It’s Time to Deck the Halls

In our part of the world, the Christmas tree, ornaments, tinsel, and lights all come out after the All Saints Day-All Souls Day weekend. In the United States, decking the halls with Christmas decorations start after Thanksgiving. The excitement that is felt when the decors come out is the same in most countries around the world. Christmas, after all, is one of the happiest holidays around.

In our house, decorating for Christmas is a family affair. Our little ones are not yet big enough to help hang the boughs and wreaths, but they do get a chance to make their own decors and hang them on the tree with your other ornaments. You and your kids can have as much fun making the ornaments as you do while decorating your home.

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Cardboard stars and bells are easy enough for little ones to make. You can cut out 3- to 5-inch bells and stars out of colored cardboard and have an assortment of embellishments like sequins, glitter, or even buttons that they can glue to the bells and stars. They can decorate their own stars with whatever pattern they want. When they are done, punch a hole on top of the shape so you can add a loop of string. Your kids can have the “honor” of hanging their own ornaments on your tree.

There are more crafting ideas online for you to choose from. You can even involve your kids in looking for fun Christmas crafts that they want to make for your home. Jade and Jakei will love “working” as Mama’s decorating elves this season. I’m sure your little ones will have fun too. It’s because of these little elves of our own that this season becomes even more fun and exciting. When you’re done decorating, you can start making your list and checking it twice. As for the kids, waiting for Santa will surely be on top of their own list.

A Sweet and Huggable Friend for the 2013 Holidays!

The holidays are right around the corner, and if you have a young girl, you might be struggling with finding the perfect gift for your daughter. How do you bridge that gap between toddler toys and baby toys? What still qualifies as a choking hazard? It’s hard to know if your young daughter will even play the toys you are getting her.

For many little girls, social activity is paramount to a healthy childhood. However, sometimes other people aren’t available for interaction, and this is when a doll becomes a girl’s very best friend! Little girls relate to dolls, they see themselves in them, and they look to them for support, love and fun as they go through life together.

For children over the age of two, the Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie doll is a great friend for them to learn and grow with.  Now that your little girl is walking, talking and gaining independence, a “baby” doll is no longer their equal; it is a younger infant to take care of.  Dressed in adorable headbands, tights and tresses, Mooshka Dolls are more “best friend” than baby and are the perfect partner-in-crime for your growing girl.

dolls1Remember the paper dolls we all used to dress up as children? Mooshka dolls are paper dolls come to life! Through the power of love and friendship, they became sweet, huggable 15” dolls, the perfect size to accompany girls on all of their adventures.  And better yet, Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Dolls really do sing! When you hold both of their hands, they croon the words to “Ring Around the Rosie,” allowing girls to sing along and dance.  You can hold both of their hands yourself, spin in circles and sing to your hearts content or you can invite your Mooshka doll to join you and your friends as you spin and sing together.Just as long as both of your Mooshka dolls’ hands are held, she will lead you in song for as long as you wish.

dolls2While Mooshka offers many different dolls with various looks and hobbies, there are three different Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie dolls that are as fun and interactive as they are adorable. Myra, a summer baby with bright red hair and blue eyes is a natural born actress. For any little girl who likes to be the star of the show, Myra will keep her company while she reaches for stardom.  Pink-haired Niva is more of an artist, and will be a great friend for your future writer as they pen poems and letters together all day long.  Lara, with green eyes and a flower in her hair is the most adventurous of the bunch! She loves to collect seashells, and will be sure to accompany girls on all of their backyard adventures.

Mooshka dolls are a great holiday gift for any little girl in your life. Dressed in cute dresses and headbands, it will be easy for your daughter to see herself in them, and recognize them as friends and equals. Additionally, the Mooshka fun doesn’t stop with the doll: the Mooshka website offers e-books that you and your daughter can read together or she can play on her own, cute crafts, like paper dolls and puppet theater backdrops, and seasonal Mooshka decorations.

With so many additions, it will be easy for girls to immerse themselves in the world of Mooshka.  Mooshka dolls are also great for when girls spend time with their real-life friends, as they can all hold their Mooshka doll’s hands and sing Ring Around the Rosie together.

For any young girl over the age of two, Mooshka dolls are a great holiday gift that will offer your child endless fun. You can buy your very own Mooshka doll at Toys-R-Us, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Target or Little Tikes.

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About the Author

Freelance writer, Jordyn Fisher, contributed this article on behalf of Mooshka dolls, a product of MGA Entertainment. 

How to Make Your Baby’s First Christmas Magical

When you are a parent, your Baby’s first Christmas is a special occasion that you will never forget. This is the Christmas where you will start special traditions with your family that you will repeat for many years to come. Last Christmas it was only the two of you, but this year you have a special little bundle of joy and you are starting a family together. What can you do to make this Christmas extra special?

Here are a few ideas for family traditions and special memories that you could start as a family for your baby’s first Christmas in order to make it as magical as possible.

Mark Each Year with a Personalised Ornament

You can commemorate your child’s first Christmas with a personalised ornament, such as a bauble with their name on it. There are lots of beautiful personalised ornaments available on websites such as OrnamentShop.com. Then, every year afterward you can buy a new personalised ornament, perhaps to mark special milestones that occurred over the year such as a little book to celebrate going to school, a Mickey Mouse for a trip to Disneyland or a tiny bicycle celebrating learning to ride a bike.

Once you child starts to get old enough to talk, you can hang the ornaments one by one in order, telling them about each year of their life and what each symbolises. The older your child gets, the more ornaments you will have to hang and stories you will have to tell.

Decorating the tree together is a wonderful Christmas memory that you will be able to carry on as your child grows up.

Make Cards Together

Rather than simply buying cards from the store, it will be a lot more thoughtful and meaningful to make homemade Christmas cards! Even though your little one can’t really hold a crayon yet, they can help you make cards by offering their tiny footprints and handprints.

Remember to save a handprint or footprint card with a date on the back, so that you will have a memory of your Baby’s First Christmas.

Evidence of Santa’s Visit

Although your little one will not necessarily remember their first Christmas, they might remember their second or third so it’s time to start thinking about how you can create magical memories for them. One of these ways is by leaving evidence that Santa has been to your house. Perhaps Santa has left footprints in the freshly fallen snow, or has taken a nibble out of a cookie left by the Christmas tree? These magical little clues will live on in your child’s memory for much longer than the present that they receive.

Christmas Pyjamas

Many families will have the tradition of giving each other new pyjamas on Christmas Eve. That way, they will have something warm and snuggly to sleep in while they wait for Santa to come. This might be a great tradition to start with your little one – you could treat them to a new fuzzy onesie for sleeping in on Christmas Eve. There are even personalised “Baby’s First Christmas” ones that you will want to keep and cherish for many years.

You might even also want to give them a special teddy to snuggle with on Christmas Eve. There are many adorable Christmas themed plush toys for babies and your little one is sure to love it.

Family Christmas Portrait

When all the family gets together at Christmastime, this is the perfect occasion to take a family portrait. You could get it done at a professional portrait studio, or simply gather together around the tree or on the living room sofa. If you take a Christmas photo every year, you will be able to see everyone in the family growing up over the years.

Once you have taken your family Christmas portrait, you can send out a copy to all of your relatives as well as frame the photo and display it on the wall.

Your Baby’s First Christmas only comes along once, so take the time to make it a special occasion that you will look back on with fond memories. Your baby won’t remember it, but they will cherish the keepsakes and the stories. These are just a few ways that you can make your first Christmas as a family together special, so have fun and Merry Christmas!

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About the Author

George Torres is a blogger and craft artist. He is looking forward to celebrating his first Christmas this year with his wife and her precious little new born.

Prepping for the Holidays: Christmas Gift Guide

It’s not quite time to deck the halls with boughs of holly just yet, but it’s never too early to start planning your Christmas shopping.  In fact, there are people who start shopping for their Christmas gifts as early as the start of the year when the stores go on sale. Other store sale events also happen several times during the year for those who want to get a lot more ticked off their Christmas list without spending a lot of money. There are several more sale events before the season rolls in; Black Friday is only about two months away.

The online world is not far away when it comes to these sales. They are actually even more aggressive than retail outlets when giving discounts. Check out sites like ZALORA that already have their Christmas catalogs out. Most of these sites carry popular local and international brands that would not at all be considered stingy gifts. That’s high value gifting on a low budget. What matters most, after all is not how much you got them for but how much you really thought about giving that gift to a particular person.

If you have not started your list yet, here’s a quick list of gift ideas for the most loved men, women, and children in your life:

Spouse

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His and Hers watches from www.watchco.com

Even when it seems like your Christmas budget is drained when you splurge on gifts for your kids, you don’t really forget to set some money aside to get your spouse that extra special gift for Christmas. It’s always great to give jewelry – the real elegant looking ones that make your spouse feel like a million bucks. It could be an expensive dress watch for your hubby or a pair of sparkly solitaire diamond earrings. Or, you can actually get something his and hers if you are the kind of couple who want to declare your undying love for each other in public. If a couple’s statement shirt is out of the question, perhaps you can choose to have matching monogrammed bracelets instead.

 

Men and Women

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Under Php 500 Gift Ideas from ZALORA

Accessories for gadgets are great gifts that any recipient would find useful.  Protective cases, mobile blings, electronic cloth wipes, power banks are just some gift ideas for both men and women.  Various fashion accessories make wonderful gifts for friends and colleagues as well.

 

Teens

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Under Php 1,000 Gift Ideas from ZALORA
Freego Varsity Jacket (750)
Urban Edge Full Button Jacket (799.75)
Charlie Jersey Peplum (400)
Collective.Com Sabella Striped Chiffon overlay dress (449)
Atypical Crew Neck with Print (350)
Urban Edge R/N shirt (265.83)

These are the most challenging people to get gifts for. Luckily, there are brands that are always spot on when it comes to teenagers. Sometimes, getting anything from their preferred brands will put you right on target. Jersey dresses and mini skirts are great for teenage girls. There are also fashionable tees and chinos for teenage boys. Of course, varsity jackets are so popular among today’s generation. You can find these jackets in various colors, some can be customized with embroidered initials.

 

Terrific (and even Terrible) Tots

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Gift ideas from Amazon.com
VTech KidiBeats Drum Set ($17.99)
Disney Doc McStuffins Doctor’s Bag ($19.72)
The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books by Dr. Seuss ($13.97)
Play-Doh: Case of Colors ($6.49)
LEGO Bricks & More Builders of Tomorrow Set 6177 ($29.99)

Toys are always hits with the tots. But, you have to make sure that the gift you choose is age appropriate. You also have to make sure that you are not giving something that will be inconvenient. This is true whether you are looking for gifts for your own tots or for your nieces and nephews. No matter how cool you think a multi-track racing circuit with and RC racer is, it will not be a good gift for a 3-year old. Try educational toys that match their developmental stage. Or you could go with clothes and books too. If you are choosing a gift for someone else’s tot, take your cues from the parents to see what the child likes or what he needs.

 

Christmas shopping can be fun and stress-free if you start early.  You can also avoid crowded malls by shopping online.  ZALORA already has its holiday gift guide to help you look for the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  Take advantage of the great deals they offer now!

First Christmas Party In School

Last Friday, the kids joined their first ever Christmas Party in school.  They were excited mainly because they were going to a party but, young as they are, weren’t looking forward to anything more than playing with their classmates.

The school asked us to bring finger food for sharing so the kids and I baked some brownies for their classmates.  We don’t have a decent oven so we had to make do with an oven toaster mix.  We added some Hershey’s mini-Kisses to the mix which made the brownies taste really good. And I mean REALLY good!  I also was supposed to make cheese logs but had a hard time molding the cream cheese so ended up making canapes instead.  Not for kids, I know, but moms and dads were going to share the food, too.  As expected, the kids opted for hotdogs, chicken nuggets and marshmallows (was extremely proud of my Jade who got a banana!).

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Jade mixed the brownie fudge mix and Jakei stamped the shapes on them. 🙂

There was also a short program which was held outside the classroom.  Had I known that there was going to be a program, I would have chosen something else for my little girl to wear.  Geez, she was wearing her long-sleeved Christmas shirt and leggings under the stifling heat of the almost-noon sun. 🙁  Good thing the artist in her didn’t mind the heat and she still performed the best that she could.  They sang three different songs but I wasn’t able to take a decent video nor pictures as my little boy kept running to the food table to get marshmallows.

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If you’ll look closely at my kids’ hands, you’d see marshmallows! 😛

After their presentation and snacks, they exchanged Christmas gifts.  I’m glad that most of the parents took time to check what each child wrote on their Christmas wishlist stockings as most of the kids received what they really wanted.  My little girl got the guitar that she asked for.  Though my little boy didn’t get a Spongebob toy, he was still happy with the Imaginarium art set that he received.  Technically, it has a sponge and a bob though. LOL!

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Excited to open her first gift this Christmas!

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Her new guitar completed her rockin’ Christmas outfit!

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Both my kids had fun during their Christmas party. The mom-slave though wishes that there wouldn’t be any temper tantrums next year.  And will keep in mind not to let any of her children wear long-sleeved shirts. 😛