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!

Peter Rabbit movie (2018)


Watch out for Mr. McGregor!

We just saw the new Peter Rabit movie. It was too cute. It is based on the Peter Rabbit books by Beatrix Potter. At first I thought it would be too kiddish and boring for me, but it had romance and humor (my favs). I laughed so hard in some of the parts. It was a little slow starting, but then took a little twist and got interesting.

The beginning was much like the Peter Rabbit books by Beatrix Potter that we've read at home. Very traditional stories of rabbits ravaging a neighbor's vetable garden. I do love reading those books to my kids, and our older daughter also enjoyed reading them herself. But I was glad when the movie deviated from the books with a more humorous and orignial storyline.  Read more >

Pet Rocks


Guardians of the Flower Pot

We have a problem with wildlife stealing our flowers. We live near a forested greenbelt, and we get all sorts of wild northwest animals coming into our yard. I can't plant tulips because squirrels eat the bulbs and the ones they miss get their blossoms eaten by the deer. Most annual flowers get ransacked by slugs. And even the mountain beavers eat our wisteria from the roots up.

So I got this idea to get a big planting barrel for our front porch several years ago. I figured wild life would be too scared to come up onto our porch. Boy, was I wrong. Squirrels have dug into the pot, uprooting my plants and burrying their nuts.

Read more of this article >

Crayola Model Magic Clay


Clay Pikachu

Art is now part of the STEM, now called STEAM subjects. Sadly, I rarely have time to do art anymore these days. And when I do, it's like a fast, get-it-done, job. Last week, I was trying to engage my son in the Crayola Model Magic clay his sister gave him for Christmas. He must've been having a little sculptor's block because he usually digs right in and starts making things. So I decided to get my hands dirty and help him make a little clay Pikachu since he never got his Pikachu character from the Kids Bath Bombs that had Pokemon toys hidden inside.

Read more of this article >

Beauty Blog (77 more articles.)
How to make your own foot and body scrub

How to make your own foot and body scrubI've been using and loving the Majestic Pure scrubs on my feet for a while now. I got it as a gift from my hubby, but now I'm all out :-(  I put another jar of it on my wishlist, but until I get it (and IF I get it), I will need to use something in the interim to scrub my feet.

I dug around my supply closet and found some shea butter from when I used to make scrubs. I figured I may as well use it up. I like to use shea butter because it keeps the salt solidified in the oil so it is easier to scrub with. Here is my recipe for a simple foot and body scrub.

1/2 cup of shea butter
2 Tbsp of avocado oil (or any other oil you like)
1 cup of epsom salt
a few drops of fragrance oil or essential oil (optional)


  1. Put shea butter and avocado oil together in a measuring cup
  2. Melt in microwave at 50% power so it doesn't burn. Don't let the mixture get too hot, just warm enough to melt.
  3. Stir the mixture of oils so that they are well blended and fully melted.
  4. Add a few drops of your fragrance or essential oil and mix.
  5. Add the epsom salt
  6. Place the measuring cup with the mixture into an ice bath to cool it.
  7. While cooling, mix the oils and salt together until it solidifies.
  8. Store the scrub in a container like an old clean plastic jar. 

How to use: scoop out a small amount of scrub while taking a shower or bath. Scrub gently onto your rough areas, like feet, knees, legs, elbows, hands, etc. Rinse off with water and towel dry. Make sure to clean the bathtub after using this, as it can make the tub slippery.

Note: Use this scrub within a few months. There is no preservative added here, and the scrub can begin to go bad after a while. Try not to get water into the jar of scrub.

Health Blog (22 more articles.)
Wake up, Work out
Dog wakes me up in the morningI woke up this morning at my usual 6am. Without the alarm clock Santa forgot to give me, I try to rely on my natural body clock. This time, our dog barked me awake at just about 6. She must've caught sight of that mountain gopher scuttling about outside the window. After I let the dog out and fed her, I trudged over to the living room to begin my workout.

I began by rollin' with my foamie because my pecs felt sore and tight from doing pushups with the kids the other day. Next, I robotically got on my stationary incumbent bike because today is cardio day. Lately, I've been shooting for 300 calories or more (that is about 7.5 miles, according to the bike). I know, not much. But I've been out of practice, and I'm still trying to get over the wimp hump.

Today, I barely burned 200 calories. The whole time I was struggling. I didn't break a sweat, like I usually do when I am able to push myself to 300. But I gave it all I had, which wasn't much this morning, for some reason.

That's okay, though. I realize some days will be like that. And it is more important to go through the motions on those days, even if I don't accomplish as much as I would like. At least I stuck to the plan of working out. I'm hoping to develop some "muscle memory" here, and establish a good habit of working out without thinking about it, dreading it, or having to always force myself to do it. 
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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