Monday, September 1, 2008

Flowerish post

- Arrange flowers around fresh fruit in a glass bowl for a special event.

- Use containers in which you would not normally not expect flowers to be displayed. How about a sun hat turned upside down to place the flower bowl in or a brass urn or a teapot? Avoid steel and iron, as these deteriorate the flowers.

- Remove all the leaves under the water line. They decompose, turn the water brown, and wilt the flowers.

- Slice the stem vertically--about an inch--to allow for more water absorption.

- Put marbles in the bottom of a glass vase to hold the flowers.

- When putting long-stemmed flowers in a wide-mouth vase, stretch plastic wrap over the mouth. Put the stems in through that, and they will stand up straight.

- If your flowers are too short for your vase, crunch up the cellophane that the flowers come wrapped in, and place it in the bottom of a clear vase.

- Attach green straws to the ends of short-stemmed flowers to give them some extra length.

- Use various flower lengths to give the arrangement a more dimensional look.

- Add various accessories to your flowers if you are celebrating a special event. A rattle or nookie for someone with a newborn is a nice touch, as well as streamers and confetti if it's a birthday party.

- Change the water daily and give them a fresh snip to make them last much longer.
- Don't wait for company to put out fresh flowers to enjoy. Treat you and your family every now and then.
- To make flowers last longer, change the water often and add a small amount of bleach each time to keep the water clear.
- Try something different and wrap large smooth leaves around the interior of a vase before filling it. The flowers won't last as long if you do and you should change the water daily for this type of unexpected arrangement.
- Cut each stem at an angle when arranging flowers so it soaks up plenty of water. If you buy an arrangement in a grocery store, place each flower individually into a vase so it looks its best.
- Finally, if you want flowers to open sooner, put them in slightly warm water to speed up the blooming process. Consider that many flowers won't last as long after doing this.

Decorating children bedroom - an article in french

This is an article I had saved a long time ago when I started looking out for ideas to decorate my baby's bedroom... I don't rememebr if I had used on eof these ideas, but I guess it will be useful for my 2nd baby's bedroom, or just a room makeover :

- On peut photocopier des belles illustrations pour en faire des cadres, des imprimés sur les espaces de rangement et même des meubles. Si on a l’âme artiste, on les reproduit soi-même un peu partout dans la chambre. Une idée géniale? La peinture pour les tissus et celle qui s’applique sur les fenêtres. Pour un rappel du thème hyper intéressant!

- On sort notre machine à coudre pour confectionner un couvre-lit, des coussins et des rideaux avec un tissu aux motifs colorés et amusants. Avec un peu d’imagination, on peut même reprendre ce tissu pour créer un abat-jour, des petits cadres, un coussin pour des chaises et même un pyjama. On mélange aussi les imprimés. Des tissus à pois, quadrillés ou même unis ajoutent une touche particulière au décor. On se laisse emporter par nos coups de cœur. Osez, vous ne serez pas déçus!

- On n’oublie pas d’ajouter une touche toute particulière au plafond, endroit où les petits yeux se pose souvent. Un mobile ou un agencement de toutous peuvent aussi y être installés.
Si on recycle de vieux meubles, pourquoi ne pas les peinturer avec plusieurs couleurs. Les tiroirs peuvent même être colorés chacun d’une couleur différente. On choisit des poignées contrastantes et on peinture la base du meuble encore d’une autre couleur.
Côté rangement, les coffres à jouet sont souvent très pratiques. Aussi, on peut poser des tablettes, à la portée de l’enfant, pour classer ses livres ou pour ranger d’autres jeux.

Des touches originales:
- Des crochets aux formes surprenantes – On les installe à leur niveau pour que les enfants puissent s’en servir.
- Un tableau de liège – Les artistes en herbe seront fiers d’accrocher leurs réalisations dans leur chambre. L’enfant peut aussi y apposer ses souvenirs (photos, cartes, lettres ou autres).
- Une plante – Mettre de la vie dans sa chambre! L’enfant s’en occupera, au début sans doute, avec l’aide du jardinier amateur de la maisonnée. Mais peut-être deviendra-t-il aussi un petit pouce vert.
- Une photo – On demande à l’enfant de choisir une photo (la sienne ou celle de la famille) qu’il aime particulièrement et on la place dans un simple petit cadre. Le tour est joué. On peut aussi acheter des cadres en bois non verni et les décorer soi-même. En y collant des objets ou en y dessinant de petits motifs, on créé de jolis cadres personnalisés.
- Un cadran – Pratique pour tous de savoir quelle heure il est! Ouvrez l’œil, on retrouve de petites horloges très mignonnes pour quelques dollars.
- Un calendrier – Pour les plus grands, un calendrier est un outil bien pratique. Avec des auto-collants ou des crayons de couleurs, l’enfant y inscrit toutes ses activités (fête d’un ami, pratiques sportives, sortie avec l’école, etc.). Le choix des calendriers est incroyable. Il y en aura sûrement un à son goût.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our baby's favors

Ok I know it's just after 1 year and a half that I am finally posting about my baby's favors, and still the post is not complete coz I don't have the pics of the final favors, I just have what I collected as saying and some facts about bamboo and some trial pics...

So actually when Joey was born, we thought of giving green gifts instead of some silver or porcelain or whatsoever...

We thought of that ancient tradition of planting a tree when a child is born to ensure long life, prosperity, and an eternal bond with nature. Living in a city, we thought it might be a little inconvenient to give tress to epoeple and get them worried where to plant them so we came up with 2 different ideas, trees and lucky bamboos

Saying to use on green favors :

- Our family tree has just grown...

- Plant these seeds with love and care when they bloom your heart will share a hint of he flutter and the thrill we felt waiting for our baby girl. This is a token of our happiness with many thanks from _____ and _____. (Written by Ann McGowan)

- Here’s a little thank you for being part of the first party for Daniel Grimes. Blooming flowers will remind you how important you'll be to Daniel as he grows.

- Take this packet of seeds to plant them with joy, when they bloom, think of the new baby girl or boy!

- May these seeds bring you a beautiful bouquet! Just as you have brought us your love and support on our Wedding Day!
As these seeds bloom, may they bring you as much happiness and beauty as we have together. Thank you for being with us today!
Message on inside : Thank you for sharing this special day. Please plant these seed to create a garden of lasting memories. (complete growing instructions included)

Lucky Bamboo - QUICK TIPS

Keep water fresh by changing it every week, and always keep water levels at approximately an inch from the base of the canes.

Lucky Bamboo prefers plenty of indirect sunlight and room temperatures at 65-70o.

Why Are the Leaves Turning Yellow?

Two of the most common factors are

1.) too much direct sunlight; and

2.) too salty or heavily-flouridated tap water.

To give your new Lucky Bamboo a thriving start be sure to keep it away from direct sunlight, and water only with filtered or natural spring water.

Why Is It Called "Lucky" Bamboo?Along with its ease of growth, Lucky Bamboo has long been associated with the Eastern practice of Feng Shui - or the bringing of natural elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal into balance within the environment.

Lucky Bamboo is believed to be an ideal example of the thriving wood and water element, with the addition of a red ribbon sometimes tied around the stalks - which is believed to "fire" the positive flow of energy or chi in the room.

The number of stalks also has meaning : three stalks for happiness; five stalks for wealth; six stalks for health. Four stalks, however, are always avoided - since the word "four" in Chinese sounds too similar to the Chinese word for "death"!

Can I Take Cuttings from Lucky Bamboo?Yes. New stalks can be propagated from the original plant by using a sharp knife to cut through a stalk - just below the joint. Place the cutting in fresh, clean water. A fine mist spray to stalks is sometimes suggested to stimulate new bud growth.

How Do I Repot Bamboo?
Like any other houseplant, Lucky Bamboo can be transferred to a vase or pot 2" larger than the original, or planted permanently into a loose sand or soil mixture that provides lots of bottom drainage. To avoid root rot, be careful to let the top of the soil dry out between waterings.

Caring for Your Lucky Bamboo

LIGHT: Lucky Bamboo will do best with moderate levels of indirect light. Lucky Bamboo will tolerate little light more easily than too much light.

WATER: Filtered water or rain water will keep your Lucky Bamboo healthy longer.
Keep an eye on the water level in your Lucky Bamboo container, and add a little more as it gets down to about half-full; how often will depend on the size of your arrangement and the humidity in your home. Every week or so, pour all the water out and refill the container with fresh water.

- Leaf tips turning brown: fluoride in the water, or the air is too dry.

- Leaves turning yellow: too much light or too much fertilizer.

- Stalks turning yellow from the bottom: too much fertilizer.

- Stalks turn brown or mushy: the roots have rotted, probably from overfeeding, or from overwatering soil-grown plants.

Beautiful Bed makeover :

I really am the worst blogger ever, I can't seem to get regularly posting here... Yet today I happened to feel the need to post some of my saved ideas and keep them in my retirmenet box :)

A headboard makes a big difference in a bedroom--but we don't mean the usual wood, padded or metal versions. The seven ideas here go way beyond what you'd find in the stores, or even antique shops, because they're unique beauties you create yourself. Some are as simple as putting up a rod or a picture, and, best of all, none requires any complicated carpentry.

1. Magnificent Mantel: An old wood mantel has plenty of potential, and it isn't much work to turn it into a headboard. You can find mantels at flea markets and restoration companies. First you sand the mantel, then paint as you wish. Next, cut a piece of plywood just big enough to fit behind the mantel and cover this with fleece padding. Wrap the plywood with fabric to match your decor, then staple the fabric to the back of the plywood. Tack this to the mantel and secure the whole piece to the wall baseboard with screws. Now you also have a place for a vase of fresh flowers, collectibles and your bedtime reading.

2. Country Cozy: A wool blanket or folk-art quilt folded over a rod on the wall behind the bed has a casual, homey air. You'll get the best results with a cover that's not too bulky. Buy a readymade wooden rod and fit with finials. Or, for a real rustic note, use a sturdy tree branch, add finials here as well. Place the rod or branch on brackets you hang behind the bed, add the blanket or quilt—that's it!

3. Art Gallery: A single art print does the trick for this eye-catcher. Choose one to reflect the mood of your bedroom and which matches your bedding and furnishings. For example, abstract or pop art conveys a bold feeling, while a French impressionist's garden scene is dreamy and romantic. Browse through museum catalogs and check your local frame or poster shops for the practically limitless possibilities. Framed, the print should be as wide as your bed or close to that dimension; too small and it won't have the headboard effect. A generous mat will help you get the size you want. TIP: Substituting plexiglass for regular glass and opting for a lightweight frame results in a print that's not as heavy, hence easier to hang.

4. Reflected Glory: One large mirror is all you need, and the bonus is that it will bring more light and spaciousness to your room. Pick a frame to blend with your decor, from streamlined chrome to ornate and gilded to country wood. Or consider no frame at all. A bevel-edge mirror will seem to float on the wall.

5. Gardener's Retreat: Set a sweet, peaceful scene with a blooming trellis. Paint the trellis white, or pick a hue to suit your color scheme. For a naturally weathered look, let the paint dry, then remove some of it by sanding. Attach the lattice to the wall and secure faux flowers or ivy to look like a climbing plant.

6. Fabric Flair: You'll have this "headboard" done in a jiffy! You tack a wide piece of fabric from ceiling to floor for a beautiful backdrop. The sky's the limit with options because there's so much out there, from rich velvet to fancy silk to polished cotton, and in a variety of prints and patterns from exotic to French provincial to contemporary. Replacing the fabric when you want a new look is a cinch. Come summer, for example, you can change to a lighter color and fabric.

7. Luxury Suite: With some wallpaper and glue, you can make your room fit for royalty. You cut wallpaper in the shape of a crest or arch, paste the paper to the wall and embellish with a fancy length of trim and tassels. Here's how:
You'll need: a large sheet of plain paper to use as a pattern; wallpaper of your choice; spray adhesive or wallpaper paste; squeegee; three decorative curtain tiebacks; braided trim and tassels to complement your wallpaper; a hot-glue gun with glue sticks. Of course, you can adapt this idea to any shape headboard, with any style of trim.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Links for bridal ideas

I am still alive ...

I am still alive but not having much time for my blog !
I will make an effort to post more often !

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tips on using Gas ...

Got this from one of a craft groups ... I am not sure if ti is true, but I am just saving this for later ...might use it one day !!

TIPS ON PUMPING GAS (Good information)
- Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground, the more dense the gasoline. When it gets warmer, gasoline expands, so buy ing in the afternoon or in the evening.... your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

- When you're filling up, do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look, you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode, you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

- One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL or HALF EMPTY. The reason for this is, the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

- Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up. Most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pic k up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom. Hope this will help you get the most value for your money.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Favor ideas

THis is a list of favors I got also when preparing my wedding but I am keeping it for any future occasions I might need to send back favors to my guests :

Here are some ideas from an article on You asked for it, so here it is: We've put together a list of our best favor ideas! Remember, you can spend a lot or a little. It's not how much your favors cost that matters, it's how creative, cool, funny, or yummy they are! We hope these help spark your imagination.

1. Candy canes
2. Mini Easter baskets filled with foil-wrapped chocolate eggs
3. Little plastic pumpkins filled with candy corn
4. Simple Christmas ornaments
5. Pretty gourds
6. Blow-up beach balls with your names and the date on them, or just in your wedding colors
7. Miniature heart-shaped boxes of Valentine's chocolates
8. A New Year's champagne flute with your names and the date emblazoned on it
9. Sunscreen (for an outdoor summer wedding)
10. Miniature watering cans filled with spring blooms
11. Frisbees (for a cookout in the woods or park)
12. Miniature Christmas wreaths (perhaps wrapped around the base of a red candle)
13. Dreidels 14. Chocolate coins in gold foil
15. Umbrellas (for a wedding during rainy season)
16. Scarves or mittens (for a nippy winter wedding day)
7. Sunglasses
18. Sparklers
19. Easter eggs (that you've colored yourselves)
20. Miniature pots of clover (four-leaf?) for St. Patty's Day
21. Kites
22. Snow globes
23. Wedding water bottles
24. Slices of apple or pumpkin pie KEEPSAKE FAVORS
25. A copy of a memorable photo you have of you (or both of you) with each guest - very personal
26. A love poem written by one or both of you, or just one that you love 27. A pretty picture frame
28. Potpourri
29. Several sheets of pretty notepaper with matching envelopes, tied with a ribbon
30. A letter of love and thanks from the two of you
31. Miniature soaps or fun, brightly colored glycerin-soap "slices"
32. Fragrance -- small vials of perfume and/or cologne that you love, or that was created expressly for the wedding
33. Engraved silver keychains
34. A Polaroid shot of you and each guest as they arrive at the reception
35. Wine glasses with your names and the date on them in gold, silver, or black
36. Pretty paper fans (to beat the heat, and/or to represent your Asian or Spanish ancestry)
37. Small, round, decorative boxes (or pretty pillboxes)
38. Figurines (Precious Moments are popular)
39. Mini replicas -- or picture postcards -- of landmarks in the town where you marry (the Empire State Building in New York, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco)
40. Little blank books/journals (where your guests can record their most secret thoughts)
41. Music boxes EDIBLE FAVORS
42. The classic: candied almonds (Italian "confetti")
43. A single, amazing petit four
44. A miniature box of good chocolate (Godiva!) or a single truffle
45. Half bottles of wine, perhaps with labels personalized for your wedding
46. A chocolate-chip cannoli
47. Gourmet jelly beans
48. Chocolate Kisses wrapped in tissue paper (in your wedding colors, perhaps)
49. Mixed nuts in little canisters
50. Baklava (your grandmother's recipe, maybe)
51. Mints with your married monogram on them
52. Apples (if you've got apple trees in your yard or an orchard nearby - or if either of you is a doctor or teacher!)
53. Gourmet coffee beans in mugs
54. Everyone's favorite: M&Ms
55. Pineapples or coconuts (for a tropical wedding)
56. Ginger candy (spicy!)
57. Bubble gum or malted-milk balls (for a '50s-style wedding)
58. Licorice (Twizzlers or the assorted, colorful kind)
59. Little tins of butter cookies
60. Rice-Krispies treats
61. Big, round, old-fashioned lollipops
62. Honey or jam - that you've canned yourselves or from a local gourmet shop
63. Old-fashioned "button" candy (colorful drops stuck onto long sheets of butcher paper) "LIVING" FAVORS
64. Tree saplings
65. Flower bulbs
66. A single rose at each place setting (in the color of your choice)
67. Donations to the charity of your choice in each guest's name (leave a small paper scroll or card at each place explaining)
68. Packets of seeds - your favorite bloom, or one with significance to the two of you
69. Potted African violets
70. Flower leis
71. "Adopt" an animal at the zoo in your guests' collective names
72. Aromatherapy candles
73. Goldfish in pretty bowls (make sure they come with fish food!)
74. "Favors" from the bride and groom -- certificates that promise "one heart-to-heart," "a year of email," "afternoon tea," "a day of helping you move," etc., personalized for each guest
75. Boutonnieres and corsages for every single guest JUST FOR FUN
76. Toothbrushes with your names and the wedding date on them (especially if one of you is a dentist)
77. Astrological readings (on mini scrolls) for each guest
78. Pez dispensers (complete with the candy!)
79. Decks of cards (having a Vegas wedding??)
80. Silly, kids' party favors
81. Bottles of bubbles
82. Tiny stuffed animals
83. CD singles (maybe your wedding song, or something classic)
84. Post-It notes in your wedding colors (everyone can use 'em)
85. Wedding T-shirts
86. Bandanas (perfect for a hoe-down)
87. Baseball caps or visors
88. Shot glasses (personalized or just ones you like!)
89. Stickers (silly ones, or have a graphic-designer pal design wedding-memento stickers)
90. Super Balls or Slinkies
91. Cans of Play-Doh (regress to childhood, everyone!)
92. Crayons (you might want to cover the tables with butcher paper, too)
93. Yo-yos
94. Tennis or golf balls with your names and the date on them
95. Personalized pens or pencils 96. Calendars (little plastic ones or funny rip-off-the-date ones)
97. "Paper" airplanes (little colorful ones made out of foam)
98. Chef's hats (if you two are connoisseurs)
99. Comic books
100. Kazoos or harmonicas (for a musical reception!)
101. Lottery tickets (give them a chance at good fortune) Hope this helps.

What to do with photo Negatives?

Got these from the beautiful site of recyclethis...

- The first thing that comes to mind is a lamp shade with cutouts for the negatives so the light shines through. That would be sooooo cool, especially if the light would project the images on the wall :)

- I’ve seen old colour negatives used for artwork, but they seem to fade quite quickly in sunlight. Old black-and-white negatives are more stable, and would look lovely in a lampshade, although they might be imflammable, so check first.
I don’t know if it counts as recycling, but I have seen old black-and-white negatives used for cyanotype printing of fabrics. This produces a sort of “photograph” on the fabric in a beautiful blue.

- The holes that run along both sides of each negative strip allow them to be whipstiched together. Get a lamp spider by taking apart an old lampshade and whipstich one row of negative strips horizontally around the edge. Follow with several more rows attached to the bottom of the previous row. Use a low wattage bulb.
You can also create a lampshade cover by using the negatives vertically and attaching them together in in the top hole on each side with jump rings. When you have strung enough together create a ring and place over a plain lampshade. Attaching them together only at the top allows them to spread out along the cone shaped lamp shade,

- This is probably a less likely use of negatives, but fully exposed negative film (ie. the black bits) acts as a visible light filter - it is however, transparent to infrared light. You can use this property to convert webcams and digital cameras to primitive IR cameras.

Unique centerpieces

Probably I still have this from my wedding preps... I might still need them for other occasions, so just wanted to save them in my bucket--full-of-ideas... So here are the unique table centerpiece ideas that I like :

. Framed photos of you and your sweetheart in your favorite places with a description of why that place is important to you. To take it a step further, assign each guest a table "place" rather then number to correspond with the photo and description on the table.

. Fish bowls with goldfish inside. Use gravel that is the same color as your wedding colors.

. Bottles of champagne (they can each be different types) with a wreathe of ivy or evergreen around the bottom of them.

. Hurricane lamps with flower pedals sprinkled around them or filled with Christmas balls in the shades of your wedding colors.

. Antique teapots with flowers inside. 6. Wedding photographs of other guests at your wedding or who have passed on whose marriages you admire(d) (this looks really cool if the photos are old)

. Straw hats (very cheap at craft stores) decorated with silk flowers and ribbons-perfect for an outdoor, spring, reception.

. Antique birdcages filled with flowers.

. Cool bowls that you and your honey made beforehand at a pottery and paint place-put pencils and blank pieces of paper in the bowls so your guests can write you little words of advice.

. Miniature bouquets made out of lollipops. Duct tape a bundle of lollipops together and put them in little vases.

. Champagne buckets filled with flowers or simply as a flowerpot with one big flower growing from it.

. Gift boxes! Get three or four gift boxes of different sizes, wrap them in paper that reflects your wedding theme and/or colors and put them in the middle of the table with a beautiful bow. Cheap and unique!

. Teacups with votive candles in them. Put several in the middle of each table. You can find really neat and inexpensive teacups at antique or thrift stores. Keep them for your home or give them away.

. Potpourri in bowls or baskets.

. Two plastic champagne glasses hot glued together so they cross (laying down) with four clear glass marbles in each glass. The marbles will give the effect of bubbles coming out of the glasses. You can tie helium balloons to the glasses for height.

. A flower pot with an American flag in it, or any other flag that is meaningful to you. If you put the American flag with another nation's, though, make sure the American flag is on the left (assuming your reception is in the USA)

. Glass bowls filled with water with thin slices of lemons and limes floating on top. Great for a summer wedding.62. Glass mason jars of various sizes filled with peaches or other foods that match your colors. The guests don't have to eat them! Just look at them. Hard candies also work well.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Innovative Jewelery

Found this on :
A designer who make jewelery out of everyday's items !
very innovative !

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More DIYed beaded jewelry


Brooch, or hair pin :

Fashion Ax-soir

Earings and ring :

Different colour :

Proud of them. They did take more than 10 min to be finalised !!!

Help baby be smart

1. Make eye contact. Take advantage of those brief moments when your newborn's eyes are open, and look right into them. Infants recognize faces early on -- and yours is the most important! Each time he stares at you, he's building his memory.

2. Blab away. All you may get is a blank look, but leave short pauses where your baby would speak. Soon she'll catch on to the rhythm of conversation and start filling in the blanks.

3. Breast-feed, if possible. And do it for as long as you can. It's a fact that schoolkids who were breast-fed as infants have higher IQs. Plus, nursing is a great time to bond with your infant by singing, talking, or simply stroking that delicious baby hair.

4. Stick out your tongue. Studies show that newborns as young as 2 days old can imitate simple facial movements -- it's a sign of very early problem solving.

5. Let him reflect. Have your baby stare at himself in the mirror. At first, he may think he's just eyeing another cute kid, but he'll love making the "other" baby wave his arms and smile.

6. Tickle her toes. In fact, tickle her all over. Laughter is the first step in developing a sense of humor. And playing games like "This little piggy" (finish by tickling her under the chin) or "I'm gonna get you" teaches your child to anticipate events.

7. Make a difference. Hold up two pictures about 8 to 12 inches away from your baby's face. They should be similar but have one small difference (perhaps a tree is in one but not the other). Even a young infant will look back and forth and figure out the distinguishing features, which sets the stage for letter recognition and reading later on.

8. Share the view. Take your baby on walks in a front carrier, sling, or backpack, and narrate what you see -- "That's a little dog" or "Look at those big trees!" or "Did you hear that fire engine?" -- to give your baby endless vocabulary-building opportunities.

9. Go gaga. Your baby really tunes in to your silly cooing and high-pitched baby talk.

10. Sing a song. Learn as many tunes as you can, or make up your own verses ("This is the way we change your diaper, change your diaper, change your diaper . . . "). Play Bach, the Beatles, or Britney Spears. Some research suggests that learning the rhythms of music is linked to learning math.

11. Make the most of diaper time. Use moments on the changing pad to teach body parts or pieces of clothing. Narrate to help your baby learn to anticipate routines.

12. Be a playground. Lie down on the floor, and let your baby climb and crawl all over you. It's cheaper than a jungle gym and lots more fun! You'll help boost her coordination and problem-solving skills.

13. Go shopping. When you need a break from your song and dance, visit the supermarket. The faces, sounds, and colors there provide perfect baby entertainment.

14. Clue him in. When you announce, "I'm going to turn on the light now" before flipping the switch, you're teaching cause and effect.

15. Surprise her. Every now and then, delight your baby by gently blowing on her face, arms, or tummy. Make a pattern out of your breaths, and watch her react and anticipate.

16. Grab a tissue or two. If your baby loves pulling tissues out of the box, let him! For a few cents, you've got sensory playthings that he can crumple or smooth out. Hide small toys under them, and thrill your tot when you "find" them again.

17. Read books. Again and again! Scientists have found that babies as young as 8 months can learn to recognize the sequence of words in a story when it's read 2 or 3 times in a row -- this is believed to help them learn language.

18. Play peekaboo. Your hide-and-seek antics do more than bring on the giggles. Your baby learns that objects can disappear and then come back.

19. Get touchy-feely. Keep a box of different-textured fabrics: silk, terrycloth, wool, and linen. Gently rub the cloths on your baby's cheek, feet, and tummy, describing the way each feels.

20. Don't forget to give it a rest. Spend a few minutes each day simply sitting on the floor with your baby -- no music, bright lights, or playful tricks. Let him explore, and see where he takes you.

21. Make a family album. Include photographs of relatives near and far, and flip through it often to build your child's memories. When Grandma calls, show him her picture as he listens on the phone.

22. Let your child play with her food. When she's ready, serve foods that vary in texture -- including cooked peas, cereal, pasta, or chunks of cantaloupe. She'll get to practice her pincer grasp and explore her senses.

23. Pick it up. Even if it seems like your baby repeatedly drops toys off her high chair just to drive you nuts, go fetch. She's learning and testing the laws of gravity. Give her several pieces of wadded-up paper or some tennis balls, put an open bucket under her seat, and let her take aim!

24. Practice three-card monte. Grab a few empty plastic food containers, and hide one of your baby's small toys under one. Shuffle the containers, and let him find the prize.

25. Build an obstacle course. Boost motor skills by placing sofa cushions, pillows, boxes, or toys on the floor and then showing your baby how to crawl over, under, and around the items.

26. Play "follow the leader." Crawl through the house, varying your speed. Stop at interesting places to play.

27. Now follow his lead. As your toddler gets older, he'll stretch his creativity to see if you really will do everything he does, like make silly noises, crawl backward, or laugh.

28. Be a funny face. Puff up your cheeks, and have your toddler touch your nose. When she does, poof! Have her pull your ear, and then stick out your tongue. Make a funny noise when she pats your head. Keep to the same routine three or four times, then change the rules to keep her guessing.

29. Feel your way. Walk around the house with your babe in arms, and touch his hand to the cool window, some soft laundry, a smooth plant leaf, and other safe objects, labeling items as you go.

30. Tell tall tales. Choose her favorite story -- replace the main character with her name to make it fun.

31. Create a zoo book. On your next visit, take photos of favorite animals to include in an album. Later, "read" it together, naming all the familiar creatures or adding animal sounds and stories.

32. Let him be the boss (sometimes). Build confidence by giving your toddler a choice between two items whenever possible: different-colored bowls at mealtime, for instance. He'll learn that his decisions count -- and get practice naming his colors.

33. Put her in the spotlight. Together, watch old home videos of your baby enjoying her first bath, learning to roll over, playing with Grandpa . . . Narrate the story to build language and memory.

34. Count everything. Count how many blocks your toddler can stack. Or the number of steps in your house. Or his fingers and toes. Make a habit of counting out loud, and soon he'll join in.

35. Make more out of storytime. Point out little details in the pictures, and ask your toddler questions, ranging from the abstract ("Why do you think he doesn't want to try green eggs and ham?") to the concrete ("Have you ever seen a white dog?").

36. Turn off the tube. Your baby's brain needs one-on-one interaction that no TV show, no matter howeducational, can provide.

37. Change the scenery. Switch your toddler's high chair to the other side of the table. You'll challenge his memory of where things are placed at meals.

38. Shake it up, baby.Teach her to twist and shout, do the funky chicken, or twirl like a ballerina.

39. Make a mug-shot memory game. Take close-up pictures of all the important people in your child's life, get double prints -- and you've got a set of matching cards. Lay them faceup on the floor, and help her find the two that are alike. As she gets older, you can alter the memory game by starting with the photos facedown.

40. Play in the rain. Jump in puddles. Sit in wet grass together. It's a fun, albeit messy, way of learning about wet and dry.

41. Hunt bugs. Look at pictures of harmless insects (ladybugs, crickets, butterflies) in a book or magazine, then go to the park to find some.

42. Joke around. Point to a photo of Uncle Frank, and call him "Mommy." Then tell your child that you were being silly and laugh at your "joke" to build her budding sense of humor.

43. Dress up. Let your toddler play with some of Dad's old shirts. Dig out old winter hats, scarves, or orphaned gloves. Put yourselves in pretend situations, and see where his creativity and imagination take you.

44. Speak volumes. Gather a few different-size cups or plastic containers, and let your child pour water from one to another at her next bath. Sometimes she'll pour too much, other times too little. Talk about which cups are bigger and which are smaller.

45. Wear rose-colored glasses. (Or yellow or blue.) Pick a color, and ask your toddler if he can spot it when you go on a walk or car ride together. Then let him pick a color for you to hunt.

46. Put your kid to work. Little tots can help sort laundry into darks and whites. Your child may even be able to pick out which clothes belong to her.

47. Go to the library. Take advantage of storytime, puppet shows, and rows and rows of books.

48. Take a cue from Sesame Street. Dedicate each week to a letter of the alphabet. For instance, read books that start with A, eat A foods, cut up snacks into that shape, and write the letter on your sidewalk with chalk.

49. Play it again, Sam. Dig out the box of your toddler's old rattles and mirrored baby toys. You'll be amazed at the new ways he finds to play with them.

50. Talk feelings through. Cuddle up at bedtime, and ask your child what made him happy or sad that day. What made him angry -- or proud? You'll help him recall the day, understand the past tense, and label his emotions. This is an activity to keep up -- right until he heads off to college.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

About death...

Found this when trying to send a condelences email to a relative !

...the pain never truly goes away, it just gets smaller and condensed, tucked away in a corner somewhere in the deep recesses of the heart. There it remains at a constant low level ache, which with time may be overridden. There may be times when a site, a smell, a place, a song, an anniversary or birthday will trigger the old memories and the intensity of the grief and loss will return again. These feelings often arrive without warning and can be just as painful making one feel as though he/she was experiencing the loss anew.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

cinnamon + sugared walnuts

this is a really easy recipe:
- 16 oz walnuts
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt

In a large bowl mix walnuts and oil and vanilla, drain off any excess oil and then pour cinnamon +sugar+salt(aready mixed) over the walnuts. Toss them until well coated. Then spread them out on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake at 325F for 30 minutes. Pull them out and stir the nuts every ten minutes, and check on the well during the last ten minutes to prevent any burning. Once completly cooled (1-2 hours) you can package them up.

There's also a tutorial for cute packaging on the blog

Skates ornaments !

For my next year ornaments ideas :

This is a very cute ornament tutorial :

• Wool Felt
• Large paperclips
• Embroidery thread
• Sequence
• Seed beads
• Quilt batting
• Ribbon

Good Idea : make one for everyone in my family too

How to dry flowers

I've already tried several methods for drying flowers, I've always used the commomn method of putting them in adark place, however here's a link to how u can dry flowers using microwave !!!
Good to try next time I have a special bouquet to keep !

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Photo Business Card Holder

Made from an empty cassette case!Lots of possibilities! This one is made with rocks but you can choose anything to match your photo. Makes a great gift for Mom or Dad.
You Need:
Empty Cassette Holder
Glue Stick
Card Stock
Low Temp Glue Gun
Open up empty cassette case and fold top all the way back as shown. Business cards will fit in the pocket created by the open top.
Mount photo on card stock and cut it out in an interesting way. Hot glue to the lid flap. Hot glue rocks to the front.
You can also use silk flowers with a spring photo, sand with a beach scene, trinkets with a dress up photo. Just use your imagination!

DIY Chandeliers !!!

These are 2 great ideas I found for creative and diyable chandeliers :

The first is made out of cutlery !!!

The second is made out of a large number of BIC pens !!!

Very nice, easy and original idea !!!