Life with Helen: DOCKATOT REVIEW

When baby number two was on the way I was still struggling to get preschooler one to stay in his bed all night. Would the revered baby product DockATot be the answer? (Hint, YES it would & this post contains affiliate links- you buy, I receive a percentage).

It’s no secret that new moms don’t get much sleep. (Prego moms don’t get much sleep either, making the start even rougher). Mom fears are the worst!

Helen loves her DockATot

Enter Helen. She is the sweetest. But, she wouldn’t sleep anywhere except on my chest. When you’re exhausted and your baby eats ever two hours and she won’t sleep ANYWHERE you start to go a little crazy. We tried it all- the bassinet, the crib, the swing, the bouncer during the day to practice. It didn’t work. Although she never cries at any other time and is a happy baby, she refused to sleep anywhere and I am very serious about safe sleep. I was too scared to have her sleep in the swing or rock and play type toy unsupervised (aka while I was sleeping). So we resorted to my husband sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my son’s room and me and baby camping out, sleeping sitting up in our king size bed, with no blankets or pillows.

By the four month mark I was getting desperate. Most nights she was still waking herself up every two hours. I had seen posts about the DockATot on Instagram before Helen was born. They have two sizes, the for babies 8 months and younger and the Grand for older babies to use into their toddler years. The online reviews seemed to all be unanimous – the DockATot is a must have! I have to admit I was a little reluctant to make the purchase. This gift from above comes with a price tag between $175-290, depending on the size and design you choose (click here to check out the variety of options they have to offer). I didn’t know if I would need it and didn’t want to buy it before she was born. But she was here now and the need was great. I decided that I needed to commit.

PS they have this new banana leaf pattern cover and I LOVE it!

Helen loves her DockATot

We are using the Dock-A-Tot to transition Helen to sleeping on her own, though it is important to note that DockATot does NOT recommend the use of the DockATot in the crib – Helen is always supervised – in our own bed for co-sleeping so that I can feed her as needed.

While its best quality is the quality of sleep I am now getting knowing she is both safe and sleeping longer at night, I also tote it around the house for Helen to play in while I do laundry, dishes or work.

It is definitely our favorite household thing!

Finally, because we are friends, I’d love to help you save a couple bucks for your own purchase of the Dock-A-Tot.  Click here for a sweet $10 discount!

Swede dreams (get it, it is made in Sweden), friends!

 

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial

It’s been busy around my house from Christmas to January’s flu epidemic, to February going non stop, plus this sweet little baby of mine. I haven’t had as much time to craft and blog as I would like, but I am working on making time for the things I love.

I finally got a chance to play with a few new products from the Occasions Catalog.  I LOVE the Southern Serenade stamp set for a few reasons:

1 It’s eclectic and the images are great for layering.

2 There are words for both the outer greeting and inside sentiment.

3 Lace. I love lace.

4 Outline images can be watercolored.

5 You can make an entire card with only one stamp set.

Here’s a snapshot of the stamps in the Southern Serenade set.

This card is relatively simple, but the fancy fold gives it a little something extra. It is essentially monochromatic with Berry Burst being the focal color and a little black and pop of Wild Wasabi. Keep reading for directions on how to make the double Z fold.

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

While some double Z fold cards open sideways, I opted for one that pulls down, but still folds flat to a standard size of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2″.

 

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Directions:

  1. Cut card base from Berry Burst card stock to 4 1/4 x 11″.
  2. Score at 2 3/4″ and 5 1/2″.
  3. Cut Black card stock to 3 1/2″ x 10″.  Score at 2 3/4″ x  5 1/2″.
  4. Cut White panels as follows: 3 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ and 2 1/2″ x 3″ (2 panels).
  5. Stamp lace randomly on Berry Burst card base.
  6. Stamp floral outline in Momento Black ink on white panel front.
  7. Stamp sentiments and flower on bottom two panels (they are the same size so it does not matter which piece you stamp on).
  8. Stamp lace onto sentiment panel.  Watercolor floral with Berry Burst and Wild Wasabi ink using Aquapainters.
  9. Adhere white panels to Basic Black folding piece.
  10. To adhere black panel to card base, place Tear & Tape as follows (picture below also for reference):
    1. On the TOP back panel of black piece.
    2. Two strips on the top and bottom of the very bottom panel.
    3. Directly above the first score line of the Berry Burst base in the center (about two inches, not extending to the sides of the base or it will show).
  11. Remove white paper backing from Tear Tape. Center the top Black panel over Berry Burst base about of 1/2″ down and adhere. To adhere the bottom section to the base, slowly begin to fold the card front down as if you are closing it, line up the bottom black portion over the bottom card base, and once the card is folded closed, the black portion will fall into place, press down to adhere.

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

 

 

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

 

 

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How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + Free Checklist

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

Have you seen the new Instagram Story highlights?  If you have a business account on Instagram (you can switch over under your profile) you can add your favorite “My Story” posts to the favorites bar, which will stay posted at the top of your IG page.  I love that I can feature my favorite on the go moments or deals of the day.

Not sure what I am talking about? Here is a snapshot of mine.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

{{ PS- if you haven’t already, hit that follow button so you don’t miss a thing! }}

While you can choose your favorite snapshots, you can also take it up a notch by branding your IG page and using icons to separate your posts into categories.  How cool is that?!  And it is super easy.

I’m going to walk you through creating these icons and uploading them, for FREE, and I’ll finish up the post with a checklist of how to get them going.

STEP 1: CREATE A CANVA ACCOUNT

Canva is a great free tool for creating graphics for everything from Facebook covers to ads to post cards, business cards and banner ads that arhttp://(itunes.apple.com/au/app/canva-graphic-design-photo-editing/id897446215?mt=8e already pre-sized to fit.  It is free; but note there is a paid version and paid graphics. If you want to keep it free, just look for the images that have a little “FREE” banner on them.

I suggest connecting to your Facebook account. It’s easy to log in and you can easily upload images to Facebook that you have created for albums, albums sales, covers, profile photos, and sponsored ads.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 2: FIND THE IG STORIES TEMPLATE

On the left hand side, click the Template button, then in the search bar (top middle) type “Instagram Stories”. A ton of options will come up. Choose a free template and double click. It will open a design page with the template.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 3: DELETE EVERYTHING

Select the elements on the template and delete them (top left, trash can button). Delete all of them so that you are left with a blank white template.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 4: CHOOSE A BACKGROUND

On the left menu, choose Background. Scroll through and find a background you like or better yet, that coordinates with your brand.  My blog, StampinFool.com, is pink, gold and black themed. I choose a light pink with circles background to mimic my blog header.  I LOVE the marble background. You can add the background to your template by clicking on it.

STEP 5: CHOOSE ICONS

Back to the left hand menu: Elements. Here you will find icons to your hearts content. I started with Shapes and added a circle design. I then selected Icons and chose icons that represented what I want to feature.  You can resize and recolor the icons easily.  If you center the image (Canva gives you placement guides), it will show up in the Instagram Stories Highlight circle once you upload the image.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 6: DOWNLOAD

On the top bar you will want to first rename the document by clicking the current design title.  Now you need to get the cover graphics onto your phone. You can 1) Click Download and email the image to yourself, open email on phone and Save to each image to Camera Roll or 2) download the Canva App.

In Canva App (iPhone): This one is a little trickier, so if you are tech saavy keep reading, if not, revert to downloading and email to yourself. Your Designs > Open the document > Share- let it process > Save to Files. Under the Files App, Open the file by clicking on it, select the upload button (bottom left) and Save Image to your photo roll.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

Here’s what it looks like in the Canva App on iPhone once you have saved it to the Files App.

STEP 7: LOAD ‘EM UP TO INSTAGRAM

On your phone: Open Instagram. Go to your profile. Click New + on the Stories bar. Upload the LAST IMAGE FIRST. The images will appear in the order uploaded, being newest first. So, make sure you upload them in reverse order.  To add stories to the icon, select each icon and click the More elipses (bottom right) > Edit Highlight > Archive. Archive will be where you select the photos you want to appear under that category. Click back over to Highlighted before hitting done and make sure te cover photo is the icon. You can Edit Cover and reselect the icon if needed.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

You’re all set!  Now this post may seem a little wordy, but really uploading them to Instagram in the correct order is the most difficult part, and I already learned that by trial and error for you. So, read the directions, make those icons and let me know what you come up with.

Instagram Stories Highlight Icons FREE CHECKLIST

Download the PDF CHECKLIST HERE.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

I’d love to see what you made- comment below with your IG handle once you’ve uploaded your Instagram Stories Highlight Icons and I will check them out!

Instagram Stories_ Making Highlight Icons Checklist

 

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DIY Father’s Day Gift: #FollowYourArt

Note: As always, I share what I love & this post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was compensated for this post.

DIY Paint and Peel Tape Father’s Day Gift

DIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsored

This week while I was browsing Facebook, I noticed Gymboree’s #FollowYourArt.  I immediately thought about how perfect it would be to share with you a quick and easy Father’s Day project as a way of showing you how our family gets creative.

Do you know why we love crafting?

  1. It gets my brain working
  2. It keeps my wild child entertained – he has soon much energy, I have to direct it somewhere!
  3. Stress reliever. I’m starting to think that it may not be cheaper than therapy when you add up all of the crafting I dabble in, but for the occasional DIYer it’s definitely cheaper than therapy ;)

On to the good stuff!!  Do you want a quick and easy DIY Father’s Day gift? I am always wracking my brain for Father’s Day gift ideas and this is one of my favorites.  You can repeat it year after year and it never gets old! (Trust me, the hubs has an entire wall in his office devoted to every father’s day card we’ve made and canvases we have painted).

Supplies:

  • Painter’s Tape or cuttable Vinyl
  • Scissors or Silhouette E-machine
  • Canvas
  • Paint brushes or foam brushes
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paper plates

DIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsored

Directions:

  1. Use Silhouette to cut vinyl to say #1 DAD. Apply to canvas.  OR use painter’s tape to tape #1 DAD to blank canvas.
  2. Put paint blobs on paper plate.
  3. Let wild child cover the entire canvas with whichever colors they choose. (I know, sometimes it pains me that all the colors run together and make brown, but you gotta let them do what they do).
  4. Slowly peel off tape or vinyl to reveal the #1 DAD on canvas.
  5. Tie a huge ribbon bow and gift to your kids’ favorite dad!

DIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsoredDIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsoredDIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsored

In a world full of people, let your kids be Superhero’s for their Dads. 

I want to see what you make!  Share your pics in the comments and make sure to tag your photos of how your family get’s creative on social media with #followyourart for a chance to win a $50 Gymboree gift card.

About Gymboree: for over 30 years, Gymboree has been dressing kids from newborn to 12 years old by offering colorful, clothing and accessories from sweaters to rompers to sock and hats. Whether for playtime or family photos, you’ll find fully coordinated outfits for all your little ones.

And as an added bonus for my crafty friends here, you can enjoy up to 60% off over at the Gymboree.  You can’t beat the deals!! SHOP NOW BEFORE YOU MISS IT!

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