little things

Savvy Tips and tricks learned along the way...

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Welcome to little things

This web site is a culmination of things I have learned during various experiences in my life. I hope some of this information will be useful to you. There are a broad range of topics I have written about here. I have also included some things I made or found that I would like to share. Enjoy!

Beauty Blog (80 more articles.)
Color your roots easily

Hair dye bottle with comb applicator Hair dye comb applicator with bottleThis hair dye bottle with comb applicator makes coloring your roots much easier than trying to deal with the squirt bottle that comes with your normal hair dye kit. With the one-handed application, it is even easier than using the brush and bowl application method. This squeeze bottle with attached comb allows even distribution of the hair dye across your roots and hair lengths.

Mix your hair dye and pour it into this bottle. Part your hair and gently squeeze the bottle, running the comb applicator over your roots. Once you have saturated the section that you parted, part your hair in the next section and do the same. This comb applicator allows for easy coverage of even the back of your head, where you cannot see. Just make sure you get good saturation of hair dye in each section.

Once you have finished all the roots, move on to the remainder of your hair, using the comb applicator. For long hair, I use 2 hair dye kits to get good coverage. You will still need to put a towel around your shoulders to protect your clothes and body from the dripping hair dye.

With this hair dye comb applicator, you no longer need to call your mom, sister, or best friend over to color your roots. Now you can easily do it yourself!

Health Blog (23 more articles.)
Sleepy morning workout

Pilates Toning RingWaking up for a 6am workout, that started in January of this year, didn't seem to last very long. It was a great plan, but it failed miserably because life happens. The dog stopped howling me awake at 6am. I was getting disturbed sleep from my son waking up throughout the nights. I had to take muscle relaxants at night to help with back and neck pain, which made me very groggy in the morning. I was lucky to wake up at 7 or 8 to get in a little workout. Many days, I would wake up around 9, at the same time as the kids, and miss my workout entirely. Without my consistent morning workouts, I was getting grumpy and badly out of shape. That's when I decided to reboot my workout effort and try to wake up at 6am again. Luckily, now with the sun rising around 5:30, it hasn't been too hard to get use to, after the initial first week or so.

Just Grab the Pilates Ring!

One of my favorite little workout props is a pilates ring. This simple little ring can wake up muscles in your legs that you didn't realize you had. And once you get those muscles going, you'll start to notice tone and shape in your legs that you didn't think you could ever get. You can accomplish a lot more muscle toning in just a few reps of this ring than doing tons of leg lifts. Adding this ring to my bridges and crunches gives me some extra leg toning while I'm building core strength. This ring is relatively small, inexpensive, portable, and easy to use. I use it every time I do core exercises. I just grab it along with my pilates mat, lie down and begin. It's actually very relaxing. Most of the workouts I do with this ring are lying down. It makes it easy to workout in the morning when you can just lie back down and still get strong with this pilates ring :-)


Pilates Mat
This thick mat keeps your bones (knees, spine, elbows, etc.) cushioned during crunches and other mat exercises.

Non-slip Yoga socks
These socks help your feet stay warm during cold mornings. The non-slip grips help your feet stay gripped to your mat. And you can still let your toes spread out freely.

Non-slip Yoga gloves
Not only do these finger-less gloves keep your hands warmer during cool morning yoga workouts, but they also double as light weight-lifting gloves.

Foam Roller
Everyone should have a foam roller at home. Not just for massaging tight muscles. But for lying back on it, parallel to your spine, and stretching out your arms and tight chest muscles. I like to use this before every workout.

Preschool Blog (11 more articles.)
Colorful 12 Piece Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Sets

Melissa and Doug 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw PuzzlesThese puzzle sets are perfect for little preschool hands and minds. We got a Pet set as well as a Vehicles set for our little boy. Each set comes with 4 different 12-piece puzzles. The puzzle pieces are made of wood, so they are sturdy and easy for little hands to pick up and work with. The pictures are simple, bright and colorful, which really appeals to young preschoolers.

When we first got these Melissa and Doug 4-in-1 wooden jigsaw puzzles, he needed our help to put them together. But after some practice, he is able to do them himself.  Since there are only 12 pieces for each puzzle, a preschooler can feel successful putting these together. Our son enjoys putting together each puzzle one by one, until they are all done.

Puzzles are a great way for a child to play while also building their spatial awareness and problem solving skills. It challenges them, and with an age appropriate puzzle, it can help them feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete the puzzle. Our son likes to line up the puzzles we can admire them all together.

Toddler Blog (82 more articles.)
Painted Horsey Craft Project

We tried this particular arts and crafts about 3 months ago with no interest on baby J's part. But this time, he did it from start to finish. It was his third attempt in the past 3 months, and I guess the third time's the charm.

From Michaels craft store, I just got an unfinished wooden horse shape (they had many different shapes like butterflies, flowers, etc.), some kids washable paint, foam star stickers, and craft gems.

He painted it all by himself. And when it dried, he stuck the stickers on (he chose only green stars, his favorite color) and told me where to put glue drops so he could stick the gems on.

I was so proud of this accomplishment that I had to document it! I guess I will put magnetic tape on it and stick it to the refrigerator.

Baby Blog II (21 more articles.)
Rockin' in the Moses Basket
Baby Sleeping in Moses BasketBaby J spent a lot of his first few months in this cozy little moses basket in our living room. He was so tiny and fit in it pretty well. It was nice to have such a pretty little bed for him right there with our family in our living room. This one was really special. It had beddings made of silk. We set the moses basket on a really nice wooden rocking moses basket stand. We found a stand made of wood that matched the trim in our living room. It was a nice little additional piece of furniture in our living room. If we needed to, we could just bring the basket in the bedroom if it got too loud or crazy in the living room.
Baby Blog (63 more articles.)
Last Baby Blog

This is my last baby blog, and I thought I would list all the unexpected little surprises that I encountered in the first year of raising a baby. I will continue to add more of these as comments as I think of them.

I have also started a Toddler Blog to continue tracking baby's milestones and my ramblings about her. So you can read more about her there.

You can often distract a crying baby with a toy or talking to them to get them to stop crying. I always thought there wasn't much you can do about a crying baby other than feed them or rock them.

I didn't know they hated getting their diaper changed. The newborn and 1yo age seem to be especially so. I didn't realize that they wriggle so much during the change. I heard that newborns hate it because they get cold. But maybe the 1 yo hates it because they don't want to lie there.

They are fascinated by seeing themselves and their loved ones in the mirror. This trick can be a great distraction from crying, too.

Baby Gear Blog (12 more articles.)
Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing
Baby J has slept in the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing since he was a newborn. I try not to rely too much on the swing, but its been a really good tool for getting him to sleep sometimes. We started out putting him in the bassinet, but it resulted in lots of spitting up. This cradle swing puts him at a little incline to combat the reflux that many babies often have. Plus it has nice music and white noise and a cute mobile.
Pregnancy Blog (14 more articles.)
Baby J is Born!

Turns out I didn't have time to make many posts here. I found myself involved in so many other activities such as entertaining the toddler, getting things ready for the new baby, doing Christmas shopping, etc. I was going to post lots of other pics of his 3D ultrasound and my growing belly. But alas, time flew by, and at 37 weeks, Baby J arrived, yes, 3 weeks early. But he is healthy and doing well. A little jaundice, but nothing that required the home installation of the blue lights.  

His birth story was goes like this:

It was about 10pm on a Wednesday night, and I had just put Bel down for the night. I got up and walked into the kitchen and got a really bad cramp. I walked into the bedroom to go down for bed myself and got a couple more breath-taking cramps. I could barely get onto the bed. When I finally did get on the bed, I started to feel fluid flowing out. My hubby called the doctor, and we went to the hospital, still leaking fluid.

The fluid was quite bloody, so they weren't sure if my water broke or if I was just bleeding. So they admitted me. Oh, and I was having contractions 2 minutes apart. At that time, I was still 36 weeks and a few days along. He would have been considered premature.

We spent that night at the hospital and waited the whole next day for something more to happen. My contractions had slowed to about 5 minutes apart, and they became less intense. But, the doctor didn't want to induce me until we were past the premature stage, which was just one more day away at that point.

So late that night, they induced me with pitocyn. That sped things along, and I got an epidural. They finally could feel that my bag of water had not yet broken, so they took care of that. That sped things up quite a bit (same as last time but even faster). In less than an hour, I was ready to push.

Pushing lasted about 2 contractions and he was out. It didn't take much, especially since his head was already visible by the time I started to push. Wow, what a difference from my first baby. It took at least an hour trying to get her past my pelvic bone, let alone crowning. But being more than 2 pounds lighter than his sister, he effortlessly slid right out. They plopped him on my belly and it was done.

It was love at first sight, of course. My sweet little boy. I love him so much. I am so happy to have him here. I can't imagine life without him. I feel so much more mommy-like having two children now. Sometimes I have one in each arm, and I don't feel myself anymore. I feel like somebody else. I feel more like a family. I feel like there is so much more love circulating around me.

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