Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Planning to buy a new house

Traducción al Español

buy new house

We are masochists, I know, now that we have almost finished to pay our home mortgage and we have done all the improvements that can be done in a 90 squared meter flat, now, we start thinking about moving to a new home.

We have already found 'the house' and is most than decided, but for it, first we should sell our current home (and, yes, now it isn't the easiest thing in the world). So here I am thinking in all we should do, in just 3 months we reach the 10 years of our home certificate so we will may sell it. Now we are quite entertained looking for what we need to do to sell it and making numbers to buy the other one.

I'm going to make a binder to have a little control about what to do with my current flat and with my future home (yes, I'm getting quite excited with the binders XD).

The first in my To-Do list, it's going to be making some flattering photos of the flat, a cleaning and a list of things that I'm not going to need in my next home and I will try to sell in a second-hand shop :)
And as soon as I could see the new house blueprints, I'm going to calculate if my current furniture can fit on it and what to do with the extra rooms that it will have, yipee! XD

As soon as I progress with my organization I will inform you, let's see if we may get any useful tip (I hope not because I fail on them...)

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Final notice nice kid

Traducción al Español

Well, today is the last advent day, so our elves have to return to the North Pole with Father Christmas, anyway they may leave a notice with the final veredict about if the kid has been nice or bad.

As is sure that all the kids has been so good, I have only created a positive notice, here you have it, it has an A5 size to print, just click it, save it and you may print it, as you may see I haven't write any watermark that may ruin it.


Notice nice kid

Let's prepare your calligraphy and don't forget to sign with the Elf's name :)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

8 habits of organized people

Traducción al español

Have you ever wondered how is to be an organized person? If you are like me, you would have probe it (even taste it, we could say) during a short time before coming back to total chaos, sheltered in the excuses that we are tired, we don't have enough time, etc, do you know what I'm saying?

Really organized people have some routines that helps them to maintain that organization and about those routines we are going to talk today.

Habits organized people

Understanding what organized people does.


Let's be realistic, our days have all the same hours numbers, then, why some people in our same situation (kids/job) have all their tasks finished at 9pm and you finish making the kid's costume at 1am the day before the performance? Well, it's just a better time management.

I must admit it, I have a serious procrastination problem, years ago in the high school, I used to let all the work 'for other day' and the day before the exam I had to study until early morning. So lets be realistic, it's not about the others supposedly having a great luck with longer days, it's about having good routines.

What organized people does.


1. An organized person knows what to do and when.
This is basic, we cannot forget dates, taking control of what we should do and the time that we should spend on it, we may organize ourselves so we will not have to go running from here to there, for instance, if we know that something will hold up us at midday we may leave the lunch prepared at the morning.

2. Priorize.
Ok, we have our to-do list full of things, but there are always things more important, more urgent or complicated. The key, first the very-urgent ones, second the complicated (they have the risk of keeping stuck in the list forever) and then the rest of the list ordered by importance.

3. Divide to win.
This is related with the previous one, if a task may be divided in some smaller tasks, divide it (mainly  if it's a complicated one) we are less lazy to start 1 task that will take 15 minutes even if it's followed by 3 others of the same time, than a bigger one that will take us 1 hour.

4. Think about the time that will take the task.
You always have to think about the time that will take you to complete a task and the time you have to make it, there is nothing worst than start doing tasks and letting them half-made.

5. Don't multitask.
Seriously, most of people (and most of tasks) don't work fine at multitasking, if you don't focus in what you are doing, the only thing may happen is to lose more time than estimated.

6. Delegate.
Really, all of us are supermommies/superdads, nothing is going to happen if you let someone to help you, your partner, the grandpas, is not necessary to do all by ourselves (time ago I was totally against this but with MiniSuperBoy I realized that it wasn't necessary to get so tired)

7. Make things well from the first moment.
My mom always said me 'it takes you the same making things well than make it bad', and now I realize that she was right, those tasks you do quick and not focused, later they should be fixed, so, at the end it takes the same time, and they could be well done from the start...

8. Organize, at least, one week before.
Take your planner the Sunday afternoon and check all you need to do, plan the week menu, your dates (and your family dates), what the kids have to take to school, what you need to buy, and according to what you have and don't, organize your week just to don't realize at arriving home from work at tuesday night that you need the next day somthing for the school and you have to go running for it...

Thursday, 17 December 2015

First Christmas with our Elf at home


I'm going to tell you a bit what are we doing with our elf during this first Advent at home, although those who follow me through Instagram would have been watching it.

The first day was the 1st of December (next year I want to celebrate the advent from the first day...) as it was a new thing, the elf was just sit over a furniture next to the Christmas tree, and in the floor under it, we left the advent calendar and the book with its story. This day I woke the kid up a bit earlier to have time to read the book and to put it a name (Clyde is its name, indeed)


Elf on the self

During the next days our elf went on with its hands attached, taking things.

Elf on the self - Navidad

Elf on the self - Christmas

Elf on the self - Christmas

Elf on the self - Christmas


Now it is with its hands unleashed and changing its position everyday

Elf on the self - Christmas

Elf on the shelf - Christmas

Elf on the shelf - Christmas

What do you think? Do you like it? Is a beautiful idea, and the kids wake up everyday quickly to look for it, even the baby says 'ira! ira!' (the right form should be 'mira, mira', that means 'look, look') pointing at the elf XD


Saturday, 28 November 2015

We already have a new Christmas tradition: the Elf on the Shelf

All of you that know me in person, know how I like to adopt new traditions and this one is great, so from now, it's going to be one or our family traditions.



This is my new Elf just arrived from the North Pole (a.k.a. Amazon)


He comes inside a box with a book telling the history (in English).

Well let's go with the important matter... what does the new tradition consist on?

The Elf arrives home at the start of each Advent (December 1st) to watch the kids and to prepare his/her report for Father Christmas.

If is the first day of the Elf in the house, we should put him/her a name, here you will find a list with name ideas that you may download and print.

Kids cannot touch the Elf or him/her will lose his/her magic.

The elf, if there's someone near will not move and will seem a doll, but when nobody watches him, he may move, change his position or even make some pranks, you only have to take a look on  Google Images to see how he enjoy



Each night the Elf travels to the North Pole to give his report to Santa.

The kids, each day will search him to see from where he will watch them that day or even try to catch him 'in fragranti'.

The last day of his stay (December 24th) the Elf may leave them an official report telling if they will be in the nice or the naughty list, here I leave you a pair of ideas of how could be designed the formats: (These are from kristaconway.com, in her page you may pay and download them)




Well this is all about how much we want to work on it :)

Do you like it? Are you thinking in adopting any new tradition in your family? Do you already have any special tradition for Christmas?

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Ten tips to save money in the groceries

Traducción al español

Some weeks ago I checked how much we spend in the supermarket for our family (that is in food, cleaning and hygiene products) and I was surpised at realizing that in a month the spends almost reach the 500€, OMG, 500€! That's a lot. So I have done an excel document to check our expenses and I have begun recording tips to control our groceries list.

This is my graphic in 2015, my purpose from now is to keep under 300€ per month (Christmas holidays will have an exception, of course)

groceries expenses
So, here I am with some tips that I'm going to use when doing groceries.


save money groceries


1. Do just a weekly shopping

This is one of the things that worked worst with my budget, I used to buy in a supermarket with some sales but not a lot of variety, not much fresh products, etc, and that forced me to make extra trips to other supermarkets in order to finish the shopping with the consequent danger of buying some extras. From now I'm just going to buy in two supermarkets, they don't have as much sales as the other but there I may do just one shopping.


2. Plan the weekly menu at the same time than the shopping list

Sundays in the afternoon I use to plan the next week menu, so I take my menu planner and my shopping list, open the fridge and start planning with all I have inside (You must priorize what you already have) and if I need any ingredient then I write it in the shopping list.


3. Take always the shopping list when going to the market/supermarket

It's obvious but sometimes I have left it at home and walking through the shop looking for the inspiration what I have found was sweeties and chips.


4. Look always the expiration date of the products

I has happened to me some times, to see at home that my new products expired in just 2 o 3 days (and they weren't on sale, hum!)


5. Check the Kg price (or whatever other weight measure)

It seems that we are psycologically ready to relate big pack = savings, well, in most cases (at least in Spain) you have the same price and you only win more likelihood to have it rotten.


6. Be careful with the great sales

You should think a lot if you really have so much discount buying the offer product rather than the one you were looking for. Anyway if there is a non-perishable product that is just in your list or you use to buy... buy it!


7. Convenience is expensive

I have just discovered this one, preparing some swiss chard. From some time ago I used to buy them clean and chopped, ready to cook. The last week there wasn't ready-to-go vegetables so I bought a big plant of it with the same price than the ready-to-go bag, today I was preparing them for the lunch and I have realized that the bag has less than 2 or 3 leaves of swiss chard (the plant has a lot more), I have prepared just 3 leaves (they were really big) and I've gotten more food than I use to.


8. Basket better than cart

If we use a cart we are more prone to fill it, I only take it when the items I'm going to buy are heavy.


9. Look for season products

This is simple, always will be cheaper (and fresher) the season products than the imported.


10. Avoid prepared and pre-cooked

If you like a bit cooking is better to spend a bit of the weeking cooking to freeze than buying those products that besides expensive are not quite healthy.


Well, so this is my tips list. Do you have anyone more to share?




Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Tips to be more productive

Traducción al Español.
 
Here I share with you some of the tips that works better for me to increase my productivity and get to finish all those tasks I have been doing. Do you know any other?



tips productivity


1. Make a list with all your tasks.

And have it near you to add the new tasks, this way we will achieve two things, not to let half done what we are doing and not to forget what we should do after finishing the task.
Here you have a 'To Do' list, you may also use an app in your smartphone if you don't want to waste paper, but for me is a pleasure to mark the finished tasks :D.


2. Plan your day the night before.
We just need 10 minutes to do it, we take the tasks list and we choose 3 of them (let's start only with a few), the ideal would be to choose the most complicated one as first and so, avoid the temptation of procrastinate it eternally.
Here you have my daily plan to write your 3 most important tasks, some others if you have enough time, an space to write down pending calls and emails, and urgent purchases, and, of course, don't forget to hydrate.


3. Get up early

There's an Spanish saying that says literally: 'God helps whoever gets up early' (Equivalent to the english 'The early bird gets the worm'), well theologies apart, almost all human are more productive in the morning just rested, so we have to take advantage of those first hours. I use to wake up between 1 hour and 1 hour an half before the rest of my family and that silence little while goes really well for me.


4. Let emails and news for afterwards

If we wake up full of energy and rested, instead of burying ourselves reading emails or watching news, we should take advantage of that moment to progress with the tasks that need a bigger effort and let the emails and news for later (of course, the social media too)


5. Take frequent small rests

When you feel more overwhelmed and think you don't have time to rest, then is the moment you most need to rest, this way your mind will clear and will permit you to better focus. The idea is to take those rest minutes to breath, relax, hydrate or just not to think in anything. We may use time organizacion techniques that force us to take rests, one of the most used is the Pomodoro technique that consist of dividing the work time in half hour blocks, working during 25 minutes without distractions and taking breaks of 5 minutes before startin the next block.


6. Organize your stuff

Keep organized our stuff, from tools, documents, notes, etc., help us to have them ready when we will need it, and so we don't waste time looking for them.


7. Appoint a specific time in the day for repetitive tasks.

If you make some repetitive tasks during the day is better to designate them a time, so they will not distract you. For instance, we may asignate specific hours to check email, the phone messages or social media.


8. Not to multitasking
 
Ok, there are some people that are good at multitasking, but let's face it, most of us end up leaving most of those task half done and, in the better case, although we don't forget to continue with it, the lost time until we get the working rhythm again doesn't compensate. Focus in a single activity ensures complete it in less time and with better results.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Spider webs for Halloween

Traducción al Español

Today we are going to prepare an easy decoration for Halloween, perfect to get kids collaborative since we only use a trash bag and a pair of scissos. Are you ready?


Spider webs trash bags

The first thing we will need is a trash bag, we should cut both sides and then we bend it making a triangle to cut the upper part where it closes and make a square shape.



 Now we have this


 Now we bend the triangle in the center and then once again


We draw on it one section of the spider web:


And now we start cutting the big spaces, so it will look like this:


 Now we just have to unfold it carefully and we will have our two spider webs finished.



Monday, 26 October 2015

Treasures basket. What's that?

Traducción al Español

The treasures basket is a game for babies quite used in Montessori environments. It's oriented to babies that already stay sat alone, more or less between 6 months and a year.

treasures basket - montessori

It's an exploration activity that allows the baby to explore daily objects. The idea is to offer the baby real objects that may be handled without danger.


We may prepare themed baskets:
- Nature objects (stones, leaves, fruits...)
- Objects on a same color
- Same objects with different textures, sizes...
- or a mix of different objects without any relation

These objects should be changed from time to time to avoid boredom and grow their curiosity.


Do you want to prepare one? You will just need a basket (most people use wicker baskets, but I'm quite calamitous and I just see the dangers of wood chips, so I bought an Ikea bamboo salad bowl) and daily use objects to put inside.

Treasures baket - playing

I also prepared one with different materials, textures and sizes of balls

treasure basket - balls

However, his favourite treasures basket is... my bag XD

Bag of treasures XD

Please, try it, it's easy and they enjoy for a while :)

Monday, 19 October 2015

Kids activities - Coloring pages

Traducción al español

If there's something that actually keep kids entertained that is painting, although they aren't so good at it, they try and enjoy it, today I want to share with you the link to the page colorear.net (it's in Spanish but easy to use, don't worry) from where you may download a lot of draws to color, I'm already preparing some of them for Halloween.


We have already start working on them :)


Do you know any other page that shares free resources for kids?

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Let's create art!

Traducción al Español

Today, I'm going to give you an idea to enjoy with kids and also to decorate your home.

Art activity for kids

It's really easy to do (and prepare), this one has been painted by SuperBoy (4 years old), in some parts he has painted out but I don't look for perfection, do you? ;)

We need:

- 1 canvas (a cheaper one)
- Scotch tape
- Acrylic paints

First of all, we should prepare the canvas by pasting some scotch tape making the lines we want to stay white.

Art with kids - canvas

We put a bit of paint in the part we want to paint and now we let the kid to paint,

Art with kids- painting

if the kid is youngster, you should take a bit of care to avoid him/her to get out of the zones or to mix colours (anyway it may also get a good result)

Art with kids- paintingArt with kids- painting


We let dry the painting, take out the tape and 'voilà' a modern work of art, and the kid super-pleased with his/her painting :)

Art with kids- painting


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Let's start organizing... 2016 Calendar

Traducción al Español.

Tomorrow we'll start the last trimester of the year and we start having plans and dates for 2016 (mainly for the kid school). So I have done what will serve as data planning for the next year in my Family Binder.

2016 Calendar

Here I share it with you in pdf format, ready to print and write your appointments. I hope you like it =)

NOTE: It's in the European format (I mean, first day of the week is Monday not Sunday), if someone wants Sunday as first day in the week I may change it, just comment here and I will share the other format too ;)

Friday, 18 September 2015

Sausages Paella recipe

Traducción al Español

Well, now it seems that finally the summer has ended and we are back in the routine...

Today I'm going to share with you a recipe that remind us the summer but as it's a hot recipe it may be useful also for winter, is a quick version of a Paella that here we use to cook when we go to lunch to the countryside houses, in this case with sausages that make it more appealing for kids.


Sausages paella

Ingredients (4 persons):

- 320 gr. rice
- 1 lt. chicken soup
- powder sweet and spicy peppers
- sausages

Elaboration:

We will start covering the bottom of a wide pot with olive oil,  then we will cut in pieces the sausages and fry them, when they are already fried, we will add the rice and fry it a bit in the oil.
We will add the sweet pepper and a bit of the spicy one and we will stir the mix.
Next, we will add the soup and make it boil, then we should maintain it boiling until the rice has consummed all the soup, stiring from time to time.
When the rice has consummed all the soup, we will taste it and if the rice is a bit hard we will have to add a bit more soup**
And that's all, enjoy your meal!


** I recommend you to try to do this meal having a bit more of soup than it's necessary, the rice is different depending on the kind and it may need more liquids to be done.


Friday, 4 September 2015

Those teeth that don't want to raise

Traducción al Español

I don't know how your kids wear the issue of dentition, we have been thinking that MiniSuperBoy would have his teeth out from his 3 months but not...

Until 8 months nothing at all, and now he has 10 months, he still only has the two lower incisors...



Teething it's not an exact science, some kids raise them unnoticed, others raging a lot, some other like SuperBoy have fever (just some tenths of degree) whenever he was going to raise a tooth (although his doctor said that it couldn't be for that reason, he had not more symptoms than the fever for a day and then it appeared a tooth, ok, draw your own conclusions...)

And well, you know every child goes at his/her pace, some raise them quickly (there are cases of children born with teeth) and for somes it takes a lot, although statistics say that the first tooth use to raise between 6 and 8 months.I've found and share with you a
teething table from Babysitio




OMG, I see that the pending number of teeths is increasing, the poor MiniSuperBoy has all the upper gum inflamed, but the teeth don't raise, we should be patient...

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Routine, routine, routine

Traducción al español

If a few years ago someone told me about routines it seemed incredible to me that people could fall into that, to get up every day and do always the same, without surprises, adventures, nothing... I felt that routine was a way of tying absurdly and terribly boring, now, I can say that I don't think the same at all...



I'm afraid, my friends, that for a while (even before having the kids) I realize that time passes faster than I want to, I spend more time thinking about what I'll do than really doing it, and all of this is because of having a bad routine, or not to have it at all...


I'm gonna tell you a bit, I am a person who tends to get into many things at once, before the kids were born, I had to steal hours to design websites, translate or any other job I could do in my spare time, then came SuperBoy and that was relegated into the background, but then I discovered the world of Microstock photography (you know, you sell photographs at bargain price, but they may be sold so may times that some people earn enough money to live from it... it gives me to buy candies and a bit more XD) and when miniSuperBoy was born, that was a total chaos, and now I'm trying to create a routine that works for me...

In fact, I only can organize one hour and half before going to work in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon, the rest is difficult to include anything different of its actual use, but anyway, I'm stil working on it, by now, I've managed to introduce a while for Pilates after preparing lunch at 7am, what is hardest to me is the cleaning routine I should organize to do every day a bit, and so it could be better maintained and don't have to clean so exhaustively during the weekend....

And you? Do you have a routine for organization?

Monday, 10 August 2015

Miguelitos recipe

Traducción al español

This is a truly simple to make dessert recipe, that's ideal for children snack (they love it!) or to take to a picnic.

The Miguelitos are pastries typical from the village of La Roda (Albacete - Spain) made with just puff pastry, "crème pâtissière" and icing sugar, really simple ingredients that is difficult to find someone who doesn't like them.


Miguelitos - repostería


Ingredients: 

- 1 puff pastry sheet
- 1/2 kg of "crème pâtissière" (I'm sorry I don't know if it has a better translation)
- icing sugar



Directions:

We should start preparing the crème pâtissière (this time I found a powdered product that only required to add milk to make it, it was a good discovery :D) and we leave it get cold.

Apart, we lay out the pastry sheet and cut it in squares or rectangles while we preheat the oven at 200ºC.

Miguelitos - hojaldre

We put the pastry in the oven tray over the same paper that wrapped the pastry and bake it for 10-12 minutes, they will get swell quickly and when they start browning we take them off.

We put them to get cold over a rack.

When they get cold (both, the pastry and the cream) we start cutting the pastries like they were sandwiches and fill them with the cream.


Miguelitos - rellenando el hojaldre

And now we only have to dust them with icing sugar and serve (or put them in the fridge if you may resist XD)

Miguelitos terminados