Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Solar Panels

In the past, we've considered getting solar panels for the house but decided against it. The cost of solar panels has been coming down in recent years.

BargainBabe has a great article on Solar Panels: How much do they cost?. It's worth a read if you're considering getting solar panels or are frustrated by your electric bills.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How many gifts for Christmas?

All year, I buy gifts for my daughter. Whenever I see something I think she may like, I get it for her. So I have quite a stock of gifts for her for Christmas. However, I don't want to be wasteful in my spending for her either.

I came across an article on Hip2Save which had a reader tip in it about how many gifts to buy for Christmas? 

Something you wantSomething you needSomething to wearSomething to readAnd something from Santa. 

This struck me as a really nice idea. 5 distinctive gifts with a different purpose. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Preparing for baby checklist

One of my friends is pregnant and I made this list for her based on lists which my sister and best friend sent with a few changes.

Essentials for baby:

  1. Infant car seat and stroller (available as combo at stores) or convertible Car Seat
  2. Crib
  3. Changing Table (not essential but helps your back!)
  4. Crib Mattress
  5. Changing table pads
  6. Mattress cover for crib (3 at least)
  7. Changing station pad covers (3 at least)
  8. Boppy (nursing pillow) and a slipcover (this doubles as baby support later)
  9. Diaper bag
  10. Bath tub and cushion that goes in tub for babies
  11. Diaper disposal system

Layette essentials:

  1. Onesies (0-3 months) - at least 3  & (3-6 months) - 3 or more  (baby grows very fast in the first few months, so it is wise to buy more in the 3 to 6 months range)
  2. Sleeper suits with foot covered - at least 3
  3. Button down sweater or hooded fleece siuts (for cold season babies) - at least one
  4. SwaddleMe with the velcro for swaddling baby
  5. Socks/booties/mittens/caps - babies need to keep head, hands and feet covered for the first couple of months since they can't regulate their body temperature yet.. also, their nails tend to scratch their faces.. (socks can work as mittens too)
  6. Bibs/burp cloths - several
  7. Wash cloths - helps when bathing baby
  8. Towels - at least 3 (hooded ones are nicer)
  9. Receiving blankets - at least 4 to 6 (bigger ones to swaddle baby)
  10. Thick blankets - at least 2 if baby is born during cold season
  11. Diaper holder/ organizer - to keep diapers/lotion/oil/wipes etc. handy for diaper and dress changes
  12. Diapers - I prefer Pampers swaddlers sensitive brand coz they were the best for my daughter and most leak proof for her - (babies need at least 7 or 8 diaper changes every day in the first few weeks)
  13. Diaper wipes - the ones that are not perfumed are better for new babies. Sensitive ones are not perfumed, for the most part
  14. Mattress protector sheets (u get these for crib mattress just like the regular ones) - they are waterproof so it is good to have at least one for the mattress)
  15. Dreft laundry detergent (wash baby clothes before use the first time and always separately in baby detergent)
  16. For mom - nursing pads (disposable ones are better)

Bathing and other essentials:

  1. Baby wash (head-to-toe) Aveeno or Burt's Bees is what I used for my daughter
  2. Baby nail cutter (I prefer Safety 1st brand - still use it for the kids)
  3. Nasal aspirator (it is also called nasal bulb) - need to remove stuff from nose
  4. Brush/comb - needed if baby has lots of hair :)
  5. Baby lotion
  6. Petroleum jelly or diaper rash ointment
  7. Temporal thermometer
  8. Regular thermometer (non-mercury - think you get it from the New Baby class)
  9. Baby tylenol (infant drops)
  10. Mylicon gas reliever (check doctor before use - good for gassy babies)

Other extras that are optional:


  1. Glider/ottoman (This was a huge plus for me - saved my life. I still use it to rock my daughter)
  2. Baby sling or carrier - try out several brands to find the right one to work for you.
  3. Baby monitor (needed if u live in 2-level houses) - go with video monitor if baby's sleeping separately at any point.
  4. Bouncer seat (for times when baby is bored of looking up at the ceiling and even for colicky babies)
  5. Swing (helpful in calming baby or swinging baby to sleep) - was very useful for my daughter - she slept in it for a few months.
  6. Play yard (again for 2 level houses since it serves as a crib and diaper changing area)
  7. Bottle feeding supplies (Bottles, nipples, bottle sterilizer, bottle warmer, bottle brush cleaner)
  8. Breast pump & accessories
  9. Nursing cover
  10. Portable Changing pad

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nice Halloween Frozen Craft Idea!

I was at my Doctor's office yesterday and saw these really cool Frozen items! At some point, I should try to replicate these. My daughter's a huge Frozen fan and she would love these!



Monday, October 20, 2014

Painted Rocks

I came across a bunch of painted rock activities recently and have been wanting to create the same for Agirl. It looks like it would be fun and I think she would enjoy it. The only problem I have is that Agirl still puts stuff in her mouth sometimes and I want the rocks to be big enough that she won't be able to put it in her mouth and swallow.

So what I did is this:

- Big enough river rock stones or pebble stones
- Buy non-toxic acrylic paints from any craft store - a bunch of colors

I painted both sides of the stones and dried them out in the sun. But the problem I'm hitting is that the acrylic paints don't completely cover the color of the rock itself. Either the paint is not thick enough or the stones I chose were not the right ones.

The black & red stones came out pretty well. But the white, yellow, blue and green ones are not that great. I'm hoping multiple coats of the paint will help with this but so far, no luck. I'm going to try another 4-5 coats and then give up if it doesn't work.


You can see from this photo from the black and red look good but the others don't.

Do you have any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Naan Pizza

My husband got some naan bread from Costco the other day and he ate it with some curry. He wasn't too impressed. I remembered that my sister had mentioned she makes pizza with it sometimes. So I thought why not try the same.

I google'd for some recipes and finally a found one I thought I could use with what I already had at home.

Here's the recipe I used from another blogger - I made some minor modifications.

Update: Use fresh shredded mozzarella cheese. I had bought finely shredded mozzarella cheese from the store a couple of weeks ago and tried this recipe again and the cheese didn't melt at all.



Naan Pizza with Peppers & Onions:

Ingredients (for 2 pizzas):

1 Small Green & 1 Small Red Pepper, chopped up
1 Onion, chopped up
2 Naans
Marinara Sauce (store-bought)
Italian seasoning - to taste
Crushed Red Pepper (if you like it more spicy)
Mozzarella Cheese (finely shredded)
Pinch of salt

Directions:


  1. Chop up the peppers and onions. 
  2. Take the Naan and put it on a baking sheet (I used aluminium foil on a baking tray)
  3. Apply marinara sauce generously and spread it around the pizza
  4. Add the veggies and spread it
  5. Sprinkle the seasoning & crushed red pepper on top
  6. Take a pinch of salt and spread it as well 
  7. Add plenty of cheese and spread it around.
  8. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. 
  9. Result = yummy naan pizza!



Friday, October 3, 2014

Being a Good Mom

Recently, as my daughter has been getting older, I feel the pressure of being a mom more. When she was an infant, being a good mom mostly meant feed her, clean her, love her for the most part. But as she gets older, apart from the feeding, cleaning & loving, there's also the responsibility of teaching her & exposing her to so many new things in the world.

Nowadays, the pressure is on to take your kids to many classes like dance and music, bake them stuff and introduce them to different kids of foods, teach them discipline & manners & self-control & patience and so much more. Sometimes it all gets too much. It's not so much the pressure to do what others are doing so much as what you put on yourself. You want to be the best mom you can and provide everything to your kids that you can.

So when I read this article on Babble about Good Moms, it really resonated with me. I'm a good mom and I don't have to be perfect or super-mom to be a good mom.