Toddler Pillow aka Teen Travel Pillow

Just before my son turned 2 years old, I saw this super cute mini-pillow at a craft sale.  The woman at the booth advertised the pillows as travel pillows for teens to take on Away Games for football or Cheerleading Camp or wherever.  I thought it would work really well in my son’s crib and I was right!  He loves his pillow!  He is now almost 4 and even to this day he still loves it.  So now that my daughter is almost 2, I decided to make her one.  It seemed easy enough, and little did I know, how easy it really was!  It took me less time to sew this pillow than it did to stand in line to buy the fabric!

This is the picture for the original pillow and he is about 18 months old in this photo:

To start, cut the main portion of fabric 25 1/2 inches wide by 17 inches tall. (a little less than 1/2 yard).

Next, cut the top strip of fabric to be the same width 25 1/2 inches by 5 1/4 inches and fold it in half (wrong sides together).

Iron everything and then sew the pillow top to the pillow bottom by placing the edges together with right sides together.

Then fold the entire pillow case in half length-wise and sew the bottom and side seam.

The case will look like this:

It will fit a standard decorative pillow size 12×16 which are available at any craft or fabric store.  You can also have their names embroidered on the pillow top.

My son still loves his pillow and now my daughter does too!

Flower Ice Cubes

For my daughter’s one year birthday party I created a cool thing for the punch bowl and the other adult beverages…Flower (or Rose) Ice Cubes!  They work perfectly for any special occasion, shower or wedding.

I happened to have these special over-sized ice trays but I think any size or shape tray would work.

I read on the internet to used boiled water so the cubes would be clear, but I still had a hard time and it took much longer to freeze them.  A good friend of mine suggested distilled water which I believe would work better.

You can find the edible flowers in the herb section of most specialty grocery stores.

Getting the flowers (or roses) to freeze in the middle of the cubes was the most difficult challenge because they float.  So what I did was to start freezing the water half-way and it caused the edges and tops to freeze first, so mid way through the process, I used a fork to lift up the top of the half-frozen cubes and I slid the roses into them and pushed the frozen edges back down…walla…flowers in the middle.  You might come up with a better idea, and if so, please post it!

I didn’t choose the best cube as an example here (I was in a hurry) but this is the finished product:

Baby Jar Flower Vases

This is a super easy and very cute idea for multiple occasions.  Take a simple glass baby food jar and paint it with colors for your theme and use them as mini-flower vases!  I have done this several times and it works great!  Depending on the type/brand of baby food you buy, they only cost about .75 cents each and if you have a baby in the house, you can use the food anyway!

This picture below was for a baby girl’s baptism.  You can also use them for baby showers, baby birthdays, or any occasion.

Just paint the base of the flower jar with acrylic or any type of paint you choose.  You can also hot glue ribbon and other embellishments on them as well.

Here are some other examples:

Emergency Information Sheet

This is a good idea I saw somewhere…not sure where.  The idea is to make an emergency contact sheet with all the family’s information and post it somewhere inside the house in case a babysitter, relative or neighbor has to call 911 while at your residence.

Consider this:

You are out for date night and let’s say an emergency happens, like someone tries to break in or someone runs their car into your house.  The sitter calls 911 and they start asking him/her a bunch of questions like…what is the address…what are the kid’s birth dates (or ages)…what are the parent’s numbers?  The sitter has all of the info but will have to search for it on their phone or take time to think about the answers, which costs valuable minutes in rescue time.

Therefore the solution is to create an emergency information sheet with all the relevant information for easy recall in an emergency:

Parent’s Names and Cell Phone Numbers
Address of the Residence
Phone Number of the Residence (in case they have to call back)
Kid’s Names, Ages and Allergies
Pediatrician’s Name and Number
Emergency Contact (grandmother, godmother, etc)

We have one posted on our refrigerator and we make sure the sitters and family members know where to locate it in an emergency.

Tip for Baking Cakes Evenly

During college I worked for a couple of years at a catering business.  Unfortunately I did not learn to decorate cakes but I did learn a few helpful hints I use now that I am interested in cake decorating.

One tip is how to evenly bake cakes without a big hump in the middle and without the edges too crisp and brown.

Take an old bath towel and cut it into strips lengthwise about 2 inches thick.  Grease and flour your pan as usual.  Completely wet the strip of the towel and then squeeze out the water just until it is not dripping.  Wrap the towel around the pan and secure it with a straight pin or safety pin.  Fill the pan and bake like normal.  The edges will not brown first which is what causes the cake to mound up and the edges to brown more than the cake.  As long as the towel is sufficiently wet, it will not burn in the oven (although the first time you use it, it may smell a little).  They are reusable and if they get too dirty you can wash them.