Egg and Banana Pancakes

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If you’re anything like me you have seen this egg and banana pancakes recipe everywhere on the internet and have just been to hesitant to try it, or just simply haven’t  thought of it while making breakfast yet. It sounds way too easy, and too healthy to be true! Well, I finally got the ambition to give them a chance and thought I would share the experience with you all. First, the ingredients. Watch out, you may have a hard time getting some of them (just kidding)

Makes 3 pancakes:

2 eggs

1 banana

a sprinkle of ground cinnamon- totally optional

That’s it! Just two or three super easy ingredients that I would be willing to bet are already in your house. So not only do you not need much but you probably already have the ingredients and they are crazy cheap to make if you don’t. First, mush the banana(s) in a mixing bowl. Anything to smush them with is just fine, I personally used a fork. This is a great activity for your toddler if you have one, mine loved it. It’s perfectly ok if there are chunks of bananas in there, we did not make ours smooth at all and it came out just fine. Add two eggs and stir it all up like you are making scrambled eggs. A fork is just fine for this as well! Here is where I added some cinnamon to ours, but you can easily leave that out if you like. I tried both with cinnamon and without it, and I will say they tasted amazing either way. The toddler really didn’t have a preference either! Pour pancake-sized glops on your pan just like you would with pancake mix and bam! You’re ready to go!

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The biggest difference I noticed while cooking the egg and banana pancakes vs regular pancakes is how they cook and when to know to turn them over. I was always taught once pancakes bubble in the middle it is time to flip them. That’s not what happened with these. Egg and banana pancakes cooked more like, well… eggs. So when the edges started solidifying is when I pretty much decided to flip them and that worked just fine for us. Once we had our 3 pancake batch cooked up it was ready for the hard part… feeding them to my very picky, almost three year old. This is the kid that wont eat anything remotely healthy ( I have a feeling he got that from his dad) and wont eat pancakes unless drenched in syrup. Well. I gave him a plate of the banana pancakes WITHOUT syrup.

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I think the picture speaks for itself. He scarfed them down! I’m sure it helps that they completely tasted like dessert. They were super sweet and tasted amazing. I will tell you, they didn’t taste just like pancakes but they are an incredibly healthy alternative. The kid loved them and so did I. The best part aside from getting my toddler to eat a better breakfast? I have something that I can eat whenever I get a sweet tooth without killing my healthy eating program! Turns out I have to cook these for breakfast more often. So go ahead, finally give them a try like I did and let me know how they turn out!

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Baby Bjorn Smart Potty Review & Giveaway

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BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty

PottyWhen my son received his new Baby Bjorn Smart Potty in the mail, he was so excited about it, he immediately insisted on using the potty. Potty training in my house has been full of ups and downs, successes and messy floors. Since the Baby Bjorn potty has arrived in our home, we have been practically accident free. From my personal experience, I can say that if potty training isn’t going well, it might be a good idea to try a new potty. What I love about this potty is that it is compact but has a very long bowl for little boys to aim into. Some potties have a short bowl, something through trial and error I have found does not work well for boys. The Baby Bjorn potty is the perfect size, especially for little bathrooms.  It has a sturdy base with non-slip rubber at the bottom, a nice easy-to-clean design so little accidents aren’t a problem, and they come in kid friendly colors!  I highly recommend the BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty!

BABYBJÖRN Gold Smart Potty Giveaway

BABYBJÖRN is SUCH an awesome company with a mission to help parents and kids that not only did they create this awesome potty, but they’re even giving one away to one of our fantastic readers!  Not just any old potty seat either, they’re giving away the limited edition (not available in stores) gold seat, a golden throne for your little prince or princess!  After checking out the amazing potty training tips provided by BABYBJÖRN, enter at the bottom of the page to win the super amazing BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty in fancy pants gold (not official color name… it’s simply our opinion of it’s fanciness)!

 

Potty Training Tips from BABYBJÖRN

by Pediatrician Dr. Robyn Strosaker from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital

 

When?

  • Most children can be ready to start potty training between 18-24 months. Children will train easier before 24 months; some can become willful after that point.
  • Both the family and the child need to be ready. Review the signs of readiness and make a plan with your significant other.
  • If your child is having trouble, stop for 2-4 weeks and then try to restart.
  • Find a time when you can be around during the week to start potty training. Summer vacations or holidays are the best times.

How?

  • Sticker charts are great. If your child earns a certain number of stickers, they can earn a non-food reward.
  • If your child still wants to go in their diaper, take them out of it. If they are wearing underwear, they will feel uncomfortable when they are wet. If you are concerned about the mess, you can put the underpants on under the diaper. For those kids who don’t like wearing underpants, encourage them to wear them for a short time and offer rewards when they keep them clean and dry.
    • As a side note, there is nothing developmentally different between pull-ups and a diaper. Training will go quicker with underpants.

Where?

  • If your child has a certain area of the house he/she prefers to go potty in, it might be a good idea to get a portable potty and let him/her try that.
  • Put the portable potty in a room where the child typically plays to help them get used to the idea.

Other Considerations

  • Most kids aren’t ready to be dry at night until they start waking up dry from naps and some mornings.
  • To help keep them dry at night, stop liquids 2-3 hours after dinner, depending on your child’s bedtime.
  • When traveling: take a portable potty or potty seat with you, but you may need pull-ups for long car trips or plane rides.

 

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How about Free Books ? Amazon titles you can buy for nothing and read on your phone !

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Photo Courtesy of Amazon

If you didn’t think Amazon was already amazing after trying on eBates and monthly delivery for size, prepare to have your mind blown. Free Books.

“You don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. With our free Kindle reading apps, you can buy a Kindle book once, and read it on any device with the Kindle app installed. And of course, you can also read that same Kindle book on a Kindle device if you own one.”

Yep. For Real.

If you go to the following Amazon App Site, you can download apps that will allow you to read any book you have downloaded. Now here is the fun part :

Amazon constantly does free books. I fully believe in supporting websites and stores I love with e-commerce, but the fact Amazon does free makes this deal a little sweeter.

Today’s Deals include the following for you to download for free now – stash to read later – and keep for all time!

 

Herbal Remedies: Herbs that Cure Sickness, Improve Health and Fight Disease

Permaculture Chicken: Pasture Basics – For my fellow chicky friends

Mexican Cooking: Hot & Delicious

 

This is a Pre-Order so DON’T miss it ! Every DIY Pro should have it !

 

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DIY Coffee Table Redo

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I have been looking for a new coffee table since we got rid of the death trap coffee table we used to have when my son started walking (almost 2 years ago)! I finally came upon the perfect table with the perfect potential at a garage sale a few weeks ago. Annnnnd it cost $10. Yes! Here it was when I bought it:

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A little dinged up, but so cute! I sanded it down really well to get the surface rough, and then brushed the dust off with a hard bristled hand broom.

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Then, I  mixed the paint. I had some left over paint from my living room, and I wanted the table a few shades darker, so I just mixed in some black acrylic paint.

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I gave the table 2 coats of paint…

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And then painted the details with a cream color. I won’t tell you how many times I had to go back and touch those up…

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It was looking pretty cute at this point!

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But I knew I wanted to distress it. Between the dogs and destructive toddler, I knew it was going to get distressed anyway, so I might as well make it look like it was on purpose. Plus, I love the look of distressed wood furniture! I just took some sandpaper, and rubbed around the corners, edges, down the center of the table and center of the drawers.

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I found some adorable bird handles at Hobby Lobby, and voila!

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All done! See the dog on the couch? That’s one of the reason’s we can’t have nice things. But, I love the way this turned out. And the drawers are perfect for holding Legos and puzzles!

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We are so happy to finally have a coffee table! I hope this inspires some of your future projects!

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Avoiding Tragedy: Child Vehicular Heatstroke Death

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Seventeen children have died so far this year in the United States from vehicular heatstroke death as I’m writing this on July 12th, 2014.  We’re not even halfway through the summer and seventeen lives have been lost and hundreds, possibly thousands, of lives have been irrevocably changed for the worse by the death of those children.  Parents have buried their babies, siblings are wondering why their little brother or sister isn’t there to play, and the ripple effect just goes on and on. In the last 15 years an average of 41 children a year die from child vehicular heatstroke.  That’s two kindergarten classes worth of children.  Forty One.

I Forgot Her

I’m not here to debate what kind of parent forgets their child in the car.  Quite frankly, I know what kind, because I did it.  When my daughter was just barely two years old there was a brief change in my routine, she fell asleep in the car, and I was distracted thinking about other things and I forgot her.  I’m a good mom.  Some even call me a helicopter mom because I’m ALWAYS with my children.   I forgot her.

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My daughter is getting ready to celebrate her 8th birthday this month and I completely attribute it to the car that I passed in the parking lot after leaving my daughter in the car under the hot August sun.  A small, somewhat beat up, little Honda is why my daughter is alive.  They had a grey Britax carseat in their backseat, a carseat identical to my daughters.  Seeing that carseat suddenly reminded me and I raced back to her, still sleeping in the carseat, a little warmer to the touch, but ok.  That one reminder changed everything.  That one reminder is the reason that my daughter wasn’t lost, lives weren’t ruined, and my family still exists.  One reminder saved all of our lives in that moment.  Unfortunately an average of 41 children a year aren’t so lucky.

Avoiding Tragedy

It’s easy to say “I’d never do that”, and most likely you wouldn’t… but who is really willing to take that chance with their child’s life?  We’re all so busy and make mistakes all the time, why risk it?  So what can you do that will help in avoiding a tragedy like this?  Below is a list of just a few ways to never forget your child in the hot car.

  • Leave your purse or wallet on the floor in front of the carseat when putting your child in the car.
  • Put your cellphone next to the carseat (it’s illegal to be on the phone when driving in most states anyway)
  • Leave one of your shoes on the floor of the backseat after putting your child in their seat
  • Use scrapbooking stickers to put your child’s name on your car window right at eye level, so that you’re sure to see it as you leave the car
  • Use a ChildMinder SoftClip® System from Baby Alert International.  It clips onto your child’s carseat and an alarm that attaches to the parent’s keyring that alerts when it is moved more than 15 feet from the carseat (when the clip is activated upon putting child in carseat)Picture 11
  • Set an alarm on your phone set to go off 15 minutes after you’re due at work asking you where your child is every day
  • Make an arrangement with your child’s daycare provider to please call you if you’re more than 15 minutes late
  • Put a plastic baby ring on the handle of the infant carseat, and develop the habit of putting it on your keychain every time you put the baby in the car 81Rc4SnDYrL._SL1500_
  • Put up a “Don’t Forget Baby” sign on your rearview mirror when you put your child in the car
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    Photo Credit: DontForgetBaby.com

 

Now You

Is there anything else that you do to help ensure that you never forget?  Comment below so that we can add it to the list and help other parents.

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My Top 8 Summer Salads

In the summer, I’m not always motivated to cook. No one wants to be cooped up in a hot kitchen when its already so hot outside…. And many summer afternoons are spent on the go. So one of my favorite summer dinners is a nice delicious salad paired with something simple, like a quesadilla or a turkey sandwich. Often times, I will even just make one giant taco salad and call it good for the night! Salads can be very easy and very delicious. Even kids can enjoy a salad if they are exposed to different salads often enough. In fact, I sometimes have to save salad for dessert because if I gave them their salad first, they wouldn’t eat anything else. You know you want that recipe!!! :)

I’ve compiled my top 10 summer salads to share with you today… Now these are just my favorites (or favorite types). I would love it if you would share your favorite salads with me, too! I’m always looking for another yummy recipe to add to my list!

#1 Spicy Honey Chicken Salad from Our Best Bites

This is one of the first salads that I had that really helped me fall in love with salads. The chicken in this salad is sweet and spicy and super easy to grill and throw together.

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#2 Taco Salad from The Pioneer Woman

We love taco salad. We will throw together a chicken taco salad like this one… Or even with leftover taco meat. This is the best way to get rid of leftover meat and recreate a delicious meal with what’s sitting in your fridge. Its a quick and easy dinner!!!

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#3 Strawberry Coconut Salad from Messes to Memories

This is the salad that I’m talking about when I say I have to make my kids eat the rest of their meal before they can have “dessert!” I love it when I can bribe my kids with something healthy and delicious.

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#4 Copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad from Your Home-based Mom

MMMMMmmmm. If you ever go out west, you need to go to Cafe Rio and try out their Sweet Barbocoa Pork! But there are a lot of copycat recipes out there so that you can make your own at home. We always make our Pork Salad with a flour tortilla, rice, beans, pork, salsa, guacomole, sour cream, lettuce, cilantro and a delicious tomatillo dressing.

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#5 Mango Quinoa Salad from Our Best Bites

This is a unique salad using Quinoa. It is different… and definitely an acquired taste, but once you acquire it, you will always love it! This salad makes me feel healthy, but still tastes delicious.

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#6 Creamy and Tangy Summer Sausage Pasta Salad from Messes to Memories

Pasta salads are my favorite for summer BBQ’s. I feel like everyone needs to have a go-to pasta salad. This one is mine! The great thing about pasta salads is you have pasta, a dressing and then you can throw whatever veggies or other mix-ins that you want.

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#7 Baked Potato Salad from The Best Blog Recipes

We haven’t tried this baked potato salad… But my husband absolutely loves potato salad. Everyone needs to find a potato salad that they love!!!

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#8 Real Honey Vinaigrette from Messes to Memories

When we did our 30 days of real food, we couldn’t make our normal favorite salad dressing because it had sugar, so we modified it and added honey. We will never go back! The honey vinaigrette is perfect with our favorite lettuce salad and it is healthy. It also lasts for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, so I can make a big batch and have it on hand.

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Let me know what your favorite salad is! :)

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Airforce Blowguns Review

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Let me tell you about the first time I shot a toy gun. It was actually two weeks ago. My husband and I had the opportunity to review these amazing Airforce Blowguns. They were created by a family from my hometown… These are not like normal Nerf guns with foam darts. The Airforce Blowguns are powered by your lungs. They have amazing range (up to 100 ft) and power depending on how hard you blow that dart out.

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At first, I thought they were going to be difficult to learn how to control and shoot. But after about 15 minutes, I was able to shoot fairly accurately. I even designed a fun date night called the Airforce Blowguns Games that has fun and unique challenges. I thought my husband would totally dominate me but I was surprised when I was able to hold my own! You can check out the date night (with free printables) here.

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I knew that any adult would totally love the Airforce Blowguns, they are a great source of fun and entertainment. But I really wanted to find out if these were family friendly. My oldest is almost 3, so I didn’t think that she could really help me review them. I decided to invite some friends to help me out! We all got together for a fun filled family night.

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My friend has 5 children. A boy–10, and then 3 girls–7, 6 and 3, then another boy–1. I thought that the boy would totally love it! And he certainly did have fun…

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But I was surprised at how excited the girls were about it! Especially the 7 year old! I watched her as she learned how to use the gun and adapted. She got better and better as the night went on!

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At the end of the night, the girls were practically professionals. Everyone had so much fun.

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The next morning, I was making breakfast when I realized that Lanae, my 2 year old found the guns laying out. She was loading the foam darts in and then blowing them out all by herself. My husband and I hadn’t really taught her or showed her how to do it and she hadn’t seemed too interested the night before when all the other kids were playing with them. But I guess that’s just her personality. It seems that she had been watching them a lot closer than we thought and she learned the concept of how to use the guns just by watching. I was so impressed! Of course, she can’t blow the darts 100 feet… I mean she’s barely bigger than the gun herself!

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We have found that the Airforce Blowguns are fun for both kids and adults. The more we’ve practiced the better we’ve gotten… our range and accuracy have continued to improve. Even kids as young as 2 and 3 can learn to use them!

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You should definitely check these Airforce Blowguns out for yourself! This is definitely a toy you will want for your whole family to enjoy.

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DIY 4th of July Tie Dyed T-shirt

 

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I’ve been on a hunt for a cute 4th of July shirt for my son, with no luck. I had been wanting to do something tie-dyed with him because it seemed like his kind of fun (read: the messy kind), and then it hit me! A 4th of July shirt! Then we could have a fun project to do, with a red white and blue shirt to wear afterwords. Here’s how we did it:

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I got this tie-dye kit, because it seemed like the least messy, and easiest for my 2.5 year old to use. The bottles already have the dye in them, you just fill them up with water and shake. Easy!

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The kit also came with gloves and rubber bands. Make sure you use those. Even with the gloves we still ended up somehow with red and blue fingers. We took this project outside after a recent accident with hair dye and my bathroom door…as it turns out my aim isn’t as good as I think. I laid down a trashbag and an old towel/rag on top of that on the deck.

The kit came with a instructions for a few different types of tie-dyes. We chose one that had a swirly pattern in the middle.

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We twisted it in the middle, and then made a ball out of it.

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I wrapped 3 rubber bands around the shirt, and then we squirted the dye on each pie shaped section in between the rubber bands.

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Then, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for about 8 hours.

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The reveal was fun when we cut the rubber bands off and checked out what we made! We also tie-dyed 2 of my husbands white t-shirts and a pair of socks because we couldn’t keep the dye for later. After we opened them up, we rinsed them with water and then washed them with hot water.

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The result was cute! We will definitely be doing this with the rest of our dyes on other things!  Have fun!

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Modern Boy Nursery

I’m about to start decorating a new nursery for our baby girl, so I thought it would be a good time to post my son’s nursery! I love to buy things from garage sales and repurpose them, so a lot of his room is mismatched and unique things I found on my journeys! We will be upgrading him to a big boy room soon, so stay tuned for those updates! Here’s what the room looked like when he came home from the hospital:

I copied this idea from this picture which I saw on lots of nursery decorating blogs…It is harder than it looks. I got the letters at Jo-Ann fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels and added paint or modge podged on scrapbook paper, or some variation of that for most of the letters.
The curtains are from Ikea (which I bought on ebay) and the little blue chest my mom found for me at a garage sale for a few dollars that I spray painted a shiny blue to match the curtains. It will hold extra sheets!
I bought this shelf for $3 at a garage sale and painted it. I have more books than it can hold but it will do for now.
I bought this at a garage sale too….It was a steal for $10. It was the woman who was having the sale’s desk as a child…it needed some paint and new handles and is adorable now! We found a Bengals ticket from the 70′s in the back of it while trying to get it to open all the way.
This shelf has been one of my favorite things in his room. It came from my favorite activity, the Springfield Flea Market Extravaganza in Springfrield Ohio. The hat is from Gap, and the starfish we picked up on a trip to Savannah during my pregnancy!
The nightstand is another painted garage sale find with some anthropologie nobs, and the lamp I had but painted, and recovered the lampshade in a fabric I thought went with the room.
I bought the dresser at a garage sale for $10 and painted it…All the picture frames I found at garage sales and painted. The chalkboard is made from a piece of sheet metal I cut to fit the frame and then painted with chalkboard paint, so it is magnetic too! And the guitar fabric is a pinboard, made with corkboard covered in fabric and cut to fit the frame. The wooden box is an antique toolbox I repurposed into a diaper caddy!
Ahhh…cookies. I bought this print at this etsy site.
I accidentally ordered the wrong print from this store (I originally wanted the baby porcupine) but when this arrived it was too cute to send it back…and I was in a hurry to get the room put together so I kept it. I ordered it from The animal print shop.
This print came from this etsy seller
This is from one of my favorite etsy sellers, I have another of his prints in my office.
This may not fit the frame perfect, but I still love it. It’s from this etsy store.
This also came from this etsy store.
I had my eye on this print for a while…luckily I stalked his etsy shop often, and they were having a 40% off sale! So, I snagged it up and it’s one of my favorite’s in the room now.I can’t wait to get started on another Nursery! This time for a girl. I have big plans!! :)

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Ruby Lou Doll Pattern Review

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When I found out I was pregnant the first time, I was really hoping for a boy. Growing up, I was never really super girly. I didn’t have a lot of toys, let alone dolls and I certainly didn’t play dress-up. I still don’t even wear much make-up. I didn’t think that I could be a good mommy to a little girl. So when I found out my first child was going to be a girl, I was a little panicked.

Needless, to say, the panic wore off as soon as I held my precious little girl in my arms. There were still times in the beginning when I wasn’t sure what to do, but that’s normal for a first time mom. Now, however, I’m starting to realize that my little girl is turning into a girly-girl, without any influence from me. She loves to dance. She is so nurturing towards her brother. And she innately loves girly toys.

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A couple months ago, I started to notice that she would sometimes try and wrap up her stuffed animals and cradle them in her arms. Whenever we would visit a friend who had dolls, that would be the first thing that she wanted to play with. To be honest, I was kind of bummed that she was so drawn to dolls. Which is probably a totally weird reaction…. So let me explain.

I think a lot of the dolls that you find in the store are kind of creepy looking. Just sayin’. I’m not trying to cause offense to anyone. That’s just my own personal opinion. Take it or leave it! ;) So I swore I would never buy a doll from the store. Which really only left one option. Trying to make one… I didn’t know if I had the skills to pull that off, either.

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So I started to look for doll patterns. There are some pretty interesting doll patterns out there. But there are also some extremely adorable ones. Let me tell you about the very best doll pattern that I found! I’m serious. It is the most adorable doll.

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This pattern is called the Ruby Lou doll and it’s created by Abby at Sew Much Ado. She has a blog where she sells her patterns, here. You should seriously check it out. She is extremely talented and always has the cutest projects.

You can purchase the pattern online and you’ll be emailed a link where you can download the pattern immediately. So great, right? You don’t even have to leave the house. She lists all the materials that you’ll need and then breaks it down step by step. Each step has a picture to show you exactly what you need to do. I definitely needed the pictures to help me with the details because I am still a beginner when it comes to sewing.

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This pattern includes a reversible skirt, which is super clever. Lanae loves taking the skirt off, just to flip it around and put it back on. She also loves wrapping her dolls up and rocking them to sleep and pretending to feed them her snacks! She basically loves everything about the dolls.

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We spent a whole week learning about dolls and the letter D. Check out our little mini tea party. I’m so glad I was able to make something for Lanae that has now become her favorite toy. My dolls may not look exactly like Abby’s. I’m not quite at the same level, but her pattern was so amazingly easy to follow that I was able to produce a couple adorable dolls that will be well-loved for a long time to come!

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