Category Archives: baby / tots

baby / tots

Shake Your Own Ice Cream Party Favors

This is an AWESOME idea from Vicky of The City Cradle.  GENIUS!  These DIY Ice Cream Favors are perfect for a child’s birthday party … or I’m thinking maybe even my hot August wedding!


All it takes are a few simple ingredients and a little arm power [to shake it up].  She even provides you with the labels to print out!  Read the full tutorial HERE(photograph by Jackie Wonders)


baby / tots

Book Review: Danny The Dragon Meets Jimmy by Tina Turbin

I was recently contacted by the Imagination Publishing Group to write a review of Author, Tina Turbin’s new childrens book, Danny The Dragon “Meets Jimmy”.  I was excited to receive the materials and looked forward to reading a new story to Ava.  The package arrived and was filled with information on Tina, focusing on her work for Celiac Disease and Gluten Free living.  I thought that maybe the book was going to be about a boy with food allergies [not a bad idea], but it was not.  The story was an introduction to what I can only assume will be a series of Danny The Dragon books and told the tale of a small boy [Jimmy] who finds a talking shell at the beach that is home to Danny and his pal, Skipper.  Once home, Danny and his pal emerge from the shell, join the family for dinner, play outside with Jimmy and his friends, and then it’s off to bed.  At the end of the book, Jimmy asks Danny to tell him about the adventures life in a shell has taken him on, only to be told he will have to wait … and so will you … until the next book.  I must admit I was rather disappointed in this story and felt bad about writing a less than raving review, but everyone has their own opinion and this is mine.  It’s not that it’s a bad story – it’s cute, but it didn’t really go anywhere … and just when you think you are getting to the real story [of Danny’s adventures], the book ends and leaves you hanging.  I’m all for being left hanging [Lost is one of my favorite shows – lol], however this story ended before it even began and I am left not wanting to read the next book, but rather left wanting more than a dragon coming out of a shell.  And I would like to think my child does too.  I suppose if your child was really into dragons ….

I also received a DVD in my package for review.  The proceeds for the DVD go to the Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf [like that!], but unfortunately I wouldn’t spend any money on this video.  I’m pretty sure it was put together using iDVD [I made a disc of Ava that has the same titling and even the same song] and is just a slideshow of the book pages with narration and a woman signing on the side.  I was just not impressed with the production quality at all.  Maybe I’m being too critical since I come from a creative background and my fiance is a Creative Director and we are used to higher quality productions.  I know that sounds a bit snarky, but I just expected more.  I also received a CD review, and must admit that I have not had the time to listen to it.

I give Tina praise for her charitable work and belief in her causes … maybe the rest of the series will have a little more story and a little more soul.

baby / tots

Cute Stuffed Things

Ava is only 15 months old and already has more stuffed animals than I have places to store them.  Most of them fit into the little vintage doll crib I brought back from my gramma’s house, but there is also a basket of puppets on the shelf and a box of furry monsters in the corner.  A majority of these stuffies were gifts – people just can’t resist buying cute stuffed things!  Who can blame them – especially when they are as cute as these …

This handmade birdie rattle [named Enid] is made from vintage chenille and is so lovable and adorable and huggable!  You can find her and many other cuddly creations at Leah’s Etsy Shop!chenille

How can you not love these little egg people?!  You can even choose faces that reflect your own family!  Made from mohair needle felted wool and merino, these little cuties are irresistible!  Available at the AsherJasper Etsy Shop.


Vicky [from the above mentioned AsherJasper shop] also makes these imaginative rattles [made from pure wool – very eco-friendly].


This 22 inch tall giraffe is so colorful and [for lack of a better word] cute!  Find it at Biggy Piggy!


Move over sock monkeys and make room for these darling dollies by Chickabiddy Baby Boutique!  You can choose boys or girls and even have them made with custom colors.  The dolls are around 13 – 15 inches and also come in a smaller rattle option.


What stuffed animal collection is complete without a bunny rabbit?  This little hopper is made from 100% cotton and available at Blonde Birdie.


baby / tots

Simple Project to Make with Kids – DIY Feltboard

This craft is so simple that even someone with no crafting skills [like me] can do it!  It’s also perfect for little ones who can wield scissors.  As you can tell from the photo, my scissor skills aren’t the greatest, [I can’t cut a straight line to save my life] but Ava doesn’t care.  She loves taking the pieces off and rearranging them.  I also use it to tell her stories.  Originally, I glued the widows and door onto the house, but she just pulled them off [she’s 14 months] so I recommend just keeping all the pieces separate for those too young to understand the concept of “please don’t break that”.


What you will need:

Canvas [or piece from a cardboard box]

Spray Glue

1 Sheet of Stiff Felt

1 Pack of assorted felt squares


Spray glue the stiff felt sheet to the canvas or cardboard.  Cut out some shapes, characters, etc. from the felt squares.  That’s it.  You’re done.  You can’t really get any easier than that.IMG_9272 Send me a picture of yours when you’re finished and put mine to shame.  LOL

baby / tots

DIY Dollhouses

When I was a little girl, my grandpa built me a beautiful dollhouse.  It was blue and had a hinged roof with little wooden shingles.  He had also custom made some of the furniture inside and put carpet in the living room and bedrooms, and tile in the kitchen.  I loved that house.  I have it in “storage” [at my grandma’s] and am just waiting until Ava is old enough so I can redecorate it and give it to her.  Now, I’m no carpenter like my grandpa was, so I went looking for some DIY dollhouses that pretty much anyone can create

This felt creation by Melissa Crowe is actually a piece commissioned by the Wintergreen Arts Center in Maine, but it’s a great idea you can make for your own home [little ones old enough to use scissors can help!].  The house is mounted on canvas and decorated in felt and moleskin that can be moved around [just like a felt board].  For more photos [and more great crafts], check out Melissa’s blog, Checkout Girl.


These adorable wooden dollhouses are made from unfinished cd houses that are then painted and decorated to your own liking.  I have been dying to make one of these for Ava, but so far have been unable to find the unfinished wooden piece [which is said to be available at Michael’s Arts & Crafts … so far I have only been to one and the hunt will continue this weekend].  Visit Angry Chicken for more info on this piece …


…and Bright and Blithe to check out this version!


I also found several versions of these cute cardboard and foam core board dollhouses.  The customization possibilities are endless and it’s super mobile and would be a fun project to put together with your little one.  The tutorial for the picture below is available at Cookie Magazine.


That tutorial was the motivation for this super duper dollhouse put together by the obviously crafty Amy of Sweet Sweet Life.


Taking inspiration from the Constantine Dollhouse from Kidsmodern, this creation was born out of a cardboard box, lots of tape, and some magazines.  Read the full tutorial from Elsie Marley.


This tutorial for a recycled materials dollhouse can be found at Craftastica, where Kristy and her daughter Eva fashioned this house based on the above idea.


I found this multi-level cardboard dollhouse in a feature on Ohdeedoh.  It was made by Adrienne and decorated with scrap fabric, wallpaper samples, popsicle sticks, etc.


This dollhouse gets an A+ for creativity – it’s built on a closet organizer!!!  [via Gina2424 on Flikr]


baby / tots

Cool Find – Baby/Toddler Recycled Chanel Hoodie

From Fashion Designer Julia Cepp’s mamamija children’s line … a bit pricey at around $72.00, but oh so cute!  Love the idea of making these recycled hoodies … now, if only I could sew!


baby / tots

Halloween Costumes for Kids – Buy Handmade or Make Your Own

It’s almost Halloween – this will be Ava’s first and we cannot wait to dress her up and show her off!  If you’re like me, you do not possess the crafting skills [or the time to even find out if you do] to make your child’s costume.  Luckily, there are people out there who can make them for you!

This handmade cowgirl costume by Uniquery here in Chicago is sooo adorable.  Add your own accessories [hat, handkerchief, boots, and a stick pony] and send your little cutie galloping off into the sunset on a quest for candy.


How cute would your little man be in this tool belt onesie made by Rock N Rags?!  Sizes range from 0 – 18 months and you can request long sleeves.  Pair it with some jeans and boots and you’ll have your own mini carpenter!


read more »

baby / tots

Baby & Toddler Hats for Fall

Just a quick post during my packing up the apartment break to showcase a few super cute baby hat finds for fall!

This bonnet by Urban Baby Bonnets is absolutely adorable [and I love that it straps on because as soon as I put a hat on her head, Ava pulls it off] and is practical for summer and spring as well as fall!


I love the bright colors on this handmade beanie by Sweet Savannah Baby!


This heather gray pleated cap from Baby Melons is the perfect fall accessory for your little fashionista!


Top your handsome little boy’s head with this quilted hat with sherpa lining [also from Baby Melons].  It’s sure to keep him snuggly warm through the winter!


The color of this crocheted beanie cap by Two Seaside Babes is perfect for fall … and I love that buckle!


baby / tots fashion

Get This Look – Baby Fashions for Your Little Girl

14 days until the big move and I can barely stand it! Time is moving so terribly  s    l     o    w.         I just want to be packed and unpacked and moved in already!  Patience is not my strong suit.

I know my postings have been sparse lately, but that will all change after we get to Chicago.  I have some exciting revamping planned for Furious Shirley … guest bloggers, shop features, dad’s point of view, and so much more!  In the midst of all this change, I was able to put together today’s “Get This Look” post from this pic I snapped of Ava looking cute as a button the other day.


To get this look for your baby, start off with a long sleeved onesie [if you have a baby, you already have tons of these hanging around].  Layer it with a cute tunic top or tank dress.  This is a great way to get more use out of summer tops and dresses and take advantage of summer clearance items like this adorable plaid top for only $3.98 at Target!


I also found this black and white polka dot set for $$8.48 at TargetTurn it into a fall look by layering a black long sleeved onesie underneath and then finish the look with a little white cardigan, socks and booties.


I love little baby leggings! They are so versatile and work for any season.  Pacifier has a great pair of American Apparel leggings that are cuffed around the ankles.


And these lace trimmed leggings [by Stella Industries] at Bubble are irresistible!


Ballet flats are the perfect cute and comfy shoe for your baby girl [if you can get them to stay on those wiggly feet!].  Tootsies Children’s Dance Wear has a beautiful pair of pink leather ballet shoes for only $11.95!


If you’re willing to splurge a bit, Couture Baby Boutique is where you will find these darling blinged out satin slippers.


And I just could not resist posting these handmade booties [“The Cicily Baby Shoe”] by The Vintage Clothespin.


Have a picture of your little one looking cute and stylish?  Email me for an upcoming fashion baby feature!!!!

baby / tots creativity life

Keeping a Baby Journal

When I was pregnant Mike brought home a pretty little journal for me to document my pregnancy and Ava’s childhood.  I write in it as if I am writing to her and will give it to her to read when she is older.

my journal

I must admit that there are a lot more entries from when I was pregnant than since Ava was born … I had more time back then!  I write in it honestly and with an open heart about all of the laughs and frustrations and everything inbetween.


I like journals with a leather cover, as they seem to stand the tests of time.  This suede wrap journal from Kate’s Paperie is hand crafted in Italy and I just love the color options! Fill up the pages with tales of morning sickness and interrupted sleep … oh and of course first words, steps, and smiles.

katespaperiewrapjournalThis delightful “Smile” journal by Jenni Bick comes in yellow, black, pink, and green and can be personalized [embossed]!


I also came across a great article from Quinn Creative on making your own journal – tons of links!  Get out that pen and start writing!! XO.

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