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The Season Of No

I just started reading the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it has inspired me to get back to my writing and carve out more time for myself and look at my life in a very different way. Now that I'm 40 and terribly wise and terribly adult (cough), I can look back on my life through the decades (Dear God! Am I really that old?), and I can reflect on the themes of each decade.

My 20's was the decade of "Sure! Why Not!" 

Sometimes even, "Sure! Why The Hell Not?!" There was a lot that happened during my 20's that was a result of me thinking or saying, "Sure, why not?!" A lot of it provided the backdrop to many great memories. Looking back on it now, some of it fills me with incredible panic and fear and I thank God it all turned out OK in the end and some of it makes me long for those days again. Mostly because I didn't have kids back then so I was able to take a nap whenever I wanted. I long for the days of extra sleep, getting a good night's sleep, sleeping in, napping whenever I needed it, not getting woken up in the middle of the night by a baby who needed to nurse and just sleep, sleep, sleep in general.  Sleep, glorious sleep. However, I don't think I actually slept that much in my 20's. I am now regretting that I burned the candle at both ends so many days and nights. What was I thinking?!

My 30's kind of fell into the theme of, "I probably should..." 

Or "I guess I should," or "I really should because they did that nice thing for me once and don't I have to repay them even though I have to make great compromises in what I need or my family needs to help them?" Or "I feel like I have to even though I don't want to."  You get the idea.  Martyrdom at it's finest. There were many things I felt very obligated to do in my 30's, and I did them most of the time. Things for other people, things because of other people, things I didn't really want to do but felt like I had to. Mom's Club things are coming to mind as well as lots and lots of volunteer work at school.  Even when I was sick as a dog and incredibly run-down from being pregnant in my first trimester.

Now that I'm 40, I'm starting a new chapter. This is the decade of, "No." 

A polite no, but no nonetheless. Polite yet emphatic. How that will actually end up looking I'm not sure, but I'm no longer going to put myself into the position of feeling obligated or put out because I don't want someone to think bad of me. Even if doing the thing makes me feel bad about myself. I'm not going to risk letting my children down or my husband down or myself down because I don't want to let a stranger down. How ridiculous is that? Yet it happens. I'm no longer going to feel like I need to please other people just for that person's sake, even if I care deeply about them. Whether that person is a stranger, an acquaintance, a parent on the PTA, a friend, a family member, a fellow mom in a mom's group, a therapist whom I'm paying to help me vent and work things out, even someone who has done something nice for me in the past and wants a favor from me, whoever. I am no longer going to feel obligated to do something for someone regardless if it works for me, fits in with what my family is doing or going through at that time. And that needs to be ok.

Actually, I'm giving myself permission that it is OK, and it doesn't need to be OK with anyone, because it's already OK with me.

Sorry for the overuse of italics during my ah-ha moment of clarity there. But if you've ever been a people pleaser, like I was raised to be, then you are totally nodding your head in agreement with me right now. You might have even blurted out a, "hell yea! Me too!"  If you did, please let me know in the comments that I'm not on this journey alone. And neither are you.

I'm giving myself the permission to be more selfish with my own time and desires because I know deep down that it will make me a better mother and a better person in the long run. I'm not doing anyone any favors by getting run down and depleting everything I have inside of me just to do someone a favor or even return a favor, or to protect someone's feelings or to make sure someone still likes me and doesn't think bad of me. A therapist told me once when she knew I was doing too much for too many people (including my own family) and not taking any time for myself to recharge, "Put your oxygen mask on first, Mama. That's the only way you can help your children and be a better mother and wife is if you put your mask on first."

I'm still figuring out how to do that.  I need to find the balance of taking care of myself and taking care of the kids and getting everything done. As a stay-at-home-mom I really feel the need to carve out my own time or else it just doesn't happen. I will post about it as soon as I start doing it. I also look forward to reading more of Big Magic and putting her thoughts and ideas into action. I love Elizabeth Gilbert (author of many books, Eat, Pray, Love, The Signature Of All Things, etc.) Please let me know how you do it for yourself. What does taking care of yourself look like to you?  Comment below!



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Thinking Outside The Pot

2016 A Year Of Gratitude: Appreciating The Quiet Moments


Today is January 4, 2016 (Happy 10th birthday to my sweet niece in Hawaii!) and it's the Monday after a very long Christmas/New Year holiday season of my husband off from work (by choice!) Nobody wanted to go to sleep last night, 2 out of the 3 kids woke up multiple times after they did actually "go to sleep", and the day started way too early. I'm tired and cranky and I already miss my husband being home and am counting down the days til Saturday when he's off again. After over 10 years of being together we still really enjoy each other's company.

Today I'm grateful for:

1. This sleeping baby who's nursing on my lap so I can have a few minutes to drink my decaf latte and think about what I'm grateful for and actually write a blog post!

2. I'm very grateful that my husband has a job to go to everyday. He has a career that started as a passion (he's in the motorcycle business), he's worked hard for it and has done well for himself and moved up enough to the point where all of his good ideas and suggestions are getting heard and implemented and his opinion is being asked and put into action. And that is a fulfilling place to be in your career. 

3. I'm grateful that I am able to be a stay-at-home-mom who can homeschool my children. It's not something I ever pictured, but it's what works for our family and it's what my family needs and we are doing well because of it. It was a good change for us and my kids are happier and our days are calmer and more peaceful. I'd say we are thriving because of it. It's not always wonderful and peaceful and fun and I do have my doubts when times get tough and it's not for everybody, that's for sure! But it works for us and the rewards far outweigh the troubles. So, I'm grateful for being able to homeschool my children.

4. I'm grateful my husband's co-worker no longer wanted his espresso machine so that I could make lattes at home! There is nothing like a hot latte on a chilly morning! I've never been a big caffeine drinker because I feel too jittery til the late afternoon and have to pee a million times, so I drink decaf because I like the taste. 

5. I'm so very grateful for this quiet moment of peace, serenity, reflection and gratitude right smack in the middle of a crazy Monday morning. Who would've thunk it? Thank you for this day and for these little moments and for this life that we have carved out for ourselves. I'm so incredibly grateful. 

Namaste
My Peaceful Little Breastfeeder








2016 New Year's Resolution Challenge: Set Small, Successful Goals By Making Weekly Changes

Sound familiar?


I realize that I set these really high goals for myself with unrealistic deadlines and expectations, so I have decided to look at my New Year's Resolutions in a new way. I'm not really good at starting on January 1st going full throttle into a new diet plan or giving up caffeine or sugar or something like that because New Year's Day feels too much like a holiday for me. My husband is always off work still from before Christmas and we're still in relax-mode.  We enjoy watching the Rose Parade on repeat all day long and staying in jammies, having a big breakfast, going for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood or at our local park trail and playing with Christmas presents. Today was not much different.

However, I do want to make some changes to my life and I think I'll be more successful taking these new changes in weekly doses rather than feeling like I have to start all of these multiple things on day 1 and if I don't I have failed the whole year. GASP!

I can do anything for a week. Seven days is nothin'! I'm also not going to star each weekly goal on Monday mornings because Monday's are hard enough as it is without having to start a new weekly goal. I'm going to start on Saturdays. My goal is to get used to doing the new habit or seeing the benefits of the new habit so that I'll want to naturally roll it over to the next week rather seamlessly. A few days before the new week starts I'll pick a new goal from my list to start and I'll try my best to continue my goal from the previous week too. If I can't seem to accomplish the previous weeks goal I will at least focus on completing the goal I choose for that week, and will do my best to continue it all seven days. I plan to make a hard copy of my weekly goal sheet too with check off boxes so I can see what I'm supposed to be doing as well as see all of my progress.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION 2016
WEEKLY GOAL CHALLENGE

The first week is making my bed daily. I'm really bad at doing this. I have a hard time with mornings. I'm always very tired and my back is always very stiff. Especially when I'm breastfeeding a baby like I am now with my 12 month old. (Hard to believe he's already a year old!!!) But the position I'm in to nurse him all night long wreaks havoc on my back.  I've been in a lot of car accidents over the years and this has exacerbated my back pain.  So I wake up in pain pretty much every single morning. The last thing I want to do is bend over and try to pull heavy blankets up to make the bed, so it's become a habit not to make it. However, I like having a nice, neat bed to climb into at night and so does my husband. Plus, as my husband said today,  "it makes it easier to dump a load of clothes to fold when it's made too"  and I agree. We not only made the bed this morning, we also folded a bunch of clothes too and even put most of them away while the kids were busy playing Legos and the baby was happy in his jumper! Bonus! Not too shabby of a way to start the new year off! We even slept in!

So week 1 is making the bed daily and folding my PJ's and putting them away in the morning. Those kind of go hand in hand. I'm REALLY bad at taking clothes off and leaving them on the floor. So I'm trying to change this really bad habit. 

I have some other ideas of things I want to add to my weekly list of New Year's Resolutions and I'm determined to make them last past the second week of January. Isn't that usually the time when everyone stops doing their resolutions? 

I'm going to start making an ongoing list of things I want to accomplish in 2016 and I'm going to update each new post with my running list. I'm hoping to create some better habits this year.
Would you like to join me?  What would you put on your list?


In no particular order:
1. Make the bed every morning
2. Fold PJ's in the morning and put them away.
3. Fold/hang up clothes at night. 
4. Brush teeth before bed. (Doesn't always happen if I'm too tired, even though I make the kids do it.)
5. Wash face before bed. (Doesn't always happen if I'm too tired.)
6. Spend 5-10 minutes cleaning, organizing, straightening our room or bathroom each night. 
7. Spend 5-10 minutes cleaning, organizing, straightening our room or bathroom each morning. 
8. Meditating each morning or evening. 
9. Start the day off with yoga. 
10. Eliminate sugar. 
11. Eliminate wheat. 
12. Eliminate dairy. 
13. Daily gratitude (3 things).
14. Eliminate yelling. 
15. Get out in nature every day and take a daily nature picture. 
16. Clean out 1 box, 1 bag, 1 cupboard  or 1 drawer a day. 
17. Straighten up/clean up, organize bathrooms each day.
18. Juice Daily
19. Load and run the dishwasher each night.
20. Wash, dry, fold and put away ONE load of laundry a day.

to be continued...





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Operation Christmas Child: Donating Gifts To Children In Need.

There is still time to donate for the Christmas 2015 season but it's best to put this on the top of your To Do List since there is a small window of time to donate in order for the kids to receive the gifts by Christmas.

November 18-25 is National Collection Week at Samaritan's Purse. Chick-Fil-A has partnered with Operation Christmas Child and some of the locations (like Any Orange County locations in Southern California) have extended it and you can drop off shoeboxes filled with gifts until November 30, 2013.

Setting aside religious and/or political beliefs if they conflict with either of the companies involved, we need to think of the children who will ultimately be getting these gifts. When you give the gift of a Christmas present, 100% of what you give goes to a child. So when you send school books, a child in need will read them. When you send a soft, huggable stuffed lovie a child will feel safe and warm snuggling their gift at night. They don't care what you believe, they don't care if you don't even celebrate Christmas - they will just appreciate the love and the hope is that some of these children will be inspired to complete the circle of giving and in their own way pay it forward to give to others someday.

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This is the reason to give right here. Give for the chance to fill these kids with pure joy and love.


Age category for shoeboxes: Boy or Girl: 2-4, 5-9, 10-14.

What to give: Start with a larger toy, such as a stuffed animal, car, or doll. Add toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. Do not include used items, war-related toys, chocolate or perishable foods, liquids, medicines, or breakable items. 


Here is the link from Samaritan's Purse about volunteering with them and/or making a donation of a Christmas box. They are asking to please send $7.00 to cover shipping costs for each box and if you donate that online you can follow where your box goes. You can also follow them on twitter.

Chick-Fil-A has teamed up with them and some of the locations are an official drop off location. They are even giving a coupon for a free sandwich for each filled box you bring in. If you don't eat there for whatever reason you can give your coupon away to someone who would love a free sandwich. Unfortunately, there are many homeless people in our world right now and if you drive a few blocks around your own house you will find someone to give your free sandwich coupon to.

The point is to give back, pay it forward and share the love.

http://mytalesfromthecrib.blogspot.com/

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Please join our family today in going to pick out gifts for children in need who, most likely, will not be receiving a ton of presents under a beautiful Christmas tree this year. We have a 5 year old and a 3 year old and we are letting them pick out their own box for a child who is their age and my husband and I will make gift boxes for the 10-14 age category. In the past when I have donated items to shelters and even when our family hosted a Pajama Drive a few years ago for the Pajama Program (a company who is near and dear to my heart) we learned in talking to the people working at the shelters, that many older kids get neglected during gift giving time because so many people want to help the babies and the small kids, which is wonderful don't get me wrong. However, we need to remember that older children and teenagers are in homeless shelters too, or in foster care and they need love too. Sometimes they need it more because they see more and know more.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Please check back to my blog as I will be posting about our family donation to Operation Christmas Child this year.

Peace, Love & Light

Coco Cana



Why The Shame Of Postpartum Depression?

Why is there a dark cloud of shame hanging over admitting we have postpartum depression? It's not bad enough that new moms are sleep deprived, we have sore nipples and overfilled breasts or a sink full of dirty bottles we need to wash and we're down to the last scoop of formula and the store is already closed - and sore breasts, or breasts that are refusing to produce milk at all. It's not bad enough we're still bleeding heavily from the traumatized vagina that just pushed a watermelon out of a pea hole (I'm being generous ladies!) or got it yanked out from some device the doctor used or that our bellies got ripped open, insides tossed aside like clothes on the floor to birth a perfect angel. Or maybe our angel wasn't so perfect yet and needed to spend time in the "chicken warmer" as my husband calls it. Referring to his own time spent as a jaundiced newborn still "needing to bake." Or maybe the baby we carried inside us for all those months was handed over to someone else the minute it left our body because it's meant to be with a different mother. Or handed over to God because that life wasn't meant to be.

It's not bad enough we have a mother or mother-in-law who doesn't approve of our birthing methods or a judgemental sister or co-worker who doesn't approve of our wanting an elective c-section or a husband who does not support our wanting to breastfeed, or a husband who insists on us breastfeeding when we can't or don't want to, or an entire community or culture who doesn't support our decision to breastfeed, or family members or mom's group friends who disapprove of our wanting to formula feed.

And a baby who's crying because they are hungry.

It's not bad enough when we have our own self doubt, or our own fear of pain and fear of childbirth,  and fear of, "are we going to be good enough?" Or our own stubbornness to give birth at home but it leads to a hospital transfer after hours and hours and hours of not progressing where you then face the judgment of the L&D nurses who have that, "I told ya so" look on their faces when you breakdown in desperation to say, "yes, I will take the epidural after 27 hours of labor" - already crafting our birth story to tell others to justify, to defend, to protect ourselves from more judgement and shame.

It's not bad enough that we finally get the strength to go out of the house with our newborn, a million baby items in tow and the baby cries that hunger desperation cry they do regardless of just eating an hour before, so you start to breastfeed on a park bench not wanting to disturb the peace of your toddler finally entertaining themselves after weeks of being cooped up in baby village only wanting you, and you get harassed for breastfeeding in public, or a picture gets taken of you and it's blasted on social media about you being a slut wanting to show off your breasts to everyone. Little do they know the extreme pain you are in because breastfeeding can hurt in the beginning, the tears burning your eyes, dripping down your nose onto your baby's tiny face, your toes curling, baby not wanting to latch properly, can't get the cover to stay on right, because it keeps covering the baby's face, can't unhook your nursing bra properly, fiddling with the breast pad, then comes the menstrual-like cramping of your uterus contracting back to normal size once your milk lets down and the extreme pain that is causing you as you sit on this uncomfortable park bench wishing you were at home in your rocker with your breast pillow and your cup of tea watching Wild Krats - and trying to look sexy to score another woman's man at the playground is about as close to being on the top of your list right now as sky rocketing to the moon in a cardboard spaceship - yet that is what you get accused of doing. Did I mention the still-bleeding-for-weeks vagina and a huge freaking pad or two inside huge freaking postpartum granny panties?

All I'm thinking about is trying to score a nap and a shower.  A man?  Not so much.

Don't even get me started on the extreme stress and war zone-esq conditions of having an extremely colicky baby. I'm still not quite over my PTSD to start talking about that, but all I can say is survival mode. Having a colicky baby will put a person into survival mode as quick as a car crash. Add in a disgruntled toddler who is seriously pissed at you for bringing this little yelling machine into their perfect little mommy snuggle fest and you have a recipe for tear stained pillows for months. How dare you? The look of disgust towards the bassinet while they sit and eat cheerios one by one. How dare you smile at that little noise maker?  How dare you coo.  How dare you pick the baby up in the middle of reading me Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. 

It's not bad enough ladies, ... all of these outside pressures we have...

Why are we so hard on ourselves about postpartum depression?

I'm determined to do my part to break the cycle. To do what I can to erase the stigma of postpartum depression and admitting it to myself and others.

I am saying it loud and proud, "I have postpartum depression." 

It does not mean I don't love my kids. It does not mean I regret getting pregnant or regret having this baby. It does not mean I regret being a stay-at-home-mom. It does not mean I regret making the decision to homeschool after a difficult kindergarten year in public school. It does not mean I regret breastfeeding my baby, all of my babies. I have postpartum depression. It's not something I choose to have. It's not who I am as a mother. It does not define me as a person but it is a part of my life - right now. It is a part of my motherhood journey - right now. It is a part of the path I am taking as a mother to tiny babies and young children. I can't imagine it will be a part of my journey when I have teenagers. Unless we have an oops baby when my kids are teens! Which we won't. Oh my God how we won't!

I have postpartum depression. It does not mean I don't love my husband or that I want to kill myself, or kill my children, or harm my children or abandon my children, or leave my husband.

However, I have wanted to kill myself.

I have thought about dying and I have postpartum depression but that does not mean I don't love my kids. It does not mean I don't love my kids. It DOES NOT MEAN I DON'T LOVE MY KIDS.

It does not mean I don't love my kids.

It simply means I have postpartum depression and I need help getting to the point where I no longer have postpartum depression. That may take medication, it may take therapy, it may take drastic changes to my diet and environment, it may take a ton of work on my part, but my life is worth fighting for. I'm worth fighting for.

I have good days and lonely days and critically unproductive days and every-minute-packed-to-the-gills-days and fun days and horrible days and yelling-like-a-tyrannical-bitch days and sitting on the floor playing cars days and watching Disney Junior from breakfast til dinner in our PJ's days, and feeling like a zombie days and spending all day at the aquarium days and fighting days and sleeping days and laughing days and crying days and sobbing days and days where I'm too broken to cry. All of these days have comprised my journey of postpartum depression.  My baby is 10 months old and yes, I still have postpartum depression. It's not as raw as it once was where it burned my eyes and was sticky in my mouth. The grit in my teeth and the cracking of my neck and stiffness in my back. But it does creep in like a bitter wind under the doorway from time to time when the house is a mess, when the kids are fighting me to get out the door because we need to be somewhere at a certain time - another person's time frame or schedule. When the clean laundry is piled high on the couch waiting to be folded yet I don't have a clean pair of damn underwear anywhere. When there's nothing in the fridge to eat because taking 3 kids to the store wasn't in my vocabulary that day so it's cereal for breakfast - again. And then comes the look of disappointment in my 7 & a 1/2 year old daughter's eyes because I did not cook a gourmet, organic, home cooked meal from scratch. Because she's used to that, and she loves my cooking and prefers it to any restaurant you could ever take her to, and she even tells people about my cooking from time to time.

"Cereal again" and I avoid her gaze as I go into the bathroom to cry into my hands - again - as I pretend to poop.

Postpartum depression, my friend, does not mean I am a bad mom. It does not mean I am a bad person. It does not mean I don't deserve to have my kids or have my amazing husband.

It does not mean I am a bad mom who doesn't love her kids. I love them with everything I have in my body. I love them more than I love myself most of the time. Especially since I have postpartum depression.

I need to be kinder to myself - because I am worth it.
I need to love myself more - because I deserve it.
I need to take care of myself more - because I'm worth saving.

I need to treat myself as if I were one of my children because they are protected, cherished and loved dearly. 

to be continued...











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Cooking: Mama's Sneaky Waffles

                           

Need a good weekend waffle recipe but you feel like they are just not that healthy?  Well, I just made some of my Mama's Sneaky Waffles and the kids (and my husband!) had no idea what was in them.

Carrots!  Flaxseed!  Omega-3's!  Oh My!

Hubby is our weekend waffle maker around here and he has perfected his recipe. So, I started with his basic recipe and I changed a few things around to make them a bit...well...more Mama friendly!


1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour*
1 cup shredded carrot or minced if you want to keep it hidden* 
2 cups of almond milk
2 Lg organic brown cage free eggs*
2 TBLSP sugar
6 TBLSP organic virgin coconut oil 
1 tsp whole ground flaxseed meal*
1 TBLSP baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

(See red index below for all items with an *) 

Start with the dry ingredients first and mix together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl add eggs, vanilla and beat together then add carrots and oil to the wet bowl.  Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (leaving the almond milk for last.) Once everything is mixed together continue stirring while you add in the almond milk.  The coconut oil solidifies once it gets cold so you want to blend everything together before you add in the cold milk.  Or you can avoid this all together if you let the milk and eggs come to room temp before.



Since I was putting my own spin on our weekend waffles I decided to make them a bit differently, so I turned them into "snowflakes." If you'd like to do this, the pictures below shows roughly how much batter you want to use so that they stay small and the edges are jagged.  Each one will turn out differently. These are perfect "toddler size" because they can hold them in their hands once they cool off. I've even packed the small ones in lunches. Great for pre-schoolers or kindergarteners! 

(*When I pack them for school, I leave off the butter and syrup or any other typical toppings, like yogurt, apple butter, peanut butter, etc. to avoid a big mess, and I just do them plain for lunches. The kids still love them that way!) 


  


Don't those look cute? Don't mind my waffle maker. We got it as a wedding gift and it has gotten used a million times since then. It's very well seasoned!! 

If you want to make them the regular size, but you don't want to make a mess on your counter, you want roughly this much batter (about 1/4 of a cup):



  





Index:
Flour*  If you are using regular flour use a bit more (2 cups.)  The whole wheat flour makes them thicker than regular flour, so you still might need to add a bit more liquid to thin out the batter a bit.
Shredded carrot* I have a juicer so I made carrot juice with about 3 large carrots. Then I used the carrot pulp  ("minced carrots") for the waffles. Feel free to shred the carrot with a food processor or cheese grater if you do not have a juicer.
Eggs*: I buy the organic brown cage free eggs with added Omega 3's. Do you use an egg substitute to make them vegan?  Please let me know in the comments section what you use! 
Ground flaxseed meal*  A Little Goes A long Way!! If your family is used to eating ground Flaxseed Meal in your food then feel free to add as much as you want. If you are not used to eating flaxseed meal, start with 1 tsp and work your way up. It tends to overpower the recipe if you use too much. I found that out the hard way. 




If you are going to use flaxseeds in your food make sure you get ground flaxseed or flaxseed meal. Our bodies can not digest a whole flaxseed, and it just passed it right though. So, unless you chew up each individual seed (unlikely), you are not getting all of the benefits of the flaxseed. I like Bob's Red Mill products because the prices always seem reasonable. I think I bought this at Target but I've also seen it at Sprouts.

You can sneak just about anything into your waffles. I like to keep them sweet or else they might taste funny with toppings. However, you can do savory waffles too and serve them with ranch dip or sour cream. 

Sweet add in's: Apples, carrots, bananas, peaches, pears, prunes, sweet potato, etc.

Savory add in's: Zucchini, bell peppers, squash, garlic mashed potatoes, herbs, etc. 

Along with the flax seeds you can add hemp seeds or chia seeds, you can even add small pieces of nuts like almonds, peanuts, pecans or walnuts. Go crazy and have fun!








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DIY Mama! No-Sew, Homemade Halloween Costumes Featuring: The Tooth Fairy!



The Tooth Fairy!

I'm pleased to be able to brag about the fact that I have some really talented friends. For the past several days I've been reading posts and seeing pictures of some super cute homemade Halloween costumes by these creative mama friends of mine so I thought, "Why not feature them on my mom's blog?"

So that is exactly what we are doing!

I'm so happy to feature my very talented friend, Karina and her beautiful preschooler, The Tooth Fairy!  Let me just start by saying that the talent pouring out of the women in this family amazes me including our budding artist, lil Miss Tooth Fairy. So it was no shock to me to hear that Mama Tooth Fairy has been busy making her daughter's Halloween costume. I couldn't wait to see it.

Here's Karina's story about how The Tooth Fairy came to be:

"It all started when I asked her last month what she wanted to be for Halloween even though she already had four costumes to choose from.  I bought two princess costumes on sale at Target last year and two of her costumes from last Halloween, (a pirate and a traditional Chinese girl) still fit her.  We go to several different Halloween events throughout the season so she will get to wear all of them at some point.  However, I wanted to make one for her too, so when she said,"The Tooth Fairy," I was sooo happy because I was hoping she would pick a Fairy! I've been dying to make another costume for her like the angel I made for her two years ago. Then when she chose to be a purple and pink Tooth Fairy, I was in heaven!  Right away I knew I wanted to do one of those handmade tulle dresses you find on Etsy that cost an arm and a leg. It can be time consuming, but it's actually quite easy to make. Oh and by the way, I don't own a sewing machine. I just use a hot glue gun - lots and lots of hot glue. You can call me, "Mrs. Hot Glue!"

 This is what you'll need to transform your child into The Tooth Fairy:

  • Tulle. For a four year old you'll need about 4 rolls total. I buy my rolls at Michaels for $2.99 per roll plus you can print up a 40% off coupon online. Bonus! I bought 2 rolls but still needed to order 2 more. The store was very helpful and one week later I had the remaing rolls. I have a closet filled with materials so I already had some tulle in other shades of pink and purple which I used as accents.
  • Ribbon. I bought 5 yards of 3/4 inch ribbon in purple and lilac and 5 yards in 1/4 inch ribbon in light pink. I used ribbon I already had in other colors as accents.
  • "Crochet" headband (Dollar Store. See first pic below.)
  • Flowers....lots and lots of flowers
  • Plain headband
  • 2 squares of white felt fabric (Michaels - $.25 ea)
  • A wooden dowel for the wand
  • Glitter (Michaels - $1)
  • Elmers glue
  • Hot glue sticks. Lots and lots of hot glue sticks...and of course my trusty hot glue gun! Did I mention I don't sew? 
  • Fairy wings (Dollar Store - purchased last year)
  • Plain tote bag for the candy! (Michaels - $3)
  • Long-Sleeved leotard
  • Tights
Getting Started:

The Dress:

There are several helpful videos on YouTube that will give you step-by-step directions on how to make a no-sew tutu, I basically followed the same principle. (See an example of a "no-sew" tutu dress video below.)

First I measured how long I wanted the dress to be and then doubled that measurement to pre-cut all of the tulle I would need. Once the tulle was done, I set it aside and cut a piece of felt fabric to put under the crochet headband where the flowers will be glued on. I wanted to create a smooth surface to hot glue everything as well as have a barrier for my hands so I don't get a million hot glue burns all over my fingers! (Great Tip Karina!) 

Close up of the felt fabric glued to the crochet headband on The Tooth Fairy Dress.



Then I added strips of different colored ribbon to the front and back of the dress. I measured the ribbon the same way I measured the tulle and I tied them to the crochet headband. I tied two long, thicker pieces of ribbon to the front in a "V" shape and secured them with hot glue between the felt and crochet headband. This will be used as a tie around The Tooth Fairy's neck to keep the dress in place.


The top of The Tooth Fairy Dress.


I really liked the idea of having a lot of flowers on the front of the dress so I hot glued 5 big flowers on the top instead of just one. 


Close up of the flowers on The Tooth Fairy Dress.


And after I worked my hot glue magic, the dress was finished!

The completed Tooth Fairy Dress! Ta-Da!


That's it for the dress! 


Making The Tooth Fairy's Accessories: 

The Wand: 
Use a template to trace the tooth. (I downloaded an image from google that I was going to print up but my printer ran out of ink so I had to trace it from my computer screen, lol!) Cut four teeth out of the two pieces of white felt. You are going to need two for the wand, one for the tote and one for the wings. 

Take your Elmer's glue and spread a thin layer of glue covering one side of each tooth and then sprinkle them generously with glitter.  Set them aside to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Take two of the teeth, stack them together and secure them with pins. Glue the edges together leaving an opening between the roots (that's where your wooden dowel will go.) I wanted to stuff my tooth, so I used the remaining felt and cut it into tiny pieces to stuff the tooth. 

Take a piece of ribbon and wrap it around the dowel in a spiral all the way down to the bottom using little dots of hot glue to secure the ends. Then place the dowel inside the opening of the tooth and close it with hot glue.  

Use the left over ribbon to tie on or glue more flair to your wand. See Picture below.



The Tooth Fairy's Magic Wand. "I wish for more candy, please!"



The Tote: 

Take another tooth that you already cut and glittered to use for the candy bag.  I added some glitter tulle that I already had and glued it around the (bottom) perimeter of the tooth. 

Once that is dry, hot glue the glitter tooth to the tote. I added some bows I made from the ribbon as accents and hot glued them to the tooth.


Close up of The Tooth Fairy's Candy Bag Tote.

The Tooth Fairy's Tote Bag. "Trick-Or-Treat!"


The Wings: 

I already had a pair of glittery wings that I bought last year at the Dollar Store but you can find them at any Halloween store, craft store, discount store, Target, etc. 

Take the final tooth that you cut and glittered and hot glue it to the middle of your wings. I added a little flower accent to the top corner of the tooth with hot glue to make it girly. 


The Tooth Fairy's Wings.




The Headband: 


I already had a plain headband in my craft closet, so I covered it with more of the ribbon (see The Wand above for directions) and I hot glued the rest of the flowers in different shades of purple and pink to the top of the headband.  


   

I also added some bows I made from the left over tulle and ribbon and hot glued them on as accents. 




 

To finish off the costume I wanted to add a leotard and tights. I bought a long-sleeved, pink leotard at Walmart for $6.00 that she'll also get to use for her ballet class so it was a good investment. I found some purple tights on sale at Target a while ago that will be perfect for her costume as well. Try to use things you already have on hand or items that you can reuse for something else to save money.





Here is a picture of everything you will need to transform your sweet girl into, 

The Tooth Fairy!


The complete Tooth Fairy costume. 


I wanted to do some sort of face painting to finish off The Tooth Fairy costume, so I found this video on YouTube (see below) and it was easy enough 
for me to do. I even found a recipe for a homemade face paint (toxic free), 

but she WON'T let me do it!  :(

...However, there's still time to convince her before Halloween!

Without further adieu, I now present to you


The Tooth Fairy!





*Beautiful photos taken by Karina, (aka Mrs. Hot Glue aka Mama Tooth Fairy!)


As promised, here are the links to the YouTube videos Karina watched to get more information for making a tutu dress out of tulle as well as painting a fairy mask (if your child will let you do it! LOL!)  Both are really informative videos. However, for some reason I'm having a bit of trouble attaching them so I will provide a link to them as well. (If they look blank, try mousing over them for them to pop up.) Please let me know if they do not work via comment and I will try them again. Thank you.

*Originally posted 10/23/12 All Rights Reserved - CocoCana MyTalesFromTheCrib



Here is the link to the face painting video.





Here is the link to the tutu dress video.








Was this helpful?  What do your kids want to be for Halloween? Please share below in the comments section.

Want more No-Sew, DIY Halloween Costumes?  
Click here to see Rainbow Brite!

Have a fun, safe & Happy Halloween!


*heart*
Coco Cana





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DIY Mama! No-Sew, Homemade Halloween Costumes Featuring: Rainbow Brite!

Remember Rainbow Brite from the 80's?  Me too!  She was Rad!  I loved how colorful and happy she was. She just brings a smile to your face every time you see her. Well, so does our next lil sweetheart, Miss Rainbow Brite made by DIY Mama, Allison.  She made her daughter's Rainbow Brite costume in a snap!




This was little sister's costume. Their Aunt made Sprite from a pattern she found online.







Total time: 30 mins
Total cost : under $20


Here are Allison's DIY costume instructions for Rainbow Brite:


Royal blue shirt (found at the thrift store.)


Two pairs of rainbow leg warmers one pair for her legs and a pair for her arms (bought online)

Tutu (I was going to use any color I found, but I was lucky enough to find this royal blue one at the thrift store for $2!)

Brite red shoes-(see what I did there?) - (Rainbow Brite can be seen wearing red or yellow shoes so take your pick. I didn't have any, so I found an old pair of sandals in our garage and painted them with some acrylic paint we had on hand. I think they turned out great!)

Red felt for the belt and suspenders (found this at JoAnn's Fabric Store but you can find it at any craft store.)


Wooden rainbow for her belt (found this at Michael's craft store already painted.)

Wooden star for her hair clip (found this at Michael's craft store. This came unpainted.)

Hair clips with yellow hair pieces and yellow ribbon attached  (found at the 99 cent store.)

Rainbow sticker for the cheek  (found at Party City, or you can paint one on if you're feeling artsy!)

Leggings or tights (Use whatever color you have at home since they will be mostly covered up with the rainbow leg warmers.)

*Allison Castellanos, mommy-of-two and owner of Allison Tutoring said, she was on a time crunch so she did not measure anything, she just made some fabric cuts however she thought it would look cute. She used the hot glue gun to add the rainbow to the belt, and the wooden painted start to a hair clip. She also hot glued the belt and suspenders to the t-shirt. 

Super simple and super cute!

Have you made your own Halloween costumes? What have you made? What are your kids going to be this year?  Let us know in the comments section below! 


Want more No-Sew, DIY Halloween Costumes?  

Have a fun, safe Happy Halloween!


*heart*
Coco Cana