Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gingerbread Man

This morning a wonderful thing happened: a morning-long lesson plan about the Gingerbread Man evolved, incorporating computer games, stories, music and a craft! So, yes I was a school teacher (albeit high school), and yes perhaps I get too excited about creating lesson plans, but hey, at least they help to fill in the long days with quality activities for two little preschoolers!

It went something like this:

1. We began by watching the YouTube video:

This is a felt board story with a woman who has a great storytelling voice!

2. Next, we played a computer game about a Gingerbread Man where they have to pick shapes and colours of the Gingerbread Man's body. Be sure to hit the replay button at the end. My girls squeal in delight when the little Gingerbread Man dances and sings!

PS. To incorporate musical skills, I continued to spend the entire day singing the song from this computer game but substituting another noun in place of the "Gingerbread Man". Toddlers giggle every time when you pretend that you don't know the real word!

3. Then we made Gingerbread Man crafts! You can choose from lots of different colouring pages and cut outs from this website. There are so many activities and directions to go to from this website if you want to continue with the theme!

4. Finally, we ended with reading the actual book!

I hope that this helps parents see how you can spend an entire morning on a theme, and incorporate crafts, music, reading, computer literacy and creativity.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

tutus: trend or obsession?

I have always been a person who wonders where fashion trends start and why. Tutus seem to have cropped up into toddler fashion this fall, or perhaps I only think it is a trend because my daughters are in a ballet class and I began searching for the perfect ballet "outfit". Either way, I have completely fallen for this "trend". I even redecorated my bedroom in a ballet theme including a Degas print I just happened to have lying around and my own little ballet shoes (I briefly took ballet as a child). I am currently working on a tutu lamp shade...stay tuned for the unveiling!

This obsession has even spilled over into mummynuggle? designs: tutu-aprons, tutu inspired skirts, tutu greeting cards, tulle hair accessories and even ballet tutus.

Well, back to my daughters' ballet outfits. I started by creating a tulle netting flower for their hair. Maya seemed to really like my first, rather large creation, and wore it all day.

We settled with a slightly smaller style for their ballet outfits. Then came the tutu...I researched how to design the tutu, bought the supplies, and left it up to my wonderfully creative mother-in-law to create the finished product. After purchasing the shoes and top, my little girls looked like budding ballerinas!

Since then we have shortened the tutus and added cute little leg warmers. Now we just have to focus on learning the "dancing" part!

Who knows if this is really a trend, or I just see tutus because I am slightly obsessed. I do know that when I enter my "ballet inspired" bedroom I feel a graceful peace wash over my body. And when I turn on the delightful music, close my eyes, and gently glide across the floor while "practising" with my daughters, I feel myself floating away from my chaotic life, into my own little slice of heaven!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Relaxing at the Cottage

mummynuggle? will be taking a much needed break for the month of August in hopes of relaxing at the cottage with her family and friends. Have a great summer!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mom's Potato Salad Recipe

Mom's Potato Salad Recipe (Oh how I love summertime!)

- Let 5 potatoes boil for 5 minutes (you don't want them mushy)

- drain

- put potatoes in a bowl while hot, add a little bit of vinegar,
cover and put into the fridge

- boil 4 eggs (hard boiled but not overcooked)

- put eggs in a bowl of cold water and put into the fridge

- when eggs and potatoes are cooled off, peel and dice both
(I don't always peel the potatoes to save time)

- add chopped green onions, chives, dill and bacon

- add 1/2 cup of mayo

- add salt and pepper

- stir it all up!

- sprinkle paprika over the salad

- put in the fridge

*don't keep in the fridge longer than 2 full days*

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Double "Poopy" Trouble

*WARNING: The word POO will be used several times in this post!*

So I have officially joined the ranks of parents who talk about the ol' "take off the poopy diaper and rub it around the room" trick!

We started a relaxed version of potty training our 2-year-old twin girls a few weeks ago. No pressure, just talk about the pottty, go on it after meals etc. They have regressed somewhat, but today I was amused and reminded that we have made some sort of progression when one of my daughters was in the toddler pool sitting her little naked bottom on a tiny brown crayon and saying she was going "po0-poo"!

I had a simply lovely afternoon today, taking photos, watching my favourite tv show, catching up on emails...while my girls slept peacefully and then played independently in their room (simply glorious). When I finally decided to venture up to their room, the pungent odour of ripe poo hit me before I even made it up the stairs. My simply glorious afternoon had gone to "poo", quite literally! Yes, they had taken off their poopy diapers and it had spread all throughout their room.

So, as any self-respecting mother would do when faced with a simlar situation, I cleaned up what I could of the poo, told the girls they shouldn't take their diapers off, and told them that their daddy would have a talk with them when he got home. Yes, I pulled the "wait till your daddy comes home" line.

So, as bedtime approached, I went upstairs again to put new sheets on their bed, but still smelled the poo. I thought maybe I just needed to open the window, but one of my daughters pointed out that her little barnyard had poo-poo in it and of course, she blamed it on her sister! So, I scanned the barnyard and as I opened the white gate to the cow's stall, a loud "moo" shocked me, and then I spotted the poo. Now, I have to hand it to them, at least they put it in the cow's stall, where manure is supposed to go! I then discovered another diaper full of poo that I had missed in my earlier clean-up mission, and then one of the girls reached under her sister's bed and picked up the cow with "pop-poo" on it! I think this photo ends this little article quite nicely! Need I say more?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Friends

As I gaze at this photo of my twin girls with their twin "boyfriends," I am reminded of the children's book series about "Gossie and Gertie," two ducks who are friends, best friends. I recently asked one of my daughters who her best friend was, hoping for her to say her twin sister, but she named her best friends Baron and Chase!

It just melts my heart into mushy bits to see my girls experience friendship in its purest form: screaming in delight when they first see each other, the immediate complusion to hold hands, and the sacrafice in sharing and pushing each other on a swing.

Today as one of my little girls leaned forward in the stroller she shared with her best friend Chase, Chase saw his opportuity and pulled the old "yawn and slide the arm around the girl" trick. Ahhhh....summer love.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mummy Guilt

I recently heard a radio program talking about the pressure our culture and media puts on women to be the perfect mum. Times have changed. Women are expected to have the career, yet cook the meals, do the laundry, clean the home, pack the lunches, carpool around town, design the home, buy the birthday gifts, do the grocery shopping, dress the children, host the parties, buy the gifts, mold the character of their children... I feel exhausted just making this list, and I have only touched on a few of the overwhelming responsibilties of being a mother!
The guest on the radio show cut through all of these daunting tasks, and spoke directly to the fear women have of not being the perfect mum. Maybe you are not the type of woman who loves to don the apron, turn on the oven and bake with your child. Or perhaps you don't particularily feel inspired about playing another round of CandyLand with your little one. Maybe the thought of teaching your child to kick a ball sends you reeling back to that traumatic gym class. Maybe you feel guilty for not being the type of mom who can think of a craft idea on the spur of the moment. Perhaps the thought of taking your children on a nature walk sends you running for the bug spray.
Instead of treading through motherhood with the guilt of feeling as though you don't have what it takes, think of what inspires you and chances are, you have already instilled this in your child. If you run away at the thought of a sing-a-long, but absolutely love the world of science, run with the science theme. If the thought of teaching a sport to your little one sends you to the nearest couch, but you love to read, let someone else teach your child how to kick a ball and take a trip together to the library.
After listening to this advice, I became stunningly aware of what I have instilled in my daughters. Everyday, starting at 8 am, they ask in their high-pitched toddler voice, "mummy make a craft?". Apparently I have infused in them a love of creativity, without even intending to. Now, instead of inwardly groaning and dragging my feet to the craft cupboard, I try and remind myself that this is my own doing. The dream of creating with my very own children has come true, and I wouldn't miss it for the world.
When the mummy guilt sets in, remind yourself what really inspires you and chances are, you have already instilled this passion in your litte one(s)... then put your mental feet up and out-source the rest!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

sweet pleated dress

My sister found the pattern to this sweet pleated dress from the blog "Make It and Love It", and then my incredibly talented mother-in-law sewed it for my litle girls!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Secret Jenkins' Family Ice Tea Recipe

The year I got married to a Jenkins' boy, was the year I learned the secret Jenkins' family ICE TEA recipe. Now if you know my hubby's family, you know that they love (some might say are addicted to) their ice tea! The story goes that while they were living in Delaware, they learned this recipe and it has stuck with them every summer since! I remember drinking this tea when I was 16 years old, and not particularily loving it, but obviously as my love grew for my hubby, so did my love for his ice tea.

Well, who knows what sort of trouble I could get into for sharing this secret recipe, but here goes:

6 cups of water
8 bags of tea (be creative)
1 cup of honey
A few lemon slices and/or peppermint leaves

1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
2. Turn off the gas or burner.
3. Drop in 8 bags of tea (my personal favourite is 4 bags of Earl Grey and 4 bags of Peppermint).
4. Put the lid back on and let sit for 15 minutes.
5. After 15 minutes, stir in 1 cup of sugar.
6. Dilute the tea solution with a ratio of 1 of tea solution to 2 of water.
7. Add lemon slices or peppermint leaves to add a little extra taste!

I like to use a large mason jar as a pitcher. It has a chic country vibe, and I needed to find a use for the 30 odd jars I unknowingly purchased in a recent auction mishap!

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Ahaaaaaaaaaa" (envision that I am singing this angelically with a vibrato on the "haaaaaaaa" part)

Have you ever had a "Ahaaaaaaaa" moment when shopping? Here are my top 6 "Ahaaaaaaaa" shopping moments:

6. Shopping with my friend and her step daughter for her wedding dress. I believe we both sang our angelic "ahaaaaaaaa"s together when we walked into the loft space that screamed anything but the "usual" wedding dresse!

5. Shabby Chic with a French Twist Mirror for 10 bucks. Logger's Games? Yes, an unlikely place, but the location made the "ahaaaaaaaa" even more incredible.

4. At a garage sale this weekend I scooped up some vintage flower fabric for a couple of bucks. I was so exicted that I remember looking around thinking that I better hold onto it so no one else steals my treasure! See my facebook page for photos of the dress

3. "Ahaaaaaaaa" moments are even better when the item is free! I found a big, old, decrepid, white frame on the side of the street on a rainy day last spring and dragged it home. It now holds it's rightly place on my living room wall (much to the disgrace of my husband who doesn't quite see the value in the "garbage" that I drag home).

2. Vintage Sundress. Salvation Army and Value Village(VV). Need I say more? *perfect with light brown cowboy boots*

1. My cowboy boots. I spent a glorious (child-free) afternoon at Kensington Market in Toronto. I had some birthday money and I have been dreaming of light brown cowboy boots for some time. Each store I went into was all out of boots my size, let alone light brown. I was feeling a little hopeless and then, well, the boots sang out to me! It was too good to be true to find the perfect pair in my size. I was practically singing in the store to the sales clerk who was clearly pleased that she had brought so much pleasure to her customer. *I also found a vintage sunflower dress at VV later in the day to top off my heavenly shopping experience*

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Do you ever feel like the toys just keep multiplying all your house? Yesterday I decided to simplify the toy situation. So at the end of the day, all the books and puppets went into a cupboard and the toys went into one toy box and the doll houses were hidden behind the couch. One huge garbage bag was taken to our guest room, which has turned into the "stuff to go to the attic but never quite makes it to the attic" room.

I feel so cleansed and well...civilized. Now I just have to self-talk my way through the day to fight off the feeling of clutter that little ones generate. I know, I know, clutter is just a part of the package with kids. My husband subscribes to the philosohy of "clean up as they mess up", but I have been pondering the consequences of this mindset, namely, I will be cleaning up all day! Why not just clean once, at the end of the day, and even better, teach the girls how to clean with me. (This plan is foiled if you have guests over "during" the day.) Now, I admit, depending on my sleep and stress levels, I do find the clutter overwhelming some days, but I am a firm beliver in effficiency.

These are my random thoughts on cleanliness, brought on my having guests to my house last night, which is quite frankly, exausting because all day I am feeling the pressure to keep the house clean for the end of the day....but that is a whole other topic...why do we feel the need to present our house as calm, cool and well...clean...when in reality it is anything but that!

On another note, I have a tidbit of advice about how to control the toy situation and keep the little ones entertained after their nap, so you can have more time to recharge. I used to go to the dollar store every 2 weeks or so, but this idea is even more frugal. Swap a toy bag with a friend (or in my case my sister). After the little ones have fallen asleep at nap time or night time, put a few toys on their bed. When they wake up, instead of crying out for "Mummy" the plan is that they see their new toy or book and play for a while longer. Or, even if this doesn't stop them from crying for their Momma, at least they have a few novelty toys or books to keep them excited for the afternoon. If you don't have someone to swap toys with just leave a few toys out for the children to play with during the day, and then at nap time, reach into that huge garbage bag in the "guest room" and reunite your children with their long-lost toys.

Now, I admit, sometimes I do hear the whisper of a nagging guilt about turning my children into consumer robots but I can usually quiet that whisper with the joy of seeing them play independantly with their new little goodies. Perhaps I should just stick to giving them new books instead of toys....hmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today was a multi-tasking day, and as I am writing this I am multi-tasking talking to my husband about my day...Baking, helping my sister pick her kitchen cupboards, cleaning the house, learning to twitter and blog, hosting a twin group night, being a mummy to 2 year old twin girls...mummy tasking!