Best aunt ever, part 2

I decided that I want mailing cool stuff to be my "thing." I now have a sister and a sister-in-law in Texas. Not to mention some very close friends here and there around the country. So when I saw THIS blog (via Pinterest, of course) I was really excited. I had no idea the kinds of things you could send through the mail! Pretty much anything can go, with regular ol' stamps, as long as it's 13 ounces or less. And when you think about it, 13 ounces is almost a pound, and there are lots of cools things that weigh less than that.

So, my first awesome thing I sent was a ball. I wrote my nephew's address right on it, Mim helped me decorate it with stickers, and off to the post office we went (we had to take it inside, since there was no way it was going to fit into a mailbox). I didn't get any pictures, though. There's one HERE on the Giver's Log, though. Imagine the same sort of thing, but with one of the even bigger balls (the 16" diameter kind).

That kicked off a whole little mailing spree. I sent a few things to my sis-in-law who just had a baby, a birthday present to my sister, and a belated birthday/kindergarten graduation gift to my niece (which I blogged about HERE). I packaged them all the same way, though, with vinyl.

{I sent my sister some flip flops one at a time, too, but didn't take any pictures. Hers are the blue and red ones, I made them the same way I made THESE.}

 With the flip flops I was originally going to just write the address right on the sole, but I got too worried about sending them through the mail unprotected, since they were embellished. If I had just sent them plain, I probably wouldn't have put them in vinyl.

Anyway, if it's hard to tell, I just took two pieces of vinyl and used my largest zig zag to sew them together. I used a Sharpie to write the addresses on and put one "forever" stamp for every ounce the package weighed (I used my kitchen scale). I have some more mailing ideas- now I just need to get things done and send them off!


Road trippin'

Well, we're not driving yet. We leave for Oregon next week (it'll be about a 15 hour or so drive for us- we're going all the way to the coast) and I've been busy getting things ready that will keep my 3 year old busy.

I have a few things done and thought I'd share this one today:
 But what is it, you ask? Well, it's a cookie sheet with a bunch of animals and things on it. There's something special about these animals and things, though.

Ta-da! They have a magnet on the back and will stick to the cookie sheet, which (in my opinion) will make them ideal car toys.

So really, the only "making" I did was taking a pile of these little wood animals:
{I got mine at Hobby Lobby for I think 50cents apiece.}
 And using this to attach magnets:
{I didn't use hot glue because I was worried about it getting soft in a hot car.}
 And voila!

Incredibly simple, but I think she'll have a lot of fun with it. I'm sure I would have when I was a kid.

Since I bought so many little wood figures, I plan on only letting her play with them in small groups (sea creatures, farm animals, pets, etc.). That way it will seem new to her for a longer time, which will hopefully result in her being entertained for a longer period of time. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. Knock on wood.

I have more magnet-using, cookie sheet applicable toys coming up, so stay tuned.


Secret messages

I posted last year about this educational game I loved playing with my daughter. We still play it, even though she has her colors and shapes down pat now. It's just fun.

I came up with something new to do indoors last week, when it was too windy to go outside. (Anybody else from Utah wonder what is up with this wind?) Mim will color for a long time. Sometimes over an hour. She LOVES it. And asks me the whole time if I can color with her, which is sweet, but if I can't, it just makes me feel bad. So I was coloring with her the other day and came up with something that still meant we were interacting, but didn't necessitate me sitting with her the entire time.

I write letters or simple pictures in white crayon on white paper, then draw a box around it with a marker. She fills in the box with the matching marker and the letter is revealed! It's a pretty impressive trick to a 3 year old.

{The number 3, Mim's current favorite.}

{The sun.}

{A flower}

{Ha! She's started pulling faces in pictures.}
It was a nice way to keep her busy but still be involved. It was perfect for while I was doing dishes- I did a page of secret messages, then she colored them while I took care of things without the constant, guilt-inducing "Mama, will you color with me?"


I could just dye

Oh, puns. Remember THESE? You might, since I just mentioned them in my last post. Anyway, I sent a link to Rit Dye about them and they ended up posting a picture and a link on their blog, which I thought was pretty awesome. About a week or two after that, I got an email from one of the blog's editors asking if I wanted some free dye. Ummmmmmmm... YES!

So a few weeks ago, I got a pretty heavy box. I opened it up...

 It's possible that me and my big girl spent around 40 minutes arranging and rearranging them. That's 15 bottles.

Anyway, I'm so excited to get going with some of the things I have planned for these. I have something dyed, I just need to finish sewing it before I put it up here.

So, the moral of this post- if you do something cool with a specific product, it can never hurt to let the makers of the product know. They might send you $50 worth of awesome FREE stuff. 

By the way, Rit didn't ask me to post about them. The editor, in the note, said she'd love to see what I did with it, but that's it. I thought it was totally awesome of them.


Pinspired on wheels (a double whammy)

I realized that without context, my title sounds pretty much like gibberish. So here's your context, then.

Double whammy:
This pinspiring was brought to you by THIS PIN and THIS PIN.

I thought those clutter crates were totally a good idea and was totally (maybe?) going to get around to making some. And then, more recently, I saw the BHG drawers on wheels. And that's when the pinspriation hit. I totally had an old drawer in the basement that I had saved when we were demolishing stuff down there. I could get my clutter crate and not even have to build it!

So here's the drawer:
It's pretty big. There was some wallpaper in the bottom that just pulled up. I decided I wanted to put it back after everything got a good scrubbing, so I kind of washed the off the sticky side (which had a bunch of gritty dirt and cat hair on it) and then reattached it with a thin layer of mod podge on the bottom of the drawer.
 I also added blocks to the corners because the kind of casters I used had a post on them. I used liquid nails and it got a little bit messy, but I didn't really care.

After the blocks were secure, I drilled holes and attached the casters as per the instructions on the package. And....DONE! Super easy.

Here it is, all filled up and on wheels. Now my big girl can drag her blocks wherever she wants to.
{It's hard to see the wheels because they're sunk into the carpet a bit, but they're there.}

I'm so glad her blocks have a permanent place to go. I had them in an under-the-bed tupperware, but there were too many and it could be tricky to get them all in and still have it fit under her bed (especially for a 3 year old). No under the bed problem with this, because I don't want it under the bed. It's too cute/handy to be hidden away.

See how I made the blocks HERE.
My last Pinspired post HERE.