Check out the Holiday Fun at Legoland!

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Silly Faces at the end of the day!

If you haven’t been to Legoland to check out the holiday festivities, there is still time!  The kids and I went yesterday (Daddy is sick, he stayed home and rested), and we had a blast!

img_4069.jpgLegoland California is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so if you are looking for something fun and unique, head on over!

And if you are looking for a way to ring in the New Year, the Kids’ New Year’s Eve party. This celebration begins with special musical performances on Fun Town Stage and Heartlake City. Then, the party moves to San Francisco in Miniland U.S.A. where, like the famous Times Square party, Kids’ New Year’s Eve features a countdown followed by a huge LEGO brick dropping 22 feet into 2018 and spectacular fireworks at 6 p.m. to end the night.

The entire park is decked out for the holidays. We loved all the touches to Miniland, including the tree in front of Capital Building, along with the carolers. IMG_4068

And here is an Insider Tip: The Pizza and Pasta Buffet offers Kids Eat Free after 4:30pm (1 free kid per paid adult, and kids under 3 eat free) most days. Henry loves Pizza, and after a busy day of running, playing, and building, he and Margaret were both ready to chow down on some pizza and mac n’ cheese.

Also- Don’t forget to try Granny’s Apple Fries! They are to die for!

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Tie Dying: Family Fun!

I love to tie dye! It’s a great way to give clothes that may have been stained a new life. Since I get most of our clothes from clothing swaps, I often find really cute light colored kids clothes with minor stains.

Well, and when you’ve got kids, a lot of stuff ends up with stains, and not just their clothes, I have several shirts that I had to tie dye to cover little people stains from dirty hands and faces rubbing on my during hugs.

There are a lot of tie dye kits available at your local craft store, but what they don’t tell you is that the dye in those kits doesn’t last.  We used this kit last year and the remaining shirts we have have faded to very light pastels. So, if you want to do some awesome, vibrant tie dyes, I recommend using Procion Dyes like the ones Dharma Trading sells.

I also have cultivated an Amazon Store with all the stuff you will need , including a kit that contains Procion Dyes- All you need is a bag of Urea and the kit is ready to dye! Procion dyes are best for Cotton, ramie, hemp, rayon- Natural plant based fibers (not linen- that stuff is a bear to dye).  If you have blends with synthetic fibers (like polyester, acrylic, lycra), the color will not be as vibrant. Anything less than 50% natural fiber will end up being pastel.

Since Tie Dying can be a little intimidating, let’s break it down. In addition to your dyes and chemicals…

You will need:

  • A big open space (We use my parents backyard)
  • 2-3 6 foot tables covered in protective plastic (tarps or trash bags work well)
  • 1-2 Large Buckets (5 gallon buckets from Home Depot are great)
  • Access to warm water
  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons (I recommend plastic ones)
  • Plastic bags or plastic wrap (to cover up /wrap up garments after they have been dyed)

Here is my pinterest board with tons of great folding techniques and patterns. You are ready to fold and tie once you’ve selected your garments and laundered them without fabric softener. I love incorporating marbles, canning jar lids, clamps  to make tie dying more interesting.

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Folded, tied, and zip tied!

Once everything is folded/tied and secured (either with rubber bands, zip ties, or cotton string), it’s time to mix the washing soda and hot water. 1 cup of washing soda per gallon of water.  Mix together in the buckets, and soak the tied garments for 15 minutes-1 hour. The washing soda raises the pH of the garments allowing the dye to be more readily absorbed.

Washing Soda is NOT BAKING SODA.  Washing soda is caustic and will hurt you if you submerge your hands in it. Wear gloves when you handle it. Wring out the garments after soaking so they are damp, not dripping.  You can keep using the same water for your entire session.

While your garments are soaking, mix up your dye.  The most dye will come directions, but remember to mix your water with Urea. 1/4C of urea to 1 quart warm water. Urea helps the dye dissolve and remain mixed. It also helps the colors stay vibrant.

TIME TO DYE! Once your soaked garments are wrung out, it’s time to apply the dye. If you aren’t sure which colors will look good together, Get a color wheel. It will help you with color placement too. When you tie dye, colors will run together, so using complementary colors will help your garments look better when they are finished.

Remember to apply dye all sides, and if your garment is bunched up a lot, you may need to squirt dye between the folds to make sure the dye penetrates all of the layers.

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Bags and bags of baby onsies!

After the garment is dyed, place it in a plastic bag, or wrap it up in plastic wrap. You want to lay the item flat.  Let the garments sit for 24 hours (or over night), rinse the garments one at a time under cool water until most of the water coming from our garment is clear or a very pale. Then remove the binding (rubber bands, zip ties, string).

Wash completed garments with Synthrapol. It’s laundry soap that binds the color molecules to the fabric and sheds the dye that is not bonded. Once you wash the finished garments with Synthrapol, the clothing won’t shed dye or rub off on you, you can use your regular detergent from then on out. I also throw a couple Color Catchers in the wash too for good measure.

Once your garments are dry, the are ready to wear! I use the word “garments”, but you can also dye fabric, bed sheets, even pillow cases.

Here is some of the most recent stuff I dyed:


Tie dye shirts make great gifts! You can also tie dye socks- That’s what Bitty Bird is getting in her Advent Calendar this year!

I have utilized Amazon links within this post, prices can change at any time, and I may receive a commission when you click the links to Amazon and purchase items linked. Commissions help cover the costs associated with blogging.

Release Your Inner Mermaid with Sun Tail Mermaid!

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Ok, so doesn’t every little girl dream of being a mermaid?  Make your little girls dream come true! Sun Tail Mermaid has created the world’s best swimmable mermaid tails and mermaid flippers. Their mermaid tails are soft, comfortable, and come in a wide variety of designs and colors. They are made of high quality swimsuit fabric with 4-way stretch.

Sun Tail Mermaid’s monofins are extremely comfortable and virtually unbreakable. Their patented monofin is several steps ahead of everyone else in engineering, durability, comfort, and functionality. The propulsion and control is exceptional. The monofins come in a wide range of beautiful colors, so you can match your mermaid tails or look amazing wearing it alone.

Check out this cool video of the mermaid tails in action!

I’ll be receiving one to review in a few weeks. I am super excited! When I was a kid The Little Mermaid was on constant repeat!

Right now my readers receive a 10% discount on your order at www.SunTailMermaid.com by using coupon code: BestGiftEver

http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=13540&dealid=3452 .@usfg

BOGO Holiday Beverages are back at Starbucks (and a DIY Hack)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.35.18 PM.png It’s back. Halloween is over and that means Starbucks is already to serve their holiday beverages!

November 9-13 from 2-5pm each day, you will get a holiday beverage free when you buy one at regular price.

The Starbucks Holiday Beverages include:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Egg Nog Latte
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Holiday Spiced Flat White
  • Chestnut Praline Latte

And from November 12-16th from 2-5pm each day you can score one holiday favorite free when you buy one holiday favorite.

This deal is at participating locations only, so check with your fav. location beforehand.

If you can’t make it to your local ‘Bux in time to score one of these sweet deals, here is my holiday drink DIY:

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.54.04 PM.pngLocate your favorite mug.

Brew your favorite coffee double strength (because let’s face it, not everyone has an expresso machine at their disposal)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.50.23 PM.pngHeat some milk (I prefer 2% or whole milk) and I use a frother like this one.  It makes the milk nice and frothy- just like the steamer at the coffee shop.

Pour coffee into your mug, add 2-4 pumps of syrup (I like my coffee less sweet, so I do 2 pumps), stir and then add your hot milk. Put a dollop of froth on top. Top with whipped cream (if desired, not needed).

If you are feeling fancy, you could always top your beverage with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, or fancy sprinkles.

For syrups, I prefer Torani. Amazon has a bunch of different variety packs for holiday drinks, I like this one the best. If you live near a Cost Plus World Market, they usually have a great selection of flavors. Since I’m not a huge fan of single task anything, I also put Sugar free syrups in my protein shakes, and in my regular coffee each day. I’ve got a regular coffee shop set up in my kitchen. Ya know, except there is no bearded hipster.

If you are making a mocha, I use Nesquik. Really. I’ve got kids, so we always have it in the cupboard. But you could use your favorite cocoa mix.

Deals as low as $1 at Schoola!!

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Schoola is at it again! This weekend they have two great promos!

The first, and my favorite: Four days of deals as low as $1, so keep checking back. There will be new items added daily. No code needed.
Starts
: Friday, February 17th, at 12:00 am Pacific Time
Ends: Monday, February 20th, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time

The second deal is pretty great, especially if you need to stock up on new to you clothes!

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60% off $60 or More
Starts: Friday, February 17th, at 12:00 am Pacific Time
Ends: Limited Time, Act Fast
Code: PREZ60

If you are new to Schoola, sign up here and you’ll receive $10 off your first order! That’s a pretty sweet deal!

In addition to offering awesome gently worn kids clothes, Schoola also gives a percentage (40%) of each sale to a school. So you can feel good twice: Once while your saving $$, and again because you are helping support a school in need.

To get started, click here. And I can’t wait to see what you have scored! I got Lil’ Man 3 shirts!

**Fine Print: Offer valid for a limited time. Discounts and credits do not apply toward the free shipping threshold or promotional minimums. Discounts are applied to the post-credit order value. New-with-tags items are not eligible for purchase with discounts or credits.**

Review of Grandbox!

A few weeks ago, I posted aboutGrandBox , a monthly subscription box.

GrandBox is the original monthly subscription box customized and curated specifically for seniors 65 and up. It’s the perfect gift to bring a smile to the older loved ones in your life.

Well, it was received by the kid’s paternal grandmother. And she liked it!

The box contained:

  • Holiday Wet-It
  • hand lotion,
  • d’anjou pear hard candy,
  • chocolate butter biscuit,
  • holiday patterned kleenex,
  • and a couple of candy canes!

And per my Mother in law, the TOPPER was the pics of the kids.

So if you are looking for a gift for the grandparent or other older relative in your life, check out Grandbox!

Crazy8: 30% Off Entire Purchase Plus Free Shipping

I love Crazy8! They always have such great deals on kids clothes, but today, they are taking the cake! Just in time for holiday shopping!

30% off entire purchase, free shipping, plus additional 20% off with code CHEER at Crazy8 This includes $8 jeans, $8 PJs, $4 tees and more! Oh, but wait… Free Shipping all day!

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I’ve already found pants for Lil’ Man and a couple cute dresses for my niece!