16

How to Detangle Jewelry

I’ve had this necklace for years but it’s also been years since I’ve last used it. You see, it has a really bad and ugly knot near the pendant that I have tried but failed to detangle. Just recently, I read somewhere that baby powder can actually help do the trick. Judging by the knot, I was doubtful that it would work but it’s still worth a shot. So here goes…

Detangle Jewelry

Materials Needed:

  • Baby Powder
  • Needles
  • Tangled Jewellery

Detangle Jewelry

I put a little powder onto the knot and used the needles to work on it. It was a good while before I had any progress but progress it was. I found that it was best to lay the jewellery flat on the table and use a needle on each hand to remove the tangles. Work on it as you would shred meat. 🙂

Detangle Jewelry

After about 15 minutes, I was able to completely remove the knots! Yahoo! Jewellery saved!

Detangle Jewelry

For other brilliant uses of baby powder, I found a Reader’s Digest article on it here.

BlogSign

37

Shopping for a Digital Thermometer

Thermometers are one of the essentials in every home, especially when you have kids. It’s very hard to do guesswork on our children’s temperatures, not to mention dangerous. Lately, the kids have caught the cough and colds bug. They have stuffy noses, heavy cough, and maybe an occasional fever. Maybe? Yes, I was not quite sure. They felt hot to my touch but the thermometer kept registering a normal temperature. I told dear husband about this and he gave me his I-told-you-so look and proceeded to remind me of the times that I did not believe him when he felt sick because the thermometer said otherwise.

Okay, okay! Maybe it was time to get a more accurate thermometer.

Requirements

We’re currently using a digital 3-in-1 (ear, forehead, and ambient) thermometer that I bought years ago from one of the deals sites. In looking for a new one, here are my must-haves:

  • Digital (I don’t know how to read the mercury ones :p)
  • Ear-type Thermometer (I think it’s by far the easiest)
  • Accurate
  • Fast Reading
  • Has a light (okay, optional)

GRACO vs BRAUN 

I often see Graco’s One Second Ear Thermometer in the Facebook online shops that I subscribe to so I decided to check it out. It’s at P1,350, which is a good price. The reviews however, were not so good, 3 out of 5 stars at Amazon. It still doesn’t seem so bad until I poured over the reviews posted there. The main complaint was that it oftentimes registered a low temperature when in truth the child was burning up already. Sounds familiar, eh? One reviewer suggested to get the BRAUN, albeit the higher price tag.

Thus I googled BRAUN. From the online reviews, it seems that a lot of people recommend it. BRAUN Thermoscan Ear Thermometer IRT4520 has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 in Amazon. It also looks similar to the one used in the hospital when the kids were born. I remember wanting the same thermometer that the nurses used when I gave birth. It seemed so easy to use and not bothersome at all. And since the hospitals use it, it must be accurate, right? Ok, I’m sold.

Where I Checked

These were the shops (physical and virtual) that I checked.

SM Appliance Center The salesman looked at me incredulously when I asked if they have digital thermometers. Aren’t they supposed to have them?

Watson’s I checked 2 branches of Watson’s. One had a digital ear thermometer while the other did not. The one they have is a generic brand and is at P800. With a price this low, I was tempted to get it already but I was reminded of my requirements.

Mercury Drug I was able to check 3 branches. One did not have any, the other had one at P2,500 (I was not able to check the brand but I’m sure it’s not BRAUN), while the last had the BRAUN Thermoscan 5, the one that I was inclined on getting. I was so happy when I heard that they were carrying that brand. It meant that I didn’t have to look elsewhere or order online and pay for shipping. I nearly fainted however, when the pharmacist checked the price. P4,200! No wonder no one was buying it (the box looked so worn out already). Thanks anyway.

Automatic Center They have the OMRON brand of digital ear thermometers. See, appliance shops do have them! I remember using this brand from when we were still young so I considered it. It was P1,980, P1,000 off because of a promotion. It was, however, the last piece and it looked old already so I decided against getting it.

OLX.ph I checked the ad postings at OLX and found only 3 for Braun Thermoscan 5. One was not in Metro Manila, the other was P3,500, while the other one was P2,800. I was considering the last until I found the next shop.

ZEBEBE.com They have the BRAUN Thermoscan 5 and it’s at P2,599. It’s the cheapest, by far. 

Bought It

So I went ahead and ordered it from Zebebe.com, since that’s the cheapest that I saw. It was also a free shipping item so I didn’t have to pay extra shipping fee. Yey for that! I ordered it yesterday afternoon and got it 24 hours later. Fast, right?

Braun Thermoscan 5

It comes with a hard case and 20 lens filters.

Braun Thermoscan 5

Come to think of it, our old thermometer didn’t come with lens filters, which may be the reason that the temperature reading was affected (dirt accumulated?). Anyway, I’ve tested the unit on myself and the kids and I’m happy to report that we all have normal temperatures. I have yet to road test it when someone actually feels hot to the touch. In the meantime, I can finally sleep well knowing that I have a more reliable way of knowing if the kids are running a fever or not.

How about you, what thermometer do you use?

BlogSign

14

How to make Diaper Dolls

A few weeks ago, a friend of ours gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Racking my brains for a gift idea for our hospital visit, I finally settled with doing a diaper cake. As any mom can attest, diaper gifts really come in handy because newborns really use up soooooo many of it. But one cannot simply hand over a bag of diapers and call it a gift though, oh no, one must make it nice and pretty, presentable at least. 🙂

On mine, I placed these diaper dolls on top of the diaper cake, along with other baby necessities. These are so cute because they give the whole ensemble a lively, happy touch. Plus, they’re very easy to make.

Diaper Dolls

What You’ll Need

Diaper Dolls Materials

For each doll, you’ll need:

  1. Rolled-up diaper
  2. A pair of wiggly eyes
  3. A washcloth
  4. Ribbons
  5. A baby mitten

How to make them?

1. Place the washcloth under the rolled-up diaper, like below.

IMG_8092

2. Roll it up like a burrito.

IMG_8094

3. Fold the excess at the back.

IMG_8095

4. Place the mitten on top. The garter will hold the excess (tail folded at the back) in place.

IMG_8096

5. Glue the wiggly eyes onto the diaper.

IMG_8098

6. Decorate with ribbons. Use a marker pen to draw its mouth.

IMG_8099

Ta-da! These are my diaper dolls. 🙂

IMG_8105

Here they are on the cake, along with their mama bear.

zFinal

BlogSign

33

How to Teach Kids a Second Language

One morning, while in the elevator, a senior Chinese woman struck up a conversation with DA. In fookien Chinese, she asked, “Are you going to school already?” DA managed to nod his head despite not fully understanding the question. Thinking that he understood, the woman went on, still in Fookien Chinese, “How old are you?”

DA answered with another nod.

Oops! Wrong answer!

Embarrassing as it was, that experience made me realize one thing – I have failed as his first teacher. I have failed to harness his learning capabilities by not teaching him to be multilingual. Kids nowadays grow up hearing, learning and speaking mostly English. DA is no exception. While hubby and I are both Chinoys, we rarely speak Chinese at home. When it comes to the kids, it’s always in English. It’s English with his teachers, it’s English with his friends, it’s English with his cousins, it’s still English with his family.

Something is definitely not right with that. Why, our generation of Chinoys can go from Tagalog to English to Fookien to Mandarin without batting an eyelash! We can do better for our kids, right?

But how?

I once attended an advertising talk by The Learning Library, offering Filipino reading and comprehension classes. I was too busy feigning interest that I managed to catch only 2 points from the talk. Two very helpful points, if I may add, since they are what I found useful when teaching Chinese to the kids.

The first point was immediate translation. For those who are familiar with the shows Handy Manny and Dora the Explorer, they employ the same technique. They say a word in Spanish and then follow it up with an English translation. An example would be Manny saying “Bienvenido, Tools!” He would then follow it up with “Welcome, Tools!” This lets the children associate the foreign word to the familiar translation.

The next point was to set a designated time and place to use the new language. I, for one know that I should speak more Chinese to expose the kids further to the language. The problem however, is that I am so not used to speaking it that I forget. This is how the mentioned technique helps. For us, I have set bath time to be Chinese time. While giving the kids a bath, I would try to speak mostly in Chinese, letting them learn words like hot, cold, water, bath, done, not yet. It’s but a few words but it’s a start. By defining a specific time, the kids and I are both reminded of it and it becomes a routine. I hope to eventually include other times like mealtime, car time, sleep time, even CR time, to have more opportunity to learn the language.

Another tip that I learned from experience is repetition. I managed to get him to learn counting in Fookien by just saying the number while we go up and down the stairs from the parking lot. It’s just one floor up, two flights of stairs, Monday to Friday. In no time at all, he was saying the numbers like a pro.

We’re still a long way from him having a good command of the language but as I’ve said earlier, it’s a start. A good start, in fact. He’s a few weeks shy of turning 3 and they say that the best time to teach kids a second, a third, or even a fourth language is before that age.

Well, I gotta run now! I’ve got a few more days left to cram words into his head and hope that the next time someone asks him in Chinese, he’d have something correct to say. 🙂

Ciao!

BlogSign

0

How to Fix an Inflatable

In the past, whenever our inflatables get a hole, whether it’s a toy or a swimming gear, it was headed straight to the trash. Not that I didn’t try to fix them, it’s just that I always fail. One day, it’d be all patched up and filled with air but deflated again the next. Ugh! I finally gave up.

That is, until now.

When our air mattress leaked, I was determined to find a solution. It was just too much of a waste to throw it in the bin. After trying a couple of methods, I’m happy to say that I was able to successfully patch it up. It stayed nice and comfy when I woke up the next morning, and the morning after that, and the morning after that, and the morning after that…

Find the Hole

First thing you need to do is to find the hole. It’s easier said than done. It took me a couple of days to find it but here’s what worked for me:

  1. Fill the inflatable with air, more than you’d usually do.
  2. Sit on it, lie on it, put pressure on it.
  3. Feel the surface for cold air. Do it systematically, from left to right, top to bottom, front to back. Some say that our lips are more sensitive to the cold air so you can pucker up. I was able to feel the hole with my cheeks though so that works too.
  4. Once you’ve found the hole, remember its location and deflate the mattress completely.

Hole on Air Mattress

Clean the Surface

It was unfortunate that the hole I found was on the flocked/velvet side of the mattress. Since most adhesives would not adhere to that surface, I had to scrape that off. I did not have sand paper so I used an exfoliating pad that I have at home. I dabbed it with a little water and started scraping off the velvet side.

Must Remove Flock

Here’s what it looked like after all that scraping. The PVC material underneath is now showing.

03_FlockRemoved

Patch the Hole

To patch it up, I used the following:

  1. A pair of scissors (to cut a patch of tarpaulin)
  2. A small patch of tarpaulin
  3. Adhesive – I used Handy Fix (the one with AiAi delas Alas on the packaging) that I got for P55 from Handyman Homecenter

04_Tools

I loaded the small patch of tarpaulin with LOTS of adhesive. I didn’t want to take any chances. 😛 I then stuck it into the air mattress making sure to flatten out any air pockets. For good measure, I placed a heavy set of books on top of it and only inflated it after 24 hours.

05_Patch

So here it is, all inflated and still good after a a week of use. Knock on wood! 🙂

Air Mattress

I’ve tried the same procedure to fix the others also like this punching bag sea lion (I don’t know what it’s really called).

Fix Inflatable

Hope you find this useful!

BlogSign

 

2

My Happy Table

Despite the fact that we were only going to have a mini mini birthday celebration for DS (just immediate family, the godparents and their families), Miss Artsy me could not resist preparing a little something extra to add a bit of cheer and fun into the occasion. Notwithstanding the extra work and countless sleepless nights, I was glad to have done it. 🙂

So here, I welcome you to my happiness corner, the dessert table.

Dessert Table

For a tutorial on how I decorated the colourful cardboard letters below, see here.

02_Table2

I was able to find the chalkboard and easel stand at the last minute. The handwritten note gives a nice touch to the whole setup. I added the word treats because the party giveaways were also on the table.03_aCake

Pastry making is beyond my capabilities (someday maybe…) so I had to ask my friend, Jenny Tan (contact number available upon request) to do it. She made this colorful fondant cake with the cute animal toppers.

03_Cake

And these adorable cake pops too! For a nice presentation, I arranged these on a square styrofoam, which I covered with gift wrapping paper. I then cut out orange crepe paper to cover up the styrofoam underneath. They look too cute to eat!

04_CakePops

And the yummy carrot cupcakes and the cutie animal cookies.

05_Cookies

Also on the table are my party giveaways – loom bracelets! These were such a hit that even with lots of extras, there were still none left after the party. 🙂 More information and photos of this fab party giveaway here.

06_Loom

At least I now have something to put in DS’s birthday album. 🙂 Now if only I could find photos of the actual event…

BlogSign

3

DIY Cardboard Letter Design Tutorial

These days, cardboard letters are everywhere! We see them in birthday parties, adorning the stage, the cake table, and the dessert table. We see them in kids’ rooms decorating the walls. They can go as small as 3 inches to as big as a couple of feet. In this post, I’ll show you how I decorated these cardboard letters for use on a dessert table. This photo shows the before and after of the letters.

0_BeforeAfter

Where to Buy?

According to my friend, she was able to buy her cardboard letters from Tabora in Divisoria. Small ones cost P10, medium at P20, and large at P65. Not being a Divisoria girl, I tried my luck at the Greenhills tyangge and was able to find some. Whew! The largest ones they have are 12 inches high, which are just perfect for my taste. I was able to haggle the price down to P80 per letter (their initial price was P120!). I find the letters a bit too thin though, save for the first letter E. That E was from a different store. I like the thickness of it but sadly, they don’t have all the letters I need.

Things You’ll Need:

  1. Cardboard Letters
  2. Coloured Papers – gift wrappers, scrapbook sheets, magazine pages
  3. Glue – I’d recommend the stick kind, not the liquid type since the latter makes the wrapping paper too wet and creasy
  4. Scissors
  5. Paint – I find that acrylic paint works best and it leaves a glossy finish unlike the dull effect from poster paint
  6. Paintbrush

1_Letters

Procedure:

  1. Cut the paper to the size of the letter plus a bit of extra so that you can wrap it and let it “bleed” to the sides.
  2. Glue the paper onto the cardboard.
  3. Paint the sides of the cardboard. I find that it’s nicer not to paint too close to the edge but to leave a little of the paper unpainted to give a nice wraparound look.
  4. Let it dry. Proceed to do the next letter.

2_CutAndPaint

For this letter, I could not find papers with colours that matched my palette so I resorted to tearing pieces from magazines.  It became like a collage and came out real nice.

3_A

Again, these are the letters once finished.

IMG_6956

And here they are up on the table with all the adornment, minus the desserts (not yet done with those). =)

4_FinalOutcome

 

Hope you find this useful!

BlogSign