Graduation Hat Gift Card Holder!

Hello friends, this is the graduation season and guess what? Greeting cards companies can make only so many different cards, so chances are if you have a graduation party to attend to, you and someone else will give the graduate the same card. Yikes!!

Many years ago when I was a Stampin’ Up demonstrator I learned  from a fellow demonstrator how to make a really cool card.

Isn’t  it  cool?

It turns out that Little V got a few of them with different colors, but she loves them because I made them myself. We love handmade things, they are so special.  So if you would like to give your creativity a try, let’s get to it!

First, I’m going to show you how to make that beautiful tassel. Here’s a list of the materials you would need for this part of the project:

Embroidery Floss
– Scissors
– Ruler

Now, just click on the video below to watch how to make it.

Not that hard, right? You can make it whatever color you like. It can match the color of the school uniform, it can be your child’s favorite color, whatever color you’ll decide to use it will be great!

Now, let’s get to the card. First, a list of the material you will need:

colored cardstock
white cardstock
– large size brads
stamps
stars stickers
graduation cap stickers

You don’t need to have all the fancy tools, just use your creativity and it will be just as special.

I hope you all enjoyed this little project because we have more in store for the week! Only clue I will give – it’s still graduation theme!

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message through the contact form.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Outdoors Tick Safe!

Hello friends, it’s that time of the year where we spend more time outdoors. I don’t know about you but I just can’t stand being inside the house when it’s a beautiful weather outside. Thankfully, now we have many options to explore the outdoors.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

While we want to have fun we want to make sure we are safe as well, and I didn’t know about ticks until I was searching online about the forest preserve we were about to go visit. Needless to say, when I saw tick safety on the webpage, my hands quickly and without hesitation clicked the link. What is it? What can it do to me and my family? These were the first questions that popped into my mind. So I searched more about it and now I can share a few tips of what I learned so far and save you time from searching and itching while you do the search ( I personally can’t search anything related to the skin and not itch).

What are ticks?

According to my research (links below) ticks are arachnids (think small spiders) that bite to attach themselves to the skin. Ticks feed on blood but guess what? Some species of ticks can survive for a year or more without food (blood). They do not jump or fly or drop to find a host, they simply lay there on the ground waiting for a host to come by so they can reach the host with their legs and crawl up until they find the perfect spot to munch on (I’m itching!!!).
Now, most ticks don’t carry diseases nor cause health problems, but you want to remove them right away, because it’s during their feeding that they can transmit diseases and unless you’re a tick expert you won’t know if they are the bad ones or not. I honestly think, that even tick experts would get them out right away.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

When and where will I find ticks?

Ticks are very active from April (early Spring) to late Summer (September). Ticks can be found in grassy or wooded areas.

What diseases tick bites may cause?

There are a variety of tick borne diseases, some are:

– Lyme Disease

– Tularemia

– Colorado Tick Fever

– Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

– Q fever

You can find some more on the links below.

How can I prevent tick bites? 

There are many ways you can prevent tick bites, I will share a few ones that I really liked and are easy to remember, but you can search more details and find more up to date information on CDC and Tick Encounter.

Tick Bite Prevention:

– Remain in the trail;

– Tuck your pant legs into your socks.

– Use tick repellent (make sure to follow product instructions). Check EPA website to find the right insect repellent for you.

– Wear tick repellent clothing (that can be treated commercially or at home)

– Do a full tick search on your body (you can use a mirror for that), check your kids and pets once you get home.

– Tumble dry your clothes right away on high heat, or wash them on hot water.

– Bathe or shower right away.

So friends, these were just some tips to help you to stay safe from tick bites while exploring the outdoors! Please feel free to check the links below so you can have more information and do a more detailed research to make an informed decision on what’s best to protect yourself and your family. This post is for information purposes only not meant to be a professional advice. I’m sharing some of the information I researched online.

Links that I used for my research:

WebMEd

Tinkergarten

Tick Encounter

EPA

Wikipedia

MedicineNet 

Hope you enjoyed our post! If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave a message below or reach me through the contact form.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Memorizing the Books of the Bible!

As true Christians we do make good use of the Bible. We read it everyday and work hard to apply what we learn in our daily lives but it does take time and effort to get acquainted with the order of the books and find scriptures faster. During our religious meetings we make extensive use of the Bible, we check scriptures often and V wants to follow along, which is great, but she can also get frustrated because at times when she has found a scripture the speaker is already directing us to another. So we try our best to practice searching for scriptures at home while we are preparing for our meetings.

But we needed something more. Our organization created really cool videos for kids to memorize the books of the Bible, they are divided in 3 very interesting songs. You can check the videos at jw.org, under the children section. There are so many other interesting videos to aid parents in teaching their kids about the Bible.

In addition to the videos and practicing looking up the scriptures, I created these fun magnetic books of the Bible. It was a time consuming project but so far worth of every second. V is really enjoying playing with the magnetic books and learning at the same time. Nothing can compare to the effectiveness of fun hands on learning, right? I’ll be sharing on another post some ways we will be using these magnetic books of the Bible. So now, you probably want to know how I made it, right?
I could have made a box and added the names of each book in it, but it wouldn’t be so appealing (my opinion), so I searched for a book clipart. I then created the file on Microsoft Word,  printed it on regular copy paper. 
We then, colored it in categories that would help us to memorize better. For example, we colored the books written by Moses one color the letters from Paul another, the minor prophets another color and so on.

Then I laminated the printed and now colored sheet,  because I want it to last as long as possible. 

Then I glued the paper on the magnetic sheet and cut it, one by one! It was fun though. 
Now V can play with it and practice putting the books of the Bible in order whenever she wants it. 

One thing I want to make sure I share before you start your own project, if you want to. I didn’t think of using clear contact paper instead of laminating the printed page. I wish I had thought of it before because I didn’t like how the glue smeared some of the paint  from the markers. It’s still usable and legible but if I ever do it again, I will definitely use clear contact paper to protect it instead of laminating it. So here’s my tip for you, use clear contact paper if you do want it to last longer and have a more professional look. 
Hope you enjoyed our post! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me by using the contact form.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Fried Dandelion Blossoms!

Once I heard dandelions are edible and I knew then I would have to try a few recipes with it. I must admit I’m really scared of trying new things and the thought of eating some weeds from the backyard made me apprehensive but I’m working hard on not allowing my fears to stop me. So here we are, sharing what we did with the dandelion blossoms.

Most people know you eat the greens from the dandelions in salads, some people even add the blossoms to the salad as well, but we wanted to try different recipes. So after I’ve done some research online I got some cool basic ideas and went to try something ourselves.

V and Daddy carefully picked the dandelion blossoms from the backyard. To be on the safe side, you want to make sure you know the grass hasn’t been treated with weed killers of fertilizers.

 I learned that all parts of the dandelion are edible but we focused this time on the blossoms. After picking the blossom up I rinsed them well under running water, then I let them sit for about 20 minutes in water mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. ( I felt like this would be the time needed, if you don’t feel comfortable with the time, make a little research about how long should you keep the blossoms soaked in water and vinegar). I’m not a professional cook, I’m simply sharing something fun we did.

Now back to the recipe, since we were making just a few blossoms to try it, I made a small batch of batter and split it in two so we could try a sweet and a savory recipe. For the basic batter you will need:

1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of flower
2 small bowls

Whisk the egg and the milk together then pour it over the flour. Whisk it again until all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Now comes the fun part, you can add whatever seasonings fancies you to this basic batter, but we chose cinnamon and sugar (I would have chosen brown sugar but I ran out of it, so we went with white sugar instead), if you do make it with brown sugar feel free to let us know how it looked and tasted.

With the added seasonings we had then two delicious recipes:

  • Fried Cinnamon Dandelion Blossoms
  • Fried Garlic Dandelion Blossoms

Want to see how we made it? Check the video below!

I was such a fun experience cooking dandelions, we hope you enjoyed our post and give dandelions a try! I won’t share here the nutritional benefits of the dandelions because you can easily find that online, and if you want to research more recipes you will find that the possibilities are endless. You can add the blossoms to frittatas, omelettes. muffins and so much more fun and delicious treats.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Perks of Homeschooling!!!

There are so many things we love about Homeschooling and freedom flexibility and adaptability are some of the many perks of Homeschooling. For us poor souls who live on the northern states, when it’s sunny and the weather is warmer outside, man it’s so hard to stay inside and sometimes I can’t even focus well on what I have to do because all I can think about it’s how awesome it would be to be out there enjoying this gorgeous day.
But as a homeschooler you have the option to pack up your school activities and get out there and enjoy school “al fresco” and that’s exactly what we did a several days ago! We packed a sandwich, some chips, drinks, a blanket (next time I’ll bring a bigger one) and the school stuff that needed to get done that day and off we went!

We found a park with a nice spot to get things done.

 Then, a little lunch break.

Lunch break and poetry time!

But it did get hot, so we moved to the picnic shelter and since I didn’t think well before we left, V had packed only one small blanket so moving to the picnic shelter to do school was more comfortable for both of us. I did learn my lesson, bigger blanket is already packed for our next outing.

Also, there was another day that it was warm but the weather wasn’t stable at all, it seemed like it was going to rain one minute another the sun was peeking out, so we decide to “pause” school, go out and then finish school that evening. Can you see the many possibilities? Check some of the pictures from that day and tell me if it wasn’t worth the “pause”.

Isn’t it a blessing? Have the freedom and the ability to adapt your school day so you can enjoy outings and still get school done! After a long winter we want to get out and enjoy these warmer days.

Most of you know, I do work but very part time these days. I’m a special needs caregiver and V comes to work with me, since she was born at all my jobs she was able to come with me and all of them were great experiences for both of us. Not all of them required special needs care, but I think it’s a great thing that she gets to be exposed to it and she’s such a lovely girl, she’s so protective and caring of the children I care. She will be a great caregiver when she grows up.

Now back to my post, last week I was asked to come to work earlier, the boy was fine but the school had to send him home and the parents were busy and couldn’t get away so again I packed the school stuff that wasn’t finished, gladly most of what wasn’t done were activities V could easily do in the car on our way to work, and that’s what we did! Could I have finished school later on that day? Yes I could have done that, but I knew V would have been  really tired because we always go out and do lots of fun stuff with the boy, so the best option was to get things done in the car. If you follow us on Instagram you probably saw our Insta Story, sadly though,  I didn’t save any pictures or videos I shared that day.

I hope you enjoyed our post. Homeschool has its many challenges but it has also its many rewards and perks. If you don’t homeschool yet but has been thinking about it, you might wonder if homesschool will work out for you? Would you welcome some tips to help you make an informed decision regarding homeschooling? Then, please come and check my next post!

See you next week! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Why Do We Homeschool?

You know this is a question that most families ask themselves before they start Homeschooling and our family was no different, but now on our fourth year of Homeschooling I realize that I should probably question it more often because inevitably as we learn more, grow more in this process we realize that we can add more and more reasons to the initial list.

We Homeschool Little V for many reasons, these are just some of the reasons as to why we Homeschool:

Because we wanted: I just couldn’t wait to start teaching her and since she was a baby I was there helping her to explore the world around her. Looking for the best educational and fun toys. If you think about it, almost all parents already do some Homeschooling. When you teach your child to recognize the Alphabet, the shapes, colors, number and so on, you’re teaching and guess what?You’re Homeschooling, even if you don’t think you are.

Safety: loving parents care so much for their child safety and we are no different. We also child-proofed the entire house, we made sure we read all the reviews before buying the high-chair, the car seats, toys and the list goes on and on. We lived in a big city and we just didn’t have the heart to send Little V to public school. The bullying, the stress and the peer pressure, not even to mention that nowadays when you send your kid to school you pray that you’ll see him/her/them alive at the end of the day.

Quality of Education: it’s no secret that one-on-one teaching is the best, and to be honest I never felt like I lacked qualifications to teach my daughter, I have a love for learning and I love to teach and that in my opinion is the best qualification I could have. There are great teachers out there and I see some of them on Instagram and they inspire me but with the one-on-one teaching I can tailor the lesson to her needs and likes, I can help her if she’s struggling with something by trying a different approach to it, we move on at her pace.

Develop a love for learning: because I have the ability to to teach and guide her in learning what she wants or what interests her the most she can develop a love for learning. It’s not learning only because she has to learn to achieve a certain grade or to fulfill the requirements, she’s also learning about things that she’s curious about it, things that she’s passionate about it.

Freedom and Flexibility: we can choose what we want to learn about, when we want to learn it and how we want to learn it. Do we want to make a field trip? Do we want to make an experiment about it that wasn’t planned? Do we want to add something else to the list of interests?  Do we want to grab our stuff and go outside because the weather is great, we can because we have the freedom to do so. We can choose the books, the curriculum, the amount of time we spend in each subject. If we have something fun to do in the morning, we can do school in the afternoon, or in the evening. Or we can start school in the morning, do other things and resume it later. That is a huge perk of Homeschooling, but my favorite of all the reasons is the next one!

Be present at the best moments: it’s priceless to be there when they read their first word, when they learn how to write their names, when they spell their first words, see their faces light up when they grasp something, when they read something funny and just burst into laughter. Be there when they feel they can’t do something and be the one giving them the encouragement needed  to keep on trying and then see how proud they feel when they get it right, oh well, no report card can give that moment.

Faith and Values: we live in critical times hard to deal with (2 Timothy 3:1-5), and teaching your child how to be a true Christian requires time and energy. The Bible admonishes us to teach them in every opportunity we have (Deuteronomy 6:6,7) and Homeschooling gives me the opportunity to do just so. We can together draw closer to God and he will draw closer to us (James 4:8). She will learn what the Bible really teaches and make sure her thinking and her actions are in harmony with Jehovah’s righteous standards and not man’s.

There are many reasons why a family would decide to Homeschool their children, these are just some of our reasons, what are your reasons to Homeschool? We would love to hear from you!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki