How to Clean Kids' Bath Toys

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It almost seems like an oxymoron to have to wash bath toys, right?  But bath toys get icky fast.  They spend a lot of time submerged in water and need a regular cleaning from time to time- just like everything else.   And it's actually really easy to do.  Read on for more. 

  1. Make sure you start with dry bath toys that you have squeezed all the extra water out of.  
  2. Then mix up this simple solution: 3/4 cup bleach per gallon of warm water.  We have a lot of bath toys and I like to get them all done at one time, so I often double this formula just so I don't have to go back more than once. 
  3. Submerge toys in the solution.  If they are squeeze toys, then squeeze some of the solution into the toy and shake well.  
  4. Let toys sit in the cleaning solution for a while.  Some say that 5 minutes will do the trick. Others let it go for hours.  The last time I cleaned our bath toys, I let them sit about 30-45 minutes while I was busy doing other things.  
  5. Rinse well with warm water and pat dry.  Make sure to squeeze all the solution back out of those squeeze toys.  
  6. Bonus points to the mama who figured out that you can fill in the hole of squeeze toys with a bead of hot glue to prevent water from getting back in.  It's a super quick and easy step that might be worth a try next time you take on this task. 
Once your bath toys are rinsed and dried, they are all ready to go again!  That was easy- and so worth it!

O Valentine Tree! O Valentine Tree!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

This little project was super quick and easy and came together in just one morning with a little help from my toddler girl.  We always assemble an old fashioned tinsel tree in her bedroom for Christmas, and as we were taking down all the other Christmas decorations and storing them until next year, I held out on her tree.  Even after all the ornaments were packed away, I still lit her color wheel each night at bedtime and shone it onto the (bare) tree because our baby girl loves it so much.  Then one night, my husband said "why don't you make it into a Valentine's Tree?"  And that's all it took!  The seed was planted and we ran with it.

For this project, I simply hunted down a couple of packs of vintage Valentine cards featuring her favorite cartoon characters, and they became our ornaments.  Lexi loves Scrooge McDuck and the Mickey Mouse gang, so I knew where to start.  A quick eBay search turned up an unused pack of old Ducktales Valentines and a second pack featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Of course, I started with her all time favorite- Scrooge McDuck, and put him in a red heart cut out, and affixed it to the very front and center of the tree.  

Here are a few other of the sweet little Ducktales cards that we transformed into ornaments.  I used colored paper to make little cut outs, and Lexi helped paste the Valentine card to each one.  We used ribbons to make bows on many of them, and then just attached a wire hanger to hang it on the tree.

And then as we neared the end of our project (and my tot's attention span) some of our ornaments became decidedly more simple in nature.  But I just sprinkled them all around the tree, and the effect was every bit as charming. 

The package of Mickey and Minnie Mouse cards were all "Hollywood" themed, which I thought was adorable too.  Lexi also really liked these sweet cards, and we had a big time decorating her tree with them. 

So there you have it!  A super fun and simple project that added a ton of sweet Valentine charm to Lexi's bedroom for this season.  And as her tastes change, we can certainly make new ornaments in the future, although I can't see myself getting rid of these.  They are just so sweet, and will always remind me of her 2 year old preferences.  :)

And we are still running her color wheel every night- just now on her Valentine's tree! Happy Valentine's Day with love from our house to yours!

Granny Square Scrap Afghan

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I've been diligently working on this granny scrapghan since before Christmas, and I'm so happy to share it with you today!

This project is the ultimate stash-buster and, truth be told, that was my main objective with this crochet afghan.

Take a look at how it came out!

Colorful Granny Scrapghan

Multicolor Granny Scrapghan

The afghan is a simple crochet granny square that I completed with worsted weight yarn and a size I hook. The finished size of the piece is 72" (that's six feet!) square, and it is a generous size for snuggling.

Colorful Granny Square Afghan Free Pattern

Colorful Granny Square Afghan Free Pattern

I'm especially proud of the border, so I will share the free pattern for that below so that you can try it on your next afghan!

Crochet Afghan Border Free Pattern

Crochet Afghan Border Free Pattern

Scrap Crochet Afghan Border

For the eight color crochet border shown:

Row 1: With final color from afghan (white shown), SC in each stitch around, placing 2SC, 2CH, 2SC in each corner space. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch. Finish off.
Row 2: With color 2 (lime green shown), repeat row 1. Finish off.
Row 3: With color 3 (royal blue shown), SC, CH, SC around, placing SC, CH, SC in each corner space. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch. Finish off.
Row 4: With color 4 (turquoise shown), SC into previous row (row 2) in each CH space, CH around, placing SC, CH, SC in each corner space. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch. Finish off.
Row 5: With color 5 (pink shown), repeat row 4, SCing into row 3. Finish off.
Row 6: With color 6 (lavender shown), SC in each SC and CH around, placing SC, CH, SC in each corner space. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch. Finish off.
Row 7: With color 7 (yellow shown), DC, CH, DC (V stitch made), CH, V stitch in each corner space. *Skip two stitches, V stitch* Repeat from * to * around, completing other corners as the first corner. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch. Do not finish off.
Row 8: With color 7 (yellow shown), SC in first V stitch of corner space, 5 DC in CH stitch between V stitches in corner space, SC in next V stitch of corner space (corner made). Repeat 5 DC in V stitch, 1 SC in next V stitch around, completing other corners as the first corner. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch. Finish off.
Row 9: With color 8 (purple shown), *SC in first three stitches of V stitch, CH 3 in same space, join with slip stitch to first CH stitch (picot made), SC in same space and in remaining two stitches of V stitch* Repeat from * to * around. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch. Finish off.

Long-time readers of the blog might recognize some of these colors from past projects that I've featured. I've linked the projects to the colors below. The colors I used in this project were as follows with two rows of white between each color change:

You can make one of these today with the leftover yarn you already have! Scrapbusting at its finest!

Colorful Granny Square Afghan Free Pattern

Colorful Granny Square Afghan Free Pattern

Product Review: Hay Max

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

You might remember that I recently discovered yet another thing I seem to be allergic to- Christmas! Well, it seems that just about everything has my "seasonal" allergies going bonkers lately.  And I hate to just keep popping allergy meds, especially since so few of them seem to do much for me anyway. So it was recently that I started looking into alternative forms of allergy relief.  And in doing so I stumbled onto a new-to-me product that I am really liking.  It's called Hay Max and it's not a medicine at all.  

It's more of a balm that you just literally rub at the base of your nostrils (or just inside) and it traps minuscule allergens from making their way into your nasal passages.  If you aren't breathing them in, they can't bother you, right?  Simple concept, and yet surprisingly effective! 

I have been using the "Pure" version of Hay Max.  It has no color and no scent.  There are also "Lavender" and "Aloe Vera" versions too.  Of course, when you blow your nose or sneeze, you should reapply the product.  It's a small package and fits easily in my purse so I just carry it with me, and it's easy to have on hand. 

I found mine online and honestly have never looked for it in stores.  I'm not sure how widely available it is at local retailers.  When I initially discovered Hay Max, it was a British fellow who was blogging about it and singing it's praises.   

It sure it worth a try, and I promise it works!

This post contains affiliate links.

Decluttering Your Whole Home in 15 Minutes a Day

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New year, new goals!  One of my New Year's resolutions always seems to be home organization and decluttering- which, let's face it, is an ongoing task, but the new year always seems a good time to start this task anew.  

This year, I stumbled onto a new-to-me site that helps you organize your life in a mere 15 minutes a day- the Declutter 365 Challenge.  Of course, some tasks will take a little more than 15 minutes- some less. But the idea is that you break your tasks down into manageable ones so that you can actually accomplish them.  At the end of the week, you have quite a bit to show for your efforts.  This works a lot better than saying to yourself, "I have to clean up and clean out my whole house."  Now THAT'S a big effort with no set place to start or direction on how to accomplish the task exactly.  The Declutter 365 challenge gives you a small task to work on each day.  Of course, the idea is that you maintain your good work and reevaluate as you go to make sure you stay on track.  

If you visit the Declutter 365 website, you can register for free to receive your daily tasks.  Once you do this, you also gain access to a printable calendar that you can print off to keep you on track.  You can also sign up to "join" their Facebook group.  By doing so, you will receive your daily task in your Facebook newsfeed.  And others comment and post their before and after pics there too that you can use as inspiration for your own efforts.  There is strength in numbers, right?

I have been completing my daily tasks for a few days now, and it is super easy to work in 15 minutes chunks of time on small tasks.  So far, I have set up a donation box to discard items that we will end up donating or reselling later.  I have organized my kitchen sink area, and cleared our kitchen counters and island.  Today's task is the kitchen table.  I believe tomorrow is organizing my kitchen towels and utensils.  And then we move on to the cabinets and fridge next week.  Once the kitchen is complete, the tasks will take us on to another part of the house.  

Aaaahhhh, I can feel our home breathing a sigh of relief already.  

A Memorable Gift

Saturday, December 24, 2016

There is no gift I like to put together more than a tangible memory, so when Daddy regaled me with one of his epic childhood tales a few months ago, I had the beginnings of an epic gift!

As the story goes, Daddy, along with his brothers and sister, would often go on a walk with their father.  Each trip would culminate in a special treat, namely, cornbread which would be crumbled into the bottom of a cup to be joined with milk poured over the top. 

Thankfully, I made a mental note, and after whipping up some of my sweet honey cornbread, I headed over there with a bottle of fresh cow's milk for a splendid start to our Christmas festivities.

'Twas the Site by Three Sisters - 2016

We know you've been waiting for this ALL YEAR. So, without further ado, it's the Harris Sisters 2016 Christmas Eve year in review in the form of a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" parody. (Hey, we Harris Sisters wouldn't disappoint you!)

Twas the Night Before Christmas Vintage Store Display

'Twas the Site by Three Sisters - 2016

'Twas the site by three sisters, Twenty Sixteen
And what an exciting year it has been!
In January, we went under the sea,
With a Mermaid and Shark Tail crochet spree.

As June popped up, we just couldn't wait,
To lounge at the beach in the Tarheel State.
More rapid than eagles, our childhood reclaimed,
And we traveled, and toured, and visited again!

From the top of the porch (wine glasses and all),
We fended off our fair share of catcalls!

For the smoothest of skin, makeup primer by E.L.F.
And you'll want to make sure Retin-A's on your shelf!
In the wink of an eye and without twisting a lead,
Wunderbrow gives you nothing to dread.

We'll speak not a word, but go straight to our work,
And write ALL NEW blog posts (it sounds so berserk)
In twenty seventeen as we sit and compose,
And give a nod, up on the blog they will go!

So as we bid another year toodle-oo,
We wanted to express our sincere gratitude,
To all who have followed, shared, commented, and liked

Merry Christmas from Donna, Deanna, and Misty!

Find our previous year's Christmas Eve parodies here: 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Twas the Night Before Christmas Santa and Child