City Gardening with a Toddler

Gardening with a toddler is a memorable, sensory filled experience that I am so glad I did with J-Bird (aka my kid).

Watching her touch the seeds and the soil was so fascinating. We live in the city, and she’s spent the majority of her life in the concrete jungle known as Cleveland, so grassy plains and earthy adventures are not really childhood memories for her.

Raised Bed Garden

CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

You may be wondering why our garden is in a giant plastic bin.

Cleveland has a lead problem. We have lead in our paint and lead in the city soil. So, the best option for gardening is a raised bed that doesn’t have access to this lead-filled soil. As a working mom who is also in school, I just don’t have time to build a beautiful raised bed. This bin situation is quick, easy, and still loads of fun.

So we took one of our large plastic bins (you can get one for about $5 at Target, Walmart, etc…), drilled large holes in the bottom for drainage,  and filled it with organic raised bed soil from Home Depot. The bin was filled with 2 bags. (Don’t mind the grass the fell into our bin. Totally unintentional!)


CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

We then planted our seeds according to the directions on the seed packs, watered the soil, and let the fun begin. It’s been a few weeks and we are starting to see results!!!

I love going out and checking on our garden with J. She loves touching the dirt and gets so excited to see the plants growing.


CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

It’s not a big garden, but with a small child, it is very manageable and a fun experience that doesn’t cost much. You even get to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor!

We planted peas, spinach, and kale!

I’m sure a super mom out there could take this to the next level and have fun painting the bin. I’m far from a super mom- more like a fly by the seat of my pants kind of mom, so our bin is just blue. But you know what, it works.


CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

We had so much fun with this little spring adventure.

Here’s a rundown of the supplies:

  • 1 large plastic bin
  • A drill or any kind of sharp object you can make holes in the bottom with
  • 2 bags of organic raised bed soil
  • Seeds
  • A watering can (you can always use a plain old cup if needed)
CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

I hope you try this with your littles! It was so fun!




Toy Rotation Baskets


Toy Rotation Baskets

Want a quick weekend project that is going to save you time and money?

In about 10 minutes, I created Baby Girl’s Toy Rotation Baskets. What is this, you might ask? This is a way to stop buying new toys all the time and reduce the number of toys you have to clean up every day. This is a way to keep the novelty in what you already own.

So what did I do? First, I laid out all of the toys, stuffed animals, teethers, and books that we own, outside of the big toys like the exersaucer or activity mat.

Next, I made piles of similar items. All the stuffed animals go in one pile, books in another, etc.

Finally, I grabbed 4 baskets and divided each type of item equally into the 4 baskets. What we are left with is 4 different baskets that all have each category/item type.

Now what? To keep your current possessions fresh and novel to both you and baby, put one basket out for 1 to 2 weeks. At the end of the time frame it goes back on the shelf and the next basket comes out. Tadaa! New toys! New books! New stuffed animals! Awesome!!!

Here’s my one exception: anything that baby is incredibly attached to or you seriously need all the time, keep out all the time. For us, it’s Sophie the Giraffe. Sophie is our best friend.

So now you’re able to save money by not buying new toys, and save time by having less to pick up every day.

We’ve been trying this out for a little bit now, and love it! The basket is even a fun part of the playtime options as Baby Girl can flip it over and climb on it. I’ve also come to enjoy toys I didn’t even realize we had or barely touched before.

What do you do to keep the novelty in what you already own?

Have a great day!



DIY Friday: Inspirational quote art

final 2 Baby Girl has finally figured out how to weasel her arms out of her sleep sack. We noticed it last night as we were watching her sleep in her bassinet. We stood over her holding in our laughs so as to not wake her up. She would sneakily pull her arm out, suck on her fist, and then put her arm back in. David whispered to me, “I bet she’s been doing this forever. She probably thinks to herself, “(devious laugh) I’m so clever. My parents have no idea I can sneak out of this swaddle.”

We’ve also discovered how much she loves looking at herself in the mirror…ohhh boy.

This week while she was sleeping I tried my hand at Inspirational Quote art. It seems like Inspirational Quotes are all the rage now. I like it! Positive self talk, words of encouragement, wisdom from those who have gone before us. Awesome!


The quote I chose is from Proverbs. I’ve loved this quote for years. It is so applicable to relationships with friends, your spouse, your family, God, your community. I’d love to be remembered as someone who showed love and faithfulness till the end. I made this art for Baby Girl, hence the sparkly pink and gold paint. I want to be a mom that speaks words of life over my kids- these are definitely words I want her to know. sharpie draft

This was super easy to create, too!

Here’s how you can make your own Inspirational Quote art:

  1. Buy a blank canvas.
  2. Stencil out your quote in pencil.
  3. Use Sharpie to go over your pencil sketch.
  4. Paint away with whatever paint you have (I used tee-shirt paint and acrylic. Probably not the most professional approach, but it works! Maybe I’ll try watercolor next!)
  5. Touch up your quote with the Sharpie in case you painted over any of the letters.
  6. Enjoy your art!final 1

I hope you have a very happy Friday and a fun weekend! Apparently I turn 10,000 days old on Saturday. I didn’t know it was a thing until my husband put it on our Google calendar. He says you are supposed to do 10,000 of something, eat 10,000 somethings, etc. Maybe I’ll type 10,000 words. Probably better for the waistline that eating 10,000 somethings.

If you try your hand at inspirational quote art, send me a picture of it!



DIY Friday: Baby Headbands

DIY baby headbands

Living in the city poses different costs than living in the suburbs. For example, rent might be a little bit higher per square foot. However, you could either minimally use your car, or even go “car-free” and reduce or remove the costs of gas, oil changes, or repairs due to the city being much more walkable.

Whether you live in the city or the burbs, I think it is safe to say that many of us like to save money. One way that I like to save money is with DIY projects. DIY projects also serve as a stress reliever and creative rejuvenation for me.

When Baby Girl was born she had a lot of hair on her head. After a few weeks it started to fall out! I know this is totally normal for babies, but I decided that headbands might help distract from the old man hairline. So of course, I jumped on Pinterest and found a few tutorials on how to make my own headbands. One idea that I thought was brilliant was to use the waistband of baby pants as the headband and attach a flower to it. I had a few pairs of pants that didn’t fit her well, so I tried it out.

The headband pictured above was made from newborn sized baby pants. The headband piece was from one pair of pants. The flower was made from another pair. The tutorial for the flower can be found on the Little Red Wagon Photography blog.


Pictured above: I tried out the flower tutorial with ribbon. It ended up a little gluey but not too bad. The band was made from elastic that was cut to the size of BG’s head and then hot glued together. (I hid the seam under the flower)IMG_20150416_123102846

This last headband was made by re-purposing an old headband I had. I took the flower and glued it onto elastic that fit BG’s head.

So yay- it’s Friday, we’re saving money, and my child will not be mistaken for an old man. Phew.

Have you made any fun baby headbands? Feel free to comment with your DIY ideas below!