Recycle, Reuse and Entertain the Toddler

A couple of weeks ago we had an excellent mail day. A dear friend did a bit of decluttering and that resulted in a box arriving on our back porch.  Martha was not impressed with yarn and fabric, but she was more than happy to call the empty box home.

Row after row of all the electronic, battery operated toys can not possibly out perform the simplest of toys – a box.

Not so long ago I shared about a book that my little ones enjoy greatly – Not a Box.  It is amazing how similar the pictures are now and then.  You just can’t beat a box!

Sadly, this great instrument of imagination only lasted about 3 days. We eagerly await our next opportunity for great adventures…house, boat, rocket-ship, castle tower.

What simple “toys” do your children enjoy?

An Apple a Day

Martha took her time in learning to try and enjoy solid foods.  By 10 months all the other children were happily munching on a variety of goodies from my plate. Martha? No, thank you. When she was around 13 months she finally decided that she might be interested in a bit of food here or there.

Martha seems to dislike foods that are of “baby food” consistency (except ice cream, lol). Applesauce? She won’t even take a bite. I don’t blame her. Ew.  I have offered her slices of peeled apples before. Always when I’m with her to see how she handles eating it. At this age, Bekah loved munching on apple slices. Martha? Nope. Pass the banana, please! Or the green beans.

Then peer pressure sucked Martha in the apple eating world.  Hannah came in from riding her bike near the point of starvation. She grabbed a yummy, juicy apple. She made the mistake of offering it to Martha; not thinking Martha would take it. Hannah never saw that apple again.

Yum!  Why eat applesauce when you can enjoy the apple? What nutritious snacks do your kids enjoy?

*My kiddos were hot; not sunburned.  We have no clue why Sam was in a sweatshirt.

Simply Sewing ~ Peasant Dress

It has been quite some time since I have been at my sewing machine.  I have a list of items that need to be sewn, a small stack of fabric waiting to be cut and a few girls who would like a new dress or two. Time seems to fly by and by the end of the day, my sewing machine just collects a bit more dust. This past Friday, I decided that I really needed time at the machine. Despite the mistakes I make and the love/hate relationship I have with the seam ripper, sewing relaxes me.

Martha had a small growth spurt and her dresses have become a bit short. Also, since she is the smallest, sewing for her is quicker. We love peasant dresses here. Simple and cute but very easy to dress up a bit. The peasant dress is also a quick project. Just an hour or two and a dress is done!

peasant dress

What makes the simple peasant dress even better? Recycling fabric!   For Martha’s peasant dress and matching bloomers, I used an old flat sheet and an old jumper dress that had a few holes and stained spots.

Peasant dresses are very easy and one can quickly do a bit of math and have their own pattern. I’m lazy when it comes to math so if I can find a pattern that does the work for me, I use it!

infant dress

Sew Much Ado has a great peasant dress pattern for Infants 0-3 months. Very simple project and you can easily adjust the sizing for an older infant. I took this pattern and made it just a bit bigger for when Martha was around 6 months.

For Martha’s new dress, I used the 12/18 month peasant dress pattern from Scattered Thoughts from a Crafty Mom.  She also has a pattern available for 2T/3T and 4/7.


The pinafore is a very quick way to dress up the peasant dress. I did this for two girls at Easter 2012 and they received many compliments. So easy! You can learn how to whip up a Pretty Little Pinafore at Sew Mama Sew. Lots of great tutorials there.

My model was not in the mood for a photo shoot. Martha and the dress had spent 6+ hours in the van and posing was not on her to do list. Excuse the wrinkles!

Sew on!