Happy Halloween: Princess Jasmine

Click for Complete Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial - Part 1

Click for Complete Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial - Part 2

Click for Pumpkin Stencil Treat Bag: Princess Jasmine

Fall Weight Loss: Week 8

This week I gained 1 pound for an adjusted loss of  21.2 pounds. I just came back from my trip to Texas so I kind of knew there might be a gain because I was away from my normal routine. It bummed me out because even with all of the temptation of Texas food and barbecue I stayed on plan and was super active. Once I saw that gain I took out my tape measure and measured away. When I calculated my measurements from last month I got a total lost of 14.2 inches! I will take inches over pounds anyway :)

During my trip to Texas I stayed on plan everyday. We were staying with friends so the first thing we did was go to the supermarket to get ingredients to stay on plan. I went to a supermarket called Sprout and it had everything I needed like Kerrygold butter, almond flour, stevia and so much more. We made breakfast at my friend's house and stuck with eggs, cheese and turkey bacon. Our friends grilled us steak and burgers and then I tried brisket and smoked wings at some awesome BBQ Texas restaurants. 

I had planned to exercise at the gym in the community center but with our days packed with activities to do I didn't have time to. I ran around the backyard with my daughter while we chased bubbles. We also walked a ton around the malls, an amazing Dallas Aqarium and the LEGOLAND at Dallas! Unfortuntely my FitBit ran out of battery and I forgot to bring my charger but I know I surpassed my goal of 7500 steps a day by a bunch. 

  • Drink Bullet Proof Coffee for breakfast at least 3 times this week. 
  • Take vitamins and probiotics.
  • Get in 7500 daily steps. 
  • Incorporate a boxing workout and strength training workouts at least 4 times this week. 

Do you stay on plan when on vacation or do you let yourself splurge? 

Lux Essentials Deluxe French Press & Cold Brewed Coffee

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

I was never a coffee drinker until last summer. Last summer I discovered iced coffee and fell in love. I got the ones with the chocolate and caramel syrups chock full of sugar. Then I restarted watching my calories and started getting the sugar-free ones. That can get very expensive so I started making my own at home. Since I didn't want to take a coffee pot out to make just one cup of coffee I would just use the instant kind.

I have heard a lot about French Presses lately and how they make the best tasting coffee. Since it was pretty easy to use I was excited to do away with my instant coffee and start drinking some real coffee. To make coffee with the Lux Essentials Deluxe French Press put about 2 rounded tablespoons of coffee per cup of water into the glass pitcher. Top with boiled water and mix. Wait 3 minutes and then slowly lower the plunger. That's it! You get delicious, real brewed coffee in minutes.

While doing research on how to make my own donut shop iced coffee I found out that cold brewing your coffee will give you the best results. It is so easy to cold brew with a french press. All you have to do is follow the directions above and place in your fridge for 12-24 hours. When the time is up you just slowly lower the plunger and then transfer your cold brewed coffee into another container. Mix it with 1 part water and 1 part milk for the perfect iced coffee. To make it low carb I diluted it with about 1/4 cup of water and added 2 tblsp of heavy cream. Then I added some liquid stevia drops and sugar-free amaretto syrup.

The Lux Essentials French Press is also easy to clean. You can unscrew the filter from the plunger and really clean the coffee granules from the mesh. Let it air dry and you are ready to make another batch of coffee.

Pumpkin Stencil Treat Bag: Princess Jasmine

Did you know that you can take any Pumpkin Stencil and use is as a stencil for fabric paint? I decided to use this technique again to make my daughter a treat bag for Halloween. I used a blank canvas bag, freezer paper and some fabric paints.

  • Blank canvas bag
  • Black Fabric Paint
  • White Fabric Paint
  • Teal Blue Fabric Paint
  • Teal Glitter Puffy Paint
  • Gold Fabric
  • Freezer Paper
  • Stencil Foam Brush
  • Thin paint brush
  • Iron
Step 1: I used this pattern for Jasmine that I found doing a google search for "Jasmine Pumpkin Stencil". You can practically find any popular character by using this method. Print out.

Step 2: Look at the stencil and figure out which pieces have to be black, teal, white and gold. Place a piece of wax paper, paper side up over the stencil and trace only the parts that need to be painted black. You want to connect the lines in a way that you can cut out the black parts in as few separate pieces as possible. Follow the same step for the teal blue pieces.

Step 3: Use a sharp exacto knife and carefully cut out the black page stencil using your lines as a guide. Repeat for the teal blue stencil page and lips stencil page. 

Step 4: Iron on the black color stencil paper side up. Make sure that the edges are ironed on well.

Step 4: Use the foam stencil brush and the paint into the stencil you just ironed. You want to pounce the brush carefully so that the paint doesn't run underneath the stencil. Allow to dry for a couple of hours and then apply a second coat. Look closely and make sure you aren't missing any parts. 
Allow to dry at least 6 hours. Peel off the face stencil.

Step 5: Place the teal blue stencil on top of the bag and make sure to line it up properly with the hair you painted. Carefully iron on making sure the edges are stuck onto the fabric. Use the same technique above to paint in with the teal. Repeat for the lips stencil.

Step 6: Use a small paint brush and some white fabric paint to paint in the white part of the eyes.

Step 7: Trace the earrings, necklace and jewel holder onto the paper part of freezer paper. Cut around and iron onto a piece of gold fabric. Cut out and remove the freezer paper.

Step 8: Apply a thin layer of fabric glue to the back of the jewelry pieces of gold fabric and glue into place.

Step 9: Use the puffy paint to paint in the headband jewel.

Click for Complete Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial - Part 1

Click for Complete Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial - Part 2

Toy Insider HoLiDay of Play Event + Favorite Picks

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the HoliDAY of play event hosted by the Toy Insider and Woman's Day magazine. HoliDAY of play gave us the chance to play with all of the newest toys that are coming out this holiday season.

One my favorite toys of the event was the Sing-A-Long Elsa by Jakks Pacific. My daughter loves singing and knows almost all of the words to the songs of Frozen. I love that this Elsa comes with a microphone and allows the kids to sing-a-long with the doll. A huge plus is that Elsa talks in both English and Spanish.

I was happy to see the LeapFrog brand at the event because my daughter has been playing with their toys since she was a month old. My husband and I have been talking about upgrading my daughter's tablet and the new LeapFrog Epic fits the bill on everything we are looking for. It is an Android based tablet that grows with your child. The extra SD card storage guarantees that you won't run out of space..

Another toy I was excited to see was the Flipsies by VTECH. The Flipsies lets girls know they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. The Flipsies allow pretend play with their playsets and changeable clothes and hair. I saved the Flipsie we got in our giftbag for our flight a few days later and it kept her entertained on our 3 hour plane ride to Texas.

Dash from Wonder Workshop is the cutest little robot I have ever seen! Kids can easily code the movement of the robot by using an app that introduces them to robotics at a young age. Dash can race, sing and even respond to voice!

Inside Out was my daughter's favorite movie this year so I was happy to see the Talking Plush characters from TOMY. Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness and Disgust are there in cute little plush form that range from 5.35" to 10" tall. Also included is the I Cry Candy Bing Bong who talks and cries candy!

SingTrix is an advanced karaoke system that makes you sound like a professional singer. My daughter loves singing so I know having the microphone and hearing herself on the speakers will be lots of fun for her. I love how you can connect it to an iPad or iPhone so you have unlimited song options.

My daughter is a huge fan of My Little Pony and The Littlest Pet Shop so it was nice to see the playsets by Hasbro. The Littlest Pet Shop characters come in a cool jet with an opened and extended play area. I love how the My Little Pony celebration castle has a dance floor and party music!

I will be making movies with my nephew with the StikBot figurines and Studio Pack. The little figurines have suction cups and joints that allow you to move them however you want to easily create stop motion movies. After you are done with your movie you can upload it to social media and share your creation.

My daughter loves playing in the sand so now that the Summer is over and Fall is here I will be getting her some Sands Alive. It is so fun to mold the sand into different shapes and then watch it come alive with just a little push to break it apart.

Be on the lookout for my Preschooler Holiday Gift Guide coming next month! 

Complete Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial - Part 2

  • child size opaque black tights
  • cotton batting
  • left over blue satin fabric from costume.
  • clear small hair rubber band
  • glue gun and glue sticks

Step 1: Cut the tights in half to separate the two legs. Take one of the legs and fold in half to find the middle. Tightly wrap the rubber band in the middle. Cut the end open and loosely fill both sides with batting. Set aside. 

Step 2: Take the other leg and turn inside out. Draw the curly end of Jasmine's pony tail at the end of the stocking leg with a chalk fabric marker. Sew the line you drew and clip seams and corners. Turn right side out. Generously stuff with batting leaving the top four inches without batting. 

Step 3: Take one end of the headband part of the wig and hot glue it to the top of the pony tail. Loop the headband and glue the other end on top of the first end. Wrap the remaining part of the pony tail around the headband part and glue in place. 

Step 4: Cut out a strip of fabric that is 14" by 2" inches, fold right sides together on the long end and sew down a 1/4" seam. Turn inside out and cut into three strips. Loop around ponytail and hot glue in place in the three parts shown on the picture and tuck in raw edges. Make sure to wrap tightly and cut excess. 

  • leftover blue satin fabric from costume
  • 1/2" elastic
  • blue jewel button 
  • glue gun
Step 1: Measure around the child's head. Add 1 inch to that measurement and then divide by four. Make a pattern that is 3 times that number by 4 inches. Cut a piece of elastic that is that number plus 1" by 4 inches. Stretch out the elastic and measure it. Cut a piece of fabric that is that measurement by 4 inches. 

Step 2: Place the pattern on top of the fabric, pin and cut out. Fold in half with right sides together on the long side of both rectangles. Sew down the line with a 1/2 inch seam on both, trim seams and turn right side out.  

Step 3: Place a safety pin on one side of the elastic and thread it through the shorter headband piece. Sew in place and then thread the rest of the elastic to the other end, take out the safety pin and sew in place. 

Step 4: Tuck each end of the elastic piece to the ends of the headband piece and sew in place. Hot glue the jewel button to the top middle of the headband. 

  • gold leather-like fabric 
  • Velcro
  • black elastic thread
Step 1: For the necklace measure about the child's neck where a necklace would go. Loop the measuring tape and place on top of a piece of paper. Trace around to create a horizontal oval. Draw a necklace on the oval and cut out. 

Step 2: Place the pattern on top of a double thickness of fabric, pin and cut out. Sew a top-stitch around the perimeter of the necklace. Add some Velcro to the ends. 

Step 3: For the earrings draw a pattern of the earrings and cut out. Trace and make another pattern. Place both patterns onto a double thickness of the fabric. Pin and cut out. Measure around the ear and cut two pieces of the elastic thread that measurement. Make a loop out of the elastic threads and place inside of the double fabric earrings. Top-stitch the perimeter of both earrings making sure the elastic loops stay in place.  

Wordless Wednesday: My Toddler Exercise Buddy