Monday, February 28

Crafts/DIY: Ginormous Poppies

These giant poppies are crazy-easy to do. My sister shared with me her finished ginormous poppy photos, and they are gorgeous! The directions for these beauties can be found at 100 layer cake.

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Sunday, February 27

Baby: Car Seats, Anyone?

A few posts back, I told you about how our quest for the ultimate baby stroller went. You can read about it here. But what about the infant car seat? We can't bring Baby A home from the hospital without it.

We actually bought the car seat first, but we already knew what stroller we would get (the Bumbleride Indie). The Indie has quite a list of compatible car seats.

  • Graco Snugride
  • Graco Snugride 32
  • Graco Snugride 35
  • Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30
  • Chicco Keyfit 30
  • Combi Shuttle
  • Baby Trend Flex Loc
  • Britax Chaperone

Graco Snugride

Graco Snugride 32

Graco Snugride 35

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30

Chicco Keyfit 30

Combi Shuttle

Baby Trend Flex Loc

Britax Chaperone

We could have chosen any car seat we wanted since the Indie seat can fully recline for an infant. But who would not want the option to get an instant travel system, right?

The 3 best baby car seats rated by Consumer Search are all compatible with the Bumbleride.

Best car seat, more options: Graco Snugride

"Most experts choose the Graco SnugRide as the best infant car seat, and parents consistently give it top marks for its ease of use and installation. The Graco SnugRide comes in a wide variety of options. The pricier versions have fancier fabric, nicer canopies and a cold-weather boot and/or a blanket, but the basic seats in the $80 to $100 range are just as safe. All Graco SnugRide car seats include EPS padding for extra protection. The Graco SnugRide can secure using your car's seat belts or LATCH anchors. The top-rated Graco SnugRide is rated for newborns up to 22 pounds and 29 inches tall."

Best car seat, for heavier / taller babies: Britax Chaperone

"Although the Britax Chaperone is one of the more expensive car seats on the market, experts agree that it goes above and beyond federal safety standards; it's the only car seat in its class that receives an excellent rating in independent crash testing. Safety extras include an anti-rebound bar for stabilization in front- and rear-end crashes. Parents also appreciate the Chaperone's convenience features; ergonomic handles, an extra-long canopy, easily adjustable straps and fun upholstery patterns. Unlike most standard infant seat/carriers, the Britax Chaperone car seat can accommodate larger babies of up to 30 pounds and 32 inches tall, allowing the seat to be used longer and infants to stay rear facing longer (a recent recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children stay rear facing until the age of 2). UPDATE (Nov. 8): Chaperone car seats made between April 2009 and May 2010 have been recalled for a chest harness clip that could break. Owners can contact Britax for a free replacement clip." 

Best budget car seat for heavier babies: Baby Trend Flex Loc

"The Baby Trend Flex-Loc holds babies up to 30 pounds and 30 inches tall, so you'll be able to use it longer than the Graco SnugRide (which has a 22-pound weight limit). The Flex-Loc car seat gets very good ratings in independent crash tests as well as good ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for ease of use and fit to vehicle. Parents say this seat has some outstanding features for its price point, such as an extra-long canopy that can rotate 180 degrees, comfortable and easy-to-maneuver carrying handles and easy-to-adjust straps. There are some downsides, however; the seat does not come with many of the extras found in more expensive seats like harness covers, cold weather boots or extra head/newborn padding. Parents also report that the seat can be hard to unhitch from the base and that the fabric does not seem very comfortable."

We eventually picked Baby Trend Flex Loc. Besides it having great ratings in independent crash tests, we figured Baby A can use it longer. The handle is more comfortable than others'. It also matches our Bumbleride Indie in Lava. It has no recalls (yet), and the price is amazing. We got ours at Target for $89.99, which already includes the base.


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Saturday, February 26

Love: Kimmidolls

I recently discovered the cuteness of Kimmidolls - a modern twist to Japanese kokeshi dolls. They are traditionally given to newborn babies as lucky charms for good health and luck.

Each doll has its own meaning. Here are a few of my favorites:

Manami: love & beauty

Michiru: wealth

Kioko: happiness

Tomo: intelligence

Megumi: goodness

Images from Kimmidoll.

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Friday, February 25

Deals: Boon Baby Products

There's a great promotion from Amazon when you buy any Boon Inc. baby product. I am such a fan of Boon Inc., and no, they did not pay me to say it.

Promotion code: BOONMOM4
Valid from: Feb. 23 - Mar. 2, 2011

Just how cute are their products? Below are a few of my favorites.

1. The Frog Pod - which I, coincidentally, posted here before.

2. Odd Ducks - not your average rubber ducky

3. Flo - water deflector

4. Grass - countertop drying rack

5. Groovy - interlocking plate and bowl set

6. Fli - ceiling-mounted dragonfly mobile

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Thursday, February 24

Food: Neiman Marcus Brownies

I haven't tried the real Neiman Marcus brownies yet, but I've tasted a home-made recipe and it was so good, I had to try it at home. Here is the recipe.


  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist brand)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 13" x 9" baking pan.
  2. Combine the chocolate cake mix along with the melted butter and 1 egg. Spread in the greased pan.
  3. Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese and the remaining 2 eggs until smooth. Spread on top of the cake. Sprinkle the nuts on top if desired.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Original recipe at CopyKat
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Wednesday, February 23

Crafts/DIY: Chinese Take-Out Boxes

For the longest time, I wanted to try out the chinese take-out box template that I have. I found a similar template that you can print out from here.

I used patterned paper, a couple of eyelets for the holes, and a plastic ribbon for the handle. Have fun!

You might like to make paper fortune cookies from here to put in the takeout boxes.

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Tuesday, February 22

Freebie: Font Love #4

Juice. Love this font? Download it from dafont.

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Monday, February 21

Baby: The Ride

It's time again to do another post on the baby topic and share with you how we chose our baby stroller. For the past few weeks months... no, maybe since we figured we got pregnant, we've been on the lookout for the ultimate stroller that fits our needs.

Image from

We drowned from all the stroller types we found in baby stores. Being the clueless mom-to-be, I did not know that there were tons of choices out there.

According to Stroller Advisor, there are 8 types of strollers:

  1. Umbrella strollers
  2. Lightweight / mid-sized strollers
  3. Travel systems
  4. Universal car seat carriers
  5. Multi-function strollers
  6. Active strollers (all-terrain / jogging)
  7. Multi-child strollers
  8. Carriage / prams
Images from Babies R Us and stroller Manufacturers.
1. Amy Coe Umbrella Stroller, 2. Graco Metrolite Stroller, 3. Chicco Cortina Travel System, 4. Baby Trend Snap 'n Go Stroller, 5. Bugaboo Chameleon, 6. Joovy Zoom 360 Jogging Stroller, 7. Peg Perego Aria Twin Stroller, 8. Inglesina Classica Pram

We had to trim the list. Here's how we did it:

* We are having our first baby, so umbrella strollers are out - they're not suitable for newborns. Multi-child strollers are out too since we're only having one baby... at least for now.

* We want something that can last the baby even after infancy. Off go the snap and go and the pram. I don't want to buy another stroller when my baby won't fit the infant car seat or the pram anymore.

* Budget is also in our list, so luxury multi-function strollers that cost more than $500 are out of the question.

* We want the option to go outdoors, probably jog too, so lightweight strollers and travel systems will not work for us.

And the winner is... #6! The active stroller. We further trimmed the choice down to the all-terrain stroller, and cut-off the jogging stroller from our list, since we are not really serious joggers, and wanted the alternative to have the front wheel move for easy maneuvering (jogging strollers have their front wheel locked). Also, jogging strollers have bigger wheels and therefore bulkier. 

In the end, we chose...
... (drum roll please)... the Bumbleride Indie in Lava!

We really love the Bumbleride Indie. First, it meets our needs. We can use it for leisurely walking on the pavement, in the mall, or wherever... it's all-terrain, baby. We can also take Baby A with us for a short jog since the wheels are filled with air, and the front wheel may be locked as well. Second, the seat can be fully reclined for babies, and it is compatible with different brands of car seats too. Third, we love the modern style of the Indie. It looks so cool. Fourth, it's easy to maneuver, lightweight and I can fold it! Fifth, they have amazing customer service. They reply within a day, I promise! Sixth, and probably the most important one, I haven't heard any brand recall for the Indie.

So, even if the price of the Indie looms around the $500 price point (including tax), I say it's still a good deal because it comes with a ton of standard accessories - at least for the 2010 model anyway. The box includes an air pump, jogging strap, cup holder, head rest, multi-use bumper that serves as the car seat adapter as well, and a rain cover. Most other brands, you may need to pay extra.

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Sunday, February 20

Crafts/DIY: Make A Wish...

Wish...upon a star.

Image from Simply Romantic Ideas

3D paper stars like these were such a hit when I was a kid. My youngest sister used to make lots of these and fill up a glass jar in her room. They are fun and easy to do, too - very kid-friendly as long as you provide the strips. The steps can be found here.

Aside from just making these stars as decoration, you can put little notes before folding them. Maybe put some words of encouragement like what Creative Kismet did, or maybe some wishes so you don't have to wait for a shooting star in the sky, or probably things that you are thankful for.

Image from Creative Kismet

Have fun!


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Saturday, February 19

Get the Look: Christopher Noto Bathroom

I'm starting a "Get the Look" post series where I source out interior elements to mimic a designer room. I hope you like it.

Designer: Christopher Noto
Area: Bathroom
As seen in: Architectural Digest

Image from Architectural Digest

Here's the style mood board for probably much less than the actual cost.

  1. Flooring. Tile Shop. Empress Green Marble, $10.99 / sqft. Lansdale Carrara Marble, $8.99 / sqft.
  2. Tub. Costco. Clawfoot Tub, $849.99
  3. Tub enclosure. Vintage Tub & Bath. Clawfoot Tub Shower Enclosure in brushed nickel, $145.95
  4. Shower curtains. Ikea. Aina curtains, $49.99 / pair. Tiebacks. JCPenney. Supreme Tassel Rope Tieback, $10.99 each
  5. Chair. Walmart. Bernards French Provencial Chair, $229.99.
  6. Side table. West Elm. Natural Tree Stump side table, $159.00
  7. Wall art. World Market, Nathan carved wood wall panels, $11.99 / set of three
  8. Mirror. Ikea. Songe mirror, $79.99
  9. Vase. Pottery Barn. Rustic white vase, $49. Figurine. China Furniture Online. Kwan Yin, $139.00

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Friday, February 18

Food: Figo Pasta

Figo Pasta is one of our favorite local dining places here in Atlanta. It's where we go to satisfy our Italian culinary cravings. They have amazing home-made pasta, sauces, salads and paninis among other things.

Image from CityVoter

It's our comfort food.

Figo's interior is very warm and casual. You order your food from the cashier. You choose your pasta and your sauce, maybe some panini as appetizer and some salad too. Their menu can be found here.

After ordering, they give you a huge colorful pepper mill that serves as your "number".

My personal favorite? Prosciutto and mozzarella panini for appetizer, and whole wheat linguine with ragu alla bolognese sauce for my pasta. Sigh, I miss it already.

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Thursday, February 17

Love: Adorable No-no-no

Here's another cute baby video. Her name's Charlotte, and she loves saying no to everything.

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Wednesday, February 16

Love: Too Sour Daddy!

This video made my day! It's about a toddler's first taste of grapefruit juice. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Tuesday, February 15

Body: Battling Fluid Retention

Here's another one of my personal battles during pregnancy... water weight.

Image from

So I went to my doctor's appointment last week, and let's just say I gained more weight than I should have had. My doctor said it's just my body retaining water, since my bump size is pretty normal.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been feeling extra tired, probably because I'm on the home stretch already, and that, my friends, initiated an everyday eat-out meal instead of our usual home-cooked dinners. I bet the high sodium in the food we ate was the culprit of my newfound enemy, Mr. Water Weight.

According to, drinking water will help prevent fluid retention. Ironic isn't it? But I've been already drinking more than 8 glasses of water daily.

Step 2 was to do moderate exercise. Eek. Guilty. I should probably do this especially now, but the cold weather outside makes it real hard to. Hmm, does shopping in the mall count?

Of course, another way was to avoid sodium. So skipping canned and processed food is a must.

Then finally, eat more fresh veggies and fruits, as well as whole grains and lean protein. Okay, goodbye white carbs.

Hopefully, I can lose the water weight by my next appointment.

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Monday, February 14

Crafts/DIY: "I Love You" in different languages

Every day should be a day for love. But since today is Valentine's day, here is another type poster idea: "I love you" in different languages. Enjoy!

P.S. Translation may be off.

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Sunday, February 13

Love: Kidtropolis

You know, Kidtropolis reminds me of something Extreme Makeover: Home Edition would do. Kidtropolis designs and creates custom children furniture. They're all amazing.

Fairy land:

Once Upon A Time:

Play Time:

...and my favorite...

Merry Go Round:

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