Living Low Sodium – Beyond the Salt Shaker

When medical issues in our family necessitated a switch to a lower sodium diet, we started looking closely at our menus. I had stopped adding salt to my cooking many years ago for a couple of reasons. We didn’t feel that the foods needed it and we thought it was just a better choice for our health. At that point, there was no pressing need, just an awareness of the potential benefits.

When we had to cut back to 1500mg of sodium per day for one of our family members, we felt it was easier to just cook the same for everyone and then we’d all reap the benefits. At first, it sounded pretty simple since not only did I not use salt in the cooking, but the salt shaker was never placed on the meal table either. We felt pretty confident that achieving the 1500mg per day goal would be easy, based on our belief that we were already consuming a lower amount of sodium.

Well, as is the first step in any dietary regimen, we started reading labels and tracking the sodium we would consume in a day. Not surprising is that we learned that we were in fact, consuming far above the 1500mg limit per day. What WAS surprising was where it was coming from! We already knew about some of the things that pack a real sodium wallop such as

  • canned soups
  • ketchup
  • soy sauce
  • salad dressing
  • pre-packaged lunch meat

Another eye opener was the list of things that we never thought might be kicking our low sodium aspirations. Now, we didn’t have a list, of course, but we have gradually built our own after reading all the labels and doing the research. I’ll share several of our favorites later on.

Not everyone knows that sodium occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. You may be tempted, as we were, to consider their sodium content negligible, but you may want to think again. In addition, many processes affect the sodium content of foods, such as canning. Fruits and vegetables are not exempt from this. In general, pork has a higher sodium content than other fresh meats. Processed meats such as sausages and cured meats like bacon, tend to have very high sodium content.

Here are a few examples that surprised us:

  • 100g of raw green peas contain 7mg of sodium. 100g of frozen, unprepared green peas contain 108mg of sodium1
  • 100g of raw beets contain 78mg of sodium, before preparing or processing1
  • 1 slice of your average wheat bread has 151mg of sodium1 – that’s 302mg just in the bread on your sandwich
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup – 160mg per 1 tbsp serving2
  • Tostitos Salsa, Chunky, Medium – 250 mg per 2 tbsp serving2 So much for using salsa as a ketchup substitute on your burger!
  • Velveeta original cheese slices – 290mg per slice
  • Sargento Cheese, Mild Cheddar, Ultra Thin Slices – 230mg per slice

Some other sources of sodium that people don’t tend to think about are things like adding salt to the cooking water for pasta, potatoes and vegetables or the sodium in the beverages they drink. Check out these shockers we grabbed from the product labels.

  • V8 100% Vegetable Juice, Original – 420mg per 8oz serving
  • Upstate Farms Milk, Intense, Lowfat, Chocolate, 1% – 230mg per 8oz serving
  • 2% white milk – 115mg per 8oz. serving
  • Ocean Spray Juice Drink, Cran-Grape – 80mg per 8oz serving

Individually, some of these don’t sound like much, but you would be surprised at what you consume once you start writing it down! If you break it down, your 1500mg allotment means just 500mg for each meal. If you also eat snacks, you’ll have to go a little lighter on your meals.

Take a look at the examples in our lists above. How about a cheese sandwich on wheat bread with a glass of milk for lunch? We’ll use the Sargento example since it’s lower.

2 slices of bread + 1 slice cheese + 8oz milk = 647mg of sodium!

If you want a little (just 1 tbsp) of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Reduced Fat, with Olive Oil, you better add another 130mg to that total. That gives you a whopping 777mg (not so lucky, is it?) for a lunch that isn’t terribly impressive either!

We have definitely had to make some changes in our lifestyle. With our hectic schedules, buying/cooking everything fresh/from scratch all the time just isn’t an option. Frozen vegetables are a staple for us, so we simply make sure we pair our higher sodium veggies with lower ones to balance them out. We don’t eat too many things out of a can, but we have found a few low sodium alternatives that we use. The following are some of our favorites.

  • Goya Low Sodium Chickpeas
  • Del Monte Diced Tomatoes with No Salt Added
  • Eden Organic Kidney Beans with No Salt Added
  • Wegman’s Sliced Beets with No Salt Added

Some other great substitutes that we’ve found are

  • Garden of Eatin’ No Salt Added Tortilla Chips
  • Use Swiss cheese instead of the higher sodium varieties like provolone and cheddar
  • Wegman’s Fat Free dressings that are also low in sodium
  • Heinz No Salt Added Ketchup
  • Some of the Healthy Choice frozen entrees are low in sodium, but choose carefully because they are few and far between. These are good for ‘dinner for one’ or for lunch at the office.

It was a pretty tough road finding things that everyone could eat. But, after almost 2 years, we have built up a pretty good pantry from which I’m able to cook a nice variety without everyone getting completely bored. I make a mean ‘Nearly Zero Sodium’ taco chili that I’ll be sharing in a future post, so stay tuned! It uses a no sodium taco seasoning that I found online.

1USDA National Nutrient Database
2Individual product packaging for the indicated product.

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St. Patrick’s Day Hair Bows – Handmade RoseyBow® Brand Hair Accessories

When you want an extra special hair bow, only hand crafted hair bows will do. Individually designed and often one-of-a-kind hair bows are the pride of those who make them. Every crafter searches for the technique or signature look that will set their handiwork apart from all the others. They truly put their heart and soul into their product’s design and creation. You just don’t get this from mass manufactured products. You get quality, uniqueness and tons of creativity in products that are made with love in U.S.A.

With St. Patrick’s Day rapidly approaching we got in the spirit and started creating. With a bunch of unique ribbons and holiday specific materials, we’re proud to share our latest creations for St. Patrick’s Day. We combined greens and pinks, shamrocks and Leprechaun hats with shamrock charms and a little bit of glitter. We mixed those in with a few basics to create some sweet little hair bows to put a little bounce in her step. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so we know that some of our customers might prefer something a little bit different. That’s why Rosey Bear Boutique offers you the option to customize any RoseyBow that you see on our website or make your own, fully custom, design request.

Here’s some fun we had to help everyone with the wearing of the green! Click an image to check it out with larger pictures and more information.


We’d love to hear your requests for customizations too, so just tell us what you’re thinking! Either post a comment here or visit our Contact Us page to call or e-mail.

Don’t forget that hair bows make great gifts for that special little girl! Here’s a little tip to make any gift more special with the perfect package topper!

If you’re in the mood to share, tell us what you think of our designs!

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Organize Your Kids: Daily Task Schedule

We had a job board that we used to keep track of daily little tasks that the kids were expected to do. It changed as they grew, but it centered around the daily dinnertime tasks as the kids were still quite little. To keep the tasks small, we listed each item that needed to go on the table when they set it. This also helped them learn what to put on the table. It was big and ugly, with pictures since they couldn’t always read the words. Despite the appearance, it worked.

Now that they are older, the kids pretty much have a handle on the items that go on the table. When we moved, the board came down since the jobs were in flux and we hadn’t gotten to officially updating the board. The list of jobs expanded to include things like washing the table before and after dinner, sweeping/vacuuming up the floor after they drop half their dinner on it :) , and emptying/refilling/running the dishwasher. Jointly, the 3 older ones set and clear the table as well. We cook the dinner and handle any portions of these other tasks that might be too much for the kids to handle. However, it’s a real team effort with everyone participating.

In the absence of the board, we started with what we thought was randomly assigning each of the tasks to the kids when it was time to prep for dinner. We just did this verbally, on the spot, on a day by day basis. However, we soon had a revolt on our hands. The kids seemed to think that the same person would get stuck with the harder job “every night” or that another had an unfair advantage, blah, blah blah. You know how it goes. Now, they all felt this way, so that kind of kills their credibility since if we were showing favoritism, by definition, one of them should have had it made, but I won’t disarm their argument with logic. However, I will admit that we did take a little bit of “parental license” in our job assignments. If one child was better at a task, we probably assigned it to them more often in the interest of getting quality results. Also, if the dishwasher had a lot of items that needed to go up high in the cupboards, we wouldn’t assign it to the littlest one. We thought it was fair to take those things into consideration, but we opted to let the majority rule and work on a new solution.

This is how our Daily Job Board was born. We created a rotating schedule of jobs that cycles every week. It began with the dinnertime chores but then expanded to include a variety of things that started to become difficult to manage. Let’s face it, there is only so much time between the time they come home from school and the time they go to bed. Another problem was that we needed to stagger certain things because you can’t have more than one kid doing it at the same time. For example, showering or practicing their instrument. You may recall a previous post, Organize Your Kids: Weekly Extras Calendar, where I detailed a different approach to handling the kids’ home responsibilities schedule. While they liked the freedom to choose, we weren’t getting the results we needed with it. So, we are temporarily taking this new approach until they are ready to try the more independent approach that we started with.

The current schedule has the following items:

  • Dishwasher
  • Sweep/vacuum floor
  • Wash table/clear drainer
  • Kitchen recycling
  • Instrument practice
  • Math practice
  • Shower

It’s just a spreadsheet with the tasks down the left and the days across the top. In the grid are the initials of the child who has that task for the day. In the rare case when 2 kids are assigned a task, we put both initials there. Each square is color coded to help the kids identify their tasks more easily. If you are a spreadsheet novice, just make the cells large enough to give you room to initial or check it off when it’s complete. Otherwise, you can do some cell merging on your day heading row to allow 2 cells in each day column, which is what we did. We use the left cell for the task assignment and the right cell for sign-off.

Kids Schedule of Tasks

Sample Kids Task Organizer

Some tasks are daily, such as the dinnertime tasks, but the other tasks are done twice a week or 3 times a week, etc. The schedule rotates, giving each kid a balanced load across the week while also distributing the showers and practices so that they aren’t competing with one another for hot water, noise space or computer time. Another consideration was that even if they can manage to fit it in, if every kid showers the same night, then there is no hot water for me to fit in a load of laundry that night. And in my house, I MUST do at least 1 load each night or I get very behind.

The math practice that we have listed varies depending on the child. We have a subscription to IXL, which is an online math practice site that is just fantastic. One of the kids uses another online site recommended by the school, but we haven’t been using that one long enough for me to form an opinion yet. We also have some other, non-computerized activities that we have them alternate through to help solidify their Math Facts.

The kids are still responsible for managing their own homework schedule and making it fit with what they have on the home schedule. The teachers already encourage this by giving them all the homework at the beginning of the week so that they can plan accordingly. This allows them to have some freedom and the opportunity to learn how to plan their time wisely. We definitely need them to keep working on that because as I said, we do intend to go back to the more independent schedule of our Weekly Extras Calendar method, but I think they weren’t quite ready for it when we introduced it. I think that our current schedule will form the good habits and then we will have greater success in the more independent model.

There are also some great benefits for the parents with this kind of schedule. As working parents with 4 kids, we certainly struggle with keeping everything in our heads. Remembering who did what when or who is due for what proved impossible. With this schedule, we have it covered! It’s now really easy to know what the kids should be doing and if we check them off as they do them, we also have a record of what they HAVE done. This helps when we have to sign off on their lesson practice sheets or their school planners. We can just check our home schedule and confirm it.

We also gain a certain level of peace. The kids still squawk about having the tasks to do in the first place, but we seem to have eliminated the complaints about unfair treatment and accusations of favoritism. At least in terms of these tasks :) We really do spend much less time arguing about how many times one person got a particular job or how they didn’t get the requisite number of practices in for a given week. The kids aren’t fighting anywhere near as much over who gets the computer or the shower. The schedule just prevents the conflict most of the time. That said, if 2 kids need the computer the same day, there is potentially a scuffle, but at least it isn’t all of them fighting for it. We just manage those as they come up, but it’s far less often now. And who wouldn’t welcome less fighting between siblings? :)

If you have an idea for keeping your home running smoothly, post a comment and tell us about it! We’re always searching for great solutions.

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What is a Diaper Cover?

Whether you’re an expectant mother or an experienced Mom, you may have seen references to ‘Diaper Covers’ and wondered what they are. You may know them as bloomers, rhumba pants, ruffled bloomers, rubber pants and perhaps several other names as well. Diaper covers come in what seems like an endless number of styles and we’re seeing fantastic new designs all the time!

So what are diaper covers? The are basically what the name implies — covers for infant and toddler diapers. They are generally a panty style garment which is cut generously to give your baby extra room to fit over a diaper. We call this a ‘diaper allowance’. Why do you need or want a diaper cover for your baby? Diaper covers serve not only as covers for the diaper, but a diaper cover can be a great addition to baby’s ensemble. Plus, on super hot days, a diaper cover can be the entire outfit!

Diaper covers make a great baby shower gift either alone, part of a diaper cake or gift basket or added to an outfit to make a gift bundle. You can create your own “set” by selecting your favorites or sticking to a color theme by choosing the same or complimentary colors. You may even try creating a diaper cover sampler by choosing a variety of styles. This let’s Mom and baby give several styles/fabrics a try to see what works best for them. Rosey Bear Boutique also has some well coordinated diaper cover sets all ready for gift-giving!

Sarah Louise Ruffled Diaper Cover

Cover Her Backside
With Ruffles
from Sarah Louise

The debate on what diapers are best aside, you are likely to find a good use for a diaper cover at some time or another, whether your baby wears disposable or cloth diapers. Disposable diapers for baby often come with boldly colored designs or characters on them. While these are amusing for baby and may not show under many outfits, we do find that they are noticeable under some types of fabrics or styles. Though not generally emblazoned with fanciful designs, cloth diapers are now available in colors other than the old-fashioned white ones, which may not go with every baby outfit. Diaper covers are a great choice to disguise anything you don’t want to show.

Let’s face it, being held in someone’s arms is a favorite past-time for babies and toddlers. Dresses tend to ride up and being nearly at eye level to everyone, babies’ backsides are often in full view. Little ones just learning to walk spend a lot of time tipping over or completely falling down. A diaper cover in any style will keep her covered under that dress! Diaper covers range in size from newborn to infant to toddler. However, we know how much little girls love dressy underpants, so we carry diaper covers and underwear for girls all the way up to size 16! And yes, you can still get ruffles on the bum in underwear for little girls.

Colorful Ruffled Diaper Covers for Baby

Rochelle Lace Ruffled Diaper Cover

Many of today’s baby dresses come with matching bloomers, or diaper cover, included. Otherwise, you can find many beautiful styles of diaper covers to complement a lovely Easter dress or Birthday dress. A very popular style of dressy diaper cover has ruffles across the backside. They may have lace ruffles or ruffles in a fabric matching the diaper cover. There are many diaper cover styles with ruffles in a contrasting color. Ruffled diaper covers are available in very dressy styles or more casual fabrics for every day wear. Plain and simple diaper covers tend to be less expensive, so you are able to keep several on hand.

Another important function of a diaper cover is to help contain any wetness or mess. There are many kinds of waterproof diaper covers that provide an extra layer of protection against leaks. Rubber pants are still available today, being a simple cover made of a waterproof material such as vinyl or plastic, yet still quite soft for baby’s comfort. Some newer styles are constructed of fabric on the outside with a waterproof lining. Yet others are made entirely out of waterproof fabric that feels as soft as standard fabrics. You wouldn’t guess that they have the added benefit of being waterproof!

Knit Football Diaper Cover

Sports Themed Boys Diaper Cover

Overall, diaper cover fabrics vary greatly. Polyester and cotton blend fabrics and the finer batiste cloth are often found in the double seat styles. These fabrics are also used in embroidered eyelet diaper covers, whether they are all over eyelet or just have an eyelet ruffle. Knit cotton diaper covers are available in many colors and patterns as well. We have beautiful ginghams, stripes and swiss dots in our Kissy Kissy cotton knit diaper cover sets. These sets are great for new baby gifts since they come in little gift set packaging. Nylon/tricot fabrics are more sheer, adding a dressy look to the diaper covers and are usually found with lace ruffles and satin embellishments.

At this point you may be thinking that diaper covers are just for girls, but we have a large selection of diaper covers for baby boys! There are many simple styles in neutral shades and other colors that are suitable for boys. Light blue, yellow and green are some of the more traditional colors while our royal blue corduroy diaper cover introduces a new, rich color for boys. Our sports fans should check out the great sports themes of our soccer ball diaper cover, our football diaper cover and our baseball diaper cover.

Flannel Diaper Cover in Animal Print

Flannel Leopard Print
Diaper Cover for
Boys and Girls

For a little bit of fun for both girls and boys, we love our animal print diaper cover in flannel and our olive green diaper cover with a monkey face on it.

Super hot summer days can leave you out of options for dressing your baby. We call these the ‘diaper days of summer’! To keep baby cool, it’s common to put nothing more than a diaper on those little ones. This is a great time to show off those great new cloth diaper colors or you may consider a diaper cover. With today’s beautiful diaper cover designs and colors, they’re an outfit on their own! Some of the latest girls ruffled diaper covers include colors like turquoise, purple and fuchsia in addition to the more traditional colors of white, pink and ivory. Boy’s diaper cover styles are so creative and fashionable, they’re hard to resist!

Now that you’ve had a primer on diaper covers, you can shop with confidence for that new baby!

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Decorating Easter Eggs with Kids

Traditional Easter eggs are full of color and rich with detail. Decorating eggs is an ancient art in many cultures and spans many faiths. The intricate hand painted designs of the Bucovina and Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky) and the Hanácké kraslice from the Czech region of Haná are just a few examples of the well known Easter egg decorating traditions from around the world.

Embroidered Eggs By Inna Forostyuk

Embroidered Eggs By Inna Forostyuk

My first hurdle is usually getting my kids past their initial “I don’t know what to make” phase. They always need a little boost to get their own creativity flowing. A good place to start is to look on the internet for ideas for Easter eggs. Take a look at the incredible cross-stitched eggs (shown at left) by Inna Forostyuk! Now, I am an avid cross-stitcher with over 15 years experience, but I don’t think I’m up to the challenge of cross stitching an egg quite yet!

I’m not suggesting that these are the kind of Easter eggs you should be making with your school age children, but they are certainly awe inspiring. These incredible works of art can also inspire your child’s (or your own) creativity with the use of color and patterns.

Coloring Easter eggs with children can be a challenge as they are still developing their skills. I have also found that much like at meal times when their eyes are bigger than their stomachs, they often bite off more than they can chew with their artwork plans. While seeing these beautiful creations does give them grand ideas, you can temper that so that it doesn’t lead to big disappointment. Just explain that they may not be able to create Easter eggs with the same detail, but they can get ideas for color combinations and more simplistic versions of the designs.

My kids just love the idea of using wax pencils to draw a design on the egg and then dip it into the Easter egg dye. Unfortunately, we have had incredibly poor results with these. You need to be able to follow your own lines to ensure that you don’t end up with a disjointed design or pattern. It is also important to maintain consistent pressure when applying the wax so that the dyes don’t bleed through in places. Both of these skills can be difficult for kids to master. Having tried to teach the little ones, when I look at the Romanian Easter eggs (below, right), whether they are etched right on to the egg’s shell or designed using hot wax, I truly appreciate the skill the artisans have clearly mastered.

Bucovina Easter Eggs

Bucovina Easter Eggs
Photo by Razvan Mihailescu

I’d also like to mention something that has become a concern in recent years. They have changed the dyes in many of the popular egg coloring kits for many reasons that I won’t go in to. Unfortunately, even though they have you add ingredients to the dye cups to make the dye “permanent”, it isn’t. We’ve tried several kits and still find that the dye WILL rub off and quite easily. Where is the Easter bunny going to hide the easter eggs? If you are doing a traditional Easter Egg Hunt outdoors, it may not matter too much if the decorations come off the eggs a little. However, you probably don’t want the “dye” to rub off on your carpet or furniture. Just keep this in mind when choosing your decorating materials.

Perhaps the most popular method for kids is an Easter egg coloring kit, such as the ones from PAAS®. Other kid friendly decorating methods that we have used for decorating Easter eggs include stickers, tattoos, crayons and markers. Although, washable markers can also rub off when and where you don’t want them to.

Another decorating method that has many advantages is to use egg wraps. These are basically pre-printed sleeves made out of a shrink-wrap material. You simply slide the sleeve over the egg and dip it into boiling water. It shrinks over the egg in a matter of seconds and you’re done! We don’t use these every year, but among the more attractive benefits of this method are

  • no mess
  • very fast
  • transfer proof
  • beautiful designs
  • EASY

If you are pressed for time or you want the kids to get great results without the frustration, this is the way to go. I remember one year that my kids were so convinced that they couldn’t make nice eggs, I decided that it wasn’t worth having them in tears. Self-fulfilling prophecy, I am sure, but sometimes you just have to let it go. There are times when you can tell that the kids are just not in the right mindset to accept your encouragement. So, we went with egg wraps and they were very pleased with the result. To them, it didn’t matter how they got there because they made eggs that THEY thought were beautiful, not just eggs that Mom thought were beautiful.

Easter Eggs from Haná, Czech Republic

Straw Decorated Hanácké kraslice
Photo by Jan Kamenícek

Egg wraps can be hard to find sometimes, but I’ve gotten them in little kits, I believe also from PAAS®. They had little characters on them like chicks and bunnies and some flowers. More recently, I got some from Monastery Greetings. They have Ukrainian Pysanky designs, Polish, Slovak & Hungarian Designs and Slavic Pin Art Designs. At the time, they sold them in packs of 12 sleeves for $3.95, which I didn’t think was a bad price.

Regardless of the decorating method, we always have some supplies leftover. I keep a box just for Easter egg decorating supplies where I put all the leftover things from whatever we use to decorate the eggs that year. Especially those little wire dippers that come in the kits. You can always use a spoon, but the dippers seem to allow a more uniform coloring with the dye since there is so little covering the surface of the egg. I keep all of the clear wax pencils and any other egg marking tools. This really helps when you have several people decorating eggs so that everyone will be able to keep working rather than waiting around for the tools to be freed up. I bring those out every year and the kids have plenty to choose from to keep them happy and creating.

Results aside, decorating Easter eggs with the kids is a fun project and a great opportunity for quality family time. We help them hone their skills and encourage them to try out their ideas in an atmosphere without criticism. We try to guide them towards techniques that will achieve the look they are hoping for so that they aren’t completely disappointed, but this is all a part of the learning process. Every year they get better and seem to enjoy the challenge, remembering what they learned the year before. I love to hear them talk about how they plan to solve their pitfalls from years past.

So, check out some of these Easter egg decorating ideas and methods and start your own tradition. If you have other methods that you use, add a comment to tell us about it. Happy Easter wishes to you and your little egg decorators! We’d love to see your kids’ creations, so if you have pics, send them!

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What Should My Kids Wear for Easter?

Easter 2013 is almost here and some of you are already thinking, “What should my kids wear for Easter this year?” It doesn’t matter if your Easter celebration is full of tradition, a big family event or a more intimate, casual holiday. There are still decisions to be made!

As most of you already know, now is a great time to find fantastic deals on kids clothes. The holidays are over, Fall & Winter merchandise is being cleared out for the new Spring styles and local department stores have an influx of holiday returns that they are often willing to part with at significantly reduced prices. This makes now the right time for budget conscious Moms to outfit their kids for Easter at great savings. So, start looking to get that Easter dress for less!

Sailor Easter Dress for Infants

Sarah Louise Girls Sailor Dress

The first thing to think about is the type of event your family’s Easter is planned to be. For many, Easter is a time when annual family portraits are taken both with immediate family and extended family alike. Picture a formal Easter photo with all of the grandkids assembled in their Sunday best! Some of our customers not only coordinate their own kids in matching outfits, but work out a whole color/style theme for all of the cousins! I’m sure you can imagine that it takes some time to plan out the children’s Easter attire for such an event. A sailor theme is a great choice for a large group of kids. You have many choices for kids sailor outfits and they don’t have to be exactly matched to go well together.

On a smaller scale, perhaps you just want to find matching sister dresses or brother sister looks. Matching outfits are a little harder to find as sizes start to sell out, so you should start browsing your favorite boutique fashions store now to get your ideas for Easter outfits. If your Easter is a more dressy occasion, you may consider one of Rosey Bear Boutique’s boy’s suits complete with shirt and tie. Our kids’ fashion clothing is hand selected for the best quality at affordable prices.

Another consideration should be the Easter activities that are planned for the day or perhaps the whole Easter weekend. Will there be an Easter parade, an Easter egg hunt or other Easter games? If the kids will be decorating Easter eggs or doing messy Easter crafts you may want to go with more dressy casual kids clothing. Make sure the kids will be comfortable in the clothes you select and able to participate in the day’s Easter activities. Can they run and play? Will the outfit be annoying or irritating to them? For example, that gorgeous, 5 petal petticoat dress isn’t going to work if an Easter game of football is on the docket. Long, flouncy sleeves are likely to be in the way for any craft activities. However, you don’t have to forgo your dressy Easter plans altogether. Consider having a bib or big kid’s apron on hand to protect their nice clothes. Check out our DIY post here to make your own Apron Style Bib for Big Kids. You still have plenty of time!

Easter Suit for Boys

Versatile Blazer Set for Easter

Easter 2013 is March 31st. Depending on your location, the weather can be quite variable. Since you don’t want to wait until the last minute, when you will be more sure of the weather forecast for Easter weekend, you need to choose your children’s Easter outfits wisely. For the most flexibility, layered kids apparel sets are the way to go. A Spring dress with a sweater will give her the option to remove the sweater for warmer weather. Blazer sets for boys often come with both a sweater vest and tie. Remove the blazer or both the sweater and blazer when the weather warms up and he’ll be super comfy and still dressed up for the occasion.

Shoes and socks are another way to adjust your kid’s outfit for the weather. For cooler days, boys can wear dress socks and shoes with their outfit. Get his summer sandals early and if the weather is warm enough, let him wear them for the first time on Easter so they look their very best. This may be a better solution than a shorts set if the weather in your area fluctuates a great deal. If it’s too cold, you can’t really layer anything over a boy’s shorts. For girls, you have more options. You can get her sandals early too, but you can also choose girls dress socks for warmer days and tights for cooler days. Plus, girls tights come in a variety of weights, so you can choose thinner or even very warm, sweater-like tights.

A more casual day may call for a smart girls skirt set or boys short set. The advantage here can be twofold. More casual attire offers comfort for your active kids, but can be a savings as well. Just accessorize your kids casual outfits for the Easter holiday and then later in the season, they will get more wear out of them. The dressy kids accessories will last several seasons, so you won’t have to buy them again next year. Check out our Easter bonnets, petticoats, hair bows and boys ties for suits for some Easter accessory ideas!

You may also enjoy our post titled ‘Easter Dresses on a Budget’ for more money saving tips on how to keep your kids well dressed on a budget.

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Easter Dresses on a Budget

It’s a pretty safe bet that everyone is feeling the financial squeeze lately with the economy and the changes happening in our jobs, healthcare and the nation. We all have our priorities, and unfortunately, sometimes we still have to pinch pennies to take care of the things on the top of our lists.

Kid’s clothes are no exception! They certainly need them, but how do you manage things so that you can meet their needs and still be able to have them look nice on special occasions and most importantly, like what they are wearing?

More and more, our customers are looking for flexibility in the children’s clothing they purchase. Every family is different, so you have different options from the next person. If you have 6 boys, you might be able to spend $50 on an indestructible pair of jeans since all the kids can wear them and you would actually save money in the end. However, if you don’t have anyone to hand down the clothes to, you are probably thinking about a much lower price point.

Here are some ideas on how to get the most out of your kids’ wardrobes during the various holidays and every day.

Boys Easter Shorts Set

Dressy Casual Short Set for Easter

Look for kids clothes that have room to grow with them. Skirts, shorts and short sleeved tops tend to fit longer since you’re supposed to see their wrists and ankles. Sweater vests are a nice way to dress up a basic boys dress shirt and with no sleeve length to worry about, they can wear vests longer. Look for dresses with generous hems that you can let out as your little girl grows. Rosey Bear Boutique has several styles from Sarah Louise and Petit Ami that offer lots of room to let out the hem.

Purple Easter Hair Bow

Pastel Egg Hair Bow for Easter

Skip the holiday themed kids clothes. Sure, we know that dress with embroidered candy canes or reindeer is super cute, but she’ll get minimal use out of it. Instead, go with a sweet smocked dress that you can accessorize with holiday hair bows that cost much less. Plus, the hair bows will fit for many years and can be worn with many dresses.

Black goes with everything. You know it’s true! Don’t forget this little rule of thumb when looking at kids shoes. We always think of white shoes on little girls for Easter, but how often does she really get to wear them? I’ve actually handled this a couple of different ways in the past. One option is to just go with black. Especially if she’s grown to the point of wearing the same size for a whole year, you can choose a nice pair of black patent shoes that she can wear all year round. Even if she is still small enough to go through several sizes in a year, you will still cut your shoe budget in half by just buying black. Another good choice is ivory. If you really would rather she wear a lighter shoe color, consider ivory for a nice year round dress shoe. Your second option is to get a pair of white sandals that she wears for the first time on Easter so that they are pristine. After that, they become her sandals for that year, allowing her to get the most wear possible out of them.

Beaded Lace Girls Dress Socks

Beaded Lace Girls Dress Socks for Easter

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! We all know that accessories can make or break your outfit. It’s no exception for kids! You can take a reasonably priced dress and turn it into a beautiful Easter ensemble with a few accessories. And as we noted before, most accessories are going to last for several seasons, so you really get your money’s worth. Take a basic, smocked summer dress, for example. Add a sweater, dressy socks and an Easter hat or hair bow and you’ve got an outfit. That same dress becomes a great addition to her wardrobe since she can wear it in cooler weather with the sweater and then by itself during the summer.

Buy machine washable kids clothes There are a lot of dry clean only clothes for kids out there and if you want to save money, don’t buy them! Avoid the dry cleaning costs and make sure the clothes are machine washable before you buy them. You won’t want to pay for dry cleaning once, let alone several times a year if you are hoping to get a lot of wear out of the clothes you choose for your kids.

There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive. This is something I’m sure you already know, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Those $3 pants from your local discount superstore are no value when they fall apart in the wash, one leg shrinks and the other doesn’t or they get out of shape and no longer look nice on your child. Sometimes the lowest price isn’t the best deal and could end up costing you more in the end.

Being on a budget doesn’t mean giving up style! You can still dress your kids fashionably if you use some (or all) of these tips. Decide which things are most important to you and then try one of the compromises for the others. Your kids will still look great and you won’t break the bank!

Posted in Accessories, Boutique Hair Bows, Easter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Princess Dress and Matching Hair Bow

Velvet is a traditional holiday favorite for all ages. Many times though, holiday velvets are just that – very obviously meant for one specific holiday. If you want a dress that she’ll wear for more than one occasion, but is most definitely a very special dress, look no further! Rosey Bear Boutique has a gorgeous velvet princess dress in a rich, navy color. Navy is a great color for any winter holiday, winter wedding or other special occasion and velvet is just perfect for formal occasions.

Navy Velvet Princess Dress

Navy Velvet Holiday Dress

This elegant dress has simple lines and delicate trims for your infant or toddler. The neckline is embellished with a silver crochet trim and the wide satin ribbon around the waist ties into a bow at the back. From designer Lucy Sykes, you’ll find nothing but high quality workmanship in this special occasion dress. Super soft, luxurious velvet is also fully lined for your little one’s total comfort.

For you budget conscious parents and grandparents (and who isn’t trying to save on kid’s clothes these days?), this beautiful designer dress is on sale now for 40% off the regular price! You won’t find prices like this on a dress of such superior quality anywhere else. Available in sizes 12 Mos., 18 Mos. and 2T.

Rhinestone Center Velvet Hair Bow

Navy Velvet Hair Bow with Rhinestone Charm

For a complete outfit, Rosey Bear Boutique has many special occasion hair bows that will complement this designer toddler dress. Our Navy Velvet Hair Bow with Rhinestone Center is a beautiful finishing touch for her holiday outfit. This bow is actually available in 13 different velvet colors, so even if navy isn’t your velvet of choice, we may have just the right hair bow for you! The rhinestone center of the hair bow sets off the silver accents at the neckline of the dress very nicely. You can choose one of three charm shapes – heart, oval or circle.

Satin and Rhinestone Fancy Hair Bow

Navy Satin Hair Bow with Rhinestone Heart

You may also like our Satin Hair Bow with Rhinestone Center in Navy Blue. The satin bow picks up the satin at the waist of the dress while still adding some extra silver sparkle with the rhinestone center. You may also choose the heart, circle or oval shape for the rhinestone charm with this bow as with the velvet hair bow. Plus, we have countless colors available to us in the satin ribbon.

If bling is not your thing, our RoseyBow® brand hair bows are available in a variety of satin and velvet styles with no embellishments. For example, you might choose our Navy Satin Pinwheel Hair Bow. Most of our hair bows can also be customized to meet your size and color needs.

If you are looking to match a different special occasion dress, chances are, we can make you a bow in the color that you need. Browse our many satin hair bow designs on our website or contact us with your specific color needs and we will work with you to design the bow to match!

Posted in Accessories, Boutique Hair Bows, Christmas, Flower Girl Attire, Winter Apparel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Toddler Tutu Dresses 35-50% Off!

Tutus and toddlers seem to go hand in hand these days … why not choose a beautiful Sarah Louise Tutu Dress for her this holiday season? Rosey Bear Boutique has these gorgeous designer tutu dresses on sale now for 35-50% off! The impeccable quality of these brand name dresses makes this deal one you don’t want to miss.

Perhaps she’s a girly girl who loves pink and a little bit of sparkle or maybe she loves bold colors with bounce and bling. Either way, one of these tutu dresses is sure to fit her style.

Sarah Louise Tutu Dress

Sequined Tutu Dress for Toddlers

This all pink sequined tutu dress from Sarah Louise is sleeveless with a ribbed knit bodice. Ruffles around the neckline and down the front are accented with sequins. Ruffled rosettes around the waist frame the tiered tutu skirt. More ruffles on the skirt and lots of layers give it great fullness. A heavier sprinkling of sequins covers the skirt and rosettes. This tutu dress is available in sizes from 2 yrs. to 4 yrs. and is currently 35% off!

Sarah Louise Ballerina Tutu

Ballerina Tutu Skirt Set for Toddlers

If bold color is her passion, check out our ballerina tutu skirt set. A dancing ballerina graces the bodice of the long sleeved knit top and she even has her own little tutu skirt! The pettiskirt is burgundy under layers of sheer black. The elastic waist skirt has a burgundy accent bow at the waist and is dotted with sequins. The tiered skirt is nice and full for twirling! This ballerina tutu skirt set is available in sizes 2 yrs. to 4 yrs. and we’ve got it clearance priced at 50% off!

Top her gift with a Rosey Bear Boutique Hair Bow for a complete outfit she will just love! Browse our wide selection of RoseyBow® Hair Bows or contact us to place your custom order.

Both of these fabulous toddler pettiskirt dresses are available for purchase on our website. Just click one of the dress photos to jump to the dress you love or browse all of our items that are currently on sale.

Posted in Birthday, Boutique Hair Bows, Christmas, Clearance, Gifts, Petticoats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holiday Pumpkin Pancakes

Fall Gourd CandlesI woke up early the morning after Thanksgiving. Since everyone was home and I was still in ‘cooking mode’, I decided to surprise the kids with my VERY popular applesauce pancakes. I headed into the kitchen and started pulling together the ingredients and unfortunately, I quickly realized that we were missing the key ingredient — the applesauce!

Being the day after Thanksgiving, the first substitute that came to mind was pumpkin. Though the applesauce was gone, there were a couple of cans of pumpkin in the cupboard, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to create! I’ll spoil the surprise and say that these pumpkin pancakes were a hit! The kids were certainly a little apprehensive even though they like pumpkin, but they can’t resist pancakes, so they didn’t require much coaxing.

I started with a buttermilk pancake mix, but this recipe can easily be adapted for your own scratch pancakes. With 4 hungry kids on hand and having lost time planning the new recipe, I wanted to get breakfast on the table as quickly as possible. Hence, the shortcut with the mix. I’ve had some ideas along the way for variations and you can find those at the bottom of the post.

Assuming that the reader has experience making pancakes, here are the ingredients. This is for a large family, equivalent to a double batch, so you may need to scale it back a bit for what you need. The advantage of this size batch is that you will use the entire can of pumpkin. Otherwise, you’ll need to have another use for the half can of pumpkin or it will go to waste.

I have always found that pancakes freeze well, so I never worry about left overs. I just cook a ton and freeze what’s left. I layer them between pieces of wax paper and then wrap the stack in aluminum foil, label and pop them in the freezer. The frozen pancakes thaw fast and with the wax paper in between, it’s easy to take out just what you need and put the rest back in the freezer. Just microwave for a quick and yummy breakfast. You can even toast them in the toaster if you thaw them first.

Pumpkin Pancake Ingredients

Wax Pumpkin4 c. dry buttermilk pancake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. white sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground allspice
dash of mace (optional)
4 eggs
2½ c. milk

NOTE: You will most likely need to adjust the milk component to get the consistency that you prefer. The reason is that the other ingredients may add more or less liquid. Larger eggs will add more. Some pumpkin puree is thicker, some thinner. The fat % of your milk may also affect the thickness of your batter. So, the amount of milk listed is most likely the minimum that you will need – add as much milk as you need to achieve the thickness you desire.

Cook them just as you would any other standard pancake recipe. These pancakes have such fantastic flavor that syrup is unnecessary. In fact, it can take away from the flavor of the pancakes themselves. Serve hot with butter and enjoy! Pair them with fresh fruit on the side and some eggs (or your favorite egg substitute) for a balanced breakfast.

Variations:
Next time I think I will use honey instead of the white sugar and add some pecans. We love nuts and they go so well with pumpkin! I might even hide some wheat germ in there too ;) If you make a scratch pancake base, you can use whole wheat flour.

We welcome your comments and suggestions!

Posted in Christmas, Recipes, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments