holiday glitter mugs // and surprise giveaway from Ollie swaddle!

holiday glitter mugs // and surprise giveaway from Ollie swaddle!


I don’t know about you, but the time from Halloween to Christmas seems to just fly by.  I find myself thinking that I have plenty of time for DIY gifts and decor projects….only to blink and have December holidays upon us!

I wanted to make gifts for Harlow’s preschool teachers this year, but I knew that if I kept saying “Oh, I’ll do it when we are closer to Christmas break” would leave me running out to buy a gift card the last morning of school before break.

Can I get an amen?

So one chilly morning, Harlow and I got our crafting on and made these mugs for her teachers!  We will be filling them with chocolates and gift cards and some artwork from Harlow as well!  I’m seriously ecstatic about how they turned out!




For fun, I’ve been sharing some of my “sleepy secrets” over on instagram — today is the second one that I’m sharing!  This is nothing earth shattering by any means, but just wanted to share some of my favorite — or Jonesy’s favorite — sleepy dust things.

Today?  I bring you the Ollie Swaddle!  The Ollie Swaddle is the swaddle I reach for at naps — I need to buy another because I hate the days I’m washing it!  It’s simple and quick to use, and easy to get a nice and tight swaddle wrap that Jones can’t break out of!

Immediately I was drawn to the bright blue and simple stripes pattern — but then I read the story of how the Ollie swaddle came to be, and I was even more impressed and intrigued.  After trying this swaddle, I am hooked.  Grab a tissue if you watch the video (you should), it might just be my hormones, but goodness, I cried.

My story begins when I fell in love with an infant named Oliver. He was handsome, and yet on the verge of being labeled “failure to thrive.” Other foster parents struggled with keeping Oliver because he was difficult, struggling to eat and sleep. But I was in love, and so I began my journey to help Oliver thrive.

My experience in infant mental health had acquainted me with the timeless technique of swaddling. However, to both my and Oliver’s distress, the swaddles available on the market didn’t seem to help. They either didn’t hold him correctly, were not strong enough to apply a comforting pressure, or they left his legs unwrapped. So my mission to help Oliver took a new turn as I searched for a swaddle which would meet all of Oliver’s needs.

The answer finally came when I created a new type of swaddle. One which would move with him through the night, keep a comforting pressure from his shoulders to his feet, and which would help keep him cool. When I started wrapping my little Ollie in the new swaddle, I began to see dramatic changes. He began to sleep through the night, eating and gaining weight. Most importantly, he began to catch up with developmental milestones which he had missed. Ollie began to thrive!

This change led to a happy ending for Ollie. In 2009 he was adopted by a loving family. Since then, I have been working with a great team to develop a quality swaddle which could be shared with families everywhere. This is the swaddle which I am happy to share with you today, The Ollie, named after my little love.


Today I am giving away 2 Ollie Swaddles!  One swaddle will be awarded to a winner over here via the rafflecopter below — and one winner will be selected at random from the instagram giveaway!  I’ll be posting it tomorrow, so be sure to keep checking over there!

You can also use the coupon code COCONUTOLLIE to receive 20% off your order until 11/30!  You know I’ll be using that to order another! 

Good luck!  (And stay warm — it’s so cold here already! Ack!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway




felted wool St Patrick’s Day Bunting tutorial

felted wool St Patrick’s Day Bunting tutorial


This might be the first year that I’ve remembered that St. Patrick’s day is soon approaching — like before the day of when I would show up to school wearing blue, because why not.

Oh why can’t there be some massively celebrated Norwegian holiday?  Now that holiday I would not forget.

But in the spirit of spring and St. Patrick, let’s celebrate with some decorations for the holiday.  I’ve been trying to get my house a bit more festive throughout the year, not by spending a ton of money, but by creating–or purchasing–one or two pieces to add each year.  It’s a slow process, but so far I’ve been really happy with each item I’ve made or curated.

I’m really excited about today’s tutorial!  As I mentioned last week, I’ve become completely smitten with this new machine:  I’m spoiled by the space, the speed, the quiet, the space, the stitch quality…did I mention the space?  Goodness I love how much work area this sewing machine has!

I also love that this machine has a few bells and whistles, even though it’s described and sold as a workhorse-straight-stitch-speed-machine–which it also is.  Today I’m going to show you what you are able to do with the needle felting attachment.  Yup.  You read that right: needle felting attachment.

It is as amazing as it sounds.

(Don’t have this fancy attachment? or the tools to do by hand?  Either grab the machine or some tools, or keep reading and I’ll show you some alternative options!)

Now I am no needle felting professional.  No sir.  So I’m going to show you how I’m taking baby steps to getting better. :)  The first tip is to use wool felt sheets instead of roving wool.  It doesn’t have to be 100% wool, but the better quality felt, the better!  You will learn how to use the tools without the frustration of keeping your roving wool in place or in the shape you are trying to achieve.  With the wool felt, you can simply cut out your shape and go!  Let’s get started.


*you will find a download of this shamrock in both an .SVG file and .FCM file at the end of the tutorial*

1 || Begin by cutting your canvas into triangles for the bunting.  I cut 7″ strips, which became the height of my triangles.  The top of each triangle measures 6″.

2 || Sew around the bottom two edges of your triangle with a 1/4″ seam using a stitch length of no greater than 2.  These stitches will allow the bunting to fray a little over time, but will keep the fray to a minimum.  (If you’d rather to a small hem, a rolled hem, or an 1/8″ seam instead, feel free!)

3 || Attach the needle felting attachment to your machine or prepare your needle felting tools.

4 || Cut your desired shape from the felt using a scissor or cutting machine.  I used six triangles with shamrocks and seven without for my banner.

5 || Begin by felting in a small area to tack the felt to the canvas.  If you aren’t familiar with needle felting at all, you can see how the attachment works in the tutorial video.  Each of the needles have a small hooks on them, pushing the felt through the canvas on the way through and leaving that bit there as the needle comes back up.  Think of it as when you snag a small chip of a broken fingernail on a sweater, only on purpose.

I recommend tacking down the center first, followed by a quick felting of the border staying within the felt.  Next move on to fill in all the space, checking the back periodically for areas you might have missed.  Be sure to follow around the edges to really secure the felt to the canvas.

felt shamrocks.jpg

6 || Have fun!  Kind of therapeutic, eh?  Repeat the felting process for all flags of the bunting.

7 || Using an iron, press each felted shape using light steam to set the wool in place.

order arranged

8 || Arrange the order of your bunting, and sew the 1/2″ leather strip or the bias tape to the top of the triangles.  Leave a tiny or large gap between each flag — this space is completely a preference and might be determined by the space you plan to hang the bunting.

9 || Go hang it up!

Now I promised a few modifications if you’re not able to needle felt the bunting banner!

OPTION 1 || No Sew

Using an iron-on adhesive, apply to felt following instructions prior to cutting shapes.  Cut desired shape from felt and iron on to bunting flags.

OPTION 2 || Top Stitch

Cut out felt shapes — you can use wool or poly craft felt.  Pin in place and top stitch around the perimeter of the shape.

*You can combine both options by using an iron-on adhesive and still top stitching around the perimeter for extra hold.


click file images to download


And because sometimes it’s easier to watch a video than read steps:


Please share what you create! Can’t wait to see — let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!





I was provided the Brother DZ1500F to test and review and was compensated for this tutorial post.  All ideas, projects and opinions are my own.  Truth?  I love love love this machine.


the pink fox & our accidental candy tradition

the pink fox & our accidental candy tradition


Sandwiched by beautiful, fall evenings, our October 31st left much to be desired, weather-wise.  blech.  We made the most of it and ventured out with our neighbors.


Andy and Harlow were both feeling pretty crummy that day, so I left them home snuggling and watching …can you guess?  The Music Man, of course.  I left them home because I needed to make a quick run to JoAnn Fabrics for costume supplies.

Yes. I know — it was definitely a procrastination situation.  Harlow and I had decided a while ago that she would be a pink fox this year, but of course I decided the day of was the day to put it all together!  After some CTG, I found this little mask outline that worked perfectly as my base — I then drew the additional smaller pieces I needed.  I also used 4 layers — front soft felt, fleece, stiff felt, and another soft layer against her face.  I wanted it to be comfortable, but not flimsy.

For the tail, I had about 45 minutes before it was time for us to turn into drowned rats, so I free cut a quick tail from 1 piece of felt.  I cut it corner to corner, so I could make it as big as possible.  Then I added some leftover, white felt to the end.  Sew, sew, stuff, and sew onto an elastic band … we were out the door!  Well, not before she yelled at the buses going by, of course.

{And her sweater was knit by my über talented mama — isn’t it gorgeous!?}


I had plans of making LowLo a matching outfit, but… yup. That didn’t happen.

But what did happen was the accidental tradition that we stumbled upon last Halloween.  When we returned home last year, Harlow had no idea what was inside the shiny candy wrappers, she was just enamored with them.  I dumped them into a bowl, and we turned around and handed the candy right back out again.  She had more fun “twick or tweating” back to everyone than she did going door to door–and, I must add, our trick-or-treating guests got a kick out of the “baby handing out candy!” at our door.

This year we did the same!  She didn’t ask or show interest in eating any, so the tradition continued.  Y’all.  She was hysterical.  Well, at least I thought she was.  I’m totally about to be a “my kid is so funny and awesome!” mom right now, so quit reading if you need to.  (Believe me, I could fill up many pages about Harlow’s tantrums and meltdowns and my mishaps and mistakes — believe me.)  Not only did she say “twick or tweat!” as kids came up to our door, but she would think about which candy to give each guest.  And then she quickly thanked them.  Most of them weren’t quite sure what to say, since she was doing everything they were “supposed” to be doing–the trick-or-treating and saying thank you.  Due to the weather, we didn’t have a ton of visitors, so when we found ourselves sitting and waiting, she would start yelling, “where the people!?!?” over and over again.  A few times she yelled “trick or treat” at a few strangers passing by who weren’t stopping for candy…I mean, how dare they!?

All in all, we had a short, but fun evening.  Harlow was the cutest pink fox I ever did see, and I am loving our tradition of handing the candy we received back out at the end of the night.  I know as she gets older, we probably won’t be handing out all the candy we picked up prior, but putting smiles on kids’ faces as they come to our door has been an awesome way to end the night.



You can still enter the Minted giveaway!

psst!! The amazing Lily Jade giveaway ended last night … I will be announcing winners tomorrow!  But don’t forget — use COCONUT20 for 20% off your order! 


bear in a pink peacoat

bear in a pink peacoat

Halloween brought a scary bear to the neighborhood this year.
Extremely scary and incredibly cute.

This year, due to expected weather from hurricane Sandy, Pittsburgh moved trick-or-treating to Saturday evening.  So around 5 o’clock we bundled up and made our way out with all the other creatures on the hunt for candy.

I should back up. 

Come Wednesday, yes, the actual Halloween holiday…not a week prior.  I realized that my pickiness while searching for a costume had left my daughter without one.  I was torn and had a bout of mom-guilt, so I decided to tackle something in the same vein as her lamb hat from last year.

Ready for some chubby baby cuteness?

So knowing that I had a few days to make it right, I decided to turn Harlow into a bear this Halloween.

It was cold, so she adorned her pink peacoat as well.

She was a bit timid as we began the candy adventure–unsure of why we were encouraging her to walk up to strangers handing out shiny objects.  Or why she was nearly getting knocked down by big kids all around her as she just stared in awe.

But it didn’t take her long to get the hang of it. 

The best part is that she has no idea what these shiny wrapper contain.  So when we returned home, the candy was dumped into a bucket–minus the mommy and daddy favorites–and Harlow handed out candy at the door.

Yes.  Imagine the cuteness of Harlow at the door handing out candy.
Now multiply it by ten. 

It was so cute.
And definitely what we’ll continue doing as a Halloween end-the-eve-with-giving tradition.

Harlow is wearing // bear cowl: made by mama // peacoat: gift, Circo Target // jeggings: Circo, Target // socks: Smart Wool // boots: Minnetonka
I also want to tell you all about a new blog!  It’s called Together in 10 and is best described by the beautiful Jessica, the founder and genius behind this collaborative blog – [oh! Did I mention that I’ll be contributing??  I’m so excited and honored to be a part of it all!]


“This is a style blog for moms.  Busy moms, who have very little time to get ready – who would much rather spend their days living in the beautiful craziness of loving our families and juggling the many awesome things we’ve been blessed with, than primping or fussing over outfits.”

Now head on over and learn more about Together in 10 as we launch today!  You will want to subscribe while you’re at it.  You can skip my posts – but when you see the line up of beautiful faces?  You’ll want to subscribe.  Trust me. 

And also?  We’re giving away some pretties today!!

[I will be announcing the winner of the Threads of Hope giveaway tomorrow!  Just too much to share today!! xoxo]

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