My little boy will be turning three, in April. THREE YEARS OLD. It is hitting me more than ever that my baby bird is not a baby anymore. Although I look forward to all of what the three year old world has to offer (including the challenges), I am going to miss the little coos, the chubby cheeks and the adorable little onesies he always wore. Time really does fly especially when your little one is baby because the first year is a complete blackout- you do not have time to look away because so much happens within that short time frame!
This week was pretty big for Franco, lot’s of big but fun changes. We started our with a ‘big boy’ haircut. Yep, I finally bit the bullet and said goodbye to his long, luscious and wavy hair. It was getting harder for me to maintain and our hairdresser happened to have an opening when we walked by so I said, “Now or never!”
If I knew he would look five years older with this haircut I am not sure if I would have done it, I cried and cried! My cute little boy and now handsome young man!
So since I didn’t think that was enough, I found a great price on a toddler bed while I was surfing though Facebook Marketplace. Since I am the impulsive person that I am, I could not pass up this deal and picked it up the next day. So within the 3 day span, Franco got a ‘big boy’ haircut and is now sleeping in a ‘big boy’ bed. In case you were wondering, I teared up as well when we took down his crib. It certainly is a huge milestone and then end of an era.
If I didn’t think this was a large enough transition for all of us this week then what we did next sure was. (No, no potty training yet, but tips sure are appreciated!) We decided to turn our back room AKA our guest room into Franco’s man cave. I was thinking about this for a few weeks now and we all agreed that this would be a great way to change things up in our tiny home. We spend a lot of time in our living room and I felt like Franco doesn’t have a space for all of his toys. Yes, he has his own bedroom but we are usually only upstairs when it is time for bed and I wanted him to have a space on the main floor. After designing it and it all came together, it is probably my favorite room in the house! Franco loves it too and since the room is connected to the kitchen with a window to look through, I can cook and watch him all at the same time.
Putting it all together was super cheap and budget friendly, check out what I did below!
Our theme was Superheros, easy and practical! Someone in my neighborhood was getting rid of this storage bench, so I went ahead and snatched it up! I found these red and blue bins at Dollar Tree and matched the superhero theme perfectly.
That little corner shelf was a garage sale find a few years back. A great way to display some action figures or sentimental things.
Another estate sale find with this coat hanger, and Target Dollar section came to the rescue with this felt letter board that was only five bucks!
These two wall frames were on clearance for $6 each at Marshall’s and are perfect to display Franco’s artwork! Such a a fast and easy way to interchange his artwork.
Dad and Grandpa are huge Marvel fans so it was nice to incorporate some of their sentiments. Original comics were framed through out the room!
The frames were another garbage picking find, the comics fit perfectly!
Franco’s artwork made another appearance in the room with these adorable superhero hand prints! Frames are from Dollar Tree and I used some fabric scraps as the background in each picture.
Another sentimental piece above this awesome poster from Walmart. It was less than five dollars and has all of Franco’s favorite characters! Above is Dad’s childhood search and find book X-Men edition.
This is the window that connects to the kitchen, I can peak in at any time, that is if I am not already in there hanging out! I jazzed up the window with some more fabric scraps that I had. All fabric was found at Walmart.
The bathroom door needed some life so I added blue lights around the border and topped it with one of many Batman masks that Franco has. Easy and simple addition.
I didn’t go too crazy in the bathroom, but I wanted to add a little touch. I found these free prints here and put them in Dollar Tree frames.
Hopefully adding this to the bathroom will encourage Franco to want to go potty!
What a fun and an eventful week with my baby bird, ahem, I mean big boy. Who am I kidding, he will always be my baby bird!
There is no holiday that I do not like; I make the best of all of them! I especially love giving gifts when I add my own touch to them. Now that Franco is almost three years old and he just moved up to Preschool a few weeks ago, he has a better understanding of holidays and what they mean. I wanted to involve Franco with creating Valentine’s for his new friends this year, and he had a blast!
His favorite store is Dollar Tree, so whats a better place to take him for fun Valentine’s Day ideas!?
When shopping at Dollar Tree, you can make adorable things on a budget, and guarantee it is one of a kind! I am going to share what we came up with with majority of our findings from Dollar Tree!
For the girls in Franco’s class we decided to give them single serving cereal packets with personalized spoons. Check out how cute these are!
We found the Fruity Cheerios in packs of four for a dollar along with red plastic spoons and adorable washi tape. I had letter beads at home so I thought it was cute to personalize the spoons, plus Franco helped me with picking out the letters we needed. I found the perfect gift tags here. They came out pretty cute if I say so myself!
For the boys we decided to do single bags of chips. We found a bag of clothes pins at Dollar Tree and these were perfect to personalize with the letter beads. Walmart was having a sale for an assortment of chips- four dollars for 16 bags, we had a bunch left over so it was a win win!
We found another free printable gift tag here. They were too adoarble not to use!
Since I could not leave Franco’s teacher’s out, I decided we should make a good impression with these adorable gifts. Dollar Tree had everything we needed- a red oven mitt, a spatula and brownie mix. I added a cute touch by using my Cricut machine but you can certainly use these free printables only and still have it look great! If you do have Cricut or Silhouette machine, I found this cute file for free!
I hope these ideas got your creative juices flowing! Dollar Tree is always a great place to make personalized gifts that mean a lot, but not cost a lot. I hope you all have a wonderdul Valentine’s Day!
This past weekend was our first big snowstorm of the year and boy did we get hit hard! Not only did we get almost 2 feet of snow but it was also -7° outside! Now if this were to happen during the month of December I’d say bring it, but for some reason when the holidays are over I don’t have the same enthusiasm. Deep down I am secretly wishing it for to be October again and start all the fun holidays over. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Summer but not how I enjoy all the smells and flavors of Fall and the Holiday Season.
When we found out a storm was coming I told myself this was going to happen whether I like it or not, so I might as well make the best of it. I went to Dollar Tree and stocked up on cheap activities for Franco (puzzles, play do, balloons, doodler) and went to the grocery store to get the essentials- ingredients to make pizza and dessert ?.
Saturday night Franco helped me make this delicious pizza from Damn Delicious It was the perfect treat to eat while we watched the snow fall.
Having Franco help with the little things such as sprinkling cheese is considered a BIG help from him!
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut head of garlic, about 1/4-inch, to expose tops of garlic cloves. Place garlic head, cut side up, in a sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil and cover tightly.
Place into oven and roast until cloves are golden brown and tender, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool before squeezing cloves from skin; reserve and mince 8 garlic cloves.*
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza pan with olive oil.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Stir in spinach until wilted, about 2-3 minutes; season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, thyme, oregano, basil and reserved garlic cloves; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Working on a surface that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out the pizza into a 12-inch-diameter round. Transfer to prepared baking sheet or pizza pan.
Top with mozzarella, dollops of ricotta mixture, chicken and spinach.
Place into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheeses have melted.
When we finished shoveling and got Franco to take his nap, I warmed up the house with this delicious lemon blackberry quick loaf. The citrus and fruity flavors sure made me think of warmth and sunshine, it burst with flavor!
I made a simple loaf look fancy by baking it in a fluted tube pan.
I got the recipe from The Idea Roombut I switched it up and used blackberries instead of raspberries. This certainly brought some sunshine to our cloudy snowy weekend!
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 cups raspberries, fresh ( I used fresh blackberries)
For the Lemon Glaze (optional):
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon zest
Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, combine grated zest, vanilla extract and sour cream.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the mixing bowl well after each addition and mix until blended. Add dry and wet ingredients alternately to butter-sugar-egg mixture until uniformly incorporated- do not overmix. Gently fold in raspberries as not to squash them.
Grease and flour a bundt cake pan or 2 bread loaf pans. Pour batter into pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for approximately 50 minutes (be sure to lower the baking time if you are making things smaller). The cake is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before glazing.
For the glaze (optional): Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour over top of cake and serve. For a thicker glaze use less lemon juice.
Fort’s are a must when you are snowed in! Franco spent a lot of his time in here!
Overall it was a fantastic weekend and sad that it’s over. We spent a lot of time playing, eating and napping, the ultimate trifecta! I actually may be looking forward to our next snow fall!
It is a new season and with that comes the changes of color, weather and lets not forget Daylight Savings! Holiday season is approaching and that can cause many emotions for all. Excitement and planning can lead to some stressors with this season change and I thought I would stop by to say, it’s okay! Whether you are hosting this years Thanksgiving or figuring out how Santa is going to afford everything on your little’s list, make sure you take a few minutes out of your day for some self care!
Self care can mean many different things, and I wanted to share what I have been doing recently to help myself.
I have started journaling and it has really helped me self reflect. The Authentic Woman Series is a great place to start if you are interested in journaling and becoming closer with yourself. It only takes a few minutes out of your day and gets you away from your phone and other technology!
Be sure to check our their monthly journaling prompts
I have been becoming more interested in essential oils and the benefits that they offer. I created these rollers to help me get through the day when I am feeling overwhelmed. They are great to throw in my bag and smell great on my skin.
Chill Out blend includes:
3 drops grapefruit
3 drop orange
2 drops lemon
1 drop bergamot
Bloat Be Gone blend includes:
20 drops lemon
20 drops peppermint
20 drops Rosemary
Sea Breeze blend includes:
4 drops lavender
4 drops lime
2 drops spearmint
I filled all three each in a 10 ML bottle with coconut oil as the carrier oil.
This is my favorite season and time of the year, but that does not mean I feel overwhelmed at times. If you are like me please make time for yourself. I have learned that motherhood is an amazing privilege but so it womanhood and we must not lose sight of that. Enjoy everything that comes with it even the complexities.
There were so many vendors, live demos, artisan meet-and-greets, food trucks, live music and more at this family-friendly event. Josh and Brent were at their store Beekman 1802 Mercantile, taking pictures and signing books and tours were available at the Farm! I was so excited to finally make it to the Mercantile, I have been wanting to go for a while and I love what Josh and Brent have brought with them when they made the big move from NYC Upstsate New York.
Everyone was on Main Street for Harvest Fest and to visit Beekman 1802 Mercantile!
Amazing, Franco needed his own because no one was willing to share.
Yes, there were disco balls and goats!
Dancing machine, this is all he wanted to do!
Family-style lunch was served by village women cooking huge pots of pasta, sauce, meatballs and sausage over an open fire. The meal was served directly on the table and shared by all with red table wine and spring water.
The American Hotel
If you are ever in the Upstate area of New York, Sharon Springs is a great little town to stop in! It is quaint and full of history! If you live too far away you can also find Beekman 1802 Brands exclusively at Target! I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from both their store and their brand at Target so check out the links below!
My name is Nicole and I am a full time working mom to my toddler Franco. I love creating and sharing ideas. You can find me rummaging at estate sales, binge-watching The Golden Girls while chugging Diet Coke, listening to old school hip hop, supporting small businesses and being an advocate for maternal mental health.