August 22, 2015

DIY Kid's Kitchen Helper Stool & Learning Tower

Toddler step stool
My handy dandy husband is at it again! 
He built a wooden Kitchen Helper Stool for Ava and it's his best work yet!
Also scroll down for Ava's 10 minute DIY Dress Up Closet How To.
Ava loves to help me in the kitchen and I have been on the lookout for a safety stool for her to reach the counter. I found plastic "Learning Towers" online for around $200 but that was way out of our price range. So AShton decided to build Ava one out of wood one afternoon. He purchased plywood, wheels, paint, and knobs and got to work creating an awesome safety stool for our daughter. 
It was made in a day and cost around $30!

Ava's DIY Kitchen Helper Stool 

Hardware needed: 

  • screws or nails (whichever you prefer, we used screws.)
  • 4 castor wheels that lock
Tools needed:

  •  circular saw or table saw
  • sander 
  •  drill
Wood needed:
(measurements in inches)

3/4 inch plywood
  • 12X35: 2 
  • 4 X18: 1 
  • 12X18: 1
  • 6X18: 1
  • 1 X12: 2
  • 2X18: 1

1/2 inch plywood
  • 5 1/2 X 18 1/2: 1

Add ons: 
  • Quart of paint, color/s of choice
  • Letter decals, optional
  • decorative knobs/hooks for sides

The back slides out so Ava can easily step in her stool 
and then it can be slid back in again so she is boxed in safely.
Ashton also added a small step at the bottom for Ava to climb up on.
Ava chose the paint colors, purple and pink of course, 
and it only took a quart to paint the entire stool. 
I added decals I already had at home to spell "Mommy's Helper"
 and sealed them with Mod Podge.
The front has a piece of wood flat across as a safety bar.
There are also 4 wheels that lock attached to the bottom.
We added pink knobs to the sides to hang aprons, towels, and kitchen utensils on.
A photo posted by Nicole (@flchefnicole) on

Ava's DIY Dress Up Closet

Also check out this dress up closet Ashton and I made for $20!
Target bookshelf (at a yard sale) -$10
Target banner and sticker letters- $6
Dowel rod- $1
Wrapping paper (to line the inside)- $1
Sticky hooks- $2
Bonus: the dress up outfits and accessories were given to us or purchased at yard sales- $5 for all!  

We simply removed the lower shelves and added a dowel rod to hang the clothes. I lined the inside with pretty pink floral wrapping paper. I used baskets I already for hats and accessories and we put sticky hooks on the side for necklaces. I made the banner and taped it on the front. 

Done in 10 minutes!
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August 20, 2015

Cajun Shrimp Boil Grill Packs

We love having Shrimp Boils here in the South and
 tonight we made one for the three of us- but on the grill! 
I love the easiness of these Cajun Shrimp Boil Grill Packs and how they are almost mess free!
They are tender and steamed in a flavorful broth and taste delicious with fresh squeezed lemon and cocktail sauce. You can also make in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. 
Shrimp Boil


Makes 2-3 servings
  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled (tails on if you like)
  • 3 links of sausage (I like spicy Chorizo), sliced
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob, cut into fourths
  • 3 red potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Cajun/Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's or Phil Robertson's), to taste


1. Heat grill (can also be made in the oven at 400 degrees).
2. Evenly distribute corn, potatoes, mushroom, onion, shrimp, and sausage between 2 to 3 heavy-duty aluminum foil sheets.
3. Drizzle melted butter and chicken broth over each foil packet.
4. Season evenly (and generously), to taste with Cajun seasoning. 
5. Tightly seal foil packets by folding up the sides over the contents and tightly folding up the ends over the seam.
6. Grill 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, flipping once half-way through.
7. Open packets, place on plates, and serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce if desired. Enjoy! 

 Evenly distribute corn, potatoes, mushroom, onion, shrimp, and 
sausage between 2 to 3 heavy-duty foil sheets.
Butter and chicken broth give great flavor to the
 grill packs as they steam.
Drizzle melted butter and chicken broth over each foil packet.
You can use any seasoning you like. My husband likes Jack Daniel's seasoning
 or Cajun spices like Tony Chachere's Creole and Phil Robertson's Cajun Style.
Season evenly (and generously), to taste with Cajun seasoning.
Tightly seal foil packets by folding up the sides over the 
contents and tightly folding up the ends over the seam.
My handsome husband, the Grill Master!
Grill 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, flipping once half-way through.
Open packets, being careful of the hot steam. 
Place on plates and serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce if desired. 
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August 18, 2015

Kidgets Diapers and Ava's PB&J Cups

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This is a sponsored post for Family Dollar, however all opinions are mine.
I've got an infant and a toddler at home and let me tell you we go through a lot of diapers! 
My kids go through 7+ disposable diapers a day and that adds up fast! 
When I was sent a pack of Kidgets diapers, available exclusively through Family Dollar Stores, I jumped at the chance to try them out! This value brand costs less than other diapers brands but offers the same great quality and comfort. Sounds good to me!
My biggest concern was fit. I have two active kiddos and I want them to be comfy and not have itchy or droopy diapers. Kidgets diapers passed with flying colors! I had Ava and Stella both wear the diapers all day and they fit snug (with a surprising amount of stretch on the sides!) but the material was soft on their skin, like cloth, leaving no marks or scratches like diapers sometimes do.
Next, it was nap time. We have a problem with diapers leaking with both girls when they lay down for a while. The Kidgets diapers held up with no leaks, which was a huge plus! 
Ava gives Kidgets Diapers a thumbs up (and Stella gives them a big ol' smile).
I would recommend these to family and friends who are looking for a quality diaper for a good price! 

Not only are budget-friendly Kidgets Diapers offered at a great value at Family Dollar stores but they also offer a 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!

Find a Family Dollar store near you here

Peanut butter and jelly cups
Since I told y'all about diapers for my kiddos, I thought I would share a recipe for kiddos too!
This fun take on a PB&J sandwich is so easy to make your toddler can do it!
Ava had a blast making these PB&J Cups and she only made a little mess! 


  • 1- 15 count box baked mini phyllo dough shells (thawed if frozen or shelved in the baking aisle)
  • 5 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 tbsp seedless fruit jam (I used raspberry and blackberry)


  1. Fill each shell with 1 tsp peanut butter and 1/2 tsp jam.
  2. Store covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Recipe from Parents Magazine. 

These little tart shells are awesome! I use them often for party appetizers and I love 
the idea of serving them with peanut butter and jelly for bite size snacks for Ava.
All you need is creamy peanut butter and a seedless fruit jam or two.
I chose raspberry and blackberry. 
Fill each shell with 1 tsp peanut butter.
Add 1/2 tsp jam on top of the peanut butter.
Now dig in (and get messy) like Ava! 
She is a peanut butter and jelly eatin' fool! 
"Want to try one?"
My girl is such a big helper!

Find your nearest Family Dollar Store here.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Family Dollar.
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