Taking Your Toddler on Vacation

One of the most common tips I get asked about is traveling with a toddler. In particular, taking a toddler on a vacation. Many new parents hear horror stories and worry that they can’t have a relaxing vacation until their toddler grows up. From experience, I know that taking a vacation with a toddler can be a positive experience, and they love seeing new things. The trick is to be prepared. I’ve put together my top three tips to help you enjoy a family vacation with a toddler.

It All Starts With a List

Traveling can be exhausting, and when a toddler gets exhausted, they want their comfort items. Teddy bears, blankets, you name it. The most common nightmare stories I hear could have been solved if the right comfort item was on hand. For one month before my last vacation, I made a list of all of the toys and comfort items my toddler asked for (or cried when it wasn’t available). When I was packing our family’s bags, I used the list to make sure I didn’t forget any.

Choose the Right Vacation

Before I had my little one, I never actually planned my holiday further than a flight and a hotel. When I became a Mom, I needed to change that. I learned that if my little one knew there was adventure ahead, they became excited instead of agitated. If you are new to planning ahead, look at the Groupon Coupons page for Great Value Vacations and find an ‘all inclusive’ package. Every time my toddler started to become tired at the end of the day; I reminded them of what else we had in store for the vacation.

Plan Your Down Time

During your vacation, there are going to be instances where there isn’t much happening. Times like traveling to and between destinations, or just resting for the night before sleep. During these times, entertainment is going to be your best friend. Before you leave the house, load your phone or your tablet with movies or educational games which can keep a little one’s mind occupied and off the idea of just waiting around.

Remember that if you bring movies and games, be sure that your toddler doesn’t just watch and play all vacation. Be clear that your phone/tablet is only available between activities.

Taking a family vacation is a great way to bond and enjoy a much-needed adventure. Instead of dreading the idea, take these tips in mind and enjoy!

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June 27, 2016
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Picking Yourself Up

I was inspired by the ‘So You Think You Can Dance, Next Generation’ to write this post. I was just watching those super talented kids pour their hearts out on their performance to move on to the show. There’s this one kiddo whom I can relate to when I was younger and being bullied.

His name is Jarayn. He is a very good in Hip-Hop but for that particular test, the kids were made to dance something that was out of their genre. I think they were asked to memorise a choreography for a Broadway-kind of dance stint. It is very obvious that the dance routine was really out of his elements so he struggled to keep up.  And after his stint, he bolted out leaving Fik-Shun (his team leader/coach) shouting from the sidelines, asking him why?

I was saddened to hear that Jarayn is a victim of bullying. I know that feeling. I was bullied too when I was in elementary, always being picked for my height, for my brains, for just being me. Jarayn was then let-go by Fik-Shun but has given him plenty of words to encourage him to keep pursuing his passion. Jarayn even mentioned something about how dance makes him happy. Fik-Shun told him that dance is there for him.  And the people gathered to give him a boost.

Well, if my younger “me” was there, I would tell him to cheer up, hold his head up high, and not to let those bullies get into him. Instead, pour his mind and heart to developing his passion further or even learning new skills. He doesn’t have to prove himself to his bullies. He doesn’t owe them anything. He must pick up the pieces of his broken heart and move on.

I can’t help but cry with him while watching the show. He is young, so vulnerable, and so intense at the same time. I know it is painful and difficult to be rejected in a place where you think you will be safe and where you get your strength, happiness, and security from. Kiddo, the real world can be cruel BUT that doesn’t mean you give up on your dreams. No. All the more you should develop and pursue it. Life can be tough and so is the dance world but never in your young heart and mind think that just because you failed one time, doesn’t mean you will always fail thereafter.  And as for your bullies, leave them be. I bet they don’t even know how to dance.

We all face rejections in life. I have had my many shares of rejections even up to this day but I guess, my resiliency (a better term for my stubbornness) just keeps me pushing and pushing until I achieve my goals and dreams. Rejections can either make you or break you, use it positively to your advantage. Develop in your weak areas and you’ll be surprised how that rejection has made you a better, stronger, and a more confident person.

I learned to fend for myself at an early age, to fight my own battles and when to move on. Life’s like that. You win some, you lose some but you never, ever give up.

nevergiveup

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June 21, 2016
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My Love For Arts And Crafts

I always tell myself that I am in the wrong profession. I should have been an arts teacher or an illustrator or graphic designer or anything that will involve colours, arts, crafts and anything in between. I have dabbled in arts and crafts for as long as I can remember. But it is only now that I am really taking it seriously. I am not sure what brought about it but I just noticed that when Millie and my mom passed away, I have this void I have to fill. And it’s with arts and craft where I can feel full and at peace.

I have been doing a lot of artsy things in my part time lately. I have been brushing up on watercolour techniques, practising on my hand lettering, reading books on graphic design, and teaching myself Photoshop and Illustrator. There’s a lot in my plate right now but mind you, these things make me happy.

I keep telling my hubby that I am happier at home than at work. I feel my peace when I look at my watercolours, colourful pens, beautiful patterned papers and books. Just being at home gives me that calm feeling that I don’t feel at work.

arts1

(I have started reading books pertaining to what I want to do after I retire from the corporate world. And that will be in the near future, maximum 2020. If I extend, then that means, I needed more funds but once I decide I have had it, then it will be around 2020, before I turn 50. I have lots of learning to do. So, this July, I will embark on my Advance Graphic Design course online. It’s going to be almost 3 months of online study so, I hope I really learn a lot and pick up lots of techniques while I figure out what to do.)

 

arts3

(This is my brush lettering using Kuretake Wink of Stella brush pen. I love how smooth it writes with small speck of fairy glitters. 🙂 I am also learning how to do modern calligraphy though I am not 100% into it. I just want to be able to do hand lettering well so when I create my own creative studio, I won’t rely on other talents’ skills to be able to create my own fonts, graphics, illustrations, designs, etc.)

 

Well, it’s just few years to go and hopefully, all my dreams will come true by 2020. I don’t intend to stay long in the corporate scene. My mind and heart tells me to pursue my passion. So, my business endeavours will most likely be related to what I love to do best – arts!

Some of my watercolour drawings:

arts2

This is a tribute to my mom. It’s how I saw her in my dreams lately. I still have a lot of techniques to learn in drawing and watercolour art. I don’t know how to draw using perspective, lights, shadowing, profiles. All I know is I can draw what I see in a “flat” manner. I would be happy to learn how to add dimension to my drawings and colourings.

Photo not mine

Photo not mine

Is there a passion that you love to do? What is it? Are you already earning from your passion? Please share and I will be happy to learn from your journey to achieve your goals.

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June 10, 2016
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Beauty is in the Eyelashes of the Beholder

Posted in beauty by

Long luxurious lashes are not a novelty anymore. Anyone can have them and by doing a little digging and price comparison shopping, I’ve found a way to save a lot of money on them in Denver. More specifically, I’ve found a great feature on the Groupon site that allows you to apply coupons for great deals at local businesses. So I can save money at a salon in my part of town.

eyelashes

Eyelash extensions can be fun and therapeutic. Long dramatic lashes remind me of great movie stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. But you can also get more natural looking lashes tailored just to your face. You can opt for mink lashes, silk lashes or partial lashes. And you can also save on other salon services such as threading, waxing and glam nails. Those are all services I’ve wanted to try and now, I can go places I never would have considered because they were so far out of my budget.

The neat thing is that these coupons are online and can be applied instantly. There’s no paper coupons to clip and save, no expiration dates to worry about, and no missing deadlines for special deals. You can pick a salon in the part of town most convenient for you, or choose a location where you and your friends can have a great spa day that’s convenient to everybody. I loved the fact that you can get $10 off your first local deal.

The really neat thing is that with Groupon Coupons, you can get consultations from some of the best in the industry and they can make you look and feel as natural as you want. All over Denver; in Downtown, Uptown and everywhere inbetween there’s a salon offering up to 50% off and more. It’s so cool to be able to feel like you can treat yourself to something fun and not break your budget. I feel like I’m splurging on myself, but with as much as I save, I can still get the necessities and not miss a beat. Groupon Coupon is bookmarked as my first choice to search for great deals. I’ll be batting new lashes in no time.

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June 2, 2016
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My Kind Of Introvert

I have been relieved for admitting my inner introvert that I have been trying to hide for so long. And now that it’s all out, I feel free! I feel liberated! I feel ME. However, not everyone really understands what it’s like in my own kind of introvert. Most of the people I know are super outgoing. I honestly tell myself that I admire them for being like that. They didn’t have to put an effort on most things because they enjoy the vastness of their social life while I enjoy the limited social life I have. Not that I don’t like what they do and what they are exposed to, for me, that is too much stimulation. I feel an outsider and I feel lonelier when it comes to forcing myself outside my small shell.

I don’t know how to tell my super extrovert friends how I feel right now. I miss them. I want to see them but my inner self doesn’t want to go out nor meet anyone. I mean, not right now. Not when I am still uncomfortable with my volatile emotions; not when I am still really lonely inside; not when I am still coping with my grief; and certainly not when I feel I am lost.

sadness

(My own watercolour artwork, © Ria Cervantes)

 

I don’t have any excuse for being me. I am not sure if they will understand but this is me. This is what’s happening to me right now. I just want to be at home, calming my nerves, doing my blog thing. Maybe, just maybe, I will snap out of whatever it is I am going through right now on top of my being introvert, then I can say, “hello again world.”

I hope they will still love me for who I am…

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May 27, 2016
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Australian Charities Do Some Pretty Amazing Work

Each year, millions of people donate money and time to various charities, and one of the most popular types of charities are those devoted to helping children. After all, children are special and, as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise them. Children need a lot of love and support in order to grow up to be happy adults who contribute to society. When certain children’s needs are not being met – such as in the case of children who are disadvantaged in some way – charities often step in to help. Charities do amazing work, and when they are devoted solely to helping children in need, they have a chance to truly make a difference in the world.

Helping Children Helps the Rest of Us

Helping children is important, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because the way children are raised can directly or indirectly affect the society of which they are a part. Many charities that help disadvantaged children offer a variety of programmes that allow children to grow emotionally and enjoy situations they may not otherwise be able to enjoy. This includes activities such as weekly camps that teach children how to be secure, happy and active; long-term programmes that concentrate on their leadership skills through outdoor adventures and various group activities; and programmes that allow children to have their own personal mentors. Regardless of the programme, they all have one thing in common: they help children grow up and be functioning, active and happy adults.

One of the reasons these charities succeed is because they place children in situations that allow them to take risks and explore unfamiliar options, but they do this while ensuring that the child is safe and well-supported, both physically and emotionally. This allows the child to grow and have fun, which is always an excellent combination. Children are resilient, but they also need the help and support of an adult in certain situations, and these charities concentrate on the whole child in order to produce results that are good for the child.

Not All Charities Are Alike

Researching charities in Melbourne allows you access to hundreds of charities that help children, so finding the one you wish to donate to should be easy. Many of them offer not only the opportunity to donate financially, but will also accept your time and devotion to the children they assist. It takes a lot of time and personnel to put together a good programme for children, especially if you want it to be effective, so these charities tend to be in need of both cash and people on a regular basis.

By instilling confidence in disadvantaged children through a variety of programmes, these charities do wonders for children of all ages. It is easy to get involved with one of these organisations, as most of them have comprehensive websites that allow you to donate in a number of ways. Visiting their websites, therefore, is an excellent place to start when researching these types of charities.

 

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May 14, 2016
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A Mother’s Broken Heart

My emotions have been going up and down, spiralling out of control at times, and I honestly don’t know why I am in this kind of situation. Generally speaking, I am ok in the other aspects of my life. However, there are things that get to me that really hit me in the core.

My family and friends who know me so much will attest to my emotional state right now. I am still reeling from my dear mother and Millie’s demise. I am still raw with sadness and the feeling of defeat. And when you are in that kind of emotional anguish, you cling on to the ones whom you think will be there for you. This is when I remember Millie the most… She would always be there to see me through my bouts of loneliness.

I’ll say no more…

mothersheart

(credit to the owner of this graphic, taken from Pinterest)

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May 12, 2016
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