cinderella carriage for kids

Sorry for my recent absence around here–we are pretty busy these days!

We are having fun planning a 3rd birthday party for Lucia. She has requested a cinderella party, so I am scouring the internet for cute ideas.

The name itself creates an atmosphere of cuteness in it as we imagine our little princess in a flowing gown. We knew her favorite color and the only effort here was to take her measurements for the silk, satin and net gown.

Her attires were next on the list, with the crown, chain, bracelets, anklets, and of course, the most adorable pair of shoes. She goes to the nursery now, which means we will have a huge guest list dominated by her friends. She will be hoping not only to make them happy with the celebration but also marvel at the beauty of the party including herself.

Once Lucia’s Cinderella was decided, we turned towards the decoration and the hosting place. The color of the decor was decided to match with her gown and the toys included the cutest and softest we could find from the stores. The lights were of pulpy luminescence and arranged around the decor.

Now came our biggest challenge! Cinderella’s wagon. It should definitely look cute, but at the same time safely and easily mobile and resemble the fairy tale wagon to the possible extent. The image in the storybook was completely imprinted in our mind, but that was not enough. We needed the techniques to keep it as original as it can.

We started our exploration of that one design which combines cuteness and uniqueness, for didn’t want Lucia to get concerned about repetition. The internet and the local stored opened before us a lot of options, but each had one issue or the other as a mismatch to the picture we had in our mind.

Finally, our luck hit us and we didn’t have to search for long. We got our catch like an ultimate ray of hope here.

Stumbled across this cute wagon from MiniWagons on Etsy. They have a lot of beautiful wagons and carriages in this Cinderella style.

We are using  a vintage disney CINDERELLA  book (the one I read as a kid) as our inspiration for the party because we love the colors and the kids are most familiar and fond of this version.

However, there are so many amazing other illustrated versions that would be fun to use as inspiration. I think  Marcia Brown’s Cinderella is also gorgeous and would be perfect for a party theme as well.

What are you up to? What are you reading?

what we’re reading this week

It’s always fun to receive a package of review books from Owl Kids Books. Last week we received some new releases and I wanted to share them with you here.

The Long, Long Line was Lucia’s favorite. She requested that we read this one over and over again. The animals are waiting in line for something REALLY fun. I won’t ruin the surprise by telling you what it is, but you are going to like it. Trust me.

You know we love birds around here, and Is This Panama?: A Migration Story was a good mix of birds and other migrating animals. This was more on Juliet’s level as there was a lot of text and some good scientific information at the back of the book.

Oddrey and the New Kid  was another of Lucia’s favorites. It’s a fun story about Oddrey and a tall-tale-telling new kid.

The sheep and wolf are always pitted against each other in children’s books, so this was a fun new take on their relationship–they work together to make a flying machine and prove that “anything is possible.” Anything Is Possible

Have you read any of these? What do you think?

Thanks again to Owl Kids Books for the review copies! All opinions expressed are my own. 

This post may contain affiliate links.

Some of the links will take you other reviews written by me about the books I read and the ones I selected for my kids. More than the books we read, I believe that we should be more thorough about the books we give our children for these beginning reads can lead them to have a good or a bad reading habit. Their following reading preference may be based on this initial picture created on their minds, for which we are responsible. So do not forget to read the reviews and also contribute to your comments for the discussion to become interactive.

Some of the remaining links will take you to reliable ideas for making an extra source of income, simply by sitting at home and playing with a software. You do not have to be a software expert for this. Read about them with the same seriousness with which you read your favorite book and arrive at your choices to try your luck of wealth. Who know! You may strike gold with a Q Profit System in a matter of a few minutes and your reading horizon will be expanded.See disclosure policy for more details.

first grade reading list: books for first graders part 1

It is our habit to go the library and check out about 30 books a week just for our personal reading pleasure, but this year, I thought it would be good to make a list and try to go through it. Not because we don’t read enough, but just to give us a bit of a guide.Guidance may be about anything and everything. It may be on setting up the biological rhythm of your baby or the quick ideas to make your kid learn alphabets, numbers, and colors easily. I have even come across books which were a practical guide to start to earn early and safely, which also included a comprehensive review of such reliable options.

At the end of the year, it will be fun to look back and see all that we have read together, to talk about favorites and which new authors we had discovered.

I found these books in Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers and thought they sounded fantastic. I have not read any of the ones listed here, though there were some that we have already read and loved.

There are lists for preschool, 3-4 year olds, upper elementary, middle school and high school as well. The book also gives descriptions and insights as to plot and why these are good choices for children to read on their own or together with a parent.

If you read this blog, you probably don’t need to be convinced of the importance of reading or books, but I enjoyed reading Some of My Best Friends Are Books because it just reinforces what I already knew and gave me some great ideas for more books for us to explore as a family.

Here is part one of our reading list this year. I share the second part in a later post (it’s a lot of books!)

Maybe you can read along with us or tell us about any of the books you’ve read already? I am keeping my fingers crossed that our library has most of these. It not, I’ll be scouring thrift stores and hunting them down on amazon.

Feelings by Aliki

Manners by AlikiAnno’s Journey by Mitsumasa Anno

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

Dawn by Molly Bang

The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery by Graeme Base

The Sign of the Seahorse: A Tale of Greed and High Adventure in Two Acts  by Graeme Gase

If at First You Do Not See by Ruth Brown

Daniel’s Duck (I Can Read Book 3) by Clyde Bulla

Dandelions by Eve Bunting

The Man Who Could Call Down Owls by Eve Bunting

Stay Away from Simon! by Carol Carrick

What Happened to Patrick’s Dinosaurs? by Carol Carrick

Everett Anderson’s Friend by Lucille Clifton

Island Boy  by Barbara Cooney

Abuela (English Edition with Spanish Phrases)  by Arthur Dorros

What Are You Figuring Now?: A Story about Benjamin Banneker  by Jeri Ferris

Bears by Helen Gilks

Iktomi and the Berries: A Plains Indian Story by Paul Goble

The Legend Of the White Buffalo Woman by Paul Goble

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden

The Man Who Lived Alone by Donald Hall

Stay tuned for part II of this list!

backyard bird Egg project for kids

We’ve been keeping a list of the birds we’ve seen in our backyard this winter and decided it would be fun to do an egg identification project.
We cut out eggs from water color paper and spent an afternoon researching the different eggs an then attempting to paint  them.
After they dried, we mounted them on some black construction paper and labeled them. These were then placed in Juliet’s bird notebook.

This is not all of the eggs, but you get the idea. I think our favorite part was painting the eggs. We used Birds, Nests and Eggs  and the internet to get images of the eggs we were looking for.Not all the eggs were different from each other. Some eggs differed from each other in colors and patterns whereas some differed in their sizes. Certain birds had nests strikingly distinguishable that in a second-long glance we can identify the species.

At times, we had difficulty in taking the real-life images of the eggs since the birds were not all leaving the nests, we can be blamed for the same.


Do you have a backyard, a garden or a courtyard? Throw some grains and make high-pitched sounds. Soon, your place will be swarmed with pigeons or crows. We were fortunate enough to see peacocks at times, but finding their nest still remains a mystery for us. Go by the characteristic voice of peacock and you can even find them high up in fig trees.


Your backyard may not have these birds or there may be no birds at all. Do not get disappointed, because birds are mobile and they can fly to reach wherever they want. You must be pretty aware of the fact that many species of birds fly thousands of miles every year as a part of their lifecycle, to deal with the changing seasons. We call them migratory birds. For more info, you can visit the local bird observatory at your place or even the internet, where you can find business life to personal life to business ideas to coupling ideas.


When these birds can cross seas and continents, you can surely cross-boundary walls and garden. Look at your neighbor’s garden or the birds pets in your locality. If you cannot find both, try to figure out the nearest park or zoo. I can assure you that you will be successful in finding as many birds as you need to paint your eggs with a little walk. The world is our home and sharing is a feature by which we humans sustain. Your neighbor will not hesitate to share you his garden or backyard so that you can watch the birds there.


You can even click real life pictures of the birds and use them for your eggs to get the real feel.

kids books about New York City

My brothers live in New York City and with Hurricane Sandy about to hit them, I thought I’d share a few New York books that we’ve been enjoying lately!Reading and relaxing may not be the cup of tea for some when the danger is looming over them, and they are not to be blamed. Many of them will be hurrying around their offices and shops to take all the precautions to save their means of livelihood from the wrath of the upcoming fierce winds. The authorities can definitely predict the disaster, but how fiercely their future is going to be hit, no one can predict and sometimes the loss will all be theirs.


With destruction everywhere and the uncertain wait for relief funds to reach them, I definitely cannot advise them to read books now. However, they can read something else, which has the power to let them live and earn with much ease and through good prediction and survive from the next second after the hurricane. The market trading is the topic of reading and reading materials are available everywhere.

Open the internet, you will be flooded with links which say click here to start trading or to find the best trading robot. What more do you need as a consoling gift during the disaster?

Next Stop Grand Central

The illustrations are fantastic and really give a good view of the city–to me, it just seems very New York. We loved this one.

What’s Up, Bear?: A Book About Opposites

This book combines a story with the concept of opposites in a way I haven’t seen done before. I love opposite books, but they generally don’t tell a story. This one really does. It also throws in a nice tour of  New York City with all the famous landmarks and sites. Because it does so much, it works for Juliet my kindergardener and my two year old Lucia. We’ve been enjoying this one a lot this week. It would be a perfect prep book before taking a trip to NYC.

This Is New York

I haven’t read this one yet (sadly, our library only has the Paris one in this series–which is wonderfully amazing), but it is on my wishlist! I love the art and the way these books are put together.

Do you have any favorite New York City books? Anyone in the hurricane’s path? Stay safe!

(I received What’s Up Bear? as a review copy. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.)

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the adventures of odysseus

The Adventures of Odysseus  by Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden, and Christina Balit

When I first discovered this book a few weeks ago, I got really excited. I read all the reviews on amazon and thought that maybe this would be something Juliet and I could read together.After looking at it, though, I think we’ll still have to wait a few years. It’s gorgeous and wonderful and does justice to the original for sure, but at the end of the day, it is still a bit too mature for a 5 year old (in my opinion–or at least for my 5 year old.)

I had convinced myself that it was fine until I got to the part where Odysseus stabs the cyclop’s eye with a burning stake and I realized, we probably needed to wait a few more years.

The fruit of patience is always sweeter, not only in this case. There are many other instances where for a particular activity, you may need more preparations and more time to reach the right time of initiation. For example, you are joining a course and you have to clear a test for the same. You have to wait for the date, for the result, and maybe for reaching the age limit.

Take another example, more financially inclined. The success of a business lies in a calculated amount of waiting to grab the best opportunity at the right time. If you are trading in a market, the Bitcoin Code software will guide you to wait for the best time to close the deal and take home maximum returns.


However, if you have older children or even high schoolers–we read the Odyssey in 9th grade when I was growing up and when I taught 9th grade, I taught it to several hundred squirrelly little freshman.

Mostly, they liked it–even if it was hard for them to understand–because it has a lot of action to keep them tuned in, but I was thinking that this book would really help those that struggled with understanding the plot.

The illustrations help tell the story, add to the details, and the text itself is easier to read than what is usually found in school textbooks.

I would definitely love to add this to our home library in a few years when my girls are ready to read it.

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thumbprint easter egg craft

thumbprint egg basket
We made these thumbprint easter egg baskets last year as fun cards to send to faraway friends. I’m thinking we should get out the inkpad and try it again this year.

Using an ink pad gives us the freedom to explore with the imprints to be created n the egg. We can print letters, stories, pictures, family members and even success mantras. Innovation keeps the interest in the activity alive and when we involve our family members in it, the occasion really becomes a bigger celebration. The idea of printed Easter eggs does add to the enthusiasm of the festival, but then we are thinking about going out of the bound with the central theme intact.

We are anyways, doing some printing on the eggs, which can be made huge also. Why stick on to the regular stars, moon, and drawings? We can create the imprint of some unconventional topic. We were in search of such themes and some of us are particularly concerned about social welfare. We are, of course, celebrating this Easter with all the pomp and splendor that we can. However, there is still a section of the society for whom celebration may mean to have at least one meal of the day.

That is how we connected the idea of social welfare into the Easter celebration theme. And now, giving away some money on a single will not really help these underprivileged sections. We need to think of something bigger, more sustainable and easily grasped by the probably uneducated individuals. Why not we give them an idea to help survive their families better through a more returning income source?? Being undernourished, away from medical attention and lack of proper resting place, these people might be low on their health status too. This easter is also the best time to start a new beginning.

Finally, we arrived at the perfect idea of sharing a method of earning and bringing quick money without any bone-breaking hard work or mammoth investments. The decision was to print trading techniques and options on the eggs and share them with the needy families. The recipients need not be professionally qualified and with the automatic platforms like Bitcoin Code automated trading system, they can fight for their better survival at the most auspicious time. What more do we need to make our eater eggs special this time?

What egg crafts and activities are you up to this season?

doctor birthday party

I’ve finally organized Juliet’s doctor party photos and I thought I’d share them today. When we sent out the invitations, we asked the guests to bring a doll or stuffed animal as a “patient”. Several kids brought their own doctor kits as well.
cross garland
I went with a red, white, and pink color scheme. The main decoration was the cross garland made from red construction paper, red string, and my trusty hot glue gun.
surgical masks
For costumes, we had surgical masks and name tags for everyone.
waiting room
I set up a mini-hospital in the play room, complete with waiting room, ambulance, pharmacy, and exam tables. This is the waiting room.
doctor books for kids
This is where I had the doctor books. I got this idea from my friend Amanda. She always has great book areas at her kids’ birthday parties.
doctor party decor
We had some large boxes left over from Christmas that we transformed into an ambulance. White contact paper and red duct tape are miracle workers. We had the flashing red light left over from last year’s police birthday party.

A white sheet taped to the wall with packing tape and another red duct tape cross made a fun backdrop.
pink kids scrubs
Barbie emergency. (Found the pink kid’s scrubs at Target.)
doctor supplies
The pharmacy had all the supplies the doctors and nurses needed to tend to their patients.
little nurse
The cotton swabs were a big hit.
doctor party game
The night before the party, Juliet asked me what kind of games we were going to play. After spending the entire day building an entire infirmary, I had nothing.We have a complex adult brain and our gaming ideas might be more about making money like a casino game or a trading robot and will rush through the best Bitcoin Code review. Kids are on the other hand, more creative, innocent and think in a far less complicated way. Their imagination is on a different level altogether and obviously picturing a true game for enjoyment. I asked her what kind of games she was thinking about and she said, “You know, like pin the cross on the nurses hat or something.”

To which I replied, “Go ask your dad to make that.”

And he did. Daddy and white contact paper saves the day again.

The kids had a lot of fun with this game, so I’m glad she thought of it. I guess 5 is the age when kids start wanting games at their parties. I had no idea.
doctor party favors
For party favors, Juliet passed out these first aid kids and candy canes. I was going for a red an white candy striper theme, but a few are green. I don’t think the kids noticed. 🙂

We had a lot of fun with this theme. I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff, but I’m glad she has such a big imagination. I can’t believe she’s already five.

Kids grow up fast, don’t they?

Linking to making monday marvelousmade by you mondaymaking the world cuter,

cardboard box dollhouse reveal: I’m a Giant Challenge

It took awhile, but we are finally finished with the dollhouse project. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. I originally limited myself to three boxes (and secretly hoped to do more if I had time), but here we are and I still only have three.

But they are three nice rooms. And the Cinderella doll is very happy, so that is all that matters.

Here’s the tour.
modern dollhouse kitchen
The kitchen.

Construction Details:

Floors: The floors are made from faux wood contact paper strips over a painted floor. (Similar to this wood grain contact paper.)

Walls: The two opposing walls are papered in floral/bird scrapbook paper (Melody Ross Designer Collection: Homespun Chic). I used Mod Podge to adhere and seal the paper.

The floor to ceiling wall of “tile” is actually created with white office labels over a painted wall and sealed with Mod Podge.

Shelving: The open shelving on the wall of tile is constructed out of two popsicle sticks that I painted white. They are held on by hot glue.
dollhouse kitchen
Furniture Details:

I already had the stove/oven unit that I purchased at a kids sale last year. I have no information about it.
The TV also came with that lot.

The brass table and chairs I purchased on ebay–again, no information, but I have seen several listings for this set on ebay.
dollhouse kitchen wallpaper
Here’s a closer look at the TV–and the cheetah TV stand. I tried to tape the TV to the wall, but it kept falling, so the cheetah made himself useful.
dollhouse tv
Mr. Cheetah’s presence reminds me of a really great etsy shop called Wild Life Prints.
dollhouse kitchen
Accessory Details:

Wall ArtGiant Spirograph Art created by myself. If I can’t have one in my own house, I’ll have one in the dollhouse. (Inspired by Amy’s actual Giant Spirograph Art.)

Shelf Accessories: random buttons, a sparkly #8 sticker, dollhouse toaster, cup, and bent metal circles taken from an old dress (all found in our house), the brass basket and bowl showed up with the brass furniture lot I purchased from ebay.
dollhouse art studio
The Art Studio.

Construction Details:

Floors: Again, strips of wood-grain contact paper and sealed with Mod Podge.

Walls: Opposing walls and ceiling painted slate gray. Back wall papered with map scrapbook paper.
miniature rhino head
Furniture and Accessory details:

The desk and easel were pieces we already owned. The artwork on the mini canvas is done by Juliet.

Brass bird cage from ebay lot.

Cork stool found in junk drawer.

Fancy rug cut from Elle Decor magazine. I didn’t glue it down–it is just resting on top of the the floor.

Marilyn wall art cut from a DIY magazine.

Rhino Head: This is my biggest splurge for the dollhouse. Created by Ann of Amazing Miniatures. I was surfing etsy one day for dollhouse inspiration and came across this rhino. I fell in love and ordered him immediately. I wish he were larger so I could hang him in our home. But then he probably would have cost me more than $12. But still. You know what I mean.
dollhouse bedroom
The bedroom.

Construction Details:

Floors: Same as the other two rooms: contact paper, paint, and Mod Podge.

Walls: Mod Podged scrapbook paper.
dollhouse spirograph wall art
Furniture and Accessories:

We already had the bunk bed.

Mirror and coat rack from brass ebay lot.

The white nightstand is a repurposed hairspray cap.

Spirograph wall art by me.

Painting and white chair cut out from Elle Decor Magazine.
dollhouse exterior siding
The exterior is covered in white contact paper. The numbers were cut out of a magazine.
cardboard box dollhouse
The dollhouse is living on Juliet’s bookshelf for now. It’s gotten lots of use.

This is not like any other timepass crafting work, which someone starts just for the sake of doing it or due to the initial curiosity.

So, instead of simply copying any craft video without thinking whether the item is of use to you or whether it is really as good as it is shown in the tutorial, use your mind. You definitely would not try your luck in the risky activity of trading unless you are sure that this post justifies your requirement and you are really into making some money out of it.

It’s come a long way from the three cardboard boxes we started with (see before shot here.)

I’m happy with the way it turned out and the process of designing and decorating was a lot of fun.

A lot of the detail work was too difficult for a four-year-old’s fingers, so I look forward to trying this again in a few years when Juliet can have a bigger role. She did enjoy peeling the back off the flooring and tiles and she helped with painting.

We both had fun together.

If you have a daughter, I definitely recommend a dollhouse project.

Thanks again to Emily for creating this fun challenge! It was like being on mini-Design Star except no one was following me around with a camera. 🙂

Check out the other dollhouses here!

paper tube glittery crown christmas ornament craft for kids

Day two of our advent experience Truth in the Tinsel is here. Today’s ornament was a crown made from an old paper tube.
christmas crafting with kids
I prep the materials for the craft the night before and have it waiting in a basket on the kitchen table. (I recently bought a new package of martha stewart glitter. That stuff is awesome because it is so fine–makes crafts look extra pretty.)
advent craft
24 colors to choose from….my sweet girl chooses two shades of pink. ( I cut the top off of a cereal box and used it as a tray to contain the glitter.
pink crown ornament
She glued on some gems and it was ready for the tree. (Which we just put up last night!)

We are showing you a pink crown here which can be hung from anywhere on the tree. Now, in the crafting world, you can find many helpful resources, very similar to the numerous options in which you can finally create a binary trading profile. To start from the first feature, she selected her favorite color, pink. You may be having a different choice in its place.

What about the kind of gems and their placement? Your creativity might be looking for different styles. Is the size right for you? Make it thinner, thicker or slimmer, the fashion sense is that of your princess.

Do not have a tree, but still want to make the crown? Hang it from your ceiling or the top of the cupboard of your princess. And if you do not want a hanging crown, simply ditch the strand. Using a glitter glue instead of separately sticking the glitter, you can easily avoid the same glitter scattered all over your house. Some might even land up on your dining plate.

Free crafting tip: If you spray your glitter projects with some hairspray, it will lock it in and keep it from falling off all over your house. Not completely, but it does seal it in fairly well.

If you’d like to join in the advent experience Truth in the Tinsel–it’s not too late! There are several plans to choose from–you don’t have to do all the crafts or even do one every day. You can start today and do the first two or just skip them. It’s very flexible.

My friend Amanda has created such a great community on her facebook page–people all over the world are uploading pictures of their kids’ ornaments and sharing about their experience. It’s awesome. I hope you’ll join in!

linking to made by you monday and making monday marvelous.