Outdoor arts with twigs and branches


Spring is here and hopefully no more snow for this arctic part of the world. The trees have barely started to sprout buds. My early spring bulbs, daffodils, hyacinths, didn't come out at all. We still keep ourselves busy. We went out and grabbed little twigs and some branches fallen from the trees. My daughter started to work on a 2D artwork. We … [Read more...]

Book Review: Lean in


I've read “Lean in” right after I've made a company change. I've had to think hard where my career was going after 9 years in a workplace where I loved my work and the people I worked with. I had long discussion with my husband and family. The decision to make the change didn't come easy. This decision was not only impacting my life but my family’s … [Read more...]

Arts & Crafts: Glittery Eiffel Tower


My daughter did this glittery Eiffel Tower for her class project, during a week they learned about France. She needed to do Eiffel Tower and with what and how to do was up to her. We came up with this idea. I helped her with the construction. Materials needed: Eiffel Tower print out from Internet Cardboard (from old parcel … [Read more...]

Geocaching: A Modern Day, Global Treasure Hunt


Happy Earth Day! Last year, during summer, our local public library held a small workshop on geocaching. I’d heard about it from few parents but didn’t have time to research myself. We learned what geocaching is, downloaded the app and searched and found our very first cache during the workshop. It sounded really fun, mostly for kids but … [Read more...]

Fun activity ideas for long rides and flights


We've completed yet another successful long flight to Aruba and back. I am quite experience in entertaining children in long flights and road trips, as you can read in this post titled, Preparing for long flights and trips with babies and young children. Good news is it gets easier, as attention span of children grows by age. Parents or caregiver … [Read more...]

Cake Tutu for Ballerina themed birthday party

Cake Tutu

A friend of mine baked the birthday cake for my daughter's ballerina themed birthday party. I sew a tutu for the cake. The inspiration is from Pinterest. It's very easy to make. I sewed it with my sewing machine. If you are patient enough, you can sew it by hand as well. First order of business: Know the circumference of the cake, in order to … [Read more...]

Packing hot school lunches and keeping them warm

Packing Hot School Lunch in Thermos

I try to pack school lunches for kids as much as I can. However, recently I've given up, having to throw away so many untouched foods, half eaten or even barely eaten sandwiches. I let the kids eat school’s cafeteria lunch instead of spending all that time to think, prepare and see all that wasted food. The school cafeteria lunch menu this … [Read more...]

Book Review: When Children Ask About God

When Children Ask About God

I came around "When Children Ask About God" a while ago when I was looking for children's books about God on Amazon.com.  It was one of the related recommendations. However, this book is not for children. It is for adults. It is written by a Rabbi, who is also the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People". The book is definitely not a … [Read more...]

Winter Learning Challenge by Chicago Public Library

Winter Learning Challenge

Winter break is here! Winter Learning Challenge is another great program for the kids over the break by Chicago Public Library. Since last summer these programs also involve LEARNing and CREATEing in addition to READing. The theme this winter is "learning  more about nature in your neighborhood this winter". We did great winter activities from … [Read more...]

Ballerina themed birthday party


My little sunshine turned 6 a week ago. It's harder to accept that your youngest is growing. (S)he is always the youngest of the house no matter what. My daughter wanted a Ballerina Birthday party this year. We made a big change and threw the party somewhere other than our house. For the last 13 parties, between my son and daughter, we always … [Read more...]

Let’s give these kids a playground on Giving Tuesday


Happy Giving Tuesday. Today is “Giving Tuesday”, a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations. My children go to a public school in Chicago. It's a magnet school with about 850 students from K to 8. It's a really good school. We're lucky … [Read more...]

DIY – LEGO table and storage


Our new LEGO table or workstation was really easy to put together. Main item is the large IKEA Linmonn table that gives enough space to work on for 2 children. We have 10 x 10 plates but I don't have any plans to glue them down. IKEA Adde chairs are better fit than their old IKEA Mammut chairs. (On the table: Organizing LEGO instruction … [Read more...]

Redesigning our playroom


I have been working on a lengthy project in our basement, which is our children's playroom.  It's been quite a while since we set up for early learning, then preschool and kindergarten, while my son already outgrew a lot of stuff, including games, toys and furniture. This summer, I decided to take on a complete overhaul and update the … [Read more...]

Woodworking Project for kids: Squirrel Cafe


We did this "Squirrel Cafe" last summer. My son attends woodworking classes at the park he's going for after school program. They built a race car and raced it at the downhill derby. He's really into these type of projects. My husband found this simple woodworking project template for kids and they all put it together in few short hours in a nice … [Read more...]

Book Review: Chicken books for children


Since Fluffy and Yellow and later Chick Vader joined our family , we read a lot about Chicks and Chickens. I would like to share the books we read on Chicks and Chickens and few fun picture books with Chickens. We got all of these books from the library. Chickens by Peter Brady is a simple, fact-based book about chickens with great … [Read more...]

Customized photo books as a gift


Since the beginning of the digital photo era, we spend more time taking pictures, capturing memories, but less time reminiscing those memories. Especially, in a family like ours where we take about 15-20 photos on a regular day and about 600-700 when we go on vacation, selecting photos, uploading and sharing them with remote family members is a big … [Read more...]

DIY shirts, Father’s Day gift for Simpsons fans


This is the gift we, I and the kids, gave to my husband last year as Father's day gift. I think he's tired of the Homer Simpson themed shirts, I buy for him. So this time, I decided to make a matching set of t-shirts for him and the kids. I purchased iron-on fabric transfer sheets and plain shirts to design the t-shirts. I found the images … [Read more...]