Thursday, 31 May 2012

CAESAREAN AND OBESITY



There are many researchers proving that kids that are delivered naturally have many advantages over the ones that were born after an operation, C-section. Only one example is that the risk of suffering from asthma is greater in kids that weren't born naturally. However, the topic of today is the link between the birth types and the increased risk of obesity in kids. 


According to some research results formed and done in the USA (Boston Children's Hospital), there is a strong link between obesity and the birth type in kids. 

The research was published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood magasine and and it was noted there that the process of digestion in people that were born through caesarean changes due to the affects of C-section on the bacteria in the digestive system. When they compared over a thousand kids a quarter of whom were born after a caesarean operation and the rest was born naturally (vaginal birth), it was apparent that the quarter that wasn't born vaginally were fatter and were twice more under the risk of obesity. 


This is something to keep in mind especially for those women who have an option of choosing the type of birth they would like to experience at the end of their pregnancies.  

Monday, 28 May 2012

FOOD DESIGN (3)


Here is another simple, yet very impressive design that I have found for you! It would complete a 'caterpillar/hungry caterpillar' themed party beautifully.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

CHOCOLATE COATED KIWI and HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE

Homemade icecream

This is something that I have recently come across with on the internet. These chocolate coated kiwis would be a good substitute for packaged ice-creams and chocolates that are high in sugar and have many types of preservatives and artificial ingredients.

If you would like to make your own chocolate sauce, here are a few recipes for you:

Homemade Chocolate Sauce Recipe 1:


Ingredients:

Sugar - 3/4 of a cup
Flour - 1 1/2 tablespoons
(Unsweetened) cocoa powder - 1/2 cup high-quality
Milk - 1 1/4 cups 
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Vanilla - 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or to taste)
Salt - tiny pinch

Mix the sugar, flour and the cocoa powder in a bowl until there is no chunks. In a pot, melt your butter in with milk and vanilla essence on medium heat. When the butter melts, start mixing your dry ingredients that you mixed together in a bowl slowly. Add a little at a time and whisk them until there is no lumpy bits. Put it on medium heat once again and stir until it starts boiling. Once bubbles come up, turn the heat down to low and simmer until it the mixture thickens. It only needs about 6 minutes of simmering. Add a little pinch of salt to bring out the chocolate flavour better and then the sauce is ready.

Homemade Chocolate Sauce Recipe 2:

Ingredients: 


Milk - 150ml (2/3 of a cup)
Cocoa powder - 220g (2 cups)
Butter - 160g (3/4 of a cup)
Water - 230ml (1 cup)
Flour - 30g (1/4 of a cup)
Sugar -120g (1/2 of a cup) - if possible use powdered sugar


Mix the cocoa powder with the butter and using a blender, make a fine paste. Heat up your water with the cocoa powder and butter paste in a pot and once hot (not boiled), take it off the stove. Add your milk, sugar and flour into the hot mixture and then mix them well until there is no lump. (If you would like to use it as chocolate, then pour it in some containers and freeze it for at least 5-6 hours).

Enjoy something sweet today!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

HOMEMADE YOGHURT SOUP

During cooler days, I cannot think of anything better than some nice hot soup for meal times. This is definitely one of our favourite soups especially during autumn and winter. It is easy to make, doesn't take long to prepare and cook, and satisfies everyone in the family from our tiny baby to the eldest in the family. It is filling enough and if you'd like your dinner to be quick, healthy and light, then this is a real winner. It has both carbohydrates and protein in just right proportions.

This particular food originally comes from Turkish cuisine but it is altered slightly in different recipe books. Below is how we make it.

Rice soup
Our homemade yoghurt/rice soup
Ingredients: 

A cup of rice
A medium size bowlful of natural plain yoghurt
1 tablespoonful of wholemeal or white plain flour
Ground mint
Salt
Hot chilli pepper flakes (optional)
Olive oil (optional)

Method:

Version 1: Boil rice in plenty of water in a pot until the rice is cooked. In a bowl, mix the yoghurt with the flour well and then slowly pour it into the rice. As you do so, keep stirring. Once it starts boiling again, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes (so that there is no raw flour smell in the soup). Add in your salt, chilli flakes and mint just before taking it off the stove.

Version 2: Boil rice in plenty of water in a pot until the rice is cooked. In a bowl, mix the yoghurt with the flour well and then slowly pour it into the rice. As you do so, keep stirring. Once it starts boiling again, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes (so that there is no raw flour smell in the soup). Add in your salt. In a saucepan, heat up some oil (1-2 tablespoons) and cook the pepper flakes and mint in it for a minute or until it starts changing colour. After that, pour this mixture onto the soup and it is all ready to serve.

Note: The recipe above takes less than half an hour to be prepared, cooked and served.



Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A SEWING TIP


If your sewing machine is not the best in the world and it rips certain types of fabrics such as tulle/netting while sewing, try to sew the fabric with a piece of paper under it. This tip will make life easier especially while working on light and fragile fabrics.

Monday, 21 May 2012

FEiJOA

 Feijoa fruit
I have only noticed and tried feijoa, also known as 'pineapple guava' recently. 

Up until this year, it has never caught my eye. Last year, we started shopping at a particular market and they always stock seasonal fresh produce that are organically or biodynamically grown. When feijoa was on display about a month ago, it caught my attention and I asked the very knowledgeable and helpful shop assistant there a few questions about this particular fruit. He is passionate about what he does, I believe. He was happily involved in the conversation and when he didn't know the answer to one of my questions which was not necessarily a very important one but I was curious about it, he quickly went inside, brought a book with him and found the relevant page easily. It was a very informative and enjoyable little chat that him, his co-worker who joined us a little later and I had that day.

From that conversation, his book and also from other sources, I was able to gather some useful information for us all. Here is the brief conclusion of my findings for you:

Feijoa fruit originates from South America but is also well known and locally grown in New Zealand too. Its types vary. It is egg shaped. It has a distinctive smell and is sweet in taste. 

Feijoa fruit plant

To eat, simply, cut the fruit up in half and scoop out the juicy flesh. Usually, you can just pinch the end and majority of the fruit comes right out. Some people don't even peel it and eat the skin too but it is a bit bitter and I do not recommend eating it. If preferred, you can make jelly, chutney and jam with feijoa, or put it in cakes, icecreams, puddings and drinks as flavouring.  

If overmature, it will look bruised and go brown on the inside. If so, it should not be eaten. 

Bruised feijoa

Health benefits:

Feijoa has great antioxidant activity (containing proanthoncyanins). It is high in vitamin C, minerals and fiber. It is low in calorie.

Enjoy something new today!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

RECIPE FOR CONSTIPATION

This recipe best works for infants and babies. If your little angel is suffering from hard stool, don't just sit down and cry with her or give her medicated laxatives. This recipe is a natural remedy for constipation in babies.
constipated baby

Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
30ml warm water

Method:
Mix the brown sugar and water well and give it to your baby.

Use this mixture only in 24 hours and only 3-4 times.

There are also some other things you can do to help your child regardless of the age of her overcome constipation:

  • Massage the belly (you can use olive oil to massage with)
  • Prunes are great laxatives. Depending on your child's age and readiness, you can give her the fruit itself or the juice of it.
  • High in fiber foods 
  • Plenty of liquid (especially water)
  • Excercise (especially the types that involve abdominal muscles). 

Note: The recommendations here are not to replace any doctor's advice. Seek professional help when the symptoms resist. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

DID YOU KNOW ... (25)

hipppos


Hippopotamuses can run faster than human beings.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

RECYCLED CRATES

Recycling ideas

What a brilliant and stylish way of utilising unwanted crates! It doesn't even seem to be a very challenging project, does it?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

TUTORIAL: STOCKINGS TURNED INTO JEWELLERY

Here is a very unusual and a stylish way of recycling women's stockings. The idea is very smart and the result is mind blowing.
Materials needed for this easy project are very affordable and most are likely to be already in hand for most of us. Below is the tutorial for you.

Materials: 
  • some thin stockings
  • beads (preferably wooden)
  • thread (same colour as the stockings)
  • needle 
  • some scrap fabric for flowers
  • a safety pin
  • scissors
Tutorial:  Click here for the tutorial. 



Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Monday, 14 May 2012

AN EASY IMPRESSIVE FABRIC FLOWER TUTORIAL

This style of flowers is sometimes referred to as 'twisted' or 'rolled'. The link to the instructions to make this type of fabric flowers is below. 

Baby girl  dress

For this project, you will need a fabric piece sized about 2-3cm wide and approximately 20-25cm long (the size can vary depending on your project). For the full tutorial, visit here

el yapimi cicek

rolled flower

You can hand stitch or hot glue some felt or fabric on the bottom of your flower or flowers and attach it/them to a safety pin, hair clip, hair band, bag, necklace etc. 






Saturday, 12 May 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...? (24)

Devekusu

Ostriches are the largest birds in the world. Some are as tall as a man.

Friday, 11 May 2012

GUEST POST: Y.'s DIY CUPCAKE STAND

Today's blog entry comes from a reader of this blog, Ayse Kuru Ozdemir, who will hereafter be referred as A.O. She is a mother of two and is also the owner of a graphic design and printing business called Printcraft Wall Decals. However, none of her busy life requirements seems to be stopping her from reading this blog on a regular basis. Nor does it seem to stop her from 'making things' and having a great time with her young children. 


Thank you A. O. very much for your very motivating feedback and for taking the time to share your own project inspired by one of my previous blog entries/tutorials here with us. 


Below is what she has sent us. Enjoy!



It's my son Y.'s  8th birthday in late June. We decided to give him the hard work of deciding what he would like to do. 


He ended up wanting a tiny party for 3 of his best friends. 


Handmade cake stand




He said he wanted a Mario Brothers party, all colourful... We did lots of researching with him, found most things to suit his party, like hats, shirts, slippers, cakes, pop cakes etc but no pre-made Mario stands.


When I saw your blog about the DIY stand, I showed him and asked him if he thinks we can make one too. Oh My God! He was so happy :-) The idea of making his own Mario stand was very exciting for him.

Printer




DIY cake stand


My son loves doing crafty work. So, it was a really good experience for him, creating his own stand with the colours he likes. From the start to the end, he was involved in the entire process. 


Kids activities

We first went shopping together to a party supplier, and chose what he wanted. He decided on the sizes of the layers. Then, we hopped on the laptop and worked around the colours, and came up with the designs. 


Hubby and I do graphic design and printing. So, we then went to the office and got them all printed. I also got a few extra stickers of Mario printed to use later on and finally at home, we put them all 
together and there you go: A DIY stand inspired by 'My Made by Y' :-)

Mario Brothers cupcake stand


Thank you so much for your great blogs. I really enjoy reading them. Your ideas are excellent, things I love but can't think of!


You are a great inspiration!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

COIN PURSE FROM RECYCLED BOTTLES

recycling ideas

Here is another interesting and smart recycling idea for you all. You can access to the free downloadable and printable tutorial by clicking here. Enjoy!

coin purse from bottles



Wednesday, 9 May 2012

AN ART ACTIVITY FOR THE EXPLORER

Art at home

I remember of reading this article on NewYork Times a few weeks ago. The article claimed that exercise makes brains work better and suggested that kids need to be exercising (especially walking and swimming) to increase their intellectual abilities rather than all the other types of exposure that today's parents are working hard to be able to afford with the hope of raising smart kids.

The article focused on the impacts of physical activity on the physiology of brain functionality but I have no doubt that some regular exercise is full of goodness in many ways. That is why we try to utilise any opportunity to be outdoors and be physically active whenever we can even though, unfortunately, what we do is so much less than we we believe we should do in this regard.

There is an endless amount of opportunities and stimulants out there but let me share with you one simple idea that gives you a chance to help your child nourish his physical, mental and emotional capabilities here.

This particular activity is an art activity requiring some outdoor exercise as well and is most suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. Here is what you do: Step outside with your child and go for a walk. As you walk, let your child explore his surrounding. Let him touch the grass, chase a butterfly, try to spot a blue truck on the side street, smell the air, sing a song to you, collect some leaves... As you both have fun doing all that, make sure you two communicate, talk about things.

For this art activity, your child will need to bring the leaves that he collected while out for a walk. Encourage him to choose different shaped, sized, types and colour leaves to take home. On a piece of (preferably recycled) paper, let him glue them randomly or in a certain shape that he would like to assemble them (for example, he can draw/paint a tree trunk and can glue the real leaves and make them the tree's leaves). Also, talk about how they look and feel for some extra learning and fun opportunities. I am sure he will be very happy and excited about all the stages of this activity. Once the masterpiece is nice and dry, he can even use it for his next show&tell activity and make sure you take a photo of his proud face as he shows off his artwork!

Show some appreciation to nature today!


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

MIRACLE THREE IN VOCABULARY ENHANCEMENT

The tips below are the most commonly approved teaching methods of vocabulary especially for babies and young children universally. They can be used in teaching kids a second language as well as the mother tongue.  All you need to do is that whatever language is your target language, apply the methods below using that particular language. These are recommended especially for enhancing vocabulary.
  1. Read out loud.
  2. Talk. Conversations are a really great tool in language development at any age. 
  3. Introduce words. Name things as often as you can and try to use different words when talking to your child. Do not underestimate your child's learning capability. As they say, their brains are like sponges. Don't hesitate to use a good variety of words from your rich vocabulary when labeling or talking about things. 
The list can be expanded with other methods such as 'show and tell' but the most basic three rules are the ones listed above.

Enjoy a day when you teach someone something useful today!


Monday, 7 May 2012

Sunday, 6 May 2012

RIGHT FOUNDATION ESSENTIALS


Recently, Mr. Junior came home from his early learning centre with what you see in the picture. I am sure it is quite common for everyone with a child in a preschool to see their pile from school. The label on the resealable bag wrote his name and the name of the fresh herb that he brought home.

It was apparent that they worked on some sprigs on the day. He also showed me some parsley in the school's garden and told me that they had dug up the ground and 'George the gardener' has planted the parsley. He was proud of himself for being a part of it. We were also allowed to pick some parsley to take home with us which we did. On the way back home, we brainstormed how we could use those two types of herbs. They were our treasure of the day.

I really like the idea that kids are exposed to gardening and exploring around the garden. I also very much enjoyed the idea that they worked on some fresh produce from the garden and even brought them home. Activities similar to the ones above definitely make kids more interested in healthy eating and living habits.

I also noticed a notice at the door that the school encourages parents to bring in a variety of foods for snack time. The usual rule for snacks is to bring a piece of fruit for each child. However, the notice mentioned that it would be great to bring a richer variety than just the usual apples and bananas. The examples included celery, large lettuce strips, carrots and more.

As I have mentioned it here as well, in my opinion, it is the responsibility of parents and schools of especially young children that kids are exposed to the 'right' foods and lifestyles. The word 'right' is very subjective. However, some basics such as eating fresh fruit and vegetables and exercising are mostly agreed upon universally.

Do something 'right' today!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Thursday, 3 May 2012

WHAT MAKES US WHO WE ARE

Our brains are made up of different areas that control emotion, language, logic, behaviour, memory and motor skills. It is true that our genes provide the blueprint. However, interconnected circuits between various areas of the brain become stronger or weaker depending on our experiences.

Especially during the first three years of life, our brains build the foundation for what comes later in life. That is why it is crucial to provide our children the best possible opportunities for learning and a variety of experiences at young ages.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

HOMEMADE HAIR CARE PRODUCTS

The best way to look after our hair is achieved by using natural and organic products. Here are a few of the many natural, affordable and easy homemade hair care options for you.

Almond Oil
Pour some almond oil into your hand and massage your hair with it. Cover it up for half an hour or so before washing it.

Natural homemade haircareMix 1 table spoon of honey with 1/4 cup of honey and half a cup of natural yoghurt. Use this mixture to massage your hair with. Leave it on for approximately 20minutes and then wash it off.

Honey
A mixture of equal amounts of honey and olive oil makes a great healthy conditioner for hair. After applying it to hair with some gentle massage, cover it up with a towel or a shower cap and wash off after half an hour later.

Egg
Add about two spoonfuls of water into two eggs and mix it well before applying to the hair. Wait for 15 minutes and then wash it off.

Olive Oil
Makes a great hair moisturiser and hair mask. For soft and shiny hair, by massaging, apply a teaspoonful of olive oil to slightly wet hair. Apply it particularly to the ends of your hair by rubbing and cover it up for 30-45 minutes and then rinse.

Avocado
Make a mixture of mashed avocado and honey and rub in on your hair for another wonderful homemade hair mask.