Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What Now?

As you might have inferred from last week's only post, I had a miscarriage. One of the first practical questions that popped through my haze of sadness was, "What does this mean for my new blog?" The short answer: I'm still not sure. The short-term solution: hiatus.

We're going to keep trying, so eventually, hopefully, this nursery project will be on again, and I'll still need to do the research and find the baby bargains and the practical solutions to pregnancy and motherhood. So the blog might as well keep going. Under a different name, of course -- "Little Bit" was this baby's nickname, and it doesn't feel right to keep using it.

I need a little more time off, though, before I can read and write about baby stuff without crying. When I work through that, the blog will continue, so there's no need to unsubscribe. And if you're not subscribed, then doing so is the best way to be alerted when things start up again.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Baking Soda: The Super Staple

Husband and I have always been conscious of household chemicals and careful about what we use to clean as well as what we put into our bodies. But becoming pregnant has made me extra-conscious about what I put ON my body as well. It turns out that a lot of my regular beauty products are verboten as long as I'm expecting. Thankfully, I found an alternative for several of them that is as safe and gentle as it is effective - and not only that, but super-cheap to boot. What's this magical alternative, you ask, because perhaps you can't see the picture that begins this post, and you also didn't bother to read the title? That would be baking soda, the handy little ingredient with about a million uses.

Okay, maybe not a million. But a lot, and the list goes way beyond baking and fueling science project volcanoes. I had already been using it as an exfoliating facial scrub, and my skin's been in great shape since I started. While in the shower the other day, I realized I shouldn't use my regular shampoo because it contains salycilic acid, a big no-no if you're pregnant. Out of desperation I grabbed the container of baking soda I keep in there for my face, and used it to scrub my hair. It left it clean and soft, and since it strips the dirt without stripping the natural oils, I didn't need to use any conditioner. I've been using it ever since, and I'm so happy with the results that I probably won't go back to my old shampoo after the baby's born.

That's only a couple of its uses as a beauty product, and it comes in even handier as a household cleaning product. Check out these links for a comprehensive look at how baking soda can help free you from chemicals while freeing up your cash for bigger and better things.

10 Fabulous DIY Mobile Ideas

One of the projects I'm most looking forward to is creating a custom mobile to hang over the crib. It should be a relatively easy craft project, and one that lets my creativity run wild. There is a lot of inspiration to be found in the land of Blogivania, where origami crane mobiles abound and bird motifs reign supreme. But here are 11 DIY mobiles that stand out from the pack and appear relatively simple to make.

  1. Bird Mobile from Design Sponge (shown above) - this is probably the cutest of all the bird mobiles I've seen. It requires some sewing know-how, but it would be super-easy to match it to your nursery's decor, and the bright colors are sure to keep Little Bit fascinated while he or she drifts off to slumber land.

  2. Tree Branch Mobile on Project Nursery - not exactly a mobile in the traditional sense, but I am in love with this idea of hanging a tree branch near the crib to hang various lookie-loos on throughout the year. It's so simple, and it brings a bit of nature into the room. LOVE!

  3. DIY High Contrast Baby Mobile - this Instructables tutorial shows how to McGuyver out of household items a mobile that is as sure to provide visual interest for your baby as it is to keep money in your pocket.

  4. Pinwheel Mobile from Project Nursery - this mobile looks like a piece of cake to replicate with some scrapbook paper, some string and a few dowel rods, and the results are mesmerizing - especially if you're only a few months old.

  5. DIY Modern Mobile on Yes, Please - a fabulous modern art take on the mobile, this one is as pleasing for adults to look at is it is for the wee ones. The included instructions make assembly look like a breeze.

  6. DIY Ladybug Mobile on Spearmint Baby - this one looks like it requires a bit more of an investment in both time and supplies, but the end result is as cute as a ... well, a bug.

  7. Papercraft Bird Mobile from Paper and Stitch - yes, another bird mobile, but one that's as adorable as it is easy to craft.

  8. Cookie Cutter Mobile on This Abode - another mobile MacGuyvered out of household items, I love this idea for hanging cookie cutters of various shapes and sizes.

  9. DIY Baby Mobile on Blue Sage - as a chronic knitter, I love the incorporation of yarn in this mix of knitted fish and origami crane mobile. The ribbon-wrapped hoop is also a nice touch.

  10. DIY Origami Mobile on Cafe Mom - what DIY Mobile post would be complete without an origami mobile? This one goes beyond cranes to include butterflies and round floral shapes. Simple and gorgeous.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekly Bargains: Free Diapers from Pampers & Huggies

It's never too early to start stocking up on baby essentials, and free stuff makes it easy to get a head start. That's why each week I'll be sharing links to freebies and other bargains that I come across or, as in the case of this week's freebie, gets pointed out to me by thoughtful friends.

We're considering going with cloth diapers for reasons I'm sure I'll write about in the future, but even so it never hurts to have a few of the disposable kind on hand. These free sample offers from the two major diaper brands will help us build an emergency stash to cover several stages of our baby's growth:

Get a free sample of Pampers Extra Protection at Walmart.com.

Get three free diapers and a coupon from Huggies Pure and Natural.

Come across any baby-related bargains you'd like to share? Tell us all about them in the comments.

A Machine Called Jayne

Meet Jayne. Like her namesake, Jayne is not entirely dependable or trustworthy, but she's sturdy and she generally gets the job done. She's the machine I stitched up my Home Ec homework on in 9th grade, and she spent the last decade or so in a closet in my mom's home, waiting until the day I lamented that I would like to start sewing again to be hauled out, dusted off and put to work.

The last part took a while to get around to, mainly because I was so sure that sitting in a closet for so long had probably rendered her inoperable. That, and I just couldn't find the proper motivation to make time for sewing. But last week I finally threaded her and tried out some stitches, and I'm happy to report that she worked just fine with a little finessing and sweet talk. The bobbin-maker (I'm sure there's a technical name for that, but don't ask me what it is) doesn't work, so I'll have to wind bobbins by hand, which is a PITA, but it's a small price to pay for knowing I have the means to whip up fabulous custom linens for Little Bit's room.

Friday, November 27, 2009

About Project Little Bit

Welcome to Project Little Bit!

I'm Jean, your host and proprietor. My husband and I recently discovered that we've got a bun in the oven who shall henceforth be known as "Little Bit" (at least until we give it a real name), and we've got about seven months to get ready for its arrival on a super-tight budget. Thankfully, I'm not completely bereft of DIY skills and crafty know-how, which I'll be putting to work as I try to pull together a cozy little nursery for the wee one. Follow along as I share my various nursery project successes and foibles here. I'll also be bringing you bargain baby finds, as well as keeping an eye on what's going on in the baby decorating blogosphere.

A few essential facts about me: I'm 36 (I'll be 37 when the baby's due) and, obviously because I said so already in the first paragraph, married. This will be our first furless baby, which has us both a little nervous, because let's face it, you can't just throw a bowl of kibble down for the furless kind and get rewarded with wagging tails and snuggles and call it a day. I'm a geek, a writer, a web designer and a fan of all things Whedon (but not the rabid kind, I promise!). I knit, and I'm re-learning how to sew--a skill I first learned in 9th grade Home Ec and haven't practiced much since--on a machine that's even older than my first sewing lesson (and possibly older than me). I once had a job doing data entry for a famous televangelist, which isn't so much essential as it is random, but I thought this could use a little spicing up. I also once managed a rock band. That's right, I'm cool. Or is it hip? I don't know, I can't keep up with these damn kids and their slang. Shut up and get off my lawn!

If you enjoy this blog and want to know more about the host, you can check out Daydream Believer, my personal blog about life as a freelancer and wannabe novelist. If you want to see if I've got the chops for that novelist gig, you can read This Old Haunt and judge for yourself. And if you'd like to see how I could put my skills to work for you, you can check out my list of services and work portfolio at The Task Wrangler.

You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter, where friending or following me will make me squeal with girlish glee.

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