As the holidays approach, parents and grandparents will be shopping for baby toys. Many toy advertisements and colorful department store displays will influence our decision, and good commonsense is interrupted. Before buying any baby toy consider just what makes a good toy for babies. Be sure the toy is safe and has no small parts or pieces that can break off easily. Be sure the toy is age appropriate - meaning, a toy that is too complicated will only frustrate your baby, or ones that are too simple will create boredom. When choosing educational toys be sure the toy requires active involvement that will help babies to learn and experiment while playing with the toy.
Okay, sounds simple enough, right? Here are some things to look for in baby toys before you buy:
* Does the toy have longterm play value and will it capture your babies attention for more than a few weeks?
* Is the toy challenging but not too complicated?
* Will the toy stand up to being thrown, chewed, sat on or banged?
* Is the toy stimulating? Does it engage creativity and imagination?
* Is the toy interesting and involve thinking?
* Does the toy require interactiveness or does it just entertain while passively watching?
* Does the toy compliment your family values? For instance, is the toy versatile, friendly to the environment, and are you comfortable and satisfied with what the toy represents?
* Is the toy different from what is already in the toy box?
* Is the toy washable?
* Does the toy have fun appeal? Babies like toys, but more important is a toy that you will enjoy playing along with your baby.
Best Toys/Gifts for Babies:
Pictures and Photos: A small photo album filled with pictures of family, friends and pets is a good activity to enjoy before bedtime. If grandparents or some family members live far away, a book filled with photos of them, their pets, and favorite activities can help to reinforce your babies memory and familiarity with people they do not see everyday.
Clothes: When a baby is born, clothing tends to be a big gift item, but babies grow out of newborn sizes quickly. Before buying an outfit that catches your eye, ask the parents what size is appropriate. Sometimes well-meaning relatives buy a piece of clothing thinking it can be worn for years, but instead, the child will not be able to wear the item for years and cannot be work at the appropriate season.
Savings Accounts: Toys and clothes are nice for the moment, but a savings account with continued growth is a great gift. Good choices can be cash, contributions to an account set up in the child's name, or a 529 college savings plan. Investments in solid stock is another long-time giving gift. Investments are not a gift-in-hand for today, but investing in stocks, such as Disney and adding to it each year, will be a valuable asset when it's time for college.
Blocks: Blocks have been around forever (or so it seems) and have stood the test of time, like wooden blocks. Of course, there are soft fabric blocks, cardboard and nesting blocks, and plastic versions. Blocks are good teachers as well as entertainers. A baby can learn colors, numbers and the alphabet with a nice set of blocks.
Music: From early on, babies are subjected to sounds and music. Music is soothing and stimulating for kids. Musical toys such as books, animals, play instruments, nursery lights and mobiles are great gifts for a baby.
Books: Reading to a child is a wonderful way to entertain kids and an avenue to allow their imagination to soar. There are wonderfully illustrated, musical and talking books on the market. Books abound targeted to kids under 2 years of age, toddlers, pre-school and continue for every age of life. Reading to your child often ignites a hunger for knowledge, entertainment, fantasy or wonderment. The gift of books can never be wrong.
Entertainment: Toys that are able to keep babies busy and entertained are worth their weight in gold! Toys that keep them entertained while traveling or on those around-town errand runs are welcome toys. When babies begin to get around by themselves, a toy that they can sit in and be entertained keeps them out of trouble or safe while you might need to cook or do some other household chores.
Bad Toys/Gifts for Babies:
Living Animals: Never give a kitten, puppy or other live animal that you think would be a nice surprise for any baby or child! The baby does not know that the animal can be hurt, scared or intimidated. Parents may not want or have the ability to provide adequate accommodations for an animal. The animal, in turn, will be unwanted, abandoned, or ignored at the hands of people that did want it.
Too Easy or Difficult Toys: Stick to and follow the 'intended-age' for a product. Even if you 'think' your baby is a wiz-kid, don't set them up for injury or frustration. Toys that are too complicated or below their capability will not be enjoyed and discarded quickly.
Messy Toys: Let's talk about paint sets. Most young children under 1 year do not have the attention span or dexterity necessary to paint only on the designated paper or art tablets. Giving a young child paint is like telling them to cover your furniture, floors and walls with the colorful concoction. Avoid messy art stuff and markers! Mess means nothing to your baby - so don't set them up or yourself for frustration.
Proposed Bargain Brand Items: Shoppers love to get a good deal, but if it does not work or falls to pieces in a very short time, it's not a find. Items that will not last or are not helpful should be avoided. Always try to purchase toys made from non-toxic materials from reputable brands and have a guarantee or return policy.
Noisy Toys: Toys that make a lot of noise are the worst gifts to give to a baby! Although, kids tend to like noise the intrusive sounds can drive parents crazy! Avoid toys such as drums, fire engines and police cars with sounds, and toys that make loud repetitive dings, whistles or bongs as these tend to become more irritating than pleasurable.
Small Pieces: Toys that have small pieces are not only a safety hazard but a pain to pick up. After a long day, the last thing parents want to do is to crawl around searching for that one favorite piece missing from the set.
Over-sized Toys: Many families have limited space for toy storage. Purchasing big over-sized toys that invade or overpower toy areas are not welcome. Often times, grandparents may think a big jumbo-sized rocking horse would be a great toy, but in reality, the toy becomes a scary over-sized monster and crowds play space for other things. Before running out and grabbing that bigger-than-life toy, check with the parents.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Face painting is fun and enjoyed by kids and adults. Face painting has been around the fashion world for many decades, and is popular at festivals, family gatherings, birthday parties, school plays and Halloween. All that is required is some imagination, patience and a box of face paints, brushes, glitters, stencils (if you don't want to create the design freehand) and know the theme you're going for.
Make sure you have a well-stocked supply kit with all the tools you'll need. Face painting tools should include a smock (to protect clothing), face paints, brushes, sponges, stencils, glitter and a mild face paint remover. When working on kids, it's important to have all the necessary supplies at hand because they may be impatient or too excited to sit still for a long time. Click Here! to get tips on painting on children's faces.
The brush is the second most important tool in your kit of supplies. Face painting brushes should be soft enough to be used on facial skin. Synthetic brushes are good choices for this purpose. Have at least three brushes on hand; one thin brush for detail work, a wider brush for medium details, and a large brush to cover larger areas (if the entire face is to be painted).
Glitter is always a nice finishing touch to any face painting design. Have plenty of colors of loose glitter in your supplies. Click Here! for professional step-by-step instructions on face painting tips and tricks.
Stencils are important if you do not want to paint the designs freehand. Face painting stencils help to speed up the process, and are available in all shapes and sizes. Stencils can be found in all kinds of shapes like stars, lightening bolts, hearts, flowers, butterflies, animals, pumpkins and other Halloween designs, and even sport logos.
When beginning to paint a design, begin at the outer ends of the design and work into the center. Working in the outward direction helps prevent the paint from splotching and getting messy. Click Here! to get more tips, instructions and step-by-step videos.
Face painting is not rocket science, and the desired effect should be tailored to the theme and enjoyment for the occasion. Stencils help to make a more perfect design and cut down on the time it takes when creating freehand.
For lots of designs, videos Click Here! to find step-by-step instructions.
Posted by Jessie Penn at 11:26 PM
Halloween is just around the corner, and face painting is a great way to decorate anyone's face. Kids love to have thier faces painted, and so do adults! But, face painting is not only for the face -- the whole body can become a canvas. It's a great fun technique to add to your next party.
Halloween is the perfect time to learn face painting, and anyone can do it. Patterns are available, as well as special paints, in face, you are only limited by your imagination.
Halloween school parties and plays, fundraisers, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, arts and crafts fairs are ideal to earn extra cash just by setting up a card table with your supplies.
Face painting is easy, and is the perfect way to create fun, laughter and memories.
Posted by Jessie Penn at 10:32 AM
Monday, June 21, 2010
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Posted by Jessie Penn at 3:41 PM
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Maybe you've heard all the talk about the new electronic cigarettes (ecigs), or maybe not. I've been wanting to stop smoking for so long and actually tried so many times I've lost count! I've tried patches, gum, hypnosis, and cold turkey methods, but no luck.
So, a friend of mine told me about the ecigs and I figured what the heck, I've already spent a fortune on cigarettes and methods to stop smoking, what would another few dollars matter. I ordered a starter packet from Green Smoke, thinking this was just more of throwing good money after bad.
They arrived in my mailbox in two days (hey, I was impressed)! The package is very nice, and has two ecigs included (one regular length and one 100 length). There was a good supply of cartridges (the filter-looking doo-jobie that screws into the cigarette end); this cartridge has the nicotine. The box also includes a charger that can be plugged into a wall outlet, and a USB charger that fits any USB port.
I ordered vanilla flavor and the light level of nicotine. So, let's take this puppy for a spin around the block. Put it to my lips and inhaled. Oh, cool, the end of the ecig glows like a real cigarette and the vapor was smooth tasting. No stinky tobacco cigarette smell and it actually gave the same feeling you get when you inhale nicotine from one of those poisonous filled tar sticks. This was great! The smoke (vapor) that is exhaled looks exactly like real smoke!
After 40 years of puffing on tobacco cigarettes, I honestly can say this way is a no-brainer! How often I've said, if a safe cigarette was out there I'd be the first one in line -- well, I think it has arrived! No withdrawals and they offer several levels of nicotine, and many flavors. They even have them in Marlboro, Camel and more flavors.
I've been using my Green Smoke electronic cigarette for more than 3 weeks, and it's really working! Love it, and finally I think this time I will win the battle!
Posted by Jessie Penn at 10:52 PM
Friday, May 14, 2010
Tips and Thoughts for Sexual Fulfillment and Enjoyment
Getting older does not necessarily mean declines in appearance or sex appeal are inevitable. In fact, aging can provide a freedom to explore and experience sexual pleasures.
As we mature, many come to realize a freedom to explore and enjoy our sexuality. Just because you've reach the so-called “golden” age, does not mean you hide in dowdy clothing. Seniors, today, are self-assured, intelligent, computer savvy, and independent. They care for their skin, bodies, and enjoy provocative attire. So, just because you are not 30-something, don't hole up, and think that sex and intimacy are a thing of the past! In fact, getting older can offer steamy, intimate relationships.
Being sexy after sixty is not a fantasy, or an unobtainable dream. Yes, there may be facial lines and wrinkles, not so pumped muscles, and skin appearing to be a bit too large for your body. So what? Beauty and sexuality are not only enjoyed by others forty years your junior. You have beauty and self-expression, and you've earned the freedom to relax and enjoy sexual encounters. Perhaps, the reflection staring back at you in the mirror is not-so-perfect, but you're still vital and beautiful.
Okay, with that said, there are some do's and don'ts for looking and feeling your best.
Never, never tower over your lover and look down into his eyes! When we were young, smooth and tight facial skin, undeniably, enhanced our beauty. But, as we age, the skin sags and tends to hang loosely when we are in a stooping position. Don't believe me, bend over and look at your face into a mirror! No more discussion about this will be needed!
If possible, have your lover see you in a reclining position, as much as possible. This position helps camouflage deflating buns, droopy breasts, floppy arms, and that dreaded not-so-firm facial skin.
Candlelight or diffused lighting is a girl's best friend! Sex in the afternoon is delicious, but anatomy flaws, wrinkles, and excess pounds are exploited by harsh daylight! Strive for a darkened room, or be safe and enjoy sexual intimacy after the sun has set.
Lubricants usually become a necessity, but are not mandatory visuals. If you need additional moisture, apply it, discretely, before or during foreplay. However, sensually anointing genitals (yours or his), and inviting your partner to join in and enjoy some self-arousal techniques, can be an erotic experience.
Sex organs are not the only part of the human anatomy that is involved with the sexual act. Fantasies add new dimensions to intimate experiences. Vocalizing or acting out fantasies with your partner can stimulate sexual urges, by providing food for thought and interactive play. If you'd like to expound on specific fantasies, costumes are readily available. But, be sure to discuss fantasy play with your partner before surprising him/her. Be sure he/she wants to be involved in fantasy play. Remember, sexual fantasies should not cause anger, jealousy, or pain for your partner. Fantasy should be enjoyable and enhance sexual intimacy.
Never, never parade around in baggy, torn, or yellow briefs or boxers, as this can ruin a perfectly good sexual experience! Boxers and briefs can be sexy and inviting IF they fit properly. Shop for mid-thigh boxers that fit nicely over and around your penis. You don't want to look like you're about to burst the fabric, but the brief/boxers should not look like they'll fall off, or that there's room for another body in that backside! Check out sexy body suits, similar to weight lifter's apparel. There are racer back stringer tanks, and, of course, if you still have tight abs and butt, then by all means sport a thong!
Don't overlook the magic of silk for men. A silk kimono is touchable and is most inviting to the fingertips. The kimono can hide deflated chest muscles, bulging stomachs, unshapely thighs, and droopy derrières.
Take the emphasis off hair thinning or baldness with tasteful and sexy apparel.
If male enhancements are necessary, don't blurt out that you must take a hard-on pill. Be discreet! There's no need to voice performance problems in the middle of an intimate encounter.
If you like sex toys, be sure to discuss this with your partner prior to displaying dildos, vibrators, or strap-ons. Honesty, expectations, and personal desires are a two-way street!
Fantasy can benefit your sexual experience. In the ladies section, you can fine more reasons to explore fantasies and role-playing. But, never insist your partner engage in your fantasy or demand their involvement in costumes or roll-playing! Fantasies are not real, and should not cause any distress, inhibitions, or pain for your partner. In other words, a fantasy should be fun and exciting, imaginary journey.
Many females enjoy getting and performing oral sex. But, don't just expect your partner enjoys or even wants to get or do oral sexual acts. Talk about likes and dislikes before any expectations or disappointments arise.
If lubricants or stimulating creams/oils are used, invite your partner to apply them to your penis. Of course, this is not necessary, but interaction can enhance sexual experience and desire.
Spontaneity is a wonderful tool for seniors. But, planning can be advantageous to many that require time for medicines to signal effectiveness, i.e., Viagra. Sex toys can play a major role because, unlike the virility of the young, as men age, stamina can disappoint or dissipate as quickly as it started. Nowadays, sex toys, lotions, vibrators, and lubricants may be considered essential versus absurd.
Yes, sex after sixty is different, in some aspects. The female body might not be the taut, toned physic that (mostly likely) you've taken for granted. The male body might no longer be endowed with a masculine chest, a full head of hair, tight stomach, muscled arms and legs. Some men's pecs now look more like breasts! The female's breasts, most likely, have more sag and less perk. Men and women's buttocks no longer are round, tight, and firm; faces become cursed with jowls, voluptuous lips are gone, and skin refuses to fit tightly over the body's frame. But intimate touch and feelings remain alive and enjoyable.
Accepting who we are, what we have, and loving ourselves is the ultimate destination. When we debunk peer pressure and dismiss youth-oriented advertising, we can see the beauty within ourselves. Then we begin to live!
Seniors have and can share many intimate thoughts and desires. Unfortunately, many hide their feelings, and walk a lonely journey. Okay, so you've reached the age of sixty. You haven't been cursed, you've been blessed, and along the way, you obtained much knowledge within the adventure and journey of life. Now, relax and enjoy the rest of the ride.
Give respect and consideration to your partner. The enjoyment of sexual experiences will be as explosive as ever.
Posted by Jessie Penn at 10:41 PM