To Grandmother's House We Go - Little Red Riding Hood Party

My mom and little girl have their birthdays two days apart - so this year we decided to celebrate them together.  I saw this darling shower with the idea of  to grandmother's house we go using little red riding hood.I started by finding a vintage Little Red book on Ebay and then gathered inspiration from around the web.  I found this darling free printable and decided to use it for the invite (with two families it was more for fun than an actual invite).

I wanted to keep it simple so I did "toadstool" cupcakes, using upside down white chocolate chips, and an ice cream bar. 
 We had "sweet sap" (caramel topping), "forest floor" (fudge topping), "dew drops" chocolate chips, "tree trunks" (almond slices) and "wild berries."  I took waffle cone bowls and dipped the edges in melted chocolate to add to the woodsy feel.

Mrs. Jones' Soapbox - a review

Source: etsy.com via Sarah on Pinterest

I am not a cleaner.  I LOVE things to be clean and organized but I hate to think about doing it.  Once I'm actually working at it I feel great, it's the getting to it part that is hard. So when I do clean I want effective products that work fast.  Another factor is my son's eczema.  I really believe in using as many natural products as I can to try to keep from aggravating it.  I switched to Shaklee for all my cleaning products at Christmas.  I like the laundry soap but it's expensive.  Once I ran out I started using clear and free ALL.  It's not all natural though, so when I heard about Mrs. Jones' Soapbox on Etsy, and found out that my cousin uses her products and loves it, I decided to give it a try.

The first thing that impressed me was her eco friendly policy - she sells her products in reusable packaging and then offers refills in recycled containers for an even better price.  By the way, the containers are super cute too! Since I had my own jar, I bought the Four Bag refill of laundry soap, 320 loads worth (if you have HE machines it's 640) -  for $38 including shipping.  It comes to $0.12 a load! Much cheaper than Shaklee and exactly the same price as ALL.

The product description reads:
The Pert Plus of laundry detergents, this is a cleaner, deodorizer and softener all-in-one. Clothes come out soft and free from the waxy residues left behind by traditional detergents and fabric softeners. The mild ingredients make it the ideal product for babies and people with allergies and skin conditions. You need just one heaping spoonful of detergent for each wash so this product will cost you less and last longer than any other on the market. A little bit goes a long way! And there's no need to use fabric softener or softener sheets. This is a laundry soap & fabric softener all-in-one so your clothes come out of the dryer soft, fresh and static-free.
Safe for HE, top or front loaders, baby clothing, cloth diapers, sensitive skin, skin allergies, skin conditions and septic tanks. This product is readily biodegradable.

  As soon as it arrived I did all my laundry - my sister and mother are amazed right now- that in and of it's self was worth the purchase, ha ha ha.  Anyway, the soap smells wonderful and had my whole house (it's small and open to the laundry room) smelling fresh - but the clothes didn't come out perfumey (?) or smelly at all.  I was dubious about not needing fabric softener, but you really don't!  My clothes were softer than ever and no static.  I'm in love with this soap and highly recommend it.  I even passed on a bag to my SIL for my nephew who also has eczema.

With my purchase Jamie (owner) sent a sample of her Soft Cleaning Scrub.
"This soft scrub cleaner is a personal favorite of mine. I keep one under my kitchen sink and use it to clean my stainless steel sink, dirty casserole dishes, pots & pans, my glass stove top when food gets burnt on, the inside of my oven and the inside of my dishwasher. I keep another jar in the shower and use it to clean the glass doors, tile walls and floor while I'm taking a shower! There are no harsh fumes to breathe (it smells like delicious cake frosting) so I find it's quick and easy to do.
It's also great for cleaning bathroom sinks & tubs, scuff marks on the walls, and the inside of your washing machine. Anytime you need a little extra oomph when you're cleaning, reach for Scrub. I even discovered recently that it will remove paint from your skin if your hands get dirty while you're cleaning paint brushes!"

I decided to give it a try on my kitchen sink.  I generally use Shaklee's Scour Off scrub and then on occasion I'll use Soft Scrub - even though I hate the toxic smell, it does do the job better than my Scour Off .  Here's the before pic:
And the After:

I think it did a good job- as well as my Scour Off.  For a jar it's $8.99 and for the 16oz refill it's $3.99 - my Shaklee scrub is $7.25 for 9oz (if your a member).  As soon as I'm out of my Shaklee I'll be switching to Mrs. Jones' Soapbox - I can't wait to try her other products as well.


Flat Stanley

We recently came across the story of Flat Stanley, about a little boy who gets flattened and them mailed around the world on adventures.  We decided to make our own Flat Stanley and send him off.
We printed out our Stanley here and the kids each colored one.  I then made a little journal out of this free printable using my day planner technique, super easy.  I created an instruction pocket out of this printable and sewed it on the front, leaving one side open.  We folded up one of our Stanleys and put him in the pocket and mailed him off to our furthest cousin.  The idea is for him to travel to six different people before making it back to us.  Here's the instruction sheet if you would like to make your own...


Upcycled Crib

I've seen lots of photos of benches made from beds floating around the web, so it came straight to mind when we decided to move my youngest into a twin bed. We're not having any more children but I still love our crib and don't want to part with it. Since we have no room in the house for a bench I thought it would make great outdoor seating!

Luckily Hancock fabric is having a 50% off all outdoor fabric sale!  Using 2 yards of the mattress fabric and 3/4 yard of the matching fabric I made a crib sheet following this tutorial and covered some pillow forms I had using this tutorial.  I just happened to find the green ones at the local thrift store to add a pop of contrast.  I'm so happy with it and know I will find myself lounging out there with a book while the kids play.



Mom whipped together this dress to wear under our vintage pinafore (this belonged to mom)...super cute!

Caterpiller Cake

My SIL made this darling cake for her boy's first birthday...super cute!
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