Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sleep? What Sleep?


You know it all too well. Once you entered parenthood, somehow "sleep" stopped being a part of your vocabulary. Even when the little critters are already in dreamland, your momma instincts keep you alert for any sound or movement. This is especially true if you have babies! And you find yourself missing what it felt like to be in a truly deep slumber.

Fret not! There is still hope! You may not be able to get back into worry-free sleep, but there are still ways that you can help yourself deal with sleep deprivation. Parents.com clues you in:

The Tired Moms' Guide to Better Sleep

1. Bright lights at night

Few things are more inviting than a home that glows cheerfully on a dark night, but switching on high-wattage lights after sundown can make it harder for you to fall asleep.

In fact, anything brighter than a 15-watt bulb may have an effect on your ability to rest, says Clete Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., director of Stanford University's sleep-research center. That's because, while darkness causes our brains to secrete melatonin—a hormone that makes us feel sleepy—light does just the opposite. It causes the brain to stop making melatonin, and that's the body's signal to wake up.

To wind down faster, lower the light level an hour or two before bedtime. And if you need to get up in the middle of the night to check on your child or because you just can't sleep, use a dim night-light that you can turn on and off.

2. Checking e-mail before bed


How could such quiet activity interfere with your sleep? "Using the computer or doing work is daytime activity," says Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at New York University School of Medicine, in New York City.

Getting immersed in such tasks right before bedtime will only rev you up, and your body can't instantly switch gears. If you have the space, keep the computer and home-office equipment out of the bedroom so you'll be less likely to associate your bedroom with work. And avoid other stimulating activity close to bedtime—such as watching disturbing TV news, reading a thriller, or discussing a big issue with your spouse. These can also lower your chances for a good night's sleep.

3. Java in the afternoon

You already know not to drink a cup of coffee late at night, but caffeine consumed any time after midday can do a number on your body. And be aware that tea, carbonated sodas (not just colas-orange drinks and other sodas can be culprits too), coffee ice cream, and even decaf coffee may all contain enough of a jolt to keep you awake. Chocolate has only a small amount of caffeine but contains several other stimulants.

You don't need to go completely decaf—is there a mom out there who can do without her morning latte? But if you have trouble falling asleep sometimes, then keep caffeine to a minimum after noon.

You can find the rest of the tips here!

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
How are you dealing with sleeplessness so far? What tips can you share? On average, how many hours of sleep do you get? Does hubby pitch in with baby duty?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fab Tips from a Fab Mom

When it comes to being fabulous, very few women come close to Kimora Lee Simmons. She is so fabulous in fact, that she even coined a term to describe the art of being fab like her: FABULOSITY.

But before I get busted by the Grammar Police, this post isn't just about her--ermmm--fabulosity. It's about how she can be her larger-than-life self and still be a loving mother to her little girls.



Well, wonder no further because she has revealed her top 10 parenting tips recently at MyStyle.com!

Kimora's Top 10 Parenting Tips

1. Happiness Is Inside: Great shoes or handbags can make you feel fabulous but only temporarily. It's fun to look cute, but I teach my girls that bliss from material goodies will fade like a candy high if they lack substance underneath all the sparkle and shine.

2. Live Generously: My girls and I regularly go through their rooms to find clothes and toys to donate to charities. I firmly believe that children who have been given so much need to experience the joy that comes from giving. All children can do things to help, whether how big or small—by donating toys or lending a hand in the community.

3. Expose Children to Different Cultures, Places and People: Even if you can't afford to travel the world, you can take your children to the museum, zoo or local park. And don't be afraid to take them to grownup spots. Eating out in a restaurant teaches children how to be quiet and polite—and gives them the pleasure of knowing you trust them to behave.

4. Make Time for Fun: I encourage my children to try new things—dance, tennis, soccer, you name it, I want them to try it. But I don't want them to feel like they have to take every class just to please me. Kids need time to be kids! My recipe for good parenting includes a healthy dose of discipline and a lot of love.

5. Embrace Uniqueness: Don't try to blend in with all the other moms—it's OK to stand out from the crowd and be yourself. The best way to teach children to resist peer pressure is to resist it yourself.

For the rest of her fab tips, you can read the original article here!

Image from celebrtystyle.about.com

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...

If you were to make your own list of tips, what would you include? How do you make yourself feel fabulous?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Best-Kept Hair Secrets

Putting your best foot forward is all well and good. But then once you have it forward, you'll have to make sure that the rest of you is at its best too!

One of the first things that people notice is hair. Whether you have stick straight or crazy curly or somewhere-in-between hair, here are the best-kept secret tips for improving your hair from MSN Lifestyle (get ready to take notes, there's 33 of them):

The 33 Best-Kept Hair Secrets

To create volume...
Mist your roots at the crown of your head with a volumizing spray when your hair is dry. Then blow-dry the section of the hair in the opposite direction that it normally falls while using your fingers or a brush to lift the roots up and over. Once dry, flip the hair over and gently smooth it out with a brush. You can do this on small sections around your entire head for even more major results.


For sleek and shiny hair...
Apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner on damp hair before drying. For medium to thick hair, apply a bit of styling cream to keep strands smooth. Use a flat brush to go underneath your hair and keep the dryer aimed downward. When the section of hair is almost dry, switch to a round brush so that you have some bend at the ends. If it's humid outside, mist your hair with a protective styling spray and run a flatiron from your ears down.



For beachy waves...

Start with towel-dried hair and apply any kind of volumizing product to your roots. Put a quarter-sized amount of styling cream on your ends, working in small sections for even coverage. Take a small section of your hair and twirl downward, repeating all over your head. Blow-dry by pointing the dryer down toward your head a few inches away from hair, twirling sections around your finger. When you are finished twisting each section, scrunch your hair while blow-drying to amp up the volume and texture. For a more defined look, wrap sections of hair around a medium-sized curling iron.


For a faux bob...
Make a low, loose ponytail. Tuck the tail under and secure with hairpins. Let your face-framing pieces hang loose and curl with a smaller-sized curling iron. Voilà! Short hair, no cutting required.


Read the rest of the tips here (includes loads of helpful tips, like what to do when you're growing out short bangs!)

Of course, there will be days when you'll feel the need to look extra special. So add flair to your hair by topping it with lovely hair accessories!

If you think No Slippy Hair Clippys are only for little girls, think again! You're missing out on our line of sophisticated styles for women! Still with our signature non-slip feature, these "grown-up" clippys are available in Pinch Clip (for wispy hair) and French Clip (for thick hair).






So play it up a little and don't be afraid to accessorize with hairclips that bring out that sweet little girl in you (but with a sophisticated flair!). More hair clips at headbands at out site!

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Rescue

It's amazing that the King of kings of Lord of lords would take the time to listen to me when I call out to Him. And it's even more amazing that He would run to my rescue, even when I fool myself into thinking that I can make it on my own. Yet, He has always proven Himself faithful and He has rescued me many times over.

Whenever I need rescuing, He reminds me of a different 911--- Psalm 91:1. When the world proves too much, He welcomes me into His arms and gives me rest.



I have entered this inspiring photo in both Blue Monday and Word-Filled Wednesday. Have a meaningful week, everyone!

Cheerios!
Rach

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Trends You Already Own

Each season is an opportunity to play around with your style. Now that Spring is here, it's time for a fling with fashion once again!

Spring fashion is all about being feminine and sophisticated, yet also bold and fierce. It’s the time to be in full bloom, after all, with a refreshed style that breaks out of winter’s drabber colors. This season, the color palette is bursting with brights and pastels. It’s all about being youthful and fresh.



But you don't have to spend on a whole new wardrobe just for the season. Spring's blooming trends might already be hiding in your closet! Super fun fashion blog stylebakery.com gives you a rundown of 20 trends you already own that could not be any hotter this season:

1. Statement Necklace - One trend we're thrilled to see continue is the statement necklace. Ubiquitous for the past few seasons, it's the quickest way to make your outfit pop.

2. Boyfriend Blazer - Last season's must-buy, the boyfriend blazer, still looks fresh layered over dresses and skirts, or paired with jeans and shorts.

3. Belts - Thick or thin, belts continue their run as an important accessory, instantly transforming virtually anything in your wardrobe. Wear yours to cinch cardigans, jackets, t-shirts, blouses, dresses and more.

4. Florals - A top trend for more than 4 years in a row (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007), florals always look fresh.

5. Ruffles - Another trend that has been hot for several seasons (fall 2009, spring 2009), there's no need to put away your ruffled pieces just yet.

6. Trench Coat - The one piece on every Top 10 list year after year is the trench coat. Hopefully you've got at least one in your closet, bonus points if it's in a bright color. Don't own a trench? Get one - now.

7. Bangles - Cuffs may be the big trend for wrists this season, but it's still chic to pile on your chunky bangles.

8. Grecian or Gladiator Flats - In 2008, we predicted gladiator sandals would be a one-season trend, boy were we wrong! For the third year in a row, Grecian flat sandals are a summer footwear favorite (including ours).

9. Hobo Bag - You likely have a slouchy bag in your closet from seasons past and, thankfully, it's still in style.

10. Cargo Pants - A staple of your casual wardrobe for several years, the military-inspired pant looks fresh again this season. Wear yours with pretty printed tops and heels or wedges for a fresh look.

11. Denim Skirt - Whether mini or pencil, it's time to dust off your old denim skirt. Bonus points if it's a medium blue color a la Stella McCartney's spring collection.

12. Wedges - A mainstay of spring wardrobes for several seasons now, you likely own a pair or two, lucky you!

13. Skinny Jeans & Boyfriend Jeans - Both denim silhouettes are still favorites this season.

14. Turquoise Jewelry - Every few years, turquoise jewelry regains its must-have status proving to be a wise investment for your collection. Odds are you've got at least a piece or two in your jewelry box.

15. Nautical Striped Top - Timeless navy and white or red and white striped tops are suddenly trendy again.

Te read the rest of the trends, including some so-lucky-to-have items, visit stylebakery here!

Image fro instyle.com.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday Follow!

It's Friday once again and that means it's time to follow some people around! Not in a stalker-ish way, of course... Unless that kind of attention flatters you *scary!*


This week's sponsor is Tooth Soap!



They are running a contest where you can win fantabulous cash prizes, so be sure to check out any of our carnival hosts: Rita @One 2 Try, Tami @Hearts Make Families, and Lynn @ Midday Escapades for more details!

You can also visit them if you just wish to participate in the Friday following frenzy ;o) It's a great way to meet new friends. In fact, I invite you to be my friend! If you're following me, please do leave a comment so I can follow you back.

Have a sparkly Friday, everyone!

Cheerios!
Rach

Now on to the links... (these ladies are faaaaaaaast!)


MckLinky Blog Hop

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Five Question Friday!


1. Did you pass your driver's test on the first try?
I haven't even taken it yet! But after a few panic attacks, I really think I could...

2. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Hmmm... Not that I'm too shy to share, but I honestly HONESTLY don't remember the last time I was embarrassed. I tend to laugh at myself a lot, even when I mess stuff up and people laugh at me. If that is normal, I do not know...

3. What TV show would you like to be on- Oprah, Biggest Loser, or What Not to Wear?
Oh Oprah, definitely. Whoever gets on her show gets an instant ticket to stardom!!!

Kidding aside, I think it will be interesting for someone as influential as her to ask little ole me about my little ole life.

4. Would you ever get plastic surgery and what kind?
I am irrationally afraid of doctors. I really am. Even getting shots is a HUGE issue for me.

So having my body cut up and sewn up would be plain traumatizing. I know I'll be unconscious during the whole process, but just knowing that that is what's going to be done to me might be enough to drive me to a self-induced coma.

5. What are your favorite jeans to wear?

Basic straight cut. Preferably in dark hues.

I've made the mistake of following trends before. I used to buy stuff that were in-vogue at the moment and then months later, ended up with tons of clothes too embarrassing to be seen wearing. So now I just keep things simple and invest in classics.

Want to take five too? Visit our lovely host Mama M. and join the fun here!

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
Why are these blog carnivals so addicting?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Friday Fill Ins!



Without further ado... (drum roll please!)

1. The right word can make or break a person.

2. Would you stop staring at my Oscar awards in the library and shut the door quietly, please.

3. Up and awaaaaaay!

4. Near the giant chocolate chip cookies just across the chocolate fountain is where you'll find me.

5. Ooh! What is that slimy creature clinging to your left leg?!

6. Agreeing with me in everything is a good idea! XDDD

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Bible Study with my friends, tomorrow my plans include riding my bike again (uh-oh...) and Sunday, I want to watch my church's Easter cantata!

It's Friday and it's time to fill-in some blanks! Join here!

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
What are you doing this Friday?

Cheerios!
Rach

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10 Things from Mom

Mother's Day is still out of sight, but then again, who said we can only celebrate our bonds with our moms once in a year? :o)

I recently found this sweet article from Lil Sugar and I felt compelled to share with you: whether you're a mom or a daughter.



10 Things Mothers Should Teach Their Daughters

The relationship between mothers and their daughters is an incredibly strong one. Moms raising girls have the power to shape the next generation of women and those to come by teaching their kids important lessons.

1. That confidence and independence are beautiful.

2. That size doesn't matter, but wasting her time worrying about it does.

3. That brilliance should never be downplayed.

4. That emotions are liberating so she should go ahead and laugh, cry or scream.

5. To always have enough money to pay her own way, but to be gracious when someone else treats. And to be generous with what she has.

6. To not make age an excuse for her actions.

7. That "mean girls" are really just insecure.

8. That she has an amazing power to make a difference in life.

9. To actively pursue her dreams especially those that seem unattainable.

10. That the love she will give and receive is limitless.

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
What things did your mom teach you that you would pass on to your own daughters? What would you add to this list? Do you agree or disagree with the things listed here?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lose That Baby Weight

Have you ever wondered about those celebrity moms who are as huge as a house one day and then a few weeks after giving birth, is like they were never even pregnant at all? Have you ever wondered how they do it so easily? (And why you can't seem to?!)

Well, momma, here's a newsflash: it's possible! Yup, even for mere mortals like us!

In a recent article written in Just the Facts Baby, pre- and post-natal fitness expert Andrea Grace shared ways to gain that pre-baby body back:



Getting started
Depending on your fitness level before and during pregnancy, you may find that walking is all the exercise you need until your six-week post-partum checkup. "Start by walking as fast as you comfortably can for a minimum of 20 minutes," says certified trainer Andrea Grace.

Once your doctor gives you the all-clear, you can begin more strenuous exercise. "Just remember to go at your own pace and modify the intensity of the exercise, working up to three times a week of active movement for at least 20 minutes at a time," says Grace.

Try checking out your local gym or community centre for post-natal fitness classes. "Specialized post-natal classes take into account the changes your body went through during pregnancy," says Grace. "They're not necessarily less intense, they're just paced more slowly. They're also lower impact and incorporate a fuller range of motion, which is safer for your joints."

Working out comfortably
The most important thing is to get back into fitness gradually. Start by investing in a good sports bra. While it's safe to exercise when nursing, you should avoid exercises that make your breasts feel sore–it also helps to work out after feeding your baby when your breasts are less full.

You also need to adapt your fitness regimen to the changes your body went through during pregnancy, says Grace. If you're experiencing incontinence or pain following an episiotomy, pelvic floor exercises will help and you can begin doing them right away. But you should ease back into abdominal exercises, especially if your doctor has told you that you have diastasis recti (a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area). Head lifts are a gentle ab exercise to start with:

1. Lie on you back, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.

2. Cross your arms across your belly button, using your hands to pull your side ribs in toward the centre of your body.

3. Press your lower back into the floor and inhale.

4. As you exhale, lift your chin slowly toward your chest while pulling your abs in toward your spine, keeping your shoulders on the ground.

5. Inhale and release slowly.

To read the rest of the article, click here!

Image from sxc.hu.

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
How did you lose the baby weight? Did you follow any fitness regimen?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday!


The Bible is filled with hope and joy and love. This verse is one of my ultimate favorites. I could go on and on in a vain attempt to expound on His promise, but really, He has said it all:



If you have your own favorite verse that you'd like to share, join Word-Filled Wednesday. This week, it's hosted by Susan at Forever His.

Have a blessed week!
Rach

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Jumping for Joy with Clippy's Easter Bunny Special!


Easter is just hopping around the corner! Since Easter is one of our favorite seasons, we want you to have an Easter clippy party on us!

We invite you to No Slippy Hair Clippy's Easter Bunny Special-30% off EVERYTHING!

Are you looking for No Slippy Hairclips at a bargain? Shop at our website for a limited time and get a 30% discount on everything we offer.

Tell your friends! We don’t offer this kind of event very often, so we want to spread the word!

Plus.... Orders of $50 or more will also receive FREE 1ST CLASS SHIPPING in the continental US.

You MUST follow this link to get the discount (http://hairclippy.com/?specialOffer=clippysale). While quantities last. Offer good through midnight Sunday, March 28, 2010.


Sincerely,
The No Slippy Hair Clippy Team ;o)

I entered this post to ABC Wednesday: it's the letter J today! We're all Jumping for Joy over this bigger-than-usual discount *weeee!* If you'd like to join in this wordy carnival, visit ABC Wednesday here!

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Born to Dance

You know how sometimes people would say, "She was born to sing." Or "He was born to write." Or "She was born to skate." And you appreciate the flattery, but deep inside you wonder if it's even possible for someone to be "born" to do something? Well, it looks like this might actually be true for babies!


In a recent article in Yahoo!, studies have shown that dancing comes naturally to infants. A research showed that babies respond to the rhythm and tempo of music and find it more engaging than speech. Amazing, right?

Here's an excerpt of the article:

BABIES ARE BORN TO DANCE

"The findings, based on a study of 120 infants between 5 months and 2 years old, suggest that humans may be born with a predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music.

"Our research suggests that it is the beat rather than other features of the music, such as the melody, that produces the response in infants," said researcher Marcel Zentner, a psychologist at the University of York in England. "We also found that the better the children were able to synchronize their movements with the music, the more they smiled."

To test babies' dancing disposition, the researchers played recordings of classical music, rhythmic beats and speech to infants, and videotaped the results. They also recruited professional ballet dancers to analyze how well the babies matched their movements to the music.

During the experiments, the babies were sitting on a parent's lap, though the adults had headphones to make sure they couldn't hear the music and were instructed not to move.

The researchers found the babies moved their arms, hands, legs, feet, torsos and heads in response to the music, much more than to speech."

To read the rest of this interesting article, you can click here!

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER... What do you think? Is your child into dancing?

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Ruby Tuesday!


It's time to paint the town--I mean--the interwebs RED again!

Ruby Tuesday is a fun carnival hosted by MaryT at Work of the Poet. If you have something ravishing red to share, join in!

Today, I'm sharing a refreshing new recipe I'm trying to learn. You see, when I think of Spring, I think of fresh fruits. So when I stumbled upon this super easy recipe, I just had to note it down and try making it on my own!

I know, I know, strawberry is not even in season yet, but looking at how luscious that photo is, you'll know this is a dessert recipe for keeps! I got it from KitchenCakes.com.



STRAWBERRY PARFAIT

Ingredients:

6 large fresh or thawed frozen strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry flavored yogurt
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:
1. Place strawberries in a bowl; lightly mash with fork.

2. Spoon strawberry mixture into four long-stemmed wine glasses.

3. Combine yogurt, orange juice concentrate and brown sugar in a small bowl.

4. Drizzle yogurt mixture over strawberries and avocado and sprinkle with coconut.

Try it out for yourself and let me know how it turns out!

Cheerios!
Rach

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Channeling Demi

Demi Lovato, that is. Young, talented and successful, it's no wonder she's a admired by so many young girls! And I couldn't agree more. She's a lovely lady who seems to have it all together. Not only that, she looks fabulous too!

If Demi is your fashion icon, have you ever wondered what this says about your own personality and style?

What's your celeb style personality?


Find out more about your style star in seventeen.com. Or you can choose from a host of other fashion-forward celebrities and see how their tastes are similar to yours!

Image from ellegirl.elle.com

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER... Are you more Demi or more Selena? What about their style do you like most? What about it don't you like so much?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blue Monday!


It's Monday again and so it's all about blue!

Today, I am sharing our Nahla - Button Polka Dot Flower clips. With its bright and bubbly colors (we have Pink, Shocking Pink, Lime and Turquoise), it's the perfect way of welcoming Spring. We love that it comes in a refreshing turquoise color because as you know, fashion experts have predicted that turquiose is the color of the year! How much more perfect can these clippys be? ;o)




Happy Blue Monday everyone! If you'd like to join in, visit our lovely host Smiling Sally here!

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We have a Winner!


Our beloved fans have given us so much support over the years, so we always grab opportunities to give back! That's why these past two months, we had two giveaways of clippys hosted by our friends at Annies Home and Monkey Mommy!

Here's a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Christina A.! She is the winner of the No Slippy Hair Clippy giveaway! This is for the $25 worth of No Slippy Hair Clippys hosted by Monkey Mommy. Please contact Monkey Mommy asap to claim your prize!

Our other fans can look forward to more giveaways, discounts and promos very soon!

It's our way of saying Thank You for all the support and love throughout the years! We hope you'll continue to make No Slippy Hair Clippy a part of your and your little girl's life :)

New to No Slippy Hair Clippy? Check out our adorable range of non-slip hair accessories for all the ages and stages of a girl's life here!

Cheerios!
Rach

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Loving the Food You Hate

No matter how much we keep reminding ourselves about the global economic crisis and how we should not be wasteful or picky, there are just some foods that we love to hate. Mommas, I know you hear me when I say an army is needed to make one kid eat his broccoli!



But there's a way (actually, four ways) to stop saying ewwww, and start saying mmmmm to your or your kid's least favorite foods! Who knows, once you get past your issues with it (is it too slimy? is it kinda stinky?) you might realize that hey, this stuff ain't that bad at all!

In an article by RachaelRaymag.com posted on Yahoo's Shine network, two experts give us four tips to get over the 'yuck':

We all have foods we can’t stomach. To help ourselves get over them, we asked molecular biologist Adam Ruben and nutritional scientist Eric Nowicki for a one-way ticket out of Gagsville.

Problem #1: About one in four people actually tastes vegetables like brussels sprouts and broccoli as extremely bitter (it’s a survival instinct to protect you from eating poisonous plants).

Solution: Taste buds detect sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (a Japanese word for savory). Try masking bitterness by playing up some of the other tastes. Don’t overcook veggies—that enhances their sharpness. And instead of steaming or boiling, lightly sauté them in oil with salt and a dash of sugar.

Problem #2: Childhood associations influenced you. Maybe your parents disliked the food, or you had a bad experience (you ate corn on the cob with a loose tooth and it hurt).

Solution: Wait until you’re really hungry before trying foods after a long hiatus. When you’re that famished, your body will start to associate those flavors with a positive benefit: relieving your hunger. Smells change as we age, too, so maybe the food you’ve always hated won’t seem as offensive as it did when you were a kid. To ease into it, try plugging your nose for the first few bites.
Problem #3: It’s a texture thing. There’s no scientific research that says why, but something about a rubbery glop of mayo or slimy slice of ham just makes you shiver.

Solution: Play with your food. If texture is your one problem, try cooking the food to change its consistency. You may hate woody mushrooms or fleshy tomatoes, but spicy tomato salsa or a creamy mushroom soup might appeal to you. When foods aren’t a surprise (like, say, finding a chunk of tomato in your salad), you may not react as strongly, either.

To read the rest of the article, head on over to the Shine website here!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friday Follow!

It's my first Friday Follow! (Cue applause! And confetti!)



And... I'm actually not sure what I'm supposed to be writing about! (Oh, woe is me!)

So I guess I'll just tell you a little bit more about this carnival:
It's an every-Friday (duh!) meme hosted by Rita @One 2 Try, Tami @Hearts Make Families and Lynn @Midday Escapades.

Basically, all you have to do is to link up your blog to that neat little box below, then follow as many blogs as you please! (And hopefully get followers of your own as well!)

If you'd like to join, here's what to do:
--Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

--Grab the Friday Follow and Sponsor buttons and include both on your Friday Follow blog post.

--Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.

--Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like.

--Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow.

--Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow.

Isn't that oh so easy? And by the way, this week's sponsor is Bea's Gift Baskets.com. For more info on them, you can visit their website here!

Bea's Gift Baskets


And now on to the links...

(Boy, I wonder what I'll be doodling about next Friday Follow!)

Cheerios and have a great weekend, everyone!

Rach


MckLinky Blog Hop

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Five Question Friday!


Today I am joining my very fist Five Question Friday carnival! It's a short and sweet (and FUN) carnival hosted by Mama M. of Five Crooked Halos. Feel free to join in here!

And so we begin...

1. Have you ever had a celeb sighting?
Why, of course, everyday in the mirror! XD

Kidding aside, I haven't really had any sightings. I think they've been purposely hiding themselves from me...

But our clippys have been seen on celebrity babies! Does that count...?

2. What temperature do you keep your house?
Erm... the right temperature? I live in a tropical country, so we don't really adjust temperatures in the house. If it's hot, we turn on the fans. If it's cold, we thank God. Ahhh the simple life XD

3. Do you notice dust at other people's homes?
Yes! I don't get obsessive-compulsive about it and start cleaning everything, though! It's just that I'm allergic to dust so it's hard for me not to know it's there.

4. What's the worst job you ever had?
I wouldn't call any of my jobs the "worst" or the "best." They were simply the jobs that God wanted me to be in at that time, and so He placed me there. Some days are good, some days are horrific, but it's where I'm meant to be at that moment. So I just try to learn from it what I can.

5. What is your most sentimental possession?
The silver ring that my mom gave me as a "family ring." All five of us in the family have one. I wear it everyday and I panic when I misplace it (eeep, sorry mom!). I love how some people come up to me and ask if I was engaged or married when they see that ring---and I tell them "Well, yeah I guess, to my family!" My family has always been foremost for me and I cherish the close relationship I have with them!

Cheerios!
Rach

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Friday Fill Ins!

ffi

Time for some Friday Fill-Ins! Feel free to join in here!

And... here we go!

1. Today I will be at peace with myself and thankful to my God :)

2. You say, why on earth would I want to become queen of the world and I say why not?

3. What do you think of my blog? Like it? Follow it! XD

4. At my own secret fantasy world, it's free Pastry Day til 1030 Friday!

5. People say that what we're all seeking is our own happiness.

6. The image I cherish most is that of my family, especially when they're all asleep and have left me at peace XD

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a fantastic dinner, tomorrow my plans include finishing a tub of ice cream (seriously) and Sunday, I want to brace myself for Monday!

Cheerios amigos!
Rach


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Spring is Here!

There is no other season quite like Spring. And when it comes to the hottest fashion of the season, nothing is quite as bold and fresh, yet dainty and sophisticated as those of Spring. So for all you young ladies out there, the blooming of this new season is the perfect time to update your wardrobe. But with so many trends out there, how would you know which one is right for you?

When Spring fashion is mentioned, pretty florals, wild prints, and bright colors come to mind. All things girly, but still refreshingly bold and unique. But what is YOUR Spring style?

Try out this fun quiz from seventeen.com and find out which Spring trend you definitely have to try!


Of course, you'll need to top it all off with the perfect hair accessories. And just when you thought No Slippy Hair Clippy is only for babies, think again! Our clips and headbands are the perfect match for young ladies, too! With sophisticated styles that show your individuality--whether you're the shy girly-girl type, the daring show-stopper, or the life of the party who has her fun quirks! Check out our styles at our website and get ready to be adored ;)

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
Isn't Selena Gomez always so stunningly lovely? Do you like her style? How would you describe your style? Let me know what you get from the quiz and if you think it's really worth trying out!

Image from static.thehollywoodgossip.com

Cheerios!

Rach

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A St. Paddy’s with the Babies


Since I love St. Patrick's Day, I'm entering this to Things I Love Thursday hosted by The Diaper Diaries here! If you'd like to share something you're loving today, feel free to join in!



Time to don some green again as St. Patrick’s Day is here! Although originally celebrated as a religious holiday in Ireland, it has crossed over to America and has taken on a more festive flavor. If you haven’t noticed yet, at mid-March, streets are splashed with green and people shift into high spirits. Boy, do we know how to party!

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is welcomed with much merriment through parades, lots of drinking and feasting, and the wearing of green. It is also become a custom to playfully pinch anyone who isn’t wearing green on this day!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN


But if you’d like to know its origins, St. Patrick’s Day is actually an annual feast day that celebrates an Irish saint named Patrick. He is the most commonly recognized among the patron saints of Ireland and his feast is generally celebrated on the 17th of March. It is observed by people of Irish descent all over the world, although it has increasingly crossed over to other ethnicities as well.

It is a well-loved festivity and has been received warmly in the United States. One reason may be because it takes place just a few days before the first day of spring. So it is almost as if it has become the first green of spring.

ST. PADDY'S IN THE U.S.

In Chicago, it would be impossible to miss the Chicago River dyed a cool vibrant green, plus a jolly parade with Irish dancers, pipe bands, spectacular floats and other Irish entertainment. In Washington, the most notable celebration is their Shamrock Festival, which features over 50 bands, Irish dancers and Irish-themed games. In St. Louis, their parade includes various marching bands, character balloons, Irish steppers/dancers, and equestrians. And several bars offer festive drinks and food. And then, of course, there’s New York. Whether a New Yorker goes to church, the parade or a pub, this is undeniably one of the city's most exuberant celebrations. New Yorkers go green: green clothes, green flowers, green hats, and even green beers, green bagels, green water fountains, and a green Empire State Building. Truly, everyone’s Irish on March 17th!

GOING GREEN WITH BABY

But if you can’t join the merry-making because you don’t want your poor little baby getting scrunched up in the crowd, why not have a little celebration of your own? I’m sure that a lot of boutiques will take part of the holiday and offer adorable St. Patrick’s Day-themed baby items.

* Drench your little one in all-green baby gear
From four-leaf clover hair accessories to baby leprechaun costumes to glittery green shoes! And if you are lucky, maybe you can even find a toy pot of gold among the baby items! (If you find a pot of real gold, call me.)

* Crank up some Irish music and do a little Irish jig with your baby
And what baby can resist the fun in some lively dancing? Of course, you will have to make sure that she stays a baby leprechaun without her costume flying all over the place as you dance.

* Here, Clippy, Clippy
I'm sure having to clip and re-clip your baby’s hair accessories is not a favorite chore of yours. Especially when it ends up in her mouth and might even choke her! Those clips seem so small and harmless, but you can never be too careful. So when you choose her baby gear, make sure that the hair accessories are guaranteed non-slip.

You’d want them to stay put on her hair, but you would not want them too tight that they hurt her. Some brands have clips lined with material to ensure the clip’s soft grip. So they rest soft on her head and she might not even notice them ;o)

* Let the fun begin!
Now go look for that rainbow, pick some four-leaf clovers and enjoy this day of fun and festivity while keeping your baby safe!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

ABC Wednesday!

I is for Irresistible!

As these Easter Treats truly are! Easter is just hopping around the corner. So why not surprise your little one with these irresistible sweet treats from Disney Family Fun?

Easter Bunny Cupcakes



Ingredients:
a cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe)
white icing
shredded coconut
pink decorators' sugar
jelly bean nose
chewable Sweet Tart eyes
large marshmallow
mini marshmallows

Instructions:
1. Frost a cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with white icing and sprinkle on shredded coconut fur.

2. Cut a large marshmallow in half widthwise. Squeeze each half slightly to give it an oval shape, then decorate the sticky side of each one with pink decorators' sugar and set them in place for ears.

3. Add a jelly bean nose and either jelly bean or snipped Sweet Tart eyes, and mini marshmallows for cheeks. For a finishing touch, draw on decorators' gel pupils or whiskers if you like.

In the mood for some more fun recipes? There's more at Disney Family Fun here.

To pair off those sweet bunnies, here is an equally irresistible Easter Bunny clippy for your little girl.


This Pink Bunny clippy is made with high-grade velvet for that snug but soft hold. So you no longer have to worry about the clip slipping off or getting lost. But if you're not hoppin' happy with bunnies, there's more clippy styles to choose from here ;o)

If you're Itching to share something Interesting too, join ABC Wednesday!

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
What are your plans for Easter? Any interesting family traditions? And for the heck of it, do you like bunnies? (I do, I do!)

Cheerios!
Rach

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More Sleep + Less Weight = Possible?

I know what you're saying: No way. That just sounds too good to be true. In fact, that's just downright impossible. Get more sleep and then lose weight in the process? Come on, who are we kidding?

But apparently, it IS possible! In an article I recently read from Yahoo's Shine website, Dr. Mark Hooper, founder of My Ideal Pillow, gave some handy tips. Read on and let me know what you think:




Dr. Mark Hooper, founder of My Ideal Pillow, offers some advice during the upcoming National Sleep Awareness Week (March 7-13): He says two appetite-controlling hormones are adversely affected by loss of sleep. Hence, less sleep equals more pounds. So...why not kill two birds with one stone: get some rest and curb extra eating--just by using a few simple tactics. Here, some practical strategies to help moms get some sleep.

* Change your bedtime to an earlier one.

* Switch bedtimes with your partner: You retire early one night and get up for the first feeding while he gets the baby to sleep—and then switch the following night.

* Avoid caffeine from mid-afternoon on.

* Create a sleep-friendly bedroom (cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable).

* Take a shower every morning. One mom’s brilliant, if not scientific, opinion is that a hot shower can equal two hours of sleep!

* Nap, especially on the weekends. There is truth to the phrase “catch up on sleep.”

* Let the sunlight in during the day. Even if you can’t physically make it outside, having the blinds open to let in the sun can refresh the mind and promote a better night’s sleep.

To read more tips, check out the Shine website here.

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
On average, how many hours of sleep do you get? How many hours of sleep would you like to get? Do you have a routine that helped you get more sleep or lose weight?

Image from sxc.hu.

Cheerios!

Rach

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Ruby Tuesday!


We're seeing red again! If you are too, join Ruby Tuesday by visiting MaryT at Work of the Poet.

As I am enamored with all things Japanese, this week I'm sharing this striking image of a traditional torii gate in Kyoto, Japan.



A torii is commonly found at the entrance or within a Shinto shrine to symbolize the transition from the sacred to the profane. Its main function is to mark the entrance to a sacred space.

This reminds me of this scene in the film adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha, where young Chiyo Sakamoto ran through a torii.

Totally breathtaking.

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER... What is one place you would definitely want to visit? Have you ever watched a movie and got so inspired to visit the places featured in it? Which movie was it? And what place?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Girl Power

March is Women's History Month and so we rightfully celebrate all our beloved female readers this month! Today, we will look back at the inspiring lives and important contributions of ten of the greatest women in history. This list was compiled by listverse.com and are, of course, by no means complete.

But we're pretty sure you would agree that these ten women: all great leaders, fierce warriors and inspiring visionaries, have helped shape the world into a better place. In no particular order:

Emmeline Pankhurst


In 1889, Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Franchise League, followed by the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1905. She was joined by her daughters Christabel and Sylvia among others in the fight for Women’s Suffrage.

Pankhurst’s tactics for drawing attention to the movement led to her being imprisoned several times, and even experienced force-feeding after going on hunger strike several times.

She was also instrumental in placing women in men’s jobs during World War 1. She received funding of several thousand pounds from the government to aid her in encouraging employers that women were in fact fit to undertake these jobs.

Her efforts finally came to fruition in March 1918, when women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote. Later that same year, women over the age of 21 were given the right to become Members of Parliament, despite the fact they were still unable to vote. It wasn’t until 1928 that women were finally given the same voting rights as men in the United Kingdom.

Image from www.russellbranca.com.

Boudica


Boudica was a queen of the Iceni people of Norfolk who lead an uprising of the tribes against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.

Her husband, Prasutagus had left his Kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman Emperor when he died. The Roman Empire allowed allied independence only for the lifetime of the current king, and inheritance though the male line only was permitted. As he had left his kingdom to his daughters, his will was ignored and his kingdom annexed as if it had been conquered. It is reported that Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped.

She was later chosen as the leader of her people and their neighbors in an uprising against the Romans. Her army fell on the poorly defended city of Camulodunum (Colchester), and destroyed it, besieging the last defenders in the temple for two days before it fell. Archaeology shows the city was methodically demolished. Quintus Petillius Cerialis attempted to relieve the city, but his forces were routed. His infantry was wiped out: only the commander and some of his cavalry escaped.

Image from listverse.files.wordpress.com.

Rosa Sparks


Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called “Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement”.

On December 1, 1955, Parks became famous for refusing to obey bus driver James Blake’s order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. This action of civil disobedience started the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is one of the largest movements against racial segregation.

In addition, this launched Martin Luther King, Jr., who was involved with the boycott, to prominence in the civil rights movement. She has had a lasting legacy worldwide.

Rosa Parks resided in Detroit until she died at the age of ninety-two on October 24, 2005. City officials in Montgomery and Detroit announced on October 27, 2005 that the front seats of their city buses would be reserved with black ribbons in honor of Parks until her funeral. Her casket was transported to Washington, DC, and taken, aboard a bus similar to the one in which she made her protest, to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda (making her the first woman and second African American ever to receive this honor).

Image from www.kaichang.net.


Hatshepsut



Hatshepsut is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful female pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty.

Although records of her reign are documented in diverse ancient sources, Hatshepsut was once described by early modern scholars as only having served as a co-regent from about 1479 to 1458 BC, during years seven to twenty-one of the reign previously identified as that of Thutmose III. It is now known that Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh and her reign as king is usually given as twenty-two years since Manetho assigns her a reign of 21 years and 9 months.

Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper and Lower Egypt, that were grander and more numerous than those of any of her Middle Kingdom predecessors.

Although many Egyptologists have claimed that her foreign policy was mainly peaceful, there is evidence that Hatshepsut led successful military campaigns in Nubia, the Levant, and Syria early in her career.

Image from biblicalpaths.files.wordpress.com.

To read more about the amazing women in the list, you may read the rest of the article here.

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
Who else do you think should be included in this list? We always get asked who our "heroes" are, but who do you look up to as a heroine?

Cheerios!

Rach

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blue Monday!


It's Monday once again so it's time for all things Blue!

I have posted this photo in a previous entry, but I thought of posting it again for Blue Monday since I absolutely adore this baby. She is the darling baby daughter of one of our dear friends, Margaret. I have actually just told Margaret a while ago how crazy in love I am with her baby! And look at this charmer, who wouldn't fall in love?



In this photo, she is even wearing our Bubble Dot Organza Bow on Organdy Band. It's actually Lavender, but it has blue details ;o)


Margaret is also a mommy blogger and I always visit her blog because she has loads of interesting stuff. If you're a book lover, you'd adore her blog too because she has written heaps of book reviews! Go ahead and say hello to her at Creative Madness.

If you would also like to share blue things that you fancy, join in the fun and visit Smiling Sally, our lovely host. She is actually scheduled for another operation, so she is in our thoughts and prayers. Please do take time to drop her an encouraging note!

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
What's your favorite day of the week? Would you consider your Mondays "blue"?

Cheerios!
Rach

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Mom, you're stressing me out!


You know it all too well. Motherhood has got to be one of the biggest challenges a women can ever experience! But while you're so used to being the one stressed out by the daily grind of being a mom, did you know that you could be stressing out your children too? (Yeah, me too, when I first read it, I said 'Seriously?!')

In an article at Just the Facts Baby written by Jennifer Kolari, child and parent therapist and founder of Connected Parenting, she discusses the ways by which parents might be working too hard to make things easier for their kids. Not knowing that this might actually cause major stress on them when they grow older!

Read on and let me know what you think:

"Over the last 15 to 20 years, we have moved from a parent-centered culture to a child-centered culture. We are better at understanding our children, better at empathizing and better at supporting and helping children when they are in need. Children are more protected and enjoy more emotional and physical safety than ever before and as a culture we care more about their feelings and their dignity.

There is a downside, though, and things may have swung a little too far. Many well-meaning parents work too hard to smooth the road for their children. Removing obstacles and bumps may make it easier for us to bear our children’s pain and emotional discomfort, but our children don’t seem to be better off for it. According to clinical psychologists Joseph Allen and Claudia Worrell Allen, “We’re seeing high rates of anxiety and depression. The average college student right now is as anxious as the average psychiatric patient was 50 years ago.”

As a child and family therapist, I see far more anxiety amongst the children I work with than I did years ago. I also see children having more difficulties with emotional regulation, anger and impulse control. If you smooth every bump and remove every obstacle in their way, children will not develop the emotional circuitry to manage bumps when they happen. They will fall apart and overreact because they do not have a repertoire of experiences that they can review and say, “Oh yeah, I handled that and I was ok so I can get through this.” If we do not trust them to learn for themselves, make mistakes and experience difficulties, they can’t build that important repertoire. The irony is that the more we try to make life easier for them, the more upset and anxious they seem to become.

It is hard to watch your child cry when you have to say “no” to something, or set a limit. But if you think it’s tough with a two- or four-year-old, think about how it will look when they are 14 or 16 years old. The truth is it will never be easier than it is right now to change and correct behaviors.

Staying neutral, being loving and predictable while setting fair and reasonable limits is the greatest gift you can give your child. It will help them become capable, resilient and secure. Adolescence is around the corner. It may seem like you have a lifetime with your children but they really do grow up quickly. Support them. Guide them. And, love them well. Be empathic and fair, but don’t be afraid to set limits. Let them experience some disappointment and give them messages of competence that help them see that they can, and will, get over it and be okay. Help them to be accountable for their mistakes and behaviors. They will be better prepared for life and a whole lot happier."

You can read the original article here.

PONDER, PONDER, PONDER...
An interesting read, don't you think? What's YOUR take on it? Do you agree that it's because of pampering from parents that a lot more kids have emotional problems nowadays? Have you had this issue with your children? How did you deal with it?

Cheerios!
Rach

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