Thursday, 30 August 2012

BANANA PEEL TO WHITEN TEETH

Nature has it all! 

I have recently come across with the picture below and it made me think once again that it could be possible and it could be this easy. Has anyone tried it before or is anyone planning to give it a go? 


whitening teeth



Wednesday, 29 August 2012

TIPS FOR CLEANING IRONS

Here are some suggestions for you to use if your iron has some melted fabric on it.
  • Heat the iron at low setting just until material softens, rub using a paste made using baking soda and water. Wipe off with damp cloth.
  • Salt on damp cloth, soapy water and a nylon scourer. 
  • Vinegar and bicarb soda
  • Oven cleaner and lots of gentle rubbing using a clean cloth

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

RECYCLED CRAFTS: An Egg Carton Turned Into A Skateboard

arts and crafts for kids                               
Here in Melbourne, we have been having lots of cold days and the flu bugs are having a very successful season. We have had our share as well and it all started with Mr. Junior being unwell the other week. On the positive side, this sickness gave us a lot of opportunities to stay mostly at home and do something together. 

As a family, we try our best not to waste anything or waste as little as possible as you would know from many of my previous posts. We love the idea of using the unwanted rather than wasting and here is another example of what recycled craft Mr. Junior did with my help using an egg palate. Just as a dip-note, we made a skateboard (Mr. Junior is very much into scooters and skateboards this year), a bookmark, a turtle (or does it look more like a snail?) and a finger puppet using the same palate. We still have so much more egg carton left for more for later!

yumurta kartonuThis tutorial is visual and the step-by-step instructions hidden in pictures explain it all. I will only list the materials and then leave you with the pictures!
a craft idea
Materials used:
  • an egg carton
  • a pair of scissors
  • glue
  • sticky tape
  • 4 bottle caps
  • some tissues (to be stuffed in bottle caps)
  • a disposable wooden chopstick (to be broken into two)
  • a piece of decorating paper for decorative purposes(we used an old colouring book's cover page) (optional)
egg carton


DIY scooter

oyuncak scooter

recycling chopsticks

repurposed chopsticks



crafts for kids












preschooler crafts
repurposed egg carton




Do something fun today!



Monday, 27 August 2012

Friday, 24 August 2012

UPCYCLED FRAME JEWELLERY HOLDER


      recycling ideas

Here is an idea to utilise your unwanted frame beautifully. The materials needed are a frame of your choice, some wood to fit in the frame, some spools, a power drill to put the spools in place, a piece of fabric to please your taste to cover the wood with, a stapler gun or a hot gun glue and some nails. 

This site here has all the instructions for this tutorial. 

DIY jewellery holder
Enjoy!


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

GUEST POST: 6 Ways to Stimulate - Not Stifle- Your Child's Curiosity

This entry comes from Tara Spenser who is currently the resident writer for http://www.workingcapital.org/, where she researches the most affordable working capital needs available. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, swimming and being a mom. 

***

Babies are born curious.  It’s miraculous and, unfortunately, fleeting for most.  
Sir Ken Robinson, in his video (http://www.wimp.com/educationparadigmsChanging Education Paradigms, talks about divergent thinking, which isn’t the same as creativity.  If creativity is “the process of having original ideas which have value,” then divergent thinking is “an essential capacity for creativity.  It’s the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question.”  In an example, Robinson says a creative person might come up with 15 uses for a paperclip, but a divergent thinker can come up with 200 by asking questions like, “Can the paperclip be 200 feet tall and made of foam rubber?” 

A study published in Breakpoint and Beyond tested 1,500 kindergarten children in divergent thinking.  A whopping 98% of them scored at genius levels!  The same children were tested five years later, and again five more years later, and each time, their scores dropped dramatically. 
There are steps you can take as a parent or teacher to encourage a lifelong thirst for ideas that will benefit the child and, one day, the world.

Lead by example and show curiosity.  Go outdoors and wonder aloud at the trees, the stars, the clouds, the smells coming from bakeries and restaurants, the patterns of roof tiles in houses you pass.  Your child will see that curiosity and wonder are traits you share and will feel encouraged to be curious, herself.
Follow your child’s lead by encouraging her natural interests.  If your child enjoys music, fill the car and the house with it and take her to free concerts and gigs.
Use open-ended questions.  “Yes” and “no” can get boring.  Instead of asking, “Did you have fun?” try instead, “What did you do that was fun today?” or “How do you feel about going to the park?”
Redirect curiosity when it’s not convenient for you.  If your child loves looking at bugs in the mud, change her out of her nice clothing and let her do it in secondhand gear.  If she loves the potted plants but has trouble keeping them upright, show her how to treat the leaves tenderly.  If she loves spilling drinks from the table, give her cups of water to overturn in the bathtub.  The point is to encourage curiosity without prohibiting curious behavior.
Ask “What do you think?” before answering questions.  This encourages your child to be an independent thinker rather than to depend solely on others for information.  This initiative will become increasingly important with age.  Asking what she thinks before answering can also help you to answer the question in an age-appropriate manner.
Be okay with not knowing the answer.  This can teach humility and the initiative to pursue answers from other sources, like the library, other people, or the Internet.  Just be sure to follow up on unanswered questions together.  Write them down with your child to encourage persistence. 

For more on curiosity in children, take a look at http://www.ted.com/conversations/1535/why_kids_lose_curiosity_in_the.html what TEDsters are saying.  TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a global set of conferences aimed at disseminating “ideas worth spreading.”  (Check out TED Talks on Netflix or Hulu; they’re fascinating.)  One well-informed user in a thread about childhood curiosity brings up the recent research on adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus (which transfers short term into long term memory).  This system breaks down naturally with age, but some researchers believe that as an event seems less likely to occur (something learned with time), the brain has less incentive to be curious.

Monday, 20 August 2012

FOOD DESIGN (6)

fruit dishes

How simple yet stunning is this design? Well done to the person behind it!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...(33)?

Photo Credit
Only female bees have stingers. In other words, only female bees sting.


Friday, 17 August 2012

VINEGAR FOR SILVER

You can polish your silver with white vinegar. Make a mixture with half a cup of vinegar and two spoonfuls of sodium bicarbonate and leave your silver items in them for a few hours before you rinse them with water and polish them with some soft piece of cloth.
Polishing silver with vinegar

Thursday, 16 August 2012

BRUSSEL SPROUTS INFORMATION AND RECIPE

fruit and vegetables

Last week, I received a family fruit and vegie box from Aussie Farmers Direct and boy, I was impressed! It was a perfect size for our family and the variety in the box was quite impressive. They looked fabulous, smelled delicious, and felt wonderful! Seeing Mr. Junior so excited about the box full of surprises was a priceless bonus! 

When the box arrived, we were about to have our dinner and there wasn't any time to make anything using the newly arrived treasures, so I had to wait despite my impatience. However, the next day, I couldn't resist the huge inspiration and urge to make something with them even though we had enough leftovers for dinner that day. I first thought of a broccoli salad as the whole family loves it but soon, the brussel sprouts somehow beat the broccoli and ended up in my hands ready to be used even before I noticed it. 

Using the recipe a friend of mine has given me, I made a brussel sprout salad full of goodness and colour! Before I move onto the health benefits of brussel sprouts and my tasty recipe, let me briefly introduce you Aussie Farmers Direct using their own words:
_____________________________________________________________________
Aussie Farmers Direct | Fresh Fruit, Veg, Meat & Groceries Home Delivered.
Aussie Farmers Direct is an independently owned, multiple award winning, home delivery food business that sources fresh 100% Australian owned, grown and produced food, and delivers it direct to more than 130,000 households across six states of Australia.

Save time and money by shopping online with Aussie Farmers Direct and enjoy quality groceries, fruit & vegetables, organic produce, meat and dairy delivered direct to your door.

Join today and choose from one of our Special Introductory Offers!: AussieFarmers.com.au


Useful Information on Brussel Sprouts:

Brussel sprouts
  • supply high levels of Vitamin C
  • has cancer-inhibiting potential similar to -or according to some research results, even higher than- cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables (eg. broccoli and cauliflower)
  • is considered to be an immune system booster
  • is rich in folate (folic acid), potassium, and Vit K
  • has some beta-carotene (precursor to Vit A).
  • provide some cholesterol-lowering benefits if steamed. 
  • are low in fat and sodium
  • are high in dietary fiber
  • are high in protein
It is also claimed that they may have some role in DNA protection.

It is recommended that to benefit from brussel sprouts (and cruciferous vegetables in general), they should be consumed at least 2-3 times a week (serving size at least 1-1/2 cups).


Cooking and Preparation Tips:

bruksel lahanasi

Remove stems and any discoloured leaves and wash them. You may even leave them in cold water for a bit to remove any insects that may reside in the inner leaves. 

Some people prefer to cook them whole. However, to cook them quickly and evenly, I suggest you cut them in half, cut them in quarters or just cut an X in the bottom of the stem before cooking. 

Steaming is claimed to be the healthiest way to cook them. However, I often boil but if you decide to boil too, plan ahead and make sure you don't waste the water. I generally add it to a soup that I cook afterwards. 

Don't over cook them as it changes the texture and the nutritional values of them. 

BRUSSEL SPROUT SALAD RECIPE

bruksel lahanasi salatasi
Ingredients:
Brussel sprouts (cut in half or quarters)
Chopped parsley
Chopped dill (optional)
Red capsicum 
Lemon juice to taste 
Olive oil
Chilli flakes to taste
Black pepper (optional)
Salt 

Method: 
Boil the brussel sprouts and let it cool for a little while. Once warm or cold, add the rest of the ingredients and in less than 10 minutes, voila! Your salad is ready! Best served when cool. 


fresh produce


Enjoy something fresh today!





Wednesday, 15 August 2012

HANDMADE BOOKS

Handmade colour book
Source: http://homegrownhappy.blogspot.com.au/2009/10/babys-soft-book-of-colors.html
What a wonderful idea to make something special for your little one (or as a gift) with your small pieces of fabric scraps! Waste not, want not!

Colour color book
Source: http://www.craftinessisnotoptional.com/2009/10/soft-color-book.html
DIY baby book
Source: http://www.craftinessisnotoptional.com/2009/10/soft-color-book.html
Click here for a free tutorial on how to make a handmade colour book from fabric scraps.

Monday, 13 August 2012

MR. JUNIOR's CLASSIC MUSIC LOVE SECRET


Mr. Junior and I have different tastes in music at times. However, we have a system running smoothly in our lives. On the way to his early learning centre, we listen to 'his music', and on the way back home, we listen to 'my music'.

His type of music is hard to name as he is generally pretty particular about what he likes and it is hard to guess what he will say yes to especially while listening to the radio. It is perhaps mostly pop music but not the very loud or the busy ones and I am  happy with it as well. However, I also enjoy variety and I try to expose my children to it too. That's why I thought it would be great to find a way to offer some opportunities to my children to have a taste of other music types too rather than the only ones they like.

Music doesn't actually have a big role in my life to be honest but when I do listen to it, I often prefer some calming type of music such as classic music or jazz unless I am happy to sing along or dance and that's when we both enjoy similar types of music (for example, we both enjoy listening to'The lion sleeps tonight' over and over and we both like to jump around and dance to it).

My love of classic and instrumental music in general began when I was at highschool when one of my brothers gifted a Mozart CD to me and later on took me to a great concert. A good friend of mine is also a ballet dancer and hanging around with her for quite a few years too helped, I assume.

Here is what worked really well for us: Use of imagination. It wasn't very hard to come up with this solution as I am still to this date doing this regardless of I mean to or not. I just can't help thinking of possible dance moves or a story that goes with the music I am listening. Recently, I turned on 'my music' in the car again and asked Mr. Junior what he thought was happening/what story it was telling as he listened to it. He was perplexed and asked me what I thought it was about. I started sharing with him what I thought the story was. As the tunes changed, the moves changed too. He loved it!!! He loved my stories and he started imagining also. He still prefers me to tell him a story that goes with the music rather than him sharing one with me but, hey, this little game gave us something unique to share, an opportunity to let go of our limits and let our imagination go wild and also the love of classic music.

Since that day, he LOVES classic music and the stories that we come up with. At times lions jump out of nowhere and run wild until they find a puddle and then they start jumping on it, sometimes it is the kids hiding from some other kids and going on their tippy toes, or someone trying to sleep but it is not working because he has some brilliant ideas that just came to mind and made him too excited. He gets up and writes the ideas down before he relaxes and goes back to bed etc.

I believe that every time he listens to classic music even as an adult in the future, he will remember our little stories and who knows, may be one day, this may be how he will help his children to enjoy a certain type of music when he is a parent!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

DID YOU KNOW ... (32)?

red lights

The average person spends 2 weeks of their life waiting for a traffic light to change.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

DIY CUPCAKE HOLDER FROM A CUP

Another brilliant idea from another person (unfortunately, I have been unable to find the original owner of this wonderful design). It is so easy, smart, unique and looks fabulous! You can use some unwanted cups and plates and turn them into stunning cupcake holders!

Handmade cupcake holder

Do something imaginative today!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

TEACHING KIDS INDEPENDENCE

Here is a video that teaches kids how to put their jackets on by themselves. It is a good idea to teach kids age appropriate life skills from very young ages. It will not only help them throughout their lives, but it will also improve their confidence as individuals. The video below has simple audio-visual instructions.


Briefly, the instructions are as follows:
  1. jacket is placed on the floor upside down
  2. arms in
  3. flip





Monday, 6 August 2012

AUDIO RECORDING IN LANGUAGE LEARNING

If you are a learner of a language that is not your mother-tongue, this is a pretty effective way to spot your strengths and weaknesses and build on them. You can also see your progress in certain ares and aspects of the language such as reading and speaking easier using this tool. Here is what you need to do:

Record yourself, especially your voice. Even though video recording is beneficial in certain areas, for this activity, I would prefer only an audio recording to eliminate the risks of being distracted with other things such as the way you look or act while talking.

While doing some self-study, just turn on your voice recorder and start reading out loud or pretend to be giving a presentation or a speech. Don't record yourself for more than 10 minutes. It should be only for a few minutes at a time to be able to pay extensive attention to details while listening to yourself. Listen to yourself  again and again and see what you can spot: Any grammatical errors? How is your vocabulary, pronunciation, stress and intonation? Do you have some fluency issues? etc. Your own judgement would be limited but still very helpful.

If you have the luxury of having a teacher, a friend or a family member who is competent in your target language within your reach, see what they think of your recorded piece too. Their feedback is likely to be very valuable and help you improve your language skills. You may even leave it for a while and go back to it later on and you may be surprised how much of a difference you see in your current skills compared to the ones that were recorded at the time or that you may be able to analyse your own language skills better.

Do something to better yourself today.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

FUN ARTWORK IDEA

fun artwork


Brilliant idea! To make something like this, all you need to do is to mix some food colouring to your bubble mixture and let your child blow them onto paper where they pop. This is fun and functional as you can actually use your/your child's own uniquely designed paper using this method for your gift wrapping or as a wall art!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...(31)?

snow
Photo Credit
Most of snow is air and that is why a melted snowball makes a tiny puddle.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

VINEGAR AS A SINK AND BATH TUB CLEANER

Mix half a cup of sodium bicarbonate with a glass of vinegar. Use it to clean your sink and bath tub. After that, pour some hot water on it and wait a few minutes before pouring some cold water on it.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

TUTORIAL: Recycling Glass and Glass Cutting


This video shows how to cut a bottle using nail polish remover.

... and this video is a tutorial on how to make recycled glass cup at home.