Monday, April 30, 2012

Quest Post re Attachment Parenting

It's been a difficult week for all of us three mainly because we were sick.  This crazy weather has been really a pain in the bottom.  The day after Little Spanish Pinay's 2nd year birthday celebration, she got sick with colds and fever and then the next day, both hubby and I fell for the same virus.  Thankfully, the little one was able to recover fast... not hubby and I though.  It's been more than a week and hubby and I are still as bad (or worse) as the first day we got the colds.  So that explains the scarcity of my posts and blog visits.

But if you do miss me, I have a guest post on Anne's blogsite at Green Eggs and Mom's regarding Attachment Parenting.  It's currently getting interesting comments so if you'd like to join in, please hop on over to Anne's site.  While there, you can also browse around her other articles.  They are all very informative and give a lot of take-aways especially for moms.

I'll see you there!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Circus themed 2nd Birthday Party

Yep, two years... just like that.  My birthing experience is still very fresh in my mind... every second of it, I can still remember in detail but here we are, already on our 2nd year of being parents.  And we survived those two years! With flying colors if I may say ;-)

We had a very simple celebration last Saturday and it had been really fun.  We had a birthday merienda circus-themed party only with close family.  Sadly, 3 of my close friends weren't able to make it because of different personal reasons.  One of my friends had to fly back to her country of origin due to a family emergency.  My heart is bleeding for her but I know God will give her strength and her family will recover from this in His time.

Although partly broken hearted, we went ahead and celebrated Little Spanish Pinay's second birthday as everything was already planned and her godparents were only here for the weekend. 

As I've said, it was a simple celebration anyways.  Everyone had a very nice surprise when they were greeted with the birthday celebrant dressed as a clown.  Their reactions were priceless.  Each died of cuteness overload! We've also died of sugar overload from the sweets prepared by yours truly :-D 

I've tried to do everything on my own but time fought really hard against this poor trying-hard mami. With all the limitations, I just managed to do some party garlands and a poor birthday poster finished in 10 minutes!  If time hadn't been mean to me, I would have done so much more... like pinwheels, stars everywhere, baloons (can you believe we didn't have baloons!?) and flowers, flowers, flowers.  Those will have to wait another year, I guess :)

Let me share some photos of Little Spanish Pinay's special day celebration. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy looking at them over and over again. 


She's getting ready. 
She was her own clown on her own birthday ;-)

Great idea for clown shoes by my friend V. 
We really missed her and her daughter D!


All prepared to greet her guests

I tried to make a birthday poster but alas... in 10 minutes, I whipped this up... poor, poor thing.
It looked so small in the wall where it was hanged.  (See the background of the first picture) 

Can a clown get any cuter than this?

Just a simple effort I did to give some more circus-y party mood

The table full of sweets and some sandwiches


The cake pops!

Far from professional looking but hey, it's my first time to do these
and I am more than happy with the result :-D


The buttery sugar cookies ready to be served

The sandwiches! My hubby's obra maestra ;-)
The fillings are hmmm, hmmm, good!
Hubby and I couldn't get enough of them we even had them for dinner!

The crowd is singing happy birthday in 4 languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Filipino and Engish)
and she was singing along :)

She blew her candle like a 2yr old should! ;-)

Ok, the cake.  It is supposed to be a circus tent... but it looked like Aladin's turban in a bloody state LOL.  I really had fun laughing at my own work after.  But I was really in too much of a hurry and that's all I could do with the limited time and resources I had. 

But with the birthday celebrant this cute?  The cake by her side looked cute just as well ;-) 

Apart from it's unpolished look... the cake was unbelievable moist and oh so chocolatey.
I had a little cake accident and I swear, I almost ruined the entire thing.  I was so lucky I was twittering with Kristeta and she helped me save the cake! Oh the power of cyber friends communication or whatever it is called ;-)

She missed her nap that day but she was still amazingly hyped and gleeful.

Even Roque has a gift for her!  She was really touched by the dog's gesture ;-)

I just had to include this.  They are totally cute! 
On the left is LSP's grandfather and on the right is her godfather she lovingly calls ninong :)
(ninong is godfather in my native language) 

 
The whole troop!

All in all, we all had a blast.  LSP was incredibly still with tons of energy after - even after around 12 midnight!  To think she didn't take her nap in the afternoon.  She must have been super energized with happiness and excitement for the gifts.  As for me? I was really glad that hubby and I were able to pull this off - inspite of little time for planning and preprataion.  The best of all is that LSP really enjoyed her party!

Happy 2nd birthday, our precious little star! Looking forward to many, many, many more birthday parties with you :)  We love you sooooo much!!

p.s.
The Copy-Kids giveaway is still on-going!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Fun Food: Sugar Cookies!

Because Little Spanish Pinay is turning 2,  I taught myself to learn to do these cute sugar cookies decorated with Royal Icing!



I do not have the recipe and the how-to this time becaue there are tons of resources in the internet out there that will be more helpful - complete with videos.




We'll have a circus themed merienda birthday party! That's where the designs from these cookies are inspired from. The elephant? I have to let the royal icing to dry completely and then with an edible marker, I'll try to draw some eyes perhaps.  The number 2? Because she's turning two! The star is just because... she's our star :) The candy and the swirl... what fun would circus be without candies and lollipops!  And finally the one that is a bit unrecognizable above? It's a clown haha.  I'll be drawing the face once the icing is completely dry.


I've also created some monkeys in the end but they are still getting dried and did not get to be included in the photo.  I didn't have brown coloring before but when I was trying to make a blue out of green and red coloring? The result was brown.  I totally forgot my lessons about mixing colors when I was in high school. 

update:  Here are the final monkies! Far from looking professional but they all look cute :)



I'll leave you guys with this link.  She is my ultimate teacher for making these sugar cookies :-D Special thanks to my dear friend Dianne for doing the research for me... I'm gonna have to go as next in my list is to do cake pops!

ta-tah for now!

p.s.  Sorry, I am not able to visit my favorite blogs... yours truly is a bit busy (and cramming) for the birthday party tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

p.p.s If you haven't, join my Copy-Kids giveaway especially if you have a picky-eater or if you know someone who has ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Product Review and Give Away: Copy-Kids

Little Spanish Pinay's nanny made an interesting comment before they went out for a walk this morning.  She said: "I can never understand those moms I see in the park." She said this with a strong ridicule in her voice. Surprised, I asked why.  She said: "Those moms that follow their kids everywhere carrying spoon with food and pleading for them to eat.  They tick me off. Can't they just leave their child alone and let them play?"  I kind of hesitated whether to respond something or not but I felt that I should in defense of moms.  I gues it is easy for other people to judge what moms do for their kids but if they only know how to widen their understanding about different situations, then there'll be no room for a bit harsh comments like this.

If I am a mom of a picky-eater or a no-eater, I know for sure I'd do ANYTHING just for my child to eat something except push or force them to eat.  If  following them everywhere she goes in a playground with the food in my hand would make them eat even just a little bit, I'd do it.  If cutting vegetables into interesting shapes would make her eat them, I'd do it.  If singing and dancing in front of her while she eats will make her eat her portion, I'd do it.  ANYTHING.  That is, any trick I can get my hands on.  No forcing as I don't want her to relate eating as a negative experience - that'll just make things all the worse. Eating should always be fun!  I've heard of advices on just letting the kid and have them just come to you when they feel hungry because they would anyways.  While this is true, there are still cases of kids that can even pass hunger by just drinking water or juice.   With a little more effort, we as parents can do certain things to encourage our kids not just to eat but to eat healthy and if there is something I can do, I'll do it. 

Fortunately, I don't really catergorize Little Spanish Pinay as a picky-eater - she does eat a good variety of food.  But I still would love her to learn to eat more varieties of vegetables and fruits. Most especially, I'd like her to learn to eat fresh apples, grapes, oranges, baby carrots (she eats cooked carrots), etc.   No matter how we tried, she never liked apples.  It would also make me a happy mom is she eats a little bit bigger of a portion.  Right now, I do not worry much (like my level of worry is about 6 out of 10 being 10 as the highest) because she still nurses and I know that the breastmilk gives a very good compliment for her current diet.  But the moment she stops nursing though and the amount of food she takes daily would still be like how it is now, I definitely would start to worry more.

One day though, while we are in a play date, my friend's daughter D (4months younger than LSP) started to eat her snack.  She was eating grapes.  I was amazed because she eats it like them alone (peeled and seedless) without fuss.  LSP was never really fond of grapes but when she saw D eating grapes, she started telling me she wants grapes too.  My friend gave her grapes from D's plate.  LSP put one in her mouth, made a face but chewed and swallowed and asked for more!  I was ecstatic (but enbarrassed at the same time because LSP is robbing some snacks from her playmate).  My friend gave some more grapes to LSP and she happily ate more!   I realized that kids seeing other kids eat healthy food is contagious because kids love to copy!  Especially toddlers.   I thought back then that if I can only borrow my friend's daughter every meal time, it would be really great.  But of course, that can't happen.

Until I've discovered Copy-Kids Eat Fruit and Vegetables DVD.  So, all you moms (and dads) out there especially those with picky eaters, read on! It is a compilation of videos of kids eating different fruits and vegetables.  It is a genious idea, really.  When I got a copy, I immediately watched it and was so engrosed with the cute toddlers in each video catergory.  The videos are unscripted.  They're just like normal home-videos of kids taken by parents but with high quality.  It's like that part of Modern Family where each member is interviewed minus the script.  I love the spontaneity and quirkiness of the kids, they literally made me laugh out loud everytime.  Side note:  I definitely love kids and watching the video, made me dream all the more of having my own daycare. 

 Additional bonus is an interview with renowned pediatrician Dr. Jay Goron, MD, FAAP, author of Good Food Today, Great Kids Tomorrow.  He answered each interview question with short but very informative statements.  Nothing boring.  I popped in the DVD, watched it for myself and finished the whole 115 minutes in one sitting! The Outtakes (spoofs) video will also make you laugh and want to pro-create again because of these kids' cuteness LOL.  I did! Made me want to eat those kids in the video. My husband kept asking me what was I laughing about.  I made him keep guessing :-D He couldn't come over to see because he was working haha! (Of course later on I told him what was I laughing about.. I am not super evil).



The following day I tried it on Little Spanish Pinay.  To be honest? I was kind of hesitant about it.  I have a fierce child and when she says she doesn't like something?  There is no way in the world you can convince her to say otherwise.  So ok, we started the "trial" video watching.  I peeled carrots, cut them in small portions (I didn't have baby carrots so I just used the normal ones... next time I promise to buy baby carrots). and put them in a small plastic bowl.  When she saw the kids, her face lit up (she loves kids).  The DVD menu is composed of different fuits and vegetables.  I clicked on carrots. With a super animated voice, I started telling her look how Mattea is eating carrots. She loves to repeat the names of teach kid being shown in the video.  Then I told her, oh wow, LSP has carrots too... look!  She smiled, picked one carrot, the continued watching with an amused smile on her face.

OK, so the result?  She started eating the raw carrots!  Not just once, but she repeated when she was done with the first one.  I was ecstatic.  Later on in the evening, I tried another fruit.  I only have plum in my ref (as well as pear and bananas but she does eat both so I had to try plum without pealing them), so I washed one, and put it in a small bowl.  Plum is not included in the list of fruits in the video but I figured if she sees the kids eating, she'll want to eat too so whatever she'd have in hands might do.  I was right.  She ate the whole thing.  Peel included!

Funny thing is that she not only copied the "eating" but also some cuteness that the kids in the video do.  This Kid Audrey is too darn cute.  In one of the videos, she was covering both of her eyes and then counting silently like as if she's playing hide and seek.  Later at night, when I was putting LSP down to sleep, she started doing what Audrey was doing.  It is amazing how kids copy!
Copy-Kids has given me a sample of their DVD for review but the opinion and review in this article are all mine and very honest and from real experience ;-)

Wait, Copy-Kids has been kind enough to give another copy of their DVD to one of you! Enter to win!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

DIY: Rolled Magazine Paper Project - Behind The Scene

I’ve promised long ago that I will post a tutorial on the garbage bin, magazine rack and spice drawer I’ve made out of rolled magazine papers.  But I was kind of stumped on where to start as they are 3 different things and didn’t know which of this three I’d make a tutorial first.  So I decided on just putting here the basic concept of using rolled magazine papers to make A LOT of things because this is what's really important.  Knowing these basic concepts, can lead you to be able to make  A LOT of different things out of rolled magazine papers. Yes, you can do A LOT  of things using rolled magazine papers.  You are only limited by your imagination!

So let’s start with the basic concepts.

First is of course collecting old magazines.  I try to strip each page (or 10 at the same time) out.  I do not cut it from the binded side as I want to maximize the page that can be used.  Sometimes, depending on how the magazine is binded, there is no other choice but to cut it.  Anyways, I then fold the pages in half and cut. The size of the magazine does not really matter.  I try not to be picky with the type of magazine because I want to be able to recycle as much magazines as I can.  



Ok, so now, you have cut magazines.  Next is to start rolling the magazine pages into a tube-like shapes.   I tried to check out the internet on tutorial for this as I thought, surely, I am not the only one who thought about recycling magazines by rolling them.  This way, it may be easier for me to refer to this sites than recreating the steps to take pics, etc.  I wasn’t surprised really to find thousands of other people who are into this as well.  Their procedures are not very far from what I do but there are slight differences.   Like the way I roll the magazine pages.  I use a plastic rod where I honestly have no recollection what it was for.  I just found it one day lying on our floor and was about to throw it but then thought maybe one day, I would need it.  I am a pack-rat like that.  Other people do this by just folding the magazine paper from the long side.  I find this more time consuming. 

The plastic rod.  It's about 7mm in diameter.

I believe you can also use a long, thin pencil or whatever that has this shape.  The diameter of the rolled magazine paper will of course depend on the thickness of the “rod” that you will be using.  Here’s a short video on how I do it.

video


First you put the rod on the lower left corner of the paper in a slanting position. Then you start rolling until all the paper is rolled into the rod then you pull out the rod.  This is the part that is a bit difficult for me to explain so I made the video above… I hope it helps J

Another advantage of using the rod to make magazine strips is that the ends
After making TONS (as in gazillion of them, depends on what you want to do) of these rolled magazines (at this point, I will call them rolled magazine paper strips), we can already start with the next step. You don’t actually have to make a gazillion of them before rolling them into circular or squared shapes, etc… you can alternate the steps – it all depends on whatever is more convenient for you.

Now the next step is to roll these rolled magazine paper strips into whatever shape you like.  I’ve done circular (solid and a with a hole in the middle) and square.  The concept is just the same…  You will be the primary responsible on how it will take shape. Just like a potmaker on his pots.  So  let’s do the solid circular one as for me, this is the most basic of 'em all.   See the video below.

video

I thought of narrating the step but I am way too shy haha.  I actually hate hearing my voice on recording so… no, not this time :-D  Also please forgive me for the quality of the video. I do not have enough lighting and I didn’t have time to properly set up… I’m a first timer ;-)
Ok…  moving on.  So you just add more rolled magazine paper strips until you got the right size you are looking for. Now, to have a hole in the middle of your circular rolled magazine piece, you can just use a small bottle or whatever cylindrical object to wrap the rolled magazine paper strips… then you just take it out once you got the right size of the rolled magazine piece.  Or, you can just roll it leaving a small space (by wrapping it first on your thumb).  It doesn't have to be a perfect circle.  This project is very forgiving of imperfections... in fact, it can even give more uniqueness to the finished product.
Another way is to shape the rolled magazine paper into square.  I do this to make something that is square or rectangular in shape like a box or a chest (this is my upcoming project) perhaps J .  As I've said, the posibilities are endless (somewhat). 
So let’s say we now have a number of these rolled magazine pieces.  The next step is to put them together to construct something useful or decorative.   The process I do depends on the use of the end-product.  For instance,  with the magazine rack, since I want it to be sturdy and not break out if I try to push more magazines in it, I tied each piece with a nylon string.  I use a big needle to poke the nylon thred in the sides of the pieces and just tie it really tight.  Maybe next time, I can make a video for this.  The other way is just use hot glue.  This is what is mentioned from most of the tutorials I see.  For a garbage bin, hot glue should be enough.  You just try to put the pieces together and hot glue the sides that will touch the other pieces.  It’s simple really. 

I’ll try to make another tutorial that will focus on constructing these pieces together to actually form a real object that is useful or decorative J  as a tease, here’s my latest project:


This baby is about 65cm tall now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Show Me How: A book an attached parent will surely love

The wonderful side of blogging is getting to know other wonderful bloggers, learning things from them and at the same time getting the chance of helping out or supporting wonderful projects or products.

I for one, already have a long list of favorite bloggers whom I follow and read on a daily basis (when time permits).   One of them is someone I admire because of her principle towards helping children build their self-esteem.  Hubby and I support attachment parenting which is a kind of parenting that centralizes on trusting the child and respecting their needs and providing them appropriately. 

When I first read Vivian Kirkfield, her book caught my attention.  It is a book that help their children build self-esteem through different crafts and activities that parents can participate in.  I believe that children needs, more than anything else, to spend tons and tons of quality time parents can give them.  A child able to spend every single moment with his parents even in the absence of toys can be the happiest child there can be.

In this time and age though, it is common that both parents work 40 hours a week.  By the time we come home, we are left with maybe about 2 hours (or maybe even less) play time with our children and then off to bed already.  So we are just normally left with the weekend to spend more quality time with them.  For most household economy, it is inevitable that both parents have they full-time day job, like ours but it doesn't mean that we are doomed as parents.  We can always make the best out of the whatever time we can spend with our chidren.  Make it something really fun, at the same time educational and making them value their strength and qualities.  Parents participating in this kind of activities with their children help children feel more appreciated and loved. 
Can be bought directly at Postive Parental Participation website
This is what Vivian's book help parents get ideas on different activities, crafts, recipes and books to read for their children.  It is obvious that Vivian has poured so much care and love into this wonderful book being a parent herself (now a grandmother too!) and a former kindergarted educator.

As what many already know, I am an advocate of attachment parenting and this kind of book is one example of a product that supports attachment parenting.  It is centered on how us parents can help our children build their self-esteem by spending quality, fun-filled, educational activities WITH them.  I've also known Vivian through blogging.  She's one of the few that frequents my blog and leaves heartfelt and well-thought comments.  Reading her articles also reveal the kind of loving and sensitive person that she is.  I definitely admire people that values children as much as Vivan values and cares for them.

So with Vivian's permission,  I'd like to promote her book.  Please take time to visit her website.  Her book is also available in Amazon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Summer means cute outfits!

I can't wait for summer! I do love spring as it is a beautiful season with the flowers blooming, trees coming to life and the air giving out a refreshing smell. But from where we live, spring is generally still a bit cold for a tropical girl like me.  But summer is perfect! Summer is the only time we can visit beaches here because the water is already freezing as it is (yes even on summer).  And we are a family of beach-lovers and the only way people can tolerate the coldness of the water in atlantic ocean is to have a summery heat of the sun.  Another thing I like about summer? Light clothes!

I really hate wearing heavy jackets, heaving to layer clothes and putting warmers. Winter clothes maybe fun and fashionable but for a mom like me with a very demanding and active toddler, the extra time needed to put me winter clothes (not to mention put on winter clothes on a squirmy, wiggly, 2-yr old) is a big stress.

So now, I am really looking forward to savoring summer - already itching to stash away my winter clothes and plan my summer wardrobe :-)
The summer period brings along with it many interesting new trends.  These trends aim at keeping you aerated and cool at the same time. The materials are also in types that will not leave you sweaty and sticky.

One of these latest summer trends I've seen around are crochet shorts. These are shorts that look like sweaters. Most of them are made as shorts but some of them come about after improvisation with crotchet sweaters, dresses and scarves. They are a nice way to keep cool as the pattern is similar to that of lace. Like all other fashion, not everything suits everyone.  Therefore, you need to visit various online shops and even shops at the mall to figure out which pattern is best suited for you.



I think these crochet shorts are super cute!
I can definitely sport this especially after working on a good tan :)

These shorts can be worn with strappy sandals or ankle boots. The pairing with the top ought to be well thought out. You can pair them with a plain shirt and tuck it in, a tank top tucked in, a top that is loosely fitting at the bust but fitting at the waist or even a crotchet top to complete the whole look. The thing about these shorts is that they ought to be very short. Long shorts that are crotchet in pattern do not achieve that polished look.

Sheer blouses are also in this summer. This type of fabric may be best suited if it has floral prints. Having such a coloured skirt gives one the liberty to match with lightly coloured tops and layered cardigans that are pretty. Adding a thin belt to the waistline when wearing sheer fabric is chic and it adds shape to your outfit. Pairing this outfit with a pair of heels will give evenness to those who do not have flat tummies. 



This is very convenient for mommies like me because let's be honest... after giving birth, a woman's tummy is not like it was before anymore (unless you're Angelina Jolie or most of the celebrity hot mommas).  Sheer fabric can also be worn as cardigans by plus size women. Versatil isn't it?  Then it's really a great idea as a gift for women especially if we do not know the exact size of the woman we are giving gift.  For a petite, the style is meant to be flowy but for a plus size, it's a cardigan and still give that breezy, flowy effect.   Put on a cute tube top under the sheer top and whatever your size is, you'll definitely feel sexy! 

 
Wait, the goodness does not just end here.  The fabric helps to hide the flabs on mommy and plus size arms if it is problematic. 

So, am I excited for summer?  You bet!  I definitely need some new outfits because y'all?  I can't remember anymore the last time I did outfit shopping for me self! 

The images above are grabbed from http://swaychic.com. I am absolutely drooling from their selections right now.  Go ahead and check out their collections and I am pretty sure you will be tempted to buy one or two like I do or even to just check for inspirational look.  Because you all? A momma has the right to feel sexy and cute too ;-)
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