07 November 2016

From My Heart ...

Thank you to all my beautiful readers and visitors who stop by for making my blogging such a fun and an enjoyable journey!
This blog wouldn't exist if it weren't for you logging on to get encouragement and advice. Thank you for the lovely messages and comments received...I appreciate each and everyone one of you!

06 November 2016

Designing Your Nursery

Planning to decorate your baby's nursery but not sure where to start? Here’s a few of my tips to guide and inspire you. 

1. Consider the room's location and other practicalities ...

If you have a choice, choose a quiet room close to your bedroom so you don’t have to walk far at night. Make sure that a cold room has adequate heating and a warm room has good ventilation. If the windows let a lot of light in, it may help your baby to sleep at night if you put black-out blinds or curtain linings up to keep the room dark. 

2. Incorporate the style of your house into the nursery décor ...

Is your interiors style traditional, contemporary or perhaps an eclectic mix? It’s important that your nursery design reflects your own personal style and how you’ve decorated the rest of your home. Otherwise, it will look out of place and you’ll tire of it very quickly.

3. Create your own mood board ...

Search the internet and magazines for pictures you love and piece them together to create a mood board. This will help you to pick your colours, keep your ideas focused and pull your theme together. 

4. Keep it simple ... 

With all the gorgeous nursery furniture and accessories available, it’s easy to over-decorate. Keep it simple and decide on a single focus for the room early on, such as a piece of furniture or artwork. Think child-friendly, not childish. Choose a neutral background and mix in age-appropriate accessories and you’ll reduce the need to redecorate every few years. 

5. Choose soft, tranquil colours ...

Consider using colours that are calming and nurturing. When your baby gets older she will tell you what she wants, so take this special time to consider what makes you feel relaxed. With the demands of a newborn, most mums need calm more than anything. 

6. Choose adaptable décor ...

Consider how long the nursery décor will last your baby. Wall paper with characters might have to be changed in a few years if your child finds it babyish or out-of-date. Wall stickers are a cheap, easy alternative for decorating that can be removed when your child gets older. 

7. Think about safety ...

Create a safe zone around the cot by positioning it away from windows, heaters, lamps, wall decorations and cords. 

8. Select key pieces first ...

Select your furniture pieces before you start decorating. Parents often choose their colours first, but it's actually easier and cheaper to match paints, fabrics and wallpaper to your key furniture pieces. 

9. Strike a balance between form and function ...

The hard part of designing your nursery is making sure it’s practical and easy to use. Consider what the room needs to be used for, the size of the room and how long it will be a nursery. This will help you design the space to fit your needs. 

10. Think outside the box ...

Just because furniture and accessories are not nursery-specific doesn’t mean that you can’t use them. The same can be said for wallpaper, fabric, and wall stickers. Choose items and colours that you love. 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake ... Delicious!

A cheery, happy cake that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face!

Recipe Ingredients

2⁄3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar
7 pineapple slices
7 maraschino cherries (optional)
11⁄2 cups all purpose or cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
2⁄3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

Recipe Directions

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. In a 23cm flameproof round cake pan, melt 1⁄3 cup of the butter over a low heat.

2. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter and cook, stirring, until the sugar and butter are blended and there are no pools of melted butter (2 to 4 minutes).

3. Arrange the pineapple on top of the caramel. Decorate with cherries if desired, placing them in the centre of each pineapple slice. Set the pan aside.

4. In the work bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer, place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, and mix on low speed until well combined.

5. Add the remaining butter along with the milk and vanilla extract.

6. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

7. Add the egg and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour the batter over the pineapple.

8. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (40 to 50 minutes).

9. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully tilt it in all directions to release the cake from the sides of the pan. Let it cool in the pan for about 3 minutes.

10. Turn the pan over onto a serving plate and let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes.

11. Carefully lift the pan off the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.


My Favourite Bath Recipes

There is something special in taking a bubble bath.
It is time for ourselves when we can relax at the end of a long and stressful day.
Even though we may not notice it, our body absorbs all the stress we go through during the day. Taking a long, relaxing bath relaxes the aching muscles and soothes the skin.
Preparing a bubble bath recipe will take you a few minutes. Then, put aside an hour for yourself. Prepare a bath, light some candles, and soak in.

Honey Milk Bath ...

2 cups of milk

1 cup of honey
1/4 of a cup of baking soda
1 cup of salt (sea salt, Epsom, or if you don't have any other kind, regular salt)
1/2 cup of baby oil (Johnson's is just fine)
A few drops of your favourite essential oil.
Combine honey, milk, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Add to running water. Finally, add the baby oil and essential oil.

Lavender Bath Oil ...

1/2 cup of Castor oil

1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil
Blend the two oils in a jar and add to the bath. That's it. You can keep the oil in a jar with a tight lid and make sure you keep it in a dry, dark place.

Cleopatra's Milk Bath ...

Milk based skin care has been around for a long time. Milk is full of ingredients that are beneficial to the skin. After intense physical exercise, for example, our muscles create lactic acid which dissolves the bond that holds dead cells of the skin. Milk penetrates the skin's deepest layers and thus help, its nutrition.
Milk contains vitamins A and E known to have a positive effect on the complexion. After using it on the face, the skin looks rested.
The proteins contained in milk, smooth the skin, and enzymes help its rejuvenation. Milk containing a high percent of milk fat is a good way to go in helping dry skin, regain its moisture.
As a rule, if you are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant, do not use it. Also, if you are diabetic, it is not desirable to take long, hot baths.
Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, has been credited as the founder of milk based skin care. One of the best known recipes is the milk bath she made famous.

There are many variations on the recipe, but it all boils down to adding either milk or butter milk to a bath. It is recommended that you use milk with a higher percent of fat as it helps the effect: making the skin, feel smooth and silky. You can add as much as 5 cups of milk/buttermilk. Soak for about 30 minutes. Rub the skin using a washcloth or simply rinse off.

Foaming Vanilla Bath ...

Foaming vanilla bath indulges your body and your skin. It is relaxing and soothing.
It is made with vanilla extract that can be bought in any of the health food stores.
It has to be made with 35% alcohol to qualify as an extract.
Vanilla is probably one of the most recognized flavours and scents around. It was well known of in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica before being introduced in Europe.
After that, vanilla found its way to food, drinks, cosmetics, and for us most important, skin care.
Vanilla is said to be good for the overall sense of well-being. It evokes good memories, smells like home. It is warm and inviting.
Some believe it is an aphrodisiac, although the science has not recognized it as such.

1 cup oil (any vegetable oil)
1/2 c. liquid soap 1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (optional)
Blend the ingredients together. Shake well before using. Use 1/4 cup per bath.

Pina Colada Bath ...

Pina colada bath is a perfect for those long, sun deprived winter days. It is adventurous, new, and wonderful!
This recipe contains baking soda which is a base that regulates the skin's pH returning it to normal.
Pineapple is a great source of Vitamin C that helps cleanse the skin and Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) which is essential for proper growth and development of body's systems, skin system included.
1 can of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of baking soda
Shot of rum (optional)
1 and half cups of pineapple juice (or 3 capfuls of pineapple extract)

Before using the coconut milk, shake the can well. You should expect to hear a slushy sound. If not, that means that the milk has settled and is not good to use.Pour the coconut milk into running water and then add the rest of the ingredients.


Sandy's House Cleaning Plan

As you all know, my passion for cleaning comes from my mother!
My mother had and still has a passion for cleaning. She lovingly raised my brother and I on daily home cooked meals while keeping a full time job, a beautiful garden and a spotless house. No one dust-sneezes in her house…ever!
Growing up I kept my eye on her as I did my share of chores and watched the secrets of her household success unfold.
Here are some of spring cleaning tips I learned a long time ago!

Sandy’s House Cleaning Plan

Most people honestly do not take the time to develop a house cleaning plan - rather they simply pick a chore and complete it on a "needs to be done" basis.
Not only is this not time effective - but it often creates a negativity towards house cleaning that really doesn’t need to exist.
Cleaning your house on a regular - pre-set plan is fast – easy - and prevents those endless weekends where everyone is madly cleaning before they can go and have fun.
There are basically three types of cleaning jobs, daily, weekly and monthly.
Daily chores are those that need to be done everyday to keep the house looking sparkling and clean.

They usually include:

• Washing dishes
• Cleaning the kitchen counters
• Cleaning the bathrooms sinks, toilets and showers or bathtubs
• Picking up games, toys, crafts etc
• Garbage removal
• Picking up dirty clothing and laundry
• Making beds
These may be done more than once a week depending on the room, number of people and overall use of the area.
Weekly chores are those that are the big items that are necessary to keep the house looking good.

Weekly chores typically include:

• Dusting
• Vacuuming
• Washing the floors
• Taking the trash to the curb
• Checking the fridge and cleaning out old food items
• Caring for plants
• Laundry
The monthly chores are those that are done infrequently - usually these tend to be larger - more involved projects.

Monthly chores may involve:

• Washing windows and walls
• Shampooing carpets and rugs
• Oven cleaning / fridge cleaning

Sandy's Weekly Cleaning Check-List

Bathrooms ... 

Clean shower, bath and basins.
Wash mirrors.
Clean brushes and combs.
• Bathroom counters and cupboard door and handles.
• Soap dishes.
• Toothbrush holder.
• Towel bars, hooks, and toilet paper holder.
• Shower rod and shower head.
• Light switches and plug-ins.
• Weight scale.
• Door, door frame and door knob.
Clean and gleam chrome.
Clean and disinfect toilet bowl, clean around toilet bowl.
Fill soap and lotion dispensers.
Sanitize toilet brush, scrubs, nail files and clippers.
Clean electric shaver and change razor blades.
Clean bathroom window.
Empty and wash toilet bin.Wash/shake/vacuum bathroom mats.
Scrub and disinfect the bathroom floor.

Bedrooms ...

Change sheets and wash.
Clean mirrors.
• furniture
• lamp shades
• wall hangings
• picture frames
• light switches and plug-ins
• base boards
• ornaments
• doors and door knobs
Put away stacks (clothes, magazines, toys, books, papers, etc.)
Vacuum/wash and disinfect floor and wipe wall skirting’s.
Treat stains on carpets.
Empty and wash the bin.
Shake rugs.
Water the plants.
Clean telephone.

Dining Rooms and Study ... 

• furniture
• lamp shades
• wall hangings
• picture frames
• light fittings, switches and plug-ins
• ornaments
• doors and door knobs and wall skirting’s
Clean finger prints on doors and walls.
Clean telephone.
Put away stacks e.g. toys, magazines, books, papers, etc.
Sweep/wash and disinfect tiled floors/Vacuum.
Wipe wall skirting’s.
Treat stains on carpets.
Empty and wash the bins.
Shake rugs.
Water the plants.

Kitchen ... 

Wash dishes dry and put away.
Move and clean under counter top objects and disinfect counter tops.
Clean finger prints on walls and switches.
Wash canisters, snack jars, salt, and pepper shakers.
Clean on top of the kitchen cupboards, doors and handles.
Dust furniture, walls and wall hangings.
Clean microwave inside and outside.
Clean refrigerator
Discard out dated food
Wipe shelves
Wash bins
Treat stains
Clean rubber gasket
Wash outside
Clean hinges
Clean top
Wash window over sink, scrub sink and clean taps.
Clean stove
Lift top and clean under
Scour oven plates and rims
Soak clean stove knobs
Clean oven duct
Clean exterior
Clean oven door
Clean coffee maker.
Clean toaster and empty crumb tray.
Clean dish drainer.
Dust spice jars and clean bread box.
Clean dishwasher
Clean and polish door
Clean gasket
Wipe interior and clean tub of debris.
Clean detergent dispenser
Fill paper towels, soap bottles, and lotion bottles.
Wash dish clothes, pot holders, dish towels, place mats, and area rugs as needed.
Water the plants.
Sweep and wash and disinfect the floor and wipe wall skirting’s.

Living and Family Rooms ... 

• furniture
• lamp shades
• wall hangings
• picture frames
• light switches and plug-ins
• ornaments
• doors and door knobs
• TV
Clean finger prints on doors and walls.
Clean telephone.
Put away stacks e.g. toys, magazines, books, papers, etc.
Vacuum/dust mop/ wash and disinfect tiled floors.
Treat stains on carpets.
Shake rugs.
Water the plants.

Entry and Hallways ...

Wash front storm door and entrance.
Clean door glass and door knobs.
Dust wall hangings and ornaments.
Clean finger prints on light switches.
Shake or vacuum scatter rugs.
Sweep and wash tiled floor/vacuum and wipe wall skirting’s.

Planning Tips For The Festive Season

The holidays and the Festive Season are fast approaching. You still have plenty of time to prepare but only if you get started now. Instead of waiting until December 1st or even the 15th.

This year in particular, families will need a lot of advance planning. With the economy the way it is; people all around the world may find it difficult this year to celebrate the Holidays in the way we have been used to. The price of almost every imaginable good has gone up considerably so, it’s safe to predict that this coming Holiday season will be very stressful for many families but with a little advance planning, we can still have a great Christmas!

Get Organized

You may have a list that you follow every year, but if not, here are some of my own suggestions which will help to get you started on a well-organized and joyous holiday!

Remember Traditions

If your family has traditions that you keep, year after year, plan everything you'll need for them now.
Do family members draw names for gift-giving?
Do the children in your family prepare a skit or do adults tell family stories?
Do whatever you need now to make sure the traditions are passed on and remind everyone involved of the importance of their participation.
Buy invitations and address them, prepare the menus, ask others to contribute what they love and decide on a theme for the decorations. If you create a checklist, it will be easy to see what's left for you or others to do.

Prepare Your Gift List

If you're like many, you may have a closet of gifts already put away with friends or family members names on them. If not, make your gift list now. Collect catalogues if you like to order gifts, go to the local shopping centre before the crowds arrive or collect what you need if you make your own gifts. Make lists so you don't forget anyone important.If you have to send gifts out-of-town for friends or family, plan to do it early. Get those gifts first and send them off.

Gather Your Supplies

It won't take long to get all your holiday supplies together. Make sure you have enough stamps for holiday cards. Check your supply of wrapping paper and ribbon. Collect basic kitchen items that you know you'll need. Make lists and use them.
Prepare Your Christmas Cards

You may not be in the mood to write out your holiday cards but you can spend an evening watching TV addressing the envelopes, pasting on return address labels and adding stamps. Encourage your children to create their own cards to send to grandparents, cousins and friends. 

Do Some Housekeeping

Now is the perfect time to face annual chores in and outside of the house. Hose off the front door and garage door, clean the windows, polish silver, chandeliers and the light fixtures.
Are Guests Coming?
Now is a great time to clear out the clutter in your extra bedroom, since you'll probably need it this season for out-of-town guests or a sleepover. Pack away, all the out of season clothing, leaving room in the closet and drawers for your guests things. Put away unfinished projects. Finally, add some of the comfortable touches that make a guestroom look comfortable and nice!
Make sure there are plush pillows, a good reading lamp and fun reading material. 

Decorate the Outdoors

You may think it's too early to put up the holiday lights but it's much easier to do it now than in the middle of the heat! Test the lights before you put them up and after but don't turn them on at night until it’s time. 

Plan Holiday Travels

If you're planning to be away for the holidays, it's a good idea to book your holiday travel now. Check your calendar with others in your family and get friends and family to do the same. If you have guests coming to your home, remind them to make their travel plans early.

Portuguese Corn Bread

Pão de Milho, also known as Broa, began as a staple cornbread in the poorer regions of Portugal. Corn was introduced into Portugal and Spain from the New World, by whalers & fishermen sailing from the New England coast. This unique and delicious bread has been a hearty and easy way for people of all Portuguese society to enjoy bread for centuries. Serve it home-made with any meal along with some butter and it will taste great!

(Makes 1 Loaf)


1 1/4 cups fine white cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water, divided
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (or 1 15 ml pkg)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white cornflour (approx. measure) or 1/2 cup yellow cornflour (approx. measure)

1) Please note that the corn flour in this recipe is NOT cornstarch; you should be able to find corn flour at your grocery store in either the aisle where flour is sold, or in the aisle where ethnic foods are sold.
2) In a large mixing bowl, mix the cornmeal and salt together, then add the boiling water and stir until smooth.
3) Let this cool until mixture is lukewarm (should take about 10 minutes).
4) Meanwhile, in a measuring cup, dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water and sprinkle in the yeast; let stand for 10 minutes.
5) Now rapidly whisk the yeast mixture with a fork and then stir into the cornmeal mixture.
6) A bit at a time, mix in the all-purpose flour, stopping a few times to slowly add in the remaining 1/2 cup lukewarm water; blend this mixture well, until completely combined.
7) Turn this mixture out onto a well-floured surface and knead until elastic and all ingredients are well blended; this will likely take about 10 minutes.
8) If you need to ... and only if you need to ... add a bit more flour; you will likely need to if your kitchen is at all humid, as that can keep the dough a little sticky.
9) When smooth and elastic, gather the dough into a ball.
10) Lightly grease a fairly large mixing bowl and put the dough into bowl, turning dough so it is greased all over.
11) Cover bowl with a clean tea towel, place in a draft-free area (try the top of your fridge, or inside your oven ... not turned on of course) and let dough rise until doubled in bulk, which should take about 90 minutes.
12) Now punch down the dough and shape it into either one round loaf or two small ones; have ready a well greased baking sheet or a well greased pie plate.
13) Roll the loaf (loaves) in corn flour until well covered, then, if you’ve made the two small loaves, place on baking sheet, or if you’ve prepared just the one large loaf, place on pie plate.
14) Cover with clean tea towel and let rise in a draft-free place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
15) Sprinkle with additional corn flour just before baking.
16) Bake bread in preheated 230C oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom; they should be golden brown and crusty on top.
17) Transfer to wire racks and wait impatiently for them to cool.

14 April 2016

It's Almost Winter ...

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.

Although Spring is my favorite season by far, I have found there are some wonderful things to love about winter.
I have learned it is all a matter of appreciating whatever season that you are currently in.
You cannot change the seasons so you might as well learn to enjoy them!

29 February 2016

It's Almost Easter ...

Easter is a religious holiday celebrated by Christians. Once a year Christians celebrate the story of Jesus Christ and his resurrection after execution. The day is also one that features Easter egg decorating and the Easter egg hunt. However you choose to celebrate Easter it's a great time to spend together with friends and family, enjoying one another's company and a great meal.

Chocolate, colored eggs, cute little bunnies! Easter has always been an exciting time of year for me. I remember that every year, when I was growing up, my family would spend a few hours on Friday or Saturday night just before Easter Sunday coloring and decorating Easter eggs. We always had a lot of fun!

I also remember that my mom enjoyed making special baskets for each of us that would be filled with candy and chocolates. She would hide each basket somewhere in the house, but leave a trail of marshmallows that went from our bed to where the baskets were  hidden. What fun!

These fun activities are just some of the things that usually come to mind when we think of Easter, but there’s more! These things aren’t really the reason we celebrate Easter every year.

13 February 2016

Baby Massage ...

Massage is a lovely way to convey your love and care to your baby. It comforts and helps the baby to sleep. Not just baby, you too will find it relaxing. The gentle and soothing strokes of massage stimulate the feel-good hormone in your baby.  

The legs
Begin the massage from his/her legs, because in compare to other body parts, legs are less sensitive. Put oil in your both hands, wrap them around one of the thighs and pull down your hand one after the other along with squeezing the baby’s leg gently. Switch from one leg to another, and repeat the massage.

The feet
Take one foot in hand and rotate it gently in each direction for 4-5 times. Then, stroke down from the ankle to toes. Switch feet, and do the same.

The soles
Trace circles in the soles of feet, using your thumbs.

The toes
Take each toe of baby between your forefingers and thumb, and pull down your finger gently off the toes. Repeat it for toes of both legs.

The arms
Take one arm in your hands. Then, do the milking motion from the baby’s armpit to their wrist. After this, gently rotate her/his wrist of one hand in each direction for 4 to 5 times. Switch hand and repeat.

The hands
Use your thumbs and trace circles all over the palms of both hands.

The fingers
Take fingers of both hands one by one between your forefingers and thumb, and pull down gently to let them slip off your grasp.

The Face and Head
Hold the back of baby’s head in your hands. Then, stroke its scalp softly and gently with your fingertips. After it, stroke her/his eyebrows, closed eyes and from the nose- bridge across the cheeks.  Then, rub baby’s earlobes and rub down the jaws in small circles very gently.

The chest
Join your hands in a prayer position over the baby’s heart. Now, open out your closed hands slowly, stroke them outward and flatten the palms lightly over the baby’s chest. Repeat the process several times.

Next, place your one hand in flat position across the top of baby’s chest. Now, gently stoke it down to baby’s thighs. With alternate hands repeat the motion several times.

The back
For the back massage, roll the baby onto their belly. Use your fingers and trace circles from the neck down to baby’s buttock on either side of its spine.

To finish the massage, give firm, long strokes to baby from its shoulders to feet.

After finishing the massage, cuddle or feed. Baby will probably nod off to sleep!

I find having great date night's with your husband ... PRICELESS!

First, dating keeps lines of communication open. Turn off your cell phones and work on making lots of great eye contact. Allow time for extended conversations that fight past the news of what’s happening at work and with the children and gets to the heart issues.
Second, try something new. Look for ways to break the routine of a dinner and a movie. Too many couples experience a decline in relationship quality because they develop boring habits that foster taking their relationships for granted. Do something fun, unusual or exciting like ... a bedroom picnic, hiking or take a cooking or dance class … go to the theatre and see a show.
Third, dating will help fan the flame of your passion for one another. Couples often experience a decline in their romantic pursuits over time. Your regular dates will keep you focused on each other; help you to engage in some romantic activities and to share your feelings with each other … those are things that will rekindle romantic sparks.
Fourth, dating shows your commitment to marriage. It speaks to your children, family and friends and says, " We love each other and we take our marriage seriously." The fact that you make each other a priority sends a powerful message to your beloved saying … that he or she is the most important person in your life!
Fifth, regular date nights help couples "de-stress". When couples enjoy time together doing fun things … it decompresses the concerns of their everyday lives!

Surprising Uses for Vicks VapoRub ...

Defer Mosquitoes
Apply a small amount of Vaseline on your clothing and skin. It will keep the mosquitoes away from you.

Sinus Headaches
Vicks VapoRub is a good home remedy for treating sinus headaches. Apply Vicks under your nose. Breathe deeply. The menthol present in it will calm the headache.

Alleviate Acne
It might sound a little crazy, but Vicks VapoRub helps in clearing your skin. Apply it on acne several times a day. This will soothe and dry out acne.

Natural Insect Repellant
Rub Vicks VapoRub on your neck, inner knees, elbows, and behind your ears. It will keep insects away from you. To ward off flies, open the bottle of Vicks on the picnic table. Isn’t it the best eco-friendly trick to apply with insects?

Dissolve Bruises
Mix a pinch of salt in Vicks VapoRub. Apply it on a fresh bruise. It will break up the bruise quickly.

Mitigate Sore Muscles
Gently rub Vicks VapoRub on sore muscles. Then, cover the affected area with a warm and dry towel. Lie down or slightly lift the paining limb, till soreness reduces. Practice it thrice a day.

Skin Moisturizer
Vicks VapoRub is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin. Rub it on your dry skin and feel the magic!

Tennis Elbow
Are you suffering from tennis elbow? Rub Vicks VapoRub and get rid of the pain. Menthol and camphor, present in it, will heal the aching elbow. Re-apply till the elbow stops aching.

Heal Cracked Heels
Spread a thick layer of Vicks VapoRub on your heels and feet. Then don the cotton socks. Wash your feet in the morning, with warm water. Use pumice stone to exfoliate the softened skin. Employ it every night, for maintaining the healthy and smooth heels.

Fingernail or Toenail Fungus
Rub Vicks VapoRub on the infected toenail or fingernail, two times a day. Cover your feet with cotton socks, at bedtime. Frequently trim the nails, till infected part is entirely removed.

Chest Decongestant
Apply Vicks VapoRub on your throat and chest, to get relief from congestion symptoms and cough.

Prevent Your Cat from Scratching
To prevent your mischievous Miss Kitty from tarnishing windows, walls and doors, rub a small quantity of Vicks VapoRub to these areas.

Heal Splinters or Cuts
For speeding up the healing time and preventing infection, apply Vicks on any splinter or cut.

Stretch Marks
Apply Vicks VapoRub on the stretch marks. You will notice the result within two weeks of regular application.

Deter Pet Pee-Pee
If you want to prevent your pet from wetting the rug or any area of the house, put an open bottle of Vicks VapoRub in those areas.

Get Rid of Eczema
Apply Vicks VapoRub on the eczema affected skin. It will lessen the inflammation and itchiness.

Ear Pain Reliever
Apply Vicks VapoRub on a cotton ball. Put it in aching ear. It will provide you instant relief.

Athletes Feet
To heal athlete’s feet, apply Vicks VapoRub two times a day.

04 February 2016

Lego Soap ... Fun Fun Fun!

Boys hands are always in need of a good wash since they play playing outdoors and touch everything. I am constantly having to tell my boys to wash their hands. What boy doesn’t like Lego crafts. This was an easy project that was fun to make and perfect for little dirty hands!
It’s a super simple idea, but it really makes the boys excited to wash up.

What You Need: 1 bottle of clear soap / Legos.

Directions: Remove labels from your soap bottles. Remove pump nozzle from your bottle and insert Legos. You can use the pump wand to push the Legos down into the soap. Screw pump nozzle back onto soap bottle and enjoy your boys being excited to wash their hands!

25 January 2016

Treat and Prevent Eye Wrinkles ... My Favourite Home Remedies!

You don’t need to spend hours and hours at a beauty salon having expensive under eye wrinkle treatments.

Castor Oil ... Castor oil is one of the best moisturizers for the delicate or sensitive skin. Skin under the eyes is very sensitive and delicate and needs moisturizing every day to protect it from development of wrinkles.

Wash your hands and face. Dry your skin with a clean, soft towel. Dip your index finger in castor oil and massage gently the wrinkles areas at night right before you sleep. Make sure not to over moisturize the area as this can result into puffy eyes. Leave it overnight. When practiced regularly, the thick consistency of castor oil will help not only in keeping the area well moisturized, but also get rid of wrinkles and smooth out the lines.

Rose Water ... Rose water has skin toning and rejuvenating properties, thus can tighten skin and treat wrinkles. Soak a cotton ball in rose water, dab and rub gently under the eyes. Let it air dry and remain on the skin. Follow this remedy twice daily to remove wrinkles under the eyes and avert further occurrence of fine lines.

Cucumber ... Deficiency of moisture can break your skin due to pressure, leading to occurrence of wrinkles. Especially the under eyes skin, which is very delicate, can give way to wrinkle lines faster than the normal skin and moreover they are harder to get rid of as well. So, a great way to keep under eyes wrinkles at bay is to keep your skin under the eyes well moisturized.

Slice cucumber and keep the slices in the refrigerator to cool them. Place the cooled slices under your eyes daily and lie down for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can mash cucumber and apply the juice directly on the under eyes skin. Rinse it of after 15-20 minutes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil ... Extra virgin olive oil deep moisturizes your skin. 

Warm this oil a little bit, and massage it under the eyes with your index finger for a couple of minutes. For the best results apply it before you sleep, leaving it on overnight.

Pawpaw/Papaya And Honey ... Pawpaw/Papaya has properties to remove fine lines from the skin. Mash a few pieces of fully ripe pawpaw/papaya and mix in some organic honey for moisturizing skin. You can apply this paste onto your entire face, concentrating on the skin around your eyes. Rinse it off after about 20 minutes. This will not only get rid of the fine lines, but also make your face glow.

Virgin Coconut Oil ... One Of The Best Treatments For Under Eye Wrinkles: The fat and nutrient contents of coconut oil are very effective in reversing and preventing further development of skin wrinkles. It works as an effective skin moisturizer that not only helps in removing wrinkles, but makes the skin soft and smooth.

Apply virgin coconut oil and very gently massage onto the skin underneath your eyes in upwards strokes, imitating a boat like shape. Do it daily for a couple of minutes to even out the fine lines and remove wrinkles under the eyes. For best results do it daily in the night before you sleep and keep it on overnight.

Stay Hydrated ... While applying the above remedies you should also drink enough water, about 8 glasses in a day, to keep yourself well hydrated.  Rinse your face with cool water and splash some water into the eyes first thing every morning to make your under eyes skin refreshed.

Try to avoid exposing your eyes too much to direct sunlight as it can accelerate the aging process and aggravate the condition. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun exposure while you are outdoors.

23 January 2016

My Tips On Organizing Toys

Self-contained toys are a mommy's best friend. Play Mobil, Mr. Potato Head, Lego, and Mega Blocks all have self-contained options. When choosing gifts for friends children, I love choosing something that can be put away inside itself. Containers with lids are another best friend of mine. It keeps things organized in their respective containers away from our main play area. The kids can go and grab a container or two to play with. Once those toys get cast aside or we are moving on to something else, we return them to their containers. Rotate toys. This keeps things exciting, minimizes the mess you’re left with, and also can prove which toys aren’t worth keeping if you and the kids end up forgetting about them altogether. 
Toys that are played with frequently … You know your kids’ favorites! Toys that encourage imaginative play. Examples include blocks, figures, items that are toy versions of real-life items, play dough, dress-up clothes, and arts and crafts supplies. Play is pertinent for exploration, problem-solving, and trying out more complex skills and these toys encourage this. Toys that grow with your child. Examples include what is mentioned above, dollhouses, train sets, and Lego etc. Classic toys. Dolls, farms, blocks, cars, trains, planes, phones, and other similar items have been played with for generations. 
Anything really specific to an age group is not worth keeping for long. 

It's Almost Time to Celebrate ... Valentine's Day!

Many people celebrate their love for their partner by sending cards or letters, giving gifts or flowers and arranging meals in restaurants or romantic nights in hotels. People who would like to have a romantic relationship with somebody may use the occasion to make this known, often anonymously. Valentine's cards are often decorated with images of hearts and red roses. Common Valentine's Day gifts are flowers chocolates, candy, lingerie and champagne or sparkling wine. However, some people use the occasion to present lavish gifts, such as jewelry. Many restaurants and hotels have special offers at this time. These can include romantic meals or weekend breaks.

Remember Always …
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Family Time ...Priceless!

Sharing food with family and friends is one of the greatest pleasures of all! The table is set for a celebration of food and the olive is the invitation. They are a delight enjoyed one at a time, but their real pleasure begins when you consider them an essential ingredient of the Portuguese cuisine!

Portuguese Rice Cakes ...

The Portuguese express love, faith and friendship through their cooking. Portions are large, and guests are always welcome at the table!

These sweet cakes are a cross between a muffin and a cupcake. They are a little sweeter than a muffin and more plain than a cupcake as there is no frosting to be found. There is no need for it. A frosting would ruin this cake’s simple, rustic beauty and overwhelm the delicate taste.


1 cup (150g) uncooked white rice
⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon (50g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
⅓ cup (76g) butter, softened
⅔ cup (135g) sugar
3 eggs
1 lemon, zested and juiced


Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Put rice into a food processor, blender or coffee grinder and blend until fine. Be certain that the rice has been ground well or it can cause the cakes to be a little crunchy!
Whisk together rice flour, baking powder, salt and all purpose flour in a bowl and set aside.
In a clean bowl, cream together sugar and butter with and electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating them well before each addition. Add in the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine.
Stir flours into the butter and sugar mixture, making certain it's well incorporated.
With a bit of butter, grease the inside of a cupcake/muffin tin and line the sides with strips of parchment paper cut 3 inches wide and 5 ½ inches long (for large cakes). You'll need 2 strips per cupcake cup with the ends overlapping to form a higher edge (photo of how it should look below). Make certain that they overlap well or the cake can ooze out (it'll still taste good, just won't be as pretty!)
Allow rice cakes to bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle sugar on top and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving. They are best warm with a cup of espresso or a latte.


Sandy Friend

My Favourite Apple Treat ...

Tender apples with a warm center filled with walnuts in a sauce made with a little butter, sugar and cinnamon ... Marvelous! Prepping these baked apples only takes five minutes. You can then take a bath or a nap and leave it to the oven to soften these forbidden fruits and caramelize the sauce.

2 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp salted butter
2 apples (I’m using granny Smith apples but in the United States you can use Honey-crisp apples.)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375Fº or 180°C.
Core both apples and put them in an oven proof deep dish pan, or aluminum pie plate.
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top.
Put one tablespoon of chopped walnuts in the center of each apple and top with half a tablespoon of butter.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to one hour.
Serve in individual bowls or plates and finish by spooning the sauce over the baked apples.

You can keep the apples refrigerated. When you are ready to eat them, microwave for 45 seconds before serving.


Boys ...

Raising good men is a wonderful and honorable thing. Men who are gentle, kind and nurturing. Men who treat women and children well. Men who will make loving, devoted husbands. This is an overwhelming responsibility but you are up to the task. You've been given this amazing opportunity. Enjoy it. Own it. And reap the rewards.

Sandy Friend

How To Keep Your Baby's Room Clean ...

Every mother wants her little one's room to be safe, beautiful and clean, but keeping it that way can be harder than you might imagine. Your precious newborn baby may be little, but as any seasoned parent will tell you, little babies are experts when it comes to making really big messes. To keep your nursery sparkling clean, it's best to have a plan.

Banish germs and stay on top of grime by following these helpful steps:

Identify germ-harboring "hot spots," and clean them every day.

Frequently touched surfaces, like door handles, cot sides, changing tables and laundry hampers, provide an excellent breeding ground for germs and bacteria. These "hot spots" should be disinfected on a daily basis to prevent germs from spreading around the baby's room and the home.

Create a sanitation station.

Keep germs in check by storing sanitation supplies at an arms reach and cleaning up as you go. Set up a tray on or near your changing table with antibacterial gel and paper towels. Cleaning your hands before you ever leave the changing table will protect your baby from germs and prevent you from contaminating other surfaces.
Before you leave the room, give the changing area a quick once-over with a convenient, safety-approved disinfectant wipe. (Clorox Disinfectant Wipes are EPA approved and work well.) Be sure to keep all cleaning supplies out of your little one's reach, and clearly mark disinfectant wipes, so they are never mistaken for baby wipes.

Have a plan for dirty nappies and heavily soiled laundry.

A good nappy disposal system is a must-have. These are specially designed to seal in odor and germs, ensuring your baby's room remains sweet smelling and germ-free. Thanks to a handy foot pedal and a sturdy, refillable plastic lining, dirty nappies never even touch the nappy disposal itself, preventing any additional mess.
Keeping a separate hamper for heavily soiled laundry can also prevent contamination. Very dirty items, such as soiled sheets or clothing, should be washed separately in very hot water as bacteria from bodily fluids can spread to other items in the wash. Be sure to clean the hamper itself on a regular basis.

Change crib bedding at least once a week.

Chances are, you're already changing your little one's sheets more often than you'd like. Still, you'll want to make sure your baby's bedding gets changed at least once a week, even if it seems clean. Drool and minor nappy leaks can cause bacteria to grow in your baby's cot that may go unnoticed for some time. Dust and dirt particles can also settle on bedding, leading to skin irritation and allergies.

Sanitize toys regularly.

Since babies explore their world with their mouths, it's important to sanitize your little one's favorite toys once a week. Wipe each toy down with a baby safe disinfectant, and then rinse them with water or a wet cloth.

Keep floors clean.

Babies spend much of their time on the floor, which means regular cleaning of floors and carpets is vital. This is especially true of carpet, which can quickly become a reservoir for dust mites and mold. If your baby room is carpeted, vacuum twice a week using a vacuum that has a filter specially designed to trap dust particles, pet dander and other allergens, preventing them from being redistributed into the air.