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!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Easy and Cheap Halloween Games

If you are like me and like to volunteer at your kids' school then you are probably busy right now trying to figure out what to do for their Halloween party. For the last 4 years I have been helping to organize such Halloween parties. I wanted to share with you some of the most fun and easiest games that we have done. Also, these games are very cheap to put together.

Mr. and Mrs. S. K. Leton:



These game is a race between two teams. The objective is to build Mr. or Mrs. S. K. Leton  skeleton as fast as they can. The team who finishes first wins!

What do you need:

  • 2 boards
  • 2 cardboard skeletons with movable bones (check your dollar store!)
  • velcro tape

To build the game, trace the skeleton shape on the board - make them fun (running, dancing). Name each skeleton as Mr. and Mrs. S.K. Leton. 



Separate the bones in the skeletons 



and put a piece or two of velcro tape in the back of the bone and on the board so the kids can stick the bone on the boards (almost like put the tail on the donkey game). 




Do the same with all bones. Keep Mr and Mrs. S. K. Leton bones separated!

To play, divide the kids into two teams. Give each team and set of bones and a board and ask them to build the skeletons.





 Scary Eyes Race


This game is a race in between two teams. It is a relay race carrying "eyes" on "scary plates". It really is a twist on the traditional "Egg in a spoon race".

What do you need:

  • Two ping pong balls
  • 2 white paper plates
  • Markers
To build the game, simply paint some eyes (or spiders) on the ping pong balls and the plates. To paint eyes, I start making 3 small circles inside a big one in the eye color of your choice. Fill in the eye leaving the inside of the 3 small circles white. With a black marker, colored the outside of the circle. With a red marker do veins coming out of the eye. 





To paint a spider, paint one big black circle next to a small one and make 4 lines on each side of the big circle for legs.



To play the game, divide the kids into two teams of equal number of children. Give a plate and one ball to the first kid on each team. The kid needs to run to the other side of the room  and back  while balancing the eye on the plate. Once he gets back, he needs to give the plate and eye to his team mate without dropping it. The next kids does the same thing. The first team to finish wins.



Halloween Toss and Pass:



This game's objective is to pass a small ball from bucket to bucket with our dropping it.

What do you need:
  • 2 Halloween themed plastic or metal buckets
  • Small plastic balls

To play the game, you divide the kids into two teams and ask them to stand in two lines in front of each other. Give each team a bucket. Place a ball inside the bucket. The child with the bucket and ball, tosses the ball to the other kid with a bucket using only the bucket. Once he throws it and the next kid catches it. He gives the bucket to the kid next to him. Now the ball will be toss to this kid. The bucket and ball keeps being tossed  and passed until all kids have a go.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Who inspires you to be a caring mother?

I never truly understood nor did I appreciate my mom as much as I do since the day I became a mother myself. Do not get me wrong, I have always had an unmeasurable love for my mother but I only truly got to understand the things she did for me once I was a mom too. Suddenly all the advise, the things she said, the parties she did not let me go to, the boys she did not want me to date.... it all suddenly made sense! Did that happen to you?

I was asked a question recently about what or who is my inspiration to be a better mom, a caring mom? and I did not have to think for more than 2 seconds. My own mother is my inspiration. She is an amazing woman and she is the reason I am who I am. Throughout the years while I was growing up, she kept me safe and healthy. She gave me a great education and most important of all she made my life happy! we had a lot of fun together (still do).

My mum and I grew up as a team - She got divorced while I was still a baby and she did not have any more children. She dedicated her life to me. She had to work several jobs to give me all the things I needed and even when she was at her busiest she always had time for me. She protected me and over protected me at times, and I know get it. I was all she had! If I was her I would have done the same.

I consider myself a caring mother. I am always making sure the kids are fed, and properly dressed for the weather. I make them chicken soup and comfort and spoil them when they are sick. I sing to their boo boo's (sana, sana culito de rana, si no sana hoy sanará mañana!) and I know I do all of this, because my mom did it for me and it felt so good!

So when I heard about Johnson & Johnson programs to help mothers and kids around the world I was touched and I want to help them spread the voice - mother to mother, just like my mom inspired me. They are calling their initiatives the global motherhood! You can learn more about what they are doing here. Maybe we can inspire other mothers to also spread the voice and use our social media outlets to raise awareness about these programs.

For my fellow bloggers that are lucky enough to be at LATISM 2012, you can also visit Johnson & Johnson booth at the Arboretum suite II.

These photos represent a few of the many programs supported by Johnson & Johnson and its partner organizations to serve the health and well-being needs of communities and people around the world.   To read more about these programs and others that help us care for those in need, please visit their website: http://www.jnj.com/connect/caring/.”
This post was compensated and done in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions are my own.

Friday, October 5, 2012

It is never too early to talk to your daughter about self steem, confidence and inner beauty

About a couple of weeks ago I was packing lunch for my daughter to take to her gymnastic class. As we do every Saturday, I try to pack something healthy, something fun and something she really likes as a treat. Usually this treat is a pack of Nori (yes the seaweed sushi wrappers), she really loves them! But this time she told me not to put it on her bag.

I was surprised as she loves this stuff and asked why did she not wanted it. She quickly told me that it is not that she did not like it, but that some of her girlfriends thought it was weird and they all go "UGHHHH how can you eat that?". I was in shock! I did not realized peer pressure and worry about what others think of you will strike at such an early age. She is only 6.

I did not know how to react, I explained to her that it was OK to have different tastes and that she was lucky to have been exposed to different types of food at such an early age and that it was OK if others did not like it, as long as she liked it, that was all that matter. I was not sure she got any of it. I took the Nori in the car, just in case she changed her mind. She didn't.

Ever since that day I have been paying attention, because it is not only the food, but it is also what she wears that have to be "friend approved" these days. And it has made me realized how many things she loves she may end up stopping from doing, just so she is not judged or criticized by others.

I have been thinking a lot about my own childhood and my mother's ever helpful words of advise. My mother always made me feel like a star. She was encouraging and ever supportive. She has always been a fan - no matter what I was doing. She told me I was special everyday and how thankful we were to have each other. She taught me to look inside of people for beauty and not outside. Her always praising attitude made me into a confident girl and woman. I want to do the same for my baby.

So no matter how old your girls are, you should always praise them and encourage them to be the best they can be. We can teach them to "look beyond the looks" and get to know the people they encounter in their lives without judging external appearances. We are all different and unique and without all the beautiful qualities we all have the world will not be the same.

I have been talking to my daughter a lot more about being comfortable with herself and with what she likes. I have been telling her that I love her no matter what - even if she eats funny sushi, in fact I told her I love her more just because of that! Hopefully it will help to give her the sense of security she needs to love herself.

My motivation to write this post and to share this story with you came from the great work the people at Dove has been doing about inner beauty. It saddens me to know that there are girls being bullied because they do not look perfect. Dove wants to encourage moms and bloggers and women to start a conversation with our girls, to let them know they are beautiful and that we love them. I am doing just that! do you want to start your own conversation?


Here is why we need to start talking! 72% of girls ages 10 -17 feel pressure to be beautiful and only 11% are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves. More the 60% of girls that do not feel good about themselves avoid doing normal activities like going to school or giving their opinions.

We can all help, particularly us mothers. About 66% of the American girls say their mothers are the number 1 female role model. So it all starts with us. We also need to feel good about ourselves!

This weekend is the 3rd annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend themed "Let's Talk". Please help Dove during this wonderful campaign to start a conversation. Girls are listening, we just need to start talking! 

For more information on the Dove Campaign "Hablemos" or "Let's Talk" please click here (Spanish link) or on the sites: ViveMejor  (Spanish Link) or Making Life Better (English Link)

This post was compensated and done in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions are my own.
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