagnosed with Leukemia from radiation exposure. Sadako spent her time folding paper cranes inspired by the Japanese legend that one who folds 1,000 paper cranes is granted one wish. She wishes to live. According to her family, Sadako folded 1,300 paper cranes before she passed away. A memorial was erected to her and all of the children who were effected by the atomic bomb. Every year thousands of people leave cranes near her statue. 

I have always had a secret goal of folding 1,000 cranes in my life. It was a goal that I shared with a childhood friend of mine. We grew up and grew apart and I forgot about the goal, but she didn't. She wanted to have 1,000 cranes at her wedding but it didn't end up happening. When she unexpectedly passed away her friends and family came together fold 1,000 paper cranes for her memorial service. Almost two years ago I sat at her memorial surrounded by the many, many paper cranes that were made in her memory and I felt a powerful connection to them. Even more so than I did when I was a child. They are a beautiful, powerful reminder of the good in the world. My younger daughter shares her middle name with my friend and I have created small, beautiful tributes to her and paper cranes around my house. Every time I see a crane, I smile. 

I have some beautiful projects coming up on the blog to share using paper cranes, but before I can share how to make those, I need to share how to make a paper crane. I have broken it down step by step with pictures of each step to help you visualize it better.
 You will need a square piece of paper. Origami paper is easiest, but you can cut a paper to square if you need to.
 Fold the paper in half. One corner to the across from it, to form a triangle.
 Fold in half again the other way. Unfold.
 Fold in half again, this time to make a rectangle.
 Fold the sides of the triangle into itself. Forming a kind of pyramid.

 Fold the left open edge into the center and crease.
 Fold the right open edge into the center and crease.
 Flip the paper over and do repeat on the other side.
 It should kind of look like an ice cream cone now.
 Lift up the first layer of the bottom corner. A wide mouth will form. Fold by the edges to the middle.
 Flip the paper over and repeat on the other side.
 Fold the slanted outside edge of the top layer almost to the center.
 Flip over and fold the slanted outside edge of almost to the center.
Fold the top point down as far as it goes on both sides. these are your wings. Bring the right half of the front week towards the left. This will cause the neck to pop up from between the wings. Fold the long thin flap, or the neck up. Fold the tip of the neck down to create the head. Repeat this on the left side to pop the tail out, but do not fold the tip of the tail down. Bring the wings up to rest at the crane's side and you have a perfect origami crane.
Have you ever made an origami crane before?
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Dad Rocks Guitar Shirt

One of the things I love most about my husband is his serious guitar skills. We always have at least one of his guitars out in our front room so he can play almost daily. Our girls love to dance to his music and it has become a big part of our family life. He even gave me a guitar on the day he asked me to marry him. Sadly, I have never put the time in to be as good as him, but I still enjoy listening to him play. I made this shirt for our daughter and she loves it! Her dad really does rock. ;)

You will need:

  • A shirt to iron the image to
  • Black Glitter Heat Transfer
  • Silver Glitter Heat Transfer
  • A Cutting Machine or lots of patience and an blade
  • An iron
  • Parchment Paper

Do a Google Image search for a guitar. The words guitar silhouette bring up a lot of good simple options. Pull the image into your design program and trace it. Eliminate or erase any extras around the image. Write "My Dad" on one line of text and then "Rocks" on the next line of text.

Remember when cutting heat transfer with a machine, you always need to be sure to flip/mirror your images or you text will be backwards when you iron it on. Feed your glitter heat transfer into the machine with the carrier (clear plastic sheet) down. The settings you need vary from machine to machine. For a Silhouette Cameo you will need, a speed of 8, a thickness of 9 and a blade setting of 2 and for a Cricut Explore  you will need to set it to Iron-on +.  Cut the glitter heat transfer and the weed out the extra heat transfer.

Preheat your shirt or other surface for about 3 seconds with a iron set at 325 degrees. Place the guitar design glitter side down on the shirt. Apply firm pressure on ALL parts of the guitar for 10-15 seconds. Flip the shirt inside out and apply heat and pressure on the design from the inside as well. Peel the clear carrier sheet off while the design is still hot. Apply the words where you want them around the guitar. Cover the entire design with a piece of parchment paper so you don't iron the guitar to the iron. Repeat the steps you took for ironing on the guitar.

When you wash your shirt, make sure you flip it inside out and then hang dry. This will preserve the design.

Who rocks in your kid's life? Their aunt? You?
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kids Road Trip Boredom Hacks

This last May, we went on our first long road trip in almost three years. I was nervous to take a 1-year-old and 6-year-old on such a long trip in the car, especially when we planned on driving all the way from Utah to California in one day, but it ended up being so much fun to be in the car together. I put together an awesome boredom basket for the kids to play with and it kept them entertained for hours. We hardly even needed the electronics we brought at all. Here is everything that was in the basket. 
 Printable Dino Play Mat.
 Travel Checkers with Free Printable.
 Magnetic Building Shapes.
 Printable ABC Matching Game.
 Printable Farm Play Mat.
 Printable Ocean Play Mat
 Reusable Sticker Playsets.
 Silly Face Magnet Board.
 Travel Snack Boxes
 Magnetic Building Sticks.
 Magnetic Puzzle for travel. 
 Magnetic Chalkboard for Travel. 
Travel Car Play Mat

The combination of these fun and creative activities really made our trip enjoyable. How do you keep your kids entertained while on the road?
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Monday, July 27, 2015

25 AMAZING Picture Books

We read a lot of picture books in our house. Our oldest is just starting to read by herself and our baby LOVES to be read to. The combination equals more time spent reading that just about any other past time. It is fine by me. I love reading and I love watching my kids read. I have put together this list of 25 picture books that we have really enjoyed! There are so many good ones not on this list, hopefully I will make a part 2 soon!

1. The Empty Pot- When the emperor decides to pick his successor from a group of children based on how well they can care for a flower over the course of a year, Ping knows he is going to win. As the year goes by and nothing grows, he keeps trying to coax his little seed to make something of itself. At the end of the year he stands in front of the emperor with an empty pot, the emperors reaction is what makes this one of my favorite stories. This is a great story for teaching honesty.

2. The Paper Bag Princess- When her prince is captured and her clothes burned, Elizabeth sets out to save the prince from a dragon. Clever Elizabeth dons the only thing she can find, a paper bag and through wit is able to save the prince, but his response isn't exactly what she hoped for.

3. Where the Sidewalk Ends- Is there anything better to read aloud to kids than silly poems by Shel Silverstein? I doubt it! We love Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic. Our favorite poem is about the baby sitter sitting on the baby.

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar- A caterpillar eats through all the junk food that he can find and then feels very sick. He eats a nice green leaf and then feels much better. At the end of the book he turns into a beautiful butterfly! We use the book to talk about the importance of eating healthy with out kids. Also, the reviews of this book on GoodReads are hilarious!

5. The Velveteen Rabbit- My absolute favorite book as a child. The story of a stuffed rabbit who becomes real after he is truly loved by a little boy. "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

6. A Bad Case of the Stripes- A Camilla Cream LOVES Lima Beans, but she is so worried about what other people think of her that she never eats them. She is so worried of what people think of her, that she breaks out in a bad case of the stripes! Can she learn to love who she is and make the stripes go away? My husband actually has this one memorized, it is a cute story on being yourself! 

7. Pinkalicious- Pinkalicious LOVES pink, but she doesn't want to actually turn pink. Which is exactly what happens when she eats too many pink cupcakes. How is she going to turn back to normal? Pinkalicious is the story of a naughty little girl who gets herself into trouble by not listening. It takes listening to get her back to normal. 

8. If I Were a LionI am pretty sure this book was written about my daughter. It is the story of a little girl that is in time out and she wants her mom to know that of she was a lion she would be much more naughty. I have read it aloud so many times I have it memorized. 

9. If You Give A Mouse a Cookie- A cute book about cause and effect. We also love If you Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Muffin and If You Take a Mouse to School. 

10. The Runaway Bunny- A sweet story about a little rabbit who wants to run away from home. On each page he tells his mother how he is going to run away and on the next page she tells him how she is going to find him. I loved this book as a child, but now that I am mom I love it even more because this is exactly how I feel about my kids. 

11. I Love You Stinky Face- A story much like The Runaway Bunny, it is about a child asking their mom if they would still love them even if they were a dinosaur or a skunk. I have actually had conversations like this with my children and it makes me love this book even more. 

12. Snowmen at Night- Have your kids ever wondered why their snowman is a little droopy the next morning? It is because they are playing snowmen games at night! Read this book to discover everything your snowman is doing while you sleep. The pictures are fantastic. 

13. Goodnight Gorilla- What happens when a sneaky gorilla follows the zoo keeper home from the zoo at night? Find out in Goodnight Gorilla. 

14. Diary of a Worm- I can't like this book makes me laugh out loud. It goes through what a worms life is like including school, play and dinner time. Anyone who has siblings will appreciate worm's relationship with his sister. 

15. Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type- Farmer Brown's cows can not only read, they can type to. They start leaving him notes demanding new things for the barn, which causes trouble in more ways than one. 

16. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?- A rhythmic question and answer type book that is accompanied by gorgeous illustrations. One of my very favorite it read aloud! 

17. The Monster at the End of this Book- Grover is trying to save you from the monster at the end of the book. Will keep reading anyway and find the monster? 

18. Elephant and Piggie books- I love all of these so much that I can't pick such one to include! I love the way best friends Gerald and Piggie interact together. 

19. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus- At the beginning of this book, the bus driver asks you to please not let the pigeon drive the bus. The pigeon then spends the rest of the book trying to convince you he can drive the bus. This hilarious book is one of my daughter's favorites. 

20. Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes- Pete loves his white shoes but when he steps in something that changes their color, does he cry? Goodness no! He just keeps walking along singing his song. "The moral of Pete's story is: No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song... because it's all good." When my daughter gets upset over little things, we love to read this one as a reminder that it is all good. 

21. Wacky Wednesday- This crazy book, full of errors is hands down our favorite Dr. Seuss book. There is a green sun in sky and bananas on the apple tree and it only gets wackier! 

22. He Came With The Couch- Sophie's family has found the perfect couch, but it comes with a little something extra that they can't get rid of. This darling kids book it is delightful and absurd. The perfect combination for a kids book. 

23. My Very Own Fairytale- This personalized book from I See Me! books has fairies bring letters one at a time that spell out your child's name. My kids LOVE this book. They think it is such a blast to have a book that is about them. I love that it teaches spelling their names while sharing beautiful pictures. 

We have absolutely loved our I See Me! Books. The TODAY Show calls them the "gifts with a personal touch"! They have gorgeous pictures, cute stories and the best part is that it is created one-at-a-time, especially for your child. My girls each beg to read their own book over and over again because they love that they are in the story! I See Me! has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, Parents Magazine for their darling books. 

There are fairy books, pirate books, ABC books and more, so you can find one for any stage of children from birth to 8 years old. You can also buy other items that match their books as well including personalized puzzles, stickers, coloring & activity books, growth charts, lunch boxes and more. I highly recommend them. You can see one of the beautiful fairy pictures in the photo below. 

24. The Little Engine That Could- Even though the little train is small, she is the only one that stops to help the little broken down engine filled with toys and treats for the kids over the mountain. The Little Engine knows it is going to be hard, but she knows she can do it. We love to read this one to our kids when we need to talk about overcoming hard things. 

25. The Little Go to Sleep Book- The baby isn't tired, they don't want to go bed so their mother tells them of all of the animals that have to go to sleep. Dogs go to sleep in their basket by their fire, swans go to sleep high up in the sky. It is a sweet little book that is perfect for a bedtime story. 

What is your favorite picture book? 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

House Elves and Baby Death Eaters (Kid Cosplay and Comic Con Tips)

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of baby Cosplay. Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings and I regularly get together, just to dress up our babies and take pictures. I also LOVE taking my baby to Comic Cons with me. So far it has been a really enjoyable experience to both cosplay with my baby and take her to cons. She has met Billie Piper, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Eve Myles and more! How many babies can say that? Here are my tips for dressing up your baby and taking them to a con with as little fuss as possible.
Cosplay Tips: Make sure you choose a costume that is comfortable. Itchy tags and lace will just make them irritable. Be aware of the temperature outside and in the con and don't dress them too warmly. You will also want to tailor your costume to your baby. Are you wearing a super scary mask that is going to make your child cry? Best skip it this time and wear it without your child. It might be a good time to talk about costumes and what is imaginary with your kids. You can make sure that you aren't in a scary costume, but you can't guarantee they won't see a scary costume while walking around. These darling costumes are from the Rae Gun Ramblings Etsy Shop. Find the House Elf Aprons here and the Slytherin Costumes here.
Panels: Sit near the edges or the back. This gives them a little bit of room to play and you can make a quick exit if you need to. Bring snacks and water. I have often found that the food available at cons isn't something my kids can or want to eat. Having snacks I know they love it a lot less stressful.
Pictures: The BEST part of taking your child to a con is watching their face light up when they see someone in full Cinderella Cosplay. People are usually so nice about taking pictures with kids. When I took my 6-year-old to the last con I attended, she took pictures with just about every Disney Princess and had a ball!
Bring distractions for lines: For me, the most miserable part of a con with a baby is waiting in line for panels and photo opps. It is a lot of standing in one place and the kids get antsy. Bring small new toys and snacks to entertain them, but nothing large enough that it can't be moved easy when the line moves. I love Tangle toys, Puffer Balls and water timers.
 Be Realistic: Pick the things that are most important to you and aim to get those done. You aren't going to get as much done with a baby in tow, so be realistic about what you can do. Taking short breaks to feed the baby and get her down for a nap was the best thing I did.
 Kids Areas: Most cons have a kid version, an area with color sheets and crafts so the kids have something fun to do.
Check the stroller policy: Does the con you are attending allow strollers? Not all do. I have used a stroller in the past and really liked having it as a place to for little ones to nap, but if I couldn't bring a stroller I would switch to a really awesome baby carrier instead.
Souvenirs: There are SO many things to buy at Cons. Give your child a budget and let them shop! They will have a blast. My older daughter came away with Lego Figures and a light saber from our last con!
Have you ever been to a Comic Con? Would you take a little one! I love it!
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