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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Paper Flowers – Anyone Can Do That

Japanese Kusudama

Anyone can do that, I assure you. The proof: I can, just take a quick look at my result below. And, believe me, I am neither meticulous nor particularly patient. You could even say I’m the opposite.

Below you can see my very first attempt to create paper flowers.

What you will need to make your own Kusudama paper ball?

1. Paper – 60 square pieces of paper, all of the same size. I use advertising catalogues (for your convenience in the first part of this tutorial I use plain blue paper so that the folds are more visible). My squares are 3,5 cm x 3,5 cm but you can make them bigger, smaller squares would be rather hard to fold. For every flower you will need 5 pieces.
2. Ruler
3. Pencil
4. Glue – the glue I use have two nice properties: (1) it does not dry very quickly which allows small corrections when necessary (2) being initially white it turns translucent while drying
5* Scissors (optionally) I prefer torn paper instead of cut. I fold it several times before tearing slowly.
6* Beads (optionally) Use them to add some extra glamour.
7. Toothpick – to apply the glue.

You have to start with a single petal. Don’t give up, it may seem that it will take ages before you make all 60 petals but you will progress faster with every next piece :)

Now you have to glue your 5 petals into a flower.

Apply the glue to only one side of each petal, except for the last one, in this case cover both sides with glue.

Your first flower is done.

Don’t glue every petal right after you make it. Make the whole 60 and then glue them into 12 flowers, it’s really faster this way, believe me.

When all 12 flowers are finished you have to glue them together. You start with gluing the first half – six flowers together. With your first flower you have to apply the glue on two adjacent petals, with five next flowers you apply glue on three adjacent petals. Put the glue not exactly on the middle line of the petal but a little to the right.

When two halves of Kusudama Flower Ball are ready you have to glue them together. You can put a cord between the halves so that your ball can hang down. I make my Kusudama Flower Balls for a table decorations so I don’t put a cord.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

15 Things to be kept out of the Reach of Your Child for Home Safety

How safe are your children in your home? Safety is an important part of raising children in a loving and nurturing home. Knowing that they are safe when they walk into the doors of your home can give you peace of mind.  Below are 15 things that should be kept out of the reach of your child. Read over this list to see if there is something that you have missed in making your home as safe as it possibly can be. 
  • Medications. This is a no brainer! Regardless, countless parents still leave their medications lying around for little hands to get a hold of.  Make sure that all medication is out of the reach of your child.  This may mean locking up a cabinet or putting them in the top of your closet.
  • Firearms. Guns are not toys.  Guns should be stores in a lock gun cabinet. This includes what seem to be harmless guns such as pellet guns.  Pellets may not kill, but they can certainly put an eye out.
  • Cleaning products Kids love to mimic mom and get busy cleaning.  Unfortunately, this can have a devastating impact on a child’s health if he or she is to get a hold of the cleaning products.  Keep all cleaning products out of the reach of your children.  Don’t store them away under the sink!
  • Knives or other sharp objects. Kitchen knives are often reported as one of the top household products that cause injury to children. Where are the knives that you use to cook dinner located? Keeping them in a drawer is very dangerous. Choose to relocate them to a safer place such as a high cabinet or far enough in a corner on the countertop that you child cannot reach them.
  •  Electrical outlets. How many times were you tempted to find out what was going on in those electrical outlets? Your little ones will be just as curious.  Be sure to make sure the electrical outlets in your home are covered to help protect your children from electrical shock.
  • Breakable vases. Vases, or anything breakable for that matter, should be kept out of the reach of children.  Broken glass causes many unthinkable injuries each year.  That pretty vase you have sitting on your coffee table may just be an accident waiting to happen.
  • Cords from blinds. This is an old one in the book but still needs to be taken seriously.  Cords from blinds should be placed up high.  You don’t want to give your little one a change to get the string wrapped around his or her neck. 
  •  Necklaces.  Similarly, necklaces can also pose a risk to your child. Keep long necklaces out of the reach your child.  Make sure that your child doesn’t wear necklaces to bed to avoid a potential choking hazard.
  • Marbles or other small objectsMarbles can be fun for your child to play with. Unfortunately, they almost always make it to the mouth.  Keep marbles out of the reach of young children
  • Handles from pots on the stoveWhen you are cooking, play close attention to the handles on your pots.  Place them out of sight so that young children won’t attempt to pull them down.
  • Watch batteries. Discard of old watch batteries. Swallowing these can cause serious harm to children.
  • Children’s vitamins.  Vitamins are medication. Keep these out of the reach of your children.  Children often view them as candy.
  • Fluoride tooth paste.  Children like to eat tooth paste. This can be dangerous to their health as well.
  • Burning candles Children are highly interested in candles!  Keep burning candles out of the reach of children. 
  •  Plastic bagsBe sure to discard of or put all plastic bags up high where you children can’t reach them. Suffocation is real and happens all too often with plastic bags. 
Use the list above to help make sure that you children are safe.  Keeping these items up high and out of reach of your children may just help save their lives.  Have peace of mind knowing that these things are far enough out of reach to keep your child safe. Did we leave anything off the list? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comment section!

The article was written by 1001 Artificial Plants – An online store of decorative artificial flowers and tropical floral arrangements.


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Congratulations to our prize winner!

Congratulations to our prize winner!

Erin L.

Of the

Little Ballerina Giveaway 
Thanks to everyone who entered our competition. 


Dancing With Words & Helena Hippo


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Saturday, January 28, 2012

As your baby grows....6 weeks old

Tristan James 6 weeks old

This is a week to week update for your baby's milestones. I decided to do this today while thinking about my sister Lynn and my nephew Tristan. She is a first time Mom at the age of 40 (shhh... don't tell her I told you that lol). Who also lives an hour away from her three sisters and Mom now lives in Florida. I know it is hard for her because we are not right around the corner. When I had my daughter's (now 20 & 19) I wouldn't have been able to do it without my family being right there. Lynn and my brother-in law Troy are doing a great job as newbie parents, Tristan is a very lucky little boy. My thought today was, there is some much information out there on the internet and in books, but not having much time to seat and search the web or read a book without falling asleep is very hard. So this is what I am going to do. Each week I will search for her and you to find helpful tips and information and share it with you. This week Tristan is 5 weeks old that is where I will begin. I hope this will be helpful to you. If there is something you would like me to find for you just leave me a comment and I will do my best.

As your baby grows....6 weeks old

Look what my fingers can do! That might be what your baby is cooing to their as they test-drives those powerful tools attached to their hands.

*Music appreciation
*Learning to Grab
*How your baby's growing

Music appreciation

Now that your baby's awake for longer periods during the day, you can use these times to support his sensory development. Try singing your favorite lullabies or playing music.

You don't have limit yourself to children's songs. Fill the house with the sounds of music — from the Black Eyed Peas to Mozart — and watch as your baby expresses his pleasure through coos, lip smacks, and jerking arm and leg movements.

Your baby might also enjoy the sound of wind chimes or a ticking clock. The more varied the offerings, the richer the impact. Inevitably, you'll notice that your baby responds to and favors some selections more than others as he begins to develop preferences.

Don't feel like you need to bombard your baby with music all the time, though. Babies need quiet time, too. An overstimulated child may cry, look away, tense up, arch his back, and become irritable. Try giving your little one time to regroup before moving on to more play


Your baby may not be able to talk yet, but his face is sure telling you a lot. He's experimenting with different facial expressions — pursing his lips, raising his eyebrows, widening or squinting his eyes, and furrowing his brow.

Your baby may be trying to tell you something — perhaps a diaper change is in your future — or maybe he's just exploring his newfound abilities.
Learning to Grab
While his hands were once curled into tiny (and preciously pudgy) little fists, these days your 6-week-old baby is beginning to stretch out his fingers and test what they can do. At around six weeks, your baby is likely to find his fingers endlessly fascinating, and may spend a good chunk of time simply gazing at those magical appendages. (Hey, are these mine?) Or he might realize that sucking on a thumb (or a pinky or a pointer) is soothing — maybe even soothing enough to help him drift off to dreamland. If your little one turns out to be a thumb sucker, celebrate the fact that he's found a way to comfort himself on his own. (And pay no mind to busybodies who say it isn't good for him — at this age, it's perfectly fine.)
Also on your baby's handy agenda: getting a grip. Try putting something (like your finger or the handle of a rattle) in his palm and chances are he'll hold on — and keep on holding! He may even reach for an enticing object and try to bat at it or snatch it for his own. You can thank his ever-sharpening vision for this breakthrough — he can see better now so he's ready to try coordinating his eyes and his hands. Sure, he's got a ways to go before he smacks a ball out of the park, but when it comes to hand-eye skills, practice makes perfect (and his attempts are really cute, besides).
How can you give your little one a leg up on using his hands? For one thing, make sure he logs daily tummy time so he can get a little workout for those hands — and the arms they're attached to. (Remember: Back to sleep, tummy to play — while baby needs to be belly-down to build strength and motor skills, it's not a safe position for sleeping.) He'll likely keep his elbows tucked in now, and just lift his head enough to see the dust bunnies under the couch, but soon he'll be pushing up higher and higher until his arms are straight and he can look out into the wondrous world well beyond his blanket.

How your baby's growing
Now that your baby's awake for longer periods during the day, you can use these times to support his sensory development. Try singing your favorite lullabies or playing music.

You don't have to limit yourself to children's songs. Fill the house with the sounds of music — from the Black Eyed Peas to Mozart — and watch as your baby expresses his pleasure through coos, lip smacks, and jerking arm and leg movements

Have a great week!

The information that is in this post was found at:

New Moms,newborn,babies,six weeks old,helpful tips,baby
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Little Ballerina Giveaway .....ends today at Midnight don't forget to enter!

Little Ballerina Giveaway .....ends today at Midnight don't forget to enter!

Tag mom blog, giveaways,kids,children,ballet,ballerina,dance,doll,book
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recycle Sweaters: Make a Throw or Pillow

Old wool sweaters make great gifts when felted and pieced into throws and pillows.

What You'll Need

Old wool sweaters
Liquid dishwashing soap
Matching sewing threads
Seam stabilizer
Felted wool fabric (optional)
Pinking shears
Pillow form
Yarn and large-eye needle (optional)

How to Make It
Felt the Sweaters
  1. Gather sweaters that are at least 80 percent wool. The number of sweaters needed will depend on the desired size of the finished throw or pillow and the size of the sweaters after shrinkage. We used approximately 12 sweaters for a throw and two sweaters for a pillow. Use sweaters with patterns or designs for interest, such as the reindeer rectangles for the throw and the skier rectangle for the pillow.
  2. Sort the sweaters by color. Place sorted sweaters, turned inside out, into the washing machine set to hot wash/cold rinse; add a small amount of liquid dishwashing soap. Add a few lint-free items such as old T-shirts or jeans; they provide friction as the machine agitates to promote the felting. If desired, remove the sweaters two or three times during the wash cycle and rinse in cold water, squeezing out excess fluid; extreme temperature changes help to speed the felting process.
  3. Remove sweaters before the entire spin cycle is complete and roll in a towel to remove excess water. Shape and allow to air dry. Repeat the felting process until stitches are no longer visible. The felted sweaters should be dense and thick. If the knitting stitches show more than you like, repeat the process. If necessary, hand felt for additional firmness and smoothness by rubbing the item on a washboard with hot water and liquid dishwashing soap or rolling it between palms. Let dry; trim excess fuzziness with scissors.
    1. Remove the sleeves from the sweaters and cut along the inner arm seams to lay flat. Cut the body of the sweater along the side and shoulder seams. Lay the felted pieces on a flat surface to cut the shapes needed.
    Assemble the Throw or Pillow
    1. Striped Throw: Decide on the colors to use for the stripes and short felted pieces into color groups. Our 42-x-55-inch throw consists of two horizontal rows of red-tone stripes and three horizontal rows of green-tone stripes. For each stripe, cut ten 4-1/4-x-11-inch rectangles from the felted sweater pieces.
    2. Lay the rectangles on a flat surface, making five rows with 10 rectangles in each row. When you are pleased with the arrangement, sew the rectangles together in rows. Sew with right sides up, slightly overlapping the first rectangle with the second. Cover the overlapped area with seam stabilizer and sew close the edge of the top rectangle. Remove the stabilizer. Continue adding rectangles in this manner to complete each row. Sew rows together in this same manner, alternating colors.
    3. If desired, bind the throw to help it hold its shape. To bind, use the pinking shears to cut 2-1/4-inch-wide strips from purchase felted wool fabric. Sew the short ends of the strips together with diagonal seams to form one longbinding strip. Trim the seam allowances to 1/4 inch. Press the seam allowances open. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Insert the edges of the throw between the folded binding strip. Pin the binding strip to the throw, folding and mitering the corners. Sew through all layers 3/4 inch from the outer fold of the strip. Tack the open areas of the mitered corners to close them.
  1. Measure to find the dimensions of the desired pillow form; add 1 inch to each for seam allowances. Use these measurements to cut a pillow front and back from the felted sweater pieces. With wrong sides facing and a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew the pillow front to the back, leaving the bottom edge open. Turn the pillow cover right side out. Insert the pillow form through the bottom opening. Slip-stitch the opening closed.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

8 Out of the Ordinary Approaches to Defeating Your Food Cravings

8 Out of the Ordinary Approaches to Defeating Your Food Cravings

Do you feel like you can’t lose weight because you struggle with cravings?

Has a gnawing, insatiable want hijacked your healthy eating plan?

Chocolate, candy, potato chips, pizza, steak, coffee, ice-cream, salt or what have you —most of us battle these cravings.

But we don’t have to.

Are you ready to defeat them? If so let's dive in and reveal what you can do to conquer your dangerous moments without regret.

Drink, Drink, Drink
First off, if you’re dehydrated, you’re likely to feel wiped out. When you’re pooped liked that, chances are you’ll be craving a stimulant in the form of sugar or caffeine - think chocolate or coffee.

So drink a glass of water — yes, plain water. By the time your body tells you you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. And, dehydration occurs as mild hunger. So… glug, glug, glug and make it a habit to drink a glass of water every couple hours.

Why You Need to Sleep More
If you’re majorly stressed, or suffer from insomnia or sleep deprivation, you’re probably exhausted much of the time.

I know about this; believe me! It took seven years and an entire collection of My Little Pony before my daughter slept through the night. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture — don’t underestimate it.

Adrenal imbalance causes your body to call upon your adrenal glands for more stress hormones to act as a pick-me-up, but over time, your adrenals become less able to respond appropriately. Chances are, you’ll resort to sugar or carbohydrate snacks or coffee during the day and carbohydrates or alcohol at night, all of which exacerbate the problem.

I seriously recommend finding a way to chill and give your adrenals a break. I’ve found meditation and exercise such as yoga to be a blessing. A hectic cardio workout is not going to help here. Keep it on the calm side.

The Shocking Truth About Boredom and Dissatisfaction
Being bored or dissatisfied with a particular situation, such as work or a cruddy relationship, or life in general, is the number one cause for filling up on undesirables.

“The longing for sweets is really a yearning for love or sweetness,” wrote Jungian analyst Marion Woodman and she was spot on. So often we try to fill the void with eating. Instead, take time to reflect and assess what’s really going on.

Dr. Oz suggests that it helps to realize that emotional hunger onset is sudden and urgent, while physical hunger is gradual and patient.

Fully facing this kind of eating may lead to some serious soul searching. You may want to consult someone if it becomes overwhelming. But when food is masking a deeper dissatisfaction, no amount of the fix will take away the pain or frustration. Work on healing that and then the cravings will naturally disappear.

How to Change Bad Habits
Psychology professor Debra Zellner, Ph.D., draws the conclusion that our cravings are predominantly determined by habit rather than biological need.

You know how you fall back to habit in times of stress rather than creatively brainstorming fresh approaches? Well the same is true here. When you’re stressed, she argues, your generally strong restraint flies out the window and thoughts about comfort foods come rushing in.

So how do we avoid this stress trigger cycle? According to Zeller, we should:
Indulge on occasion: By making certain foods “taboo,” we tend to make a dash for them when our defenses are shot. The alternative is to have that chocolate once in a while and de-demonize it. Enjoy a bowl of ice cream now and then. Don’t associate certain foods with the ‘forbidden fruits.’

Mix up your patterns: Just as with Pavlov’s dogs, Zeller continues, a stimulus produces an automatic, virtually involuntary response in each of us. Figure out if predictable times or places make your cravings appear. Then, change your indulgence time and place, shake up the predictable and don’t create a mindless pattern.

Make healthy associations: Find healthy foods that you enjoy and make a habit of eating those at stressful times instead. For me, I’ve trained myself to crunch on cucumbers. Granted, we always need to have cucumbers in the house, but it definitely beats chocolate!
A Little Bit of Yin and a Little Bit of Yang
Ever heard of Macrobiotics? Well, key to this philosophy on life is the idea of Yin and Yang, two complementary and antagonistic forces. Before you think this is some new age concept, know that Hippocrates first used this philosophy in 400 BC to describe healthy, long lived people.

In terms of food, certain foods, such as meat, chocolate, cheese and coffee have contractive or Yang qualities. Other foods, like beer, white sugar, soya and potatoes, have expansive or Yin qualities. And then foods like whole grains and veggies have a neutral effect on the body.

The body naturally strives for balance. Without one iota of doubt, what passes through your lips contributes to where your body’s at and what it’s going to need more of. When you’re eating too much Yin or too much Yang, your system won’t be happy. And hello, these extremes are the core of the Standard American Diet. Loads of meat, salt, sugar and fats.

They throw the body out of its natural balance and we crave whatever is required to regain equilibrium. Sadly though, we’re putting in excessive amounts on either side of the scale.

By paying attention to what you’re eating in overload and introducing more balancing foods, cravings will decrease. Remember, the key is balance — not excess.

Are You Malnourished?
For me, malnutrition has always been associated with the image of a starving African pot-bellied child. Painful. And don’t get me wrong, that’s certainly malnutrition.

But did you know how malnourished most of us “First Worlders” are? An estimated 70% of all Americans do not consume sufficient nutrients, mainly as a result of refined and processed foods.

Why do I mention this? If the body is starved of nutrients, it will produce cravings.

Renowned physician, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, states that in order to stop the “addictive drives and perverted cravings” we suffer from, it is essential to restore nutritional excellence.

We need to eat a diet high in what he calls Nutrient Dense foods such as green veggies, non-starchy veggies, beans, fresh fruits, whole grains and raw nuts and seeds.

The toxins in our processed fare just keep us coming back for more and so you need to oust them!

Temptation Be Gone
Clearly, if you’ve stocked up on your favorite indulgence, you’ll eat it. Corollary: if it’s not there, you can’t eat it.

That one’s easy! Banish the temptation. And oh, never go shopping on an empty stomach. A full tummy is less prone to rumble for honey — with apologies to Pooh bear.

Spew It All Out
My final tool for you here is to keep a food journal. Track your eating habits and see if your cravings exhibit a pattern. With this information, you’ll be in a far better position to understand and help yourself.

The Final Word
Cravings aren’t the enemy. In fact, they can be a gift - a window into what’s ticking in your internal clock. By opening a dialogue with your body, you can begin to love and support it just as it supports and loves you with every unfailing heartbeat and every unfailing breath.

But that’s entirely up to you. Changing behaviors is work. No, it’s not like reinventing the wheel or finding a cure for cancer. But it does take commitment and facing some harsh challenges.

If you’re still reading this, that’s a good sign. Nobody can or will make the changes for you. Beating your cravings is the same as anything else. You have to be focused and work damn hard. Oftentimes you’ll need courage too. If you’re prepared to face the challenge, your health will improve and you’ll lose that excess weight. You’ve also got an excellent chance of feeling more whole if you confront the psychological aspects of what’s driving your behavior.

Ready to tackle the task?

Written on 1/05/2012 by Kerri Baruch. Kerri is a Holistic Health Coach passionate about restoring excellent health in clients by supporting them as the full individuals that they are. Kerri shares recipes, blogs and Health Coaching info on her site Eat Real. Be Well

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BrytonPick FLOSS Product Review

                                                              100% Made in USA

Today I received 2 samples of the Bryton Floss Pick for a product review. I couldn't wait to see what this product was all about. I thought this a product for my husband who is always looking to get something out of his teeth when we are not at home. Like my husband people often use dangerous improvised tools like: a pen cap, paperclip, fingernails, edge of paper, or worse!

The pick it self  is approximately 2.5 inches in length. Which seemed to be a perfect size when I was using it. The reusable carry-pouch is approximately 3.25 inches x 2 inches. I do agree with their information on the packaging that is a credit card size carry-pouch that will fits in any wallet/purse/pocket. The first thing I didn't care for is that the reusable carry-pouch doesn't close. I don't know about you but I have so much stuff in my wallet and purse I don't know how clean it will stay. The BrytonPick is reusable up to 30 days so this is a plus. I'm not sure why they won't be good for longer, but I would have to use it for the 30 days and report back on the condition of the pick.

The first try the company suggest trying it after eating and in front of a mirror. Gently slide between teeth to avoid contact with the lips. They also state that it normally takes several tries to become accustomed to the cleaning procedure. 

When I removed it from the pouch it doesn't look like traditional floss. It has a plastic handle with very thin, stainless steel picks. It almost looks like a little boomerang. I wasn't sure about putting the metal in between my gums, I can't lie I was a little nervous trying it. 

The companies website state BrytonPick’s edges are too soft to be ‘pushed’ in between teeth.
The round and blunt edges reduce the risk of injuring the gums, dental work and teeth. BrytonPick is strictly an interdental cleaner, it will not injure the gums since it is not forced into the gum line. Beginners risk: paper-cutting the lip.

So I went ahead and carefully tried the product . It worked pretty well , it would not fit in between all of my teeth but I have to say I have a hard time with regular floss in those same areas. I had my husband test it out also and he said it works good, and that he would use it and keep it in his wallet.

I think this is a good product overall and will use it for the next 30 days then update you. It is a quick, easier way to floss your teeth on the go. I personal would probably use it only on the go and use my regular floss at home. Overall this is a good product.

• Keep the mouth open in a smiling position to avoid contact with the lip
• Gently insert either-end between teeth
• SLIDE between teeth INSIDE - OUT
• Cleaning edges may bend to adapt to your interdental shape
• Cleanse with napkin, tissue or hot water
• Store BrytonPick in its credit card size carrying pouch
• Use only as directed. Age 10 and up

 BrytonPick’s  are made in the USA from completely recyclable materials. An additional environmental benefit is that BrytonPick (because of it's germ-resistant stainless steel cleaning strips), thereby reducing the waste stream.

You can check out the Bryton Pick at  If you’d like to try these out for yourself, you can find them at meijer, Drug Fair, Kinney Drugs, Pathmark, A & P. Dik Drug Co. and Superfresh.  They can also be found online at,,,, and
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Labels: braces, BrytonPick, dental, dentist, floss, on the go, oral hygiene, product review, reduce plaque
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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