Friday, 16 January 2015

DID YOU KNOW ...? (78)

The first graded sewing pattern was invented by a tailor named Ebeneezer Butterick in Sterling, Massachusets in1863.

The idea or the articulation of the need came from his wife, Ellen, who was the main person to sew their son's clothes at home. She told her husband, Ebeneezer, how much easier it would be to sew for her son if she had a pattern correctly sized for him and Ebeneezer came up with the concept of graded patterns as at the time, patterns came in one size only. He also was the first person to use tissue paper in pattern making too.
Blogger Tricks

Friday, 9 January 2015

RECIPE: Bite Sized Chocolate Coconut Balls

This is something that reminds of my childhood and my early days in the kitchen. It is something from the past for me and has a warm feel attached to it. As far as I can remember, this is one of the first and mostly tried recipes of mine since much younger. It is a recipe that has not failed me, not even for once. I am sure you can find several recipes around for this delicious treat but I can guarantee you that this is one of the easiest and most successful ones ever!

chocolate coconut ball recipe

Ingredients: 

250gr finely crushed arrowroot biscuits
250gr melted margarin or butter (I use butter)
3 tblsp shredded coconut
1 cup caster sugar
2-3 tblsp cocoa
2-3 tblsp finely chopped hazelnut or walnut (optional)

homemade dessert recipe
Method: 

Place butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix well. Add biscuits, cocoa and the nuts and keep mixing until it forms a dough that sticks together when squeezed. Make balls in a desired size using this mixture and then roll through coconut. Place the chocolate balls in the fridge at least for half an hour and serve when nice and cool.

bite sized coconut ball recipe

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

While Waving Goodbye

It is that time of the year once again that we are able to say goodbye to a year and welcome a brand new one. Most likely, we have been who we are throughout the year and we will be who we have been tomorrow regardless of the change in the year. However, we can take this end of year/beginning of a new year as an opportunity to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses, have more organised thoughts and plans for our personal and professional future and take a breath and share our best wishes with our families, friends, and even strangers. It is also a reminder that regardless of what one has gone through, life continues on and will keep bringing on more and more... hopefully including many cherished moments.

Warm wishes to you all and may 2015 bring a healthier, happier, more peaceful and fulfilling year than ever for us all regardless of our gender, and cultural, racial, lingual, socio-economical, educational or religious backgrounds.

Focusing on the positives, here are some of the many beautiful experiences life has brought me, my family and my business, MADE BY Y, in 2014.

The picture below (featuring one of my MADE BY Y bibs) belongs to a father-to-be. When I was sent this photo all the way from Italy, it just made my day! The comment said that both the mother and father-to-be LOVED their MADE BY Y set but were a bit unsure whether the sizing was right. As much as it looks good on him, I think they are right that the bib is a tad small for him, don't you think? Joke aside, wishing this excited dad-to-be, his partner and everyone else that is expecting a safe and easy arrival of their child in 2015.
A MADE BY Y bib on a dad-to-be

As for the pictures below, I took them this morning and they are from a cactus plant that we have in our front yard. We have had the plant for over 9 years and this year is the second time it has ever flowered. It is pure beauty! We have noticed also that they always open in the evenings or at nights and stay open for one and a half to two days. Before it flowers, the plant starts giving a dark round fury/hairy bud around the side on top, then that bit starts growing longer for some days and then it turns into this unique flower in about 5-6 days or so. These three marvellous flowers opened up all in one day yesterday and we woke up to them today! Before this lot, we had four more but all on different days and one after the other, never together.

unique flower

unique cactus flower

beauty in nature

Stay safe and happy New Year!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Guest Post: 7 INCREDIBLE KIDS' ROOMS

By Jane Blanchard

There's no other place like home for a child in his or her own bedroom. Children have great personalities and wild imaginations; having an incredibly designed room that goes with a certain theme or fantasy they harbor makes for fantastic childhood memories. Designing a fantastic children's room doesn't have to be brain-wrecking and difficult. Simply take a look at ideas, cartoons and imaginary games your child is obsessed with, and build from there.

Here's a collection of 7 incredible kids' rooms we've found. Draw inspiration from these, pair up with your kid and create a gorgeous daily memory that will last a lifetime.

1. Princess-Themed Bedrooms

Every little girl dreams of being a princess, right? Make your precious jewel the princess of your kingdom with this fairytale-themed bedroom design. You can easily bring this to life in a number of ways. Paint shades in jewel and pastel pinks, blues, purples and other shades can be purchased at your local home improvement store. Getting the bed can be as simple as shopping specialty stores. Rooms to Go, Rilane and even eBay have Cinderella style beds for your little princess.

http://qumore.com/wp-content/themes/flix/images/jz/zoom.png

2. Pirate-Themed Bedrooms

Ahoy matey! Allow your little rascal to live out his dreams of sailing the seven seas in this pirate-themed bedroom. Spruce your design with skull and crossbones wall art, pirate flag carpets, treasure chest toy boxes and other d├ęcor. You can even find pirate-style bedding, beds and decor on Etsy, eBay and cull ideas from Pinterest.

http://www.ratecore.com/kids-room/tropical-space-sport-pirate-themed-kids-rooms/

3. Space Theme Bedrooms

Let your child experience the wonders of being on the moon or in outer space with this themed bedroom. Space themes are for the child whose big dreams reach beyond our mere little atmosphere. Design a solar system on the wall, infuse the bedding with galactic star-studded sheets and comforters. Rockets or spaceships can be painted on wall murals or added with appliques. Let your imagination run wild by cultivating ideas on Etsy, Pinterest and Pottery Barn Kids.

http://industrystandarddesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/space-themed-bedroom-3-600x393.jpg

4. Under the Sea or Mermaid Theme Bedrooms

As a child, my friends and I were obsessed with The Little Mermaid. We dreamed of trading in our land legs for sea legs and being completely immersed in a sparkly underwater world of fun and excitement. You can design a beautiful underwater or mermaid themed bedroom using a number of methods. You can cultivate mermaid theme ideas directly from the movie, complete with Ariel, or you can switch things up and make it completely unique.

5. Jungle and Safari Themed Bedrooms

Let your child be king of the jungle with a cute, safari themed bedroom. This is a really fun theme to use, as the options can be as tame or as wild as you'd like them to be. There are an abundance of jungle-themed items for a child's nursery too. Beso also has some super cute finds.

http://www.jp-designer.com/jungle-safari-theme-bedroom-design-ideas/jungle-themed-nursery-wall-stickers/#image-1

6. Super Hero Bedroom

OMG! Aren't these rooms the coolest ever? Who doesn't love the idea of being a superhero? If you want a superhero bedroom for your child, the choices here are pretty endless. Batman. Superman. Spiderman. Hulk. Wonder Woman.

http://bensbargains.net/thecheckout/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/superhero_superman.jpg

http://bedroomdesigncatalog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Hulk-Bedroom-Decor-Theme-Ideas.jpg

7. Sports Themed Bedrooms

Encourage your child's desire to become the world's next greatest athlete. There are sports of all kinds. You can mix and match decor and design themes in conjunction with sports they participate in, or centralize the design around their favorite professional sports team.

http://images.viralnova.com/000/027/233/desktop-1406691527.png

http://www.trioplex.com/377/boys-sports-bedroom-decorating-ideas/boys-sports-bedroom-decorating-ideas-bmx-wall-decal-sport-kids-room-decorating-ideas

For more kids room ideas and inspiration visit Modernize!


Friday, 28 November 2014

Simplicity

'Abra-to-gabra' says my 3 year old butterfly when turning a chair into a teddy bear or her brother into a cloud. There are always at least a few of those large straw looking handles that are often attached to balloons that some businesses give out as a way of advertising at home and my kids have lots of fun using them in their imaginative plays or while pretending to be a magician even when the balloons are long gone. 

Fun with straws

Even though they find an amazing use of those long straws as they are, they also sometimes have fun cutting them into pieces too. Of course using my kitchen scissors!

Every day life objects in crafts

They sure make a great team. My son cuts the straws into pieces, my daughter carefully places them on the floor all over the house so that we can see at least a piece or two in every room of the house.

Straw necklace

However, the fun doesn't end there. They both love threading them as well. My son does it because he just enjoys threading and my daughter does it because a girl can never have enough accessories as you may be well aware especially if you have a little girl in your life.

Easy DIY fun for kdis

This is a win-win type of an activity for us. I am happy -as long as they use their own scissors, that is- because the straw pieces don't end up invading the whole house and it is almost totally hassle free. My kids are happy because they have fun while using their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and focus. I think having a jarful of those straws can be a lifesaver even when there are a few of their friends over too. Any happy children-happy mama moment is to be cherished!

 Have a relaxing day!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Spelling the 100-200 Oxford Words

In a previous post, I have shared with you the list of 307 sight/Oxford words that my son's school uses in their Foundation classes. After the first two terms of the school, it turned out that my son was ready for a new challenge. After a discussion with their coordinator, his teacher decided to provide him with the spelling words lists. The idea is the same as the reading sight words; each week, he is tested and once he achieves that particular lot (normally 10 a week but it also depends on the individual's pace) confidently, the next set of spelling words are worked on at home and tested at school the following week.

I thought it may be beneficial for many of you to have this list to use with your children now or save for later. To access to the list, click here.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

RECIPE: Homemade Playdough

homemade playdough recipe using cream of tartar

Just recently, I heard something called 'cream of tartar' and that you can use it to make some homemade playdough with. Did I just make it obvious that I don't really bake much normally? Anyway, no need to get into unnecessary details here, right? 

Well, I found the packet of cream of tartar in the baking aisle of a chain supermarket in my area. I wanted to mention it here so that your search of it is much less painful and time consuming than mine was in case you too have never bought it before. 

The rest was much easier. I also bought my first ever food colouring pack and voila! I simply came home, stored them until kids were at home, then took them out one day and made playdough with my little helpers. I used same recipe on the cream of tartar packet (I used McKenzie's cream of tartar). It was super easy!

Recipe:

2 cups plain flour
4 tbs cream of tartar
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 tbs cooking oil
Food coloring

Method:

Mix all ingredients. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes. When the mixture congeals, it is ready!

recipe for kids: playdough