Saturday, May 31, 2008

Simple Household Budgeting Tips

by Stefani Partin


Are you the head of the household of your family and need some tips on making your life a little simpler? Those that work, take care of the kids and pay the bills have a hard time keeping everything organized. Below are some tips to help budget your household and some maybe even have some fun doing it.

Keep your financial records current. Keep a filing system and create folders for items such as receipts, tax returns, billing statements, bank statements, credit reports, etc. Keep everything in one designated place so it is easy to find when you need it. For your mail, have one designated place to put it daily when you receive it. Most all of us have misplaced our mail at one time in our life. Misplaced mail could mean late payments, which means late charges. Set a specific time of the day or week to handle all of your bookkeeping and stick to it. When I speak of bookkeeping, I speak of paying bills, filing bills, going through your mail, etc.

If you have online banking with your bank, set it up. I cannot tell you how easy it is to pay my bills with my online banking. The day I receive a bill in the mail, I will log into my bank account and schedule the payment. The bank then sends the payment by mail or electronically and has it paid on the date that I scheduled it to be paid. This service is even free with my bank. It saves time writing out checks and I also save on the postage.

Get your kids involved in your budgeting. Pay your children an allowance. Have them use the allowance for things they want to buy like candy, movies, toys, games, etc instead of just giving them money when they need it. Having your children pay for their own stuff with their own money will teach them at an early age how to spend wisely.

You can save hundreds of dollars per year shopping at the lower-priced food stores. You might even save thousands depending on how much your family spends and where you shop. Convenience stores will most often charge high prices then compared to a grocery store. Don't go to the store when you are hungry either, this will cause you to buy more goodies then you would normally buy. Be wise and compare price-per-ounce or other unit prices on shelf labels.

When setting your family budget, don't make your budget so tight that it's impossible to keep. Set goals, short term and long term and try your best to achieve them.


© 2006 Stefani Partin, a work at home mom of three from CA who owns a network of sites for moms, blogs, a newsletter and more. Stefani dedicates her time to helping moms find ways to make money at home. Visit Stefani's blog at http://www.StefaniPartin.com or visit her main site at http://www.MommyEnterprises.com

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo

Friday, May 30, 2008

Movie Nights: Coming Soon

Not sure if Su and I will be going out tonight. There's no new exciting movie to go watch this week, unless you count Superhero Movie as one. Nope, I don't think so.

The folks at work, though, may organize a happy hour party this evening to celebrate one of us who is leaving. So we'll see how that goes.

Let's make a list of movies to look forward to in the month of June.
  1. Kung Fu Panda, starting 6 June
  2. The Incredible Hulk, starting 12 June
  3. Made of Honour, starting 19 June ~ McDreamy, le sigh
  4. Wanted, starting 26 June ~ James McAvoy aka Mr Tumnus, le sigh

That should fulfill my quota for a-movie-a-week. Teehee.

xoxo

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Listless AND Despondent

I'm feeling dreadful.

I'm in pain. I crave for chocolates and lemonade. I think I'm PMS-ing.

This stomach-flu I had since Tuesday, is back.

It's raining as I type this. I wish I'm home taking a nap.

I'm still feeling disillusioned by some things that happened over the past week.

So, lets hear some music, to cheer me up. This one is my favourite from Christina Aguilera's first Spanish album. I tried to look for its music video, but I think we're not allowed to share :p



Pero Me Acuerdo De Ti (But I Remember You)

Ahora que ya mi vida se encuentra normal, ooh, ooh
Que tengo encasa quien suena con verme llegar, ooh, oh
Ahora puedo decir que me encuentro de pie
Ahora que me va muy bien

Ahora que con el tiempo logre superar, hmm
Aquel amor que por poco me llega a matar, no
Ahora ya no hay mas dolor
Ahora el fin vuelvo a ser yo

[1] - Pero me acuerdo de ti
Y otra vez pierdo la calma
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Y se me desgarra el alma
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Y se borra mi sonrisa
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Y mi mundo se hace trizas

Ooh, oh, hey
Ahora que me futuro comienza a brillar, hmm-mm
Ahora que me han devuelto la seguridad, oh, whoa
Ahora ya no hay mas dolor
Ahora al fin vuelvo a ser yo

[Repeat 1]

Oh, oh, whoa
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Oh no, no
Y se me desgarra el almo
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Mi sonrisa
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Mi mundo trizas
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Ooh
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Oh pero me, pero me, pero me, pero me
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Pero me acuerdo de ti
Oh, whoa
Pero me acuerdo de ti...

Enjoy!

xoxo

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Movie Nights: Indiana Jones 4

I'm actually quite proud of myself. I managed to catch one movie a week this whole month of May. It has not end yet, so we shall see if I'll be watching another movie this Friday.

Indiana Jones, is like the male version of Lara Croft, isn't it? Or more appropriately, Lara was molded after Indy. No wonder I'm pulled to play Tomb Raider over all other female-centric action games out there.

Last Friday I went to watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with my colleagues. Would have gone with Su, but she was in Singapore.

So, what's the verdict? I'll tell you the short review from me, and those text messages I received from Su and MrDJ whom both watched it last Saturday; at same time I reckon, but different places. How weird is that?? Lol.

And then, I'm going to write down my thoughts about it after the poster jump. I better put a notice here beforehand, it could contain SPOILERS. If you don't want me to spoil you with the plot, then better not read it.
Me: The movie was fun, but lacked something, am not sure what. There were some parts that felt slow-paced. Definitely for fans.

MrDJ: Didn't expect that Cate Blanchett is in this movie, surprised! The movie is so-so, no spark. Flat and monotonous.

Su: I'm glad I'm a FAN.


From the moment I learnt about this new Indy movie, I was excited! I remembered fondly those days when I watched his other movies numerous times that I cannot count anymore. Starting from Raiders of the Lost Ark, to The Temple of Doom (my favourite!) and on to The Last Crusade, I've watched them all. I even bought the 3-DVD special edition box for collection.

So how did this movie fared against the other three? To tell you frankly, I'm not impressed. It's good to see Indy in action once again. The special effects was fantastic. The actors and actresses in this movie were fabulous. Cate Blanchett was brilliant!

However, something was missing from the ingredient I feel, but I do not know what. Could be Dr. Jones didn't use much of his whip, or something. I dunno *shrugs*

And then, there's the plot.

In this installment, Indy was kidnapped by Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko to lead them to a crate holding the remains of an alien. It was believed that it's skull has a power to reveal other's thoughts and knowledge. Of course, the Soviets thought it would be good to have this weapon on their side.

I didn't know that thing was an alien until towards the end. I thought, it was a mummy! :p

Thus, I was surprised to find out that the Crystal Skull was not of an ingenious people, but of an alien instead. Haha.

Indy and gang brought it back to a temple in El Dorado (if I'm not mistaken) where you'll see thirteen crystal skeletons, one with a missing skull, are all seated on thrones. The Soviets caught up with Dr Jones and Irina took the liberty to placed the missing skull on its skeleton. And then, the aliens came to live!

Irina demanded to know everything and the aliens started to upload information through her eyes. While that was happening, a portal to another dimension appears above the room and started to suck the occupant in it one by one. After a while, Irina was overwhelmed with all the information that she had to absorb causing her to ignite into flames and disintegrate.

Dr Jones and gang flee from the temple as it crumbles. And then, it reveals a flying saucer that flew off and disappear. This is where I told MrDJ, 'but this an Indy movie, not ET. Can't they make it more like Tomb Raider?'.

Back home, Dr Jones marries Marion and they live happily ever after. Hehe.

Oh, and Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) is his son that he wasn't aware of until now. There you have it, the future Indiana Jones :p

xoxo

Monday, May 26, 2008

Weekend Snapshot # 18



A weekend where we had pizza for Sunday night :)



How was your weekend? For more weekenders, please visit here.

xoxo

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Let's Pretend

by Anita DeFrank


Children have amazing and wild imaginations. The next time you hear "I'm bored" or "What can we do", give them a few household items, or let them make their own and watch them expand into endless hours of fun and entertainment. The following are just a few ideas to get the fun started and be sure to use your imagination too!

Make an Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses can be a lot of fun, spark creativity and also be great exercise for the little ones. These can be set up in and out of doors. Pillows, chairs, tires and stools are just a couple of things that can be used to be climbed, jumped and skipped over, through, around and under. Time each child as they scramble their way through and have a race. Best thing about these is that once they've done everything they can think of with the first one, it can be torn down and set up again another way. Have each child take turns in choosing the way it's set back up.


Let's Play Dress Up
Don't give away all those old shoes, shirts, pants, hats, gloves and costume jewelry! Set aside a special drawer or box for these item to play dress up. Have children act out their favorite play, television show or put on a fashion show. You'd be surprised exactly how cute she really looks in your old high school prom gown. Be sure to take snap shots or keep the video camera rolling!


Kid's Café
Set up old card table and let the children play restaurant. Have children make up or use play money and menus. Children that can't write yet can draw the food items on the menus. Give them some paper plates, cups, plastic silverware, a little notebook and they're open for business. Take turns being waiter, customer and busboy (or girl ).


Go Camping
This too can be played in or out of doors and the possibilities are endless. If you have a smaller pop-up tent, it can be set up in the living room. If you're taking this activity outdoors, you can hang an old sheet over a clothesline securing with rocks at the bottom. Have children draw or cut out windows if you're using an old sheet. (Remember to keep for the next camping trip.) Set up some lawn chairs around your faux fire and tell stories, sing songs, make smores in the microwave or any other favorite camping activity. Go all the way and sleep there tonight!


Movie Night
Go to your favorite video rental store and have your child help pick out a movie for the whole family. Have children make tickets for the show, play money, popcorn, baggies of dried fruit, paper cups of juice or any other favorite snacks. Set these items up for "sale" and have each family member "purchase" their tickets and munchies. Then sit back and enjoy the show!


Anita DeFrank is a busy work at home mom who specializes in helping others become successful home business owners. Visit her site http://www.MommysHelperOnline.com for additional help to become a successful work at home mom.

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo

Saturday, May 24, 2008

5 Reasons Why Sitting At The Computer Can Be A Health Risk

by S McIntyre


Sitting at the computer all day can pose some serious health risks. If you think that sitting doesn't involve a lot of work think again. Although it requires less muscular effort, the muscles are required to hold the trunk, the neck and shoulders in a fixed position.

Here are 5 reasons why sitting at the computer can be a health risk and tips to help correct these problems.

1. Poor posture. Poor alignment of the head, neck, shoulder and back causes stress and pain which affects every part of your body from head to toe and it can have lasting health problems.

Support your back. The backrest should fit the natural curve of your lower back. Your feet should be planted firmly on the floor or comfortably on a footrest. Keep a comfortable shoulder and arm posture. Avoid slouching. Keep your wrists straight and avoid any up, down or side way movements.

2. Eye strain. Constantly staring at the monitor can cause dry or watery eyes, sore, burning or itchy eyes, blurred or double vision and headaches all contribute to eye strain. Although there is no long-term consequences, it's rather unpleasant.

Take frequent breaks. Give your eyes a rest by focusing on something other than the monitor. You can also sit back and close your eyes for a few minutes or complete other tasks. Blinking lubricates the eye, so blink more often.

Place the monitor at least at arm's length. Make sure the top of the screen is at eye level so you're not straining to look up or down. Reduce unnecessary glare and check your lighting. The worst problems comes from overhead lighting or from behind. Dust on the monitor may contribute to glare and reflection problems. Lastly, adjust the contrast and brightness on the monitor that is comfortable for you.

3. Poor circulation. Prolonged sitting can cause fatigue in your limbs, painful leg cramps or blood clots. Get up and move around, go for a 30 minute walk, do some light exercises or stretches for your arms, shoulders, neck, back and legs. Take a few deep breaths by inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.

4. Forgetting to eat. Many people forget to eat while working on the computer. I can see why. Time just flies. Don't skip those important meals because they give you energy and will carry you out throughout the day. If you have a daily planner, make sure you schedule a lunch break away from the computer. Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.

5. Eating too much. And some people can't stop eating. It's like watching TV and you need something to munch on. You end up eating a lot more than necessary and thus adding extra unwanted pounds to your waistline. Eat your meals away from the computer and if you snack, make sure it's healthy foods -- raw veggies, low-fat yogurt and fruits.


S McIntyre owns Work At Home Space, a free work at home resource offering telecommuting jobs, articles, health and wellness and other work at home related issues. You can also visit her blog Healthy Perspectives, featuring an array of health topics, nutrition, fitness and recipes for maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Notebook: For One More Day

I do not know where to begin. This book, the story, touched my heart deeply. It made me smile, it made me cry. Perhaps, because I read this book over the Mother's day weekend. Thus, I was a bit more emo than usual :p

The story is about Charley Benetto, a broken man, his life destroyed by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits rock bottom after discovering he won't be invited to his only daughter's wedding. And he decides to take his own life.

Driving drunk towards his hometown in an attempt to kill himself, he met with an accident but appears to be fine. He left the scene to try his attempt again by climbing up a water tower to jump down. That still didn't kill him though.

He pick up after himself and walk towards his mother's house. He was surprised to be greeted by his mother there. Why? Because his mother died a few years ago.

This is not really a ghost story. Chick was in another world where his mother was there to guide him through things in the past. It's like she's giving him one more day with her to 'make good with a lost parent, to explain the family secrets and to seek forgiveness'.

Chick's mother was a divorcee. His father left and she's the one who took the responsibility of him and his sister. She was the one who put him to college, which he didn't know until later, but Chick decided to drop out so he can be a baseball player to appease his dad. That broke his mother's heart.

There's this paragraph in this book that some what make me look at divorce differently...
In college, I had a course in Latin, and one day the word "divorce" came up. I always figured it came from some root that meant "divide". In truth, it comes from "divertere," which means "to divert."

I believe that. All divorce does is divert you, taking you away from everything you thought you knew and everything you thought you wanted and steering you into all kinds of other stuff, like discussions about your mother's girdle and whether she should marry someone else.

For One More Day, Mitch Albom, Pg. 128

It's a simple book, but very poignant. Towards the last few chapters of the book, I was crying buckets. Some folks used to tell me, you wouldn't understand a mother's feelings until you became one. The daughter becomes the mother. So true...

Read this book!

xoxo

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pugnacious

I've never seen or heard my parents quarrel. Like 'really' quarrel, with raised voices or, throwing things at one another or perhaps if it's gotten to bringing physical harm to each other. I've never witness any of it because they don't quarrel that way.

When they had a disagreement, they just stop talking to each other. It may go on for the whole day, sometimes a few days or even for the whole week the most. The worst act they could have done would be when my dad would stop his car further so my mom had to walk far. Or my mom would not prepare any meals for the day for my dad.

If the need arises for them to communicate, Kim and I would become their intermediaries. We only experienced these silent treatment in our household. DH and I are more explosive compared to them.

Even when I had a fall out with Dad (for two whole years, imagine that!), we both ignored each other's presence even though we're in the same room.

So imagine how I felt when, for the first time, I'm stuck in the middle of two quarreling adults.

Peter and Jane had a screaming match last night. In my opinion, the matter was rather trivial. Petty, even. But the way Jane was going on and on about it, you'd think it was a matter of life and death. Even though they were in Jane's room, I can hear everything because I was just outside her door.

They were so loud. I was getting a bit scared and worried. What if they started to hurt each other?

Suddenly, I heard a loud bang! I wondered if I should go into her room, perhaps to pull one of them out. But of course, I didn't. I'm not sure it was wise.

Eventually, Peter had his last say and walked out of Jane's room. It's hard to pretend that I didn't know anything was wrong. But the two of them carried on with the rest of us like that episode did not just happened.

It felt so weird and unnatural...

xoxo

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins

That pregnant Missus tagged me :p


7 Random Facts About Me:
  1. Ice cream is, like, my favourite EVER. I can eat lots of it in a day.
  2. I am rather fickle minded.
  3. I am easily distracted. I think this ties in very well with being fickle. Lol.
  4. I'm good at procrastinating. I'll work on a task at the last minute. But I feel my best work comes from when I do procrastinate, though.
  5. I wanted to become a vet when I was little. I still do :)
  6. I'm not a morning person.
  7. I can be inquisitive if I set my mind to it. Otherwise, I couldn't be bothered.


7 Things That Scares Me:
  1. Creepy-crawlies, especially leeches and caterpillars. Eeee!
  2. Dogs, eventhough I like them
  3. I'm good at getting myself spooked with ghost stories
  4. Of what tomorrow brings...
  5. Animals that flies
  6. Death
  7. Secretly afraid of heights


7 Random Music At The Moment:
  1. Break The Ice - Britney Spears
  2. Two Occassions - Babyface
  3. La Isla Bonita - Madonna
  4. Bleed It Out - Linkin Park
  5. That's How You Know - Giselle, Enchanted (cannot be helped because I've been hearing this song on repeat for the past 3 days!)
  6. Please Don't Stop The Music - Rhianna
  7. With or Without You - U2


7 Things I Say The Most:
  1. So, like...
  2. WTF
  3. Apparently, ...
  4. Ok lah
  5. How can lehhh...
  6. Lerrr...
  7. Malas lah


7 Things I Treasure The Most (in random order):
  1. Little Miss Elmira
  2. Manja the cat
  3. My family
  4. My friends
  5. My books collection
  6. My gadgets
  7. My jewelry


7 First Time Things I Ever Did:
  1. Snorkel with my ex-colleagues in Pangkor, once upon a time.
  2. Traveled alone overseas for a long holiday.
  3. Went for an audition for a singer in a live band (I know!!! Lol)
  4. Tried ice skating at Sunway Pyramid when it first opened.
  5. Tried smoking pot.
  6. Tried golfing (shooting range).
  7. Tried rhythmic gymnastics for a term in school.


7 People To Do This : The seven of You's :p

xoxo

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Movie Nights: Prince Caspian

Do you remember the first movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe? How tiny Lucy Pevensie was? How young Edward Pevensie looked?

I didn't watch the first movie in the cinema, for reasons unclear. It must have something to do with being disenchanted by Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire movie. Or could be because I read the lukewarm first reviews about the movie.

I only watched it the first time on HBO, and I thought it was really good. I wish I had seen it on the big screen and promised myself I'd catch the second movie when it comes out.

And so last Friday, I did.

And oh my! The eye-candy was awesome! There's not only one hotness in this movie but THREE! We know how cute Peter Pevensie was. He looks a bit mature and angsty in this movie but still, he has that clean boyish look. We've seen how Prince Caspian looked like from the movie posters, but in 'reel life' he's more handsome. And he speaks with a Spanish accent.

Oh, don't you just love accents! I love accented speaking men :p

But who would have thought... Edward Pevensie! He's grown, y'all. Supposedly a year passed in this movie but, well... I guess the kids have grown since. It's not so obvious for Lucy, but Edward (Skandar Keynes), I remembered he was a boy back in the first movie.


Edward, Peter, Caspian, Susan with Narnians

Men in chain mail and armours. Le sigh!

So yes, back to the movie.

I haven't read any of the books, and in a way, I think it's much better for my sanity. I don't have to hold any gripe when they deviate from the books. I can just enjoy entertainment as is.

It told a story of what happened after the Pevensies left Narnia. Eventhough it's only been a year, in Narnian times 1,300 years had passed. The place was not the same after being attacked and the inhabitants of Narnia nearly wiped out by the Telmarines (those Spanish accented English speakers).

The gist of it thereafter was -- the Pevensies helped Prince Caspian to claim his rightful throne from his uncle. In return, Prince Caspian restored peace to Narnia. Aslan (yes, he's in this movie too) anointed Prince Caspian as the King of Narnia. King Peter and Queen Susan will not come back to Narnia after this because they've grown up (or something).

What's not in the book but added in the movie -- apparently, the night raid to Miraz's castle was not in the book. And of course, the apparent interest between Susan and Prince Caspian, was not in the book as well.

At the end of the movie, Aslan told the Telmarines people how they came to Narnia and offered to send them back to the real world. Some say its a hoax. Well, you see people walked into a hole and vanished, what'd do you think? Peter and Susan offered to go themselves, because they're not coming back anyway.

King Caspian was flummoxed, he was thinking of spending more time with Susan. Susan said it'd never have worked, because she's 1,300 years older than he :p And the daft bloke let her leave, without any 'Oh Susan, please stay' and start professing his love to her, et al.

What's with that? Men!

But of course, if Susan stayed behind and marry Caspian, we'd deviate from what's intended by CS Lewis. We don't want that. Lol.

I enjoyed the movie immensely. There were funny banters, cute little talking rats that reminded me so much of Puss (from Shrek), great battle scenes and engaging plots. The effects were great. The Centaurs here are more believable then any from the Harry Potter movies. As well as the other inhabitants of Narnia.

And yes, don't forget the hotties!! XD

xoxo

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happily Ever After

I've been dreaming of a true love's kiss
And a prince I'm hoping comes with this

Have you found your prince charming yet?

You wait in great anticipation for the 3-day weekend to start. The days leading to it dragged on. You were afraid it'll never come (!!). And when it arrives, if flew by like nobody's business :-p

But then again, I shan't complain. I have done nothing but laze around at home. I read some, watched Enchanted numerous time, took naps, etc. I cooked for dinner though, just because we can't keep on having fast food for all meals, can we?

Mira's school held their Sports Day on Saturday but we've to give it a missed. Mira's still not well, very unfortunate of her. She'd love it I think. Her Atuk said she's been practicing at home with her 'Ready, Set, Go!'. But it's hard to not fall sick when from Wafi to my dad, the whole household was down with cough and flu.

So yeah, we actually stayed home the whole three days. DH wanted to go somewhere yesterday, but I just refused to move. I don't know why, really.

And Mira watched Enchanted repeatedly. Her Transformers are left forgotten. She just love that movie. She'll put it on as soon as she's woken up.

Well does he leave a little note to tell you you are on his mind?
Send you yellow flowers when the sky is grey? Heyy!
He'll find a new way to show you, a little bit everyday
That's how you know, that's how you know!
He's your love...
Her favourite part was when Giselle sang That's How You Know at Central Park. She'll start singing (gibberishly, except for the 'That's how you know' part) to it and dance to it, twirling around just like Giselle in the movie. Sigh. We'll just look on, amused. Hehe.

I wish I could 'Aa aaa aaa aah'-ing my way to call for the pigeons, cats and... vermins? to help me with house chores :p

xoxo

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Getting Kids to Clean Their Rooms

by Kara Kelso


Here's some ideas on how to handle situations such as this:

1. Don't Give In
This is an important one. They learn nothing if you pick up their toys for them. Do not leave the room until the job is done. If you pick up for them, they will never take you seriously. Children even 2 years old can pick up after themselves (I've witnessed this!)

2. Don't Take No For An Answer
Back talking sould never been accepted. If things begin to get out of control (fits, crying, screaming, firm "no's"), a punishment is in order. Be firm, be the parent. They might not be too happy with you at the moment, but they'll thank you later on.

3. Make a Game
If it's a daily struggle, try making a game out of picking up. Give them a time limit, see how many of certain toys they can put away, etc. The more fun for them the better and easier it will be on all of you.

4. Take Away Toys
If nothing else is working, don't be afraid to remove toys. If they can't take care of it by putting it away, they loose it. We have a special storage room just for "off limit" toys.

5. Rewards
If your children pick up without complaints and do a good job, reward them. Bring back toys taken away, make a special snack, play a special game. Stickers also make for nice rewards if given in moderation.

While it may not be easy for any of you sometime, remember you are the parent! Don't give up, raising children takes time.


About the Author: Kara Kelso is the mother of 2 and owner of several online businesses. For more ideas like this, visit: http://www.idea-queen.com

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How To Make Your Own Baby Shower Gift Basket

by Dana Williams


So you’re attending a baby shower and you don’t know what to get the new mom. You want something that’s practical and something that the new mom will appreciate, but you also want something unique and memorable. You might even browse the internet for some ideas, but nothing quite seems appealing to you. Why not make a gift basket? I know what you’re thinking. I’m not creative. I don’t have the time. Rest assured, it’s not that difficult, and it won’t take much time.

Gift baskets are very popular today and indeed a wonderful gift idea for a new mom. Or, you can do it yourself by putting together all baby items that you like for the baby. Here’s how you can make one:

1. First decide on the size of the basket that you will use. A very large basket may be difficult to fill, so a medium sized is recommended. Usually, craft stores sell baskets of different sizes, shapes and colors. Shredded tissue paper and raffia make great fillers to be layered at the basket’s bottom, alongside with baby towels and blankets.

2. If you do have a large basket, you can easily fill it up by choosing bigger items as well, such as crib comforters, stuffed bunny or teddy, pillows or crib bumpers.

3. Take into consideration the baby’s gender, when selecting items to put in the basket. For a first baby, there will be many things that he will need. Having to look at a baby registry if the mom to be has one, can help a lot, since you will know what the baby really needs. If there is none, you could always ask the mom what else she needs for the baby.

4. Consider having a theme. Decide what you’ll put into the basket. You can load the basket with everything pink for a baby girl or everything blue for a baby boy, or what about having Pooh or a dinosaur design. A bedtime theme basket filled with story books, music CD, blankets, pillows, pajama, musical crib mobile and a teddy bear can be a wonderful idea. Be creative and let your imagination soar.

5. Here’s another great idea. Instead of using a basket, a baby tub, a diaper bag, a small laundry basket or a trunk can also be used.

6. For a tub, you can fill it with baby bathing accessories, such as soaps, towels, bubble bath, powder, baby shampoo, lotion and bath rubber toys.

7. For the trunk, you can fill it with baby’s keepsake book, monogrammed items, receiving blankets, heirloom items, a picture frame and an inspirational book all about mom and baby. You can also place a little inspirational note containing all your wishes for the baby, to add a more personal touch to your gift.

8. For the laundry basket, you can fill it with cute slippers, diapers, baby comb and brush, booties, and baby clothes.

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Baby gift baskets make great baby gifts because you can give the new mom lots of items you know she’ll use and cherish.

If you decide that making your own baby gift basket is not an option for you, you can always purchase one already made. There are several online baby gift stores that sell unique baby gift baskets.


Dana Williams is the founder of http://www.DanasGiftBasketExpress.com, an online baby gift store, specializing in diaper cakes and unique baby gift baskets. Sign up for Dana’s free 5 day ecourse “Baby Showers Revealed” at http://www.BabyDiaperCakes.biz.

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo

Friday, May 16, 2008

Scary Episode

My neighbour that lives at the other side of the world; sometime I'll try to avoid running into her. She likes to talk. A lot. And she likes to gossip on topics that don't interests me.

I think we're about the same age, and yet she still calls me 'Kakak'.

I don't get this 'kakak' business, really. There are other ways to be respectful. If you're not family, I don't see why you should call me 'kakak' or vice versa. It has nothing to do with 'feeling older' :p I'd prefer to just see you as my friends and peers as oppose to a little or elder sister. I have my whiny little sister for that role, thank you very much ;)

A couple of weeks ago, we saw her unloading stuff from her car at the lobby. It was late, close to midnight. We just got back from a short drive to get some tidbits from the shops. As usual, she started a conversation with us. And then, she told us a story of how her sister found a small kid squatting by the side of a car at the parking lot, in the dark.

She went on describing how the kid looked like. He was (she assumed it's a boy) bald, without hair, with eyes so large and red (on second thought, if it's dark, how would one know it's red?), and he appeared to have no ears. The first thing that came to my mind was this...


I'm serious! Lol. DH was the one who mentioned 'Toyol', not me. My exact response was, 'Oh! An alien?'. But apparently, she wasn't talking about aliens. Hahahahahaha.

There's no logic in her claims. We've lived here long enough to know if there was 'something', but there wasn't. Accept the time when I appeared to have been followed by a little girl, but even that didn't come from the apartment area. She, I believed, came from a bunch of tall bamboo plants that grew along the road side.

We could have met 'something' when we first moved in because there weren't many people then. There were only one or two other unit that was occupied for a couple of months. It would be the best time to encounter any ghosts.

Also, those times when DH and his friends come and go at the wee hours of the morning. Nobody got spooked by seeing a bald boy or any ghosts either. And with our new neighbour next door, the kids goes in and out at odd hours of the morning, too. If they've encountered anything, I would think they'd stop coming home so late, yeah?

However, she managed to spook me with her story after that. I kept on thinking about it and wondered if 'he' is downstairs, lurking in the dark. It went on for about a week :p

But now I'm back to my normal self. Hehe.

xoxo

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Assistant

I now have an assistant, believe it or not. She started work three weeks ago. I've transferred most of my Admin duties to her so I could concentrate on doing something I love (HR) as well as something I despise (Accounts).

Truth be told, we offered this other girl we found suitable in February. She had to give a month's notice so by right, she was supposed to start in March. I've never met anyone so conflicted and fickle minded as she. She couldn't decide whether or not she wants to leave her present employer.

During the interview, she said she wanted to leave them because they're having some management issues and she felt insecure of her future there. When they counter offered her even though there was nothing official to cast it in stone, she was torn between wanting to leave and wanting to join us. After I talked to her, she's all geared up to join us again.

She was supposed to start on a Monday. Thursday before that, she called the office to let us know she'll be reporting to work the next week. But over that weekend, she sent me a text message (yes, she did!) to let me know she's been counter offered again and she's decided to stay.

I was so pissed off, ok. She's just wasted a month of our time on nothing. I just replied with a 'whatever' message. After all the talking and waiting.

The bottomline -- she couldn't decide for herself. She let others decide for her. So when I gave her 'words of encourangement', she swayed towards our side. And when the 'dark side' did the same thing, she swayed to the other.

My current assistant is a soft spoken mother of two. Looks like my bosses have two assistant for them. Lol. Although, until today they're still reluctant to go directly to her for anything.

Like the other day, the Hotness called me to asked if my assistant could get him coffee from Starbucks. After I instructed her how to order the right coffee for the boss, a thought occurred to me...

I'm Senior Assistant Emily Charlton (from The Devil Wears Prada) and she's 'my' Emily clone. The Hotness can pass as Miranda Priestly, I'm sure.

Muahahahahahahahahaha!

Does that mean I've to start acting like Emily? Maybe I should start on a new diet of not eating anything. Just eat a cube of cheese right before I feel like I'm going to faint. So I could be one stomach flu away from my goal weight.

Or I should fashion my hair like her. And start dressing like her, too. Lol.

Ooohhhh... A million girls would kill for this job! Not :p

xoxo

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Movie Nights: Speed Racer

Drivers, start your engine.


Su and I watched Speed Racer last Friday night at The Gardens Signature. I think I'm spoilt. I don't think 'normal cinema' movie experience will ever be the same for me. Huhu.

But I digress. Speed Racer was AWESOME! I love it. If F1 races are like this, I'd become a fan and pay homage to Sepang Circuit every time there's a race. Promise! :p


I have no inkling what the movie was all about. Apparently, it's an adaptation from a Japanese anime of the same name. I've never heard of it before though. However, I am now a fan.

The races portrayed were intense. The colours used in this movie were very vivid. There are just so much colours. Some say it gives them headache. For me, it's like an eye candy. I would think kids (I'm thinking those below 3) would love seeing the colours, too.


The plot was interesting as well. I must admit the beginning was so-so for me but it picked up soon after the death of Rex Racer and Speed all grown up. The races were very exciting. I wish I could cheer along with the spectators (and announcers) in the movie without looking like an over-enthusiast. Lol.


And then, there's this mystery about Racer X, whether or not he's Speed's dead brother Rex? You can keep on guessing until you've seen the movie :p That bit of the plot kept us wondering until the end -- was he, was he not? He must be... but he said he's not. But how Rex looked again at the start of the movie? Do they look alike? I can't remember! I'm sure he's Rex. Nah, can't be...

And Taejo Togokhan. Is he the good guy or bad guy? He helped Racer X. Why did he tricked Speed into racing with him? But OMG, Rain is so cute! (squee like a fangirl).

Anyway, go see this movie. It'd be cool to watch this on IMAX, though. If you like Fast & Furious, you'd enjoy this movie, too.

Cool beans.

xoxo

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Movie Nights: Iron Man

I've watched this movie twice. That's right. Two times in two consecutive days, two weeks ago. I watched it first with Su at Garden's Signature on Friday and again with DH & Mira on Saturday at GSC Mid Valley.

I think Robert Downey Jr did very well as Tony Spark and Iron Man. I wasn't sure about him being Iron Man at first. Come on, I've seen him as Larry in Ally McBeal all those years ago. Lol. Not that he's bad as Larry. He was fantastic. But he's 'Larry', you know? Not of the super hero kind.

But he pulled it off. He's believable, sexy and has style. He's just brilliant!

The plot I would say, was based on the comics beginning and it is a summary of how Tony Stark became Iron Man. Perhaps we'll be seeing a sequel next year?

We'll get to see Tony Spark again in Hulk. He'll make a cameo appearance in that movie.

Iron Man 'uniform' was gorgeous. He's as beautiful as Optimus Prime. The mechanics of the suit though, reminded me of Transformers, as well as some of the fighting scenes.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie immensely. There was an unhappy incident while watching it the second time -- there were instances when I wanted to smack the head of this tall guy in front of me with my wristlet. HE WAS SO ANNOYING!!!

The fact that I've watched the movie and enjoyed it the first time with Su, kept my patience in check.

Why can't people, when in the cinema WATCHING a movie, sit still and just enjoy the experience? Why do they have to fidget about? Is it a must to BLOODY ANSWER THE PHONE WHILE YOU'RE WATCHING THE MOVIE for fuck sake?? Yes, you put the phone on silent mode, but it doesn't make any difference when you ANSWER it and started TALKING. WTF?

Either take your business outside the theater or not answer the phone at all. There were just too many time when someone do that, I just wanted to throw popcorn at them! Gah! Some day, I will!!!

But other than that, Iron Man would be another movie I'd like to collect its DVD in the future.

xoxo

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekend Snapshot # 17




*sings* These are a few of my favourite things.

Sushi SundaySushi Sunday
Sushi Sunday!


How was your weekend? Click here for more Weekenders.

xoxo

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mommy's Day

The plan was to have breakfast at McDonald's because I wanted to try their pancakes. But seeing how late I knocked off on Saturday (or was it Sunday morning?), I slept through until noon :p

I discovered some interesting podcasts which I downloaded a bunch of it into the N82. They are mostly language podcasts. That's what kept me up all night. It appears that I'm trying to learn Mandarin, Spanish and French all at once. Lol.

After I settled the laundry bits, we got ready to go out. I wanted to watch Speed Racer again, but DH was not interested. And then I got sidetracked with downloading games on the N82 as well as trying to test them. I now have The Sims: Castaway on my mobile, by the way ;)

We ended up having our late lunch at Sushi King. I tried the Japanese Curry -- don't quite dig it.

We took Mira to the salon to get her hair trimmed after that and then we just walked around for a bit. I purchased the Enchanted DVD today, so one strike off from my DVD wishlist. Mira got herself a new hat and a pink fluffy Hello Kitty handbag. DH got himself a(nother) new PS2 controller plus a new WWE game.

And then we just spend so much time at the arcade. I wanted to go home, but Mira wanted to keep on playing this and that. If we didn't drag her out, she would have kept on playing this basketball-game-thing.

We stopped by Starbucks to have some coffee (with me trying to upload some photos onto Flickr via the WLAN, but its too much work lah) and cakes before we left for home.

So, that's how I spend my Mother's Day. It's just like any other weekend, really :p

Oh! On Friday night after I dropped off Su home from our movie night, I got stopped by the traffic police some where on the Cheras highway between Bandar Tun Razak and Connaught. Apparently, I was caught speeding. Heh. But I was let off with a warning.

First time in my driving experience, y'all!

xoxo

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Wonder...

Trying to post an entry from the phone using my home WLAN.

xoxo

Make Money Blogging

by Stefani Partin


Have you heard of people earning an income from just blogging? Well it is true, you can profit from blogging but it's going to take more then just setting up a blog and making a few posts. It is going to take some good content on your blog to get the visitors to come and to click on your links.

If you want to start earning some extra revenue from being a blogger, you are going to have to have content on your blog that people want to see. Don't just start a blog and slap on some ads, you are going to have to give the visitors material they want to "eat up". Blogs had first started as online journals but now have turned into far more. Now, there are tons of people using blog software to create websites. I know this, because I have done this myself. I am now creating niche sites using Wordpress, one of the most popular blogging software out there. You can see my first niche blog website at http://www.pregoguide.com. When you visit this site, it does not look like a journal, it looks more like an organized website with categories and such.

Where does the money come in? Well that will come in time. My favorite source of income from blogging is from Google's Adsense program. To join Adsense signup for an account and then place code into your blog posts. The code then appears as an ad once posted. When users click the ad, you make money. The price you make per click varies each time but can sometimes be more then just a few bucks. It all depends on the market/niche your blog falls into. See Google's Adsense will pull ads relating to the content on your website.

Another way to make income from a blog is promoting affiliate links. You can signup to relevant affiliate programs, then promote them on your site. You can make a review on an affiliate product, then when the visitor reads your review and clicks the links and buys the product you are in profit. You can also add affiliate links to the menus in your blog, your signature lines, etc. The customer can't buy if they don't have a link to click on.

I started blogging with a personal blog over a year and a half ago, now I have over a dozen blogs and growing. I have actually been trying to create a blog for each website I own. Adding a blog is an easy way to add content to your site. I just installed a blog today on my site SuccessMom.com at http://www.SuccessMom.com/mommy-articles. My blog's content will mainly be articles written by moms or with moms in mind. I plan to publish a few articles daily on this blog of a few different categories. That way I have more chance of the reader finding something they want to read. I am using Wordpress for this blog as well. With Wordpress, you can schedule your posts ahead of time. So today, I setup a weeks worth of article posts.

If you haven't started blogging, what are you waiting for? Not only can you make money with your blog, you can drive traffic to your sites with them. I started with www.Blogger.com. They offer free blogs and you can have one setup within minutes. Try starting out with a personal blog for practice, then go to a business blog. Remember, the more incoming links to your sites, the better.


© 2006 Stefani Partin, a work at home mom of three from CA who owns a network of sites for moms, blogs, a newsletter and more. Stefani dedicates her time to helping moms find ways to make money at home. Visit Stefani's blog at http://www.StefaniPartin.com or visit her main site at http://www.MommyEnterprises.com

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Deus ex Machina

deus ex machina \DAY-uhs-eks-MAH-kuh-nuh; -nah; -MAK-uh-nuh\, noun:
1. In ancient Greek and Roman drama, a god introduced by means of a crane to unravel and resolve the plot.
2. Any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an apparently insoluble difficulty.


I'm still happily tinkering my new toy. I used it heavily enough that I managed to drain the battery by 3pm I think. Lol.

I love every thing about the phone except the keypad. It sure needs some getting used to. It's minuscule. Not very friendly for long nails. I've downloaded Yahoo! Go and some podcasts. Later I'll transfer some mp3 into it, and perhaps a couple of themes, too.

What I like most about the phone is the camera. It's just SO awesome! And also the ability to transfer the photos directly to my Flickr over Wifi. Which is mostly free, yeah? Save me some data charges from uploading them using MMS.

On a different note (or maybe not), I may be able to buy a new monitor after all. DH's friend offered to buy Tintin (the laptop) from me seeing that I hardly use it nowadays. One very observant chap, is he not? It's either that or the iMac (because that one is sitting quietly, collecting dust, in some corner).

After thinking it through and discussing the matter with DH, I agreed to sell it to him. He came over just now, gave me the cash and took Tintin away. I haven't the chance to grieve y'all!

Therefore, in this case, he's my deus ex machina :p

But how now? I'm torn between putting the money in savings and buying the monitor. Emememememe...

xoxo

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spanking New


Spanking New
Originally uploaded by Larawannabe
If you've been following my Twitter, you'd notice my dilemma today -- should I either get a new monitor, a Coach handbag or a new mobile phone.

I remembered telling my girlfriends I should get a new handbag for myself first and the phone second. But I also remembered telling Nong how I think when the time comes, I'll choose to buy the gadget instead.

Well, it was a tough decision but I couldn't resist :p

I guess it's my bad. Lol. This costs more than my handbag budget, really. But I get loads of playtime tinkering with it. Teehee.

It wasn't easy, I had to go to a few different shops. First, to get the best deal in price; and second, whether or not they have it in stock. I nearly gave up, but DH suggested we go to the last shop before heading home.

As luck would have it, they have ready stock and they have the new black coloured ones (the 1st generation was only in silver, which looked rather plastic-ky). And the price was right, so I just grab it.

Now, if only I remembered the password to our home WLAN, I can start testing its Wifi thingy. I lock the bloody thing to avoid people from using my connection, but now I have apparently lock myself out. Gah!

Ok, now I wanna go play with my new phone. Nite!

xoxo

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekend Snapshot # 16



My weekend was spent watching Friends rerun. I've misplaced (maybe someone borrowed, but I can't recall) the whole first season from my collection and it was rather difficult to find the set from the video store. But as luck would have it, I found one on Saturday.

Now, my collection is complete.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your jobs a joke, you're broke, your love life's D.O.A.



Gosh, I had a good laugh. I've forgotten how funny there were XD

How was your weekend? Check out the other Weekenders here.

xoxo

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Craft Ideas for Kids - Kids and Pasta

by Audrey Okaneko


Pasta is not just for tomato sauce. My kids loved pasta for many different art projects. Next time you find a sale on pasta grab several varieties. Here are just a few ideas of what kids can make with pasta.

Photo frames - We use either the bow tie pasta or the shell pasta. Start with thick cardboard. I tend to use white so that we can add any color we want. Your frame can either be circular or square. Cut out the frame, this is the actual full size you’ll want at the end. Then cut out the middle to fit the size of the photo you want to put in there.

Now decide if you want to spray paint the pasta or use food coloring. Gold metallic spray paint looks great. We have also made various colors of pasta and made rainbow frames.

If you want to turn your frame into a magnet, add some magnetic tape to the back.

Necklaces and Bracelets – Penne pasta and macaroni noodles make wonderful necklaces and bracelets. I suggest using fishing line. It just doesn’t break. As with the frames, you can use multiple colors of pasta by adding food dye or you can spray paint the pasta, allow it to dry and then string the pasta onto your fishing line.

Decorative Jars - Save empty jars. Then fill the jar with an assortment of shapes and colors of pasta. These jars make pretty decorations for bathrooms, bedrooms or even end tables.

Pipe Cleaner Figurines - Grab a pipe cleaner. Now arrange pasta on the pipe cleaner to create people and animals. Mix and match shapes and sizes and then bend to create almost anything.

Self Portraits - Use spaghetti and linguini. Boil just until soft. Then press the pasta onto construction paper and into a self portrait. You can also create landscape scenes using the soft long noodles.

These are just a few ideas of how to use pasta to create great art projects made by kids.


Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at audreyoka@cox.net or visited at http://www.scrapping-made-simple.com

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Four Homemade Mother's Day Cards To Make

by Rachel Paxton


There is nothing as special or personal as a homemade Mother's Day card. Surprise your friends and family with your handmade creations. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Materials:
Four blank greeting cards (available at craft stores), scrapbooking paper with floral pattern, coordinating solid piece of scrapbooking paper, creme or white colored cardstock (whichever matches other papers best), paper cutter, scissors, glue stick, computer, printer, sewing machine.


Card #1:
For this card you will need a floral piece of scrapbooking paper, a coordinating piece of solid colored scrapbooking paper, and a piece of white or creme colored cardstock. Cut a piece of the solid colored paper to fit the front of the greeting card and glue it in place. Cut an approximately 2-inch strip of the floral paper and glue on lefthand side of card as a border. Use your sewing machine to stitch* along the righthand side of the floral border and around the outside edge of the card. Cut a large square out of creme colored or white card stock and glue to the center of the card. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer and print out on white or creme colored cardstock. Cut out the phrase (narrow strip) and glue to the bottom of the square in the center of the card. Choose a flower from the floral paper and trim to fit in the center of the square on the front of the card. Glue in place.

* Stitching tips: If you have never used your sewing machine to make cards, it is easy! Just sew on the paper like you would on fabric. You might want to reserve a needle just for paper so you don't dull the needle for your fabric projects. There are two ways you can include stitching in your card making projects. You can either stitch directly on the card, or you can stitch on a separate piece of paper and then glue that piece to the card (then the stitching won't show through the card).


Card #2:
This Mother's Day card is quick and easy. Cut a piece of the solid colored scrapbooking paper to fit three-quarters of the front of the card. Carefully tear along the righthand edge of the paper and glue the paper in place. Next cut a piece of floral paper to fit half of the front of the card. Carefully tear along the righthand edge of the paper and glue on top of the solid colored piece of paper. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer and print it on white or cream colored paper. Mat the cut-out phrase first on a piece of the solid colored paper, then glue to front of card. Stitch around the outside of the card if you wish, but it isn't necessary.


Card #3:
This card will open horizontally. Cut three approximately 3-inch strips of paper to fit width of card: two floral and one solid colored. Tear bottom edges of each piece. Beginning at top of card overlap the three pieces with floral paper first and glue in place. Cut a large square from the cream or white colored paper and glue it in the center of the card. Cut a slightly smaller square of solid colored paper and glue in center of cream colored piece. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer. Print on cream or white colored paper, trim, and glue in the center of solid colored square. Stitch around the edge of the card, if you wish.


Card #4:
This card will open horizontally. Tear a rectangle from the solid colored paper and glue near top of card. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer and print on white or creme colored paper. Trim and glue to center of solid colored paper. Tear another piece of solid colored paper (larger than first) to glue across the bottom of the card. Cut a rectangle from floral paper and glue to center of bottom piece of solid colored paper. If you wish you can accent edges of floral rectangle with coordinating eyelets.

Notes: - The terms "card stock" and "paper" are used interchangably here, but it is up to you which kind of paper you use, depending on the look you are trying to achieve - A sewing machine isn't necessary for this project, it is just a nice added touch - You don't have to use your computer for this project, you can handwrite the words if you wish.


Happy Mother's Day!


Photos of finished Mother's Day cards: http://www.crafty-moms.com/cards/mothers-day-cards.shtml

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit http://www.crafty-moms.com.

Article Source: WAHM Articles

xoxo