Archive for May, 2011

Quick Frugal Tip: Leggings Refashioned

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

My daughter has an unbelievable collection of leggings that we have relied upon all year, since she loves wearing a dress almost every day. Now that summer season is finally here, our legging collection has gotten a little short and a little worn out. I hated to give these a toss though and just knew there had to be a good purpose to these.

With a set of scissors, I cut these off just below the knee. Now we have a perfect pair of shorts that can be worn underneath our sun dresses! Leggings that were too short and leggings with worn out knees,  have a fresh new purpose in our wardrobe.

Cute, chic, ladylike, and frugal.

An Apron Full of Giveaways 05.31.11

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

the craftqueen, $38

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week,  here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we aren’t giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck to each of you!

3 Easy Freezer-Worthy Dishes to Create

Monday, May 30th, 2011

When my daughter was small, I survived the dinner hour and those early days of motherhood by stocking my freezer and refrigerator with ingredients that could be thrown into our slow cooker in the morning, and forgotten about until the dinner hour rolled around. Our One Month of Slow Cooking article is the product of that time in my life, and was my best survival tactic for keeping us on budget and having dinner on the table each night.

Freezer cooking can also be a wonderful dinner hour survival tactic to keep your family supplied with meals and keep you out of the pick-up window at your local fast food joint. Today I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite recipes for creating freezer-worthy fare that your whole family will love. These dishes are always a hit in our house, and can easily be personalized to your family’s tastes. Double or triple these recipes to reap the benefits of your cooking day all month long!

Make sure that your freezer is running efficiently with these quick tips for energy-efficiency and easy freezer cooking guidelines!


Country Ham & Macaroni Casserole


  • 1 lb country ham slices or regular smoked ham in one piece (I use turkey ham)
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 can reduced sodium cream of chicken soup (or homemade using this recipe)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley (handful), chopped


Make Ahead: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water and ham to boiling in large pot. Once water begins to boil, remove ham to a plate. Add macaroni to pot. Return water to boiling; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Coarsely chop ham, discarding any fat.
Drain macaroni and return to pot. Add ham, cheese, sour cream, soup, and fresh parsley. Scrape into a 13x9x2 baking dish for freezing, or in two 8×8″ pans (for a smaller family), or freeze the casserole in a freezer bag.

To Prepare: Allow the casserole to thaw overnight. Pour the casserole into your baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle (optional) with two tablespoon of butter for a crunchy topping. Bake the casserole at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Yield: 8 Servings
Cook Time: 30 Minutes


Chicken Italiano


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomatoes (you can use fresh or a can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing


Make Ahead: Throw all of the ingredients in a freezer bag and label with cooking directions. To prepare, just thaw and follow directions for cooking.

To Prepare: Allow the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. For a slow cooker version, just place all ingredients in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for six hours. Serve over spaghetti or rice with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. To prepare this in the oven,  bake at 375 for 1 hour (or longer if they are large chicken breasts).

Yield: 4 Servings

Cook Time: 1 Hour


Chicken Enchiladas


  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (1.5 pounds)
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (I make this homemade version)
  • 1-2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas


Make Ahead: Combine the chicken, 2 cups of the cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, the chiles and cilantro. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until warm & pliable (approximately 1 minute). Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean counter. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla around the filling, then lay seam-side down in a 9×13″ baking dish lightly coated with vegetable oil spray. Spray the tops of the enchiladas lightly with cooking spray to help keep them moist. Cover your baking dish tightly and label for the freezer. Freeze the remaining  sauce in a small container, and freeze your cup of cheese for topping later.

To Prepare: Allow the enchiladas to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheddar browns, about five minutes longer. Serve, passing the remaining 1 cup of sauce.

Yield: 6 Servings

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Looking for more great recipes to throw in the freezer? Try my Italian Meatloaf, Homemade Spaghetti & Meatballs, Pulled Pork (double batched), Chicken Barbecue (double batched),  Pot Roast Italiano (double batched), or Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Soup for some other easy and delicious freezer additions.

Feel free to share your own freezer recipes and ideas for freezer cooking on a budget!

Amy’s Notebook 05.25.11

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I love this idea for activity jars to keep the kids entertained during the summer months (@ The Crafting Chicks)

I want to make one of these threaded necklaces as a way to dress up my tank tops this summer (@ tatertots & jello)

This coconut baked shrimp looks like a fun shrimp recipe to try (@ Weelicious)

Grilled chicken bruschetta looks like a fun way to spice up boring chicken (@ Skinny Taste)

My husband would be in heaven if I made him this key lime cake (@ The Lettered Cottage)

I am intrigued by this recipe for chickpea chocolate chip cookies (@ Cooking With My Kid)

How cute are these DIY bubble gum machines for a cute party theme (@ Kara’s Party Ideas)

My stomach is now growling as I look at these pictures for homemade chocolate chip cookies (@ Made)

I must make these berry lemonade cupcakes for a summer treat (@ Sunshine & Carousels)

These graduation treat pops are adorable (@ The Idea Room)

I want to try this recipe for a basic chicken salad (@ Craft)

I love these tips for throwing a realistic and beautiful birthday party (@ Picnics in the Park)

These library cards are an adorable way to keep track of where your books go (@ eighteen25)

I am going to have to try knitting this adorable clock (@ Retrobaby)

I am wild about this doormat wall art (@ lemon tree creations)

I can’t wait to try a few of these burger recipes from this delicious burger round-up (@ The Pioneer Woman)

This is a fun & thrifty idea for making homemade wet wipes (@ Big Red Kitchen)

I love this Pottery Barn dough bowl knockoff to add a little vintage flair to the table (@ The Country Chic Cottage)

Have you tried anything from our featured notebook entries? We would love to hear what projects you tried and how they worked out for your family!

Great Reads for Moms: May ’11 Edition

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Hurray for summer reading! I know many of us are signing our children up for summer reading programs, but don’t forget to get yourself on a reading program too. Summer reading is my favorite kind of reading and next week, I am going to do a round-up of simply great beach reads to add to your beach bag this summer.

I believe summer reading should be a light and fun time for reading with a heavy classic mixed in to round things out and help keep things balanced. In the meantime, I wanted to showcase four more Great Reads for Moms to snag at your local library!

If you are looking for a little inspiration this new year, be sure to check our MomAdvice fan page for a weekly check-in on what everyone is reading each week on our Facebook Fan Page. I hope you will swing by on Fridays and share about the books you are working on or request recommendations with one another. So far it is a huge success and I have gotten a few new ideas for my own stack!

Just as a reminder, I read many more  books than are just featured here, but try to feature the ones that are my absolute best picks of the month here. If you want to read more, please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! My username is momadvice and I am always happy to connect with people there too! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there! In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.

Happy reading, everyone!

Bossypants by Tina Fey

With advance praise like, “Tina Fey is an ugly, pear-shaped, overrated troll- The Internet” on the back of the book, you know that you are going to be in for a big laugh over Tina Fey’s book, “Bossypants.” I found myself laughing until tears streamed down my face while reading this one. I also admit that I read almost the entire book aloud (thanks to my uncontrollable laughing) to my husband who also loved it as much as I did.  I have been a longtime fan of Tina Fey and this book was such a treat to read and a fun light read that really made me giggle.

Part memoir, part comedy routine, part story-telling, the book is a little messy and a whole lot of fun.  As a mom, you will really relate to the juggling routine that Tina endures while working on 30 Rock and her obligations as a mom. More relatable than that are Tina’s stories of teenage angst and some of the hilarious self-depreciating humor that Tina seems to do so well. Tina also weaves in truths and life lessons from trying to break into the male-dominated sketch comedy world.

This book isn’t for everyone, but if you loved her comedy routines on SNL or are a big fan of the show, “30 Rock,” then you will really appreciate the humor in this book.

Editor’s Note- This book contains adult language and adult humor.

(MomAdvice Rating- 5 Stars out of 5 Stars)

If you liked this book you might like: Julie & Julia

Matched by Ally Condie

Fans of the Twilight and The Hunger Games series will have a new book series to love in Ally Condie’s ew new young adult dystopian novel, “Matched.”  In Cassia’s world, nothing is ever left to chance. Everything from what she will eat to who she will marry is decided by the Society Officials. When Cassia attends the ceremony to find out who her match for marriage is, she is surprised to discover that it is her childhood best friend. It is almost impossibly rare that one would know who their match is so it is a happy surprise to realize it is someone she has known her life.

When Cassia arrives home to find out more information about her match on the microchip she is given, it is another boy’s face that she sees…another boy that she has also known.  Cassia quickly spirals down the path of wondering if this really was who she was meant to be with as she discovers the power and consequence of free will.

Unlike, “The Hunger Games,” & “Twilight,” the one ingredient missing in this book is action. The element that brings the reader in is Cassia’s choice to love the person she has been chosen to be with, or to rebel against it all and going after the more dangerous choice. Unrequited love stories are always my favorite kind and the ending to this book left me anxious for the next book in the series from Ally Condie.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

If you liked this book you might like: The Hunger Games & My Name is Memory

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah strikes again with another tear-jerker of a book that brings into focus all the blessings that we have as mothers and how quickly it all can slip from our reach.

Jude is the quintessential perfect mother who has done everything she can to put the needs of her twins, Mia and Zach, first in her life. When Lexi Baill moves into their small knit community, Lexi immediately finds a kinship and friendship with Mia, an outsider and introvert who struggles to fit in at school. It is not long after becoming Mia’s friends that Zach finds himself falling in love with Lexi. While both struggle with how their relationship can work, while not taking away their relationship from Mia, they soon all find themselves as inseparable as the three musketeers.

Jude’s overprotectiveness of them cannot protect them from a fateful decision that her teenagers make that will alter the course of their lives forever. As their family falls apart and Lexi loses everything, the reader is taken through every excruciating moment of their pain-filled lives.  The book takes you down the harrowing journey of the consequences of that fatefull decision and how even when we desire strongly to keep our children safe that the unthinkable can happen.

Get out your tissues for this one and know that as a reader, you will be in for a bumpy ride and be haunted by this chilling account of this family’s fate.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

If you liked this book you might like: Winter Garden, Red Hook Road, The Year of the Fog

The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

Lulu and Merry have never had an idyllic childhood, but their lives are forever changed when their father is kicked out of their home and comes knocking on the door, just before Lulu’s tenth birthday. Lulu could never know the fateful decision she was making by letting her father in, as he brutally murders her mother and stabs her sister , finishing the brutality by attempting to kill himself.

Their father is sentenced to a thirty year prison stay for murder and the girls are shuffled from home to home, never really finding their place anywhere. With no family willing to keep them, they only have each other.

Despite Merry being stabbed by her father, she visits her father weekly and seems to see past his mistake, as she continues to cultivate a relationship with him. Lulu, on the other hand, refuses to ever speak to him again and is burdened by her own guilt for letting him into their house when her mother had told her not to. Both girls must find a way to just survive, and the book follows each of them through adulthood, showcasing how their past also shadows their future, as they make decisions, build relationships, and struggle daily with who they are without a family to shape them.

All can remain well when their father is locked away, but when their father appeals his parole, the girls must learn how they can live with their mother’s murderer on the outside and how they can ever find forgiveness….for themselves and for him.

This has a slow build with great character development.  Fraught with emotion, tragedy, and survival instinct, I thoroughly enjoyed this read from Randy Susan Meyers.

(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)

If you liked this book you might like: I’d Know You Anywhere & The Good Daughters


Not enough great reads for you? Check out our Books section of our site for monthly recommendations and ideas for making reading a priority again in your busy mom life!

Disclosure: All of the links above are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate the books quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me a latte instead.  Then we both would be really happy and we could have our own little book club together! Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely? Happy Reading!

What has been in your book stack this month? Feel free to share your book recommendations or feedback on any of the books that have been mentioned above! I love getting new suggestions for my book pile!

An Apron Full of Giveaways 05.24.11

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Dot’s Diner, $50

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week,  here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we aren’t giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck to each of you!

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

There are few things I love more than mushrooms and mushrooms happen to be star of the grilling show this week as I have been experimenting with grilled portobello burgers.

If you haven’t tried a portobello burger, they are a slice of heaven for a quick, easy, meat-free option.

Portobello mushrooms offer a hearty option and can be topped with any variety of toppings you have that are occupying your fridge.

Provolone, blue cheese, smoked gouda, cheddar, pesto, lettuce, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, pizza sauce, mozzarella…the possiblities with this burger are only as endless as your imagination.

With a little kick from garlic, a hint of tang from the balsamic vinegar, and a little salt & freshly ground pepper, this marinade can be pulled together in five minutes or less and takes only eight minutes on the grill.

The flavor is meaty, juicy, and tangy.

Piled with your favorite toppings, these are just as filling as any standard burger, but so much healthier.

Throw these on your grill in lieu of your traditional burger and pull out the condiments and produce fun from the refrigerator for a portobello burger bonanza.


Portobello Mushroom Burgers


  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 slices of cheese (provolone, blue cheese, smoked Gouda, cheddar, or mozzarella)
  • Toppings (pesto, lettuce, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, pizza sauce, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 2 wheat rolls, toasted


In a small bowl mix together you balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Place the portobello mushrooms in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over them.

Let the mushrooms marinate for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat the grill.

Brush the grill with a little olive oil and place the mushrooms step side down on the grill.

Cook for four minutes.

Flip the mushrooms over (stem side up) and cook for two more minutes.

Top with your favorite cheese and let cook for two more minutes on the grill, until the cheese has melted.

Place the mushrooms on a toasted bun and add your favorite toppings to your burger.

Serve with a side of  chips, pretzels, or carrot sticks.

Yield: 2 Servings
Cook Time: 8 minutes


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MomAdvice On the Move: Family Reunions, Vacation Planning,Outdoor Parties, & BlogHer Food

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Photo Credit: Simple Tess

Craving some afternoon reading today? MomAdvice is on the move and I am sharing on a few other sites this week some fun seasonal advice for the summer season!

This week on Goodwill Tips, I am sharing all about the great finds you can grab at your local Goodwill store before heading off on your next vacation. Certainly, thrift store shopping might not come to mind when buying items for your next vacation, but if there is anything I have learned when it comes to saving money, Goodwill is my first stop when I need to do a little shopping for a trip. Swing on over to Goodwill Tips for a list of great items to stock up on for your next vacation.

Over at Kenmore, you will find me dishing about ways I save on outdoor entertaining. Creating an elegant spread on a budget can be challenging, so I’m offering a few tips for making the most of your entertaining budget in the summer months. I am also sharing a fun recipe that can be made in your slow cooker for the big day so you can enjoy time with your friends instead of hovered over a stove all evening.  Get the scoop over at Kenmore on genius ideas for making entertaining easier for your family.

Are you planning a family reunion this year? Be sure to visit my article on Snackpicks to streamline the process of entertaining such a large group.  This article will have you covered from creative invites, to easy recipes, to games that the whole family can do together. Planning a great family reunion does take effort, but it will create a lifetime of memories that your family will long remember. Visit my article for just a few tips to help you plan a successful and memorable family reunion.

I am also on the move, literally,  as I head to Atlanta tomorrow for BlogHer Food. I am so grateful to Walmart for sponsoring my ticket, travel, and accommodations for this conference.  This will be my first BlogHer Food and I am very excited to learn how I can make the Recipe section of our site better for our readers and learn more about food photography, vlogging, and writing. Thank you again to Walmart for making this trip possible for me so I can make this site a better resource.

Amy’s Notebook 05.18.11

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I want to make one of these pie tin organizers from thrift shop finds (@ MaryJanes & Galoshes)

This vintage trophy coat rack would be a cute way to decorate a little boy’s room (@ design sponge)

This vintage book made into an expanding file folder would be a great way to tidy up paper clutter (@ Just Something I Made)

I want to try this recipe for Chicken Caesar Salad with an egg-free dressing (@ gimmie some oven)

This chicken florentine pesto pasta looks like a fun weeknight dinner (@ Simply Recipes)

My daughter would flip for this cotton candy tulle skirt (@ Simple Simon & Co)

These DIY coasters in spring colors would be a fun craft to try (@ A Little Hut)

These raspberry struesel bars look like a delicious little snack (@ Brown-Eyed Baker)

This sunny cardigan would be a great layering piece to add to my wardrobe (@ Pickles)

This crocheted circle necklace is such a fun accessory (@ happy together)

Have you tried anything from our featured notebook entries? We would love to hear what projects you tried and how they worked out for your family!

Oh, Baby: Sweet Knitted Baby Hats

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios

Baby hats are my latest knitted obsession since they are so easy to create and to give. I admit, I used to lovingly knit baby blanket after baby blanket for my friends. Those, unfortunately, require a lot of sweet love and endless amounts of free time. I decided I wanted gifts that could be knit in a couple evenings worth of television shows and that their mommies could actually use instead of storing them away. Hats really seem to fit the bill and their are endless patterns for adorable baby patterns out there.

Once you get the hang of knitting in the round, baby hats are a piece of cake! I will share with you my new favorite patterns and a few tools that can help you achieve baby hat success when knitting!  I usually try to highlight only free patterns, but these were a few that I did pay for. I do promise that the patterns are well-written and are the type that can be  made over and over again for gifts. I hope that this post will still inspire and give you a fun new gift to knit for a special little one in your life.

If you are a knitter, I would love for you to be my friend on Ravelry. My username is momadvice and I try to keep my little notebook updated with the current projects.

Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios

cherry tomato hat (in red) & sprout hat (in green)

Pattern: Greenleaf Baby Hat by Evelyn Uyemura (available for $1.00 as a Ravelry Download- join to access the pattern)

Needle Size: US 8 (I purchased this set of 12″ circulars for these hats)

Yarn: Naturally Caron Country (Claret) & Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage for stem. The green hat is done only in Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage

Notes: If you are looking for a great beginner pattern for making hats then this is the perfect pattern for you. This simple roll brim hat is simply knit in the round until you get to the top and then you create a basic i-cord to create the stem of the flower.  An easy set of increases and then decreases creates the leaf at the tip of the hat.

I did the roll brim pattern and made the i-cord about a 1/2” longer than the pattern specified. I also knit this hat on size 8 needles (for a 0-6 month size versus the newborn size).

This pattern could be knit into a variety of cute fruits and vegetables or in a solid color as I did for the second hat pictured above. Fall hats could be created into pumpkins, red and green would look adorable for a Christmas baby, and I can’t wait to try other fun additions to this adorable pattern.

The beautiful model in these photos is my sweet friend Andrea’s beautiful baby girl, Evey. She was so kind to let me share her photos on the blog. I could not have asked for a prettier model to model them!

Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios

brunhilde hat

Pattern: Viking Girl Hat by Sara Fama; Pattern is $7.50, but you can use a coupon code (“Ravelry10”) to receive 10% off the pattern. Pattern kits can also be ordered with the yarn used in the pattern, but I was able to find similar colors of yarn at our local craft shop.  The pattern included the pattern for the boy hat as well as the hat in different sizes.

Needle Size: US 6 (I purchased this set of 12″ circulars for these hats)

Yarn: (Charcoal), Loops & Threads Charisma (Yellow), Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! (Ivory)

Notes: Ever since I learned how to knit, I have been dying to make this hat. This has literally been bookmarked for over a year, in hopes that one day I would feel brave enough to knit it. A baby shower gift was the perfect opportunity to splurge on the pattern and give it a try. I can’t begin to tell you how much pride I had making this hat.

This hat really taught me a lot of new techniques, but the piecing of it was a little tedious. Beginning knitters will need to know how to knit bobbles (brief description is available in the pattern), create i-cords, knit on dpn’s, and knit in the round. Luckily, YouTube offers great video tutorials on these techniques to make creating this a little easier.

I made the Brunhilde pattern, but once I made the little wings for the hat, I did not think they looked like a Viking hat. It may have been to the stretch and give of the cotton yarn, but they just did not stand to attention like I had hoped. I opted to make the boy version of the horns and liked them much better. These were whip stitched in the same cream color).

The braids were really fun to knit and are knitted in three separate i-cords (attached by two rows of knitting at the top). I finished them with tightly knotted yarn and then grosgrain hot pink ribbon bows from my craft suppplies.

There is a lot of freedom with this pattern and it was written well, with a lot of comedic style and fun mixed into it. I am really proud of how this hat turned out and still can’t believe I actually made it!

purple pom pom hat & pom pom gray baby bear hat

Pattern: Pompom Bear by Amanda Keeys; I purchased this Baby Beanies Book to get the pattern. This is one of only three knitting books I own- I promise, it was a worthy investment if you are looking for easy hats to knit for baby gifts.  I have already knitted four hats from it and plan to knit many more patterns in this one.

Needle Size: US 8 (I purchased this set of 12″ circulars for these hats)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Heather Gray (for the boy version) & Naturally Caron Country in Dark Purple (for the girl version)

Notes: This hat is so fun to knit and is as cute as could be. In fact, each time I make this hat, I get an order request from another friend who wants one for her own little one. The hat has an easy ribbed edge and then is made into a garter stitch from there by just alternating rows of knitting and purling in the round.

It really is the most perfect hat for a beginning knitter because you don’t have to ever decrease this hat or use double-pointed needles to finish it. It is made even easier with a three needle bind off….which has changed my knitting world. I will link to a tutorial on this to help explain it, but if there is ever an opportunity for a three needle bind off in any of my projects, I am doing this. I used the circulars as though they were two straight needles and then used a DPN to knit them together and then bind of the stitches.


If you are just beginning the world of hats, these are the three things that really helped me have success getting comfortable with double-pointed needles and knitting in the round.

3 Things That Helped Me With Making Wee Baby Hats

1.Bamboo 12″ circulars– Here is the honest truth. If you are super coordinated with double pointed needles, you can skip buying these and knit the wee baby hats in the round. I have found that knitting baby hats in the round was more of a challenge than I expected, and my mother-in-law recommended purchasing 12″ circulars so the hats do not have to be started on the DPN’s. These were a lifesaver and I will always use these for starting my hats. They do require a bit of coordination since they are shorter & smaller than your normal circulars, but they are worth the effort.  I applied my Swagbucks towards Amazon gift cards to help reduce the cost on these.

2. Bamboo 9″ Double Pointed Needles– Again, these are an off-brand needle and they were extremely rough so they held my stitches really well. As a beginner on these, these rough double pointed needles were key for me to get the hang of it without dropping stitches. It was a lot cheaper to buy these as a set and I did apply my Swagbucks towards the Amazon gift cards so I didn’t have to dip in my pocket to pay for them. You could go with a different length on these, but I opted for these 9″ ones and they still work great for the baby hats as well as the adult hats I knit.

3. A Good Ring Marker- I was using the kind that you just slipped over the needles and was finding that I was losing my starting stitch marker for knitting in the round. Look for ones that will slip onto the yarn and put that at the beginning of my round. It will really help you not lose your pace and keep you on track with your knitting.


Disclosure: The links to books and supplies are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me some yarn instead.  Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely?

What craft projects have you been working on? Feel free to share any links to what you are working on and be sure to friend me on Ravelry if you happen to be a knitter too! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!