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Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Very First Blog Award!

I woke up pretty tired today. Lately I've been going to bed late - so much to read, so little time. Morning shot of caffeine - check. Latest news on MSN - check.
"At least the sun is shining", I thought.
I typed in Smart Pumpkin Patch just to check if it's still there. LOL. "A couple of new followers! Cool!" I scrolled down to see if I had any new comments... "It seems like people can relate to my wedding disaster with the baby-sitter..."
I read a little further...
"...Oh! I gave you a One Lovely Blog Award. Stop by and claim it!!" Blog award? My very-very first blog award?! Yay!! I did something right!
Who gave it to me? Samantha Gianulis from Samanthics. Samantha is a mom blogger who loves to cook. She is a domestic diva. Check out her blog for amazingly easy and delicious recipes. I confess, I am stalking her blog. LOL. I can't get enough of it.

Thank you, Samantha! You made my day!

There are some rules that come with receiving One Lovely Blog Award.

Claim your award.

Post it on your blog along with the name of the person who gave it to you linking it to the person's blog.

Pass on the award to 15 newly discovered blogs that you find...well...lovely. :)

Don't forget to contact the recipients.

Okay, people. It wasn't easy. I read so many blogs. These are the freshest ones. Drums, please...The One Lovely Blog Award goes to....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mommy's Bootcamp: How to Deal with Cellulite

I don't know how about you but one of my worst fears is cellulite. It just happens to be in my genes. My mom has it, my grandma has it, my great- and great-great grandmas had it too, I am sure. Not fair! Maybe that is why I especially enjoy those pictures of hottest celebrities in their bikinis with cottage cheese thighs in People magazine. I know, I know... It is wrong, but it does make me feel better knowing that those rich and famous with personal trainers and chefs have what I have - cellulite that is(minus the trainers and chefs, of course)!

I tried creams and gels... I don't care what they promise but none of them gets rid of cellulite. Yes, they do smell nice and yes, they do make your skin soft but that is as far as they go.

O.K. Here is the moment of truth. There is NOTHING that will get rid of cellulite! BUT, the good news is, there are some things that will help you to camouflage it.

  1. Drink a lot of water. That's an old one. At least 8 glasses (8ounces each). Water helps hydrating the cells so they look nice and plump and less orange-peely. I am bad at this.

  2. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid junk food. Heard it thousands of times but still not doing it.

  3. Massage the areas for about 5 minutes every day. This one is not proven but can't hurt. And i do believe that by massaging we help our body to get rid of the bad stuff and break down the fat cells. Also we stimulate the blood flow to the skin which feeds it with nutrients and flushes away the wastes. It makes our skin more elastic which doesn't show the fat cells(cellulite) through as much.

  4. Brush your skin with the areas of cellulite with a course brush in the direction toward your heart before you take a shower. It is for exfoliation to keep your skin younger looking because cellulite worsens as our skin ages. It is also to provide better blood circulation for the same reasons as in the # above.

  5. And the last one - exercise! The lower is your body fat content, the less chance you give to your cellulite to poke through.

I tried a bunch of different lower body work outs myself(that's where we are facing the problem zone). If you do them enough, they all work. Last week I came across this video. I tried it once. I did not do anything extra, just what was told there. for the next three days I could barely walk. Seriously. I usually experience some "good" pain 24 hours later. but this was THE BURN. In a very satisfying way. Even though the video is for mean and lean legs, I felt some muscles in my BUTT and that I didn't know I had. Some in my inner thighs. Maybe my legs were already mean. LOL.

You have to do high repetitions which also works as your cardio( I was sweating, huffing and puffing) which means you will burn a lot of calories. Don't make take long breaks in between the sets and keep your water bottle handy. I promise, it works!

It is summer and I was thinking that maybe we should share some wisdom a little. I can't wait to hear some of your tips!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

6 Reasons Why You Should Not Bring Your Child to a Wedding

Last Sunday we were honored to witness my cousin's exchanging of the marriage vows. It was an outdoor wedding with a Cinderella ball kind of reception. The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, the newlyweds were happy and nervous at the same time which is understood. Everything was like a fairy tale. Everything except for one thing: our baby-sitter bailed on us 4 days before the big day!
Never, oh never bring kids to a formal evening event! There are good reasons for that.
I had no other choice...

  1. Since it was an evening affair it meant that outfits had to be evening (fanciest, the most glamorous) too. Children included. So, here we are, parents. Pony up big bucks for an outfit that your Junior will wear once in his/her lifetime. Children have a tendency to grow, you know.

  2. Maybe it is just me, but I don't think it is right for kids to sit at the same table where adults are drinking liquor. We all know that it is normal and unavoidable. Just not for children.

  3. At the wedding we went to a live band was playing. The music was unbelievably loud even for my beat up concert going ears. Pumpkin was holding hands over her ears first 15-20 minutes. Didn't look good. And I was also concerned about her ear drums.

  4. No matter how much fun it is for you to attend such a special event, children get bored and tired(embrace yourself for a possible tantrum). The latter is closely followed by #5.

  5. Even a child with exceptional table manners is accident-prone which might result in the end of your red carpet style gown.

  6. Be ready to call it a night early. In my case, when all the guests started dancing Pumpkin decided that it was time to go to sing a lullaby. And that was just what we did.

Don't make me start on picky eaters, introverts, and potty trainees!

Leave your dearest little ones at home and enjoy some life a little, moms and dads. If you are dying to show of your kids to the crowd of your relatives and friends, trust me, it is not the time. You might end up embarrassing yourself and traumatizing your kiddos. There will be plenty of opportunities for them to attend an adult event later on in life when they are ready.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Math Made Easy!

Once upon a time I was web surfing and came across an interesting method of teaching mathematics to young children. I thought it was interesting. My report is right here, true and honest. :)
This method makes children think of numbers in terms of five. Confusing? Stay with me.

What you will need

1) 2 Tables like this:

Take construction paper or even better cardboard. Draw 2 table with 2 columns and 5 rows. Then cut them out. If you are computer savvy use a program to design them and print afterwards. Cut them out.

2) 20 (plus more extra ones in case you loose some) pawns. You can use them from an old board game but they should be all identical. I cut out squares out of colored construction paper.

That is all you need! How easy is that!

What to do

First, put 1 table in front of your child and let him/her count the rectangles/squares(depends what you have there) in each column. Now the child knows that each one has 5. Show him/her the pawns and ask to show you how number 5 will look on this table by covering each rectangle with a pawn(if your child is a very early beginner start with 1, then 2 and so on). There is one rule though: cover the spaces starting with the left column from the bottom up. Makes sense, right? This should look like this.

Next, ask your child to cover all the rest of the table, starting again from the bottom up. This is how it is going to look.

Count together all the covered spaces. 10! Now he/she sees( and you make sure about that!) that 5 and 5 make 10. This is the easy step. Children usually know about it already from counting fingers: 2 hands=10 fingers.

After your child understood the concept ask him/her to show you how number 6 would look. And again: start from the bottom up. that is the main rule. That is how it should look.

Then - number 8.

Point out to your child that 8 is 5 and 3 and 6 is 5 and 1.
You have 8 covered spaces on your table. Ask how many pawns are need to be removed to get 5 again. The answer you hear is 3. Instruct to remove 3 pawns.
You can practice simple addition and subtraction on 1 table till the child is confident. Then, move on to a second table. Cover 11, 12, etc spaces with the pawns till you reach 15. Draw your child's attention to the fact that 5+5+5=15. Last, do 16...and up to 20. You got the idea.

I tried this method with Pumpkin and we both loved it. She really did have fun. It is almost like playing a board game! And it worked too. It is visual which is important in math concepts and logical as well.
Give it a shot and let me know how it worked out for you.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Hey, everybody! I am extremely excited that you decided to stop by and check out my blog! This is my first blog hop and I love it. I absolutely enjoy reading other blogs and learning new things.

I am a SAHM to a wonderful 4 year old girl who is my inspiration to starting this blog and a lot more in life. I share my ideas on insertion of developmental and educational methods into everyday lives of average families just like mine. I think that the foundational values and skills start from the family that is why I pay so much attention to that.

I also think that very often women after they become mothers forget about themselves and in my blog, I hope, I am helping them to stay fit, healthy, look and feel great by discussing fitness, beauty and healthy eating issues.

Thank you for "meeting" my blog. Feel free to follow me. :)


MckLinky Blog Hop

Patriotic Awareness

Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own. ~Seneca
If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag. ~Author Unknown
A man's feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.
George Santayan

The Independence Day is already here. The cities are getting ready for annual parades, and families are gathering for the biggest cookouts of the year. National colors - red, blue and white - can be seen everywhere: from the shopping windows of big department stores to little decorations on babies' onesies.

What is the 4th of July for us? What is it for our children?

The Independence Day is one of the most patriotic holidays in the United States of America. We adults do know that from many years of life experience. Do we feel patriotic? Do we pass our patriotism on to the next generation?
Patriotism is a love for and devotion to one's country. Being a patriot is being loyal, supportive and proud of your country and where you came from. That's exactly how I feel when I watch the Olympic Games on TV. I feel patriotic!
To avoid our kids' association of 4th of July with hot dogs and summer store wide sales we need to go back to the source - history. Tell your children how it all started and when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress( on July 4th, 1776). Younger children will enjoy celebrating the Birthday of our country. Explain that that is why we have parades and fireworks, cookouts and concerts on-the-green to celebrate it. And just like birthdays we celebrate it once a year.

This is a good time to check out the original Declaration of Independence which you can see on line now: ; ;

Even if your children will not remember all of the details they will still get that sense of importance that radiates from seeing the historic document with their own eyes. There is a large number of books dedicated to this holiday. Go to your local library and pick a couple ones out to reinforce the concept of the Independence Day through reading some picture books about the holiday itself and the country's history, traditions and customs.

Here are some you might like.

You can also have a talk about the symbolism of the American flag. Afterwards make an ice cream cake decorated like the flag with whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries. Your young patriots will work it down with delight.
Decorate your house with little flags, bake star-shaped cookies, glaze them and add some red and blue sprinkles. Make your own parade-on-the block attended by your neighbors' children. Do some coloring pages, announce a competition for the best sidewalk chalk art. The possibilities are endless.
I think patriotism is like charity -- it begins at home.
Henry Jamesa I cannot agree more with it. It is up to us, parents to raise proud citizens of our country. Enjoy your cheeseburgers and hot dogs but don't forget who we are!

Happy 4th of July!