My Favorite Toddler Bedtime Stories {Gift Ideas}

Toddler Bedtime Stories

Reading Bedtime Stories

Before my toddler’s bedtime, we sit on his big bear and read books. I have a few favorites, and I think my son loves them because he can tell how much I love them. I try to only keep good books around, and “good” can mean many things. The main thing “good” means is that it doesn’t annoy me, or teach my son to annoy me. It also won’t usually bore him or bore me. These are a few of my favorites that are great bedtime stories for a toddler.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite in our house, we even based my son’s first birthday party off of it. It makes the list of one of our top bedtimes stories because it’s a very relaxing story, it’s easy to read (and follow along with) as well as there are plenty of things that my son recognizes and likes to point out.

Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

Happy Birthday, Moon is a favorite bedtime story because it’s simple and cute. It is a conversation between the bear and the moon. It’s something that my son doesn’t understand yet, but when he makes the connection he will love the story even more. Right now there are plenty of little things that my son loves to point out while we are reading it, so it makes it fun for him but not overly-stimulating.

 

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is my favorite. (I know, I say that everything is my favorite!) I love that my son loves this book now too. He didn’t get it at first because the Big Hungry Bear is talked about but never seen. He loves this book so much now that he mouths the words along with me, and sometimes will recite them for me. I love that this book is such a cute story but it also doesn’t take all night to read it to him. (All of these books are pretty short and sweet compared to lots of children’s books. Unless you ask my husband- he thinks they are all way too long.)

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr, John Archambault, and  Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka ABC is a shorter and simpler version of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that I read in grade school. It is on our top bedtime stories list because it is so short and simple and because it has an awesome beat. I think it is my husband’s favorite book to read to our son because it is the shortest on this list, but really we both love it.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a story that is pretty much a pigeon throwing a two-year-old’s temper tantrum. Don’t let that scare you though, I don’t think this teaches kids to throw temper tantrums.The way this book is set up it shows kids how silly they are. Just from the title (and when the bus driver asks you) it makes the kids be the ones in charge so they are supposed to keep the pigeon from driving the bus. If you haven’t read this book you should go check it out at your local library and see why it has made our favorite bedtime stories list.

What are your favorite bedtime stories? Are there any I need to go out and read so I can add them to my list?

This post is not sponsored by these authors or publishers but if you click on the links and happen to buy something from Amazon you will be helping out Monzanita’s in a small way, so thank you!

Decorated T-Shirt Crafts

Remember this skirt? I failed to mention that I burnt the iron-ons when I put them on it last time, so they fell off after the first wash (and the pictures!). Recently I added a piece of another t-shirt I had but didn’t like to wear as a top. I’m all set for any future patriotic holidays now. Or maybe a homecoming in the near future?

For the shorts I made here I decided to paint a little mustache on them. I had to cut out a few stencils until I got one that I liked. I taped it on and dabbed on the fabric paint and let them dry.

I think my sister will love these, she came up with the idea, but she doesn’t get them until her birthday!

The dress that I made a different sister was dressed up with this flower pin. The tutorial and better pictures are here.

See Also:
Make Your Own Iron Ons
Iron-On Embellished Skirt
T-Shirt Dress Tutorial

Ribbon Bracelet

I recently spent some time in a super cute local ribbon shop. Seriously an entire shop of ribbon. I was in heaven! I found the ribbon used for this bracelet and had to have it.

I used these two tutorials to make this bracelet; Hand-Stitched Fabric Flower (except now I used hot glue instead of stitching!) and the Lace Cuff Bracelet Tutorial.

Using those tutorials it would be easy to design something awesome for yourself or for gifts to your friends. Have fun!

Wallet Decoration- Button Mickey

I have a wallet that my sister gave me recently, and I love it. I don’t love the company that put the name on the wallet, so I finally figured I should just cover it up instead of buy a new one and I love my wallet completely now.

Materials:
Wallet
Buttons
Ribbon (optional)
Hot Glue

Before:

 After:

 After After:

This was quick and easy, I saw a pin made from buttons at Disneyland, so this is just my version. Green for money 🙂 The bow is optional, you never know it might be good for a Disney lover guy!

Other Disney Projects:
Heartbeat of Disney T-Shirt
3 Ways to Use Disney Souvenirs

Today at Arizona Mama: Lace Cuff Bracelet

I love bracelets but never actually wear them. I recently was wearing the bracelet I made with my boys’ picture on it but then my little boy wanted to wear it. Don’t worry it was redone with camo fabric instead of the ribbon it first had. It made me realize that maybe I don’t like bracelets because I haven’t found the right one yet. When a friend wanted help making one I jumped at it, and made one for myself too. Check it out my new bracelet at Arizona Mama.

Fabric Headrest Mounted Tablet Holder

I saw a plastic one of these at Ross for $12.99 and I put it back because I figured I could make a fabric one! (Plus the plastic one looked totally cheesy and I was worried that the tablet would fall out!) This one only cost about a dollar or so, I think it’s a much better deal! This tablet holder is kind of an ugly project– I could make it cute, but it doesn’t have to be pretty because it’s useful and I’m lazy.

Also, this is for a 10.5 inch tablet, but use your own tablet measurements to figure out the right dimensions!

Materials:
1 foot Clear Vinyl (I bought 4 Gauge, at least that’s what the receipt said, I just picked the thinnest)
Scrap Fabric, Just a bit bigger than your tablet
Bias Tape
Ribbon

Directions:
Use your tablet to measure out your fabric. There should be at least and inch or two on each side.

Cut out the fabric, and cut out the same size for the plastic.

Next, you will want to go out to the car and measure around the headrest with a flexible tape measure. You will need the length around the top to bottom (make sure they overlap) and around the top, from side to side. That length, plus an extra 10 inches is how much ribbon you will need.

Each length of ribbon will be cut into two, but don’t do it evenly. Have more on one side than the other so that the bow you tie will be able to be tied off to the side, so that there won’t be a knot in the back of the person’s head that is sitting in the seat.

Put your plastic on top of your back fabric and place the ribbons in the middle, with the edges at the edge of the fabric and plastic,

Sew the 3 sides, and turn it inside out. (This is where more work could be done to make it prettier, those seams are pretty ugly! Covering them with bias tape might be cute.)

Next, make a bias tape or use an already bought one and finish off the top edge. A ribbon will need to be added to the top as well.

This is going to be so helpful for our next road trip, as my son has started watching cartoons lately. I’m going to try to save it for when he gets really cranky though!

I was impressed to find out that the touch screen was still able to be used with the clear vinyl. The vinyl does cling to the screen as well.

More DIY Bags:
Play Mat Toy Bag
Padded Tablet Case
Messenger Bag

Road Trip Tips:
The Greatest Trip I Hardly Remember
Road Trip Packing List Printable(And One For Toddlers)
Eating Out of a Hotel Room {Vacation Money Saving Ideas}

Disney Souvenirs

I’m a thrifty person, so when I go to Disneyland I am looking in the shops for ideas of what to make at home! Here are a few ideas that I have done so far- it means buying a small souvenir at Disneyland but you can use these souvenirs to make better things from them for less!

Smashed Pennies

I already posted about making a display for your smashed pennies, and since that post I have filled up my souvenir penny display quite a bit more!

Souvenir Penny Display

 

Buttons

The free buttons that they give you at City Hall (or some of the shops) are awesome as magnets. They are so easy to put together too! They give out “I’m Celebrating” ones if you aren’t there for your first time, anniversary or a birthday! I took an anniversary one to send to my husband when our anniversary does come up.

 

Pins

If you are into pinning and reading the different articles about saving at Disney you may already know that you can buy a lot of pins for much less online different places than at Disney. You may not get ones that you like, but you can trade them to get ones you like when you get there. Cast Members have to trade, so check out their pins to see if they have any you like!

I am not one to put a ton of pins on a lanyard, I bought pins to put them on other stuff to make a plain hat, purse, etc into a Disney hat, purse, etc. I took the flower off of my hat in order to put a pin on it, and my other pins are going to be put on the next purse and wallet I make. These pins (I bought them at full price because this was a last minute trip) were the priciest souvenir I bought, but they are much cheaper than buying a Disney Hat or Wallet.

I used the pirate pin to decorate this bag I created. My full tutorial is over at Arizona Mama. Click here to see my pirate satchel.
Pirate Bag TutorialAt Disneyland they also had some souvenir pins that were made to look like buttons, but instead of buying those I had fun putting real buttons on things- just like this cute wallet! Click here to see the tutorial of how I created this wallet.
Button Mickey Wallet

I hope you like what I did with my Disney Souvenirs and that it gives you more ideas!

Other Souvenir Ideas:
Heartbeat of Disney T-Shirt
Souvenir Baseball Bat Display
T-Shirt Quilt

Patchwork Tablet / Laptop Case from Army Pants (ACU's)

I made a laptop case awhile ago but I didn’t have much time to make it so it came out a little crooked and I didn’t take pictures for a full tutorial. Since then my husband and I purchased new tablets and while they were in the process of shipping to us I used the dimensions online to make our cases. The first one I made needed a bigger seam allowance and space to allow for the padding. Hopefully my husband can find a use for the case– if not I will be giving it away to someone with a smaller tablet.

I have used the same pair of ACU bottoms (Don’t ask me what it stands for! It’s code for army uniform, but not the dress uniform because those are called Class A’s) for a few different projects so all I have left are scraps. I patched them together to get the sizes I needed. If you are going to do this, sew everything together before cutting it down to the final size. It saves you from heart ache in case your seam allowances were just a tiny bit off.

Also, at a recent Business Expo I talked to a lady selling cloth diapers and covers and she told me that fleece was completely waterproof. I think I might have heard that before, but it never had really sunk in. I used a double layer of fleece for the padding so that it would also help protect the tablet from any water too.

My dimensions are for a 10.1 inch tablet. They measured it 10.4 inches x 0.4 inches x 7.1 inches. If doing a different size, be sure to give yourself plenty of extra room. It can always be made smaller later. Also, a bigger pocket can fit on this case, feel free to make it wider but not too much taller.

Materials:
Outer Fabric- 2 10×14 Pieces
Lining Fabric- 2 10×14 Pieces
Padding (Fleece)- 4 10×14
Pocket Pieces- 1 8×9, 1 3×9
Pocket Pieces Liner- 1 8×9, 1 3×9
Velcro- 8 inches
Zipper- 16 inches (I used a 22 inch one and trimmed it later)
Secret Note (optional)

Directions:
Pocket
Once you have everything cut to size as listed above, it’s time to sew the pockets. Because the pocket pieces were patched together there are open seams on the back that need to be covered. Pin your front sides together of your pocket piece and your pocket liner, and sew the outsides. For the larger piece leave the bottom open. For the smaller piece only leave a small opening on one of the longer sides. The opening can be ironed down to match the rest of the seams, and they will be sewn shut when they are sewn to the bag or when the velcro is sewn on.

When they both are finished being sewn and ironed, the velcro can be added. The hook side should go on the smaller piece.

Now the pocket can be sewn to one of the pieces of outer fabric. Make sure to use plenty of pins so that it doesn’t shift at the last minute or you’ll have a crooked pocket. Sew the three outsides of the pocket, and the one top side of the flap.

Secret Note
I wrote a note for my husband on fabric with a sharpie and zig-zag stitched it to the lining to keep it from fraying. It looks like it is written sideways so that it can be seen just on the inside of the zipper. If you do this, it needs to be done before everything is sewn together.

Sewing Everything Together
Now that all the pieces are ready (unless you are going to embellish them more than I did) it is time to sew your case.

Lay down one of the padding pieces. On top of that (make sure the top sides of everything match) lay down a lining piece (face up) and then the zipper (face up). Next lay down one of the outer pieces (face down) and another padding piece. Pin them together. Use your zipper foot and go down the entire length of your fabric.

Of what you have just sewn, pull pack everything so that the zipper is showing. You can iron everything down so that its out of the way. You are going to put the rest of your pieces together just like you did for the first. Reminder: Padding, Liner(Face Up),Zipper (Face Up), Outer (Face Down), Padding. Sew these ones just like you did for the first side.

Now it’s going to get a little trickier. (It’s tricky, it’s tricky…) Your outsides (and the padding with them) will be together and the lining (plus padding) will be together. You will sew a big rectangle around them, leaving an open space about the size of you hand in the lining side. Wait! Make sure your zipper is halfway open before you start, or you may regret trying to save money on a store bought case. If it’s halfway open it’s all good, you can save money in peace.

Before you pull it inside out, clip off each of the corners, and cut at notch at the zipper. It will make your final product look a bit more professional. (I love when people question me if I made something because it looks so “store-bought” that they can’t tell. Like my messenger bag)

Pull it inside out and poke out the corners of the outside with a stuffing stick or a skewer. They are pretty much the same thing. To sew the lining shut you can either hand stitch it with a whip stitch (this is the best looking) or you can be lazy like me and do a quick sewing machine stitch to keep it closed. It’s up to you.

Once your lining is stitched closed you can play with the zipper, and let your tablet try it on. Also, check out my girly Ruffled Tablet Case that has a couple things done differently on it.

Want more sewing projects?
Remote Control Holder Pillowcase
Camping Foam Mattress Pad and Case
Ruffled Curtains
Dog Bed

Boy's Shoes Decorated with Tractors

My little one is getting very mobile, and will hopefully be walking soon. I am trying to get him used to the idea of shoes for when he has to wear them out. We found these cute ones at the store for only five bucks. I loved that they were plain and could be personalized.

Materials:
Canvas-Type Shoe
Materials for DIY Iron-On(Fusible Webbing, Fabric, Fabric Marker)

Directions:
1. First you need to make your DIY Iron-On. This one was drawn on with fabric markers and then cut out around the drawing.

2. Next, stuff your shoes with some. Crinkled newspaper or rolled up socks both work great.

3. Place your iron-on where you want it, and iron it on. The iron will have to set on the same place for at least ten seconds.

That’s all it takes to add a statement to little man’s shoes. Thanks for checking it out! If you enjoyed this project, feel free to subscribe to see all of my future posts.

My First Quilt- a T-Shirt Quilt

I finally finished my first quilt! I used my husband’s t-shirts to make a quilt for my little boy to have while he’s gone. It made it easier for my husband to go through and get rid of some of his old t-shirts.

Each of the squares are 15×15. For a baby it’s huge, but he will grow into it. I used sheer fusible backing for the t-shirts and there is no batting because it’s hot here and I want the baby to be able to use it all the time. With the fusible backing on the t-shirts and the actual backing it is still plenty thick. I used painter’s tape to make my sideways lines while quilting it, and each line is A Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book apart. (You know you love my measuring methods!) I used a nice gray for the quilting after finding out that micro-filament is difficult to use.