Archive of ‘Little Paperdoll’ category

Vintage Cupboard Makeover

For my new baby girl’s nursery, I used all secondhand furniture. I needed a changing table, and my dad made a generous offer: to remake a vintage, heirloom cupboard into something that could be used as a changing table. The cupboard had sentimental value to my family because it was mine as a child, and before that had been passed down to us from family friends. Affectionately known as “the Bunny Cupboard,” it had been enjoyed by multiple families since the 1960s. We loved the idea of saving the old cupboard instead of buying a new changing table, because otherwise it didn’t have much useful life left. Okay, it probably didn’t have any left – I wish I had a “before” picture. The project saved it from ending up as landfill garbage!

By 2020, it was in poor shape! The decals were almost completely rubbed off, the hinges were broken and rusty, and the faux wood veneer had seen better days. To refurbish it was quite the project, but my dad was up to the task! Using oak wood paneling, he upgraded the exterior. Carefully, he was able to save and re-attach the original bunny emblem to the new cupboard door.

Inside, he painted the drawers yellow for a finishing touch. My mom color matched acrylic paint to fix the chipped blue knobs, making them look brand new. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the finished product. It is not just a hand-me-down now, it’s a real heirloom quality piece. The drawers are perfect for storing cloth diapers and outfits. With a changing pad on top, it makes a great changing table. When she is older, it can be used alone as a dresser. Thanks to the magic of tape, the bunny emblem can even be removed for a more mature appearance.

I asked my dad about the creative process of making the cupboard. “I really enjoyed this project, more than I thought I would,” he said. He said he honored the original design of the cupboard, staying true to the lines of the mid-century piece while completely overhauling it to be better and more beautiful.

The nursery was complete just in time for baby girl’s arrival, so it was time to celebrate. By “celebrate,” I mean go to bed at 8pm, then get woken up at 11pm, 1am, 4 am and 7am. Four hours of sleep is the new eight, you know. But at least we will be sleep deprived parents with a wonderful nursery with its signature one-of-a-kind furniture piece.

 

Cuddle + Kind: Fair Trade Toys

Cuddle and kindEvery once in a while I find a company that I love not just for their products but for their mission and philanthropy. That’s why I agreed to write this sponsored post highlighting Cuddle + Kind, a company that produces fair trade toys handmade in Peru. Each soft knitted doll purchased provides 10 meals to children in North America and around the world.

Cuddle + Kind fair trade toys

Purchasing gifts from companies like this one are a great way to make your dollars count while teaching children about making a difference too. Cuddle + Kind’s fair line of fair trade toys includes hand knit dolls and animals in two sizes suitable for boys or girls. The mermaids are my favorite. Each character also has a charming inspirational print suitable for nursery decor, and each one purchased provides five meals to children. I love the empowering messages for kids and can totally picture one of these in my new baby niece’s room!

Cuddle and kind products

I’m definitely inspired to consider these fair trade toys as contenders for new baby gifts. You know how hard baby shower shopping can be.

Thanks to Cuddle + Kind for sponsoring today’s post and providing the photos of the beautiful fair trade toys.

How to Shop for Baby Clothes: The 4 Stages of Baby Shower Shopping

How to Shop for Baby ClothesHow to shop for baby clothes…it shouldn’t be so difficult, should it? My friends and family keep procreating, which means trips to the baby section to pick out impossibly tiny doll clothes baby outfits. There, it’s common to feel an overwhelming number of emotions. The emotional roller coaster will typically unfold in this order.

The Four Stages of Baby Clothes Shopping

1. Glee Oh the possibilities! Look at all the tiny things. This is going to be fun. And easy.

2. Shock  Oh God, that is the cutest dress I have ever seen. Does it come in adult sizes? Are those little limes appliqued on it? Why, why would they make something this cute? Why don’t I have a baby? Maybe I’ll have a girl someday. Should I buy it just in case? Probably. It’s like, an investment in my future. Wait, this is 39.95?! I could practically buy myself an outfit for that price. This is robbery! The pattern was cut from a piece of fabric the size of a bandanna.

3. Confusion Your shopping destiny is heavily determined by if the baby-to-be is a boy, a girl or a surprise. If surprise, good luck finding the oasis of non-existent gender neutral clothing in this pink and blue desert. Give up and buy a bib or bath towel. Just kidding, those are gendered too. And what about the size and season? Pretty soon you’re doing advanced Trigonometry, logic and probability in the store. Average the size of both parents to predict the baby’s birth weight, cross reference with the weather forecast in their part of the country to determine if you should buy short or long sleeve, and triangulate the hypotenuse for good measure. IS THERE A MATHEMATICAL FORMULA FOR THIS? If so, why was I not taught it in school because that would have actually been helpful. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Nelson.

4. Despair  What if Jennie only wants to dress her baby in Fair Trade, undyed organic cotton free of both child labor and contrived gender roles? And then this ridiculously expensive tutu onesie ends up in the trash under a pile of dirty diapers? I might as well give up and buy a gift card. Or just cut off all ties with friends of childbearing age and flee the country.

How to Shop for Baby Clothes

How to buy baby clothesOkay so there is a sort of formula for how to shop for baby clothes, but it doesn’t involve triangulating anything. Just take the due date, add the months on the size tag, and then determine if the item will be appropriate in that season.

Example: Due date October 1st + sundress sized 9 months = June. Ca-ching! That’s perfect. The baby will likely grow into this outfit when it’s just getting warm outside.

This is still just an estimate of course, because babies don’t always wear 9 month sized clothes at 9 months old. They could start fitting into them at 6 months, 9 months or 12 months. You just never know! But we just do our best and know that the parents can always re-gift unworn clothing or save it for another child.

What are your best tips for baby shower shopping and how to shop for baby clothes?

Princess Ice Castle Season Wrap Up

Elsa at the Ice CastlePrincess ice castle season was a success! Yesterday was the closing day of Ice Castles Minnesota, which was the backdrop of two recent outfit posts. To finish off the season, here are photos of my adventures playing ice castle princesses at my job over the past month with Tiny Diva Princess Party.

Princess Ice Castle The above look was featured back when I made it in October, and the headband might look familiar too from this post. Happily, the costume got some more use at the Ice Castles.

After a few weeks of working the Ice Queen and Ice Princess looks, I was able to be Cinderella for the day as part of a special promotional event. I loved how her gorgeous gown blended right in with the ice!

Princess Cinderella Ice CastleSo what did I do at the Ice Castles? Well, I posed for photos. A lot of photos! I’m on a lot of strangers’ Facebook walls and Instagram feeds right now. The best part was talking to little visitors who are big princess fans. The Ice Castles are full of caves, slides and tunnels that are perfect for kids, so meeting princesses made an already fun outing extra special for them.

Princess Ice Castle Style For Everyday

Inspired by the cool costumes I got to wear to work at the Ice Castles, just for fun I put together a few outfit ideas using everyday clothing pieces for a little bit of princess ice castle flair.

Let me know what you think of these ideas!

 Princess Anna looksVest  /  Skirt  / Cape  / Snowflake necklace

Ice Queen looksEarrings  /  Shoes  /  Capelet  /  Dress

Multicultural Books for Children – Giveaway!

Multicultural Books for ChildrenMulticultural Children’s Book Day

The Importance of Multicultural Books for Children

Have you ever noticed that very few children’s books show diversity?

January 27 was designated as MCCBD by  Pragmatic Mom and Jump Into a Book because 37% of the U.S. population consists of people of color, but only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. This much needed national event’s goal is to change that. Children deserve to read books that reflect the diverse world around them. “Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book,” the founders explain.

Bloggers (like me!) are reviewing books this week by amazing authors who are increasing the saturation of books that depict diversity. By discovering and sharing multicultural books for children, we can raise awareness for these books and get them into libraries and classrooms. I will be donating my copy of Enough of Frankie Already! to a family member who is an administrator and teacher at an urban school district in New York.

FrankieMulticultural Books for Children: Enough of Frankie Already!

FELICIA CAPERS BIO PHOTO

Author Felicia Capers

We met the author last week in her guest post–make sure to check it out if you haven’t already. What initially intrigued me about this book was that author Felicia Capers is an experienced child advocate. She worked for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and serves on an anti-bullying advisory board for a school district in New Jersey. She expertly weaves a story for K-3 children about seven-year-old Amir and his friends who are tormented by  Frankie the bully–but what happens when they find out Frankie is being bullied too?

The illustrations, reminiscent of a graphic novel, add a level of authenticity that children will relate to. The messages in the book provide a constructive, holistic way for children and adults to look at handling bullying in way that treats the issue on a large scale.

Ways to Celebrate MCCBD!

The perfect way to celebrate multicultural children’s book day is to support the distribution of these books to schools and libraries.This week, there is a virtual book drive through First Book where donations will be used to supply multicultural books for children in need.

MCCBD Paper dollsAnother great way to celebrate is to visit a bookstore or library and read a multicultural children’s book with your favorite kid. You can even make the characters of your favorite multicultural children’s book to act out the story! The above paper dolls were made using paper punches.

Giveaway: Win it!

If you want to read this book for yourself, you can win your own copy signed by both the author and the illustrator! This would be the perfect book for any child in a school environment. For an entry to win, comment below on one of the following questions. For an extra entry, join the conversation on Facebook.

1. Why do you think multicultural children’s books are important?

2. Who you would give this book to and why?

3. How do you think we can address the issue of bullying in schools?

Two winners will be contacted on February 7, 2015. Books can only be shipped to winners with a U.S. address. Winners will have 48 hours to respond, after which we will select another winner.

Thanks for supporting this great cause!

This event has nine cohosts and the following 2015 sponsors. Platinum sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop. Gold Sponsors: Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof. Silver Sponsors: Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze sponsors: Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author Felicia Capers, Chronicle Books, Muslim Writers Publishing, East West Discovery Press.

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