Friends Around the World

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Staircase Display: Captured Memories

 A month ago, my computer stopped working.  I had to bring it to a computer technician to fix what was wrong with it.  My husband suggested that I should just get a new one but I did not want to because all of the pictures I have taken last year was all there.  It was  so odd too because the night before it crashed, I  uploaded  800 plus photos  at Shutterfly to avail their unlimited free prints.  Glad I got it done before my PC decided to  fail me.
It took me a while before I finally arranged all of the photos in an album and put some in the frames.
I decided to decorate our staircase with  the frames I  filled up with new photos.  I always find  some photo frames when I go to the  thrift store.  I guess some people buy the frames thinking of printing some of their  photos but they never got to it so they donate it to  stores like Goodwill.  I always find the unused ones and reserved it for my future project just like this one.
I got some of these unique displays at TJMaxx, they always have  pretty little things for good prices.  Some I got from thrift stores as well.  You don't really have to spend that much when decorating.  It's a matter of looking through deals and sale.  
I love little things with encouraging phrases on it.  It serves as a reminder for us everyday.
I love this one that I found at Goodwill.  They have short phrases.  Some are funny and some are very inspiring.  It would be a great gift for Father's Day.  I  inserted a photo in it.
I told my husband that I am preparing our home with  reminders so that when we get old and can't remember things anymore, we will have things to look at and may help us with our memories.
I bought this one two years ago but never really had a chance to do it right away.  But now, it's on the wall.
A lot of these frames did not cost a lot which I am happy.  
"BE YOU", I am not sure if you can see the  gold writings in this one but it says  "Be YOu".  I thought, it would be a good  display to remind us everyday to live life to the fullest.  
The plain staircase has now some things to see.  Captured memories are the best things to use  when you want to spruce up a wall at home.  
Having the free  unlimited prints from Shutterfly is nice, I just wish the shipping doesn't cost that much lol.  It still  worth it though.  Once in a while, whenever I miss the times when my kids were little, I would open up  some photos albums and look at the great memories we captured.  I am wondering, do you still print the photos you take?  Do you still  put  or arrange them in a photo album.  

Friday, April 20, 2018


When we visited  Disney World few years ago, I was   elated to see some bamboo  in their landscape and I thought, I wish we could grow it where we live so when I saw a house in our neighborhood with a lot of bamboos, I was excited.  Few years later, we owned that homed.  Unfortunately, the former owner, dug out most of the bamboos in his property.  Bamboo is very invasive so I can understand but I wouldn't mind having it   since it is far from the house anyway.  Luckily, they are starting to come back up.  So you see, bamboo is very resilient so it is ot easy to get rid of them.  
"The bamboos are evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae.  Did you know that bamboo can be used to create musical instruments such as flutes, xylophones, drums and chimes because of its resonant quality?"
Last year, a guy chopped down some of the bamboos in the adjacent property from ours and they left the small ones laying around there.  I  gathered  it and made  trellis out of it.  Or you can just erect a dried bamboo and it will serve as the  climbing trellis of your fruit such as this blackberry I planted by the fence.
On another note, I save this  piece of the branch from the crab apple that we tore down last year.  This serves as the  stand for some of my potted plants.
Spring is taunting this side of the world, one day it's warm and the next day it's snowing so we still have a long way to go before we can fully enjoy the nice weather and the blooms from our garden.  
Even the daffodils that just starting to bloom are now wilted  because of the freezing temperature that we have had this week.  Anyway, here's how the bamboo looks like  when it is snowing.
Even  on winter, they look  beautiful.  I love  looking at the bamboos because it reminds me of home.  Bamboo is an essential  part of the housing to where I grew up so I have great memories with it.  I won't get rid of the ones that starting to grow in our property because I want it to be a barrier  from our home to the public property  close to us.  It also a  safe haven for the birds.  I love watching the birds all flocked together in there  every night.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Redecorating Our Master Bedroom #HangoutRoom

When we first moved into this home, we didn't know which part of the bedroom would be best to put our bed so we put away from the windows. That was a big mistake because, the light from outside is too bright that it was keeping me awake even with curtains closed. So to address the issue, hubby and I repositioned our bed and put it on the other side of the wall.
Our bedroom is the biggest room in this house so we had plenty of space.  I asked my husband to  build me a walk-in closet on that side where I  put the  couch but it doesn't look like he is likes the idea.  Two of the bedrooms have walk-in closets but our  bedroom which is a bummer because my clothes won't fit in  the  small Mr. and Mr's closet near the bathroom.  I know, I need to  trim down my clothes in order for everything to fit so that is what I will do.
Our kids love to  hang out with us before bedtime so they would jump in our bed.  The issue is that, our bed get so crowded that we  hardly have space to  move around so I ordered an area rug to put on the floor so we could all gather around it if we need to.
My husband inherited his Dad's old military chest  so I wanted to incorporate it in our bedroom rather than buying a table.  Inside the chest is  my husband's childhood stuff and military memorabilia.   Also kept in there  the flag that  they gave us during my father-in-law's funeral as part of the 21-gun salute honor they did for him.  
We read  the Bible on Mondays and also read books on Tuesdays so we  now have an official place to do it.

My daughter brought her bean bag in our "hang out room", that's what they call it now.
 Our fur babies are bummed out because we restricted them from  coming in this space.  It might sound mean but they shed so much so what we do is hang out with them in our family room before going upstairs and in order for them not to feel left out, we  put them in their bed before we  go to ours. 

This Martha Stewart collection Camille 10-Pc. Queen Comforter Set was on a close out sale  at Macy's and I could not pass the deal.  It also matched perfectly with our aqua color theme so even though I just bought a new bedding last November< I jumped on getting this one too.
My husband said "When it rains, it pours".  He was  asking me to buy a new  bedding  last year but due to budget constraints, I held off but now that we could afford it, I went for it.  So from Hallmart collectible to Martha Stewart, our bedroom got a new look.
I still wish my husband would make a walk-in closet someday lol.  He said he has to check if we have to follow a certain code  for it but I think it is  alright.  He is right though, we need to make sure before adding anything so that when it's time to sell this house, there won't be no issue.  I still think a walk-in closet is a big plus for women when buying a house.  What do you think?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Lights

According to history,  17th century  was the inception of Christmas lights.  It is part of Christian traditions that has strongly withstood time.  The custom goes back to when Christmas trees were decorated with candles.  The candles  symbolized Christ as the  light of the world.  The Christmas trees that were  displayed publicly and illuminated with electric lights became popular in the early 20th century.  Then the  display of Christmas decorations with lights progressed from then on.  We can see  different beautiful  displays outdoors every Christmas.  

Outdoor Christmas light displays on houses was stemmed from the trend of lighting up Christmas trees during the Christmas season.   It is one of our favorite thing to do during Christmas, we take our children  for a drive around the neighborhood and enjoy the different   Christmas lights displayed by homeowners.  There's even a Winter Festival of Lights in Ogle Bay in Wheeling West Virginia, it's a beautiful display to witness.  
 My husband  gave me an early Christmas gift, a Canon Rebel T6 camera set and thought it would be great to try it outside  and capture some photos of the outdoor Christmas lights.
 Our theme  with our lights  this year was red, white, and blue. 
 We bought  most of these lights during the  end of season sale last year. 
 I think it turned out  beautifully. 
 The nativity scene was the new addition to our  outdoor display. 
 Our neighbor's yard was all lit up too.

 I always love the  maikn display of lights in our small city of Weirton. 
 Downtown posts has snowflakes and angels light displays.
I always enjoy decorating for Christmas.  We always start doing it early in November.  You might think that's overboard but  I  do that so we can enjoy the displays longer.  Putting out the decorations takes a lot of time so  I want to enjoy it as long as I can.  We have one more week left before we take down  all the decors.  Taking down the outdoor  lights would be a bit harder since the weather is getting frigid!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Here is how to Desist from Parental Burnout this Holiday Season

“Mom’s don’t enjoy, they give joy”. These words highlight how parenting culture has shifted, focusing more on mothering than motherhood. Because of this change, today’s parents view successful child-rearing as a task. This means we can do more for our kids and families. And if there’s one time of year when we feel responsible to provide happiness for everyone, it’s the holiday season.
There’s nothing like the holidays to highlight not only our children’s manners but also our family values.
Every Christmas, parents strive to make holiday season memorable for their children. They start shopping after Halloween. Before Thanksgiving, they organize festive activities for the holiday season. Yet, in the middle of “giving joy”, holidays become stressful. Because like many mothers, taking care of everything and everyone leaves them exhausted.

As mothers, it can be difficult to manage everything from self-care to family responsibilities. And as research backs it, the mothers can face burnout. Burnout can affect one’s emotional and physical well-being, causing feelings of inadequacy, resent and detachment from family and work life. In this situation, children suffer the most.

How can parents avoid burnout during the holidays?

The holiday season can be intense for parents because of the added workload. To take care of the extra duties, cellphone parentalmonitoring software can help them relieve the stress they have due to their children’s responsibilities. Following are the ways this app can help you lessen some of the holiday burnout:

·         Know where your kids are heading – During holidays, your school going children meet kids with all sorts of different ideas about the holidays. You can encourage them to talk to their friends and learn about their practices. Then help them to figure out your family values and traditions. You can do all this without even being around them. The app will help you track your kid’s location. It will give you real-time location of where they are heading to.

A research by Parenting Research Centre says that more than a quarter of parents of teens said they were not aware of where their children were at all times. This is worrying especially during the holiday season, but the app can give you complete location history of your kid’s musings even if you have been busy all day.

During all the busyness of holidays, you do not want to be preoccupied with your kid’s every move yet you cannot allow your teens to visit certain places that can be harmful to them. For this, the cellphone parental monitoring software allows you to monitor specific locations through its ‘Geofencing’ feature. This allows you to set boundaries around certain locations and you are instantly notified if your kid enters any restricted location.

·         Limit their screen time: According to a Parenting Research Centre survey, another challenging issue for 70 percent of parents of teenagers is the time their children spend on devices. Children spend too much of their time on games and other applications. No wonder you would be planning to gift a new smartphone to your teen this Christmas Eve, but these devices come with their downsides.

Holidays are meant to be spent with family and closed ones. Even if your kid is spending the time to find Christmas gifts online or downloading new games, you need to check it as they squander this beautiful time of being together. So  cellphone parental monitoring software allows you to see a complete list of the apps being used by your children. You can remotely lock their cell phone if you find them wasting their time on games or apps. This will spare that valuable time and you would be able to enjoy memorable moments.
·         Monitor their online activity: Experts warn that as children return home for holidays, parents should be on the lookout for what their children do when using the internet. The number of young children misusing internet is growing with the increase in technological advancements. During holidays, there are many fake offers on the internet and even strangers can trick your child with a veiled offer. Your kid may end up ruining his/her holidays due to a malicious online add. The cellphone parental monitoring software allows you to monitor their emails. You can see all the sent and received emails. You can see which sites are they visiting and how many times have they visited a site. Besides, you can see their chats on the Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Tinder, and Kik messenger. Keeping their use in mind, you can block any app remotely using the app.

In the end, be mindful:

In the midst of the holiday chaos, it’s easy to overlook how stress affects children. But getting distracted, running around frantically and neglecting self-care may communicate to kids that celebrations are burdensome and make us miserable. The cellphone parental monitoring software relieves this stress during the holiday season.

Sometimes, imagining setting limits around how much we do and spend during the season causes our guilt to arise. We may feel like saying no, believing we’re ruining our children’s fun. But letting go of holiday outcomes by adopting a mindful mindset, focusing on moment-to-moment awareness, can help us remain grounded.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Legacy Steel Door and Christmas Decorating

When we bought our second home, we knew that we will have to do  a lot of  renovations and home improvement because the house is  old and a lot of its interior and exterior  features are outdated.  We had new windows installed in January  and it really helped  with the energy cost and blocking the noise  from  outside.  We loved it because now that it is winter, the house is warm and comfortable.   Mind you, we have 31 windows in this house so it cost a lot but  it is worth to have it done because in the long run, it improves the  value of the house and  the quality of life we have living in it. 
The major project we did this year also includes the  backyard fence  that we installed ourselves.  We did not have the money to hire a contractor for it but we got it done for half the cost so it is a major plus for us.  We love our backyard now because we can let the dogs and the rabbits out  without worrying about them running away.  I also love the fact that  I don't have to worry about the neighbor staring when I am at the backyard gardening.
Anyway, this late August, we decided to  have our front door done.  We were going to  try to do it ourselves but we agreed to have  professional do it since it is something that  would be hard to fix if we miss it up.  It cost more to hire someone to do it but we wanted to make sure that it is done right.  We hired West Shore to do it.  We  chose this 36x80 legacy steel door with two  panels 440 style inspiration lily.  The interior color is  snow mist white while the exterior is Valles red.   We picked the  aged bronze Addison grip entrance handle and accent.  This cost $8,221.
We made the order in August 28 but they have to custom order the  door from a company  in Ohio called Provia.  The door wasn't installed until  November 14.  The company where they  ordered the door was familiar to us because we always see it when we go to the Amish  store.   
It took  the installers  five hours to complete the installation.  They were really good in what they do.  I think if my husband and I tried to do this ourselves, it would have took us a month lol.
I love  it now that we have  a new door because there is a lot of natural light coming in the entrance door unlike the old one that we had.  We had a  solid oak wooden door  before and it was  great but it was old  and it wouldn't  lock anymore especially during winter.  The storm door was also busted so we figured to have it done and have a new one.  We  kept the old door  though.  Hubby and I  are planning to use it in the garage side door.  
The casing that they put around the door  kind of  hidden some of the letters on our wall decal but it's okay.  
Before I talk about  our Christmas decor, I would like to thank West Shore for a job well done. They are a family-oriented company. The guy who sold us the door even came during the installation to make sure that the project will go smoothly.  I think it is nice when a company truly cares for their  customers.  
On decorating for Christmas, I always do it early.  My daughter was actually the one who kept bugging me to start decorating already.  I don't really decorate for Thanksgiving so we  decorate for Christmas early so we could  enjoy it longer.  
The kids did a great job decorating the tree.  Our tree  is a rotating one but we don't really make it rotate because when we do, our dogs  go bonkers lol.
Pine cones are the best  to use if you are looking for natural and inexpensive   decor.  My daughter and I  painted  these pine cones few years ago and has been using it since.
Last year, we hung the stockings by the fireplace but this year, we decided to hang them by the entrance door.  My son said, 
We used to have a crab apple in the front lawn but we chopped it down this summer, by doing that we don't have a big tree to put these  balls anymore so I hanged them by the picture window.
This is a snowmen village  that I put together last year.  They are very small to hang in the big  tree so I  thought of putting all of them together and make one piece of  snowmen decor.
Her music corner is also decorated.
The former owner left us this white Christmas tree so we  set it upstairs .  We also  decorated  the railing with bells and garland.
I am almost done decorating for this year.  All I need to do is  hang some Christmas lights around the fireplace  and some  lights outside and I am done.  
How about you, did yo]u start decorating yet?  I know Thanksgiving is a big tradition in most American families so I am guessing  some of you might  wait till after  Thanksgiving day.  I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and may our holidays be peaceful and full of joy.

About Me

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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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