Showing posts with label How To. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How To. Show all posts

April 26, 2017

Toddler Activity {Making Rain}









Hello there! Having two children at home all the time, gets them a little bored. This passed winter was so long and cold that we were looking for ideas on how to stay busy and not to loose our minds. My son Jonathan is 4 years old and loves all hands on activities. He loves cooking with me, mixing things and see what comes out. On a particularly rainy and cold day, I was looking for something to keep him occupied and found this cute idea on Pinterest, Honestly, I can't even find the link of the original blog post. But whoever you are, I give you credit for being so creative and finding a way to use common household things for such a fun experiment, We learning about rain and how it works because I'm sure God does have fun when it rains. So, I hope you enjoy making this fun experiment with your little ones over and over again, because we sure do. 

Things You Need
- Shaving Cream
- Large Glass Vase/Jar
- Colored Water
- Ramekins
- Syringe

How To
Pour water into a clear glass jar and leave room on top for shaving cream, about 3 inches. Mix colors of your choice with water and make sure it's really concentrated. It will become much  more pale when mixed with shaving cream and more water. Fill the rest of the vase/jar with shaving cream and set it up on a table. Fill the syringe with color of your choice and sprinkle all over the top of the shaving cream. Do not put it all in one spot, you will end up with cloudy mess instead of pretty drops. Keep going alternating colors and watch the colored water fall to the bottom of the vase/jar. After a while Jonathan got bored of the 'right' way of doing it and made cloudy with spraying syringe directly into one spot. After a while water was dark and cloudy and we started all over again. Enjoy! 


Thanks for stopping by!

November 6, 2015

{How To} Stay Healthy During Cold/Flu Season




With the holiday season upon us when the sickness is in the air and cold weather makes us stay inside, there are many threats to our health. Let's talk about natural remedies of prevention sickness, because once you get sick, there is nothing to stop it but let it run its course. However if you can help your body fight the bacteria and kill the nasty germs, you don't have to deal with the consequences of the cold or  flu.

Don't Cut Calories. research showed that people who are on low-cal diet take longer to recover and are most susceptible to viruses. Basically, if your body lacks nutrition, it won't be able to fight off the germs that well. Maintain a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins all winter long with seasonal produce.

September 30, 2015

How To: Survive the Newborn Stage

When that precious babe is placed into your arms, the emotions and feelings are overwhelming. You feel joy and pride of being a parent. You are scared not to hurt him/her while caring, changing and feeding. You aren't quite sure what you are doing (yet). A few days go by and the baby is sleeping all the time. You congratulate yourself on having the perfect child and try to get some sleep yourself. And then it happens - they wake up, start crying, have colic, diaper rash, spit up and gas. So much is happening that you forget the last time you brushed your teeth because that tiny human being has consumed your life. Here are a few tips on how to survive the first three months, which (in my opinion) are the hardest.

1. Let Go of Expectations
It's so hard to not have expectations and for perfectionists (like me) it's hard not to expect more. First few weeks babies eat around the clock and it feels like all you're doing is feeding, changing, feeding, changing. And that's exactly what's happening. Give yourself a break and don't expect to have everything figured out right now. Don't expect to have an orderly house and dinner from scratch every night - you will be too exhausted to care what you eat. It's OK to just let go and enjoy that little babe because time will fly by way too fast (trust me).

2. Have Patience
Babies are fussy little beings and sometimes you have done everything possible and he/she is still crying. They may be hungry after you just fed them, and pooped the minute you changed the diaper. It takes a lot of patience to just go with the flow. Don't get angry but try to calmly figure things out, even if sometimes there is nothing to be done. Be patient with yourself because you are new at this and everything new takes practice. It takes time to figure out why they are crying and what they don't like. Even if this isn't your first baby, remember they are all different.

3. Laugh Often
The baby pooped on your bed as soon as you took the diaper off? Laugh. Did she spit up on your new blouse after you fed her? Laugh. You forgot to put a bib on and he puked on the car seat (which now has to be washed) and you are late? Laugh. You can't get through the first few months with a newborn without laughing at the circumstance or yourself. It will help you stay sane. At one point you may want to cry and that's OK too. Not everything is peachy with babies so if you have to let your emotions roll, have yourself a good cry and then go back to looking at everything with a smile. 

4. Get Into a Routine
It's hard to have a schedule with a newborn baby. There is nothing set in place. They may decide to sleep four hours one day, and then only hour the next. You do not need to be watching the clock but it's good to have a routine. Babies are unpredictable but getting them into a rhythm will help you later on. I do not have a set schedule because everyday is different but we do the same things every single day (ex. bath, massage & tummy time).

5. Ask For Help
When I was a first time mom, I felt like I had a lot to prove to the world. I didn't want people to think that I couldn't do this mom-thing. Let's be honest, it's hard doing it alone and no on expects you to. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or just plane tired, ask for help. No one will have the heart to refuse a mother with a newborn. Trust me. Don't think that asking for help makes you weak or incapable of taking care of your baby. Life with a newborn is super exhausting. Sleep whenever (and however) you can, don't forget to eat and get away for a minute. Let family members take care of the baby while you sneak in a little nap, or escape for a shopping trip. 

Hope these help whether you are a veteran or a first time mom. Babies are amazing so enjoy them because they grow up way too fast to be worrying about little things.

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September 25, 2015

How To: Take Family Photos


When it comes to family photos, everyone wants to have them but no one wants to put the work into them. Recently we got our brood ready and ventured out for a photo shoot. Here is what I learned.

1. Wear Coordinating Clothes
Since photos are all about the aesthetics, make sure they look cohesive. It is not about one person therefore nothing should be standing out. Do not wear the same colors because you will blend in but have styles and colors that complement each other. Think about the background you are going to have and how you want the photos to look. Is it a formal shoot or do you want the photos to have a relaxed feeling? If you do not think it through, you will be wasting your time and money, and won't like the results. 

2. Know What You Want
Look through Pinterest for ideas, research poses and settings, because not all photographers are alike. The photographer should be prepared and know about family set up but they may have different things in mind. Unfortunately, not all photographers know how to put families together in a creative way and you will be disappointed when you receive the photos. Find the type of photographer who will be able to carry out the service the way you like so ask how they do their photo shoots. Gather reviews from other people who have been photographed and ask for sample work.

3. Make Your Expectations Known
Before you agree/sign a contract, make sure you tell the photographer what you want. If you want more family, artistic photos or individual portraits. You will be disappointed that there are not enough group photos if that's what you were looking for. Also, tell them how much editing you want to be done (ex:.high contrast or soft neutrals) and what you want edited out. Photographers should edit obvious things (feet in the background) and do most of the work without saying. As a customer you should be relaxed and it is the job of a photographer to tell you if you hair is in the way, or hands are in the wrong position, or your smile looks too strained. Lastly, ask about their customer satisfaction policy.

4. Pay After Seeing the Final Product
As a customer who's paying for a service, you have the right to inspect the final product before paying. If you are not satisfied with the photos, make your concerns known. If you are disappointed be ready to justify why (ex. the quality of photos is bad, things are not edited out). Customer service should be part of the business and your satisfaction is what every photographer has to be to looking for. Whatever the reason, if you don't like the end result, it's your right as a customer to voice it.

5. Be Prepared (for anything)
Although you should expect the photographer to be prepared (ex. a blanket for children to sit on), think things through. Bring extra change of clothes, especially for children and think about secondary location (or talk about a re-do) in case it rains. Also, if you end up not liking the photos be prepared to dispute the fact and bargain for lower price. That may cause some problems between you and the photography service but don't hesitate to voice your concerns. After all, you are the one who's paying and therefore 100% in the right.

Thank you for reading!

September 16, 2015

How To: Look Slim After Having a Baby


I've been getting a lot of comments (and emails) about my postpartum shape. I've done my fare share to not gain too much while I was pregnant but knowing how to dress your body to accentuate your strong parts, is also helpful. As well as owning a good pair of spanx (ha!). Here are my tips and tricks to looking fabulous after pregnancy.

1. Tuck It In. First and foremost, you must (absolutely HAVE TO) invest in a good pair of shape wear and undergarments. You can look great, and have expensive clothes but if your bra doesn't fit right, especially when nursing, it's a lost cause. Wearing supportive undergarments that help shape your body (and hide that tummy) is the oldest trick in the book. Although, for some reason, not everyone knows it. I'm letting the cat out of the bag - this amazing invention is your best friend. If you don't like the idea of being tucked in so much, getting a pair of regular spanx will help (a lot).

2. Shift Dress Galore. Before I knew what postpartum body was, I hated shift dresses. To me they felt so unshapely and very blah. I had a great figure and wasn't about to let a shapeless dress to hide it. Now, it's a totally different story. Shift dresses look feminine yet they hide the unwanted tummy (also see maxi dresses). So get yourself a few of those ASAP (see top photos)

3. Flaunt What You've Got. Every woman has at least one great feature. If you have gorgeous legs, then wear short skirt. If you didn't gain any weight in your butt, accentuate your figure with great pair of jeans. I have a slim waist and therefore right now I'm playing around that. Notice how the second row of photos are all fit and flare. The fit part accentuates the skinniest part of me, while the flare hides unwanted rolls. It's a win - win. Find your best feature and make it work for you.

 4. Avoid the Tent Look. The rule of thumb is that if the top is fit, then the bottom should be a little more loose and vice versa. Do not put on an overzised sweater on top of culottes  - you are running a risk of someone asking you how far along are you. Even though chunky knits with skinny jeans are great at hiding the belly, do not wear tops that have a high waist - they will make you look pregnant. Choose loose and straight shaped top with slimmer bottoms.

5. Own it. Your body went through so much. From growing another human being to expelling that little person out of your (even smaller) private area. It's a lot to process! Be kind to yourself, love your body and what it did. Don't get discouraged if the weight doesn't just fall off in a few weeks. It took you 9 months to gain all that weight, so give it at least half that to start going away. Own your stretch marks, leaking boobs and half pregnant tummy. This is a special time so cherish it and enjoy every moment!

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December 4, 2013

10 Ways To Get Ready For Winter

source

Technically it's not winter yet, although it definitely feels like it.  Here in Northeast, we hibernate from October to March so warmth, comfort and peace of mind are very important. But no matter where you are, here are some things to consider before the cold hits ya.

1. Stock up on canned goods, snacks and cereal. You never know when a blizzard is going to force you stay home instead of going grocery shopping. Maybe there will be another Sandy (God knows we don't want one) but you won't be frantically running through Walmart, scouting for canned beans. It's wise to have things prepared for bad weather (especially if you are in north east)

2. Go through your winter wardrobe and make sure your winter clothes are clean and ready to be used with the first frost. If not, get your coats, and wool items dry cleaned.

3. Get a good lotion that isn't glycerin based as it tends to give more break outs with constant use. Winter months always leave my skin extra dry. I use pure, food-grade almond and jojoba oils, as well as Shea butter by NOW Foods. All of their oils are unscented so you won't get sick of the smell after a while. The almond oil is my favorite because it's thin, does not leave a nasty residue and absorbs fully.

4. Make sure you have plenty of accessories - things like gloves, mittens, hats and scarfs are essential during winter. They add stylish touch and keep you warm. Also, thick shoe inserts will help keep your toes warm, even if your shoe soles are a little on a thin side.

5. Set your thermostat (if at all possible) according to your daily schedule. Programming the thermostat will not only allow you to save money but make sure that you come back to a warm house every time.

6. Clean the vents, if you have forced air heat, and wipe the dust off radiators to make sure you have clean air. Plug in air freshers and maybe even get a humidifier to make sure that your air stays pleasant.

7. Prepare your vehicles. Get them inspected, rotate/change tires, get enough wind washer fluid. Besides that, ask your husband/boyfriend/father/mechanic for help.

8. Stock up on candles, because no matter how many you have, it doesn't ever seem enough. Nothing feels better then a cozy, warm house that smells like apple pie (or whatever you smell you like).

9. Get comfortable and warm everyday footwear with thick soles and low heel. Also, wool socks are absolutely amazing for those cozy winter nights snuggled up with a cup of hot coco. Your grandma will be happy to make you a pairs (or Land's End).

10. Last but not least, you want to make sure it's safe for you to walk outside your house. Get enough salt and the shovel ready for the ice and first snow.

Anything I forgot, please comment and let everyone know your ideas!


February 1, 2013

Accountability



I have a lifestyle blog. I love fashion. I love (gasp!) shopping. 
I'm not really crazy obsessed with the whole idea of shopping, I just like having new things and being inspired (read: jealous) by other bloggers, doesn't help. My hubby has been rolling his eyes at my habit but mostly very tolerant.

Side note: sometimes I think if I were the main breadwinner in the household (say I was the husband) and the wife was spending money left and right, we would have some major problems. Thank God, for a patient hubby of mine. He is really good. The best kind of good. 
Moving on to my inability to pass a good sale.


As I said, I've been bad about shopping. 
I think, I have a hard time identifying what I really need (mostly nothing) and what I want (mostly everything). If you really think about it, clothes are there to keep us warm in the winter and somewhat decent during summer. It's not there to define who we are.
I decided that I needed a little more accountability in this area, being that we have a baby on the way and a new house (read: added expenses which do not include my closet). So I think telling the whole world (you guys are the entire world of Internet users right?) how much I spend each month and what I buy, will help me and also hopefully inspire some of you (other shopaholics) to curb my cravings. 

Main things to keep in mind. (Don't listen to the lady in the poster above, that's for sure)

Realize the difference between a want and a need. Do I want that pair of BCBG leopard pumps? Yes, I sure do! Do  I need them? nope... 

Have a set-in-stone budget. Make sure there is no way of getting around it, be that $1000 or $10, stick to it no matter what. 

Be accountable for your spending. Find a person, start a blog or do something to make sure that you are sticking to it. And don't reward yourself for sticking to it one month by doubling your spending the next.

Ditch the credit cards. Only spend money (even if you are putting it on your credit card because you get 30% off) when you have the the same amount in your account.

Have a goal in mind. Identify the things you actually need (new winter coat for next season?) and shop the sales. 

Subscribe to couple email alerts letting you know when the things you are looking for are on sale. DO NOT subscribe to all the stores, high end designer boutiques and any other shops that will lead you down the path of temptation. 

Therefore, starting this months, I'm going to be doing a feature describing my purchases and having a grand total at the end of every month. I mean, it's probably going to help having a newborn and not being able to get out of the house much, but I can manage to spend as much (if not more) money online.
I don't want to be overly optimistic, so let's start with a budget of $100 for the month of February.
Here I go!
Wish me luck!



January 17, 2013

Nifty Thrifting

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You just received that Pottery Barn catalog and swooning over a rustic table with modern chairs on page 15. The price on that thing? Ridiculous, and you know it. So what to do? Find one and make it your own. At a thrift store

I love thrift store shopping - it's fun, unpredictable and always low-cost. I have been asked on multiple occasions how do I find clothes that look so good when I tell them it's from thrift store. 
There are a couple of tricks.
 Now that we are in our new home, I'm scouting for one-of-a-kind accent pieces, but it's not easy. 
Here are couple of tricks on finding the 'this is so lovely/cute/gorgeous! where did you get it?' piece.

Quality, over quantity. Browsing the racks and rows of old, used furniture, don't think about getting more stuff. Let's face it - you probably have a million sweaters so when picking out clothes, look for unique patterns, familiar store tags and little to no use/wear. I know that the low prices are tempting but select only the best, even if you have to walk away empty handed. Unless you want your closet looking like thrift store itself.

Take your time. Thrifting is time consuming. Nothing is laid out for you and matched like in the department store. There isn't a sign saying "This table is very sturdy. Just needs a fresh coat of paint" Dig through everything. Be patient. You never know.

Distinguish between junk and treasure. This is hard to do at times. When looking for furniture make sure it's sturdy, has no cracks and isn't going to fall apart the minute you put it in your trunk (they don't do refunds). Learn to recognize good quality and sort of have a vision.

Be consistent. You have to be a regular at any thrift store, because nothing is there for very long time. Check the stores often and ask when they receive major shipments, or days when they put out new stuff. Know the sale days. Yes, they have those. Even Salvation Army has 50% off everything day. So what if it's cheap when you can get it cheaper!

Have a goal in mind. Don't just go in aimlessly looking for something. You will never find it. And if you do, it turns out you didn't need it in the first place. Only because you see $0.99 price tag on it, doesn't mean you have to get it. You are more likely to find specific pieces when you know what you are looking for. There is a lot of junk in those stores. But when you know you want that cute little frame with Victorian border so you can spray paint it the color you want and proudly display it over the fireplace, your eyes will ignore the junk and help you find the piece you are looking for.

Never mind the stigma. For some people, it's demeaning to go to a thrift store. It's below them for some reason. Either they are too proud, or too stuck up, or too rich (I mean, good for them) to thrift. There is nothing embarrassing about finding good stuff for cheap and turning it into a one-of-a-kind treasure. If someone gives you a weird look about going to the thrift store, just ignore it and think about all the money you are saving your family (if aren't buying junk that is).

I'm a thrifter and I know it!

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