Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Candy Bouquet For Teacher's Day Or Any Occasion

Candy bouquet with chocolates

This is my candy bouquet for Teacher's Day.

Teacher's Day rolled by and I figured I wanted to give something nice to my son's kindy teachers coz' they're really nice. They are dedicated teachers and I like how they are always smiling. That's a tough thing to do when you have to deal with so many young cheeky kids. Plus my son loves going to school there and it is because of the warm environment they've created that makes it conducive for them to learn.

Anyway, I decided to do this candy bouquet last minute. So I scrounged around for stuff and I had what I needed: satay sticks, colored tape (ideally it should be green but I only had yellow), colored tissue paper, glass paper and ribbon. I remembered how some people put 2 Hershey Kisses together to make a rose bud, so I decided to go with that.

candy bouquet with Hershey Kisses

Around the rosebud, I wrapped the colored tissue paper. I cut the top so it looked frilly, like petals. Added some curly ribbons to make it look nicer. Used green paper to cut out the leaves and had my son write "Happy Teacher's Day" on them. The kindy only has 4 teachers so I figured I'd give 2 flowers to every teacher.

My son loved the idea and the teachers were ecstatic to receive a unique, homemade gift.
candy bouquet flowers
These flowers actually turned out better than the Mother's Day candy bouquet I made. You could make these for any occasion: Valentines' Day, birthday, anniversary etc....

You could also put it into a vase to make a centerpiece for your table.
If you want to learn how to make candy bouquets (you could even start a business doing this), check out this book by Lana Glass. She has tons of ideas and she teaches you step-by-step: How To Make Candy Bouquets For Fun & Profit

Monday, May 27, 2013

Keep Track Of Your Children's Computer Time

The school holidays are here. Only for 2 weeks but I know what's going to happen... COMPUTER MADNESS. I can bet every day my kids are going to come to me with this question "Mom, can I play the computer?" 

Well, I had computer rules a while back. Some are still being followed while others have kinda been forgotten. So, it was time to revise the computer rules.


    I've already told my kids they need to plan what they want to learn these 2 weeks. An idea would be to learn stuff they don't learn in school like music, languages, art and creative writing. It is a time to explore topics that aren't covered in school. It can also be a time to identify weaknesses and work on those (since exam results are out). Another idea is to choose what workbooks they want to work on and then create a study schedule.
    That's basically an hour every day (except Sunday). It is very timely that I came across these Technology Punch Cards Printables. It's a great way to keep track of how many hours the kids are on the computer. I told my kids that this 1 hour they have is purely for their entertainment. They can play games and watch their shows. Other online educational work I give them will not be counted in this 6 hours.
    I've already identified chores that they need to do like taking out the trash, folding clothes, keeping their room tidy, vacuuming and mopping the rooms, keeping the tables clutter free. If one chore is not done, 30 minutes will be taken away from ALL of them. This way there will be no finger pointing. They have to work as a team. It doesn't matter to me who takes out or doesn't take out the trash. All I care is that it is done!
 So, that's the plan for this school break. Do you have problems with your children using the computer excessively?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Candy Bouquet For Mother's Day

Chocolate Candy Bouquet

Okay, I know I'm a bit late in posting this. Mother's Day was a few weeks ago. However, we celebrate Mother's Day every year so this idea can still be used for next year and the years to come.

I did this candy bouquet for the sisters at church. My branch president insisted I get flowers. However, some sisters said that flowers won't last. They'll wilt even before they get home from church. They suggested chocolates instead. So, what to do? I decided to combine the two: flowers + candy. In my opinion, the money spent on this is more worth it than just buying flowers that will die.

A Chocolate Candy Flower
Of course, it took a bit of time to make all those candy flowers. Most of the time was spent cutting the paper into the right size and shape. Assembling the candy flower was not difficult at all.

My only regret in making this candy flower is not buying a better quality chocolate. Ideally, I would have gotten Ferrero Rocher but those are kinda expensive. If I was just making 6-12 flowers, I think I would have bought it but making about 30 candy flowers made me look for alternatives.

Anyway, basically all I used were satay sticks, green tape, ribbon, crepe paper and glass paper.

The first time I heard of candy bouquet was when I came across this book: How To Make Candy Bouquets For Fun & Profit. Of course my candy bouquets are not as professional looking as what is taught in the book. But if you are interested in learning how to make candy bouquets, this book is very helpful.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mom Tips for Memory Making Family Vacations

Guest post by Kendra Thornton

Photo Credit: kennymatic via Compfight cc

Family vacations are the time of year that everyone is able to relax and laugh while embarking on a great adventure together. The key? Preparation. If you take steps in advance, you can have a family vacation that creates the memories of a lifetime.

1. There are a host of fabulous options for kid-friendly vacations. You might long to visit an island paradise, or maybe a theme park adventure is what your troop desires. There are mountain cabin resorts with horseback riding and hiking trails, and some family designed cruises offer kids clubs and certified childcare services. Whatever vacation you choose, explore your options. When my family was looking for a special vacation destination, we chose the breath taking Hawaiian Islands. Since Hawaii can cater to the honeymoon crowd, we were sure to do our research to find a child-friendly resort that was still ranked amongst the best hotels in Honolulu. You will want to be certain there are plenty of opportunities for every member of the family to enjoy.

Photo Credit: peasap via Compfight cc

2. If your trip includes hours in a car, you should think about making the backseat into a kid-only zone. If you make the back seat not only comfortable but fun, the kids are more likely to enjoy the transportation aspect of their travel. Bring along favorite pillows, blankets, snuggle toys, and consider night driving. When you arrive at your destination, the driver will need a good nap, so plan for that. If one parent sleeps during the drive, they can take kids swimming or off to play in a nearby park. If you travel during daylight hours, you may want to invest in shades to block out the sun's rays and encourage napping.

3. Children are easily entertained by electronic equipment. Consider downloading audio books to a tablet or iPad, and be sure to provide earphones. Music CDs and movie DVDs are additional ideas to pair with portable devices. Hand held electronic games are another choice to consider. You may also want to think about bringing coloring books, crayons, drawing pads, and pencils. I am also so fascinated by how long my children are entertained simply with a new box of crayons! Whatever you take to lessen the “Are We There Yet’s” will be well worth the time spent planning.

4. Perhaps the most crucial tip regards motion sickness. When traveling with a child that you know is susceptible to queasiness, be prepared. Airplane ground travel to runways, flight departures, or landings usually present the greatest opportunities for upset tummies. Whether traveling by car, plane, boat, or train, let your child face forward and see out a window. Feed them something light 30 minutes prior to takeoff, and water or milk are definitely better drink choices than orange juice. You may want to look into a child approved motion sickness remedy as well. As with all new medications, talk to your child’s pediatrician beforehand.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Tips to Curb Summertime Teen Laziness

what teenage superheroes do on the weekends.
Most of us enjoy a lazy day when we can sleep in, putz around and just relax a little - and our kids are no different. However, when the dog days of summer come, some teens take that one "couch out" day and stretch it over an entire summer break. Here are some tips to combat summertime teen laziness and keep your teen active and engaged.

Communicate Expectations 

Tell your teen in a nonthreatening but firm manner that you will not accept their staying in bed all morning and afternoon. It is perfectly reasonable to ask that they get up at a decent hour. Explain that you want them to do more than merely watch TV, play video games, or visit social networking sites all day.

If your teen wants you to help pay for their summer activities, they should be willing to abide by a few summer guidelines. Set an age appropriate, specific time that you expect them to be home, based upon the level of trust they have earned. Ask them to take on a couple of extra chores during the summer to earn some pocket money. These chores could be for you or someone else, but make sure they go above and beyond the normal, everyday chores that every member of the family should be expected to do.

Get Them Engaged 

Whether you ask them to help you more around the house, participate in volunteer activities in the community, or help them get a job, you want them to be engaged in something worthwhile. Give them encouragement to help at a YMCA, children’s program, or nursing home. They may find they truly enjoy these volunteer activities and you will help them appreciate the joys of serving others that will last a lifetime.

Help them find volunteer positions by calling around to local places of worship, daycares, charities, or nursing homes. Local businesses may be hiring summer help; offer to help them find a job to earn some extra money. This will help them learn to manage money, but will also help them realize the value of their time. If they get paid by the hour, they might be less likely to fritter their time away.

Spend Family Time

Avoid giving lectures about what they should do during the summer. (Lectures, period, are ineffective with teens.) Instead, find activities that you can do with them. You don’t have to spend every waking moment with your teen, but take some time to take them shopping, go to a movie, or out for a coffee. Keep it relaxed and let your teen open up to you in their own time and way. Summertime is a great time to reconnect with your teen. Don’t let these weeks go by without taking this time to slow down and just be together.

Encourage Physical Activity

Take time to learn or play a new sport with your teen. Not only will this help your teen be more active during the summer, it’ll help you get some much needed exercise, too. Boys in particular are more likely to enjoy "side by side" activities. These are often great times to open dialogue with your son about important issues. Give tennis, swimming, cycling, or rollerblading a try. You both will benefit your health and well being.

Parents all over the country complain that their teens get lazy during the summer break. But teens, just like toddlers, need guidance, clear communication, and reminders of your expectations in order to be successful. These tips should get you well on your way. Ask your teen if there are things they’d like to accomplish before school starts, and then help them to meet those goals.

Need More Help?

Here are three guides to help you reconnect with your teen, so you can help them with the rocky road of being a teenager.

1. If you're gearing up for another summer with your teen and want to dread trying to keep them occupied, happy and out of trouble, check out School's Out for plenty of expert resources to make it a great summer.

2. Real Life Guidance to Understanding Your Teen shows you how to accept what you can and cannot control in your teen's life, how to cope with mood swings, keeping the lines of communication open.

3. Real Life Guidance to Helping Your Teen in High School includes practical suggestions to help your child find his/her identity, avoid bullies, handle peer pressure and more.

Grab them all to be armed with the easy-to-follow advice at your fingertips. They're available for instant download, which means you can get the help you need any day of the week, even if it's the middle of the night.
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