Happy Yarn Mail May 2017 Review

hym1

Hello, friends!

It’s time for another Happy Yarn Mail review!  Today, we have May’s box.  As a price reminder, this box costs $29.95 plus shipping, which for me ends up being about $40 per box.  What’s included for that price, is a unique crochet project, the yarn to complete the project, and a little extra crochet related goody.

There is a new feature with this box, where you can purchase add ons to the box for an additional fee.  Last month’s extra was a polymer clay crochet hook, and the extra for June was a yarn bowl, both decorated with the happy sprinkles we see on the box each month.  The items were super cute, but quite pricey, so they did not find their way into my cart.  (The hook was $33 and the yarn bowl was $40.) 

Another new feature with this subscription box, is a mini version of the box for $19.95.  This box features the unique pattern, the yarn needed to complete the project, and nothing else.  When I checked the shipping price for the mini box, it looks like it would cost me $26-$27 total, which is really the price I think the box should be with the extras included.

A quick note on shipping, the boxes get shipped at the end of the month.  So, while I purchased the May box on May 1st, it did not ship until the very end of the month.  What I like about the shipping, however, is that it is sent by 2 day Priority, so once it is shipped, you have that pretty box on your porch waiting for you before you know it!

So let’s see what was in May’s box!

hym2

Upon opening the box, I was greeted with the prettiest collection of happy, sunny, summery yarn!  The pattern for this box is a Pink Lemonade Clutch, and these little balls of yarn just scream pink lemonade and summer!  There is also a skein of Lion Brand Fast Track yarn, something I have never used before and was very excited to try out!  I believe all the yarn is Lion Brand, though there are not any labels on any of the yarn.

My first reaction to the project and goodies was a definite squeal of excitement.  It is a project that my soon to be 12 year old daughter would just love to have, and it is something that I would not have thought of or chosen to do on my own.

hym3

This cup though!  So stinkin’ cute!!!!  Pink and gold and just adorable.  I love it.  It says “Chain 1 Sip 1”, which as a crocheter, made me giggle.  This is sooooo much better than the plastic bag that was sent in April’s box!  It also came with some herbal tea and directions on how to make your own honey lemon iced tea, specifically for this tumbler.

I was so in love with this whole box, it really did make me happy.

hym4

The project was super simple to follow, I feel confident that my daughter, a new crocheter, could easily make several of these for her friends with no problem.  The Fast Track yarn really does work up very quickly, and the fringe is the perfect accent to the finished project.  This clutch can easily be made in an afternoon.

What I am most pleased with this month, is the amount of yarn included in the box!  If you will recall, I had a real problem just finishing the project for April with the included yarn.  There simply was not enough and I had to make adjustments to the project just to get it finished.  You can see in the blue basket next to my finished clutch, all of the leftover yarn I had.  No stress, and several little pretties to add to my stash, thank you very much!

I have spent a lot of time researching yarn boxes since April’s box, and have come to the conclusion that there simply is not anything that can  compare to Happy Yarn Mail.  They are all almost exclusively knitting boxes, and include patterns for things I have zero interest in making.  To be perfectly honest, the other boxes seem old lady oriented.  How many shawls and socks can one person knit before losing their will to live?

And besides that, this girl is too legit to knit.  hehehe

This box includes patterns for things very similar to what I would normally be hooking up.  I can easily see myself pinning all of these projects to my crochet board on Pinterest.  They are young and hip and fun.  And being a fellow creative person, I can tell you that these projects open doors in my head for so many other ideas, fun twists or new ways of using bits and pieces of these projects for completely different applications.

I still think the box is a little overpriced.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and adore this box.  I just wish it cost less.  It would be great if they offered a discount for ordering several months at a time, like most all other subscription boxes do.  If this was offered with a nice discount, I would definitely order a 6 or 12 month subscription.

At the end of the day, I guess I look at it as a splurge.  A little gift to yourself once a month.  I have already ordered June’s box, after which I saw coupon codes released for $5 off the box.  Boo.  But I can’t wait to see what June’s box brings, and of course, I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all.

Do you get any yarn subscription boxes?  Are there any hidden awesome crochet boxes I don’t know about?  If so, let me know!

 

Snowflakes For Sandy Hook

snowflakes
Time to break out the scissors and show off your mad snowflake making skills!
When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parent-volunteers are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a winter wonderland with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA at:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

Donations will be accepted indefinitely to the Connecticut PTSA “Sandy Hook Fund” to provide ongoing support to the community. Please send checks to the Connecticut PTSA address listed above. Group fundraising projects may include walk-a-thons, spirits days, pajama days, etc., which may be scheduled at your convenience.

Donate via Paypal here: http://www.ctpta.org/About-CT-PTA/SANDY-HOOK-FUND.html

Happy Birthday Abe!

Today my hubby turns 33.  That is still super young, regardless of how old he keeps telling everyone he is.  I like to tell him I’m his young “trophy wife” since he is a whole three and a half months older and one school year ahead of me.  It amuses me.

We wrapped his gifts with super fancy wrapping paper and stickers, as you can see.  Hey, we go all out in this familia.

Happy Birthday to my very best friend and the most awesome husband any girl could ever have!  I love you forever and always!  xoxoxoxoxoxo

DIY Ballerina Tutu!

Since we have both an existing ballerina and a ballerina in training in our house, you can bet that tutu’s are in high demand!  Heck, they’re even fun just for dress up or grocery shopping!  What, you wouldn’t let your kid wear a tutu to the grocery store?  Come on now!  They’re only little for such a short time!  And also, there’s the whole picking and choosing your battles thing, soooo….

What if I told you that you could make your very own tutu for less than $3?  Sound crazy?  How about if I told you that it could be made out of these:

Yes.  Those are stretchy head bands and shower scrubbies.  Impossible you say?  Well then prepare to be amazed!

Start by taking apart the scrubbie.  It’s easy, I promise.  Once you have it apart, cut it into 18 inch lengths.  Here is where it gets super complicated and tricky.  Are you ready?

Tie the 18 inch lengths to a headband.  And that is it, folks.  You just made a tutu for your precious little ballerina for less than $3 and in less than 20 minutes.  Wanna do it again?

I color coordinated the head bands to the scrubbies, but you can live on the wild side if you like.  It will pretty much be covered up.  I used two scrubbies per tutu and they turned out plenty fluffy.

Two tutus!  Super easy, and super popular in the fancy ballerina circles.

Doesn’t she look ready for some grocery shopping?  Or dance class, whatever.  Seriously though, these are super easy, super cheap, and you will look like Supermom (or SuperDad) when you whip one up for your little one.

Family Tree

I love any craft or project that uses hand prints, feet prints, etc because it is a constant reminder of how tiny the kids hands and feet were at one time.  Dirty hand prints and feet prints smudged around the house don’t count.  It’s not the same.

While perusing Pinterest, I came across several similar projects that utilize the entire family’s hand prints.  I decided that our home required one, and thusly, a craft was born.

I started with a large piece of poster board.  The one I got was actually more like nice paper, a creamy color, but it was found at Michaels by the poster board and it was less than a dollar.  With my favorite chocolate brown paint, I painted a tree trunk and branches.

Are you in awe with my tree making skillz?  Me neither, but it will work.  Trust me.  It’s just going to look dumb until the leaves are in place.  Now, for the leaves, we are using hand prints!  I bought several colors of Martha Stewart Craft paints that coordinated to use as the leaves.  You can choose any colors you like.  I wanted something light and able to be used year round so I chose lighter colors, but again, use whatever colors you like.

It’s a jazz hands tree!  Those are rare, you know.  For the hand prints, you are going to want to slather the paint on the hands pretty thickly.  Like, a lot more than you would think.  Really glop it on.  The kids loved it, and it washes off very easily.

I was worried how the little kids hands would turn out.  Slapping paint on a 2 year old and at the time a 9 month old…..well, it seemed like a recipe for disaster.  I definitely needed help.  Abe held on to the kid and I used their little hand as a squirmy little stamp.  Surprisingly, they turned out really well!  I think I got lucky.  It could have easily gone awry at any moment.  It’s not a hard craft, so it could be done again if need be, but that could get annoying.

To finish off the family tree, I used lettering and then I framed it in a large frame I used a 40% coupon on at Michaels.

I love it!  I think it turned out adorable, and I love being able to look at the tree and see how small the kids hands were.  It can also be easily added to.  Heck, I even know what paint colors I want to use for the next hand prints we will be adding.  No, not an announcement.  But the tree could definitely use a few more “leaves”.

 

BabbaBox!

So, in case you haven’t noticed my love of Citrus Lane, which you can read about here and here, I love subscription boxes.  I love to get mail, I love discovering new brands and new ideas, and I love to splurge on my babies.  When I stumbled across BabbaCo, and their BabbaBoxes aimed at ages 3-6, well, to say I was interested would be an understatement.  This mama was giddy with excitement.  Yes, giddy.

BabbaBoxes are themed boxes sent to your door each month filled with projects, activities, books,digital downloads and online content.  Absolutely everything that you need to complete the projects are included in the boxes, right down to the glue and paper.  No more emergency pit stops at craft stores to gather supplies!  I am a well stocked crafter, but even I can appreciate having everything handed to me all in one pretty package.

At $29.99 a month, shipping included, BabbaBoxes are a bit more expensive that Citrus Lane boxes, but honestly, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.  Citrus Lane focuses on sending products, while BabbaBox is more of a learning experience, a chance to really sit down and spend some quality time with the kiddos as you learn and complete the fun activities.

The very first box all members get when signing up for BabbaBox is themed Sun, Moon & Stars.

As you can see, Noah was very happy to dig into our box.  While he is not quite 3, I think Isabella and even Matthew will enjoy helping out with the projects and learning along with him.  How about that?  Three kids, one box.  Cool beans.

Our box was filled with all sorts of fun stuff!

The first thing that caught Noah’s attention was, of course, the binoculars!  These are part of the “Explore” aspect of the box, where we can use the binoculars to study the moon and the stars in the night sky.

I see you!

As we study the different phases of the moon, we have a worksheet to fill in and chart the phases ourselves.  I know Matt and Bella will love this activity!

And I’m sure Noah will enjoy directing them as they fill in the phases for him.  He likes to delegate.

Part of our “Create” portion this month, is making our own paper mache moon night light!  Okay, this activity sounds awesome.

They even included a craft stick to stir the paper mache mixture!  Yes, that is very smart, I love it!  And the “light” of the night light?  A little LED tealight.  Brilliant!  I am so looking forward to seeing this craft finished!

As you can see, Noah inspected every single element of this box!  This is another neat project that involves sun paper.

In case you don’t know what sun paper is, it is paper that has a chemical reaction to sunlight.  In this example, the kit comes with star stickers for the kids to make their own constellation.  Once the stickers are applied, you set the paper out in the sun for a minute or two and then bring it back in.  A few short steps later, you have a very spiffy piece of art work that you actually used the sun to make!

Our home is filled with bookworms, and Noah is no exception!  I love that the BabbaBoxes include a book, and you can bet Noah was excited to find one in his box!

So cute, so fitting and it is a very nice quality hardback, which I definitely appreciate!

Noah wasted no time exploring his new book, and added bonus, we have a new reader that can help read it to him and practice her reading skills at the same time.  Oh BabbaBox, you are making me fall in love!

And if all of this weren’t enough, BabbaBox did not forget about the parents!

This is a spiffy, theme fitting wine bottle stopper.  How awesome is that?  It is so pretty, and really, I appreciate the little gift, just as Citrus Lane likes to do in their boxes for the mamis and the papis.

I want to include a second, follow up review to this box that will involve the kiddos actually doing the projects and then showing the finished pieces.  So far, I like it.  I know the kids love it.  I am very curious to see what else BabbaBox has in store for the coming months.

If you are interested in checking out a BabbaBox for yourself, go HERE and give them a try.  If you enter coupon code “a20off”, you will get 20% off your first order!

We are currently working on our paper mache moon, so I will definitely update with pictures soon!

Oh, and one more thing to add!  I did not receive my BabbaBox for free, I bought it with my own money and decided to share what I think because I’m awesome.  I also think the BabbaBox is pretty awesome.  Everything I share with you here on my little chunk of the blogosphere is stuff I personally love and buy with my own money unless I happen to mention otherwise.  Now, if BabbaCo reads this and wants to send me free stuff, well then, I could not say no to that.  But seriously, I love the concept, I love the box, and most importantly, I love the structured quality time that it gives me with all four of my little monkeys.

Feliz Dia de Las Madres!

We had a crazy busy weekend!  Matthew had his bowling birthday party on Friday night, followed by a sleepover with his cousin.  Saturday was filled with odds and ends, getting things done that needed to be done, and then there was Mother’s Day!  I love Mother’s Day.  I’d like to say I spent it doing absolutely nothing, but that would be a lie.  There’s always something that needs to be done, and Mama can’t rest until it’s done.  Correctly.  I’m OCD like that.

But one awesomely fun thing that I did, that I love to do, is work in my garden.  And now I have these gorgeous new tools to garden with:

Those beautiful tools were a Mother’s Day gift from my cousin.  They are almost too pretty to use!  Almost.  I love them.  I was not expecting a gift from her at all, but along with these awesome tools and super awesome seeds that I can not wait to plant, she gave me the sweetest, nicest card that literally made me cry.  It made me feel very loved, very appreciated, and very, very special.  I love her to pieces.

This Mother’s Day was also the day I got two, count them, two Keurig Coffee Makers.

Allow me to explain.  I have wanted a Keuring for quite awhile now.  They are nice, but they are definitely a luxury, not a necessity.  I would never buy one for myself, and I would certainly not ask or expect to get one as a gift.  Especially right now, when we are pinching pennies to buy our dream house next year!  Well, I am spoiled.  I really am.  Abe bought me a Keurig for Mother’s Day this year.  He originally bought me the machine on the right, the Elite model.

Now here’s where I may sound ungrateful, but let me assure you that I am not.  Abe works his butt off providing for this ever growing family of ours, and I try to always get the very best deals for our money to make it go that much further.  As it turns out, the machine on the left, the Signature model was only $10 more at Sam’s, and not only was it the deluxe, upgraded model, but being from a club store, it also came with a lot of extras that the original did not.  It came with the water filter, the My K cup for using your own coffee, and 36 K cups, compared to the 12 that the original came with.  It was just a much better value for the money, sooooo…… We went out and grabbed the Signature and ended up returning the Elite.

It was just too good of a deal to pass up, and I love my Keurig!  It is spiffy!  And having every single cup fresh brewed, mmmm, I definitely can appreciate the difference!

I told you I was spoiled!

We dropped by my Mom’s for a short visit yesterday.  We usually spend several hours together on Mother’s Day, but she is still recovering from surgery, so I didn’t want to stay too long.

I had this idea for a craft a few weeks ago when my lemonade pitcher broke.  It was plastic, and full of candy when it broke, thank goodness.  But the handle fell right off.  I have since decided to replace it with a glass pitcher, but not wanting to throw away the old one….

I decided to paint it, epoxy the handle back on, and use it as a vase for a Mother’s Day bouquet for my mom.  I don’t have the inbetween steps or even a good after picture, but I do have a picture of my mom with the kiddos and the vase.

You get the general idea.  Isn’t it pretty?  I liked how it turned out so much, I wanted to keep it for myself.  I figure that’s a pretty good gauge on if the gift you are giving is awesome.  If it’s so cool you want to keep it for yourself, good gift.  The flowers are silk.  My mama does not have the greenest of thumbs, and it’s kind of depressing when a pretty bouquet of flowers dies, don’t you think?

Anyway, that’s my Mom and her nasty surgery scar.  She is doing better every day, but is still feeling kind of worn out from the whole stress and ordeal of it all.

And here she is with the whole crew, Sara, Noah, Matt and Bella.  The kids are all looking at me, but Mom is looking at my Dad who is also taking a picture at the same time.  It’s still a good picture though.

So my Mother’s Day was awesome.  I was spoiled, I felt loved and appreciated, I spent the weekend with extended family and just having fun.  Yes, it was busy, but that is the life of a crazy person with four kids.  The craziness continues this week with dance class, dress rehearsals, recital, a sleepover, a birthday party, last full week of school, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, etc.  May is such an insane month for our family.  I will be welcoming June with open arms!

Teacher Appreciation Day!

Teachers are awesome.  They are underpaid, under appreciated, and they spend their days molding the minds of the precious little germ muffins that they call their students.  I always like to send the kids teachers little gifts throughout the year, and as the end of the school year approaches, so does another Teacher Appreciation Day.

This year I scored some cute little things on clearance after Valentine’s Day to use as gifts for the teachers.

The clear apple shaped candy dishes had candy in them for Valentine’s day, and the two little flower boxes are Forget Me Nots.  Adorable and appropriate, don’t you think?  The tea I actually got for free with coupons, and the filler and bags are things I already had on hand.

I filled the bags with the tea and the apple caramel taffy, and decorated them with free printouts found on line.  The candy dishes were filled with the shredded paper and the Forget Me Nots and then tied closed with the original ribbon.  The kids both also made a card for their teacher which will be given along with the gifts.

Simple, inexpensive, and cute.  Yes, I shall deem this idea awesome.

DIY Hair Bow Holder

Having little girls means lots of excuses to make adorable girly things.  I have been making Isabella hair bows and flower clips for years, and now I have a new baby girl to craft for.  Yay!

All the cuteness needs a place for storage though, and I never could make myself throw all the bows and clips I spent so much time on in a drawer or box to get squished.  That’s when I decided to make my own bow holder.  Sure, you could buy one, but where’s the fun in that?

I started with two frames I had laying around without a purpose.

The large one there is an old art print I had hanging on my wall at one point.  Don’t judge, I was young and didn’t know any better.  Anyway, it had an interesting frame that wasn’t being used so I decided it was perfect for this project.  The print and glass are pretty easily popped out.  Keep that in mind next time you are shopping at thrift shops or garage sales.  Try to look past the ugly and imagine what you can do with the frame.

I took the frames outside and gave them a few coats of spray paint on my fancy Potty Dance Mats.  Don’t be jealous, its hard work being this awesome.  I didn’t sand the frames, just cleaned them really well so the paint would adhere without a problem.  Then I waited for these puppies to dry.  That was the hardest part for me.  I am not a patient person.

Here I have my supplies for the next step.  The painted frame, a piece of foam core cut to fit the frame, and pretty fabric.  I chose Fancy Nancy because, well, we’re fancy people here in this casa.  Cover the foam core with your fabric and hot glue it in place.  Do you have to use hot glue?  No.  You could use any heavy glue you have, it would just take longer to dry.  Heck, you could use duct tape.  You won’t see it and it gets the job done!  I used hot glue because, as I have readily admitted, I don’t have a shred of patience in my body.  Be sure and pull the fabric tight so its nice and flat.

Next comes ribbon.  Now, you could get fancy and do the diamond pattern like you see on the store bought message boards.  I didn’t do that here because I felt like this way would hold more clips and bows.  Also, this was easier.  Just measure the ribbon so that you have enough excess on the back to glue it down securely.  I think using several different types and colors of ribbons would be cute too.

The last step is just to plop it back into the frame.  Pretty easy, right?  And I think it is super cute.  Fancy Bella agrees with me.

Here it is on the wall with just a tiny fraction of the bows, to give you an idea of how it works.  Easy peasy.

And of course, here it Little Bit’s bow holder.  Hers is smaller, but its all the same steps.  Do you recognize that fabric from the DIY Earring Holder?  I told you I loved this fabric.  So cute!

DIY Earring Holder

Isabella loves going into Claire’s stores and drooling over all the pretty earrings and girly stuff they stock.  I have to admit, I love going in there too.  The cuteness factor is over the top.  The price tags?  Well they are over the top too.  Especially the tiny, albeit crazy adorable, earring holders.  I could not justify spending $20 on the tiny holders, so I decided to make one myself.  For free.

Did you hear that Abe?  Free!  Well, because I already had the materials on hand.  But still.  Free!  Its simple, but functional, and I love it.

I think the photo explains it all, but I’ll still tell you what I did.

Basically its just a pretty fabric that I loved, stretched in an embroidery hoop.  I used a large one, because we have lots of earrings and also because I love the pretty little bird pattern on the fabric.  I cut the excess fabric and then hot glued the edges on the reverse side to keep everything in place.  I tied a ribbon to the top for hanging, and as for the earrings, well they just stick right through the fabric!  Easy as that!

I am gentle when I put the earrings in, so as not to over stretch the fabric and make it look loose.  I have seen variations with lace and screen, and all kinds of other complicated tricks, but this works just fine.  I’m sure you could make it fancy, paint the hoop, add some ruffles or other embellishments, but I kind of like the simplicity of it how it is.

Even if I had to buy the materials, the hoop would be less than $2, and the fabric about $3, so we’re talking super cheap here.  Cute and cheap and functional.  Yup.  That equals awesome in my book.