Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Self-Expression Through Dance

As a parent, it is important for us that our children are able to express themselves well in a confident manner. Helping them to build this trust in themselves and nurturing their ability to express it is essential in their growing up years. So how do you become instrumental in this one?

Allow your child to engage in dance activities or classes. You will find that their shyness will slowly go away as they try to move up to the beat and rhythm of the music. If you are afraid that your child is not comfortable in his or her street clothes, then by all means find appropriate dancing clothes for her. You can find good gymnastics leotards among others at DanceMania. These will help your child to move freely and actively.

It is also important to ask your child what kind of dance he or she is interested in. It would be a bad idea to enroll him or her in a jazz class if their interest is in hip hop or ballet. It's like throwing them in a pot of boiling water.

Look for good reputable dance schools. If you want your child to have a feel first of what the class would be like, find schools that offer 1-2 trial classes. You will know it would be all the effort and money if you see your child's smile on her face and making new friends. Show your child that you are willing to support their passions and interests. And they will love you more for it! :D

Monday, December 9, 2013

10 Simple Bedroom Design Ideas for Your Little Girl

My little girl has been asking me when are we going to furnish her bedroom. She is now five and a half and will soon start with first grade next year so having a room for a herself is becoming more and more a necessity. If you are planning on decorating a room for your little girl, her are some simple decorating ideas to help you start with.

1. Focal point. Create a focal point in the room. It could be a solid color on one wall or a huge hand-painted piece that your little girl has made. From this focal point, work our the color scheme of the room. Popular color schemes for girls' bedrooms are brown-pink, green-pink, pastel. 

2. Stylish shelving. Provide ample space for your girl to showcase her books, artworks and knickknacks by putting up wall shelves. It is also a good way to update her collections and help keep clutter on desks a minimum.

3. Workstation / Craft Area. Allow your little girl's creativity to develop and provide a workspace for her. As much as possible, put it near the window so she has ample natural light and she can look outside for inspiration. Her desk will also be a place for her to make her homework when she goes to school so a grown-up desk will do the trick. This allows the room to grow up with her.

4. Plenty of open floor space. This is important especially if the room is meant for growing up kids as it provides them plenty of room to play, giving them enough space to develop their motoric skills. Make it more appealing by putting a kids rug on the floor. If you are looking for good rugs for your little girl's room, there's a good selection of kids rugs over at InHouse Rugs.

5. Reading nook. My little girl loves to be read before bedtime and I know that she will enjoy reading all by herself when she is old enough to read alone. A reading nook composed of a comfortable settee or a funky, hanging bubble chair will just be the perfect reading spot. Just be sure that it reflects her personality. 

6. Pretty jars or canisters. I mentioned a workstation for your child to work on and a grown-up desk. You can add pretty jars and canisters to hold her pens, pencils and brushes and other small crims crams. This will help keep clutter to the minimum. Be sure that she always has an empty desk so it will be more inviting to work or to study.

7. Design choice. Give your child options on the design and allow her to choose. This way, she will have a part in decorating her room and will be able to claim it as her own.  

8. Artworks. If your child loves to draw and do crafts, you could use these as decor pieces. You could always update the artworks by replacing the old ones with her new works. 

9. Wall Decals/Tattoos. Don't want the traditional wallpaper or the plain paint on the wall? Add a whimsical flair to the room by adding wall tattoos or decals. There's lots of wonderful designs available on the Internet today especially on Etsy.com. And what's more, it doesn't damage the paint and you can always replace it to suit your child's personality and interests.

10. Letter Frames. The classic letter frames that spell out her name will make any child's room more personalized. You can of course choose on the colors, the lettering, or it could also be a thing that interests your child and at the same time starts with the initials of her name.

So there, hope you are able to get some wonderful ideas. Happy decorating! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Threading The Fuxipfad in Mainhardt

One sunny autumn day, we went on a short hiking trip at the Fuxipfad in Mainhardt. It was a very interesting hiking trail, with different stations at various locations that is perfect for educating children about nature. It highlighted the animals and plants that can be observed in the area. 

Off for some adventure at the Fuxipfad. Thank you for the hearty welcome Fuxi!
I learned a lot of things on that day like how dead things, like dead tree trunks, are a source of life of other organisms like mushrooms. And how ants also help in decay process of dead leaves and trees. I also learned how important trees are in keeping water in the ground.

Mushrooms growing on the stump of a dead tree trunk.
I also got a chance to learn the organisms living in the creek, like the different fish and crawling insects, and birds too. There was a very interesting photo board that looks dark but they become clear when you insert and move the "flashlight", which is a metal plate. 

There was also a picture puzzle that shows what kind of tree grows in the area and some facts about them.

Daddy explaining to me the names of the trees and other facts and how their trunks look like. 
After completing the trail, we stopped for a bit at the children's playground which was already empty since it was already dark and then we went to a restaurant to fill our hungry bellies. We got the "Fuxi Meal" but that will be another story. :) 

Creating A Magical Christmas for your Kids

Christmas is the most exciting time of the year for our little ones. I still look back fondly on many of the Christmases I experienced during my childhood, hoping that one day my daughter will do the same. Come December, I’m going all out to make sure that this year is the most magical Christmas yet. Here’s how I’ll be doing it…

Create your own grotto 
Half of the magic of visiting Santa Claus is experiencing his glittering, Christmas grotto. This year, I’m going all out with decorations that are sure to make Santa jealous!

Every year I face the same struggle with my Christmas lights as I remember they aren’t quite as long as I’d like them to be. This year, I’ll be using one of those no fuss pre-lit Christmas trees to keep stress to a minimum. I really want my tree to be amazing this year, so I’ll probably buy some new tree ornaments to complement it. I’ll have the stuff my daughter has made at school on display too, to avoid making my living room too much like a show house.

Leave traces of Santa 
Obviously… I will be leaving the standard bitten cookie and half glass of milk on Christmas Eve as proof of Santa’s arrival, but I’m thinking of going a little further this year.

One thing I’ll definitely be doing is leaving Santa’s footprints on the porch. Using a pair of boots and icing sugar, the discovery of snowy footprints are sure to heighten my daughter’s excitement. If we’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas, I’ll leave sleigh prints in the drive too.

I also read online about one mom who leaves a swatch of red felt for their children to find, as if Santa has had to leave in a hurry, which I may also try.

Christmas stories 
Like most parents, I often read my daughter a bedtime story on an evening. It’s a great way to spend some quality time and soothe her off to sleep.

The 1st of December will see me swapping her everyday storybooks for Christmas themed ones. My local library is sure to have a range of books that will see us right through to Christmas Day, and I might even pick some up from Amazon. It’s a sure fire way to get her pumped for the big day.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Top Tips to Help Your Little Ones Have a Great Night Sleep

All parents will have had first-hand experience of a tired child, as my Mommy does with me. With grumpiness ruling, your child can be a handful, as they struggle to deal with the day’s events while running on empty. It is therefore imperative that you ensure they get the best night’s sleep possible. Here’s how you do it…

Ensure their safety
Making the transition from cot to bed can be a troublesome process. Used to the security of a cot, it is not unusual for parents to hear bumps in the night, as their child falls out of bed. This can cause injury so it is necessary to take precautions to prevent this. A bed rail will stop your child from rolling off the end of the bed, without taking away the maturity of a proper bed. There is a great selection available at Safetots, with wooden, mesh and tube designs. 

Remember to take precautions when designing the layout of your little one’s room. Radiators can get piping hot, especially in winter months, so avoid pushing your child’s bed up against it, as your child could accidently burn themselves during the night. 

Relax and unwind
Sending your toddler to bed after an exhilarating game of football is hardly going to encourage their sleep. They’ll have bags of energy and want to keep playing, so adopt a calming bedtime routine that will give your child their much needed rest. 

Start off your bedtime routine with a bubble bath followed by wrapping them up in some cosy pyjamas. Tuck your child up in bed and spend some quality time with them by reading them a story. Use a soft, quiet reading voice as this is more likely to soothe your child off to sleep. As for me, a bedtime story and a good night prayer always works.

Relieve nervousness
Irrational fears are common with children, especially when it comes to sleeping. Whether it’s a fear of the dark, a dislike of being alone or the prospect of a monster under the bed, your child can do everything to avoid the nightmare of going to bed. 

If your child is afraid of the dark, you can invest in a nightlight that will provide a dim light that will help relieve their nervousness and gently ease them off to sleep. Gradually, your child will learn that the dark is not frightening and they will be able to sleep without the nightlight. My Mommy always has a bedside lamp that she leaves on until I doze off to Lalaland.

Children are easily influenced, drinking in everything that is said to them. If siblings or friends try to scare your child with ghostly tales and spooky stories, make sure your child knows that they aren’t real and are only a joke. Such clarification will nip this fear in the bud, preventing it from becoming more serious and affecting their ability to sleep at night. 

You can find more information about helping your child sleep, here.

How about you Mommy? How do you help your little one get a good night's sleep?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Scribble Cards For "On The Way"

Does your family like to go on roadtrips? What do you usually do to keep your little ones from getting bored along the way?

I may just have the answer to that! The scribble cards for "on the way". Actually, I just translated it in the best way I can. :-) It is actually called "Kritzelkarten für unterwegs" but its English original name is "Usborne Activity Cards Holiday Doodles".

This handy and small activity box is composed of 50 doodle cards that encourages children to add details to the pictures and even to answer some easy mazes. There is also a special pen with which to doodle on the card. So whether you are in the car, in the plane or in the train, or even at home when it is raining and too wet to play outside, you will never get bored. You could let your imagination run wild and these set of cards allows you to be more creative as you try to continue on with the drawings.

Like drawing the earrings on this woman's face:

To putting in the decors and creatures in the fish tank:

I guess it will be more interesting if the pen comes in different colors too!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Exploring the Animal Kingdom
With Tiptoi

I enjoy going to the city library. The new one along Mailänder Platz is a very modern one and it has got an entire floor for the children's section on the 2nd floor! What I love about this section is that we are allowed to make some noise... but not the annoying kind of noise. We can ask questions, ask our parents to read a book aloud to us or play some educational board games.

On my latest visit to the library, I was in the mood for some animal adventure and so I took the educational gameboard Adventure Animal Kingdom (Abenteuer Tierwelt) from the shelf and my Mommy got the Tiptoi pen from the librarian.

It is a game with four levels of difficulty: green, red, blue and yellow. It was easy to play the game. I choose the green and red levels. For the green level, I just had to tip the pen onto the animal cards that look like puzzle pieces and listened to the general information about the animal. There are cards that have paw prints logo on them and/or sound logo on them. The paw prints are for the red level I think and you will try to match the paw print from the round cards to the type of animal. You can use the pen to help you find the right animal with the corresponding print as it will tell you what animal it is and then some more additional information. As for the sound logo, it allows you to learn what kind of sounds animals make. It helps you identify (if you are in the zoo, for example) what kind of animal it is just by listening to the sound it makes.

It really is an interesting game. This is a great gift for children who are in the early stages of school as a supplementary learning material. Just a good way of confirming that indeed learning can be FUN! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dressing Up For the Homecoming

Little as I am, I love going to parties. Whenever I am invited to one, I almost always ask my mom if I could wear a dress. Most of the time, I come wearing a dress since in most of these gatherings, we always get the chance to dance.  

Perhaps when I am grown, I will never tire of wearing dresses, being the "princess" that I am. I would look forward to those school dances when I would dance the night away, wearing my best dress. Even when I am already away from school and starting my own career, there will always still be chances to dance especially during Homecoming. I may not be the homecoming queen but just being there at homecoming will be more than enough. It would be lovely to see old familiar faces again and reminisce on days past. But I know these are yet to happen many many years from now. 

But for those of you who are going to the Homecoming this year, do you already have something to wear? I think the Homecoming is an important event in an alumnus' life and it doesn't happen very often. So if you still haven't got anything to wear, there are a lot of appropriate dresses to choose from. For this season's homecoming dresses 2013, there are many designs and colors to choose from.

I especially love this little black dress in A-line and chiffon. This will look good on anyone!

Or this princess cut A-line dress in champagne color is also very sweet and elegant and perfect for the younger ones:

Start looking now for your homecoming dress and look your best in this year's Homecoming! And oh, let me know how it went!

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Love Bonchon Chicken

One of the things I love about the Philippines is that I am able to eat rice whenever I want, wherever I want. All restaurants serve it and even fastfood chains like McDonald's, Shakey's Pizza, Pizza Hut, and KFC to name a few have rice in some of their combo meals. Great isn't it?

The very happy me! Mommy granted me my wish to eat at Bonchon Chicken!
Enjoying my crispy squid rice.. I love eating with my bare hands!

There's this one restaurant that serves really good chicken in soy garlic flavor. I really love going to this place almost everyday if my Mommy can help it. But ironically, what I love in this place is not the chicken but the crispy squid rice. I could most of the time eat the entire serving!

My favorite crispy squid rice in soy garlic flavor.
Photo: bonchon.com.ph
I guess you could say that I am always hungry as far as crispy squid rice is okay. I love the sweet garlic glaze on the squid rings. Now that I am back here in Germany, the closest thing I can have to crispy squid rice is the frozen calamari that my Mom deep fries for me. Perhaps she can look for a recipe for the soy garlic sauce that she can pour on top to make it the crispy squid rice that I so dearly love. Now that's one great idea! :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Water Fun!

Hello everyone! I am back from my summer vacation and baked at that! I had a wonderful time with my family. We went on a five-day vacation in Lake Garda in Italy, about six and a half hours drive from where we live. The long drive was worth it though! You'll find out why from the photos.

As you may all well know, I love water. We go swimming at the swimming hall near our place at least twice a week. Maybe because I was born in the month of the water sign? Or maybe because of the summer heat... who wouldn't want to dip in the pool in these warm days right? Whatever the reason, I just love having fun in the water. I feel so free whenever I am in, near or surrounded by water.
With my Mommy... :)

He will always catch me when I fall... The slide was great!
"Mommy let me steer the boat this time. You pedal... "

The water is really good! Not so warm and not so cold either!
Swimming with daddy while mommy steers the pedal boat in our direction. 
Swimming in the lake... it was so much fun!
"Can I go for another round in the slide?"
Going up and ready to slide again!
Pretending I were a pirate! Ahoy pirates!
Trying to build a sand castle to no avail... Hehe! :)

So there, I hope you enjoyed my photos as much as I enjoyed being in the water.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Good Way To Celebrate Halloween

There's nothing quite as exciting for little kids as a Halloween celebration. In fact, some children spend months planning the perfect celebration, costumes and parties. Make this year the best Halloween yet with creative homemade costumes for your child. Start planning months in advance to make sure you have everything handy that you need to create the perfect costume. Remember that procrastination will do nothing to help you create the costume. Start taking measurements and fabric as soon as you can.

Mrs. Pinkelmeyer and her dog, Moopus McGlinden
When it comes to costumes, make sure you talk with your child about the one he most wants to wear. Don't feel like your child has to be a mainstream character, though. He doesn't have to be an Iron Man or a wizard. Instead, you can let your child be the storybook characters Mrs. Pinkelmeyer and Moopus McGlinden, a character from a favorite novel or even a character you created yourselves.

Shop for patterns and fabric at your local store. You can also check out Pinterest for the best, most up-to-date ideas for different characters. Browse blogs to find sewing tips, ideas and further inspiration from other moms. Remember to take your time finding the perfect outfit plans for your child. You want this year to be the best ever and a holiday he'll never forget.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Photographer In Me

One fine sunny Sunday, my mommy and daddy and I decided to stay for a while at Schlossplatz after hearing mass. We first had lunch at our favorite Bistro Terrazza and then when it was not so hot anymore, settled ourselves comfortably at the castle grounds. There was a jazz concert going on and although we couldn't hear much of it, we tried to listen and relax to the music anyway.

I was getting bored because I did not understand what jazz music was and so my mommy asked me to take some pictures using her smartphone and then after every shot I made, I showed to her the result. She initially wanted me to take photos of things that had the color of the rainbow but since it was difficult because the flowers in the garden only had purple, white and pink, she asked me to take photos of specific stuff.

Here are some of my shots:

A bike
Purple flowers
Dark pink flowers in bloom
So what do you think of my photos? Do I pass? :)

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