Showing posts with label creative. Show all posts
Showing posts with label creative. Show all posts

November 13, 2012

Rolling sushi with Bento

Everyone in our home enjoys eating sushi.  I have always admired the art of sushi and have tried making sushi at home, but haven't been fully satisfied by how the sushi turns out :)
I got a fabulous opportunity to attend a hands on #rollwithbento event, where I learned many skills and important tips about making sushi from experienced Bento sushi chefs.  With step-by-step instructions from the chefs, I got to make a beautiful pomegranate glazed rainbow sushi roll.
At the event, I learned the uniqueness of Bento that started as a kiosk in 1996 and now they are the largest sushi company in Canada.  Every year Bento sells over 13 million handmade servings of sushi in North America.  I felt very satisfied to know that Bento makes food safety their top priority; they rigorously ensure high standards in food handling are met using internal and third party auditing.  Bento is part of the Marine Stewardship Certification as they are committed to sustainable seafood; due to this certification they use Albacore tuna instead of eel.

Bento sushi is available in over 350 on site sushi bars in quality supermarkets, premier shopping malls, office towers, food service facilities and restaurants.  I am glad that Bento sushi is available all across Canada and US to fulfil our cravings :)  Bento has a variety of combos/selection and party platters to suit a variety of palates.  We like the convenience of "Grab and Go". 
Some of their selections of sushi include: 
*Traditional rolls i.e. California and Dynamite roll
*Healthy choices i.e. using brown rice, multigrain rice, low sodium soy sauce
*Limited time specialties and innovations i.e. lobster, coconut, pomegranate
*Party platters and sushi boats for large gatherings i.e. birthday, holidays

It is better to enjoy sushi fresh on the same day or store in the fridge and eat within a day of purchasing it.  If the sushi was in the fridge then leave it out for about 20 minutes before enjoying.  Sushi should not be frozen.  
We can enjoy sushi with any type of sauce such as soy sauce mixed with wasabi, sesame sauce or sweet chillie sauce.  Having sushi with a healthy seaweed salad on the side makes it a satisfying meal.  
Some etiquettes of enjoying the experience of sushi:
*Eat in one bite or a maximum of two bites, but don't put a half eaten sushi piece on the plate.
*Be light on the soy sauce and don't soak the sushi with the sauce.
*If it is hard to manoeuvre the chopsticks, eat sushi with your fingers the traditional way, but don't eat with fork and knife.
*And finally don't rub the chopsticks as it is not respectful, if there is splinters get another chopstick instead. 

More about Bento coming soon...

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November 6, 2012

Making a Personalized Treasure Box

Decoupage is the hottest trend in the crafting world.  Mod Podge is an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish that we can use to do lots of decorations and craft projects with a little bit of paper and cloth.  The possibilities are only limited by our imagination!  
I am new to Mod Podge and decoupage tools, so I excitedly did many projects using Mod Podge with my children.  We will be sharing our projects one at a time, so stay tuned :)  Here is a link to the Mod Podge Formula guide, which I found useful because it has tips and tricks for the beginners :)
For this Personalized box, we needed...
a shoebox
Mod Podge
Mod Podge with glitter *
foam brush
iron optional
paper to line the working surface
*Mod Podge can be found at craft stores like Michaels, and it is available in the 6-pot sampler pack or 8 oz bottles.
First iron and cut the cloth to the fit and cover the shoebox.  Apply Mod Podge generously on the shoe box and glue the cloth.  Put Mod Podge in a small section and cover with the cloth before doing another section because Mod Podge dries fast.  
After the cloth glued on the shoebox dries completely, apply a coat of Mod Podge glitter and let it dry completely before using.  This would make a lovely Personalized gift.  I gave this box to my daughter to keep her treasures.
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October 10, 2012

Decorate your own Playhouse

Cascades launches My Pretty Playhouse that is made in Canada with 100% recycled cardboard.  Cascades partners with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for families in need.  For each playhouse sold Cascades will donate $2 to the organization in Canada and US.
Click on the image to enlarge
Girls and boys will enjoy this small and affordable playhouse.  The playhouse measures about 37"x29"x54".  It is available at Boutique Cascades, and they deliver for free.  It fits nicely into smaller areas.  It is designed for children over three years.  This safe playhouse is easy to assemble by an adult, as the instructions are clear.  When no longer needed, it can be recycled.  
This creative, customizable playhouse has become a favourite for my children.  They have spent many days decorating every part of this house inside and outside; still planning on adding more.  This entertaining house stimulates children's creativity and is a wonderful activity to do especially as the weather is becoming cold weather.

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July 2, 2012

Crafts with clay

Creative play is very important in my home, as it is a key element in children's development.  As a parent, I like getting involved and giving my children the opportunity to become creative.  It also allows me to have fun and be a child again :)
Crayola has lots of products that inspire us to become creative.  I bought this tub of air drying clay, which is available at craft stores and office supply sections.  The clay was available in natural clay and white, we chose the white one.
To do this activity we need...
1 tub of Crayola air drying clay
beads optional
our hands and imagination :)
Let children create whatever they like using their imagination.  I liked that the clay wasn't drying too fast, which is important with little hands working and reworking the clay.  
My son created this submarine and many little fun figures, which he accompanied with his stories.  
My daughter wanted to make a big bowl, so I showed her the coiling method by rolling the clay into ropes then shaping it.  After we made it into the shape we like, we pressed in some beads for colour.
After many hours of drying we placed our finished products on our worktables for decor and to hold pens, pencils/ accessories.  
This would be a good activity to do in the summer for fun. We can create useful homemade gifts that grandparents and family will appreciate :) 
Here is a list of more creative ideas that you can do with your children.
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June 2, 2012

Getting organized with DYMO and giveaway

I am glad I got this opportunity to introduce this new LabelManager 160 from DYMO to all of you.  This is a useful tool for me, as I like keeping things organized and easy to access.
I think once we are organized it is easy to keep the mess minimum, especially in a growing family as things start to accumulate faster :)
This Dymo LabelManager 160 is a portable handheld label maker, which helps us create professional personal mini-labels easily and quickly to organize everything around the home.

I like reusing and recycling containers to keep materials such as pencils, pens, markers etc.  Adding these labels make it clear what these containers are meant to hold, so children and adults can return it to the correct container after they are done.
I also label children's personal items for school and this makes my task neat.
It is easy and straightforward to use this label maker; even children will like making their own labels.  It would be a good idea to allow children to use only with permission and to keep it away from children :)

The handheld label maker has a computer style QWERTY keyboard, one-touch fast format keys for 6 different text sizes, 8 text styles, bold/ italics/ underline/ 4 boxes, 228 symbols/ clip art and vertical text.  It previews the layouts and effects on the LCD screen before printing.  This portable handheld label manager is compatible with Dymo D1 labels, which are 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" widths.  There are different coloured cartridges that we can use, however it only prints one colour label at a time. 
I wish it would print in multi-colours and also print clipart or downloadable images from the computer to Internet onto the labels.  It requires 6 AAA alkaline batteries.

This Dymo LabelManager 160 is available at Staples Advantage, Costco, Grand & Toy, Basics, Lyreco & Novexco throughout Canada for $34.99.

If you want to win this Dymo LabelManager 160 please leave a comment with your contact email address/ twitter name or Facebook name.  It is open to people in Canada until June 10th.
Please follow my twitter and Facebook, so you know when the winner is announced.
Update: The winner is Bree

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May 30, 2012

Bamboo charcoal natural deodorizer

Bamboo charcoal is a natural deodorizer from Ever Bamboo.  This eco-friendly deodorizer is made with rapidly growing moso bamboo.  The countless tiny holes in the bamboo charcoal make it a good deodorizer.  It works as a dehumidifier because the high density and porous structure of the moso bamboo absorbs excessive moisture, and during low humidity it releases moisture back into the atmosphere.

I think it has a similar concept like mothballs where we don't see the effect, but over time we know it makes a difference.  As a result of keeping this pouch of bamboo charcoal in the car, I don't smell or feel the stuffiness and odour in the car during hot summer days, so I believe it is working.  The toxic chemical substances and polluted air particles such as formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene are absorbed by it.  There is no smell from these bamboo charcoal like mothballs, which is good :)

Ever Bamboo has deodorizers for many areas in the home i.e. room, drawer, fridge & freezer, closet, shoes, hockey bags, car.  The bamboo charcoal comes in granules, different size pouches and sachets.  I have also placed it in rooms and closets.  
These antibacterial deodorizers keep linens and other belongings in the closets, cabinets and drawers fresh by deterring moths and preventing mold.  We can place it in shoes and bags to remove odour and moisture. 
They also have a fridge & freezer deodorizer, which is supposed to absorb food orders, ethylene gas so the fruits and vegetables stay fresh longer.

The face and body bar can be used for any type of skin.  It purifies, exfoliates, moisturizes, detoxifies and absorbs impurities.

According to the Ever bamboo site, when the bamboo charcoals are submersed in water it softens the water, absorbs harmful minerals i.e. chlorine and releases natural minerals i.e. calcium, sodium and magnesium into the water.  So it can be placed in the aquarium, use as filter for bath water and other uses except drinking water.  
The bamboo charcoal granules will look pretty with floral designs and home decors.  The granules absorb excessive moisture and releases moisture back into the soil when it is dry providing better aeration for plants and vegetables.

To maintain care for these deodorizers, simply place in direct sunlight for 2 to 3 hours per side monthly or weekly for optimal performance.  After about a year when you are done using it just remove the bamboo charcoal granules from the pouch and mix it with gardening soil to mineralize and regulate moisture.  
Bamboo charcoal is available online and in many retail stores.

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May 29, 2012

Memorable book made using My publisher

We made this storyline themed photo book using the free My publisher program.  It was easy and simple to follow.  Every step is prompted so it was fun to make this book. Each page from cover to cover will be flipped through many times to look at the colourful pictures and to read the unique quotes.  Everyone especially the recipient will enjoy this personalized high quality photo book, as it will bring back memories. Get started on your book so there is enough time to get it for the day you want to give it.

My advice is that try to get the pictures you like into a folder to make the process smooth and simple.  The time it takes to upload was a little longer than I expected about 10 minutes, other than that everything was quick and easy.  I am happy that we can change the size and style of the book anytime, while and after making the book. Make sure to add a variety of pictures that has the most memories :) and do put it in fun quotes and jokes.  

The program is free to download into the computer (PC or Mac), just follow the instruction and you are set :)
I really liked their service and quality.  I received emails from MyPublisher to let me know the order status and when it was en route.  There are lots of features and discount on their site.

Our book turned out wonderful and I encourage you to try this program to make your own.  
I made this book to give it as a gift to my husband.  My daughter helped me pick some pictures.  We were happy with the results and outcome of the book and enjoyed looking through it many times.  
I wanted to share this with all of you soon and can't wait to show it to everyone in the family :)   

My husband loved this surprise as he was laughing and felt emotional :) at the same time, it is definitely a unique gift.  He loved everything about it and how professional it looked.  We think this is the perfect gift that we can make.

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May 25, 2012

Kidorable review and giveaway

Kidorable has adorable rainwear for children; I haven't seen cute products like this anywhere.  The children and parents will enjoy their unique, creative, fabulous collection of products.  We like the quality and cuteness of these affordable Kidorable products.

The stitching and the detailed design on the products show good quality.  My son is a big dinosaur fan and knows a lot about dinosaurs, he even scares us by making different dinosaur sounds :)  My little dinosaur came alive with these super cute dinosaur coat and boots.  He loved the pockets, pictures, spikes, the colour and everything about it.  He couldn't stay still with this on :)

Children will want to have these rain gear on them even when there isn't any rain.  I had to convince my son that there will be plenty of opportunities for him to wear the coat when it is raining.

Kidorable has a lovely selection of themed rain coats and rain boots for all the different fans such as pirates, dragon knight, dinosaur, fireman, frog, space hero for boys and ballerina, butterfly, fairy, lady bug, lotus flower, lucky cat and mermaid for girls.  The coats are made out of PVC and have comfortable polymer lining.  The sizes are from 1T to 6x.  The size chart of the site is detailed, which will help us get the correct size.  The coats also come with free hangers that are unique, wooden, lightweight and cute.

The rain/ mud boots made with natural rubber are really soft and pliable, which is comfortable for growing feet.  The sole of the boots have a good grip and it is easy to clean.  My children and I like the details throughout the boots such as the dinosaur face, eyes, teeth, spikes, texture, design and the attractive realistic colours.  
Kidorable carries boot sizes from size 5 to youth size 2 that come up to mid calf. If your children are like mine; then you know that they can't avoid puddles/mud so rain boots are a good investment.  These cute comfortable boots will make children want to wear it without complaining :)

As a parent, you will love seeing your cuties in the Kidorable rain coats and boots.  Anyone seeing your children with these kidorable products will compliment how good it looks.

My daughter loves the selection they have for the girls, she wanted this ballerina umbrella and was really excited when she got it.  It isn't just an umbrella; the details and design will bring out the ballerina in the little ones.  We love every part of this 100% nylon umbrella; the pictures, colours, the shape, the cute ribbon on top and the unique comfortable handle.  The umbrella is a good size that is big enough to protect them from the rain.  It would also be good to have when it is sunny.  My ballet queen is trying to find every opportunity to use it; she is out with it in rain and shine.

Kidorable has impressively made their products functional and cute.  The products are shipped to anywhere in the world and can easily be purchased online.  
Any child receiving these products will enjoy it.  Parents will appreciate the affordable prices and will be happy to see how cute their children look in these.

Kidorable has lots of umbrella designs.  If you want to win one of their umbrellas, please leave a comment saying which design of umbrella your little one will like to win.  
The giveaway is open to people in USA and Canada till June 5th.  
Please follow Kidorable on twitter and Facebook to get special discounts/deals.
With a purchase of $20 worth of products they are giving away a free umbrella to delight children around the world.
Please follow my twitter and Facebook so I can announce the winner and contact you.
Update: The winner is Cheryl

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December 28, 2011

Fairy cookie kit

Fairy cookie decorated by my daughter

This fairy cookie kit, from Me Myself and Us comes with sugar cookie mix, delicious royal icing, fancy decorating sugars, fairy and flower cookie cutters, 4 edible watercolour palettes and 4 brushes. The instructions on the box are simple to follow and there is a word search to do while waiting for the cookies.

For the sugar cookie mix, we added eggs, butter and flour. I found it was easier to press and flatten the dough instead of using the rolling pin. For the icing we added sugar and water. The watercolours and sugars made these cookies colourful.

Me Myself and Us products are delicious, fun, creative and educational. It teaches children language skills, measurement math, following instructions and painting.
This is a great idea for parties, play dates, rainy days and most importantly a fun family activity.
Check out reviews of their fabulous ice cream cone cupcakes and brownie kit as well. Thank you Me Myself and Us for giving us this opportunity and for the giveaways.

Flower cookie decorated by my son

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November 17, 2011

Kodak picture kiosk

I was very happy to be invited to experience the Kodak picture kiosk in a one-on-one session; and to print some fabulous keepsakes.

Using the Kodak kiosk we can print:
- pictures in different sizes 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, wallet size pictures, collages
- greeting cards
- calendars
- photo books
- creative themed pictures with borders
- personalized items i.e. mugs
- we can scan old pictures and print
- prints from Facebook, Picasa
- can edit and crop

I was very happy with the outcome of the pictures as the prints were beautiful. The printed pictures can be touched right away without worrying about finger prints :)
It is fun, easy and creative to make affordable personalized gifts. Do take a look at the Kodak kiosk at supermarkets and grocery stores if you get a chance. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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