Ree Ree's Place » A Crazy, Crafty Mamma's Home away from home. Tutorials, Recipes and More

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    Hi Everyone! My Name is Ree Ree and this is my blog! My real name is Lindsey Marie, of course. When I was younger, my mother used to call me Ole' Ree and then, when we had our first nephew, he started calling me Ree Ree! I guess it just stuck! With the creation of this blog, I hope to channel my excitement and creativity into one location on the web, have an outlet for it all, and share it with you! I want to give and share more in 2014. By keeping this blog baby alive, maybe I'll become a better wife and mother and learn to love more on myself, too! This is a work in progress, of course, and I have no idea if I’ll be able to make it work. But, I have to say, this is one thing that I've been dreaming about for a long time. My goal for this blog is to share photography tips and tutorials, fun recipes, my beloved sewing projects, home DIY projects, and snippets of my personal life! We’ll just have to see where it takes us, right?

  • Augie’s First Concert!! (single tear)

    My baby is growing up!  Augie started 4k this fall and

    Quiet Play Project {Homemade Glue and Marshmallows= FUN!}

    My good friend, Kristin, has been giving me all sorts

    The “If We’re Being Honest Wall” {DIY MOTIVATIONAL DECOR}

    This is kind of funny! As you see in the image below,

My baby is growing up!  Augie started 4k this fall and he had his first concert! I was so excited that I brought my “big” camera with! I thought the Iphone wouldn’t do the job this time! He was so cute up there, singing the songs and doing his routine! He did, however, have a great time making silly faces at his mamma and the crowd, which is okay, FOR NOW! :)  

I really can’t believe he’s in school already! I just remember when he was my itty bitty little baby and thought he would never grow up! Sigh….So, do you remember your child’s first concert? Were there tears or smiles?? i’d love to hear your stories! :) I’m looking forward to more fun from Augie and his 4k adventures!

My good friend, Kristin, has been giving me all sorts of ideas to keep my 2.5 year old occupied during the day. Things to do instead of watching televsion! You can check that article out by clicking here. Kristin is an elementary school teacher and she seriously has some great ideas. The first one I wanted to try was making snowmen out of mini marshmallows! This turned out to be an easy, quick and fun way to keep Augie occupied while learning something new at the same time.

First of all, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but did not have a single drop of elmer’s glue in the house ANYWHERE! I had everything else but the glue and was itching to try this with Augie, so I looked it up online! I actually couldn’t believe all of the posts I found about making homemade glue. I felt like an idiot. It is so easy to make and store in the fridge, I would be a fool not to! Now, Augie will have to use up that glue making all sorts of fun, new projects. I found the original post about making glue, which is essentially wall paper paste, according to my dad, on this blog here.  It is so super easy. Here’s how to make homemade glue.



1. 1 cup boiling water

2. 3 Tablespoons Flour

3. 4 tablespoons or 1/4th cup of cold water

4. 1 tablespoon of sugar

How to Make It

1.Bring 1 Cup Of water to a boil

2.In a separate cup whisk 3 tablespoons of flour into 1/4 cup of Cold Water

3.Once Water is boiling turn down heat and slowly add the flour/water mixture

4.whisk until no clumps

5.Heat the Mixture up on a medium low and stir constantly as it thickens.

6.Remove from heat and add 1 Tbls of SUGAR

7.When it cools, put your fabulous homemade glue in a glass lidded jar and place in the fridge.


To make the snowmen, I used the materials below. You could use paper, I chose to use some felt scraps I had laying around. I also keep a few paintbrushes in the kitchen for frosting and such so this worked perfectly to paint on the glue.


I painted circles of glue on the felt. I recommend putting a piece of parchment paper down because it gets kind of messy. you could draw out your circles in pen or marker if you want to get it perfect.

Augie was pretty excited about using marshmallows! He would eat one, two, three and then he would put some down on his project. 

I was pretty proud to watch him do such a good job on his snowman. I kind of thought it would have been a disaster or that he would just have been eating the mallows but he impressed his mamma!

One of my favorite parts about this project that was really last minute was the sprinkles! This is a great way to use up some of those christmas cookie decorations that would eventually just get all clumpy and stuck together in the cupboard, right? Totally quick thinking on my part. I’m so cool.

Augie giving me his standard silly face as he proudly shows us his project! the one against the purple is mammas, though. I was excited to try, too.

We then placed them on the counter and eventually on a cookie drying rack to air dry. They are still drying as I type this. I want to get them nice and crispy. My plan is to possibly mount these in a shadow box frame and display them during christmas and winter! Oh and one more thing, I needed arms for the snowman so I rummaged through the drawers and found some gargbage bag twist ties. Not the coolest, but it works. And I’m sure I could’ve found something for the hat, a scarf and a nose. The possibilities are endless.

I have to say, we had a great time making this craft, Augie and I. This is a wonderful alternative to having the TV on all of the time. Thanks to my friend, Kristin, I am inspired to do more of these fun crafts with the boys. Enjoy! I hope you all have some mini marshmallows on hand and some creativity this week! Try it out!

This is kind of funny! As you see in the image below, I sit at my computer most days and look up at this dark, blank wall. It’s pretty sad, really. My whole office is pretty sad, actually. It needs work. And since i’ve been making positive changes in my life this year, I have learned that I need constant reminding of certain things because it’s so easy to forget and fall off the wagon! This is still a work in progress but I was feeling a little distant from my blog and didn’t want to wait any longer. I have a few more cool metal trays that I want to hang here as well. I’ll be sure to share an image of the finished project once I’m done. So, this obviously, is my inspiration wall, if you will! I call this the “if we’re being honest wall” because for me, I like to play tricks on myself with negative thinking! OR I think that I’m doing well too soon so I tell me self it’s okay slip up. That won’t happen anymore,though, thanks to these plates! HAHA.There will be  a constant reminder of the things that are real, not to be forgotten in a moment’s whim! :) And some may think my method is harsh but I think I really need this. I probably should write that BIG ASS mantra all over my fridge, too.

I didn’t really take too many photographs of the step by step. I was just really excited to be working with chalk board paint, even though it’s not that new of a concept. I just have never personally worked with it before and I was really looking forward to it. For me, the painting is now all that perfect. I’ll share with you below in a quick tutorial how I did this and if you know of a better way to do it, I would love to know because I’m sure I screwed something up!

What I love about chalkboard paint is that you really can paint it on anything. You really just need a coat of primer and then you are good to go! I found a really cool set of silver metal serving platters at good will one day a while back and I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.

What you will need…

*Unique Trays or Masonite or Anything.(you could even paint on wood and use picture frames, use your noggin and get creative!)

*Chalkboard paint..did you know you can get chalkboard paint tinted different colors? I chose the black kind to start with but I think it would be neat to experiment with different colors!

*A small Craft foam brush and a foam roller brush. You can find these and hardware stores, craft stores, etc.

*Primer Paint

*Accent Color Paint, etc. Optional.  (I used plain white spray paint to paint the metal trays first.

Let’s get started! This is really simple so i’m sure you don’t need a tutorial but here it is anyway!

1. wash and dry your trays. Mine had tape and stickers on them so I had to soak , wash and dry them first.

2. paint trays with primer paint 2 coats

3. Spray or paint your metal trays with whatever background color you would like in a well-ventilated area.(NOTE: do not spraypaint in your basement with the door shut. It really did stink up the house but it was too cold to go outside. I’m such a rebel!)

4. Let Dry and Start painting with your chalkboard paint. You can find this at most stores. I got mine at Menards. A small can really does go a long way. Make sure to shake it up well.

5. I used a small foam brush to line the edges. if you are worried about smudges you could use tape but I was too inpatient.

6. Paint the interior of the paint. Let Dry

7. Paint a second coat

8. With the craft foam roller, I did my best to roll over the paint to even it out a bit more. If you look close on mine, there are some streaks. I actually did 3 coats but a few streaks are there, but it really is no big deal. I think if I were painting on a larger surface, this would be a lot easier so it gets a bit more tedious on smaller areas.

9. Let Dry.

10. Follow Paint instructions on how to get the surface ready for drawing on.

Instead of using actual chalk, I found these awesome chalkboard PENS! Actually, I think my right hand girl, Amber, found these online for me! They were super cheap and you can get them in any color!
There you have it! A fun, upcycled way to spruce up your wall! The Possibilities are endless!! Oh! I’d love to hear some other ideas that you have for chalkboard paint! And, if you make something because you saw this post, share some images on our flickr group.

We have noticed a problem in the Kersten Household. Well, I guess it’s no surprise. I’ve been noticing this going on for a long time. I’m pretty sure that our boys watch way too much television. I mean, it started when Augie was a baby. In the middle of the night he would need a bottle. We had to grab the baby, go down stairs in the dark, fill a bottle, and of course plop on the couch….and turn on the TV. It was in those few minutes that I fell in love with that late night news show on ABC. I loved it! It was actually an exciting time, those first few weeks of baby’s life, getting up and seeing what they were talking about on that news show. It was our nightly ritual. That blue glow that came from our 42″ incher was sort of comforting. I think this is where the problem started with our television addiction.

Our boys have never been late sleepers. They are always up as early as they possibly can be and it’s never fun when they get up before PUBLIC BROADCAST starts it’s air time, which is 6 am. OMG! All hell breaks loose. Augie knows that when he wakes up, he gets to watch Curious George. He still whines and cries if he wakes up and his george is not on. Holy Moly, kid!  Chill Out!  But I still have to say the same thing over and over. “George is still sleeping!” And Secretly, I want to say, “SO YOU SHOULD GO BACK TO BED YOURSELF AND BE QUIET!!!” lol but I never say that. Since he was a wee lad, he would wake up, run to the television, point and say TV ON! TV ON! I’m embarrassed to admit this, people. I am. Of course, he now knows how to turn the television on all by himself. Grandma was over one day, a few moths ago, and was trying to get the remote to turn the TV on and she just couldn’t figure it out! She was standing next to Augie near the couch, only a few feet away from the tv, of course, and says, “HOW DO YOUR TURN THIS DAMN THING ON?”  Augie then walks right over to the tv and pushes the ON button. My mom laughed and laughed. OH BOY! What have we done?

TV can’t be all bad, can it?  I mean, they watch PBS kids mostly.. Mostly..I mean, when the Bachelor comes on, I can’t NOT Watch, RIGHT? Augie snuggles up when the show starts and yelps, “MAMA!  BAYBRIT SHOWS ON!!! (favorite shows on!)” yes, he already knows this is ONE of mommy’s favorite shows. I’m feeling the mommy guilt already, just writing this. Sometimes, though, I decide that we are not going to watch television after dinner and the only way I can get the cries to settle is by stating that the TV IS BROKEN! It’s the only way. I really don’t think this is going to work for long, though. He’ll figure out how to “fix” the tv. He’s a smarty, this one.

But I totally get that TV is bad for these kids. Do you emember hearing, “it’s gonna rot your brain?” I really think that’s true. Thank god we don’t have CABLE or SATELLITE! I have a tv problem with just the standard channels. I don’t even want to think about what it would be like if I could watch Marathons of House Hunters and The Housewives of New York! HOLY CRAP! My brain would be rotted for sure, rotted clean out. If an adult can watch the housewives or the bachelor and think that crap is real, then what would a little kid think? You want to know what one of my favorite movies is? Well, I’m kind of a sucker for musicals and wierd things like that, so don’t freak out when I tell you that my favorite movie is “ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW” If you haven’t seen it, I think you should. But, keep your kids away, or they may like it too. I think I was only in 3rd grade when I saw this. And no disrespect to my parents or anything..I had two older brothers. So I wonder, if I never had seen that movie when I was young and I watched it today, would I still like it as much?  I’m thinking no.

But, what’s with TV today, anyway? I got the inspiration for this post, this morning actually. Augie declared it was “NEWS TIME!” (which is another failure on my part.He calls it news time!) George started the piece about the 2 yayhoos who are suing SUBWAY for not delivering them a FULL 12 ” Of SUB SANDWICH! Really!?!?!?!? Really, People? Is it a slow news day, George? I wonder what George thinks about as he’s talking about a sandwich on  one of the biggest morning shows in America!? Does he feel bad about himself and wonder why they hell he become a journalist? I think that is rubbish. Suing a Sub Sandwich shop? Those guys must live in their parent’s basement or something and have nothing else better to do then whine about the freakin length of a sandwich! I can just betcha they aren’t skinny like jared, either.

And don’t forget about BEYONCE! That poor girl is getting the heat put on her.I wonder if they’ll still be talking about it at the next inauguration. Which again, another slow news day? And don’t get me started on the word “CATFISH”! For Pete’s Sake, people, that poor fish! I really can not believe that the story of a football player being suckered by a guy posing as a girl on the internet has gotten so much buzz. Again…slow news day for George.  ( I think I have a thing for George. I do like his hair.)

Why am I getting so excited about this?  I bet if I made a vow not to watch that garbage, I wouldn’t have to worry about it. There you have it. It goes to show you that what you watch has an effect on you and your thinking. This is why I think I need to nip this thing in the bud. But watching TV is the best, isn’t it? A way to escape from the day to day? But, alas, I guess I’m one of those gals that still likes to drink her morning coffee and watch GMA! But this is the kind of thing that is shaping and molding the minds of our little ones. Do you think I have time to turn it around? Is it too late for Augie? I might be able to save Archie in time. Have you seen those Target Commercials? The ones that are all white and have beautiful ladies doing crazy things with the Everyday Collection? Well Augie can repeat those commercials almost word for word.  He’s says, “baby gets” and he WHISPERS, “target” at the end just like BRICK does on the Show “THE MIDDLE”! (See? another reference to TV!) We are in trouble.

I think I need some ideas, people. I would love to know what you do in place of watching tv? Do you read books for hours, play games, come up with fun craft ideas?? Now is the time to share. Baby steps, though, right?  Or should I just stop cold turkey? No more Modern Family? No more Nashville? We are lamos and don’t have cable, satellite or one of those fancy things that records your “BAYBRIT” shows for you to watch when you have time.  Hmmm.  I need some comments to cheer me up!

Thanks for Stoppin by.(going to turn the tv off now.)

lindsey marie





  • January 24, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    Tiffany - Hey Lindsey!
    Wow this blog is really neat! Awesome job! I could have almost written this This week I have been having the same issues with my 5 and 2 year old constantly needing to be “plugged in” either with the tube or ipad!! I had to hide the ipad and the remote on Tuesday and say PLEASE GO PLAY!!! With all the new Christmas TOYS, my kids needed to be begged o play! So I went into their room (both girls) and dug out the dollies and play clothes and play bottles and showed them what playing means! Well ok, not that far, but I had to engage them for a little while. It was a wake up call for me when my kids were lost without the ipad! I hate to admit it but it’s true. She can operate that thing better than me…no joke! And yes it is all educational (both our tv shows and ipad apps) but still. I hope I haven’t stripped them of their imagination!! I have made a promise to myself that I will set limits. Part of the problem is that it is a good “babysitter”, which I’m sure you can relate. When I need to cook supper, or feed baby, etc., I know that they are completly into their app or show. Anyways, I don’t feel that tv is bad for kids if you let them watch learning shows but I agree that kids need limits even with that :) Thanks for writing this, I think I may have a new “addiction”!! LOL PS..And wouldn’t you know it, as I write this, Gracie is playing music on the ipad…Oh so much for limits…Justi Kidding!ReplyCancel

    • January 24, 2013 - 3:47 pm

      Ree Ree - Hey Tiffany! Thank you so much for commenting! I’m glad I’m not the only one! TV is a great babysitter and I feel bad about it! We have so many new books from christmas but when I attempt to read them, he honestly, throws it down and wants the TV ON! i’m horrible. THank you for checking out my blog!!!
      We aren’t to the stage of ipads or ipods just yet but I have a feeling it’s coming!!! lol take careReplyCancel

  • January 24, 2013 - 4:47 pm

    Kelly - Unfortunately, I do not have any good advice for you. I think that I can accurately predict that this may be a problem in our home as well when Kyle gets older! I have to say that your first paragraph perfectly describes us right now! WOW! lol It too is our nightly routine to plop on the recliner & turn on the tv for night time feedings. And just like you did…I enjoy it! lol
    Oh boy…makes me wonder- what am I starting?!ReplyCancel

  • January 24, 2013 - 5:02 pm

    Cortney - I’m pretty sure this is a problem lots of us face…I was just reading an article in Parenting, about to much technology and the relation to children…it said that a child is exposed to 4 hrs daily of indirect tv time, which interrupts their play. Are we stopping them from discovering and learning by having the tv on!? I am the worst…Jax and I are home all day, so our tv is on for most of that time…we don’t really watch anything its just background noise…but I do also feel guilty for that! I have been trying to turn music on instead…it makes such a difference, he seems to stay engaged in activities longer without being distracted, and that goes for me as well!
    I guess I would try just limiting tv time…watch your favorite shows…turn it off otherwise…tell Augie he can watch a certain number of shows a day…and in place of tv make it music/dance time, art time, or DIY toy play…I have been addicted to Pinterest DIY activities and toys and Jax has a ball with simple things we have around the house, and have recycled! Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • January 24, 2013 - 5:05 pm

      Ree Ree - Thanks for Sharing, Cortney! Yeah, same here. I sort of need that background noise while I work, you know?ReplyCancel

  • January 24, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    Ree Ree - Great ideas, too, Cortney!! you are awesome!! And Kelly! I kind of miss those late night feedings! It really was such a special time with baby boy!ReplyCancel

  • January 24, 2013 - 5:16 pm

    Michele - Lindsey,
    From and “old” parent, just remember your name is MOM, you have the right to just turn off the TV, cut the cord now. It might not be easy and they might throw a fit but in the long run you will all be better off for it. Just think of how much more focused and less scatteredyour own thought process will become.ReplyCancel

    • January 24, 2013 - 5:27 pm

      Ree Ree - good idea Michele!! Yeah, my sister says I don’t say NO enough! lolReplyCancel

  • January 25, 2013 - 5:03 am

    Kristin - I allow my 3 year old one or two shows in the morning on PBS. Some days I let him go on the iPad for 30 min after his nap because he’s crabby.

    Look up toddler busy bags. I’ve made a few things with felt (a play clothesline, cupcakes, a button snake). On Pinterest I researched quiet time activities and found lots of simple ideas. Last week I blew up a balloon and glued paint stir sticks to paper plates. He hit the balloon around for awhile! I have a bin that I put moon dough or lentil beans in. I just put it in with measuring cups and spoons. It takes some training to keep the things in the bucket but it should keep him busy for awhile! I’ve also brought snow in from outside and given him warm water in a cup with an eye dropper. I bought some colorful sponges recently and cut them up so he could use them to make towers. Last week i drew three circles with a glue bottle and had him put mini marshmellows on to make a snowman. Those are all things i found on Pinterest! Fine motor tasks are so important at that age and its good to give him things to explore with! Maybe you could cut up a cardboard box and make a pretend tv? Timers work wonders too! I bought a visual timer (it shows in red how much time is left) on Amazon. You could set it to show him how much tv time he has. I use it for all sorts of things!

    Remember, I’m a teacher so this is what comes natural to me.. I stink at taking pictures of my kids!;). Let me know if you want more ideas!!ReplyCancel

    • January 25, 2013 - 12:55 pm

      Ree Ree - Kristin! Thank you! these are super awesome ideas! I see a blog post coming on for you! haha :) you rock! thanks! i love the felt ideas. I can think of a blog post I could do of of your comment! see you soon!ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 8:06 pm

    Kristin - I just thought of another idea for you! Put baking soda in a deep pan, put some vinegar in a dish with a drop of food coloring. Give Augie a medicine or eye dropper. Show him how to put vinegar into the dropper and squeeze onto the baking soda. It makes mini volcanoes! This should last while you prepare a dinner? ;)ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2013 - 5:16 pm

    Quiet Play Project {Homemade Glue and Marshmallows= FUN!} » Ree Ree's Place - […] the day. Things to do instead of watching televsion! You can check that article out by clicking here. Kristin is a elementary school teacher and she seriously has some great ideas! The first one I […]ReplyCancel

If you don’t know already, I am a professional photographer by trade. I run a small boutique type of portrait studio specializing in little babies and high school seniors! I see a lot of babies throughout the year and dressing them up in cute hats that I make is half the fun! Making photo props is actually how I got interested in sewing in the first place! I saw cute things on etsy and facebook and thought, HEY! I could do that! And I did. I started small but eventually realized that upcycling previously loved on sweaters was probably my most favorite thing. The only downfall of this?? I’ve become a borderline hoarder.  You don’t even want to see my craft room right now. It would be frightening.

I’ve always wanted to make a vintage like baby bonnet.. I tried this one out. I’m not sure about the pixie tip but I think it is really actually very cute. Here’s how I made this little gem.


1. Find your material. I was actually going to sell this really pretty creamy colored vintage sweater on EBAY but decided to cut it up instead last minute! I thought the pretty embroidery would look really nice on a little pixie baby!

2. Turn your sweater inside out. (i actually was so excited about this, I neglected that part and traced on the front side which i never recommend.)

3. Create your pattern. I used one of my owl hat patterns as the base. I laid that down on printer paper, and freehanded my pixie shape. If you notice, there are slight earflaps and a bit of a point at top. The Best way to make a pattern is to get out your tape measure, measure that baby head all the way around, divide that number by 2 and that is the width. Measure your babie’s head from the eyebrow up to the top of the head and that is the height! It has taken me a couple of years to perfect this! What a work out! OR you can go to a thrift store or your closet and trace an existing hat you have laying around!

4. Cut out your baby pattern, keeping in mind seam allowance. However you do it, either within the pattern or actually cutting, just remember not to forget seam allowance. Usually about 1/4 “.

5. Trace your pattern on the WRONG SIDE of the fabric, with the 2 layers on top of each other, just turn your sweater inside out and trace. If you notice I did not and I ended up having to use my sharpie and draw a bit wider on my fabric front because I wanted to make sure not to get any of the ink on my sweater front. 

6. Cut out your pattern pieces and not the front of the hat and the back. Keep them wrong sides facing and sew the pieces together down the top in the front. You could sew all the way, I just thought it was easier to put the trim on if you just sewed the front part together.

7. unfold your pieces so they are right sides up.

8. Take your trim and pin it to the front of the hat, with right sides facing.

-I kept my trip fairly long because I used it as the tassles on the hat in the end. There are so many ways you can finish the ends. ribbon, sweater seams, etc.

9. This is where I didn’t take enough pictures. So now, you have your trip sewed on. Take your hat, put it back to being right sides together and sew the other side of the hat.

10. Then, take some more trim and sew it onto the bottom back of the hat. Keep the back trim long as well, if you want to braid that up with the front trim for your long tassles, if you wish.

11. Then, if you would like, take some coordinating fabric or flowers, etc. and create a little flower on the top and stitch down with embroidery floss. 

12. There you have it. A cutie patootie pixie newborn hat.

In the image below, I’ve shown another hat that I created for a 3 month old babe!