Thursday, September 3, 2015

DIY Modeling Clay Project

There are so many modeling clay products out there in the market today. In different sizes and colors. Many of them claim to be non-toxic but if you want to be safe and sure, might as well make your own clay right? It is easy to do and your kids will also love it knowing that if they run out, you can always make them using ingredients from the kitchen.

If you want to make your own clay, here is a recipe that I got from one of our family excursions during our summer holiday:

I know it is in German, so here is the translation:

Our recipe:

400 grams flour
200 grams salt
2 packs of citric acid powder (I used the one from Dr. Oetker)
3 tablespoons oil (vegetable)
500 milliliters boiling water

Mix everything and then knead in the desired food color (until the color has well blended).
-But be careful: HOT!-

You can ask your little ones to do the kneading once the temperature of the dough has cooled down. I am sure they would enjoy adding in the different food colors into the dough and knead them, and also learn how to mix them (food colors are mostly available in primary colors red, blue and yellow) to create other colors.

So there! Easy peasy right?

And here's my not so little girl S showing off her tiny creation she made from our excursion.

I just made a batch of clay today using twice the recipe to make 6 colors for my not so little girl. I will try to update this post once I get the chance to take photos of the finished batch that I made.

How about you? Do you have your own clay recipe too? I would love to learn more about it. The more variations, the better. And if you made your little ones clay using this recipe, please tell me about it too. I would love to hear about your DIY experience.

Happy crafting!

Required Safety Equipment for Recreational Boats

Nothing can take the fun out of boating faster than an unexpected accident or emergency. What's even worse is to be caught unprepared. Making sure that you have all the proper safety equipment onboard is the best way to ensure that an unfortunate boating incident doesn't turn into a disaster. Here's what you will need based upon the U.S. Coast Guard’s Federal Requirements Brochure for Recreational Boaters:

Displaying Numbers

It's hard to get help in an emergency if you can't identify your boat. That's why every boat is required to have its registration numbers attached to the boat in a prominent location and on both sides. The numbers should be at least three inches in height. You should also be carrying onboard paper documentation verifying the registration numbers and the boat's legal name. 

Personal Flotation Devices

More commonly known as life jackets, personal floatation devices must be of a model that has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and in good condition. The sizes must be appropriate for all passengers, which means smaller sizes for children. The life jackets must be kept in a place on the boat where they can be quickly accessed in time of need. 

Visual Distress Signals 

Large boats of more than 16 feet are required to have pyrotechnic devices onboard that can be used to attract help in an emergency. Smaller boats are also recommended to have such devices, but it is not required. Flares can be a good choice for smaller boats. Often there are different requirements and different products designed for different size boats, with larger boats generally requiring more safety features. To learn more about the variety and availability of safety equipment for larger boats click here

Fire Extinguishers

You may be floating in a setting surrounded by water, but that doesn't stop boats from catching on fire. Even the smallest boats should have an extinguisher aboard, with larger boats requiring more, especially if there is an enclosed living space or if your boat has permanently installed fuel tanks. Again, the extinguisher must be somewhere that is readily accessible. 

If you have these safety items on your boat, then you are at least minimally prepared for a boating emergency. However, additional safety features may be required by states or counties, so know the requirements where you are to ensure legal and safe boating. 

Thank You For Being Born

I owe what I am today partly because of my parents. They have in their own ways raised me to become the person that I am today. The lessons and wisdom they have taught us, especially my Mom will always be in my heart and mind. My mother is not a perfect person. She also has her flaws but I will always be thankful and grateful to her for being a great mother to me and my three siblings. I never realized before how much sacrifice she has done for us but NOW I know -  now that I too have my own family and a child (and hopefully this will turn into "children" in the near future) of my own.

My Mama with her granddaughters A, S and N. 
So as you celebrate your birthday on the 4th of September, I thank you for being born. Thank you for loving, caring and nurturing our different interests. For always making sure our meals are warm and ready to fill our tummies when we get home from school and from work or from just a day out with friends. I may miss another of your birthdays by your side but my thoughts are with you on this day. May our good Lord continue to bless you with good health and the time and resources to enjoy your senior years with Papa, your children and your grandchildren.

I love you Ma. Have a wonderful and blessed birthday.
Thank you for being born. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Time for Summer Vacation! Tips for Having the Best Trip Ever

Summer vacation with the family can be a whole lot of fun, but planning a vacation and getting there isn’t always easy. You’ve got to deal with schedules and all sorts of things, and simply packing can be a challenge.

This year, use these tips to make sure that you have as much fun as you possibly can while you’re out of town with your family.

Dreaming of summer on the beach... Already on vacation mode! 

1. Buy Tickets Early

If you’re going to be flying this summer, you need to make sure you get your tickets in advance so you don’t pay a fortune. However, that doesn’t mean you should be buying six months before your trip.

Why not? Because when you buy tickets too far in advance the airlines have no reason to give you any sort of discount. For the best prices, look for tickets about 45 to 60 days before you’re going on your trip.

You may need to book earlier if you’re going to popular destinations like the 4th of July though, so keep that in mind.

2. Reserve Your Hotel

One of the hardest and most expensive things for families when it comes to travel is reserving the right hotel. Ideally, you want a hotel that’s as close to your destinations as possible so you don’t have to rent a car. For example, when you play at the Marriott Singer Island or another all-inclusive destination resort, you won’t have to leave to have a lot of fun.

Just make sure you book early – just about as early as when you buy your airplane tickets.

3. Pack Days Before

If you’re traveling with children you need to make packing less of a big ordeal. Every parent knows that packing with a child the night before a trip can be pretty exhausting, and chances are you won’t get much sleep.

That’s why you should start a couple of days ahead of time. Let your child pack some items on their and then check up on their work. That way they’ll learn to pack and you can work on your own luggage.

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