Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pinned It, Made it! No Sew Tree Skirt

Now that Thanksgiving it over, it's time to move on to Christmas decorating! Willow asked to put the tree up the other night and that's when I realized that we don't own a tree skirt! I've had this no sew tree skirt pinned for awhile and decided it was time to make it! You can follow my Pinterest boards here.

Original Pin:

I chose to go with a bright white and red to go with our "Dr. Seuss" tree. Our theme is red, lime green, silver and white. Nothing fancy, just fun, funky and unbreakable!

Our Version:

What you Need
  • 4-1/2' x 4-1/2' piece of canvas (a painter's canvas works great)
  • 4 yards of material - If you're alternating colors you may need slightly more of the one color then the other.
  • sharp scissors
  • hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
Optional Materials:
  • Fray  Block Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Old Tree Skirt
How to Make it:
Fold the square into quarters, then over itself to form a triangle with the folded center at point. Cut base in a quarter circle .Cut a small quarter circle out of the point  Open the skirt until it's folded in half and cut along the radius on one side of the center hole only. This will provide a hole for the tree trunk and a slit in the fabric so the skirt can be placed under the tree.

Cut your material into 2 inch stripes.

Preheat hot glue gun. Apply a line of hot glue approximately 1 1/2 inches from outside edge of skirt. Create ruffles by pinching linen with fingers and pushing gathers down onto hot glue .Work in small sections, no more than about 12 inches at a time. Continue this process around the entire skirt edge. Start the next row approximately 1 1/2 inches above the previous row. Continue adding rows until entire canvas base is covered. Add ribbon ties if you want them them, I left them off!

Our finished product:
Ignore the fact that I only have 1 ribbon, the others are being "recurled" because my kids like to pull them straight. Plus a bonus picture of our tree decor!

Melissa and Doug- Win Your Wishlist Event Cyber Monday 11/26

The Win Your Wishlist Event is happening Cyber Monday 11/26 on Melissa and Doug's Facebook Page! It's super easy to enter, just fill out the Wish List  that will be available on their Facebook page Monday morning. Throughout the day they'll select 3 winners who will each receive $100 towards their wishlist!

Make sure to check out their Cyber Deals too which include FREE personalization and up to 40% off select items!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Melissa and Doug Rattle Rumble Toddler Push Toy Giveaway ends 11/19

Christmas is right around the corner! To help you get a head start on your holiday shopping, Melissa and Doug has put together their Terrific Twenty Holiday Gift Guide for 2012. For the next 20 days they'll be giving away hosting a giveaway a day, where one lucky Facebook fan will win one of the toys on the gift guide list. To celebrate they're also giving one lucky Life Unexpected reader a Rattle Rumble Toddler Push Toy!
"This sturdy push toy rattles and rumbles along with a toddler's early steps! Colorful toys tumble around in three clear canisters as this wooden toy moves forward or backward. It's a toddler classic that will have beginning walkers on a roll!"

Dimensions: 24.75" x 15.5" x 7.5" Assembled

Recommended Ages: 1+ year(s)
Adult assembly required. Adult supervision required.

The Rattle Rumble has a retail value of $69.99 and would be a great gift for any new walker! You can win a Rattle Rumble of your own by entering using the Rafflecopter Below! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner?! Struggling with ideas on what to get your little ones? Melissa & Doug has you covered with their Terrific Twenty Holiday Gifts List. They've put together a list of 20 great toys that your children are sure to love. From the littlest ones on your list to the big kids at heart there's something for everyone! To make things even easier starting November 6th (that's today!) they'll be giving away one of each toy on the list for the next 20 days! Check out Melissa and Doug's Facebook page for your chance to win!

We'll be giving away one of the Terrific Twenty on Life Unexpected as well, stop by tomorrow for your chance to win!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Willow, Ella, and Madeline Fall Pictures

We recently had a friend do a photoshoot with the girls and I thought it was time to share some updated pictures of all of the kids. We took them to the local courthouse and railroad tracks to play and Elizabeth chased them around snapping pictures. They really reflect our girls' personality much more than a a traditional studio shoot. I can't believe how big my "little" girls are! If you're in the Central Florida Area, you can visit Elizabeth's website to set up your own photoshoot!

Ella Elizabeth

Madeline Quinn

 Willow Genevieve

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Make Bathtime Fun with Boon - Whale Pod Review and Giveaway

Hi, I'm Jessica I'm a sucker for cute bath products. Body washes that come in cute packages, patterned rubber duckies, thinks that float. things that sink, things with nets... if it goes in the bathtub I probably have it (or really want it). Okay, now that we have that out in the open I have to share my new favorite kids' bath product, The Boon Whale Pod, with you guys.
The Whale Pod collects all of that cutesy stuff that we love to buy for our kids and keeps it in one convenient location. It provides a shelf for shampoos and body washes, a scoop for collecting the toys and the tale & fins are great for holding on to loofahs, scrubbies, and wash cloths! 

What Boon Says about the Whale Pod
  • Removable scoop makes bath time clean-up fun and easy
  • Stores and organizes bath accessories
  • Wall-mounted base with built-in shelf
  • Reduces mold and mildew
  • Mounting options included: adhesive strips and hardware
  • BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free
  • Recommended age: All ages
  • Dimensions: 16.5" x 9.5" x 6.5"
First of all let me say that Boon has done an excellent job of making the Whale Pod easy to put together! Lately we've been getting baby products that take 15 minutes just to get out of the box. Boon has created an easy to open box where you just open the sides, pull the tabs on the back and your pod is ready to be attached to the wall. 

 There are two options to use to attach you Whale Pod to your shower. The first option is screwing the base directly into the tile (Boon supplies all the necessary screws), or you can use the adhesive strips provided to attach it to the wall. We chose the less perminate option and went with the adhesive strips. After following the directions our pod came with and cleaning our shower our whale was up and ready to go about 15 minutes after he arrived! 
My absolute favorite part of the whale pod is the toy scoop. Before we received our pod I was storing all of our bath toys in a plastic storage container. The problem was if the toys weren't fully dried before going in they would start to get slimey, which meant they were growing mold. Of course I didn't want our babies bathing in mold so we were replacing toys all the time. The whale pod solves this problem by having drainage holes right in the pod. You put all the toys into the scoop, hang it up, and it drains everything for you!

We've had the Whale Pod for a few weeks now and it's still firmly attached to the wall, even with our kids tugging on it and trying to scoop up everything themselves. They're always really excited to clean up their toys now because they get to scoop them up! 

The Boon Whale Pod has an MSRP of $34.99 and comes in three colors - blue, grey, and white.

How to Win
Boon has generously offered to give one Life Unexpected reader a Whale Pod of their own. Just use the easy to enter Rafflecopter below!

I received one or more of the above mentioned products in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation and my opinion was not influenced in any way. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nuby Mommy Blogger - Bedlite Buddies Review

Getting your kids to go to bed can be a huge fiasco. If your kids are anything like mine, you probably hear a million excuses as to why they can't go to bed.
"I need a drink"
" I need my blanky"
" I need music, it's too quiet"
"I need a stuffed animal"
" I need a night light"
Nuby has you covered on the last three demands requests. Bedlite Buddies are super cute stuffed animals with a built in night light and it plays music!
 What Nuby says about Bedlite Buddies

The Bedlite Buddies™ are GREAT cuddle buddies. Their faces light up and sing when you hug them! They like to go to bed on time and get tucked-in. Bedlite Buddies™ are made of soft and colourful materials that stimulate your child's senses. The built in night light brightens up the face, bringing a smile to your child.
Ella napping with our Frog Bedlite Buddy
 Our Thoughts  
 The Bedlite Buddies have two main settings - "Light" and "Play". In light mode the Bedlite Buddies face glows when it's belly is squeezed. When you switch to "play" your buddy will play music in addition to the glow. I love that there are two different modes so I don't have to listen to the music in the car when the girls squeeze his belly for the 500th time in a row.

I really like that the sound/light pack for the buddy is removable so I can pop it out and toss the animal in the washer. Our kids like to take their favorite friends everywhere, and occasionally share a snack with them. Spot cleaning is never really enough, but you don't have to worry about it with a removable pack.

There's just enough glow to provide comfort, but not enough the light up the whole room and create a "party time" atmosphere like some of the other glow light options on the market. 

The only thing I was slightly unsure of is the plastic used for the Buddies' faces. It's a bit harder then I would have liked for an object that is most likely going to have a lot of cuddle time, however it hasn't seemed to bother our girls at all! Overall, we love the Bedlite Buddies and I think they'd make a great gift for any young child!

You can find Bedlite Buddies at Kmart and hopefully other retailers will have them in the near future! 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, although as part of the Nuby Mommy Blogger program I may receive items to sample & review. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Join the Mt. Dew Dew Crew!

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My Brother is a HUGE Mt. Dew Fan, It's pretty much the only soda that he'll drink so I knew I had to join the Dew Crew for him! What's the Dew Crew? The Dew Crew is a group of #88 Diet Dew Chevy driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans on Facebook who help call the shots for the #88 racing team! You can become a member HERE by joining the app on Facebook. When you are there you can earn points for taking quizes, sharing posts and much more!

I can't wait to see you on the Crew!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Mountain Dew.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nuby Mommy Blogger - Win $50 in nuby Bath Toys!

Are you ready for what could be the easiest contest ever? Nuby has a Pinterest and Twitter scavenger Hunt going on right now. All you have to do is Follow Nuby on Pinterest and Twitter, then search for "Nuby Bath Toy" on Tweet your answer and direct link to the product and you're entered to win!

Nuby Mommy Blogger- Nuby Twitter Party Thursday 8/30

Let's talk Sippy Cups! Join us on Thursday to discuss all things sippy cup cup related. It's sure to be a good time. RSVP for your chance to win some great prizes. We'll be joining in on the fun. Follow me on Twitter @twinsmommyplus1 I can't wait to chat with you! 

Thursday August 30th, @6pm CST
Topic : Sippy Cups
Prizes: Walmart Gift Cards, Nuby Sippy Cups & Nuby Gift Bundle
Hosted by: @NubyUSA, @GenofSavings and @AshleyThinks2

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cruising for Giveaways 8/26

If you're in the Orlando Area, enter to win a Family 4 pack of tickets to see Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music" at the Bob Carr October 9th and 10th. Then hop along and see what other great giveaways you can enter!

Welcome to Cruising for Giveaways Hop! This hop is brought to you by Charisma Media!
Cruising for Giveaways

DIY Ikea Latt Table Makeover

Ella and Madeline have reached the ever so fun "I want to be independent but I'm too tiny" phase that starts shortly after the first birthday. Their newest obsession is climbing the kitchen table, but of course they're too tiny to sit properly in an adult chair. After a few tumbles and way to many spilled plates to count, we knew that we were going to have to cross over to a "kiddie table".  We came across the Latt table and chair set from Ikea, and decided that we couldn't pass it up for $19.99.
It's sturdy, easy to put together and wood so it's really durable, but it's defiantly lacking in the cute department.We had it together for about a week before I decided that it needed a bit of a makeover. I grabbed some patterned contact paper and spray paint and set out to make the most girly table possible.

First I disassembled the table and laid out all of the visible wood pieces (table legs, top base, chair legs, seat base, and seat back) on trash bags outside. 

Next, I applied two coats of spray paint to wood, allowing time to dry between each coat.

While the spray paint was drying I cut the patterned contact paper to fit the table top and chair tops, allowing about a half inch to fold over the sides to avoid peeling. If you are unable to find a contact paper that you like you can wrap your table tops with gift wrapping paper and then cover with clear contact paper

When your paint is dry reassemble your table.The results? A hot pink and damask table with a completely washable surface!
Of course the table matches nothing in our house, but how could I resist? We've moved it upstairs to the playroom where we spend more of our day. The girls now use it for lunch and snack time and it doubles as a play table.They've been having a great time coloring and using Moon Dough and I love that everything just wipes right off thanks to the contact paper! Extra bonus: total project cost was under $30!

Ella and Madeline "coloring" at their new table

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music" in Orlando - Family 4 pack Giveaway

Our girls are HUGE Elmo fans, so we're really excited that "Elmo Makes Music" is coming to the Bob Carr here in Orlando! We can't wait to see Elmo, and all our favorite friends move it, shake it and make some music. 

In " Elmo Makes Music" the monsters become musicians! Elmo, The Count, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Burt & Ernie and all their furry friends are taking the stage to show kids just how much fun music can be. When a new music teacher named Jenny arrives on Sesame Street all of her musical instruments get lost. Her new pals come to the rescue and  show her that you can make music with everything from trash can lids, to rubber duckies and even your own laps. Your favorite Sesame Street friends discover that everyone has the ability to make beautiful music if they just use their imagination! Don't miss the opportunity to count along with The Count, visit Elmo's World, and do the Crumb-A-Rumba with Rosita and Cookie Monster at Sesame Street Live! 

This touring stage musical features Big Bird, Elmo's, Cookie Monster and all the of your children's favorite Sesame Street pals. Each 90 minutes performance is packed full of singing, dancing and of course audience participation! A 15 minute intermission is included making it the perfect event for little ones. 

There are three performances : Tuesday October 9th at 7pm and Wednesday October 10th at 10:30am and 7pm. Tickets prices are $15, $25 $30 (Gold Circle) and $65 for Sunny Seats. Sunny Seats include VIP seats and a pre-show meet and great photo opportunity with two Sesame Street pals. You can get your tickets now at the Amway Center box office and all Tickmaster Locations.

Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music” is playing at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre,October 9 & 10! Use the passcode ERNIE at to receive the special offer.  (Offer excludes Gold Circle & Sunny Seats. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. Cannot be combined with any other offer.)

Thanks to the folks at Vee Corporation we have a family 4 pack of tickets to give to one lucky Orlando family! Just enter in the Rafflecopter below. This contest is open only to entrants in the Orlando area, no transportation is provided. 

I received  complimentary tickets to Sesame Street Live "Big Elmo Fun" in exchange for this post.  All reviews and opinions are my own, please see our disclosure policy for more information. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nuby Mommy Blogger - Nuby iMonster Snack Keeper Review

Being a Nuby Mommy Blogger has some pretty awesome perks, including getting the chance to try out some really fun products. A few weeks ago we received our first box full of Nuby goodies, and in it we found the iMonster Snack Keeper!

We've tried other snack cups in the past and we haven't had much luck. We'd give the supposedly "spill proof" snack keeper to our girls only to find cheerios scattered all over the back seat of the car. The girls were either able to shake the snacks out of the cup or pop the top off and pour them out. I was pretty skeptical when our little monster friend showed up at our house, but he was too cute not to try.

We've been using the iMonster for the past week with no spills! His teeth really hold the snack in, and the girls love putting their hands in his mouth to get their snack out. We've even put the monster right into the diaper bag and I haven't found a single piece of cereal or fruit snack floating around. All three of the girls love him, and I think that we'll be buying another one very soon to avoid baby fights!

Where to Buy
You can find the iMonster Snack Keeper at Buy Buy Baby, Burlington Baby Depot, and  .

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, although as part of the Nuby Mommy Blogger program I may receive items to sample & review.

Dealing with Autism - EEG Adventures

I've shared here before that Willow's pediatrician and neurologist believe that she may have PDD-NOS, which is a high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. She often zones out and it will take calling her name upwards of 10 times to get any sort of reaction out of her. The neurologist wanted to be sure that her lack of response wasn't miniature seizures so 2 weeks ago we went in for a 24 hour EEG to monitor her brain.

We got there at 8 am and the nurse got her set up with her monitors. They put little chunks of a conducting gel all over her head, attached a wire, and then placed medical tape over it to hold it in place. She was such a little trooper, she was so excited that the wires gave her "Rapunzel hair".

Then they wrapped her entire head in gauze, and put her wire pack into a little back pack for her. Then we spent the rest of the day in a room the size of a doctors office with only a bed, fold out futon, TV and the monitors. The poor kid spent most of her day being told to stay still, and taking naps because she was bored. 6:30 am could not come fast enough for her, she was so excited to go home to see her Daddy and sisters!

We got the results from the EEG back at the end of last week and everything came back normal. We're so happy it isn't seizures! We'll be doing a follow up next month to discuss other possibilities but at least we have something that we can rule out!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fun and Trendy Custom Clothing from Alex and Ria Baby

I'm pretty sure that I've shared my love of children's clothing with you guys before. I'll admit that the "love" has slipped from normal territory to "maybe needs an intervention", but who can resist seeing their babies looking super cute?! Right now I'm really into cute matching and coordinating custom sets for all three girls. I recently came across Alex and Ria Baby on Etsy and was so excited to receive our custom ruffle bloomers for the twins and coordinating skirt for Willow!

The very first thing I noticed was the love and care put into our package. Who doesn't love getting their items wrapped? It's like getting a present in the mail and it's not even your birthdays! For those of you who are looking for gifts, you could pop your items straight into a gift box and they're ready to go. 
Front of the skirt and back of bloomers
We received these adorable ruffle bloomers in yellow, blue and white. They're so full and fluffy, they have some real sweet feminine touches like the white eyelet  lace mixed with the sassy yellow and blue prints. These would be great with a fun graphic tee or to add a funky touch under a dress. 
Back of the skirt and front of the bloomers
The big sister skirt is just too fun! Kat defiantly has been paying attention to the current fashion trends, because that yellow chevron print is so popular right now!  It's a great way for Willow to coordinate with the twins without being too "babyish" for an almost 4 year old. It'll be great paired with a cute top (there are actually matching tops on the Etsy shop) or layered over a pair of leggings.

I love Alex and Ria Baby's fun and funky clothing, and I know you will too! If you're looking for unique, high quality children's clothing this is the shop for you! Kat is amazing to work with and I know she'd be happy to help you in creating the perfect piece for your little one if you can't find something in her ready to ship items. 

You can find Alex and Ria online at

I received one or more of the above mentioned products in exchange for an honest review. My opinion was not influenced in any way, please see our disclosure policy for more information.