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Willow Tree Collection

>> Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tangible Gifts That Express Intangible Sentiments

In today's world, we've come to expect instant solutions and immediate responses. Our schedules are filled with obligations relating to family, work and social events. Some of life's simplest and most rewarding pleasures get pushed aside due to the hurried manner in which we progress through each day. You can remind those you love of how valuable serenity, encouragement and simple expressions of love really are by giving them a tangible gift that expresses your heartfelt intangible sentiments.

Treasured additions

It's easy, fast and convenient to order items such as flowers and balloon bouquets for friends or family to acknowledge special occasions or life changing events. Flowers are also often sent during times of illness or as a sympathy gift. Although flowers do convey a variety of sentiments, they are not a long lasting gift that someone can look at, touch or display for an extended period of time. You can make your gift a lasting treasure by including an expressive, tangible gift such as figurine from the willow tree collection with your flowers or balloons.

Capturing serenity

Today's hectic lifestyles make serenity seem like an elusive desire. It could be helpful to you or to one of your overly-busy, stressd-out friends to have a tangible reminder on your desk, bedside table, kitchen counter or any other easily visible location that exemplifies serenity. As you rush around from task to task, catching a glimpse of a tangible object that depicts happiness, serenity or encouragement can have an immediate and positive impact on your mood. It can remind you to slow down and to pause to enjoy life's simple pleasures.

Tangible memories

Milestones in life are celebrated in many ways. By giving someone tangible gifts to celebrate the important events in their life, you can provide them with a visual timeline that shows accomplishments such as graduation or buying their first home. Mingled in with the collectibles that celebrate milestones, they may see items that remind them of obstacles they've overcome. Your friend or family member will know that when a birthday, anniversary or any other momentous occasions arises, they can depend on you to give them a gift that they will treasure for years to come.

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How to Spruce Up a New Apartment

>> Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The springtime means the season of graduating, moving on and finding your very first apartment. Recent grads sometimes move clear across the country, or even the world, to start anew. Taking care of your own place can be intimidating, but you’ll learn the ropes of living on your own before you know it.

 1. Even if you have a teeny tiny bathroom, you’ll still need to outfit your bathtub. Get a great shower curtain to display art in the limited space. Fabric shower curtains will last longer than plastic ones and they'll look better, too.

 2. Take all of your favorite pieces of artwork, personal photos and other display items and arrange them on one wall to create a gallery.

3. Washi tape is inexpensive and perfect for creating a wall mural. Plus, when you remove it, it won’t peel the paint or leave behind any residue, which will make your landlord happy. You can also use the tape to create designs on neutral furniture.

4. Whatever you do, make sure to have your Columbia utilities setup for your moving in day! Otherwise, your won’t have electronics, lights or heat in your new apartment.

5. Wood crates are cheap or free and can serve a variety of functions, from serving as an end table to being placed in your entryway. Stain the crate to give it new life.

6. Build your own ladder shelving system. All you’ll need is an old wooden, but sturdy, ladder and five wooden boards. Use it to store your shoes, books or decorative items.

7. Tiny apartments still have a ton of wall space. Display fresh blooms in wall vases.

8. If you can’t find a duvet that you love, purchase a white one and iron on a duvet pattern. Or, use a set of sheets that you love as the duvet cover. You can also use iron-on transfers to customize plain throw pillows.

 9. One of the easiest DIY tricks ever is to use a cord to create wall art. Arrange the cord on the wall in whatever shape you want, then secure each section to make sure the form keeps its shape.

 There are a lot of adult responsibilities to learn when you finally live by yourself. Setting up your apartment is one of the more fun aspects of growing up.


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Types Of Dog Baskets

>> Friday, June 05, 2015

Whether you have a dog celebrating a birthday or know of someone who is welcoming a new dog to the home, dog gift baskets make a wonderful treat. They can include almost anything that is related to dogs and items that dogs would enjoy. The treats can be placed in a basket of any size, and you can wrap the basket in cellophane so that the items show through before the basket is unwrapped.

When you start building the basket, you should have a soft base. This could be a blanket for the dog to lay on or a small bed. You can also include a small bag of shavings if the dog will be outside or in a kennel during the day. An idea for the base of the basket is a bed instead of something that is wicker or a hard material. Next, you can start adding the items that you want the dog to have. There are companies that will make gift baskets for dogs. All you have to do is tell the company the gender of the dog or the occasion, and the basket will be sent to the recipient. Making the basket yourself can be fun if you know what you want to include.

If you want something that is a little more elegant, then consider top of the line treats, toys and other items that say the dog is treated like royalty. A puppy basket is fun to make as you can include items that are playful. Add a card that says whether the puppy is a boy or girl, a new bone, water bowl and dish for food. Add a comforting stuffed animal and treats to complete the basket. A spa basket can include soaps, shampoos, a brush and nail clippers. When you know what kind of basket you want to make, it will be easy to gather the items that you want to put inside.


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On Memorial Day....

Last Memorial day, I spent it with my sister in law. Since my DH is not here, my kids and I went there instead to have some barbecue for lunch. We also had a good time spending with them, despite busy schedules. I’m glad that I have a sister in law with me to spend some time especially during the holidays because I don’t have that much friends to hang out with. And my sister also lives far away from me, so it is hard being in a foreign country without friends to, real friends to hang out with. There are some people that I knew but I can only meet them for special occasions and stuff. But not really what real friends are doing. Now I missed my old friends back in PI. I wish they are here with me now. Oh well… what a memorial day!



Despite the lack of having good friends, I’m glad that I have my sister in law to spend time with me which helped me to keep my sanity. My only friends is my husband, and too bad he will away with me, and the kids for a while. I missed him though. But I know it won’t be long.

Anyway, during the memorial last May 30, we were able to enjoy having s’mores too. And my youngest was having a blast too. It was her first s’mores experience! She loves cooking the marshmallow into the fire, but doesn’t really like eating it though. He rather have the chocolate and marshmallow eaten separately. Me too, I’m not that s’mores lover because for me the combo of marshmallow, Hershey chocolate and graham crackers are crazy sickly, it’s too sweet for my taste. So, I rather have no chocolate in it. Since marshmallow is already full of sugar. Maybe a semi-sweet chocolate will make it better, though I haven’t tried it yet. Well, maybe next time! Looking for the next hang out!

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Are you using the Right Casters for the Job?

Casters are used for more than just office chairs and microwave carts. There are dozens of different sizes, strengths and types of casters for hundreds of applications. It is important to select the right type, strength and size for your project. For some, the use of casters helps move heavy mechanics' tool boxes, heavy furniture and small displays.

Weight Rating

Casters come with weight ratings. These ratings state how much weight the caster can hold without being compromised. While there are several different categories within a specific weight range, it is best to select an option for the heaviest weight group in that class. In terms of heavy duty casters, make sure your weights are absolutely accurate. One miscalculation can cause a serious injury to yourself or someone else.

Surface Specific

Casters are also made to slide smoothly over different types of surfaces. Indoor and outdoor casters require different types of materials and patterns. Items that will travel on wood, tile or laminate surfaces should be smooth. Items that will travel on asphalt, concrete, dirt or other surfaces should have visible tread patterns, similar to automobiles. Read the listing for the different casters available for the application you require and notice the types of surfaces each option is manufactured for. This helps ensure that you will have a smooth transferring of objects when they require moving.

Material Type

The material that a caster is made of holds great importance in your purchasing decision. It is a good idea to purchase the strongest material possible. Aluminum casters are ideal for lightweight, indoor use. Fortified stainless steel and comparable materials are ideal for nearly any application. Options that are rust-proof are also a smart choice, since simple cleaning practices in a home can splash moisture onto the metal. This can allow the greased bearings to deteriorate or grind, and it can also allow the material itself to weaken, over time.

Use care when ordering replacement casters as opting for a cheaper caster may save money now, but may lead to an expensive repair later. Casters do an important job. It is important to pick the right design, material and strength for the job. If you are replacing a specific type of caster, look for a model number so that you can purchase the exact replacement or something with the same ratings to ensure project safety.

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A Mother's Day without H

>> Friday, May 22, 2015

Last Mother’s day was actually good because I spent the special day for mothers with my reasons why, I was blessed to be called one. My two kids were with me the whole day, were we went to church that morning, and then we went out to eat in a restaurant together with my sister in law and her family. After lunch, we head to my sister in law’s house and spent most of the day with her and her family. It was memorable because it is the first time when my husband was away on Mother’s day which I really not used to. I missed him being with us though on that day.


However, despite the distance, he was still able to show to me of how sweet he is. Thinking about me on Mother’s day by sending a gift card through my email as a mother’s day gift from our kids. On that day, at church also, they were able to make some moments to celebrate for Mother’s day. They also gave mothers some flowers as a ‘thank you’ which for me is indeed very sweet. I also had a chance to enjoy some chocolate cake that day because my sister in law’s husband bought her some cake which I had opportunity to indulge it myself. It was special and I’m blessed to have a sister in law who is so sweet and thoughtful.

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Vacationing for Budget-Conscious People

Is there a place that you want to see, but you do not think you will be able to afford it? If this is the case, do not give up until you have explored all of the options available to you. Although most people do not realize it, there are a wide range of ways for a person with limited financial means can take a very nice vacation. While it will require some significant sacrifices on your part, you have the power to make it happen, if it is something you really want. For example, if you are looking for cheap hotels in San Francisco, you can find them through travel websites and online message boards. Here are some ideas regarding vacationing for budget-conscious people.

1. The less popular the area, the better

As a general rule, you should always try to find hotels and restaurants that are located in the parts of town that are not heavily traveled or filled with tourists. If you insist on staying and eating in the center of the action, it will end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. Establishments in these areas know they can charge more for their services because they are in demand. Less popular places are desperate for your business, so they will price their goods and services to reflect this.

2. Avoid buying gadgets aimed at travelers

All you need to do is go to your local drug or retail store to see the wide variety of gadgets that are aimed specifically at travelers. While it is true that some of these can be helpful, the reality is that people who buy these gadgets rarely end up using them at all. In many cases, these gadgets end up getting left at home and never packed. Stay away from these gadgets. There are much more important things you should be spending your money on before your trip.

3. Avoid guided tours

There are some tours where having a knowledgeable guide can increase the overall experience of being in a certain location. However, more often than not, a guide basically just tells you obvious details that you either already knew, or you do not care about. Either way, paying for a tour is a waste of money in the vast majority of cases. Save the money you would have spent on a guide and use it on food or transport.

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Beautiful Spring Weather

>> Wednesday, May 06, 2015

It’s finally getting warm here in MI! For the first time, I was able to not wear jacket or coat today! Although, it’s a little bit windy but it is not as cold compare to what was the weather a few days ago. So, today, when I picked up my son from school. Me and my daughter actually got out from the car, a few minutes early and just enjoy the warm weather today. It’s been a long, winter hibernation for me for these past few months. I’m done with winter cold. If I could only move to a warmer state or back to my home country, I will be glad to do so, but of course, it’s not that easy.


Anyway, after I went to Starbucks to get my all-time favorite drink, the Peach Green Tea Lemonade which I also makes me wonder why, while on my way to my son’s school, that every time I order this drink to various Starbucks location, I always get different tastes of it. Do they have a recipe for it? Or what? It’s just annoying sometimes because what I order today was disgusting. It tastes like nothing. That’s why I always go to the one I used to order. They always makes my order perfect. For $3.65 for Grande size, they should make this perfect as much as possible. I hated it when you can’t get the value you paid for sometimes.



Oh well, enough with my ranting now. I feel better afterwards though when  I came out to go for a walk today all the way to my son’s school. It was just a small walk, but I enjoyed it. So, I took some pictures of my daughter who enjoyed the weather as well, while enjoying her favorite sucker in strawberry flavor, too.
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So long April showers and welcome May flowers

>> Tuesday, May 05, 2015

"So long April showers and welcome May flowers!"

This is what I exclaimed when I saw those beautiful yellow wild daisies last weekend when I went to church. The grass and flowers were actually blooming up now beautifully! The grass were greener and wild daisies were flaunting that makes the spring beauty more exciting and fun, I thought. Though, it’s been a few days that the weather in Michigan is still cold but lately, I’m so happy that it’s finally warming up again. When it’s warm, I always think about what I can do during these time of year. Aside from pools, water park, playground, ice creams, it makes me think about decorating our patio as well. Putting some decors outside our house can also bring some good things about warmth and sunshine. I was thinking of getting flowers for our patio and also some outdoor wall decors.

As I search along online, I found a site where I found these wide selection of outdoor wall decors for patio. We don’t have that much of a size on our patio but if you do, you better Check these patio dishes out at Home and Patio Décor Center that I found online. I love the idea of having a lot of selection because you can able to mix and match decors without problem. All the outdoor patio accessories are great during summer time. When you had most of your family get together, events, special happenings takes place at your patio, you can create not only a memorable family events but also a great place to enjoy it.

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A Momma's Journal is ON again!

Just for Fun!
First thing and foremost, I feel so sorry for being away from blogging. I know there are a lot of requests and emails I have received in regards with blogging business but I haven’t been online for a while. I do but sometimes I don’t have time to even check on my blogs due to schooling. And I know that some of you may be wondering, where in the world I am right now. I miss everything single day that I haven’t written anything down here too and I am worried.

Needless to say,  I’m back now. I am so happy, I’m back. It’s all because of a decision of not going to school this year. I did last winter but decided that I can’t do it this year due to the fact that my husband will be away for a long time due to his job. So, I didn’t registered for classes until next year. I also need to stay focus on my life as a mother and wife while for being a single parent.

Now I’m all free and back to blogging again, of course, I miss it so much that sometimes I was thinking of just not to give it up, no matter how busy my schedules were. As for me, well, nothing new to me so far. Aside from being student, I’m still joggling as a mother and wife. Everything is still about the same. Except of one thing, I lose weight! Yay! All my hard work actually paid off! But aside from that, everything went very well for me. The last time I had my annual pap smear exam, I had my weight checked in and I was actually weighed 97 pounds! Yes! I was shocked because from being 118 pounds, I am now back to my weight before I had babies! I know doing Zumba every day did a lot of changes on my weight. But now, I minimized it. I only do it about three times a week now.

Well, I’m trying to do it every day but I don’t want to lose more weight. But, I am still on ab workout which is still a part of my daily routine. I still have some belly pouch that I really need to get rid of, though, it’s really getting frustrating on my part. Some people told me that it will never be going away due to the c-section surgery I had. But, I am optimistic that someday, it will somehow disappear. I know! In my dreams! Haha! Well, there’s nothing wrong to be positive, right?

Anyway, I’m back and I hope you’re still there to catch up on things with me. Thanks for your time and until next posts! So long!


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Need a Carpet Cleaning?

>> Friday, February 13, 2015

During these time of year, winter is one of my unlikely favorable weather here in US. It is not only it dries my skin, but also it is not so carpet friendly weather. So glad we don’t have carpet in our living room which our traffic marathon were mostly at, but it is not helping when you have two young kids at home. And that’s where the problem begin.

 For instance, when we came home from doing errands, they don’t have time to take off their shoes and so they will go ahead straight to their bedroom and all the way, of course, it left our carpeted stairs and bedroom floors dirty with mud and water and even out basement carpet were not exempted from them. It was depressing. I wish I could just take out all the carpet and just make a bare floor out of it, but of course that’s impossible. All I need now is the help of a magic genie to clean out my carpet all at once.

 Good thing, I found out about carpet cleaning Brooklyn which I heard will do all the hard work and save me time. I really need it because now I don’t even have time to clean the carpet by myself. We had a carpet cleaning service before and I know how it is done. I can wait! I can wait to have a clean, fresh, good smelling carpet again for once in my busy life.

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Benefits Of An Organized Garage

>> Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Nothing says more about a homeowner than how the garage is maintained. Your garage was built for one purpose, to park a vehicle inside to keep it out of the weather. Many homeowners use them to store what they don’t want in the interior of the home. This isn’t the best thing to do. Excessive clutter piled in a garage can be dangerous. It can be a fire hazard if you have a gas water heater in the garage with flammable substances nearby.

Clean Out The Garage

Good housekeeping starts with organization. Inventory your garage to see what you really need to store inside. Many items can be discarded, given away to charity, sold through a yard sale, newspaper advertisement or placed online for sale.

After you have eliminated much of the excess clutter in the garage, you can begin organizing the space to fit your needs. Storage cabinets are a great option for keeping paint cans, cleaners and other items in a covered area out of the way. Overhead storage racks, tool storage, rack shelving and a trash bin might be options in the redesign of your garage.

Remodeling or additions to the garage area will increase your home’s value. There are many companies available that supply everything that you need to make your garage work as it was designed for. Garage Appeal is one of many companies that can help you with ideas on how your new garage should be.

Benefits Of An Organized Garage

You gain many advantages by cleaning and reorganizing your garage. Space to park the family car instead of outside in all types of weather. Toxic substances stored away from children and family pets. Peace of mind in knowing where that hammer or drill is stored when you need it in an emergency.

Your garage will seem larger because it is. The elimination of clutter gives you back that square foot area that you really need to store those items that you need for yard work and home maintenance. With just a little effort using a few weekends of time, your garage will give you that feeling of a new room addition.

Don’t forget about the increased property value that your home will have if you ever decide to place it on the real estate market. Spend a weekend to determine what you can do to take back that additional space that many homeowners simply neglect.

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7 Benefits of Ceiling Fans

Before you install yet another AC unit, consider the benefits of installing ceiling fans. Providing a refreshing breeze is only the beginning of their benefits!

1. If you have an AC unit or central air, using ceiling fans can limit how much air conditioning you need. They can also help to disperse the cold air from the AC unit throughout your home. By using less AC, you’ll reduce your energy bills.

2. When eating at the kitchen table or in the dining room, turn on your ceiling fan to keep flying pests away from your meal.

3. If you normally use one or two floor or desk fans to keep your rooms cool, installing ceiling fans can free up a bunch of space.

4. Ceiling fans are the safest fans you can have, because children and pets can’t reach them.

5. A great looking fan isn’t just functional, it’s stylish, too. A ceiling fan can be the focal point of a room or complement the decor.

6. Many ceiling fans come with light fixtures, which helps you to illuminate your room better than before.

7. During the colder months, you can run the fan clockwise to push the warm air down into the rest of the room. This will help keep your home warm, but it won’t cause a draft.

Are you ready to repair your home now? Consider adding ceiling fans and contact professionals to help you with the rest of your revision plans.



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Choosing the Right Look for Your Baby's Nursery

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The birth or homecoming of a new baby is a momentous event in the life of any family. Welcoming a new addition is a time of both great celebration and tremendous transition. It's not surprising that many parents, especially first-time ones, invest time and attention in creating a welcoming space for the new little one. Getting the nursery ready is not only a practical necessity, it can be a helpful emotional ritual for the parents.

There are several elements involved in getting a new nursery ready: choosing nursery furniture, choosing accessories, and decorating the room. Although the furniture choices may feel overwhelming at first, even if you're preparing a entire nursery, you're probably only looking at a few new pieces. The crib is central and the
most expensive piece you'll purchase. Some sort of changing table or station is likely also on the must-have list. Beyond that, depending on your budget and on your style, you may or may not want to add other things such as a rocker/glider, a bookcase or a dresser.

Accessories don't necessarily need to be complex, but you will need bedding for the crib. This generally includes a comfortable, quality mattress, sheets and crib rail pads. You can often find changing pad covers and crib skirts to match your other bedding. Since the crib is often the focal point of the nursery, its style and color and the color or theme of the bedding you choose for it set the tone for the whole room and determine other color or decorative choices.

 It can be fun to take a look at bedding inventories at online venues like Baby Furniture Plus where you can see some of the latest style and color choices. If you think traditional pink and blue are the only options out there, you might be pleasantly surprised. Although pink and blue pastels are still in vogue, you can also find light, bright colors like aqua, rose, lavender and even charcoal gray. You can also find cute designs such as florals and geometric patterns. Even if you decide to go with pastel or neutral bedding colors, richer hues for nursery walls are currently in style, including purple and even navy. In fact navy is considered one of the trendiest colors for little boy nurseries these days.

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Three Ways To Improve The Quality Of Your Marriage In 2015

>> Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This year, many couples around the country are interested in improving the quality of their marriages. However, many of these couples feel that they lack the knowledge and relationship skills necessary to accomplish their objective. If this is your challenge, you should know that there are a plethora of strategies you can implement to make your marriage more productive and positive. Here are three techniques to consider:

1. Establish Boundaries.

One of the primary reasons that couples experience marital conflict results from a lack of boundaries. The term "boundary" can be broadly defined, but it generally references an acknowledgment of each individual's need for physical and emotional space from their partner. Because marriages are considered a union in the minds of many people, it is often the case that there are no established boundaries in these relationships. This lack of boundaries is potentially problematic because it can result in one or both spouses feeling "cramped" and "confined" within the marriage. For this reason, it's a good idea to establish boundaries in your marriage this year. An example of a relationship-enhancing boundary would be a mutually agreed upon time for each spouse to be alone. The time you spend alone can be rejuvenating and help you enjoy the time you spend together even more.

2. Attain Professional Assistance.

As many marital counselors know, one of the reasons that marriages do not function well results from the fact that many couples lack the skill set necessary to make their relationship mutually beneficial and healthy. In recognizing the truth of this principle, it's a good idea for you and your spouse to consider consulting with a professional marital counselor who has years of experience and education in the field. Doing so can provide you with profound insights and knowledge regarding how to improve your relationship.

3. Consult With A Divorce Attorney.

Although marriage is a wonderful, potentially life-giving institution, it is not always the case that a marital union can be saved and rejuvenated. In fact, it is oftentimes more productive and mutually beneficial for a couple to part ways permanently. In the event that the nature and quality of your marriage does not improve despite the efforts that you or your spouse are making, it's a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney. There are a plethora of firms out there that can assist you, including Cordell & Cordell. By examining this video review, you can get a broad understanding of the services they offer as well as client feedback.

Conclusion

If you're interested in optimizing your marriage in 2015, you should know that there are several strategies you can utilize to make it happen. By considering the list above, you'll be empowered with the knowledge necessary to improve the quality of your marital relationship and personal life this year.

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How To Choose the Right Bedding?

>> Friday, January 16, 2015

You spend one-third of your life in bed. A good night's sleep is critical for maintaining good overall health. Therefore, it is important for your bed to be as comfortable as possible. Choosing the right bedding is a decision that should not be taken lightly, especially when you are going to be sleeping with that bedding for eight hours every day for many years to come. The selection of luxury bedding sets at BeddingStyle and other websites is enormous. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you select the best quality bedding.

1. Look at the thread count

The thread count is the amount of vertical and horizontal threads that are found in a single square inch of material. When you see a high number in terms of a thread count, it indicates that the bedding will have greater durability and softness than bedding with a lower thread count. Ideally, you should not buy any bedding with a thread count below 200. If you buy bedding within the 300 thread count range, it will feel luxurious and well worth the extra cost.

2. Pay a little extra

Bedding is not something you should go the cheap route on. If you by the most inexpensive sheets you can find, you will definitely feel the scratchiness on your skin every time you toss and turn throughout the night. In the world of bedding, you definitely get what you pay for. Invest a little more money into the bedding you buy and your reward will be sleeping comfortably night after night.

3. Cotton sheets

If you plan on buying sheets made from cotton, it is critical that you always pay close attention to the weave of the cotton. You will be able to select from satin, sateen, pinpoint and standard weaves. While satin has a nice appearance and is an ideal material for pillowcases, you should avoid buying satin sheets because they tend to slide off the bed. Also, they are not able to absorb moisture or breathe as effectively as pinpoint or standard weaves. Pinpoint is good for daily use. This is not the case with sateen, which is adequate for guest bedding that will not be used frequently.

4. Washing your comforter

You need to consider the size comforter you are buying. If you have a big enough washing machine, you will be able to wash it at home. Otherwise, you will be forced to take it to a laundromat or a dry cleaner. If you don't want to have the added expense and inconvenience of doing this, buy a smaller comforter.

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Josh Turns 8!

Last weekend was a very busy weekend for my household. My husband had been so busy with work that we were not able to plan a party for our son Joshua’s birthday. So we decided to just celebrate at home with just us. Also, last Saturday night, after having dinner at Chili’s, we headed to Ann Arbor, MI for a seminar that lasted the weekend. We stayed the night at the hotel, attended the conference all day Sunday, and didn’t get home until Sunday night.


Before leaving Ann Arbor for home, we stopped at a Toys R Us for a gift for Joshua for his birthday. We let him pick it out himself. Then we decided to stop and buy a cake. He had been asking for a cake all weekend, because he could not wait to blow out the candle I bought for him earlier in the week that was shaped like a number 8. Yes! My son is now 8 years old! I can’t believe how fast he has grown. Once we were finally home from Ann Arbor, we prepared his cake and sang Happy Birthday. He loved his cake and so did we. The cake was delicious! We bought it at Cold Stone Creamery. It was one of the best tasting cakes I have ever had. I will probably buy a cake from them again. Maybe for my own birthday, which is coming up soon! LOL



Anyway, Joshua was happy, and he loved his gift. He picked out a new game for his new WII U that he received for Christmas. He had a blast!
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Looking for Yacht Parts?

>> Saturday, January 10, 2015

With winter in full swing, it may be time for you to escape the cold for a warmer climate. What better way to escape than on a yacht? Whether you own your own or want to rent one for a week of relaxation, yachts are the perfect getaway for the cold winter months. If you are looking for a new place to set sail, read on for some of the best yachting destinations of 2015.

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

For a truly exotic yachting experience, head to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. This Caribbean getaway boasts a 48-slip marina where many celebrities yacht from every year. With plenty to do on the main land as well, this is a great winterer getaway.

Stuart, Florida

While this small town in South Florida may be much less glamorous than the Virgin Islands, it is a quiet, easily accessible place to yacht from. Close to several other yachting cities, you can explore the coast from this spot.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco may not be the warmest winter destination, but it is one of the best yachting cities in the U.S. With a number of historic yacht clubs, mariners will be thrilled with this destination.

No matter where you choose to yacht this year, be sure that your boat is ready for the journey. Ordering extra parts and equipment in advance is always helpful. Aegis Marine & MMI is an online rattler that sells replacement arts for primarily Taiwanese Yacht parts and is a great place to stock up before your trip.


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Great Alternative to Traditional Smoking

>> Tuesday, January 06, 2015

When I took a public speaking class last semester, I had a chance to share an informative piece about an alternative to smoking cigarettes that would be a healthier and cleaner way to maintain the habit. Smoking cigarettes can be messy due to residue generated by the smoke, and many people think the smell is not so pleasant. Because of this, a lot of people choose to smoke outside their home, even enduring cold weather, to avoid leaving residue inside their home. But, all this can be avoided. A smarter way to enjoy smoking, and remain in the comfort of your own home is to use vaporizer pens.

Vapin plus vape pens are a great alternative to traditional smoking, because vaporizer pens are smokeless. Electronic vaporizer pens have no odor, which means no more stale smoke smell clinging to all your clothes, your favorite blanket, and inside your car. Also, vaporizer pens do not have any of the controversial ingredients, such as tar, or any of the harmful chemicals found in traditional cigarettes and secondhand smoke. And dry herb vape pens are tobacco-free. Properties from burning all of these substances mentioned make them cling to clothing, hair, walls, furniture, etc. This is why it’s impossible to rid of the smell from traditional cigarettes.

Electronic vaping is safer. Not only do they leave no residue, lack harmful substances and “burning” tobacco, but they eliminate the need for an open flame to light them, something that makes traditional cigarettes potential fire hazards. Cigarettes are in fact the number one cause of fire-related deaths in the United States, as well as seven other countries. Vape pens cause no burning, require no open flames, and will not burn you, your clothes, your furniture, or anything else.

Since electronic vaporizer pens have no smoke, no gross smell, and do not cause fires, they provide a more enjoyable experience around friends or family, or in a crowd. There is no reason for anyone to disapprove of vaporizer pens. Studies show that second hand smoke can be dangerous to non-smokers. Thanks to the idea of electronic vaping, now everyone can enjoy life to the fullest while being responsible for their own health, and being considerate of the health of others. On the other hand, traditional cigarette smoking is considered intrusive and negligent by many.

So, if you are looking for an alternative way to smoke responsibly, and you really aren’t looking to quit, then consider electronic cigarettes. You can learn more about them by visiting www.vapinplus.com online.

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3 Tips for Choosing a Pet Daycare

>> Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Maybe you're headed on vacation. Maybe you just need someone to look after your puppy while you're at work. Whatever your reasons for seeking out pet daycare and overnight services, it's important that you only choose the best for your furry friends. Here are three tips for finding a daycare where your animal won't even realize you're gone.

1. Evaluate the Staff Have they been certified as animal trainers or supervisors? Are there any vets on staff in case of emergencies? Don't be afraid to ask about the company's hiring process. Can anyone off the street come in and land a job or are candidates vetted by experience, education and probationary periods?

2. Check Out the Accommodations Look for clean beds, safe playrooms and heated backyards for outdoor fun. You'll also want to take a look at the other animals and how they're reacting to their environment. Do they look happy and healthy? Could you imagine your pet among them?

3. Ask About Special Programs Special programs are usually a good indication of the daycare's commitment and level of involvement with their charges. For example, if they have obedience classes for problem puppies, you'll know right away that someone on staff has experience and training with young dogs.

Whether you're looking for a full-service doggie daycare or just an overnight kennel for your kitty, these are a few things to keep in mind when making your choice. Pets are our life's most loyal companions, so do right by them the next time you have to leave town.

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Gold and Red Theme Christmas Tree

>> Monday, December 15, 2014

Last weekend, I finally had a chance to put up our Christmas tree despite the busy schedules I have due to my finals week for my classes. I have to study for the finals and I am actually cramming for it. I have two finals set for last week, and so glad I did a good job on my exams. And yes, reaching for A’s is what I got, I’m so thankful to God for it. It was a busy semester and so glad I was able to survive.


Anyway, this year, I have all my Christmas decors new and fresh. Last year, I was in the taste of multicolor tree, but this time, I have it in gold and red. Something that for me represents, money and love. I think that’s what is important. I guess, I don’t mean anything but Gold and Red is a colorful, beautiful combination of colors. So, glad that my Christmas tree turned out to be good and beautiful. My husband told me that I did a good job on it and can’t wait to post it online to share it with family and friends. I was proud wife as well and my son and daughter love it even more. Now, I’m a one proud momma.


In fact, the tree is amazing! I love the way I decorated it. And as a matter of fact, I spent almost an hour spreading the leaves of our tree, (we have a fake tree and preferred it more than the real one). Why? Because we have a bad experience on real tree, it smells after a week or two, then its leaves started falling out and it has to be maintained. I don’t have time for that. So, a fake tree will do best for me.

Well, here are some of the glimpse on our family Christmas tree this year!


And before I forget, I wanted to wish everyone to have a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year of 2015. To have good health all year around and lots of love!

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Special Touches for Your Child's Communion and Christening

Your children are gifts from God, and it's humbling and exciting to celebrate their spiritual milestones. Along with cheering your child on his first day or school or watching her take her first steps, you also want to give special significance to the most important religious days in your child's life, specifically her christening and first Holy Communion. Lily's Attic offers the following products to help you personalise these special events.

1. Christening Apparel
Few things are more adorable than christening outfits! Since your child will want to keep this outfit as an heirloom, it's important to find outfits made from high quality materials. Once you locate the right suit or gown, your little one will look perfect in all of the photos from that special day.

2. Christening Candles
Candles have many different purposes on your child's christening day. Candles are used to help us reflect on God, signify unity and emphasise the love and warmth that is present. You can make the day even more beautiful by finding the perfect candles. If you're not sure which candles to select, choose items that fit in with the overall theme of the day.

3. Communion Apparel
Your daughter's First Holy Communion is one of the most important days in her spiritual journey. Young girls love donning beautiful white communion dresses, so finding the right apparel will make her feel like the princess that she is.

When you shop at Lily's Attic, you'll be able to find all of the items you need for these special days in one convenient location. Visit http://lilysattic.com.au to learn more about our commitment to offering high quality products for your family's most special spiritual occasions.

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Christmas Party with Friends

Last Sunday was amazing! My family went to a Filipino Christmas Party held by some of my friends who actually did an awesome job preparing for the event. And everyone did participate and made the party memorable and fun! I am so glad that I was able to join and be a part of it. I’m also glad that I was able to see and meet new people, old friends and some people I haven’t talk to for months. So glad to see them and catch up!

The party was for the whole family to enjoy.  And the kids, especially my kids had so much fun as well. They were able to get gifts from Santa which they thought is Santa, but it was actually all prepared. I need to buy gifts for them and for Santa to give out. It was cute though because my kids thought how Santa could know what I want and what the things on my Christmas List are! It was fun, especially my son. He wanted to play with it as soon as he opened the gift. I know it will be a fun Christmas time for them and I can’t wait for Christmas to come soon too.

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Proper Illumination for Car Safety

>> Saturday, November 29, 2014

Proper illumination plays a critical role in road safety for all types of passenger and commercial vehicles. As a matter of fact, state inspection tests require cars and trucks to have functional lights that provide enough power to clearly illuminate the road ahead for dozens of feet. According to state laws, license plates must also be properly visible in dark conditions. Headlamp bulbs often come with a lifetime that lasts for several years. Therefore, it is important to replace or upgrade light fixtures according to specific intervals or urgent needs.

When shopping around for headlamp bulbs, customers should be familiar with some of the basic technical aspects. For example, the Lumens rating indicates the peak of intensity of a light bulb or lamp. The intensity ratings may range from several hundred to over 1,000 Lumens. The color temperature is another important technical specification in headlamps for vehicles. This parameter is rated in a unit known as degrees Kelvin, which is commonly used for scientific purposes only. A high temperature rating actually implies a "cool" light color such as blue, amber or violet. A low temperature rating indicates a "warm" light color like orange or yellow. Certain headlights might produce special sparkling effects that serve aesthetic rather than functional purposes. Additionally, it is also possible to install headlamps that emit unique colors, such as green.

LED is one of the most common technologies used in headlamps for vehicles. A series of small bulbs is connected to optimize the total illumination. The lights are also surrounded by reflective mirrors that direct all of the rays towards the road. Some powerful headlamps might also come with built-in cooling fans that dissipate the heat continuously produced from the bulb filaments. A fixture such as the 194 LED bulb and other lamps are examples of modern lighting components for passenger and commercial cars.

The current rating is also explicitly given for every LED bulb that is installed in vehicles. It is important to keep electrical safety in mind during the installation process. Some fuses might quickly burn out if powerful lamps are installed. It's critical to make sure that the voltage and ampere specifications are in sync with some of the fuses in the electric panel box under the hood. Only licensed mechanics that specialize in electronic diagnostics should handle light bulbs that are installed or removed from a vehicle's lamps.

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Life is Short, Clean Less

Housekeeping Just Got Easier
Whether you are wife, mother, and business woman or a man who is always on the go, you've got so many pans in the fire, you just don't know how you can possibly keep up with all of your obligations. The list grows longer by the minute and there is never enough time in the day. Cleaning your house is just one chore too many. You know it's slipping, but you just don't have the energy or resources to get it done. A residential cleaning service can be the solution that you have been looking for to make your life easier.

Turn to the Professionals
When you go through a service like Maid Right, you can rest assured that your home is in good hands. A staff of professionals will arrive at your door at the appointed time, cleaning your home from top to bottom. Specify exactly what you need and watch as your living space is whipped into shape. While you are busy taking care of all of the demands that take up your time, your cleaning crew will give your home the attention to detail that it deserves. Simply make an appointment and leave it to the professionals to make your home shine.


Get the Cleaning Services that are Tailored to Suit You
You need a residential cleaning team that is committed to excellence in service. That begins with personalized attention, beginning with an initial consultation. Your cleaning professionals need to know exactly what you expect. Address each area of your home and explain what you want. From that point, leave it up to your cleaning team to tackle each area of your home. You'll have the satisfaction of a job well done without the headaches.

Let Someone Else Do the Cleaning to Give You Room to Breathe
Take a little stress out of your life by allowing your residential cleaners to take care of the interior of your home. Free up some quality time with your family, give yourself a chance to relax for a few minutes, or take on the challenge of another project. When you have residential cleaners that you can count on, you simplify your life and give yourself more flexibility. When there are simply too many other obligations for you to take care of and you're feeling stretched thin, let your residential cleaning crew ease your load.

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Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


 Today my family went to my sister in law’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was not new to us since we were always going over to my kid’s aunts every year. The only different this time is that my other sister in law will not be with us because they just recently moved out of the state and now living in Florida. I miss her though, especially her homemade pumpkin pie! 

Anyway, the day was fun and full of laughter. After we had our thanksgiving dinner, the turkey was delicious by the way, we talked and just have some light chit chats here and there. We totally enjoyed the night and we even played games until it’s almost time for us to go home. My kids were all sleepy and tired, eventually fell asleep in the car all the way home.

 Thanksgiving is absolutely one of my favorite holiday of the year. A day where you can have delicious turkey meat and also to spend time with family. Also a day where you can thank everyone for everything.

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When Flowers Make the Perfect Gift

>> Wednesday, November 05, 2014

If you want to show you appreciate a person or want to congratulate someone for a milestone or acknowledge a special occasion, flowers make the perfect gift option. Their soft, colorful and fragrant petals offer beauty and cheer to their recipients. They can boost morale, and they provide a connection with nature. You can send flowers to both intimate and casual acquaintances. They make the perfect gift to acknowledge graduations, promotions, new home purchases and other milestones. Below you will find three examples of occasions when flowers make the perfect gift.

 1. Baby’s Birth - When a new baby arrives, it’s time to celebrate. Send the happy new mother a vase filled with her favorite flowers or a basket overflowing with her roses in her favorite hue. You can also opt to send your floral arrangement in a novelty container like a toy car or boat for a boy or a wagon or an animal-themed pot. Let her know she’s special and that the new baby is also special with a floral gift to mark the family’s blessed event. Babies arrive at unpredictable times, and the convenience of online ordering allows you to acknowledge the birth as soon as you receive the happy news of its occurrence.

 2. Friend or Relative’s Birthday - Make your friends and relatives feel special on their birthdays with a floral arrangement chosen especially for them. Fresh seasonal flowers make a lovely birthday bouquet, and yellow arrangements convey sunny greetings for summer celebrations. Pastel arrangements in sherbet colors like lime, lemon and orange offer a fun spring birthday choice, and autumn birthdays call for fall leaf colors like orange and gold. An arrangement with a rainbow of hues makes a bright and uplifting gift for a birthday celebrant of any age in any season.

 3. Loss - Another time when flowers make the perfect gift is to acknowledge the loss of a loved one. Funeral arrangements can express your sympathy in a beautiful and fragrant way. Although wreaths, sprays and floral arrangements for the funeral service can come in any color, white and pastel combinations are common. Flowers can also acknowledge sympathy for other losses including job losses and illness. Their vibrant colors soothe and comfort and convey your supportive sentiments with bright, cheery colors. Your floral gift lets the recipient know that you are thinking of him or her. 

Flowers are one of the most healing presents you can bestow. There’s something calming about their rich colors and delicate fragrances. They convey caring and compassion as well as celebration. If you want an Eastwood florist, try Florist With Flowers. They can provide personalized floral designs for a multitude of occasions including weddings, holidays and corporate dinners and events. For further information, visit www.floristwithflowers.com.au.

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An Aspect of Healthy Living You Shouldn't Ignore

>> Thursday, October 30, 2014

Have you decided it's time to join the healthy living movement? Are you in the process of making chances that will help you fit into this trendy lifestyle? If so, you've probably cleared out the unhealthy food that was filling your cabinets, pantry and refrigerator and replaced it with healthier choices. Another lifestyle change you've probably made or are in the process of adopting is to get a sufficient amount of exercise each day. Couch potato habits and a healthy lifestyle do not go together. With all of the new foods you're trying and the bad habits you're trying to abandon and replace with good habits, there may be one area you've overlooked.

Sleep is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Getting the proper amount of sleep can reduce stress, improve your overall health, help you stay alert and focused during the day and generally improve your mood. If sleep is something you haven't taken seriously, now is the time to make some changes to improve your sleep habits. Having a good quality mattress is a key component to sleeping well. You may want to sleep on a puffy cloud that can carry you to a place of tranquility and contentment until it's time to start a new day. In addition to having a comfortable mattress, establishing a pre-bedtime ritual will signal to your body that it's time to put the busyness of the day aside and focus on peaceful slumber

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Kinsights Pediatrician Shares Best Home Remedies for Flu Season

Sick Child
Here we are again—cold and flu season. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) is reporting the cold and flu season has struck early this year.  Fortunately, Kinsights’ Medical Director Dr. Carol Wilkinson and Co-founder/Parenting Expert Jennifer Chung are sharing their best home remedies to help get you and your family through the flu season.

A cough or congestion can be a little thing that becomes a big deal. These symptoms can not only be irritating, but can keep a child (and parents!) from getting a restful night’s sleep just when it’s most needed. And there’s another problem: while it’s easy to find a wide selection of cough medicines at any drug store, they can come with some serious risks for young kids—rapid heart rate, convulsions, excessive sleepiness and possible risk of overdose. Fortunately, there are some great home remedies that can do the trick, and actually work better. You probably already have everything you need right at home.

*Of course you should always get your doctor's advise on any remedies and schedule a visit when symptoms warrant.  

- Honey. As long as your child is over 1-year-old, this might be the only thing you need. Mix a little honey in warm water (half a teaspoon for kids under 6, 1 teaspoon for kids under 12, and 2 teaspoons for teens), and give it about half an hour to work its way into the system. Darker varieties work best, but anything you have should be fine in a pinch.

- Tea. Soothing herbal teas can be a quick and easy cough reliever. Chamomile and mint are classic favorites, but be sure to try licorice too. Don’t be afraid to combine tea with honey for a double attack on that cough!

- Ginger. Whether it’s ginger ale or you create your own ginger tea, ginger can work as an expectorant and break up the mucus in your throat to help clear out that cough. To make the tea, pour boiling water over a couple tablespoons of chopped ginger into your mug. Oregano and thyme can have similar effects, so go with what sounds most appealing.

- Steam. When you’ve run out of other options, or find yourself in a pinch, you can always fall back to good old steam. Whether it’s a steamy shower or just the steam coming off a mug of hot water, breathing in moist, steamy air can help soothe and relieve the symptoms that are causing your child’s cough.

As you can see, it's not always necessary to reach into the medicine cabinet, check the kitchen cupboard instead. With a little experimenting, you’re sure to find a recipe that helps everyone get a good night’s sleep.  Keep in mind that if symptoms persist for several days or seem to rapidly progress, it’s important to see a physician.



NOTE:  OPEN YOUR CUPBOARD, NOT THE MEDICINE CABINET, FOR TRIED AND TRUE HOME REMEDIES TO COMBAT THIS WINTER'S BUGS...
 
Visit Kinsights for securely storing your children’s medical records online (vaccinations, allergies, current medications, previous illnesses, etc.). You’ll have all your children’s important health information handy if you’re visiting the walk-in clinic or ER with a sick child. With 30% of the U.S. opting for walk-in clinics vs. their primary care physician for acute care (like flu symptoms) and minor wounds, it’s extremely helpful to have the information accessible from your phone for the visit. Parents can also visit Kinsights online advice- sharing community—a safe place to seek answers to your medical questions.


Dr Carol Wilkinson    Jennifer Chung 2
                       Dr. Carol Wilkinson                              Jennifer Chung                                
About Kinsights
Kinsights is an advice-sharing network for parents.  Whether you have questions about a medical condition, local schools, or potty training, they will connect you with relevant, experienced parents who can provide great advice.  And Kinsights is free for any parent!  It’s also an online Personal Health Record Keeper for children.  Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more.
Connect with Kinsights at www.kinsights.com to learn more and sign-up! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
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Bloomers Let your Little Girls Bloom

Most little girls love frilly dresses and tutu-style skirts. Unfortunately, most of these darling apparel items are designed to be pretty, but not functional, for little girls. Many moms resort to putting their little ones in leggings or opaque tights to provide the modesty and freedom necessary to let their little girl jump and twirl or play on the playground. In the warmer months of spring and summer, tights and leggings will make your little girl too hot and uncomfortable.

As the warmer months approach, parents flock to the stores to look for cargo skirts or dresses and rompers with built-in shorts for modesty and coverage for their daughters. Not only are these styles hard to come by, but they are often ill-fitting, too short or too loose, cause bunching and offer little coverage.

Your little girl does not need to spend all of summer in Bermuda shorts. She can maintain her princess style and you can ensure her modesty no matter how rambunctious she gets on the playground with fitted bloomers. Bloomers are fitted mini-shorts that layer seamlessly under any skirts, dresses and rompers and offer full opaque coverage, so you can let her play with confidence; bloomers let your little girl's personality bloom. Companies like Sparkle Farms specialize exclusively in bloomers. Designed by a mom, Sparkle Farms' bloomers are breathable, opaque, comfortable for sleep, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. You can shop now online from a store like Sparkle Farms and have them sent directly to your home for your little princess.

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Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo Event

Last weekend, my family went to the last day of Zoo BOO brought by the Detroit Zoo for family with their kids to enjoy the zoo trick or treat. It was fun, it is just too cold and my kids were seemed not so enjoying their costume since all they need to do is rather wear their jackets all the time. I think that’s what we get from living in a cold state, right? Anyway, it was our first Zoo boo experience.

Unfortunately, I don’t have my phone with me at that time, I forgot it at home. So, instead I was relying on my husband's phone. Yet for some reason,  I lost him in the crowd and he was with our son the whole time too and I am with our daughter. It was too much people at the zoo boo and its hard to look for them. I waited but somehow it took me to think about just go walk since its getting late and the zoo will be closing soon.  We arrived at the zoo at around 7:30 pm, I guess next time, its better to go to Zoo boo at the earliest time possible, when the day light is still out to see everything! It's hard to see stuff at night time you know.



The Zoo Boo event has about 13 stations and every stations you have to stop to get some candies. Then, continue until it’s time to exit the trail. For the price of $8 (for 2-adults) and a $6 for a parking lot which I would say, it is not even worth it. well, I guess, it’s not so worth it. You have to have a bag of your own and for the kids to ensure that you can get more candies. Not all staff at the Zoo boo gave you candies too, only good for the one side, if you're on that side and they gave out different candies as well. I wish they could just give out at least two candies at a time, not one. No wonder some people went to the other road to get more and go back to the same stations. I guess, I will do that next time (laugh) yet somehow it will give me guilt-ridden, though. Oh well…

 Anyway, my kids had fun anyway, I guess. My daughter dressed like Elsa the whole time and my son is Maverick from Top Gun, he loves it.

And as I mentioned earlier, don’t have pics of my daughter from the Zoo boo, but only of my son. (sadness)

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Benefits of a Fence for your Home

>> Monday, October 20, 2014

Home is where your heart is. The structure and land around it provide a much needed sanctuary for you and your family from all the elements of the outside world. It is the place where our days end and the next adventure starts. To ensure that peace of mind when you get home, the prudent investor looks for a quality fence to accomplish this. They are decorative, offer more layers of protection, and recoup the value of investment in a short amount of time. When your resale value and family protection both increase, the purchase of a fence is a win win scenario for any homeowner.

FAMILY FRIENDLY ZONE: Our off time is meant to relax. Wishing to unwind, nothing breaks the serene atmosphere like the potential of prying eyes intruding into our surroundings. A fence can provide optical barrier for you and your loved ones. Aluminium fence slats in Perth and other locations are catching on quickly as a means for decorative options at increasing privacy. Many people list the degree of privacy a home affords at being near the top of the list for purchasing a home.

THE SHIELD: To keep disruptions at arm's length is one of the larger roles that a fence plays. Intruders, both animal and human, have more difficulty traversing your grounds with this in place. The harder you make it for this element to be introduced means that these forces will look for any easier path elsewhere. Also it allows the homeowner to keep a watchful eye on their pets and children. The family dog will have less opportune to get lost by it following their inquisitive nature. Children are in a more controlled space and have less chance of having a disrupting accident.

MATERIAL CONSIDERATIONS: Bamboo, metals, and a variety of woods are just a few of the materials that a fence can be made of. Budget considerations, landscape factors, and its overall strength play key roles in the determination of which one is best for your home. Aluminium fencing in Perth has caught on because of it being affordable, strong and comes in a variety of options that work well with any neighbourhood. Ambiance can be maintained while adding another element of neighbourhood security when you decide to invest in or upgrade your fence.

Countless reasons exist on why fences not only increase your peace of mind but the overall value of your home. That tangible aura of security is emitted from the residence that is bolsters by a fence protecting their grounds. People can have that haven to unwind from that outside world when they seek the refuge of their home with their fence keeping prying eyes shut out. Numerous types of common and exotic materials exist to compliment your home. The esteemed company of Lattice and Screens has at their disposal one of the most vast selection of fences in the market today. The time to act is now by visiting Latticeandscreens.com.au today.

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Squeez’Ems & Pack’Ems Lunch Box Tips Make it Easy to Send Healthy, Homemade Lunches All Year Long

It’s back to school time again! This also means it’s time to start thinking about school lunches for your kiddos.  Getting kids to eat a healthy diet isn’t always easy and carb heavy school lunches can be expensive and aren’t always the healthiest.  Whipping up  healthy, fun options doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. The key to success is having a plan in place.  These time saving tips will help you pack healthy lunches that your child will love:
 

Use as many whole foods as possible.  Processed foods don’t offer much nutrition and tend to be extremely high in sodium content. Provide high protein, low sugar options.  Kids will feel full longer and won’t hit a sugar low mid-afternoon. To make school mornings easier, do as much prep work as you can the night before—fruits can be cut up and veggies can be sliced in advance and stored in water to keep fresh.

Buy in bulk.  If you live near a warehouse store like Costco, Sam’s Club or Walmart you can buy in bulk.  Items such as crackers, chips and fruit snacks can be stored in a cool dry place and last for several months.  Perishables like fruits and veggies can be purchased and frozen or refrigerated to prolong freshness.  Take time once a week to portion out snacks so when it comes time to put lunches together you can set up an assembly line to grab and go.

Cook ahead for the week. Prepare lunch options like boiled eggs and chicken salad in advance to make mornings go smoother. You can even send them off with leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

Smoothies can be made in advance and frozen.  Smoothies can include yogurt, regular milk or almond/soy/coconut milk, fresh fruit and veggies.  Store them in a re-usable container, such as Squeez’Ems, to save on time and money.  Toss them in the lunch box frozen and they’ll be defrosted by lunchtime.

Consider foods like soup, chili and stew occasionally to give your child a warm lunch. Pack in an insulated bottle and store in an insulated lunchbox. Fill the bottle with boiling water and let stand for several minutes before adding the hot contents. Keep the bottle closed until kids are ready to eat at lunchtime.

Purchase freezer gel packs. The gel pack can help keep cold foods cold in an insulated lunchbox. Any items not consumed at lunchtime should be discarded. Adding a cold piece of fruit and or juice box can also help regulate the temperature of the lunchbox.

Don’t forget a lunch note! Add a little lunch note to the lunchbox, as well.  You may want to send a joke of the day, a fun fact or a simple I love you and am thinking about you.
One of the toughest parts of packing school lunches is coming up with creative ideas that kids will like and eat.  Here are some ideas healthy lunch that your kids will love!
  

Chicken or Turkey Salad Rolls—combine diced chicken or turkey, toasted almonds, halved seedless red grapes, diced green apples and celery, mayonnaise and mustard. Transfer to an airtight container; serve on a whole wheat hot dog bun or include crackers.

Turkey-Cheese Pita Pockets—spread a low fat creamy cheese, inside a whole wheat pita, then fill with roast turkey slices, baby spinach leaves and cucumber slices.  Include dried apricots or banana chips and a low sugar beverage.

BLTA Wraps—mash an avocado with lemon juice, then spread on a whole wheat wrap. Top with crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes, and thinly sliced romaine lettuce. Roll up and wrap in parchment or wax paper to secure.

Easy Italian Hero—toss thinly sliced lettuce with a mixture of yellow mustard and mayonnaise. Assemble a sandwich on a split hoagie roll using sliced provolone, salami, turkey, tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce mixture.  Include some broccoli and ranch dip.

Peanut/Sun Butter Banana Burrito—spread peanut or sun butter on a toasted whole-wheat wrap, then sprinkle with crumbled bacon and drizzle with honey. Place a whole banana at the edge of the wrap, then roll, pressing gently to break the banana and form a cylinder shape. Or, slice the banana, scatter, and roll.  Include celery and carrot sticks.

Curried Egg Salad Pinwheels—combine chopped hard-boiled eggs, raisins, sliced celery, mayonnaise and curry powder. Trim the crust from a slice of bread and press slice of bread to flatten. Spread with a layer of egg salad, then roll and secure with a toothpick.

Bento Box-Style Lunch—bento boxes are the rage of the lunch room right now.  Pick up a pack at your local big box store (like Target) or order online.  They come with several small compartments to fill with an assortment of ingredients your child desires, such as crackers or pretzels, cubed cheese, cut up fruit, carrot sticks, rolled up lunch meat or hummus.

**Note: always remember to check with your school to make sure you can send tree nuts or peanuts.  If your child is gluten/dairy free, make sure you skip ingredients that are off limits and swap out for an alternative such as a gluten free wrap.

Meet Squeez’Ems, eco-friendly, reusable food pouches for any pureed or blended food. They are easy to fill, clean and store and are perfect for back-to-school lunch boxes. Fill them with yogurt, applesauce or any pureed food. Squeez’Ems are comprised of just one piece to eliminate the worry over losing parts.  It features a new screw top lid that turns clockwise to prevent accidental opening. It guarantees a tighter, 100% leak-proof seal.

Also check out Pack’Ems reusable food pouches. Pack’Ems are the perfect companion to your kids’ lunch and snacks. They come in both large and small and feature a gusseted bottom for easy, stand-up design. They are easy to open and close with unique VELCRO® brand Press-Lok™ patented material.

Both Squeez’Ems and Pack’Ems are dishwasher-safe, easy-to-clean, BPA, PVC and phthalate-free.


For more information on Squeez’Ems & Pack’Ems, please visit www.booginhead.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

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