Monday, January 15, 2018

Step2 Clean Sweep Wood Laundry Center

Aww, where do I start at with this amazing blog post? I guess I should start at the very beginning but sometimes it is fun to skip ahead to the super fun part!

Let's start off by thanking Step2, thank you to Step2 for letting me test this item as part of the Step2 toy tester program.What an amazing idea, especially right before Christmas! The only thing I'll add to this is that I received it mid December, around the 15th or 16th, I'm surprised there wasn't a huge push to get them out sooner because I'm huge supporter of toys I love and I would have loved to pimp this out for Christmas! That date left almost no time for ordering online and I've yet to see a Step2 wooden toy product for sale in a local brick and mortar sale and I love frequent the toy departments often, especially the play kitchen aisle, which I will assume is where this will be found! I might have a play kitchen problem and still have 3 remaining in my house! I mean who  doesn't love a good choice of play kitchens to play with !

This is how the box will arrive. It's great that it doesn't give away what is inside with a picture yet looks so boring. Probably good for delivery services with all the theft now a days. It's a pretty good sized box, not extremely heavy but definitely a good bit of weight to it.

Next, I laid out all the pieces! I guess you could say I was checking to make sure everything was there, but really just wanted to show you'll exactly how this came packaged and what you were dealing with when putting it together. No worries, it wasn't bad at all!

 This of course was inside the box. I understand from a companies standpoint why they do this but as a consumer it is frustrating as all get out if something is indeed missing. Lego is the biggest offender with this, it took over 3 months for me to receive missing part from my Wall-E build! Who wants to sit and wait 3 months!! FYI, it was a whole bag missing, it was missing, not just lost! Thankfully all the parts were included so we didn't have any frustration with Step2.

I loved this part! Each bag was labeled with what part was inside. Usually when I purchase something I have to figure out which screw they are talking about. Go Step2!

Here is a picture of the instructions, step 1 is extremely thorough, it is telling you to just put in the wooden pegs. Now, had it said that it might have been a little nicer. Can we use some words please? Like place wooden pegs in holes as shown? The instructions were very Ikea like with just pictures.

All the kidlets were at school so it didn't take long to put together, under an hour and my husband and I had it all done. Very few tools needed, maybe just screwdriver. I don't remember using anything else.

All the pieces are also labeled with #'s. Yes, that is a nick on my brand new, just popped out of the box wooden clean sweep laundry center. It was perfectly wrapped and lots of styrofoam therefore it had to have happened at the factory. IF I had paid for this I would NOT have been a happy camper. Things happen, but come on, front and center. If you know us, we take care of our toys here. There is not one nick on any wooden play toy in this house!! I let it go and I really don't want to take away from a wonderful review but this is not okay. I'm fairly sure Step2 won't appreciate this comment, but honesty is honesty and honestly, I'm the last person you want to boycott toys or show my displeasure for! I'm sure this was accidentally overlooked and again, I'll let it go.

Ta da! Seriously, how cute is this!!!

I was a bit skeptical about a wooden Step2 toy. I had just never seen one before or had any experience with them. I would love to see a wooden play food line from them with lots of accessory sets for sale! We love wooden play food here!

Dallas was first home and pretty enamored with it. Okay, maybe not exactly the right word, but he wanted to check it out right away and couldn't wait for Adrian!

Now, on to the bigger review more about the product itself and not just putting it together!

Look at this happy little face! He ran in the door, threw off his shoes and ran right over to it. Seriously, look at his face!!

I'll start off this part with telling you that I absolutely toys and I LOVE Step2, probably more than anyone I know! Great company, started by a great guy!

I absolutely love and adore this piece, the wood is quality and will outlast many children staying in perfect shape to be able to pass on for generations, one of the best things about Step2 toys! I was a bit disappointed in the lone back piece to the hanger and hamper area, it was a nice thick cardboard? or something, I would have been much happier with that one piece being wood like the rest of the center but it is nice and sturdy and no issues with it. It also came with pieces to attach the toy to the wall. I find that a bit overkill for us and I like to move stuff around often, plus we are past having any climbers but a nice thought to include it.

The wooden iron is amazing but with saying that the handle on the washing machine is plastic. Spend a few $ more and give us all wood, especially there! Again, I love this toy and I'm willing to overlook those 2 flaws in my eyes. I'm sure kids won't care.
I also LOVE that it sits up off the ground on little plastic pieces (plastic approved here). It makes it super simple to drag around the room or pull out from the wall easily.
When Adrian saw it he went nuts! I have a lot of toys! I mean, he has a lot of toys, but the excitement was so cute. The first thing he did was grab the broom and dust pan off the side and start sweeping. I appreciate the nice hooks that make it easy for the kids to keep track of and put right back when done cleaning up. I tossed in a few towels and items to hang and he was one happy camper playing with it for hours on end. Not to mention the 9 and 11 year old also got into playing with him and even the 14 year old was okay with it! It truly is a toy great for so many ages!

Adrian grabbed the broom and dust pan immediately and went to work!!

He immediately went looking for some dirt to clean up! Thankfully I had some by the front door! Check out that AMAZING vintage Step2 locker in the background!! I wish had one more.

Then it was on to ironing! I did move the Step2 Clean Sweep Laundry Center over in front of the tree for cute pictures, but the rest was on Adrian. I just snapped as he played away.

Tossing in the laundry! 

Gotta start the wash!

Smile! I want to take a picture! He was extremely happy once I grabbed some items for him to hang up on the hangers!!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about this toy or any other Step2 toy! While I won't consider myself an expert I'll consider myself pretty darn close! LOL!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

40166 Legoland Train

Wow! Look at this cuteness! While browsing Facebook the other day I came across a post that showed this gem! WHAT! I've never seen or even heard about this Lego. I immediately did a google search and had to have it.

This train can only be found at Legoland and seems to have been produced just for the park or parks. I don't even know for sure if you can get it at any of the parks or just the one in Florida. We've been to both, the Orlando area park and other park in Carlsbad, California more than once and have never seen a special Lego available.

What an amazing build I'll share with you below!! 

Here are the entire contents of the box. 

Instruction book was folded in half but otherwise decent condition. I've had them arrive new from Lego much worse before, the cardboard is a great idea but seems to only happen in more expensive sets. 

Here are all the bags. I was a little baffled with the way the bags were numbered. Anyone who buys Lego regularly knows that isn't the norm. I chalked it up to being produced just for the parks, on a smaller scale. No harm, just different. 

The sticker sheet. Of course we would all be happier with printed tiles but at least there are some nice stickers. You have the park map, which is my favorite, along with a train sign, the controls and some others. 

Here is the entire set built. It was a fun and easy build that didn't take too long at all. A nice amount of time in fact that it was longer than a small $10 ish one yet not quite as involved as a $20-30 set. The four characters are especially nice although can we please get some new printed shirts. We have so many of that same one the boy is wearing. 

Love how the characters fit inside the train nicely. They really did a nice job in my opinion with being able to fit 3 in the car along with the conductor. 

The roof plates comes off for easy access! Thank goodness because no way were they going in easy otherwise. 

Details of the front of the train! 

And the characters in the passenger car. 

Close up of the little sign! 

Guess this means I now have a mini Legoland in the making vs just an amusement park!

Let me know your thoughts on this set. Do you love special sets as much as I do? I hope to see more sets like this in the future made just for Legoland.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cutest Father's Day Project Ever - Finding Nemo / Dory

Yesterday for Father's Day I wanted to make a fun family project. I saw this idea on a Disney Facebook page by a fan and decided to run with it adding a twist to make it fit for our family. We are family of three and therefore I decided we would go with Nemo, for my 13 year old, Marlin, for my husband, and Dory, for myself. That way we had one painting that represented our entire family.

First you'll want to gather your supplies. I used washable paint and finger paint paper because it was what I had here. I must say I think it turned out super well. Those were also just some brushes we had sitting around.

I decided to paint my left hand since I am right handed. I would suggest doing the same if right handed for best results, just place on the paper as needed to be swimming the "correct" way. 

Here you can see what exactly I painted on the hands. I found not using a ton of paint was best but you need enough if you move slower so that it doesn't soak in before you can print on the paper. Don't worry if you don't leave a spot for the eyeball or it doesn't turn out well, you can fix that later.

I ended up painting on my husband's and son's hands because they decided it would be best. They aren't too crafty or into painting. 

Let this dry, it doesn't need to be completely dry before you move on but the dryer the better because next you are going to add the details!

After it is mostly dry, you'll want to paint on the black stripes, dot a white eye, draw a mouth and then add on some seaweed, also add waves for water if you like (I chose to skip this step). We used fingerprints for the bubbles.

You can make this uniquely yours of course with your details! If you need more characters there are many to choose from, I think Squirt or Crush would be adorable or Pearl. I also think they would be super easy to achieve with hand prints!!

Enjoy!! Feel free to share your pictures in the comments or leave a link!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Smiley 360

Ever heard of Smiley 360? It is a great place to receive free products for reviews! I received an Oral B Prohealth Toothbrush this past month and have been loving it. Click the link to find out more!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Too Many Little Lego Minifigures?

Every wonder how to display all your lego minifigures? With the recent popularity of the mystery bags I felt like I needed to find a way to display those cute little boogers! We, my now 11 year old son and I, started purchasing when the very first series was released. We happen to be at the Lego Store in Downtown Disney and were happy to be able to grab a few. It wasn't until the third series was released that I thought these can't just decorate our town, they need a display of their own. Years ago my grandmother had introduced to me printers drawers. Here is what I am talking about in case you have never heard of them.

This one was filled through the years and currently a few things are missing out of it. But if you look at the drawer it is the perfect size for little lego men. I then began my search for the perfect drawer. These are old and not always the easiest to find but I usually hit the antique stores. My mom ended up finding the one below when she was up at her mountain house and grabbed it. It was perfect!!!

Insert Picture Here

The one thing I realized is that we would soon be needing another drawer therefore I was on the hunt once again and once again my mom came through. Here is our second one.

I'm not as fond of the Simpsons set along the top but again was running out of the room. For now they are grouped up there. Overall I'm not a fan of the Simpsons.

These drawers both ran me around $50 but were well worth the cost and if you count all the little spots there is room for lots and lots of minifigures. They can also be found on ebay just be prepared to pay the shipping on a large item. If you just want to showcase one mini series collection, like the Simpsons, then the smaller size would be adequate.

Hope you enjoyed our collection and what I feel is the perfect way to display our lego friends.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Have you ever wanted to make your own laundry detergent? I have two thrifty friends, well okay, I have alot of thrifty friends, but two who are a little more into making things themselves and we were discussing no poo, shampooing your hair without shampoo and the topic turned to laundry detergent. I decided to give it a go and see how it turned out.

They were both kind to share their thoughts with me. The first used this link,, as a guide and then tweaked it to her liking. I used a mixture of her tweaked version and the linked version to make ours this evening.

Here is what you will need -
3 gallon bucket
Washing Soda
Fels Naptha Soap
20 Mule Team Borax

First off, a bit about finding the items. The washing soda and borax weren't too hard to find. I bought the borax at Target, but they didn't have the washing soda. So went into Publix next door. They had the washing soda but were sold out of the Fels Naptha. We hit a Kroger a few days later and scored the soap! At both stores that carried this item it was found on the top shelf and was very hard to see! It was also pushed back and you had to reach super far to get it! So look hard or get someone tall to help you. All of these were down the laundry aisle, but not necessarily close to the laundry detergent.

I did find them on Amazon at a HUGE mark up though! I paid $.99 for the soap and about $3 each for the other two.

First order of business is to smell the soap! LOL! Dallas enjoyed making sure it was going to be a good fit for us!

Grate the soap. I used 1/2 the bar. I also found the grater for $.49 at Kroger! I was pleased to not have to worry about using my food grater (even though you clean it with soap I just had some issues with that thought).

Lin helped too!

After the soap is grated put it in a sauce pan with water and melt it. I stirred it while it was melting but this didn't take long at all. Once it was melted I added 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup of the washing soda to the hot water and stirred.

Then I took my bucket and added hot water. While the hot water was filling I poured in our mixture. Fill to the 3 gallon line (almost the top on what I would call a regular size car wash bucket).

We then used a funnel and poured the mixture into gallon milk jugs. This could be messy but with the two of us it was pretty painless! It says to let the mixture set overnight and it will kind of gel up a bit. I used ours after about two hours and so far am loving it. I washed a load of towels with a winter jacket and snow pants tossed in. The jacket had visible dirt on it and it all came off, no issues. I use 1/2 cup per load of laundry.

This entire process didn't take long at all. 30 minutes max and that was with a kid having fun grating the soap. I would say you could easily make it all in 10. I was surprised at how fast the soap melted.

So to sum up what I used -

1/2 bar fels naptha soap
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
3 gallons of water

Thanks Teresa and Tifani for your guidance in making my own laundry soap.

For comparison Teresa uses -

1 bar fels naptha
1/2 cup borax
1 cup washing soda

mixed in 5-6 gallon bucket (filled to top)
then fills her bottles with half water and half mixture

If you found this helpful please leave me a comment letting me know! Also if you have a question I'll be happy to try and answer it. I am by no means expert, just trying new things out!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Hoping 2011 brings great joy for everyone!

For all my sewing friends and wonderful customers I'll try and start posting over here more often with the joys that happen in my life along with pictures of my wonderful creations!

I made these adorable t's for a great customer and hope her little cuties looked adorable in them! How fun would it be to have a little one in that onesie again!