Friends Around the World

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dream Kitchen


If there's one home improvement that we would do, my priority would be our kitchen.  It is so outdated that it really need a face lift so bad.  Sometime in November, we went to a  kitchen and bathroom remodeling company here in our area to find out  how much it would cost to  renovate our  kitchen.  Upon consulting the guy in-charge and  told him what we want to do, the amount  he gave us is a staggering 40 grand.  Holy Smoke! That's almost half if the  the amount of this house is worth.  There's no way we would really pay for that!  So we modified  the design and the agent said that he would get back to us but he never did.  Maybe he realized that we can' really afford their price lol.  Oh well, at least we have  an idea now what to do with our kitchen.  Hubby said that he would try to work on improving our kitchen this year, we will  see. 

But anyway, browsing the beautiful  designs  at Danze website makes me wish that we have a much bigger bathroom at our home.  That is one wish that would probably never realized because the way this house is designed, the bathroom is too small.  That's one reason we built an additional bathroom downstairs, a bigger one.  With our 8 years of living at this house, we have updated some features in our bathroom including the   bathroom faucets, shower heads, the bath tub, and flooring.  It's better that it used to be but still not the dream bathroom that I want.  It serve the need of the family  and that's what is important.  
Anyway, if you want some inspiring designs for kitchen and bath, check out the website I mentioned above.  They do have some beautiful designs that would make you say "Wow!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mini-Golf

One of the most memorable thing that we did during our one-week getaway in Ocean City is the mini-golf at Jolly Roger amusement park.  The  whole family enjoyed  this beautifully landscape Jungle  Golf.  
It was actually more for the kids.  Hubby and I just assisted the two.  
My main thing is to capture the moments as usual.  Ironically though, all the photos I took was taken by my iPhone since the battery in my camera  decided to die on me.  I was bummed but  glad that I had my phone with me.  
My daughter said that she had so much fun celebrating her birthday  at the said  amusement park.  Hopefully we could go back there again when the kids are much older.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top Tips To Help Your Child Find A Hobby They Enjoy

An important part of being a parent is helping your children to find hobbies and activities that interest them. Helping your children to explore new activities to see what they like, is all part of helping them grow and develop into well-rounded individuals.

While children are young it can be hard to know what types of things intrigue them, and where their passions and interests lie. The key to helping them develop their own hobbies and interests comes from encouraging them to explore the things that intrigue them.

To help you aid your child in finding a hobby that they will enjoy, we have put together a handy guide below:

1. Always test the waters before making a commitment

Don’t make any sort of commitment to a hobby before your child has tried it. For example, don’t pay out for three months worth of dance lessons if your child hasn’t had a taster session and confirmed that they enjoy the activity. Otherwise, you may end up with a dance hating child and three months worth of pre-paid lessons.

If your child expresses an interest to try out a new sport or activity, find a class or session that allows them to take part in a taster session. This will allow your little one to get a feel for the activity and decide whether or not it is for them.

2. Don’t invest in equipment immediately

Don’t invest in equipment, accessories and clothing for a certain sport or activity until you are sure that your child will stick with it for the long term.

Even when your child is happy to stick at a certain hobby, only make short-term purchases. As, by the following year, your child may get bored. For example, don’t buy a musical instrument, rent it instead, buy sports gear from a discount store or it secondhand from other parents.


As well as encouraging your children to take part in team sports and other active hobbies, like dance and hiking. Make sure to open their eyes to other hobbies that they can do at home, such as art hobbies, collecting an item, such as coins or model trucks, or caring for animals, for example.

It is important that as well as taking part in hobbies with other children, that your child is also happy to find their own hobbies and activities to entertain themselves. Perhaps you could suggest that your child tries a hobby that you loved as a kid?

4. Each child has different talents

Every child will find a hobby that they love. However, this may not necessarily be the hobby you expect. Remember, every child is different and not every child is made to be a dancer, an athlete or a musician.

Each child has different talents; it is just about finding out where those talents lie. The more hobbies and activities your child tries, the more likely they are to find something they are good at and love.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine Box from Recycled Materials

My son needed a Valentine box so I helped him in making this one from recycled materials.  His teacher said to use the bottom part of the shoe box and the students can decorate  it the way they like.  We used old/used gift bags to wrap the box and some of his  old  craft /art work from previous years.  
We also prepared a  treat for his friends/classmates.  Instead of candies, we wrapped some snacks, a pack of juice and  strawberry-flavored pop tarts.  

We used  lunch bags and just decorate it a little bit to put his  greetings and the name of his friends.  I saw some great ideas for Valentine treats on Pinterest but this is what we came up with for our son.  What did you and your kids prepared?

Spending Time With and Entertaining Your Family At Home


There are many benefits to spending regular time together with your family. CNN published an article about the positive effect quality time with dad has on teens. No matter what their age is, children respond positively to spending time together with their families.
You may think that you'll have to go all out of your way to make your kid happy, but this isn't the case. A lot of times, if you just take an interest in your kids hobbies, they'll be happy. Or you can just stay at home and find something to do together. Here are a few suggestions for you.

Arts & Crafts
I am always looking for or making unique decorations to liven up our house. You can start a similar tradition in your family. Your child may enjoy some of the things you used to do when you were younger, like knitting, crochet, sewing or needlepoint.

Drawing and painting is also a fun way to pass the time. You don't have to paint anything extraordinary. Your kids may enjoy painting something simple, like rocks. Find a rock outside, bring it in, and tell your child to paint it however they wish. Then put it in the yard or somewhere else you can proudly display it.

One of the best things about arts and crafts is that it is both expressive and relaxing. It helps to relieve the stress of a hard day (or week). A relaxed family is a happy family. They communicate easier, bond, and enjoy each other's company more. It's much easier to talk to your kids when you're both having fun than it is when you're both stressed and angry, and it's far more productive.

Cooking & Baking
This may not be for everyone, especially if you're watching your calories, but cooking and baking have the same effect as working on arts and crafts. Both of these activities are relaxing and a lot of fun. Cooking and baking comes with the added joy of knowing you're making something for someone else to enjoy.
If neither of you know how to boil water, there are plenty of ways to learn. You can get on Youtube instead of going to spend money on cooking classes. If you have satellite or cable, you can always watch Food Network or similar channels. They can teach you how to cook anything from ramen noodles to seven layer cakes.

Sometimes just the idea of looking at food is enough. Perhaps you don't want to learn how to cook, but you like watching other people do it. There's nothing wrong with that. The important thing is that you spend time with your family doing things you all find enjoyable.

TV & Movies
A common tradition in many families is to watch a television program together. It gives them something to look forward to every week. It is hard to find a program that is age appropriate for the entire family, but you can do it. This may involve compromising a little bit, but don't turn up your nose just yet.

There have been plenty of people who thought they wouldn't like something because they weren't in the target audience, but then they turned out to love it. A famous example is My Little Pony. It was intended for young girls but actually has a huge following of adult male fans. Most of them got into the show by watching it with a young female family member. All of them enjoy it immensely. Don't knock it until you've tried it, as the saying goes.

If you want to find something for everyone to watch together, you'll need to have a television package the entire family can enjoy. That includes plenty of channels with cartoons, and channels aimed at the little ones. The focus shouldn't be on the premium channels - although if you get them that's a bonus - but on having channels that everyone can watch. This includes sports channels, movie channels, educational channels, news channels and entertainment channels.

One of the great things about these channel packages is they usually come with a unique service. I found out that Direct TV has a feature they call "Movies on Demand." You can stream movies into your home for less than the price of a movie ticket. Sometimes these movies can be seen the same day they're released in theaters, but from your home. For more information about Direct TV and their satellite package deals, visit their site.

With this feature you can take your entire family to the movies for cheap. It's a great way to save a lot of money, since you don't have to worry about buying multiple tickets or expensive snacks. You also don't have to miss important scenes anymore. You can just pause the movie, go do whatever you have to do, then come back to it.

No matter how you spend time together as a family, remember to do it regularly. You'll be helping your family grow into happy, secure human beings, something the world needs a lot more of.


Love Pop Cards

Hey there everyone, how was the kick off of your Love-Month?  We had a blast  sled riding yesterday before we watched the superbowl game.  I was  going to write about this love pop cards that I received for review but my husband poured me a glass of wine and  invited me to watch the game with him. We ended up cheering  for the two teams, he cheered for the Seahawks while I cheered for the Patriots.  Anyway, congratulations to the Patriots, they really benefited to the huge mistake made by the Seahawks.
Anyway, back to these gorgeous  Love Pop cards, I am so thrilled to have these because my husband would definitely love this.  He is the type who is never  thrifty in buying cards for me.  He would  take his time to find the most  meaningful card that  has  what his heart says.  I am glad that these  cards are perfect for my Sweetheart!
Love, love, love this heart shaped pop-up.  The details is so intricate.  I so admire the two lovely people that are behind these  beautiful creations!  Their creativity is superb.  I love how they conceptualized these cards and how it started, I love the story on how it all started.  You can buy this card for $8 at their website, just follow the link I have provided above .  It is under the  Love category.
This is the card that I would  give to my husband this Valentine's day.  I will keep you posted if his heart pops out, lol.  Kidding aside, I am sure that he would love this.  I just need to put  my own words into it and  it would  be so perfect!
Another  card  that I received is this Lovers in a Dogdwood tree.
This would be  great to give  for wedding or anniversaries.
Here's the pop up when you open the card.  Isn't that beautiful?  This reminds me of the  fun days that  hubby and I together our kids in Korea.  This is a  Valentine-themed card but I am planning to give this to my Sweetheart on our anniversary!  
I wish I have the creativity to make lovely cards like this, it would be nice!  I will be showing this to my daughter because she love  making simple pop up cards,  She watches videos on youtube and make cards for us.  She would be inspired by this!
Shadow Shots
Aside from the lovely  cards above, I also got two of the sailor-themed card which is perfect for my retired-navy husband.  Now this would be perfect to give on Veteran's day and Independence day.
That's the front of the card and below are the corner details of the cards inside.

When you opened the card, this  beautiful ship stands out.
I am sure that this will spark beautiful memories of my husband's  sailor days.
Here's another design of the other card.  It has the anchor and the compass om it.  

I love both  designs of these ships.  Reminds me  when  my family would go for a walk  by the Korean military base by the water.  
At the back of the card, you will see  their website's url.  It also  said that these cards are "Lovingly Made in Vietnam".  I would definitely recommend this to our neighbor whose husband is a Vietnam veteran.
Thanks a lot Love Pop for taking care of my special occasion this year!  Now I know where to get extra special cards for my love ones!  Advance happy Valentine's to you all.  I highly recommend you check out Love Pop for some beautiful cards  to give to your  special someone.  They have so many to choose from for different occasion!

Disclosure: The author of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review. Opinions expressed is solely my own and may differ from others. The product/s being described in this review was provided for FREE for evaluation purposes only.

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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