It is impossible not to have a doll when you are a girl. I tried to delay it as much as I could, but when Pepa visited her BFF Atlas, she cried of happiness when she saw a doll for the first time. I had to buy one for her asap. Though I got her the little brother of the Annabell series, instead of baby Annabell herself.
After a couple of days laying around my flat, it started to bother me. I know it is terrible to get annoyed by a doll just because of its clothing, but I couldn't see that terrible light blue/pink outfit anymore. I mean, it took me a long time to get my living room looking nice for me and Pepa... And this wasn't fitting at all. I looked online to buy some nicer clothes, but it was a total fail. So I started planning the little "Pelle" new outfit.
Dont be scared of knitting. I was the worst knitter at school, and one day I bought yarn, a pattern and needles. And now I have knitted several sweaters and dresses. And you can do it too! I cant move 2 fingers of each hand :) So I am sure you will make it!
First choose your colors. I went for 50 gr of grey for the pants, 50 grams of mustard yellow for the sweater, 25 grs of navy and 25 grams for the grey on the sweater. The hat was a present, but you can look for a baby born hat pattern or write to me to send you one.
I am adding the pattern of the sweater, but if you don't feel comfortable, just make it plain, just don't switch colors and continue with one color.
First the Pants. I HATE using sock needles, so I just use a circular needle and bend it into two (tutorial here), but you can use sock needles (tutorial here)
Start casting 32 stitches in a needle size 3 (tutorial here) now knit 6 rows with the "purl knit stitch". (tutorial here) Change to needle size 3.5 and knit using the "knit stitch" (tutorial here) and increase 2 stitches at the end of each 6th row (tutorial here) and knit as long as it covers the whole leg. Then bind off 8 stitches (tutorial here) and set aside. Repeat all the steps for the other leg.
Once both legs are done, put them together in the circular needle, be sure that the binded 8 stitches are together, this will be the crotch. Knit 6 rows with the "knit stitch", then knit 6 and decrease 1 stitch (tutorial here) on each side of the 6th row and repeat until the work is 72 stitches.
Change to needle 3 and knit in "purl knit stitch" 12 rows. Add an elastic band, fold it and sew it. (tutorial here) Be sure to sew the crotch, just regular sewing to sew the 8 stitches of one leg with the other binded off stitches of the second leg.
Now The Sweater. I decided to go scandinavian style. This is my version of a Marius Sweater. It has 3 colors and you will start at the bottom of the sweater with a circular needle and work your way up until the armpits. Then knit each arm and join them all in a needle, knitting your way up towards the neck. It sounds difficult, but it is actually not so hard.
Start casting 72 stitches in a needle size 3 in yellow. Knit with a "purl knit stitch" 6 rows. Change to needle size 3.5 and knit with "knit stitch" 16 rows. Knit Pattern A (start on the lower row to read a pattern). You can add a marker on the sides of the work (tutorial here) if you don't have any, use security pins :) In the last row of Pattern A, bind off 4 stitches next to each side of the marker. that will leave you a space of 8 stitches that will be the armpits.
Arms: Start in sock needles or circular needle size 3. Cast 24 stitches and knit 6 rows with "purl knit stitch" then increase 8 stitches and change to needle 3.5.
Knit with "knit stitch" 6 rows and increase 2 stitches. Then knit 6 rows more and increase 2 more stitches. Start Pattern A and bind off 8 stitches. Set aside. Repeat for the second arm.
Now that both arms are ready and the body as well, Put the body and arms in one needle and knit 2 rows in blue. And start Pattern B (remember from the lower row upwards) Please notice that the 8 stitches from each arm should match the 8 stitches from each side of the body.
Once you finish Pattern B, change to needle size 3 and knit with a "purl knit stitch" 6 rows and cast off. Remember when casting off (tutorial here) not to make it too tight. If not, it will be a bit hard to dress the doll. I had to struggle a little to fit the head in, but it worked wonderful. Remember wool stretches a bit :) Now you just need to weave the loose ends (tutorial here)
I added a little wooden button as decoration, and made a pacifier chain with wooden balls covered in crochet. You can buy them already done in daWanda or Etsy. It just adds a bit of flair and you wont be losing the pacifier everywhere in the house.
I hope you liked this tutorial! Don´t be afraid of trying this at home. I am pretty sure you will make it! If you have any questions, write a comment below and I will help you. I love how this adorable doll looks in my living room and Pepa loves to play with her doll in soft cashmere and alpaca wool.
I always get asked how I manage to have my and Pepa's sneakers super white. Or if my kicks are brand new. I used to wash white sneakers every time I got home. What a tool, right? but once Pepa started to crawl and walk it got difficult.
Washing white leather over and over ruins it. And, believe me, sometimes you can wash toddlers shoes a million times and they will still look dirty. I tried it all. But I have a new secret tool to finally have spotless shoes.
This is how Pepa's shoes looked like after washing them. Used toothpaste, a toothbrush, detergent, hardcore kitchen cleaners, but still DIRRRRTY! That leather was impossible to clean and I was about to give them to charity, or toss them to the trash.
Not to mention how my new Y-3 Stan Smiths look after walking around with a toddler. Somehow she manages to step on me E-V-E-R-Y time! Washing that rubber does not work and dirty sneakers make me crazy. Besides that, sometimes I need to get my cheap stroller instead of our beloved bugaboo and using the footbreak takes a toll on my sneakers...dirt, dirt dirt.
But then I found in an internet sneaker forum "Mister Proper Magic Eraser" and decided to try it. I bought it on Amazon Prime Now and to be honest, I was very sceptic about it.
You will need:
- Meister Proper Schmutzradierer (Mister Proper Magic Eraser in english)
- Kitchen Paper Towel
- Old toothbrush
- Washing detergent
- A needle
I should write in BIG BOLD LETTERS: THIS IS NOT AN AD! I took the sponge and wet it. And I didn't even need to use force or pressure: BAAAM! the dirt was gone instantly. On both, the leather and rubber. I used a pretty small part of it. Dry them with paper towel and repeat if needed.
Using the toothbrush and detergent wash carefully any textile on your shoes. Rinse and repeat. Textile should be easy to wash, and if it is too dirty, add some chlorine to the mix but not much because it can make it yellow-y.
If you have velcro, Use a needle to remove hairs, fuzzles and whatever it is there. You will need an extra portion of patience.
And this is how you keep your sneakers white, whitest. It takes about 10 seconds for the leather and rubber to look like you just got the sneakers from the box. This eraser work perfectly on any color of leather, rubber or hard spong-y surface.
Small Extra Trick: Spray your new leather shoes with waterproof protection. Do it after cleaning them as well. This will help extend the life of your kicks and get them less dirty during the day. After all, they are made out of leather, like your favorite leather boots :)
Do you battle as well with sneakers and shoes? or do you prefer the "used look"?
I have never had green fingers. My dad once told me: "First have a plant, if it survives, have a pet, if it survives, have a kid"... No plant survived, but my kid seems to be happy and ok. So I decide to work on my plant skills.
I used to over-water or not water plants enough. Or have no idea what to do with them. I went crazy and got myself 4 plants:
White Birds of Paradise I have been in love with this palm tree and as it is kind of expensive so it would make me push myself a bit harder on taking care of it.)
Banana Tree Because I love the leaves and reminds me of my hometown
Monstera Because I killed my last one
Butterfly Palm Because they are pretty and seem to be easy to take care of
I went to an Averna Event at Maison Palme (the most beautiful urban jungle studio in Berlin) And they told me they spray their plants everyday. And it hit me, palm trees come from a very high humidity places. For the most part, the water that is applied to the surface of your soil is only helping strengthen the roots and stems. The leaves, however, could really use a spritz or two of water every day or two. I gave it a try with a regular spray bottle and my plants got so much happier. Next step: Buy a real mister.
But the plant misters are mostly made of plastic and not so pretty to have around my flat. As I need to use it everyday and remember to do it, I started looking for a pretty one that I can have laying around and look as pretty as deco.
I found 3 mist sprayers that would fit any interior design lover's home.
1. Haw's Mist Sprayer in Brass. This company makes beautiful gardening items. I would love have a garden just to buy all of them. This is the sprayer I chose. Many details of my living room are made of brass, so It fits perfectly.
2. Urban Outfitters Glass Plant Mister. This antique-inspired glass plant mister makes you just fill with water and push down on the pump because it looks as pretty as the old perfume bottles.
3. Magideal Water Spray Bottle. I found this in Amazon, it cost the half of the other 2 and has amore Vintage-y look to it a bit more bohemian.
Now that I got the spray, I need to solve the over-watering or lack of watering. I had no idea how much is much or too less water. After doing some research online I found the Elho Aqua Care Watering Balls.
I couldnt find a smaller version if the watering balls from Elho, but I found smaller glass balls in Amazon: Royal Gardineer Mini Glass Balls in a Set of 4. For now they are ok, but I am not super happy of having glass when having a toddler running around.
It has been a month and my plants are happy. If they survive like this, I will get myself many more plants for home! I would love to have an Urban Jungle.
How do you feed your plants? any tips for me?
Partner Look. Yeah we do it once in a while, mostly "Color Partnering". But there are certain pieces in my closet that are the same as Pepa's. I got myself a pair of boyfriend jeans at Uniqlo and I thought: "Why arent there boyfriend jeans for babies?"
I was a teen in the 90s. And ripped jeans were soooooo IN! (Thanks Kurt Cobain!) But the only way to get those jeans back then was using them a lot or making them yourself. No Online shopping. So we used a technique to make them look very used. So why not using that technique on Pepa's jeans?
First things first. Find a pair of baggy jeans for toddlers that are the look the same as my boyfriend jeans. Vertbaudet had a pair very similar as mine and they were even on sale.
What you need:
- Carpet knife or crafts knife
- Sand Paper
- And old magazine
- A washing machine
Start folding or rolling a magazine so it fits inside of the jeans leg. You can mark the place you want the rip to be with a pencil or any washable marker. Make three horizontal cuts: One at the top, bottom and middle of the area you want the jeans to be "used"
Once you cut, take carefully the vertical threads with you fingers/nails. Dont worry! it will look cheap and weird at the beginning and you probably won't get them all off.
The next step can be done before cutting. I do it after because I am so used to do it after cutting jeans (Sorry mom for all the expensive jeans I ruined developing this technique!!)
Use Sand Paper on the upper and lower parts so it doesnt look freshly cut. Use a 60 or 80-grid sand paper. It will still look "handmade". Now throw those jeans with other jeans into the washing machine and voila!!! Distressed Ripped Boyfriend Jeans for your toddler!
We had so much fun wearing these together. I made them exactly as in my jeans. Now these two pairs of jeans are our favorite for going to the playground or even events. They look so good, people keep asking me where did I get them :)
I love cooking! That is no secret. I do own a Food Blog, But cooking for a baby is another thing completely. And let's face it, as a single mom and having to cook 2 times, one for me and one for Pepa its quite time consuming. I try to not buy baby food, Cause I want Pepa to get use to the food tastes I like and cook.
So here is one of my tricks: Leftovers Baby Food. Lets start with something I do way too much when I cook: Bolognese Pasta! One of the things you have to think about if you want to do this is: No salt! As the little kidneys of a baby can't take that amount of sodium. Cook your sauce as regular (no pepper either) You will get used to add salt later on.
What you will need is a food processor, a blender and/or mixer, bags, permanent marker and a scale if you are like me :)
First things first, if u had spaghetti leftovers, re-cook the pasta until they are very soft. Or cook a new batch for your baby. Soft, soft, soft! Babies do not appreciate "al dente". Now, If your kid has no teeth like mine, separate the batch in 2. Use a food processor to cut in small pieces and a mixer or blender to puree the other half.
Why I don't puree the whole batch? If a baby eats only purely pureed food, their stomachs don't get used to process more solid food, and that might bring stomachal problems later on. So lets make that tummy WORK, work, work!
Now that you have all parts done, mix them all together in a bowl. I like to have 2 portions of pasta for each of sauce. But if you prefer to give your baby less sauce, it works as well ;)
Take out your bags and scale!!!! I know by now that Pepa eats about 190 grams of food (equivalent of a baby food jar) So I separate the food in bags with each 190 grams. Fold, label and put them on the freezer.
Do not leave your baby food longer than 3 months in the freezer, and do not forget to label or write with permanent marker which food it is and when did you make it.
To use your portion, take off the freezer and rest on boiling water. Cut a corner of the bag and serve. I am pretty sure that in no time your baby will get used to the things you cook and like so you can later one eat from one pot!
I'm Andrea - a food enthusiast and blogger. Recently I noticed I have been answering a lot of questions about what I buy for my daughter Pepa, or what are my thoughts in certain "mom stuff". This is how I realised I should start a blog about being mom.. Or "Mom" like me! I hope to share my thoughts, amazing, things I buy and amazing recipes with other moms, just like me!