Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nap Time Christmas Decorating

I'm sure I'm sure I'm not the only SAHM that LOVES nap time!  It gives me a chance to regroup, get some peace and quiet, and perhaps to even sit down watch some reality TV and work on a project.  I've been having so much fun making my home more merry this year with the boys, but sometimes I just want to do something fun without any interruptions!! I've been all over my favorite place Pinterest, and I found this perfect nap time activity.

Pinterest via

I love the classy and elegant feel of it and I new right away I wanted this in my dinning room.  So off to Hobby Lobby I went (on the weekend with both boys of course).

Now typically I don't do glass ornaments in my house (two kids under 3 and all).  Anyway I was looking for plastic silver balls and they just weren't giving me the shine factor I wanted.  So I went with glass and some silvery looking ribbon.

I bought one box of I think 10 small balls and like 3 boxes of 6 larger ones.  I started by stringing a small ball on the end of my ribbon.  I guessed the length of the ribbon I wanted.  I figured I could always cut any extra if it was too long.

I tied a loop on each ball along the way to keep it from sliding down to the bottom.

Then I added 2 or 3 more balls using smaller ones near the bottom and bigger on top.  When I was done I had this.  I repeated these steps about 5 times until I had a shiny bunch.

 I attached each string of balls directly to the light fixture simply by tying it.  Once I finished, I had to do a bit of sliding the balls up or down to get the look I wanted.  This of course was kind of tricky since I had tied the balls to keep them from sliding.   It took a few different tries to get it exactly the way I wanted.

I was really happy with how it turned out, but it made the table look super plain.  So I did some rummaging through the house and found an old runner.  I borrowed two candles from the mantle over the fire place, and an old charger from party city sitting in one of my kitchen drawers.  It was gold and kind of very spotted.  Two coats of white spray paint solved that problem.

TA DAAAA!! I told my mom I was going for winter elegance.  I know it's no Macy's window display, but it makes me happy and that's what matters.

 Enjoy your day!!!

Linking to
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How To: Make Your Own Field Guide

In yesterday's post I showed off our new A - Z field guide.  I kind of got the idea from Go Diego Go.  Munchkin is really into that show.  He was not into talking about animals until I told him we should make a field guide like Diego.  Anyway this is all we did.

 Gather your supplies, and definitely involve your little one.  We used a $1 notebook, brown paper bag, glue (in the picture you'll see a glue stick... it didn't work), scissors.

Trim your paper down to size.  Cut the bottom and handles off.  

Next let your munchkin crumble the bag.  He had a lot of fun doing this.  It's not often I actually want him to crumble paper.

Smooth your brown cover over and measure to be sure you have enough to cover the front and back.  I didn't really measure.  I just laid the book over the paper and folded it down to size.  Be sure to do this while your notebook is closed, otherwise you'll be a little short.

Then I let Munchkin go crazy with the glue stick (as I mentioned before... this didn't work, so I ended up going back over it with regular white glue.  Be careful not to get glue on the pages or the spirals.

Last I closed the field guide and let it dry.  I did have to use clothes pins to hold the bag cover to the book.  This also helps to keep the cover off the pages while it dries.

Last decorate your guide.  I found these movable stickers at the Dollar Tree.  Be sure to let your little one in on the decorating!!  I do have to admit.. Munchkin was having a two year old moment when it came time to decorate the cover... so he chose not to participate.  Have Fun!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tot School... What We've Been Up To

Munchkin is 33m
Little Bear is 14.5m

Seems like forever since I did a Tot School Post.  We've been up to lots.  We actually started our Letter of the Week over at A again.  This round we will be focusing more on the letter  sounds, as opposed to simply identifying letters.  So far Munchkin is doing great!!

First of all, he as finally gotten the hang of cutting!! LOL, he is so excited about it too! He loves just cutting and cutting until there are a million little snippets everywhere.

 I've decided to make an ABC book with Munchkin too.  We will do a letter craft each week for both the big and little letters, make a collage page, and we'll add a letter tracing page too!  Check out our A letter crafts.  I found the cute letter craft ideas at No Time For Flash Cards.  While we are learning the letter we'll hang it in the school area of the playroom.  At the end of the week we will add it to our book.

We have also made an A-Z field guide (very Diego like).  Each week we will add some type of animal (or insect).  We had a great time making it.  I'll add a how to tomorrow.  This week we talked about antelope.  I just did a google images search for the pictures!

See the antelope eating grass.. lol!

My other little Tot Schooler is doing well too!  He is walking everywhere now, and getting into everything!!!  He loves playing with these sorting vehicles.  I know, not letter A related, but he loves them and that's what matters.  He takes them in and out of the bucket, kicks his legs in them, and of course tastes them.

He is also very interested in "reading".  He is always flipping through his board books, and now at bedtime he actually will sit and listen (most of the time) while hubby or I read.

Check out more great Tot School posts here!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Five: Stay In Love With the Holidays!

Hey All!!! So let me get right to it.  Last week I was watching the news (I forget which channel) but they were reporting on the top 5 reasons people hate the holidays!! SERIOUSLY!?!?! Do people really hate the holidays?  Anyway, It really made me kind of sad, because everything they listed; standing in lines, debt, crazy relatives.. can all be avoided.  If you've been reading my blog than you know that family is very important to me, and I LOVE the holidays!!  So here are my 5 ways to stay in love with the holidays.

1. Remember the reason for the season.  Let me start by saying that while I am a spiritual kind of gal, and I strive teach my children good morals and values,  I'm not very religious.  With that said, I do understand that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of little baby Jesus.  I feel if people just remembered that one astounding but very simple ideal, they'd enjoy the season much more.

2.  Make gifts! or shop with in your means.  I mean if you got it... go for it... but if not, there are so many ways to show someone you care with out breaking the bank.  My favorite thing to do is make presents for people.  I used to do this more often, before I was caring for 2 little people and a home, but nonetheless, I still do here and there.  It can be as simple as putting together a gift basket; try adding fun soaps, body puffs, and a candle for a spa in a basket, or make a date night basket with a favorite DVD, microwave popcorn, and perhaps a bottle of something sparkling.  This year my nieces are getting a little bath caddy filled with toiletries just for them (Mary Kay of course; )  Making fun scrapbook pages is fun too (if you have the time), and for the quickest heartfelt gift... a picture with frame will be treasured by most.  Trying to impress someone with an expensive gift just seems like the opposite of what Christmas is all about.

3.  Don't go crazy for the kiddies!  I have 4 brothers and sisters and my mom did her best on her teacher's salary to make our Christmases merry.  We didn't always get everything we wanted... and we survived.   I have so many awesome memories of the holidays; dancing to Christmas tunes, baking and eating cookies, decorating the tree... but honestly there are very few toys and gifts that I remember and count as a precious holiday memory.  My boys are getting 2 gifts to share, 2 gifts of their own, and some fun bath things in their stockings.  I don't want them to be overwhelmed by toys (that I will inevitably be cleaning up), and I also don't want toys and gifts to over shadow all the other great things the holidays have to offer. (BTW, shopping online is the best thing ever if you do want to spoil the kiddies and avoid lines)

4.  Learn to say NO!!  Last year the hubs and I decided to invite everyone we know (friends and family, neighbors... just about everyone we met!!) to our house for Christmas, and most of them came.  I had the nerve (because it was my first time hosting) to try and cook almost everything myself, and that was all while trying to handle my 20m old Munchkin and nurse my 3m old Little Bear.  By Christmas I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was hide in my room.  This year I have been careful to say no to things I know I can't handle.  I want to be able to enjoy the day with my family, and the small amount of guests we have over this year.

5.  Create a special holiday tradition.  When I was little we didn't get a tree until a few days before Christmas, and we didn't decorate it until Christmas Eve.  We put cookies out for Santa every year, and always watched The Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eye out!!..yes that one).   I love thinking back to those days.  I've started my own holiday traditions with my own new family.  We get our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we will put cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer and on Christmas Eve we will all snuggle together and read Twas' The Night Before Christmas.  I am thinking of choosing a special book for each little one and writing something nice in it every year too.. but I haven't technically started that one yet.

Now as always, you can take or leave what I say, but I do hope that those of you out there that get overwhelmed by the holidays take just one idea and spin it into something that works for your family.

Happy Holidays!! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Goodness!

My goodness... I feel like I've been away for too long!! I haven't disappeared, just trying to get a handle on things at the house.  I am exhausted these days... with decorating, cleaning, cooking, training (yes... still potty training... and yes it still sucks!!!), and tot schooling I haven't gotten a minute to post.. well I guess I have a few minutes.. so I'm sneaking in this post in today... Did I mention I'm trying to plan my Mary Kay Open House?!?!

Ever feel like things are just getting all out of control.  I'm behind on laundry, and cleaning seriously... so I must devote most of my time to that recently.  Anyway.. I've stopped by a few of my favorite blogs... and I love what I'm seeing!!! All the color, organizing, and decorating has my heart all a twitter!  Anyway, just in case you were wondering I'm still here, just all over the place at the moment.  Hopefully I'll be back with a real post soon, with some great updates on what I've been up to.  And my minute is gone.. I think I just heard a bucket of blocks being dumped out!  Gotta Run!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Five: Black Friday

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just next week!... which means that Christmas is just around the corner!! I can't wait!  However as much as I love Christmas (and I really do), stressing out in lines and stores and parking lots is not my idea of fun.  So while some of you may be out at 5am (or maybe earlier for some of you).  I will be spending my day doing other things.  Here is a list of Five Things I'll Be Doing On Black Friday.

1.  Cooking!! Yeah Yeah, Thanksgiving is on Thursday... I know.  But we will be spending Turkey day with my mom, and I need to have my own special mini Thanksgiving at home with my little family.  I love to cook, and when you go to someone else's house your limited to what they ask you to bring.  Plus I'm greedy and I like lots of leftovers... lol.  So I'll be making everything that was on Friday Five: Favorite Thanksgiving Eats.

2. Online Shopping.   Hey just because I don't like to go to the malls or stores on Thanksgiving doesn't mean I don't love a great deal, and it seems to me that you can get pretty much the same discounts if you shop online Friday or Cyber Monday.

3.  Holiday Decorating!  If you want to see me act like a total child and my eyes light up like a kid in a candy store... peek in my house when I'm decorating for Christmas.  This has been one of my favorite things to ever since I was a child... There's just something about getting the Christmas box out and unwrapping all the little Christmas trinkets.  Love Love Love It!!

4.  Belting out my favorite holiday tunes.  Yes I'll admit I've been listening to (and singing) Christmas music since mid-October, but I'll be adding to my playlist and playing it throughout the house now.  I will most likely at some point during the day; scoop up one, two, or even all three of my guys and dance them around to Luther singing This Christmas (CLASSIC!!!)

5.  Going to the Gym!!  Come on... I'm not a total glutton.  Yes I will stuff myself both Thursday and Friday... But I have made a commitment to myself:  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday... my behind will be in the gym getting in a good workout, and Black Friday is no different.

Anyhow... are you a Black Friday Shopper or a Keep it in the house kinda gal?  What are some of your favorite after Thanksgiving traditions?... I'd love to hear.

I'll be taking a blogging vacation next week.  I may add a tot school post because we just did a cute project... but I can't promise I'll be posting at all (side bar... one of the things I love about blogging is that I can decided when and for how long I can take a break).  Anyway, check back on December 2nd for the first Holiday themed Friday Five. myspace graphic comments
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Home Tour With A Twist: The Boys' Rooms

 Hello there!!! Welcome to our Home Tour with a Twist, bedroom edition.  As I've taken you through the rest of our home, you've probably noticed that besides paint... it's a total blank slate.  Well, the boys' rooms are a  tad more taken care of.  You'll notice, that although I love the boys' rooms, there is no design savvy.    We'll start in Little Bear's room and I'll explain.

When you come in through the door you can see LB's crib.  I've placed it at an angle because I love the look of it that way.  When Munchkin was born, hubby and I (mostly me) picked the Kidsline Zanzibar theme.  Everything is Zanzibar.... everything.   Me being the (mostly) practical person that I am (I do have my moments of splurging) everything we used for Munchkin's baby nursery passed down to Little Bear... lol, along with clothes, toys, books, and everything else.  Poor kid... maybe one day he'll get his own things. 

These are LB's crib necessities: his blanket, boppy, pillow pet, pacifier (which stays in the crib) and a Curious George (not pictured).  I know it looks crowded, but that is the only way to get him to sleep.  Can you see the teeth marks from both my little teething babies.

The corner behind the crib is where I hide all the baby things we're not using... until I get a chance to move them to the basement.

I know this picture is horrible... but I couldn't get a better shot and I wanted to show you the window between the glider and crib. 

 In the corner across from the crib is the glider and dresser/ changing table combo.  I've spent many many late nights and early mornings soothing little ones in this glider.   It has a small ottoman, but I have two little dare devils who like to use it like a cannon or in some other dangerous way... so off to the closet it went.

Both my boys at this age enjoy pulling the clothes out of the drawers!
Little Bear is also really into opening and closing doors... it's amazing he hasn't pinched his fingers yet.
Once I stop using the top to change millions of diapers I would like to add a shelf.   For now I'm afraid of bumped heads.

The closed door is the closet (check it out all organized here).  The open door is the bathroom.  Yes... all the bedrooms in my house have a bathroom... awesome for convenience... not so awesome for the person who cleans.  Anyhow, I don't keep too many toys in the kids' rooms which makes keeping them neat pretty easy.  One of those bins has small toys, and the other books.  The wall stickers have been used in 3 different rooms.  We first used them in our other house for Munchkin.  When we moved, the cheapo that I am peeled them off and put them on the wall in Munchkin's new room, and when Little Bear arrived I peeled those suckers off again and re-stuck them in here.  So if you wondering if they are worth the money... Yes!!

This is Little Bear's bathroom.  I say Little Bear's only cause it's in his room, but I only use this one for both boys.  I keep Munchkin's locked; A. so he won't go in there and do crazy things that 2 year olds do, and B.  I can't keep up with all the cleaning, and I really don't think a 2 yr old needs a bathroom of his own.
 So much for Munchkin cleaning up bath toys after bath time!

All their little bathroom needs and things are kept in the medicine cabinet where only I can reach.  

Munchkin's Room is all decked out in Circa sports from Target.  I made a deal with hubby that if I could have Zanzibar when he was a baby (hubby wanted a sports nursery) then his next room could be sports. So here it is.  

Munchkin's room is pretty much identical to Little Bear's.  One wall with windows across from the closet and bathroom.  Here's his closet if you want to check it out.  I didn't take pics of the windows because of the glare (like in Little Bear's room).  I also forgot to do pics of Munchkin's bathroom but it's painted light blue and has Target's Ducky theme going on.
I took this pic standing in front of his dresser.
We skipped getting a toddler bed because I figured he'd only use it for a year or two and we'd be buying another anyway.  
The boys fooling around... seconds later there was a huge fight over that pillow pet that happens to be Munchkin's.
The Munchkin's dresser and bedroom door.

On the corner next to the dresser are Munchkin's books.  I need to find a better system.  I'm thinking Ikea spice racks... but I've been seeing some other cute and inexpensive book storage ideas... so I'm holding out.

 So as you can see we used absolutely no design skills for these rooms.  Everything is completely store bought and designed.  Well my friends, that is about to change.   No not the entire rooms, but I'd like to add some personal touches to each room.  

The plan for both these rooms:
Add name art on the walls (Munchkin's in bright red)
Find some fun art for them, and ways to display their own art.
I want to hang different sports balls from the ceiling in Munchkin's room (over the reading corner), and perhaps some stuffed jungle animals in LB's room.
Add shelving over both boys' dressers for small details and family pics.
I also want to get door signs for both boys.

What Are your ideas?  Seen any good reading nooks around?

Here's the rest of the home tour room by room if you want to check it out.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Five: My Favorite Thanksgiving Eats!

Not sure if I've mentioned this... but I love food.  Seriously, I love the smells and tastes.  I love to cook (most of the time).  When I went away for college, I missed home cooked food so much that Thanksgiving was like my absolute favorite holiday.  Anyhow, there are so many wonderful foods to eat on Thanksgiving, but if I had to choose just 5 (God forbid.. lol), this is what I'd choose.

1.  Alton Brown's Roasted Turkey.   For those of you who are turkey gurus, I'm sure you've heard of brinning.  Basically it's like a marinade for your turkey.  It makes the meat super juicy and flavorful.  Anyway, last year is the first time I tried it, it's words can't explain good.  I followed Alton Brown's recipe exactly.   The week before Thanksgiving last year I did a small practice turkey (we were having everyone we know over so I didn't want to experiment with the actual bird).  Anyway, it was so good, my husband and I ate that sucker right out the roasting pan.. I didn't even have to make a gravy, although I did on Thanksgiving because of tradition.   This recipe is on, it's 5 star with well over 3,000 reviews... try this recipe now!!

2.  Sausage Stuffing - When I was a little girl, stuffing was never a fav.  The soggy mess that comes out of the bird (usually made with store bought stuffing mix) just wasn't very appealing to me.  However, a couple of years ago I discovered experimented with homemade stuffing.  Let me just tell you it's a 100 times better.  Last year I found a recipe for homemade stuffing and it has totally changed my perception.  First of all it is not cooked in the bird (I stuff my bird with herbs and onions and things like that).  I've made this recipe using both cornbread and white bread and I can't decide which way I like better.  It's from a Food Network Magazine Nov. 2010 (50 Stuffings), it was a mini pull-out cook-book ).  Here it is if you'd like to give it a try.

Brown 1 pound of crumbled sausage ( I always use turkey sausage) in 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.   Add 2 cups each of diced onions and celery (I never add celery because I can't stand it) and 1 tablespoon each of minced sage, and thyme; add salt and pepper and cook 5 min.  Add 3 cups of chicken or turkey broth and bring to a simmer.  Beat 2 eggs with 1/4 cup chopped parsley in a large bowl.  Add 16 cups of cubed stale bread, then pour in the vegetable broth mixture and toss.   Transfer to a buttered baking baking dish, dot with butter.  Cover and bake for 30 mins at 375.  I also add dried cranberries in mine when I mix everything together... just think it really sends it over the moon.

3. Baked Macaroni and Cheese - Now, I love all things cheese, but the marriage of cream, butter, pasta, and cheese all baked until golden and bubbling is pure heaven to me.  I grew up eating baked macaroni and cheese in a non-traditional way.  My uncle made it using big ziti noodles (so the cheese sauce oozes out with each bite).  I have my own recipe to make it, and folks have always told me it's the bomb.  Lol, funny story... When I first started dating my husband I made mac and cheese for him.  I was so busy talking and (ok flirting) that I totally over cooked it and it was this dry lumpy sad excuse for mac and cheese.  Well he of course ate it, but later on he told me he could help me out.  Then, a few days later during my "tutoring" he explains that his ex-girlfriend made the best mac and cheese and he was going to show me how.  Now, I don't typically get all "black girl", but oh no he didn't (neck swerve and all)!!!  Seriously! The nerve, and in my kitchen no less.  So of course I'm fuming and when his mediocre mac and cheese was done I ate it and told him (ever so sweetly) that I could def make it better.  So of course a challenge was set and at Thanksgiving at my uncles house we had a tasting(blind, no one knew who's was who's).   I won of course!!

Anyhow, I don't typically measure when I make it so I don't have an exact recipe but I basically make a cheese sauce using garlic, white wine, and heavy cream.  I add sharp cheddar, monteray jack, and colby cheese, then a sprinkling of nutmeg and pepper.  I like to use big ziti noodles like my uncle.  I do not add bread crumbs on top, never been a fan of that.  I also don't use egg.  If I do it right (and I don't every time.. kids yelling and pulling on my leg and what not), then the cheese sauce is thick enough with out needing eggs or flour.   It takes a while because I have to constantly stir.  Anyway if you want another great recipe, Patti Labelle's Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese is delicious too.  Try it out, I also think it's easier to make.

4. Mashed Potatoes  A heaping pile of hot, creamy, buttery mashed potatoes with rich brown gravy spilling over the sides is just sooooo good.  Last year (can you tell it was my first time hosting last year?) I found out that there is a trick to perfect mashed potatoes.   Now I don't know the whole science behind it, but the milk or cream you add should be hot.  Also the butter should be melted.  It makes for the perfect consistency.  Some times I make herbed mashed potatoes.  Just heat the milk and butter and add chopped fresh herbs to it (usually sage and thyme, possibly basil if I have some).  YUM!!

5. Collard Greens - This is a staple on my plate on Thanksgiving.  I've loved collard greens since I was a child.  My mother told me that her father (my pop pop) called the juice left over in the in the bottom of the pot "pot liquor".  Has anyone else ever heard that?  It always makes me smile when I think of him.  Typically collards are cooked on some type of pork, but since hubby doesn't eat pork I cook mine on smoked turkey wings.  The result is just as divine.

With these five dishes, I could eat Thanksgiving left overs for weeks.  I love this food so much that even though the fam and I will be heading over to my mom's for Thanksgiving I know that the plate of food I'll bring home will not be enough and I'll be making these same 5 dishes for a second Thanksgiving for my small family.  LOL, then we can have tons of leftovers, just like I like it.

By the way, it is not by accident that I haven't chosen any pies or dessert.  I know lots of people love dessert on Thanksgiving.  Usually I'm too stuffed to eat dessert and to be completely honest... I don't like pumpkin or sweet potato pie (call me crazy if you want).

What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods? myspace graphic comments
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Like Us On Facebook!!!

Hey Rosey Fans and Followers!  I have finally set up (and connected) my Facebook page.  Check-Us out to hear some fun little tips or random daily activites at the Rosey Home!   

Click the Badge on the right to start!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Playroom Update: New Magnetic Center!

I'm not sure if this is true for every one's stainless steel fridge, but mine is not magnetic.  What!?!? Now how am I going to hang fun letter activities and things for the boys?  Well thanks to Pinterest, I found my answer.  If you haven't checked Pinterest... run there now.

Anyway, while reading lots of Tot School posts, I'd often see the leapfrog magnetic refrigerator game.   I love everything Leap Frog and I immediately wanted it for Munchkin.   The answer... a new homemade magnetic center in the school area in the playroom.  This is the before, if you want to see.

See this!

Pinterest via

I love the idea!!!  What do I love even more?  It was so inexpensive!   The cookie sheets were only 98 cents from Walmart!  The command strips that I hung them with were more expensive.  Anyway... take a look at my version.

 I was going to spray paint them bright red... but the hubby was like "is that non-toxic?"  Lol, I started imagining peeling red paint chips, or scratches from rough play (I do have to little boys).   Needless to say I left them shiny silver.  Not exactly what I had in mind... but I love it nonetheless.  I'll save the red spray paint for the spice rack shelves I'm gonna add.

First I laid them on the floor to decide how I wanted to hang them.   I measured the space to try and get them centered... and uh... they're still a tad bit off center... oh well.

They are the perfect height for Munchkin and Little Bear.  Lol, Little Bear isn't really interested in the Leap Frog Magnetic Zoo (what else is new?)... he prefers to bring them to the little Elmo table, eat them, hide them... You get the idea.

Thanks for reading!  

I'll be linking to 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mudroom Update.

Remember my bare mudroom, and messy closet.  Well I took care of the closet... Check it out here, and I have finally gotten around to fixing up the rest.  It's still a work in progress.  I'm working on some fun family art for the walls, but take a look so far.

 I've added two rail hooks. I wanted to make sure Munchkin had easy access. I'm trying to teach him to hang up his things.

I scored the umbrella stand from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for %40 off.   Don't you love clearance!!!

I also got to use my %20 off coupon on the door mat.   Hoping this baby saves my wood.

Stay tuned for some fun family wall art that I'll be adding.  I'm just looking for a frame that will work.

Thanks for reading,

The Pink Lady