Saturday, January 20, 2018

Taste test of 28 British crisps, chocolates, biscuits, & more!



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And now for something completely different…

Our U.S. kids taste tested a treasure trove of U.K. delights that Sam had bought himself for Christmas.

Sam made a playoff competition for each kid and each type of snacky goodness, culminating in the champions of nonsensical yumminess.

Enjoy the enthusiastic tummy-rubbing, the slow-mo yuck faces, and all the thumbs up, down, and sideways!






Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kids sad Christmas is over? Keep unwrapping "gifts"!



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Does anyone else have a 3-year-old who continues to pine for more gifts to unwrap?

One who looks longingly into the corner where the Christmas tree stood and says, offhandedly, "Any more presents?"

A child who peers into backpacks and bags hopefully, thinking maybe a bonus gift was forgotten inside?

Here's what's helped us stem the disappointment of humdrum, non-present-opening life between Christmas and his birthday:

Giving each other pretend gifts wrapped in pretend paper.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A very merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Choo choo! Conducting the Santa train



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Up to Seattle Center to see the Christmas decorations at Winterfest,
hear the beautiful music from a high school orchestra,
and engineer the Santa train in the Armory:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Wrap your presents with pizzazz: Easy gift-wrapping ideas



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Here are some simple ideas to jazz up your Christmas gifts this holiday season. They aren't professional-level wrapping techniques, which makes them doable for any of us mortals; they use materials that are easy to source; and they still add a snazzy touch to your presented presents.




The first and easiest way is to buy interesting ribbon.
Even a simple bow will look fancy if the ribbon is.
about being too matchy-matchy to the paper
as long as the color scheme works together.

To tie a nice bow: Cross the ribbon strand you're using
right over left, then left over right.
Repeat as needed for knots or double knots,
always switching sides for what's on top.
I say this because I recently overheard some teen girls
who didn't know how to tie a bow that lies flat,
and I really, really wanted to help!


Another easy option is to use multiple colors of the same ribbon.
This works well if you have plain ribbon to make it look more interesting.
You can wrap all the colors around the entire gift,
or you can choose to tie the contrasting colors only around the knot at the end.
Curl the ends to make a nice poof of color.
I find you can get curly ribbon to stay put in a nice round shape
if you interweave the ringlets a bit, tucking any errant strands
under the ribbon crossing the package as needed.
If they aren't staying nicely, you can always affix parts in place.
Tiny bits of double-stick tape, glue dots, or other mini adhesives
would be easiest for such tasks.


Combine the two steps above by using multiple strands
of an interesting ribbon, such as this shimmering cloth variety.
Bonus: The recipient can reuse cloth ribbon if desired.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Growing with their trees: A height comparison through a decade



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We bought a baby Christmas tree for Mikko's first Christmas, so we did the same for Alrik and Karsten. Here's how their measurements are keeping up over the years.


First, a look back: 6-month-old Mikko's baby tree.


2 and a half years old


3-and-a-half-year-old Mikko with his now bigger tree.