3 Great Toddler Apps

Toddler apps are extremely popular but it can be overwhelming with all the options out there. And while all kids are different I thought I’d share a few of the new apps I recently purchased that have been a big hit with my daughter who is almost 2. Some people may try to avoid paying for apps but in my mind these are well worth the money. We don’t let our daughter play on our iPhones as much as she’d like, but there are times, often when we are at a restaurant, that an engaging app can be the difference between a pleasant dinner or an embarrassing one.


I should also mention that since I’m a designer and an animator so both of those qualities play a big part in my selection process and are a requirement for me before I will put an app on my phone whether it’s payed for or not. Here are my latest 3 additions and Micah’s current favorites:



The idea behind this app is simple, take a bunch of animals divide them into three sections a top middle and bottom and then mix and match each section. Each time you rotate the screen there is a fun animation for that section and there is also a special animation each time you match all the sections of the animal correctly. The colors and character designs on this app are fantastic and each animation is quirky and fun. You can also see what your animal creations would be called which is surprisingly fun.

Busy Shapes:

Busy Shapes

We have a few actual shape sorters at our house where you put a square in the square hole or a circle in the circle hole and our daughter really enjoys playing with those so getting a digital version for when we are on the go was an easy decision to make. What’s really nice about this app is that it starts out very simple. Drag one shape to the only hole on the screen. But as you play the levels become a little more complicated and have multiple shapes and colors that you must match as well as a few obstacles. AND if a level is ever gets to difficult it will scale itself back down to an easier one if your toddler is having some trouble. I really enjoy watching Micah play this one because she has to do some problem solving and I can see the wheels turning in her head as she plays.

Toca Pet Doctor:

Pet Doctor

This one is currently our daughter’s favorite and it’s easy to see why. Bright colors, playful animals and a variety of mini games keeps her engaged for quite a while. I am a big fan of everything Toca Boca puts out. They are continuously making great apps and I have quite a few others that also on my phone. In this one you play doctor to 15 sick animals. Each one has a problem that you must take care of from bumps on the head to broken wings. It’s filled with fun animations and simple enough game play for our almost-2-year-old to easily figure out. This is another one where you can see her trying to figure out what she needs to do to help the animals and when she solves each problem she gets a huge smile on her face and see a sense of satisfaction. I recommend adding all these apps to your phone but if you can only add one then this would be the one to get!

Hope that helps out anyone looking for great toddler apps. I’m sure I’ll be adding new ones all the time as Micah continues to grow and with our newest little one on the way so I’ll post those as I find the ones I’d consider worth purchasing. If this was helpful or if you don’t want to miss out on future app reviews like us on Facebook and/or signup for our monthly (or less) newsletter to the right of this post.



Appologies and Excuses

We have been neglecting our blog. So first off I want to say sorry and thanks for hanging in there with us. We are planning to pick it back up in May and will give you some great new posts on a weekly basis. We have heard all the comments on updating our patterns for the tutorials and adding new sizes and will get to that this summer. Tabitha has the summer off so she will be able to spend more time getting those updates and lots of great new posts as well.

We’ve been adjusting to a few major changes over the past month and let it get in the way of us posting regularly. One thing is that I got a new job and have been focusing my time there, but now that I’ve transitioned I should be able to get back into the habit of keeping up this blog. AND we recently found out we (actually just Tabitha) are pregnant with our second kid. Tabitha has had a rough month of early pregnancy but we are expecting things to get much better next month. We are both SUPER excited about our newest addition and will probably be posting about things we find for the new one’s room. Anyway, lots of transition happening and all for the better so I’m hoping the same is true for this blog.  We’ll start things off next week with our new posts, but until then here’s our baby announcement we recently made! See you next week.





A Week Without Work

A few weeks ago I was transitioning between jobs and had a whole week to do whatever I wanted. I wanted to use that week to challenge myself to get as many small projects done as possible. Working on personal projects has always been refreshing for me and gets me motivated and inspired to do the other work. Here are some of the results of my week off work.

I painted 3 rooms and started redecorating designing our living room.

I drew a new mobile wallpaper (the Cowboy one)

I designed and screen printed a new t-shirt for micah


I experimented with some new animation techniques

And I designed and painted a sign for our living room.

sign2 sign1


I highly recommend taking some time off and doing something just for the fun of it. None of these projects were done for any reason other than I thought they’d be fun to do. And you don’t even have to switch jobs to do it. Take some time off work, maybe even just a couple days, and dedicate it to a project you’ve wanted to do or to something you’ve wanted to learn. For me, when I went back to work I felt rejuvenated and was ready to take on any project that came my way. I’d love to hear about it if you decide to do this and what you did with your time off.






Free Western Mobile Wallpaper

Been a while since my last post but hopefully I can bribe you back into reading with a free wallpaper 🙂  I’ve been on a little bit of a western kick recently so I thought I’d make a wallpaper to match my mood this month. These three phases sum up cowboys and life in the wild west to me. Of course, I live in the city in the middle of the country and only know about cowboys from what I see in movies and cartoons so I may not be an expert on the subject. Still i hope you enjoy this wallpaper.


iPad     iPhone     iPhone5

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Thrift Score!

I’m excited to share our latest thrift score – a thrifted painting-turned-chalkboard!  DIY chalkboards are all the rave these days, and I must say, I’m quite a fan myself.  So, you can imagine my glee when I found this beauty at my local thrift store.  It still had the $130 Kirkland’s tag on the back, so I was definitely happy with the thrift store tag of $15!  It’s a great size, too, nice and big – about 27″X33″.


Some painter’s tape and spray paint later, we had the perfect chalkboard!  And, it was finished just in time to be used at a dear friend’s baby shower.  It is such a statement piece, and I absolutely love it.  We plan to use it for our weekly menu, hanging in our dining room.


Want to make one on your own?  Here are some tips:

1. Make sure the picture you’re painting over has a textured or rougher surface (not glass or a super smooth surface).  This will help the chalk grab on and works better as a writing surface.

2. Take time to tape around the spots you don’t want to get paint on!  This might mean you have to do 2 rounds (one round for the frame, one round for the chalkboard surface), but it’s totally worth it.

3. Put 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint on the surface.  This takes a little more time, but it will give you a more even look.  Make sure you allow the paint to dry in between rounds!

Looking for the right paint?  There are lots out there, but here’s what I used: Rustoleum Professional Spray Paint (frame) and Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint (surface)

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Unique Gift Guide

Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’re looking for something unique and special, the world wide web is a great place to start!  Here are some of my fave finds and some great places to shop for all gift-giving occasions!

1. Dino Planter by The Plaid Pigeon (found at


2. iPhone 5 Case by Velvet Owl Design Studio (found at


3. Play Time Tea Set by Land of Nod (found at

Tea Time

4. Plush Chewbaca by Peludossa (found at



5. The Troubadour Headphones by Sevenly (found at


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2013 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from the Todds!

This year’s Christmas video card features our dog and music by Fiction Family. Check out their Holiday EP at



Free Nativity Wallpaper

Christmas is almost here! That will either freak you out or excite you. I’m excited. Our decorations went up last weekend and this one is now on my phone. With this wallpaper I have officially made it through the entire year and created 13 free wallpaper designs! Click on Free Stuff under the blog tab to find all the ones from past months.

I had a lot of fun making this one and I hope you like it. I decided to get this design and the nativity I designed from last year printed as 11×14 posters and will put them in the shop so you can get one to decorate your home if you like. I really enjoyed revisiting such an iconic scene and making it personal.


iPhone     iPhone 5     iPad

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Asymmetrical Clutch Tutorial with Free Pattern

The Holidays are upon us, which means gifting is in full swing!  Sometimes, gifting can be tough, especially on your budget.  But alas, handmade gifts are both budget-friendly and personal, which make the holiday season better for everyone! So, I thought I would share a little clutch tutorial with you, just in time to make something special and fun for that special and fun someone on your list.  Enjoy! What you’ll need: 1 – about 1/4 yard of 2 coordinating fabrics (one for the outside of the clutch, one for the inside). – about 1/4 yard of fusible interfacing –

(download by clicking) – Snaps/Snap Setter Tool (or magnetic closure or velcro – whatever you plan to use as a closure) – Basic sewing supplies (scissors, sewing machine, etc.) Steps: 1. Print out the pattern pieces.  Match up the stars for the fabric piece, tape them together, and cut out the pattern.  The piece labeled “Fabric” will be used for both your inner and outer fabrics. Repeat the same steps to cut out the interfacing pattern.  The piece labeled “Interfacing” will only be used for your interfacing.  If you’d like, you can re-trace them onto poster board or cardboard to keep for future use! 2. With your outer fabric facing right-side up.  Turn the pattern piece upside-down on the fabric, then trace and cut.  This might feel funny, but trust me, you’re doing it right:) 2 3. With the same pattern piece, take your inner fabric facing right-side up.  Turn the pattern piece right-side up, then trace and cut. 3 4. Now, take your interfacing and place it right-side up (right side is the side that feels rougher – the side that does not fuse to the fabric).  Place the interfacing pattern piece right-side up, trace and cut.  **I wanted to share that the reason the interfacing piece is smaller is because it will make turning your clutch WAY easier later on.  It also helps give the asymmetrical flap a better shape. 4 5. Now, you should have 3 cut pieces (outer fabric, inner fabric, and interfacing). 5 6. Following the instructions for your fusible interfacing, iron the fusible piece (right-side up) to your outer fabric piece (right-side down). 6 7. With your outer fabric facing right-side up, fold the bottom of the piece up about half way and pin.  Basically, the crease of the fold should be where the widest part of the fabric is (just make sure it looks right when you fold the top part down:).  Repeat this with your inner fabric. 7 8. Sew about 1/4″ down the sides of each piece.  When they are lying side-by-side, it should look like this: 8 9.(Optional step) Press down the corners and pin. Then, sew about 1/2″ across and cut off the excess (do this with both the outer and inner pieces).  This step is optional – you can complete the clutch without it.  But, this step gives your clutch a fuller bottom and makes for much more room inside if you do it! 9 10. Turn the outer fabric right-side out and put it inside the inner fabric (do not turn your inner fabric), like this: 10 11. Sew along where your fabrics touch (see pic below).  Make sure to leave an opening big enough to pull the fabric through. 11 12. Pull the whole thing through that hole!  Be careful with it – it might take some time, considering your fusible interfacing has given your fabric some strength.  Once you get it through the whole, stuff the inner fabric inside the clutch. 12 13. Iron!  Iron along all the creases, iron inside the clutch, just iron it all over to make it look nice and pretty. 13 14. Top stitch all the way around (which will also close that open hole).  If you prefer not to top stitch, then you can either hand-stitch the hole closed or use some liquid stitch (a favorite of mine). 14 15. Add on your snap/closure!  I chose to use some snaps, because that’s what I had handy.  I’m a big fan of this snap setter tool and all the colorful snap options I can find with it.  But, you can choose to close it up with velcro, a magnetic closure, whatever your heart desires!  If you do choose to use something like a magnetic closure, though, make sure you add it before you sew your fabrics together!!  Also, I thought I would add that my little clutch (although super cute with two little snaps) might have been easier to open/close with a different closure.  Gotta work with what you’ve got! 15 Voila!  You’ve got yourself a cute little clutch to hold your keys, phone, and wallet!  Or, you could be sweet and gift it to someone else.  Whatever you do, make it fun and personal.  And Happy Holidays!! 16 Be sure to subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook for more tutorials and deals! TabSignature


November Wallpaper

November is a month where everyone reflects on their blessings. So this month’s wallpaper is a reminder that when you do, be sure to do it to the fullest! Thank Fully.

Thanks for reading. I mean. REALLY REALLY thank you.


iPhone & iPad Mockup 1 - Infinity -

iPhone     iPhone 5     iPad

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