Monday, May 22, 2017

What Is A Nursing Arm Pillow?

I make these Nursing Arm Pillows in my Etsy store, Pretty Pretty Cindy

Great, but what are they for??  I asked my handy dandy daughter assistant to demonstrate.

How about a headrest?  Not the optimal use.

It looks like it makes a good neck roll!  Maybe a better use, but only as a secondary use.

It looks like a muff to keep your hands warm in winter!  Uh, no.
This is the correct use of a nursing arm pillow.  You fold it together with the Velcro strips and then slip your arm through.  Finally, rest baby's head on the pillow at the crook of your arm for the perfect position for feeding, whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding.  (Because my lovely assistant is my baby, we don't have a live baby to demonstrate, so Teddy is filling in.)

The outside of the pillow is a soft cool cotton, and the inside is the softest minky to caress your forearm as you hold baby.  It also helps to keep your arm cool as you support baby's head.  The whole thing can be thrown into the laundry and fluffed back into shape as it comes out of the dryer.
Parents love these pillows because they are so portable.  They can stay folded or lie flat.  No need to lug a big wrap-around body pillow out whenever you leave home.  (Don't you have enough baby baggage to carry anyway?)  They are more comfortable for you and baby.
Don't have a baby?  These make great baby shower gifts and can be paired with coordinating burp cloths, washcloths, blankets, bibs and balls
They are only $20 in my Etsy store.  If you like to sew and would like to make your own Nursing Arm Pillow, check back later this week and I can give you the DIY for your own personal pillow.  If you don't want to bother with all the sewing, I have plenty in the store and I also take custom orders if there is a particular color scheme or pattern you want.  Send me a note through Pretty Pretty Cindy on Etsy.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pretty Pretty Cindy

I have an Etsy store - Pretty Pretty Cindy.  I love to make things for babies.  I make burp cloths and washcloths sets, bib sets, blankets, nursing pillows, Amish puzzleballs and Jingle Tag Balls.  I think handmade items are the best gifts for a baby.  Instead of telling you more about what I sell, I'll just show you:

There is much more to see in the Etsy store!  Check it out!

So, this is Pretty Pretty Cindy.  Pretty things for little people.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Art for the Soul

*This is not a paid endorsement of Valinda Martin's Art for the Soul, but a post about my own experiences while visiting this store.  I was not compensated in any way and the opinions are purely my own.*

Last weekend while visiting Southern California, I strolled the streets of Balboa Island near Laguna Beach.  If you have never been to Balboa Island, you must take a couple of hours to visit this adorable little place of summer beach homes and eclectic shops.  There are little clothing stores, local food and best of all, gift shops.  I consider myself a creative person, but walking through these shops puts my creative thoughts into overdrive.  I don't normally write posts about stores, but I can't describe all the cool stuff I saw in this one little shop without mentioning it - Valinda Martin's Art for the Soul Gallery & Gifts.  According to the employees, Valinda finds independent artists from around the country and gathers their unique gifts in her little shop.

I wanted to make everything in the store.  The creativity was oozing out of the walls in this store, and instead of trying to describe some of the amazing art, I took the liberty of taking some pictures.

This was the display just inside the door.  Valinda found an artist from Arizona who recycled license plates and makes plaques from the individually cut letters and numbers.

There were several of these little "woodies" and some 60's style VW buses around the store.  They open to reveal a small chest that can be used as a beer/soda cooler.

There is an entire wall devoted to shiny ceramic pendulum clocks.  Look at the quirky designs!  I wanted to take everything home!

Here is a wall of sheet metal sayings.  I loved the way everything was displayed on bright yellow walls.  The bright cheery vibe kept my interest (until my 15-year old son dragged me out).

Finally, I found a wall of wooden plaques made by a North Carolina artist.  While I'm not sure how these were made, it looks like a paper background was made from little pieces of different kinds of paper "modge-podged" into a single sheet that was then copied.  The artist then drew directly onto the paper and the entire thing was again copied (probably for more mass production).  It was really cool.

I'm just scratching the surface of all the treasures in this quirky little store.  (I didn't think it was too polite to stand around taking pictures of everything.)  I will definitely go back again and maybe try out a few ideas I saw in this shop and several others.  If you do get to Balboa Island or their other store in Laguna Beach, stop by and enjoy the creativity on display.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Lemon Blueberry Cake

I promise - last lemon use.  But this is a really good one - Lemon Blueberry Cake.

I first saw this as one of those Delish videos on Facebook and I just had to try it.  This was absolutely the best cake I have ever made from scratch (although I can't say I've made too many).  The recipe comes from Natasha's Kitchen, although I did modify it a bit based on the baking pan.  Her original recipe called for a springform pan, but I don't own one.  I do own a tube bundt cake pan, and based on the modification of her recipe, I was able to create this yummy cake. 

If you are a more serious baker and have a springform pan, use the link above to find her recipe.  If you are using a bundt pan, here's how to make this awesome cake:

3 large eggs
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. (12 oz.) sour cream
3/4 c. light olive oil or vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbl. lemon juice
Zest of 1-2 lemons (1 Tbl.)
3/4 Tbl. corn starch
18 oz. (3 pint containers) blueberries*
Powdered sugar to dust top

*Natasha warns against using too many blueberries because it gets too heavy at the bottom.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease the pan with cooking spray.  Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended.  Add the sour cream, oil, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth.

Mix the flour and baking powder together and slowly add to egg mixture, about 1/3 at a time until completely blended.  Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and lemon zest and blend.

Rinse the blueberries and in a separate bowl, gently toss them with the cornstarch and the other 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. 

Spoon about 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the greased pan and then layer the blueberries on top.  Repeat with the remaining batter and berries so you end up like this:

Bake for 55 minutes and after the pan has cooled a little, gently flip it over onto a plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This cake makes a great coffee/pound type cake.  If you do use a springform pan or frozen blueberries, check Natasha's Kitchen for the correct measurements.  By using the bundt tube pan, I had to increase the quantities of the ingredients.

We will definitely be making this cake again, certainly in the early Spring when our lemons are abundant and blueberries from Chile are plentiful!  Enjoy!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lemon Sugar Scrub

I keep saying I'm done with these lemons, but I keep finding uses for this amazing fruit!  Mackenzie found a great non-edible use for lemons.

This is so simple, but creates a scrub that exfoliates and softens your skin without chemicals.  Ready?  Here's how simple this is:

Lemon Sugar Scrub

3/4 cup Granulated sugar
1/4 cup Olive oil
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Mix well.  I doubt you can store this for a long time because the ingredients are perishable (when the oil goes rancid).  This is great next to your kitchen sink or try it on your feet (just watch that oil near anything that can be stained).