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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thanks to Groupon

There is no doubt in my mind that all of my glorious readers have heard of Groupon by now, but did you all know or think of it as a way to expose your child to the world without breaking the bank? This has been the best parenting on a dime site and I doubt that was even it's intention.


I'm sure some of you are a lot like me, doubting. Before I signed up I was thinking, "Ok, I can get some cheap nights out for the hubby an me, but where's the catch?" I was actually was REALLY skeptical. My first thought was another claim to save site to spam up my e-mail or something. Second thought, I'm gonna buy something and it's gonna have some crazy stipulations, to my surprise only 1 out of all my purchases was even slightly restricting! I mean it was a chain store and made just for Christmas gifts, so really not a surprise an not at all hard to use. But, before I even signed up I had to check even more, had a informal Facebook poll from my friends and family to see if it was worth it. So happy I did because I don't know if I would/wouldn't have if I hadn't have heard their thoughts. To be honest I would had probably just become a lurker, always looking at what I'm missing and thinking "I really should, but oh, it's probably a scam, you aren't missing out" just telling myself that over and over. My intention of writing this is just to assure the few of you still holding out to sign up and take advantage. This site isn't just for us, but it is great for our kids.

All we want to do is give our child all the opportunities we can and educate them the best way possible. Expose them to art, nature, and life. In times like these I don't pretend it's easy, but here is some tips to help your family without putting you in the poor house. Every area has their museums, some history and parks, you just gotta go out there and find them. The best thing is to check and see when/if they have free days or free events, take advantage of what your hometown offers. There are lots of sites out there, all you have to do is scout. We are fortunate to live in San Diego where we have a plethora of options. We have free days at Children's Museum and in our town, Balboa Park offers free Tuesdays, rotating museums open for free for residents and Military, but the best site I've found has been Groupon. Thanks to Groupon I have to admit that Riley has got to do things in her toddler-kid years that even I could have never imagined. The site has also made it more affordable to do somethings we love, but just to do it more frequently. It also made us into a tourist in our own town, doing things long forgotten.

I'll share with you a couple highlights of what Groupon -San Diego has gotten us.


This still has to be one of my favorite day trips to this date, we all did a Whale Watching Tour. I have always wanted to go myself but the timing or cost was never right, then this came along. So, at a discounted rate it was to good to pass up. Not only did the husband and I get to go, but it was so well priced that Riley got to a experience it. Not many kids can say they've been out on a boat in the ocean looking at marine life out an about in their natural state. It wasn't crowded, they didn't treat us like garbage for using a discount, it was just fun! The crew was amazing and the little one was treated even better, with a little coloring book an crayons. Like I said I am a skeptic, I always think ok, you get what you pay for so maybe we'll be treated different then those flipping their top dollar, so not the case.


Another fun day thanks to the site was our trip to the Chula Vista Nature Center. I haven't been to or thought of this place since my high school babysitting days (don't ask, but, yes it was a LONG time ago). This preserve was full of education in fun ways. Art activities and close up animal experiences that I hope she will carry with her all her life. My husband and I spent the day in awe, which is funny because we are Sea World and San Diego Zoo members, but there is just something about breaking from the norm and experiencing things in a different light that reminds us how awesome life is. The trip kind of woke us up and freshened our respect for it all.

I honestly wish I had photos of all our experiences to share with you, but really the best thing I can tell you is JOIN! Look for things in your budget take your kid out let them see and do things. Thanks to Groupon we even have a ceramic painting day planned. I am ever so thankful that this site came along.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

GIVEAWAY! & Product Review: Tutus for Chichis

So DIY for Mommies has made it to it's 20th post & way beyond 1000 views, time to do something special. Our FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!! But, before that it is time to say thank you, so THANK YOU!!!!

Review:

A fantastic homegrown company! The title almost says it all, Tutus for Chichis. The wonderful lady that hand makes each tutu to order donates $1 from each tutu sold to various forms of Breast Cancer needs, all non-profit. Currently donations are going towards research.

OK, so besides this being a great socially conscious company it also is a very cute product for any little "ballerina" or "fairy princess." The fantastic thing is there are already to go versions but the company prides it's self on its 100% custom tutus. Orders work with child's size and current favorite colors (lots of choices). Don't feel like like your special person in mind is too big or too small to wear one, browse Tutus for Chichis's Facebook Photo Albums. Some have even been ordered just to be used as centerpieces.

My daughter is a proud fan of Tutus for Chichis handy work:

Picture day version
This is more typical of how she likes to wear it.  Safari Explorer Fairy Princess.
I should mention, this tutu has seen a LOT of playtime & still looks fabulous!



Giveaway:  WINNER - *Ashley Cronin* 
Thank you, everyone for your entries. Make sure to enter again next time.

Completely custom order from Tutus for Chichis1 Tutu of choice for up to a $15 value along with a matching hair piece & free shipping, bringing the prize to be about a $20 value.

*Rules*
Use the form below to join in for a chance to win. Sorry, this contest is for United States residents only. Entries must be received by February 29th, 2012 12 pm Pacific Time. Goal is to have the winner posted an emailed by March 1st, this depends on how many entries are received and how fast all additional chances were verified. Winner will receive instructions how how to claim prize as well as Tutus for Chichis will be given winner's info collected via contest form. Winner will be chosen at random thanks to Random.org.



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Monday, February 13, 2012

Rosette Ball


This was another wonderful idea As Seen On Pinterest, Tissue Rosette Kissing Balls. I am sure many of you crafty people have seen a few variations of this decorative piece, but this was the one that my friend and I chose to follow. Her step by step instructions were very helpful, but I felt like sharing our experience behind the flower ball.

We originally planned to do quite a few of these and in different sizes, but once we got to work we realized that smaller styrofoam balls are not really possible to use, so we stuck with the 1 large styrofoam ball we had. Originally we thought 2 things of steamers will be more then enough to do this 1 ball we were wrong it took a little over 2 so a 3rd was needed. Also one word of caution, we got burned, A LOT. It became hilarious every time we got stuck to the rose or just burned ourselves attach the flower to the ball. I think we were going delirious cause it actually took a heck of a lot longer to make this bad boy. Glad the 2 of us were sitting and working on this together cause I can only guess how long it would had taken if it was only one of us attempting it. So proceed with caution, but this is one beautiful addition to any party.

In this case it was used for a Baby Shower's candy table.

Just in case you did not feel like looking at the wonderful blog we followed, I'll give you the quick run down of how we accomplished this Rosette Ball.

What you need: 
LOTS of streamers, larger styrofoam ball(s), hot glue sticks & gun. If you wish to hang yours also grab some ribbon.

Steps:
Cut strips 24 inches long. 
Then crumple your strips.
Now, grab a strip. Fold it about 1/3 of way down. This is so the top of the flower has more a soft petal feel then a sharp paper edge (we figured that out later).
Start to roll loosely. 
After a few rolls, pinch and a tiny bit of a twist the base of your rose, the part of the flower that does not have the folded bit.
Keep rolling. I noticed if I was doing it fast my rosettes were too tight, so try to slow yourself down to have a nice open looking rose.
Hot glue base of rose. Dab a tiny bit of hot glue to the end you were pinching the not folded open-ish end. Please do this step carefully. 
After you have a collection of rosettes feel free to hot glue the pinched end to the ball. Try to put your roses close together on the ball. Doing this just helps you know where you are going. How many more will be needed and all that fun, but once again PLEASE BE CAREFUL.
If you chose to have it as a hanging decoration (which we almost did) do these steps. Before adding every rosette to the ball pick your top of ball (should not have flowers there yet). Hold the ribbon to the base of ball attaching to styrofoam, let ribbon go enough to eye the distance you want it to hang down from. Roughly double that length and cut. You can always adjust height by after folding the ribbon in half and holding to the ball getting a rough idea of height. If you are happy hot glue the cut ends together and to the ball. Make sure to cover ribbon ends with flowers to. 

They turn out really cute, but just have a sense of humor about the project and I highly recommend doing this with a good friend.

As you can see the ribbon was omitted, but a hot glued butterfly added a better touch.



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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Painted Hearts



In light of Valentine's day we had a fun day of making hearts! Lots of paint & love.

So there were a few variations of what we did today, but to do all of it you'll need: a few toilet paper rolls, paint, a few heavy duty papers like card stock or scrapbook quality.

Hand Hearts

I will admit, red makes a creepy choice. Also, though your toddler makes hearts with their hands ALL THE TIME does not mean it will feel normal for them to do it with painted hands. Adult hands maybe needed to get just as dirty on top of those painted kid hands, just a heads up.


Paint your subjects hands, mine was ticklish so that made it even more fun.


Coat those whole hands and make sure to have extra paper on stand by. The goal is to get the thumbs to bend and touch. The pointer fingers straight and touch. The rest of the digits hanging out. We found it easier for her if we put the hands down all at once as opposed to one hand then placing the other, but it's all trial an error.


The first one with more paint makes a more solid image but the seconded or so gives more of the details in the little ones hand print, so it's up to you.


Heart Stamps

Time for little heart stamping. Grab out your toilet paper rolls.


Press in the center with finger tips then pinch bottom to create point. 


Some we skipped the point just to create a variety in  the heart shapes. 


Add paint to a paper plate & let your toddler/kid go stamping crazy.


Happy Valentine's Day. We hope these help you spread the love!



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