Whenever folks travel with us and Geek Baby, whether it is to a theme park, a local park or perhaps a party, they comment on how we always seem so prepared. A big part of that is knowing how to pack a bag efficiently that will cover all the essentials and variables, without being so huge that it’s too annoying to carry.
First off, let’s skip over the obvious
- Obviously, you need diapers and wipes. Those are the essentials. My list will go over everything we bring on top of that.
Everything we include in our toddler day pack:
- A change of clothing. We always pack a basic (but still adorable) onesie and, according to the event, a secondary cute outfit if we expect to take lots of photographs.
- Sunscreen. We always have sunscreen with us, since, well, we live in Texas. But, regardless of where you live, I recommend being extremely when dealing with the sun! Better safe than sorry!
- Water bottle or Sippy cup. We always make sure we have a sippy cup for our geek baby. Hydration is so very important, especially when spending the day outdoors.
- Favorite snack. We always bring at least two snack options. Reusable snack bags are a life saver, especially at a theme park. If geek baby eats all the snacks we’ve purchased, we can buy something on-site and keep it in the reusable bag, since it is resealable.
- Entertainment. We try to pack two small entertaining items for our geek baby. Typically a book and a toy.
- A bib. A bib is never a bad idea. Help keep your geek baby clean with a simple bib. Best part? They don’t take very much space and can be used to clean up general spills.
- A hat. We try to bring a hat if we expect our geek baby is going to be running around in the sun. Even in her stroller with the sunshade over her, we typically will put a hat on her. That is, when she lets us!
- A light blanket. Since we live in Texas, we’re used to unpredictable weather. We always bring a simple, lightweight blanket just in case. Obviously, if weather conditions are expected to be very cold, we bring something more substantial, but, well, like I said, we live in Texas.
- Wet bag (optional). If we’re going swimming, expecting rain or think we might not have a place to throw away diapers (or if we’re using cloth), we also bring a wet bag with us. It’s another lightweight item that doesn’t take up much room and have a lot of versatility.
And there you have it! We enjoyed sharing our perfect toddler day bag essentials with you.
What are your must have items when you go out with your little one? Leave a comment and let us know!
Geek Baby loves to play in sandboxes. We’ve taken her to a few local and not-as-local parks and she’s had a blast. When she visited the beach for the first time, she didn’t want to leave! She had a bucket in one hand and a shovel in the other and she had the time of her life filling and unfilling that bucket. We knew we wanted to make her a sandbox. That being said, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, so we searched around for existing tutorials that contained the ‘bones’ of what we wanted to make. We found this awesome How To from Modern Parents, Messy Kids and then put our own spin on it.
First off, let me dispel some myths.
- Any task that requires cutting wood, power tools and math can seem, well, overwhelming. That being said, you can typically find a tutorial or how to that will give you a straight forward, step-by-step approach. Don’t be afraid to mess up. If you cut the wood to the wrong measurements, either change your final measurements OR get a new piece of wood! If you’ve never used a power tool before, talk to someone at your local hardware store and they will be more than happy to walk through the motions with you. Most important, though, is to not be afraid to try. If you feel this is too big of a task for you alone, ask for help. When I decided Geek Baby needed a sandbox, we made it happen, even though we’d never fabricated anything like this before. And, just in case we were in over our heads, we had my grandpa there to assist and make sure no one lost a finger.
What you’ll need:
These are the materials we purchased. We bought everything at Lowe’s.
- Four (4) 12″ x 6′ pieces of wood (We bought two 12″ by 12′ and cut them in half.)
- Four (4) 4″ x 4″ x2′ pieces of wood (We bought a 4″ by 4″ by 8′ and cut it into four pieces.)
- Two (2) 3′ 1.5″ x 6′ pieces of plywood (We bought an 8′ x 10′ piece of 1/2″ thick plywood to have some left over for seats.)
- Six (6) 2″ x 2″ x 6′ pieces of wood. (We bought two bundles of them, which were located near the plywood)
- Four (4) corner pieces of plywood, 12″ wide (optional)
- Two (2) long pieces of L-shaped molding (optional – to cover the rough edge of the corner seats)
- Forty (40) or so 3″ Wood Screws
- Twenty (2) or so 1″ Wood Screws
- Twenty-four (24) 1/2″ Wood Screws
- Wood Glue (to stabilize and attach the wood pieces together.)
- One (1) Roll of Landscaping Fabric (a semi-permeable barrier)
- Thirty-five (35) bags of 50lb play sand
- Exterior Latex Paint, Latex Paint brushes
- Water Sealant Wood Stain, Oil Paint brushes (optional, but recommended)
- Two (2) Door Handles
- Four (4) Large Entry Door Hinges (must fit 2″ x 2″ wood)
- 18oz Container of Cinnamon (optional, but recommended)
These are the tools we used. We also purchased these tools at Lowe’s and Home Depot, although not recently.
- Power drill
- Circular saw
- Small hand saw or hacksaw
- Shovel or post hole digger
- Staple gun
- Saw horses
- Rake (optional)
Have a little one who loves to play in the sand? Are you a work-at-home parent without the extra time to make a trip to a local park? Want to entice your kids to play outside more? This is a great, straight forward family DIY project!
First Step — Clear the Land: Figure out where you are going to place your sandbox and clear out that land. We knew we wanted to make a 6′ square, but also had to account for the doors opening and closing. Once you’ve cleared the land, you can use your shovel or post hole digger to dig the 4 holes needed at each corner for your 4″ x 4″ pieces of wood. These are your support beams and are super important for the stability of your sandbox.
Second Step (Optional) — Cut the Wood: If you had most of your wood pieces cut at your hardware store, which I recommend, than you can start building your structure right away. Otherwise, cut all your wood pieces to spec first using the tools mentioned. To cut the wood to size, you’ll want to get your saw horses and circular saw ready.
Third Step (Optional) — Stain the Wood: Stain all the wood with water sealant wood stain, unless the wood is going to be painted with exterior latex paint. You don’t need to double up. I coated all the exposed pieces of wood with water sealant wood stain to ensure it will last long enough to be used for many more years to come! Make sure you use an oil paint brush for this job.
Fourth Step — Paint the Doors: When choosing a paint for the sandbox doors, I think an exterior latex paint is your best bet. And, of course, you can get it in ANY color you want. TARDIS blue, perhaps? Command gold? Geek Baby choose the color we used. She seems to love teal! I recommend a double coat of paint. For the doors, we only bought a pint of exterior latex semi-gloss paint. After two coats each, we still had paint left over. Check out the photo below. Geek Baby was supervising.
Fifth Step — Build the Frame, Add the Beams: The four 12″ x 6′ pieces of wood need to be attached with the 3″ wood screws. Once it is all lined up and level, you screw them together. When that initial 6′ square frame in done, you use the 3″ screws to attach your support beams to the inside corner of your 6′ square frame. I recommend moving the newly built 6′ square over to it’s final resting place, so to speak, so you can insert the support beams into their freshly dug holes prior to screwing them into place. This is where the handy dandy sledgehammer comes into play! Take a look at Geek Dad — he is the Superman of DIY projects!
NOTE: If you want to add seats, this is where you would do it. Take your triangles and glue them into place on top of the 4″ x 4″ support beams. Use 3″ wood screws to add further support to these seats. They will be tremendously stable. They hold up my husband, who is over 200 pounds.
Sixth Step — The Barrier: Next, roll out that semi-permeable barrier I mentioned in the things needed list. We found the roll of landscaping fabric in the garden section of Lowe’s. You have to buy the entire roll, but I’m sure you can find a use for the rest of it. Or, freecycle it!
Get your staple gun and go to town! You want to make sure it is VERY secure, so staple the fabric to the 6′ square frame…and then staple it a few more times for good measure.
NOTE: There are a few reasons this is important.
- You want to keep weeds from growing in and through your sandbox.
- By purchasing this specific material, your sandbox will still be able to drain water, when it rains.
Seventh Step — Prep the Doors: Once you’ve completed all of these other steps, you are ready to get the doors ready to be attached. Take your 2″ x 2″ pieces of wood and make a frame that is the same size as the outer dimensions of your door. You’ll use your 3″ wood screws for this. Once your frame is complete, you’ll sit this down on a flat surface and put wood glue on the top of the frame. You’ll then take your door piece and lay it on top of the frame, paint side up, using your 1″ wood screws to make sure it is tightly secured to the frame. Repeat this process for the second door. Between the wood glue and the screws, it should be more than secure!
Eighth Step — Attach Doors: Once your doors are complete, you can attach them to the sandbox. Make sure you get large hinges that fit your 2″ x 2″ wood door frame. You’ll use the 1/2″ wood screws for this part of the project. Attach your handles, as well. We attached the handles once the doors were attached, just to get an idea of where it would be best to place the handles, but you can attach them before, as well.
Ninth Step — Fill with Sand: Once your sandbox is complete, now comes the fun part – fill it with over 1500 pounds of sand! We bought the play sand available at Lowe’s and Home Depot. It’s not outside with the garden and landscaping materials, but inside with the construction materials. Be very cautious about how much of this sand you buy at one time. Many vehicles have load limits. This may take a few trips if you don’t have a heavy duty vehicle.
NOTE: Add cinnamon to your sand to keep bugs away! We added 18 ounces of cinnamon to our 1500+ pounds of sand and haven’t had any bug problems. Make sure to mix in cinnamon well. I recommend using a rake to even out the sand and mix in cinnamon.
Tenth Step — Add Geek Baby and Accessories: You’ve finished this awesome DIY project, so now you get to reap the benefits — a super happy geek baby!
And, you’re done! The result is a beautifully functional sandbox for your geek baby and their friends. We’ve been using this sandbox for over a month now and our little one adores it. And, we love that we can close the doors! As always, we recommend supervision while your little one is playing in their sandbox. Also, if you add the seats, always check underneath the seats for spiders, scorpions, snakes, etc.
If you have any question, leave them in the comments section. And thanks for checking out my tutorial!
We’ve finally reached 1000 likes. First off, thank you so much for all of your support. Starting Geek-a-bye Baby has been such an amazing, rewarding experience. We’re celebrating 1000 likes, as well as our gorgeous new website, with an awesome geek giveaway.
Thanks to our amazing vendor friends, we’ve compiled some super awesome items for you…and the best part? It’s SO easy to enter and earn a chance to win a prize. Just like everyone on Facebook, pin some photos on Pinterest and share this giveaway!
Here are the prizes:
a 40×60 Microfleece TARDIS Blanket
a Paper Mario Claret
Set of Jayne Hat Buttons
an Ounce of Tea of Evil
$10 Gift Certificate
a TARDIS onesie
a Denim Harry Potter-Inspired Snitches Hat
Set of Doctor Who Buttons
a Geek Necklace
In honor of one of our favorite geek days, May 4th, we’re putting together a scavenger hunt! This is entirely Star Wars themed. You must submit digital photos of yourself completing the ten tasks mentioned below. The first person to submit all ten pictures will win the Grand Prize. Don’t worry, though. We have a few other prizes available, too!
The contest ends on May 31, 2013 at 11:59PM CST.
All photos must be submitted to: email@example.com. You must send all 10 photos together in one email. Please include your name in the name of each photo sent. Include your full name and mailing address in your email.
You must also “like” Geek-a-bye Baby on facebook.
Here are the photos required for the Scavenger Hunt:
- Picture of you with Han Solo in Carbonite
- Picture of you in a lightsaber duel with someone else.
- Picture of you doing the force choke on a group of 3 or more people
- Picture of you wearing a Darth Vader mask (can be toy version, made by you or costume helmet)
- Picture of you eating a Yoda-shaped sandwich
- Picture of you finding the droids you’re looking for
- Picture of you next to a TV or computer playing the scene where the Death Star explodes (picture must show explosion)
- Picture of you holding up the name of who shot first
- Picture of two people kissing, holding signs that say, “I love you” and “I know”.
- Picture of you making the face Luke Skywalker made when Darth Vader told him he was his father.
- Extra credit: Send in a photo of you holding a Geek-a-bye Baby Product you’ve purchased
And the prizes!
Grand Prize: The first person to complete the photo scavenger hunt with 10 approved photos (or 11 if you’ve completed your extra credit) wins the Grand Prize. It’s worth over $300 in just the items we’re telling you about! We’re going to throw in a few surprises to up the ante!
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side ($99.99)
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force ($99.99)
- A custom made adult-sized throw (36×60) in your choice of Star Wars fabric from Geek-a-bye Baby ($60.00)
- 8GB R2D2 Star Wars MIMOBOT USB Flash Drive ($19.99)
- A Star Wars Classic RoomMates Decal Set ($13.99)
- Star Wars Yoda Ear Buds ($9.99)
- And more, including custom art work!
3 Runners-Up: You weren’t the first place winner, but you still sent 10 (or 11 with extra) AWESOME photos! We’ll send you a Star Wars gift pack with some Star Wars fan essentials.
Best Set: So, you weren’t the first person to send in your photos. But, you sent the BEST compilation of 10 (or 11) photos. Ever. Don’t worry. We have a special prize for you, too. You get a customized Star Wars adult-sized 36×60 blanket and a knit Yoda hat. Why? Because you earned it!
Funniest Photo: The funniest photo must be rewarded! We will choose the photo that has us laughing like Jabba. You must complete all 10 photos to qualify. You’ll receive the Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy Bluray. You can still win the Grand Prize and Runners-Up Prizes, in addition to our funniest photo prize.
Super Fan: The person who sends in our favorite photo of them in a Star Wars costume completing one of the 10 tasks will win the Geek Parent prize! You must complete all 10 photos to qualify, but not all photos require a costume. You will receive the Star Wars: The Blueprints book. Any super fan needs to have this as part of their Star Wars library! You can still win the Grand Prize and Runners-Up Prizes, in addition to our favorite Super Fan prize.
Geek Parent: The person who sends in our favorite photo that includes their geek kid(s) completing one of the 10 tasks will win the Geek Parent prize! You must complete all 10 photos to qualify, but not all photos require your geek kid(s). You will receive a set of Darth Vader and Yoda cold packs and a Darth Vader child-sized folding chair. You can still win the Grand Prize and Runners-Up Prizes, in addition to our favorite Geek Parent prize.
- By entering this contest, you agree to allow Geek-a-bye Baby to use your photos in promotional and marketing campaigns.
- We require 10 (or 11 with extra) photos. Photos cannot be combined.
- Inappropriate photos will not be considered.
- Photos must be your property. If we find you’ve used someone else’s photos, you will be disqualified.
Recently, I decided I wanted to dye a few cloth diapers and onesies. It was something I’ve been planning on for a while, but never had the time. After 6 different customers asked if I’d be willing to make cloth diapers, or applique cloth diapers, I finally decided that fabric dyeing might be the way to go. I tested a few different methods and found one that works for me — and it’s so easy!
First off, let me dispel some myths.
- Fabric dyeing isn’t difficult and does not require a lot of materials. Other than the dye and whatever it is you want to dye, everything you need is in your kitchen. You don’t need to use your washing machine, which I wanted to avoid. And you don’t need to use the stove, either.
What you need:
- Your DYE of choice. I like using Dylon. I like their available colors and the amount you can dye with one small package. I also feel Dylon is very true to color advertised on the packaging, which can be difficult. Best part? You can find it in the dye/paint section of any craft store.
- 4 tablespoons of table salt
- a measuring cup
- a large bowl
- rubber gloves
- a mixing spoon (it will be dyed along with your fabric, so be warned!)
- your fabric (we recommend sticking with cottons.)
Have an old shirt that needs new life? Onesies that have spit-up stains? This simple method of fabric dyeing is the perfect solution to renewing used clothing or creating unique new items for you and your baby!
First Step: After you gathered all of your supplies, put on your rubber gloves and fill a mixing bowl with 4 cups of warm water. Put your dye into that bowl and mix well.
Second Step: Fill up your stainless steel sink or a large tub with warm water. You’ll want enough water to be able to mix your fabric without worrying about dye splashing everywhere. Add 4 tablespoons of table salt to this water and mix.
Third Step: Add your dye mix to the salt water. Put in your fabrics and start mixing them in the water. The secret to an even dye? Knead the fabric in order for the dye pigment to take. You’ll want your fabric to be in the dye for at least 1 hour. For the first 15 minutes, constantly knead and mix your fabric. After that, you’ll only need to stir it every 15 minutes of so. That first 15 minutes of kneading if the most important part of the dye process.
NOTE: The longer you leave your fabric in the dye, the darker the item will be. I typically leave my fabric in for only an hour, but do recommend longer if you’re looking for deeper, richer tones. Also, your fabric will always end up slightly lighter than the color it looks like when soaking in the dye.
Fourth Step: Once your fabric is done dyeing, you need to drain the water and rinse the fabric. Rinse each piece, but don’t worry about being too thorough. The washing machine will take care of the excess dye for you.
Fifth Step: Put your newly dyed fabric in your washing machine and wash in on the delicate cycle. If you’re worried the dye is not completely rinsed out, you can wash it twice. After that, either air dry away from direct sunlight or just dry it in your dryer on delicate/low heat to seal that color.
And, you’re done! The result is a beautifully transformed item that is completely custom.
Best part? If the color isn’t exactly to your liking — dye it again! Or, for your next batch, dye them longer.
If you have any question, leave them in the comments section. And thanks for checking out my tutorial!