Monday, November 26, 2012

End of Year Resolution: I should not buy useless stocking fillers!

I am not sure if you have ever thought about this, but stocking fillers give me conflicting emotions. On one hand, I think it is kind of fun for the kids to open lots of little gifts, but on the other hand, I get tired of the little useless toys that the kids play for a whole 5 minutes and then discard forever!! Think about it, you could spend around $15 in useless stocking fillers that the kids will get bored of in less than 10 minutes.

So this year I made a resolution of making sure that we only buy useful stocking fillers. It all came to me when we started bringing out the decorations from the basement. I noticed that the whole lot of fillers from last year was there in one of the boxes... unused... so that was it! no more, we will get useful  stuff this year.

Today after work I headed to my local walmart to get my mum and my auntie some stockings as they are coming to spend Christmas with us (I can't wait) I have not had Christmas with them in about 5 years. Also, this is the first time we are having Christmas in my house so I thought it would be nice for them to have their own stockings. I found 2 nice ones for them.




I also looked for some fillers for their stockings - I found some nice candles that I know they will love.

While there I had my eyes opened for ideas for the kids too. I was on the toothpaste isle when I noticed these  cute Colgate Holiday packages for only $6. They have a toothpaste and a toothbrush and they come with Dora, Sponge Bob and other characters. I know my kids will love these as they are so into Sponge Bob right now - they literally watch it everyday. This is the perfect gift for their stockings. It is useful, good for them and fun too. I bought one package for each kid.



I am also going to add a little hourglass counter so they know to brush their teeth for 2 minutes at a time. I wish the pack had some dental floss so they could get the whole routine in one go. I will get that one too. I was going to but I had to run out of the shop to make my gymnastic class!!! I will let you know later which other fillers I end up getting!!

On the stockings they go!






I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Colgate. #CBias #HolidaySmiles #SocialFabric” all opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The shopping madness is over!

New castle and new dress too!

One of the things about the thanksgiving weekend is shopping! We take advantage of Black Friday and buy all the stuff we need for the next year - really! we get the Christmas list, the birthday present list, clothes, shoes and jackets for the kids, my husband's toys (electronics, cameras and the like) and some stuff for me too. By the end of the weekend, we get our basement so full with bags is kind of crazy.

We normally divide and conquer. I get to go to the first round of shopping on Thursday while my husband gets the kids to bed. Once I am back, he does the second round at 4 am. This is normally when we get the toys and hide them in the basement not to spoil the kids' surprise. On Friday at around 10am  we go clothes shopping - this year we went with the kids as they are now all enough to choose their own stuff.

All through this crazy times, my baby could only think of one thing. The castle we got last week for her birthday - which I am glad to say, it took care of her birthday present for this year. So with that, the shopping for the season is over.

Now we need to get our Christmas tree and wrap all the presents. The first one to be wrapped is the Disney castle that although officially not a Christmas present, it will be on our tree alongside all the birthday presents for my girl.

It is quite funny, since we got it, she has been staring at it for the longest time. She has read and explained to me all the details of the stuff she is sooo looking forward to finding inside on her birthday. She showed me Cinderella's slipper on the staircase and a frog prince hidden there too. She is also looking forward to adding the little mini tea set to her collection of tea cups!

Mom please.... let me open it before my birthday!

I found a frog

And Cinderella's slippers


Tomorrow, I will have one last check at walmart.com  to see if there is any other Disney princesses stuff  - I guess to take advantage of Cyber Monday. I hope they have nice things on sale! For more pictures check in google+ - curious? click here.


Did you do any shopping this weekend?



  “I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™and Disney Consumer Products, Inc #CBias #SocialFabric - all comments are my own.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shopping with my girl is totally awesome!

You may think this is funny, but ever since my daughter was born I have been waiting for the day we could go shopping together. Call it a girl thing -that is OK, but I have been very much looking forward to spending endless hours at the mall with my baby! Well I think this year it finally happened, she is officially now big and mature enough to endure the crazy hours perusing aimlessly through store after store. She is now interested on what we are going to buy, vs. the typical answer I used to get: "can we go home now? this is boring... I am tired.... etc." I do still get those from my boy, so yes it is a girl thing and I love it!

It all started about a month ago, I needed to get her nice black shoes for her piano recital. Normally, I would just go and buy the shoes myself, but recently she has been very particular about her clothes. Not  liking many of the outfits I have been buying, I have had to do many returns :(. So I said to her: I am not planning to go back to the shoe shop because you do not like the shoes I buy for you. This time you are coming with me and choose for yourself" Inside I was so excited, my girl and I were going shoe shopping! We had so much fun we ended up with 3 pairs of shoes and a pair of boots!!! all needed of course.

So great was the experience, that I promised her to go shopping for her birthday present this year (again triggered by last year's face of "really mum, you got me that?"and the return to the shop journey that followed after) - I mean really, you will think she is a teenager and she is only turning 7 next month!!

So for her birthday, we had some ideas of what she wanted "Toys mum, clothes are not birthday presents - you need to get me those no matter what" Seriously, where do they get such comments from?

We have been eyeing the toy catalogs that come in the mail and some Disney stuff have been getting her attention. I heard about a new free Disney augmented reality app called The Royal Ball, so we downloaded that too so she could try different outfits and see some cool carriages from the Disney Princesses- Click here to find it. She played with it for a while (it is so cute) so she decided she wanted something with Cinderella on it.


We headed to our local Walmart - they really had the best toy prices. She was ready to go and to direct me masterfully to the toy section!



 Once there was the "decisions, decisions time". It was so cute and fun, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her running through the isles: "Mami, look at this! and this! and that!..... The Disney princesses have so much stuff out there it is amazing. You tell me something you like and I can find it for you! From lamps, to even battery operated cars! Unfortunately we did not find the Cinderella stuff we thought of buying, but we did find Sleeping Beauty magic mirror: Mirror mirror on the wall, tell me who is the most beautiful of all.... and by the way tell me which toy to get because there are so many options!



So we looked at bikes- she did like this one a lot, but it is very similar to her current bike and she will have to wait until the spring to ride it.



Hula Hoops- hmmm a little too difficult




Hello Kitty stuff - cool, but remember clothes do not count!



We also found a Tinker Bell guitar!ha ha! great find - we did get this one. She likes music a lot so I think we will give it a go.

and finally we saw it... the toy... the one... the needed... the wanted... (the oh dear it is so big and heavy, that maim cannot carry it, let alone put it on the cart!!) She looked, and looked and skillfully told me all the features it has, that it comes with 50 pieces, that it is 3 foot tall (well I could guessed that by the side of the box!), that dolls were not included (hint with a "remember to buy the dolls" smile) . So we were done! mission accomplished, we do have her birthday present: The Disney Princesses Ultimate Dream Castle!!!



#DisneyPrincessWMT
I hope she enjoys playing with it as much as I enjoyed shopping it with her!

BTW, I may still buy that Cinderella carriage at walmart.com  and will wrap it up for Christmas! I also took many more pictures and put them in google+ - curious? click here.


  “I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™and Disney Consumer Products, Inc #CBias #SocialFabric - all comments are my own.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Zumba Wii game - I can't wait.....

I was told today by my Zumba instructor that there is a new Wii game for Zumba that targets your core (read abs... awesome!) I came home rushing and found it online. It could not come at a better time as winter is almost here and it is getting really cold to walk in the mornings.

Last year I danced a few pounds off with the Zumba 2 Wii and I was about to do the whole things again. Instead, I am buying the new one this weekend as an early Christmas present to moi!

Here are some links to some Zumba games in different platforms - I hope you like them too!



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Día de los Muertos



El Día de los Muertos on November 1st and 2nd is celebrated in a few Latino American countries. I have been looking at some really cool photos, videos and altars and got inspired to have my own make up celebration. So Happy Día de los muertos everyone!


Want to do the make up yourself?

You will need some face painting colors, including black and white, a fine brush, a nice mirror and some flowers.

Start by painting your face white leaving empty circles around your eyes.



Fill the eye circles with a color that you like - I chose blue.



Do a ring of contrasting color around the main circle (pink) and with a fine brush, draw lots of black petals around them.

With the same black, draw a mouth (straight line across your face with a few horizontal lines across your lips to represent teeth). Do also nice black swirls anywhere you like.



Decorate the rest of your face with flowers, hearts, dots and swirls in fun vibrant colors.





Wear your hair to your liking but do not forget to put some nice flowers around your hairdo!



You are done!

Here are some face painting ideas and colors for you. Click on image for details:

Easiest ghost mini cupcakes ever!!! works on mini muffins too!





These are by far the easiest Halloween inspired cupcakes ever! you can  make these little ghosts in no time at all. Kids love them and they look fantastic!!! don't you agree?

Ingredients:

  • mini cupcakes or mini muffins - I got chocolate chip mini muffins this time
  • whipped cream in a can like Reddi Wip
  • chocolate chips

Directions:

Take a mini cupcake and with the can of whipped cream do a swirl in the shape of a cone. Put chocolate chips for eyes. Add an extra one for a mouth if you like (I prefer to do just eyes). That is it! I said it was easy no?








The ghost do look lovely on a cake stand or a cupcake stand. Here are a few options I found that are lovely. Click on the image to learn more.



If you decide to make your own cupcakes and need to carry them to a different location, make sure you have a nice cupcake carrier so they do not get ruined. Do not decorate the ghosts until you are ready to display then as the whipped cream will go flat during transportation.

Here are some carriers I found that will do the job nicely for you - click images for details.



Happy decorating!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Easy Measurement and Oven Conversions for International Recipes

As a Venezuelan who used to live in the UK and currently lives in the US, I have lost count on how many times I have had to translate and convert measures on recipes and food packaging alike! My mother will give me recipes in liters, but my measuring cups are in oz. I share recipes with my cousins back home and they do not get it when I say: "use 1/2 lb of meat" and don't even talk to me about oven temperatures! Celsius or Fahrenheit?  if your recipe and your oven do not agree on that answer you need to convert once more. So I decided to write this post  to help all of you out there that like me struggle with recipes from all over the world!

Oven Conversions


Liquid Measures Conversions

Dry Measures Conversions

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to make the easiest fancy flip flops and ponytails




Last week my daughter and I spend some time making fancy flip flops and a ponytail for her gymnastic uniform. The ladies at the parent association do them every year. It is so easy, fun and cheap- You can do it all for less than $5. So here it is - a fun project to do with your girls!

Materials:

  • Pair of cheap flip flops
  • Pieces of cloth ribbon in different colors - cut approximately to 8 inches long
  • 1 ponytail band

Cut the ribbons or pieces of materials so they are about 8 inches long. 



Take one ribbon and place it on the flip flop with a double knot. 




Do the same with all the other ribbons, following your design of choice until the whole flip flop is covered. Do the same for the other flip flop.



To make the ponytail, tie the ribbon to the ponytail holder with a double knot too. Put as many ribbons as you like.







That is it! simple ha!
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