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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dressing up

 Hello my friends,

Spring is just around the corner and I am very excited. The weather is becoming better in Chicago, which gives me a lot of motivation to exercise :).

As I expressed many times before, my son loves dressing up and playing super heroes. This weekend I made a Batman costume out of construction paper. We both had a lot of creating it, and he looked very handsome :).



Another thing that I did last week was to bake a cake. There is a baking website called Sweetapolita which is fantastic. I tried her recipes many times before and it always taste deliciously perfect. The recipe for the cake below is called perfectly delightful vanilla cake. I made the cake for a potluck and I received great positive feedback. They loved the taste and the decoration of the cake, which is something I am thriving to achieve. This recipe is easy to make and assemble; when you make it please let me know your thoughts.


 On Monday we had a homemade sushi night. I enjoyed making and eating, it tasted great.





As I said in my previous post I am working on decorating my sons room, which I finally finished. I wanted to do a nautical theme but on a budged. 




The most laborious decorating in the room was to paint the walls. The actual painting as it were was not so difficult but measuring the lines was time consuming However, the end result was fantastic.







I also gave a complete makeover to one of our chest of drawer to complete the nautical theme. It had a very boring brown color, and I painted it with nautical blue color. It looks like a brand new chest of drawer. When I remembered to take the picture, I had already painted one of the drawers hence the reason the old one has a missing drawer. With old drawers you may have to change the tracks as my husband did to make the drawer opening and closing smoother.


I bought a set of pictures from Etsy, framed and hung them above the chest of drawers.



I am very happy with the result of the room and my son really loves it, and my hubby was quite happy that it did not cost much :).

Have a great week ahead :). Thanks.

Fabiana



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Smoothies and more

Hello my friends :),

Winter in Chicago has been extremely cold. Although, I am from a part of Brazil that has cold winters; I have never in my life experienced -27 degrees Celsius, which was -57F. When my family in Brazil asked me to described how cold it was, I could not find words to explain the level coldness here. However, we are surviving (rsrsrs). We are trying to do as much as we can to entertain ourselves indoors, and sometimes we play Ninja as an option (rsrsrs).



Since I gained a lot of weight with my second baby, I have a lot to loose. The cold winter is not helping much with outdoor exercises, hence I am focusing on my diet, trying to eat as many vegetables as I can. I make a smoothie, which is super delicious and nutritious, and I also give it to my baby, who loves it. Every time I make it,  he eats all of it.

My little baby is 7 months old and he is already eating solid food. With my first baby I pureed all his vegetables and fruits, I never bought pureed food at the supermarket. With my first son this was also the case, I am determined to do the same with my second one. I believe that making your own food is cheaper, healthier and my children will most probably eat vegetables. My oldest is already proving to me that I was right as he loves salads and vegetables. Thank God my kids eat well and whatever I give them they eat.

The recipe is:
1 orange
1 banana
5 strawberries
5 blackberries
5 raspberries
1 handful of spinach
2 leaves of kale
2 leaves of collard green

After blending it I add a tablespoon of Chia seeds, which helps to balance your blood sugar, has omega 3, gives you energy for the day, and has anti-oxidants that helps to loose weight. It does not taste like anything. I also do not give the chia seeds to my baby. So, every day I drink about 1 cup of this delicious super healthy smoothie at lunch time as well as my baby. Sometimes I put rice pudding to make it thicker for my baby. 


 There is always a happy baby every time he eats his green food.


Furthermore, I have been decorating the house. The other day my son helped me to paint tomato sauce tins with chalkboard paint to organise his study room. We also painted a board to stick the tins onto. My husband drilled the nails through the tins onto the board to make it secure, and after he screwed in the wall.


My son organized his pencils, rulers, scissors, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens and erasers into the tins. As my son is bilingual, Portuguese and English,  I labelled the tins in Portuguese.


 His desk is painted with chalkboard paint too. We hung the tin organizer above the desk. It looked super cute and it is a great way to recycle.



Lately, my son is very much interested in making scientific experiments. He has a few books from the "Times for Kids" which is completed with interesting facts and experiments for the kids to learn. This week he wanted to make a "blubler". Blubbler is a thick layer of fat that insulates animals in Winter. This experiment is very easy to make as well as easy to comprehend as a concept.
What you need:
vegetable shortening
2 ziplock bags
a bowl of ice water with ice cubes

Directions:
1 - Put vegetable shortening into one ziplock bag until its one third filled.


2 - Turn the other ziplock bag inside out. Place it inside the bag filled with shortening, and spread out the shortening evenly. The shortening  should be trapped between the two bags like a layer of blubber.

3 - Put your hand into the inside out bag.

4 - Put your bare hand into the ice water to feel how cold it is. Then put your blubber mitten into the ice water.



Questions to ask:
Does the water seem colder with the mitten hand or bare hand?
Will you explain the meaning of blubber?
Can you give me examples of animals that have a layer of fat to keep themselves warm?

Thanks for reading my blog, I really appreciate your support.

Love,
Fabiana

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bilingualism

Hello everyone!!!

Today I would like to talk a bit about bilingualism. At home we speak two languages: English and Portuguese. My son speaks English with his father, and Portuguese with me. It is really amazing to watch when we are having a conversation and my son switches from English to Portuguese and vice-verse without stopping to translate. In an article shown by the New York Times, it says that being bilingual improves the brain’s executive function — a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks. These processes include ignoring distractions to stay focused, switching attention willfully from one thing to another and holding information in mind. In other words, being bilingual is a great deal for my son to help him to stay focused :). 
Another advantage stated by the New York Times is that being bilingual, makes you smarter, and it can improve cognitive skills and even shielding against dementia in old age.

For me, raising my son bilingual is very important because of the many benefits for the brain aforementioned, as well as to keep his family roots. I want him to be able to communicate fluently with me and our family in Brazil.

I always spoke in Portuguese language with son but never taught him how to write or read. I wanted him to be alphabetized in English first, and then introduce the Portuguese grammar. Hence now, I believe it is the right time for him to be alphabetized in the Portuguese language.

Last week we began our lesson by sketching his body and labeling its parts in Portuguese language. My son drew muscles, which are the squares on his chest, and he also started coloring a t-shirt but has not finished yet :).


I also labeled things around the house. I wrote in Portuguese and English.


The image below is an example of the things I have labeled in the house so far. Portuguese is written in blue and English is written in black ink right under each word.
Additionally,  I am also designing vocabulary flashcards, which I will post as soon as I finish.

Yesterday, he began to learn the alphabet and its sounds. Another advantage of being bilingual is the ability to recognize sounds. Although in English language most of the sounds are different from the Portuguese language, there are many sounds that are similar and helped my son to recognize sounds in letters, specially those words with the Latin root.

This idea can be applied to any language, and can be also translated to as many languages as are spoken at home. Labeling things around the house even helps your husband/wife to learn your language :).

I will keep you informed of the things we are doing. Have a great day. Thanks :).

Fabiana

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween


HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!!!!

To celebrate Halloween my son began his week  by decorating a pumpkin. After a couple of days we pureed the pumpkin to make some goodies. We baked muffins and cookies. Both recipes were super delicious, but the cookies were superb. I baked it twice and it was gone in an hour. I highly recommend you to try.



I hope you have fun tonight with trick or treating :). Thanks.

Fabiana

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ninja costume

Hello my friends :)!

It's been a long time since I last posted on my blog. I missed it very much!! Being a mom is a full time job that makes me ponder at the end of the day, "where the time has gone"??!!! It goes by too fast. Hence why, I have inadvertently neglected my blog. I don't have much time to do anything!!! Although I have been busy with my, not so newborn baby, I promise I will try to post activities I have been doing with my son every week.

Nevertheless, I appreciate-- very much, your faithful support by checking my blog every day. You  rock :)!!! Thank you!!!!

As I mentioned before, my son loves dressing up. As Halloween is approaching, he wants to be "some type of super hero" every single day. Some days he is a Power Ranger, other days he is Wolwerine, and it keeps going through all the super heroes :). Lately he is very much into Ninjas, and off course he asked for a costume. As costumes can be quite expensive, specially when your kid wants to be all the super heroes he can possibly be, I decided to design one with the resources I have at home.

I decided to share my idea with those moms whom are looking for a Ninja costume without spending much money.  It is a good and quite cheap idea, and most importantly it looks very much like a Ninja costume. The only expense I had with this costumes was the kit with the mask and swords that I bought at Target for $6. The rest of the outfit was black trousers, socks and top, and I also used my baby sling to wrap around my son's chest to give that final lookalike Ninja vest. The baby sling is used to hold the swords too.

My son loved his costume...it looked better than the ones we saw available at the stores. He totally embraced the character, giving me those Ninja scary eyes when taking the picture :).



Hope this will be useful for you. Thank you :).

Fabiana

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Multiplication Problem Solving

Hello everyone :), hope you are well!!!

Lately I have been teaching multiplication to my son. I designed a multiplication table and he is learning it by heart. I am not a fan of memorization activities his studies. I believe that reading and explaining the information within your own words is the best way to learn something. Most of the times information adapted with this methodology will be retained for meany years to come. Therefore, the multiplication table is a case apart, in my point of view. It is a system of repetition until you know it by heart.

The table is done up to 10.


I also created problem solving worksheets to help him develop his critical thinking skills, and practice multiplication. Below are a few examples.




This material is available for free on TPT. To download your free copy just click on the following link please: Multiplication Problem Solving - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multiplication-Problem-Solving-860696

I would very much appreciate your rating of this material after you have download it please :). Thanks.

Fabiana

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School Sale

Hello everyone :),

Hope you are enjoying the last days of your summer holidays!!! School is about to start and I would like to invite you to join me and TPT for a huge back to school sale. All my products will have 20% discount + extra 8% off, which is a total of 28% discount in all my TPT store - just type the promo code BTS13 on your checkout to obtain the additional discount.The sales start on August 18th and finish on August 19th.



To access my TPT store click on the image below please.

The following images are samples of a few materials I have available at my TPT store, just click on the image to access my store please.








Thanks and enjoy shopping :)!!!

Fabiana

Monday, August 5, 2013

Giveaway Winner

Hello :),

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
 
Our giveaway ended last Friday, and today I would like to announce the winner, which is:

Sherry Matheson

Thanks Sherry for entering the competition. I am emailing your material today :). 



Thanks!!!
Fabiana 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What makes you happy

Hello :)))!!!!

Today was a great day :)!!! We studied in the morning, and in the afternoon we went for a bike riding at the Japanese Garden, which is a small beautiful garden. We had a great time exploring the garden and chatting. I selected two pictures to show you the place: the first one is my big baby and I, sharing a moment of love :), and the second one is an image of a bird that was also appreciating the view :).

I love this little Batman boy very much!!!!!!


I also would like to share with you what my son wrote today. In order to help my son improve his writing skills, I usually ask him to write a journal of his day or a theme that is interesting to him. I also tend to query subjects wit regards to his routine and the people around him. Today he wrote about the things that makes him happy. The image below shows his answer.


It was the sweetest answer!!!! I was very proud of him for valuing his family and friends, as well as simple things, which are normally the most memorable. I feel very happy and blessed that God gave me such a beautiful child, who is mature enough to understand what makes you happy is to be around those whom love you the most and also doing simple things, like riding a bike :).

My giveaway ends tomorrow. To have a chance to win a wonderful prize enter the rafflecopter below please. One lucky winner will win a package with 126 pages about Insect and Spiders. Good luck!!!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you felt inspired today :). Thanks.

Fabiana

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Subtraction with Regrouping

Hello :), hope you had a great day!

This week my son has been working on subtraction with regrouping.  We are doing up to 3 digit number subtraction. I found a free poster on TPT that explains through a poem what are the steps to take when to decide whether or not to regroup. This poster is very helpful and helped my son to understand the context.


I put together a few subtraction sentences for him to practice.



He also resolved  word problems that I downloaded on TPT, which focused on subtraction with regrouping.


It was a very productive day. These exercises helped my son to improve his understanding in this subject, which made him very confident to even teach me how to resolve the sentences :).


I extended my giveaway until the end of the week, which is August 2nd. To have a chance to win a wonderful prize enter the rafflecopter below please. One lucky winner will win a package with 126 pages about Insect and Spiders. Good luck!!!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks!!!!

Fabiana

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Giveaway

Hello everyone!!!!



I would like to remind you of our giveaway which ends on July 31st. To have a chance to win a wonderful prize enter the rafflecopter below please. One lucky winner will win a package with 126 pages about Insect and Spiders. Good luck!!!!!



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you :)!
Fabiana 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chocolate Ganache Cupcake

Tomorrow my little baby is 1 month old :))!!! Awwww, isn't he adorable :))))!!!!!!


To celebrate my son's birthday, big brother and I made chocolate cupcakes today. This is my favorite desert from my wonderful friend Marc Sievers. He is an amazing cook and a fantastic person, always positive and smiley. His food is superb, which I highly recommend you to try. His book "Entertaining with Love" is available at Amazon. You may also check his website for daily updates.

The cupcake recipe that we made today is on his website and book, and its called Rich Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes. 
This recipe is super easy to make and it tastes delicious :). Thanks Marc for this recipe :)))!!!


INGREDIENTS
Batter
Butter – ¼ pound, unsalted, room temperature
Sugar – 1 cup
Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Flour – 1 cup all-purpose flour
Eggs – 4 extra-large, room temperature
Vanilla – 1 tablespoon, pure extract
Cocoa Powder – ¼ cup, unsweetened powder
Chocolate Syrup – 16 ounces

Ganache
Heavy Cream – ½ cup
Chocolate Chips – 8 ounces, semisweet

DIRECTIONS
Batter
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a muffin pan (large cups) with paper liners.

Next, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add the eggs carefully—1 at a time—and combine thoroughly.  Then, pour in the vanilla and the chocolate syrup and mix well.

For the best results sift together your flour and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Then, gently add the dry mixture to your mixing bowl and mix until just combined (do not over-mix or your cupcakes will be unpleasantly dense).

Next, scoop the batter equally into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle.  Do not over-bake the cupcakes.  Let them cool thoroughly in the muffin tin.

Ganache & Assembly
Heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm.  Stir occasionally.  In this step you are melting and heating the mixture, not cooking it as it will burn.

Finally, once the cupcakes have cooled, dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache and enjoy!  The ganache will remain soft and creamy and will not set hard.
Do not refrigerate.



Let me know what you think of the recipe please :))). Enjoy!!!!

I also would like to remind you of our giveaway which ends on July 31st. To have a chance to win a wonderful prize enter the rafflecopter below please. One lucky winner will win a package with 126 pages about Insect and Spiders. Good luck!!!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful weekend!! Thanks!!!

Fabiana

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Granola Bar

Hello :))),

Today I would like to share a delicious granola bar recipe that my son made. This recipe was very easy for him to make. He did it all by himself, I was around only to monitor him and dealing with the oven. I love this recipe because I can add any ingredient and it will always taste great.

Ingredients:
2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flaxseed
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cranraisins
1/2 cup sliced almond
2/4 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan, then cover it with a parchment sheet and grease the paper.
 
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, flaxseed cinnamon, flour, cranraisins and salt. Make a hole in the center, and pour in the condensed milk, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
 

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.



Granola bars are a healthy snack that my son loves to make and eat :))). Let me know what you think about this recipe when you try with your kids please :)). Enjoy!!!!

Thanks!!
Fabiana