Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Summer Desert Beauty

It may be hotter than you-know-where here but it is beautiful in the desert!

*all photos were taken within a 1/2 mile of my house in the last 2 weeks

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Birthday Kid Freebies!

As you well know by now (ha!) my youngest had a birthday a week ago.  We redeemed one of her birthday freebies yesterday and I thought I'd pass it along!

It's from Toys R Us and if you sign up online they'll send goodies for your little ones (ages 1 to 10).  

The month of her birthday she received a birthday in the card from Geoffrey the giraffe that had a small $3 gift card inside.  The gift card was good for 2 months past her birthday month.  

When you show up at the store customer service gives you more goodies!  A birthday balloon and crown!  They also announce the birthday to the store (usually, they didn't this year though).  

So what are you waiting for, go sign up your kids and enjoy the oh-so-fun of bringing them to a toy store.  Ha!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fisher Price Friday - Queen Buzzy Bee

Today on Fisher Price Friday I've got quite the buzz.  It's the Queen Buzzy Bee #444 made from 1962-1985.  Fisher Price made quite a few bee toys but this one had the longest run.  The original Buzzy Bee #325 was made from 1950-1956.  This newer blue eyed sweet bee is a female version of the pull toy and it makes a fun "buzzing" sound when pulled.  It has wood body with lithographs on each side.  In my version the crown, wings, wheels and antenna's are all plastic.

The back of the bee has a lithograph of brown and yellow bee stripes as well as bee wings and the name "Queen Buzzy Bee".  You can also see the orange/red plastic wings on each side that spin around when the bee is pulled.

This is the front of the bee.  You can see her white plastic crown, fuzzy brown forehead (lithograph) and the Fisher Price logo.  The red antennas were mostly made with wood beads but they switched to plastic towards the end of production.  The blue wheels were originally made of wood as well but also switched to plastic.  You can have a plastic bead/wood wheel combo or a plastic bead/plastic wheel combo.  

The bottom of the bee shows the wood base/body and the plastic mechanism that contributes to the buzzing sound it makes when moved.

The Queen Buzzy Bee is advertised for children ages 1-3.  I'd say that is just about right as my now 2 year old thinks it's perfect.

One more little bee mystery.  I have one of the later models since both the wheels and the antenna beads are plastic.  However, I have been unable to find the version in my typical sources as the flowers on the wheels don't match.  The flowers described were white with green stems, mine are missing the stems, never mind the color (as the ones I see online look like white stems but that's another issue altogether).  My theory is that the last version (plastic wheels/plastic antenna) have different flowers as shown in my bee.  These flowers are white but scattered with no stems.  

Do you have a Queen Buzzy Bee with flowers like mine?  If so can you prove or discount my  theory? :)

SOLVED: The bee wheel mystery has been solved.  A very early edition of the bee had a lithograph of flowers with green stems on the wheels instead of paint.  It's hard to find but it is out there!

For more Fisher Price Pull Toys check out:
Pull a Tune Xylophone #870
Chatter Telephone #747
Little Snoopy #693

Monday, July 22, 2013

Italian Greyhound Birthday!

This weekend has been full of celebrating!  We threw a birthday party for my youngest daughter and we also celebrated our puppy's first birthday!

Our two "puppies" are many years apart, our black and white boy is almost 9!  It took them quite a while to get used to each other and to get along.  It's not that they were fighting, the older one just didn't want to have anything to do with her!  

Now we find them playing with each other and often sleeping near one another.  Look at those sweet little IG's!

Puppy girl didn't get her own party but I did make her a Italian Greyhound sized party hat!  It was simple, I cut down a regular (child's size) party hat and taped the elastic down to fit her tiny head. She didn't wear it much longer than these photos but I can just tell that she loved it.  Ha!

For more Italian Greyhound info/photos:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fisher Price Friday - Happy Birthday Pocket Radio

My little "baby" turned 2 this week and she received lots of shall we say "pre-loved" vintage Fisher Price gifts.  What can I say, I love vintage toys? :)  One of her gifts was this Happy Birthday Pocket Radio #768.  The pocket radio was made from 1971-1976 and it plays the traditional "Happy Birthday" song.

The back says: 
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday dear Playmate
Happy Birthday to you


Happy Birthday sweet baby girl!

Stay tuned for more vintage birthday toys and books.  I am also throwing her a vintage little people themed birthday party this to come! :)

For more music box Fisher Price Toys check out:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - She's 2!

My sweet little baby is turning 2 today.  I really should stop calling her a baby but I probably won't. :)  She is a treasure and every day with her is a blessing.

It's hard to believe she was ever that small!

Here's to another year of growing!

Happy Birthday little bug!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not "sew" Simple Floor Pouf (cushion)

In June I attended another Sew Simple sewing class, this time to make a Floor Pouf aka Floor Cushion.  This one wasn't exactly sew simple however and proved to be a bit challenging for us beginner sew-ers.  Fortunately we had a fabulous teacher who worked double-duty to get us through it. :)


The pillow was a challenge as it involved sewing in a circle, adding a zipper and even piping.  Although one of the hardest parts was stuffing the tiny little styrofoam beads in it afterwords! (You could also use poly filling but I wanted mine to be firmer).

The adorable fabric is from Sarah Jane's Children at Play Collection: "On Parade in Multi" fabric.  I bought it (and the turquoise polkadot) off of Hawthorne Threads.

This pillow is the perfect size for my girls although they are having a hard time sharing it!

Even the dog likes it!

My pillow was from a pattern that Amy at This Big Oak Tree made.  She doesn't have it online right now so here's another link to one that is similar.

I can't wait to show you my next project, an adorable little romper for my not-so-much-a-baby-anymore girl's birthday this week. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fisher Price Friday - Xylophone

Today on Fisher Price Friday I have a very familiar toy to share with you.  Odds are high that you either had one of these growing up or played with one at a friend's house.  It's the Pull-A-Tune Xylophone #870 which was made between 1957-1989.  So both you and your mom probably had one!  The toy came with a mallet and could be pulled by a string.  

It also included a 4 page song book with the songs Jingle Bells, Frere Jacques, This Old Man and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
The xylophone had some changes over the years such as the stickers on the side, colors of the keys or the materials (wood to plastic) but it mostly looked the same.  My version was made between 1978-1986 as it has a wood base, plastic red wheels and a plastic mallet.  This was the first version where the mallet was not connected to the string (although I went ahead and connected it so we wouldn't lose the mallet.  The mallet has a small ball on one end and a larger on the other (earlier mallets had a ball on only one side).  There is a plastic cord attached to the xylophone which can be used to pull it along.  When you push or pull the xylophone it makes sounds.

This lithograph is the same on each side and this version was on the xylophone from 1978-1989.

Here you can see the wood sides and wood base.

Happy playing!

For more musical instruments/toys check out: 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

(semi) Wordless Wednesday - Berry Picking

We did a little berry picking at my Aunt's house this week.

Let's just say we are clearly NOT in hot-hot-Phoenix.  

There is something delicious about wearing sweatshirts and picking berries on a July morning.

We'll enjoy these chilly mornings now because once we return to Phoenix we won't wear sweatshirts again until October!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Roasted Nopales (prickly pear cactus pads)

I have another Cactus recipe for you.  That's right, did you know that Nopales aka Prickly Pear Cactus pads are edible?  If you're ever out camping in the desert and need a quick snack here is an option for you. ;)

But seriously, we got these (de-thorned) pads in a recent CSA box.  That's how you know you live in Arizona when your CSA box has cactus in the summer instead of blueberries.  We'd received them once before and I made a onion cactus dish.  Since the Nopales resemble Okra with the mucilaginous (sliminess) texture I decided to give our roasted okra recipe a whirl.  It's a simple way to cook up the cactus pads.  They retain the lemon-like pucker and provide a bit of a flavorful kick as a side dish.  How do you eat your cactus?

Roasted Nopales
1 pound of fresh nopales (de-thorned), sliced 1/3 inch thick.
Olive oil
Salt (I recommend sea salt) to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 Arrange the nopales slices in one layer on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until brown and toasty. We prefer it more on the toasty/crisp side.

Look here for a Sauteed Nopales

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fisher Price Friday - Care and Share, A Book About Manners

It's story time again today on Fisher Price Friday.  Today I have the cutest little vintage fisher price book.  I know I say that every time but this one really is my favorite.  Published by Fisher-Price and Little People Books in 1986 Care and Share: A Book About Manners is a funny book with silly situations to teach kids about manners.

Like all good Fisher Price books there are some familiar toys and people inside.  For example this page has the jet plane from the Play Family Jetport #933.

Lucky (aka Fido) the dog is the most familiar little person inside, but the mom looks a lot like the FPLP too!

What other familiar FPLP people or animals did you see?

For more FPLP Books check out:
Mini Block Board Books
Chunky People Books
Meet Timmy and Penny

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

It's a little people 4th of July pool party/picnic!

I hope your day is full of red, white, blue and lots of fun!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

(semi)wordless wednesday - Grandma's Buttons

I've been spending hours sorting old vintage family buttons.

They were my mother's, grandmother's and great-grandmother's.  Made of things like mother of pearl, glass, wood, metal, early plastic and rhinestones.  

I can only imagine the many sewing projects to come that these buttons will adorn!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Caprese Dip Recipe

The 4th of July is just around the corner and I've got a great party recipe to share with you. I saw this one on Pinterest and used it a week ago at a baby shower.  It has the most delicious aroma and only takes 3 ingredients (plus bread).  If you're looking for something new for a picnic this year give this one a try, it's a winner!

Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato Caprese Dip
Get one large log of fresh mozzarella, cut it into cubes. Take one package of cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and add them to the cheese. Take a handful of fresh basil, slice it into strips and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is completely melted and bubbly. Serve with french bread (preferably fresh out of the oven, you can buy the 1/2 baked ones and bake right before serving).