Chunky Weaving Class!

Take a walk down memory lane with me. Imagine teenage Hilary, fresh homemade bleached bob, sitting on the floor making hemp necklace after hemp necklace… I since had retired my knotting skills. I figured those days were behind me.

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Minnetonka High School Yearbook 2004?

Not so fast!

After seeing a local Minneapolis radio hosts instagram pic of her weaving I fell in love! I immediately recognized the shop she took the class at. I only drive by it 4 times a day!  How convenient for me?! Bring back the 70’s, baby. Or the early 2000’s… Side note- my grandfather had/has some mad macrame skills. I wonder if he has a spare loom collecting dust?

I invited my 2 sisters to join me. (I’m hoping this may turn into a tradition of sorts) Not only did I love everything about the class, it was special time spent with my family.

Ok here are the deets!

Where: Gathered Goods Company    Located in beautiful (I’m probably super biased) Excelsior, Minnesota.

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The class was set for 3 hours. It’s designed to teach you the basics of making a woven wall hanging. At the end you’ll leave with a 6″ wall hanging and a loom and supplies if you choose.

100% authentic chunky wool roving to pick from. The instructor orders most of hers from Etsy. The looms are handmade in St. Paul, MN. The loom maker has continued in the family tradition where they originally sold them out of a van in the 70’s. Groovy.

The instructor, Katie, was super friendly, approachable and helpful. She’s basically a triple threat too. Artist, Social Worker and Mother! I’m not sure she ever sleeps. Check out some of her amazing work on her Etsy page.

There are a variety of tools, knots and materials you can use. Once you learn the basics the sky’s the limit!

Not only does Gathered Goods Company host a variety of classes, they are a shop that offers products from over 40 different Minnesota based artisans. If you’re not interested in a class, PLEASE stop in and see all the amazing goodies they do have. Perfect for gifts and something for everyone. I even left with kitty slippers for my daughter, a T shirt, a pallet sign and a handmade bow. #sendhelp or don’t…

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Here is their calendar of events. Offering weaving, watercolor, succulent bar, macrame and more! I think watercolor is calling my name next time.

I was lucky to meet, Nicole, one of the owners. Her and I both have a daughter and son the same age. We live in the same town also! It was meant to be!

I purchased the loom at the end of class. I have so much inspiration now! I’m not totally sure I needed to add another hobby to my life. I’ll just think of it as returning to my roots.

✌🏼, TBHM Hilary

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Favorite Kid Item of the Week- Reusable Pouches

Pouch addicted toddlers anyone?! I admit, I’m as big of a fan as they are. Convenient snacks that are something other than crackers? Sign me up. Our go-to pouches are greek yogurt and applesauce. Much to my daughters dismay, I limit her to 1 yogurt and 1 applesauce a day. Trust me, I’m all about as easy clean up as possible. Yet, the price of the daily pouch fix plus waste, started to eat at me. So, after some sweet talking to my hubby (aka bickering that I’d actually clean the pouches) I convinced him to Amazon Prime me an order of Squooshi reusable pouches to try.

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I can prepare 9 pouches for the same price that I was buying 4 greek yogurt pouches for. Just look for the deals. Psst, Target and Costco. Easy to fill. I just spooned it in. Squooshi does make a filling station which I’m thinking about trying.

Pro Tip- don’t over fill. Leave enough room to close the pouch.

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Chief (13 months) and Peach (2) enjoying a post-nap pouch

I’m writing this post to tell you that even me, Hot Mess Hilary, can handle cleaning reusable pouches. It’s not even bad. I brought some on a day trip and managed to bring them home and clean them before they were beyond saving. Can you say “win”?! It’s hard to believe considering how many moldy snacks I find in my bag…

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Hand wash and I recommend a dish drying rack to hook them on. I got mine at Dollar Tree. You can use a bottle brush to get in the curves if you find it necessary. I’ve taken to “pouch prepping” to get set for the week.

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Chief approves.

Squooshi makes a variety of pouch sizes and designs. I have the large size which holds up to 6oz. I’m sold, guys! I’m already scoping out the other sizes to try.

Do you use reusable pouches? What’s your favorite brand? Any tips, tricks or recipes you’d recommend?

👍🏼👩‍👧‍👦- TBHMHilary

Emoji Valentines!

Say hello to arguably the cutest of the easiest valentines to make at home with toddlers. No glitter to clean up (even though I really wanted to bling these out) I had enough Ritz cracker crumbs to clean up already. Which I’ll actually leave for my dogs… Look at these cuties! They’ll have you like 😍. Ya feel me?!

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No, Peachy Popper’s handwriting is not this advanced. We utilize “hand over hand”

Things you’ll need:

Printer- hopefully you aren’t “low on ink” SMH story of my life… I suspect there’s a conspiracy behind my printer always being low on ink but thats a rant for another day.

Paper- cardstock would be best, but you guessed it, no, I didn’t have any. Regular printer paper it is. Do I need to remind you? Not a perfectionist here.

Scissors

Glue or Tape in a pinch

Chocolate Heart Candies- I used Hershey’s Caramel

Just head on over too Google Images for an emoji template. There are tons to choose from. You don’t have to stick to the heart eyes. I particularly like the first 2 options.

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Peach (2) focused on her “work” as she calls it. Can you say “Montessori kid?”

Add a drop of glue to each eye and stick a chocolate on. Use a decent sized drop. Wait for them to dry before signing your name. If you didn’t use cardstock I would recommend cutting some paper bags or doubling up the paper for added strength.

 

Don’t forget to eat a little treat along the way.

Are you making valentines at home this year? Comment and let me know what you do. If you try this valentine project out tell me or tag @totallyblessedhotmess on instagram in your pics so I can see the cuteness.

😍❣️💘-TBHM Hilary

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My Montessori Home-Child Accessibility 

There are many ways to incorporate Montessori principals into your home. Here are some ways that I have worked to make our home accessible for my young children. Keeping a few main Montessori principals in mind as I created these spaces: Respect of the child, free movement and choice, and intrinsic rewards. After all don’t you want your child/children to feel included in your little community? See my post about our Montessori Book Display for a little more background on the Montessori Method.

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Having a Montessori home doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Yes, there are some “Montessori purists” if you will. I personally believe that including any bit of Montessori principals in your life will benefit your children and family. So, don’t be discouraged! Everyone starts somewhere. My list is complete with simple ways to begin.

Peach’s coat hook section of the entry way. Yes, she’s way more fabulous than I am
  1. Coat Hooks: I willing to bet there are more parents sick of hanging their kids coats up than not. Insert- Command Hooks! “Install” these babies in less than a minute. Of course, you can use a more stylish hook if you want. This is just a very simple way to make the entry accessible for your children. Inexpensively! Just find the right height and you’re set. I have stairs where my daughter sits to put her shoes and outer wear on. If you don’t have a place for your child to sit, I would recommend get a small seat for that. I like this one. They use a style like this at her Montessori School.2. Water “Table” Access: Let your children have access to quench their thirst without having to ask you. It’s heartwarming to see their pride (intrinsic rewards) from having complete independence over this task. I put glasses next to the water and have a towel available in case spills happen. (They do!) It’s all part of learning and growing. I have also used a separate table set up which some families may prefer. fullsizeoutput_298d

    Glasses from IKEA. Water Dispenser from HomeGoods. Afraid of having toddlers use open glass cups? Trust me, they learn very quickly how to use proper care. Anyone sick of sippy cups being thrown about? It doesn’t happen with glasses. (not more than once anyway!) Side note- I also despise washing sippy cups. Ugh Bye.fullsizeoutput_2990.jpeg3. Faucet Extender: Life saving when it comes to getting little toddler hands clean! It is NOT easy to hold a toddler whilst attempting to scrub their hands. “Help me to do it myself”. Give access to soap and a towel to dry off with. Faucet Extender by Prince Lionheart at Target.

    My 12 month old son can even have sink access (though he needs a little help washing). Custom puzzle stool from Creative Kid Stufffullsizeoutput_2997

4. Child Level Mirrors: Here is a low hand mirror I have set up for my 2 year old. Again, thank you Command Hooks! She can check her face and use it as she pleases. If I ask her to wipe her face I also tell her she can go look in her mirror. We have a full length mirror in the bathroom she also has full viewing access of. fullsizeoutput_2998

5. Grooming Basket: I set up a basket with my daughters brush, comb and hair accessories so she can have as much independence getting ready as possible. The basket it kept on her dresser. Child sized brush and box from Target. fullsizeoutput_2999

6. Low Furniture: We have a “low boy” style dresser which gives my 2 year old daughter full access to the clothing in her drawers. “Go and get your socks!” Done! She knows where all of her clothing is stored. This again, gives her the independence she wants and needs in her developing life skills. fullsizeoutput_299a

My daughter also has a low level twin bed. She began sleeping in it at 19 months old. When she wakes up from her nap or in the morning she reads books or plays with her stuffed animals. Often times I don’t even know she’s up yet! Some Montessori families use low/floor beds from very young ages. Again, see a theme with independence? 27303bdb77eb8c1afe79474ed4351984

There really is an endless list of how you can make your home more accessible for the littlest ones in the family. What are some ways you have done this? Comment and let me know! Or Tag @Totallyblessedhotmess in your Montessori At Home instagram posts so I can check it out!

-TBHM Hilary

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Not Your Average Breakfast with Santa 

The magic of the morning was overflowing. Santa, breakfast buffet, cookie decorating, ornament making, leather crafts, horses, lake views, nature walks and more was experienced this morning. Where might you wonder? Voyager Environmental Center in Mound, MN. Lodge and cabins, hiking trails, beaver pond, pine forest, archery range and more overlooking Little Long Lake. I might just venture to say this is what dreams are made of. Side note- we arrived only 40minutes later than I told my friends. Smh. #Hotmessforlife

Peach (2.5) telling Santa she’d like cookies for Christmas

Our family of 4 entered for $25.00. The buffet was filled with pancakes, eggs, bacon, apples, coffee, juice, hot cocoa and plenty of toppings. The decorate your own cookie bar was a big hit too! Especially after my daughter told Santa she’d like “cookies” for Christmas. (Lucky us, that’s a pretty inexpensive request 😉) 

BIG PLUS- no line for Santa and I took as many photos as my heart desired. 

Chief (10mo) & Peach (2.5) visiting with Santa


Now let’s get a little creative! Or perhaps messy… Make and decorate your own ornament from buckthorn tree discs. I’m looking forward to my children’s Christmas tree ornament collections. Bring on the traditions!
Peach (2.5) working on her ornament
Next up, customize your own leather bracelets! Hand pound letters and designs! Peach had some assistance from her daddy. 


Outside we go! Perhaps the highlight of the morning.




Carrots or mini candy canes were very popular treats. To complete the outdoor adventure, leaf pile! 

Peach with my friend and fellow Mom bloggers son
Little Long Lake. Mound, MN.

Owned and operated under The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. Open for events like today, summer camps, rental options, etc. View their website here. My local friend had told me about today’s gathering. Facebook had an event page as well. 

There are many Santa breakfasts around. This one takes the cake in my honest opinion. We’re hitting another one in a couple of weeks. Do you have a favorite location or family tradition? Comment and share please!

Me & Chief headed out!

❤️🐴 -TBHM Hilary

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DIY Essential Oil Dry Shampoo

If you don’t have the luxury of washing your hair any time you want (like this Mom right here!), you have probably tested out some dry shampoo. Actually, over washing your hair can lead to dry hair that’s prone to breaking! I don’t have much to lose! Not gonna take that risk! Who would have thought that in a way, Mom life could be saving my hair?! There’s always a positive way to look at things. 🤗 This DIY Dry Shampoo is free from synthetic perfumes, dyes and rough parabens. So many drugstore dry shampoos are full of harmful chemicals and leaving people with bald patches!

Not to mention, the store bought stuff isn’t cheap. Here is a fast and simple recipe for making your own Essential Oil Dry Shampoo. 

What you’ll need:

¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking soda

2 drops Cedarwood essential oil

2 drops Lavender essential oil

1 drop Peppermint essential oil

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (dark hair only)

1 Container of your choice- empty salt shaker, baby powder or empty jars work well.

You can play around with what Essential Oils you want to use. Some other top suggestions are Tea Tree, Rosemary,  Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood. Orange, peppermint and cinnamon for the cocoa powder blend.


Directions

Mix every ingredient in a bowl
Put in your preferred container 

Sprinkle on roots of hair and massage into scalp

Let sit for 2–3 minutes to absorb hair’s natural oils before combing 


I love how this project repurposes a container. Perhaps like me, you have a stash of cute jars around. Here’s the perfect use! 

*if you find the dry shampoo to be a bit clumpy, apply with a makeup brush.*

Repurposed spice jar and salt shaker containers for the dry shampoo

I use Young Living Essential Oils. Peppermint and Lavender are in the Premium Starter Kit. If you have that set at home, those oils would be a great option for this project. Interested in a kit? Sign up here


I dyed my hair today! Looks like I’m going to need some cocoa powder added to mine now! 

Any questions? HMU! Do you use dry shampoo? Have a favorite essential oil blend to add? Let me know!

Happy DIY-ing! 

💁🏻‍♀️💜- TBHM Hilary 

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2 Ingredient DIY Play Dough 

I had 1K things to do but I said “screw it”. Today I’m gonna be a cool mom. Let’s make the house even messier, ignore the endless chore list but make some memories. DIY Play Dough it is! Don’t worry, there’s no way I had special glue and glitter on hand. I’m not “that cool”. Shave cream and cornstarch it is! 


It’s beyond simple to make. Even a 2 year old can do it 😉 Which by now I could bet you know my daughter was in heaven. Grab a bowl and mix equal parts corn starch and shave cream. I eyeballed it. Which is a rule of thumb for my life. Included but not limited to my- cooking, driving and parenting. 

Peach 2.5 adding cornstarch to the bowl

I recommend just mixing it up with your hands. We added a few optional drops of food coloring for funsies. 


I gave her a plate, bowl and some utensils. She was set! The little chef in her began making pizza. 



Baby safe play too! Just put the dough in a baggie! 

Chief (9 Months Old) with baggie of Play Dough

Perfect for a weekend Crafternoon ☺️

Let me know if you give it a try with your babes!

💚🥣  TBHM Hilary

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