Baby Bathtub And Shower In One

Baby Bathtub And Shower In One

Are you looking for a baby bathtub with a shower feature as a possible gift for a new baby? When our family welcomed a brand new baby girl about 5 years ago she received one as a gift and I can highly recommend this very nice bathtub for baby that has a shower head and whirlpool action.

summer infant bath and spa

Manufacturer’s Product Image

When little McKenna was the new baby in the family, she received the Summer Infant Lil’ Luxuries Whirlpool Bubbling Spa and Shower Tub as a gift and let me tell you it is a marvelous baby bathtub!

I love the features on this little bathtub that will grow with baby. For using with a newborn  there is a nice sling type seat to hold the baby up while you bathe them.  It is made from a terrycloth type material so baby doesn’t slip once she or he is wet.

There is a shower type nozzle that allows you to rinse baby off faster and particularly nice for rinsing shampoo out of baby’s hair.

The box says that the bathtub can be used from newborn to about 2 years old. It is pretty spacious but I do wonder about a two year old. It might depend on the size of the toddler. We found that it was good until about 12 to 15 months.

You can turn the motorized jet system on to create bubble and a vibration to soothe baby while he/she bathes but you do not have to have this feature turned on if you don’t want to use it.

When I was visiting after little McKenna was born, I was really impressed with this tub for baby. I remember all too well the bathtubs that were available when my girls were babies and frankly I didn’t feel comfortable using them. The design of the Lil’ Luxuries Tub is safe and easy to use. It is small enough that you can put it on a kitchen counter top near the sink if your counter has enough space. You can also use it in your shower or tub as long as you can reach baby comfortably. Another great feature is the drain plug on the bottom. When baby’s bath time is over, just pull the plug and the water empties into the sink, tub, or shower.

So, if you are looking for a safe and easy to use baby bathtub with a shower feature, I can highly recommend the Lil’ Luxuries Whirlpool Bubbly Spa for your baby. It comes in blue, pink and violet.

Baby Afghan Made For A Gift

Baby Afghan Made For A Gift

Grandma, if you are crafty at all, one of the greatest gifts that you can give to a new grandchild is a baby afghan that you created yourself. You can crochet or knit one in a relatively short amount of time.

crochet baby afghan

When I was invited to attend a baby shower given for my daughter who was expecting her first daughter in August of 2011; I did that very thing.  I crocheted an afghan sized for baby in the ripple pattern. It only took me about 1 month to complete it and that was because I only had a few hours a night to work on it. It was a labor of joy! It was also quite a hit with my daughter when she opened it. The picture of it can be seen above this paragraph.

There are several variations to the ripple pattern that can be used. I took a couple that I had worked before and designed a pattern of my own. If you are experienced in working with crochet, you can do that too or you can rely on a book like Leisure Arts Baby Afghans for your project.  Of course, if you prefer to knit there are also great books with patterns to knit a baby afghan.

What I like about making something like an afghan as a gift from Grandma is that, hopefully, it becomes a family heirloom. Something that will be passed down and treasured. A little added touch that I did was write a letter to my little granddaughter that she can read someday and think about her Grandma. It is one of those memory things that I feel is so important in the bonding of a Grandmother and her Grandchild. I know I have wonderful memories of my Grandmother and I’m sure you do too.

crochet baby blanket


If you would like to use the pattern that I created, you are welcome to. My Ripple Crochet Baby Afghan Pattern is free to print out. You can use whatever color combination will work for your grandchild’s nursery and adapt it easily to my pattern. Happy stitching!

Toy Wooden Castle Gift For Boys

Toy Wooden Castle Gift For Boys

Durable Toy Castle For Imaginative Playtime

I think that a toy wooden castle is a great gift from Grandma for the little boys in her life.  Little boys need to be encouraged to use their imaginations and to embrace pretend play at every opportunity we can give them. Why not encourage that type of educational play with a medieval castle?

toy wooden castle

Manufacture Image

Melissa and Doug offers a Wooden Medieval Castle that folds up for easy storage and will provide hours of educational and entertaining playtime for a boy.

Hinges allow this toy wooden castle to be completely open to reveal a working drawbridge and a dungeon. Our little boys will have towers to place lookout guards in and balconies for a King, Queen, or Prince to address the pretend crowds from.  There is even a trap door for pretend hiding or surprising a pretend enemy invader. No matter how a little boy decides to use his toy castle, he will most likely enjoy hours of imaginative playtime.

One of the features that caught my eye was that this medieval castle comes already assembled. That is a huge plus for me when I’m giving a gift to a child! Who wants to spend hours putting a toy together?

I also like that this toy castle can be folded up compactly for when it is not being played with. It does not have to be out and in the way all of the time which is another big plus in the features column for this Grandma. I’m sure Mom and Dad will like it too.

wooden castle

product image

You can purchase a set of figures for an additional gift from Grandma but you do not have to. A little boy can use Lego figures or any figures that he already has to play with his toy wooden castle. Then again, he can just use his superb imagination to create all sorts of people that live in and protect the castle.

In a time where too many little boys spend too many hours in front of a game module or the television, a toy castle encourages movement and time away from less stimulating types of play. This particular toy castle is recommended for boys ages three years and up. Perfect for a birthday or Christmas present, I don’t think you would ever regret choosing a toy wooden castle as a gift for your little boy grandchild to spend time playing with. He can be the King of his Castle, a brave Knight, or whatever he chooses to be.

Magnetic Paper Dolls

Starting our toddlers out with playing with the magnetic paper dolls just might start a life long appreciation of paper dolls in general or even fashion. I have found several manufacturers of the magnetic paper dolls and they all have an appeal. For the young girl, as a gift from Grandma, I particularly like the ones made by Melissa and Doug. The magnetic dolls are geared for the 3 year old and older. The pieces are larger and help develop dexterity in their little hands along with providing hours of pretend play.

My three granddaughters have reached the age where they can play with the more detailed paper dolls, but at age 3 they would have really done well with these wooden magnetic dolls. Little Isabel has a real love for ballerinas so if I were to pick one for her it would be the Nina Ballerina as shown below.

nina ballerina
Melissa & Doug Deluxe 27-Piece Nina Ballerina Magnetic Dress-Up

Little Samantha would be more apt to like Maggie Leigh for her magnetic paper doll. At least when she was 3. Actually even at 10, I think she would prefer a doll that looked more like her and was just a regular type of girl.

maggie leigh doll
Melissa And Doug Maggie Leigh Magnetic Dress-Up

Little McKenna is really into the Disney Princesses so I think the one dressed like a princess is perfect for her. She will be 5 soon and even though her dexterity is better than when she was three, the magnetic dolls are still the best choice for her.

olivia magnetic doll
Princess Olivia Magnetic Doll

What I love about starting at a young age with the magnetic paper dolls is that when the girls get a little older they will be better prepared to play with the more delicate and detailed real paper dolls. I don’t think we can start too early in encouraging dexterity and eye hand coordination in our little girls and boys. Using a toy like a paper doll that has larger pieces is a good place to promote developmental playtime and it also inspires pretending and develops a good imagination.  Grandma, do you remember the hours of fun playing with paper dolls? I’m sure you do and that is why I think these magnetic dolls are perfect gifts from Grandma, Mom, or Auntie for birthdays, holidays, or a just because day.

~In the toy box of life…Grandma has the best toys~

Butterfly Garden Kit

Butterfly Garden Kit

butterfly garden


A Butterfly Garden Kit: Fun with Science

This Grandma loves to introduce nature to her grandchildren every chance she gets. Have you considered a butterfly garden kit that lets you grow your own butterflies with your grandchildren or your children for that matter? I just ordered two kits for two of my granddaughters so that we can do that very thing. It will seem like a game to the girls but it really is a great educational opportunity with them too. Watching the miracle of caterpillars transforming into a beautiful butterfly gets me every time and I know the girls will love it too.

butterfly garden kit

The habitat for the growing of the butterflies is re-usable so that makes this kit economical. You can always order more caterpillars to make more butterflies in the future.

There are complete instructions with the feeder that is included with the Insect Lore Butterfly Kit. One thing you will have to do after the kit arrives is order the caterpillars with the voucher that is included in the box. There is a $5.00 processing fee with that order.

What I love about the Live Butterfly Garden kit is that the children get to see every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle. From larvae to fully grown butterflies in about 10 days is pretty incredible when you think about it. I love the hands on idea and the fact that the kids really feel involved with the entire process.  I also like the idea that even though we are going to do our little science project early this summer, we can order more caterpillars and try it again later in the summer. An additional bonus is new Painted Ladies butterflies in my backyard.

One thing that I noticed about this kit is that the outside temperatures should be above 55 degrees in order to release the fully grown butterflies from the habitat. A really cool piece of information is that we don’t have to grow our own butterflies in the warm months. That is right, the girls and I can do this in the winter inside the house. We just keep the fully grown butterflies in the habitat for their life cycle which is usually two to four weeks.

I also ordered the book From Caterpillar to Butterfly (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) to help the girls understand about the metamorphosis of the butterfly, they are never too young to start learning about science especially if they think they are playing.

~In the Garden of life…Grandma is the butterfly~

Lalaloopsy Doll – A Fun Gift Idea

Lalaloopsy Doll – A Fun Gift Idea

Dolls Are Always A good gift choice

Has your little one asked for a Lalaloopsy doll? These fun little dolls are perfect gifts from Grandmas, Moms, Aunts and friends  any time of the year.  The Lalaloopsy dolls are rag dolls with personality plus. You see they were made from certain fabrics that define how they will be when they magically become real during playtime.

lalaloopsy doll

Lalaloopsy Bea Spells-a-Lot was created on Dictionary Day or October 16th from the fabric of a school girl’s uniform. She stands about 13 inches tall. Because this Lalaloopsy doll was cut from the cloth of a girl with an education, she can be a real “smarty pants” but she always follows the rules. Her one fault is that she likes to talk a lot. Her wanting to learn as much as she can caused her to choose an owl for her pet.

Find a Lalaloopsy Doll that you love

Bea has several friends who live with her in Lalaloopsy Land.

  • Lalaloopsy Crumbs Sugar Cookie created on National Cookie Day
  • Spot Splatter Splash created on International Artist Day
  • Lalaloopsy Mittens Fluff ‘n Stuff was made on the first day of winter.
  • Pillow Feather Bed the Lalaloopsy doll was created on Festival of Sleep Day.
  • Peanut Big Top created on April’s Fool Day.
  • Jewel Sparkles created on Jewels Day.
  • Dot Starlight created on 1st Man On The Moon Day.
  • Berry Jars N Jam created on Old Farmers Day.
  • Blossom Flowerpot created on Earth Day (and my birthday!).
  • Tippy Tumblelina created on Feb 2 (2/2 her favorite dress).
  • Sunny Sideup created on Old Farmers Day.
  • Patch Treasurechest created on Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Each doll has a pet of their very own and there are outfits that you can purchase for the dolls to have a change of clothing. The eyes are made with buttons so there is a possible choking hazard for children under the age of 3.

There are also mini dolls if you do not wish to have the 13 inch dolls. The little dolls only stand about 3 inches tall so they would not take up a lot of room. Personally, I like the ones that are considered large (just a little longer than a ruler) for little girls and boys to play with. You can also find some adorable Lalaloopsy dolls that are crocheted. Now, anyone who knows me will know that I do love the crocheted ones a lot! The crocheted dolls are typically around 11 inches tall and are so very cute!

I just love these little dolls and plan to get at least one each for my granddaughters for their Birthdays this year. I love that they look like they were homemade and are a simple ragdoll that can be loved and inspire imagination. You will find them online at Amazon by clicking on one of my links above. They are also sold at WalMart, Target, and ToysRUs.

~In the Cookies of Life…Grandmas are the chocolate chips~

Crochet Bird Pattern

Crochet Bird Pattern

Little did I know when I innocently asked a good friend of mine about crochet bird patterns that they would be quite so difficult to find. I figured that if anyone had one it would be Lisa at Free Crochet Patterns And Designs By Lisa Auch. She is so very clever in designing patterns for us who love to crochet that she spent several days creating one because she also saw that there was very few patterns out there for our beloved winged friends. She graciously allowed me to share her design and free pattern for you and I to use for our next bird crafting adventure.

Crochet Bird Patterns By Lisa Auch

The image below is the pattern that Lisa designed and I just love it!

crochet brown bird

Free Crochet Bird Pattern

What I love about Lisa’s design is that depending on which weight of yarn we use and the color or colors of yard we choose, we can make it be just about any kind of bird that we want. We can go with one solid color like in her example or we can get really creative and use a variety of coloring in the yarns. I think this little guy would look adorable in red yarn to represent a cardinal. Don’t you just love the design she used for the wings?

I think when you click over to her crochet bird patterns page, you will be pleasantly surprised at how detailed her directions are. There photos showing the construction of the head, body and wings along with a supply list for the project.

I wonder why crochet patterns for birds are so scarce

I would think with the popularity of birding across the globe that more people would have designed some lovely crochet bird patterns for us to get busy with. Just as our little winged friends are crafty at finding food sources, us humans sometimes like to get crafty and try to replicate them in projects to display around the house. I’m just a little surprised that there are so few for us to make when it comes to crochet.  I know I’ve seen some lovely graphs to do in counted cross-stitch of birds but not a lot of crochet bird patterns. What I love about Lisa’s adorable little bird is that after we get it made it can look adorable on a shelf, among the potted plants indoors or any place we decide to let it perch.

Here is a variation of Lisa’s pattern in blue and white that is really cute! I love the birdhouse that she created, too.

crochet bird in blue Crochet Bird Pattern by Lisa Auch

All images of the crocheted bird are from Lisa and she has graciously allowed me to use them on this blog post.

Charley Harper Birds

Well, if you have read any of the other posts in this blog, I am pretty sure that you have picked up on the fact that I am a bird enthusiast with a capital E. I love to see my winged friends in their own habitats but I also love art with birds. The kids gave me a book for Christmas that actually fills two passions: my love of birds and my love of the artist Charley Harper. Oh my goodness I love this book! Charley Harper’s Birds and Words is one of my very favorite gifts of all time.

Charley Harper's Birds and Words
Charles Harper’s Birds and Words (Anniversary Edition)

Not only is it filled with the artwork of Charles Harper but it also has his own words describing the birds in the images. Turns out that Mr. Harper had a very unique style to his art and that is what fans like myself love but he was pretty darned witty with his writing skills, too.

Charley Harper Illustrated More Than Birds

Fans of the 1950s deco style of decorating are very familiar with Charley Harper and his unique way of portraying mostly wildlife. I like the other animals that he drew but I particularly like his renditions of birds. I loved them even before I got all caught up in watching the birds in my backyard. So, the kids hit the target right in the center of the bulls eye when they found this book to give to me as a gift!

Harper did much of his work in his home studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. He relates in the book that he tried to actually get out among the feathered creatures to get a better idea of how to paint them but he found that instead he was tripping over rocks and other ground debris which then caused the birds to fly away. So, he invested in a few field guides to get his inspiration for his bird paintings. Ford Motor Company commissioned his work to include in a publication of theirs called Ford Times during the 1950s. Readers could order his wildlife paintings that were printed in a silk screen process. The American public quickly fell in love with the artist’s work and a partnership remained between the car company and Harper for something like 30 years.

Charley Harper Quote:
I could never get close enough to count the feathers so I counted the wings instead.

The book shows many of the images that he created for Ford Times that pertained to birds along with some others that he did in his 60 year career. I love all of them for the original interpretation and the witty way that he describes the bird in each image. He included a section on birds that vanished from the American landscape and comments on the human cause of the extinction of those feathered creatures.

If you have a person in your family or a friend who loves birds, then I can highly recommend this book with Charley Harper illustrations and his descriptions of each as something to give to them as a gift. I am sure they will love it as much as I do mine. Thank you so much Terry and Carla! You always get the coolest gifts for me and I hope you know how very much I appreciate the thought you give to each one.