Friday, 27 March 2015

Jagna’s Cupcake Cup

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At the school of my kids pupils of eight grade organized a Cupcake Cup for the pupils from grades 5 through 8. Jagna was very keen to participate. For the first round kids could choose they own theme. Jagna did good research on Pinterest and this is what she made.

Dzieci z ósmej klasy zorganizowały w szkole moich dzieci konkurs Cupcake Cup dla uczniów klas piątej, szóstej, siódmej i ósmej. Jagna bardzo chciała wziąć w nim udział. W pierwszej rundzie dzieci mogły same wymyśleć sobie temat. Jagna porządnie przestudiowała Pinterest i oto co wyczarowała.

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In the second round they were supposed to make something with animals. Jagna loves everything with animals so she easily found idea for her cupcake. There were eight children in this round.

W drugiej rundzie, do której przeszło ośmioro dzieci tematem były zwierzęta. Z tym akurat Jagna nie ma dużego problemu, więc z przyjemnością przystąpiła do pracy.

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Then she made to the third round with three other kinds. They should make something with nature. This time she made a small bird in a nest on a tree and the food for him (worms and bees).

Jagna przeszła do trzeciej rundy wraz z trójką innych dziewczynek. Tym razem tematem była natura. Jagna zrobiła babeczkę z małym ptaszkiem w gniazdku i jedzenie dla niego czyli dżdżownice i pszczółki.

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And then was the final for Jagna and one more girl (eight grade). Jagna got theme “Music” and the other girl “Valentine’s day”. This time it was more difficult to came up with something original. When you search the internet for this theme you usually will find cupcakes with music notes. Then she came up with the idea to make a radio and then rest came very easily.

I w końcu nadszedł finał dla dwójki uczestników, oprócz Jagny brała w nim udział dziewczynka z ósmej klasy, która dostała temat “Walentynki”. Jagna dostała temat „Muzyka”. To był najtrudniejszy z tematów. Szukając w Internecie w większości można się natknąć na babeczki z nutkami. Jagna chciała coś bardziej oryginalnego. Długo się zastanawiała aż w końcu wymyśliła radio, potem pomysły na inne elementy posypały się jak z rękawa.

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Eventually Jagna ended up second but still she was very satisfied. She admitted that the cupcake of the other girl was very nice. Now she wants to go for the Cupcake Cup organized by Dutch youth TV.

Jagna zdobyła drugie miejsce, z którego bardzo się ucieszyła. Przyznała, że babeczka jej konkurentki była bardzo ładna. Teraz chciała by wziąć udział w Cupcake Cup organizowany przez holenderska telewizję dla młodzieży.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Mint and chamomile

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My kids do not really like tea or other warm beverages besides hot chocolate. It was a problem for quite some time because they only wanted to drink milk and water with sweet syrup (things they always got at the daycare). I thought that this will last forever but one day my boy got sick and I made for him mint infusion, which he really liked. The next was chamomile infusion, another hit (most of kids hate chamomile). When my girl saw how he enjoys it, she also decided to give herbal infusions a try. I was delighted because I love herbal infusions. My favorite was mint-chamomile mix. Very refreshing and tasty both warm and cold. If you like it sweetened I recommend to use honey. It is also delicious with some lemon. I usually mix equal parts of both herbs. If you do not have dried herbs, you can use one bag of mint tea and one tea bag of chamomile.

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Moje dzieci nie bardzo lubią herbatę ani żadnych innych ciepłych napojów oprócz kakao. Przez długi czas był to dla mnie problem bo do każdego posiłku piły tylko wodę z sokiem lub mleko. Zmieniło się to niedawno gdy synek zachorował i miał problemy żołądkowe. Zaparzyłam mu wtedy herbaty z mięty a potem z rumianku. Podszedł do tego z dużą rezerwą, ale w końcu mu bardzo zasmakowało. Nawet jego siostra się skusiła i od tego czasu obydwoje piją herbaty z tych ziół. Najbardziej lubią jednak herbatę miętowo-rumiankową (robię ja z jednakowych porcji obydwu ziół). Jest pyszna z miodem i cytryną. Świetna zarówno na gorąco jak i na zimno. Spróbujcie, polecam! Ja znam ją i uwielbiam od najmłodszych lat.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Lotion bars (a review of a d.i.y. beginner)

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After making the lip balm I really wanted to make something else. I started to look up recipes for hand crème as my hands get easily dry and I have problem with my cuticles. After typing “hand crème diy” in Pinterest I got some pages with hand lotion bars. I got really intrigued by this. They seemed very easy to be made so I decided to give them a chance.

Indeed, it is very simple to make them. I made the first batch with unrefined shea butter and I must admit I was very disappointed with the scent despite the addition of sweet orange oil. So I meted this batch and added more sweet orange oil and lavender oil and some lavender but I still could smell the shea butter. Shea butter is really great when it goes about hydration but the scent of unrefined butter is something I can not bear. For me it smell as rotten milk but a friend of mine said that she liked the scent of my bars so perhaps is just a matter of personal preferences.

The second batch I made replacing shea butter with cacao butter and I loved it scent. It is really nice.

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BUT, in all posts I have read about lotion bars authors claimed that they (bars) changed their life and they (bloggers) will never ever return to commercial hand creams. Well, I must admit that my hands are softer after using these bars and my cuticles really improved. On the other hand, I need to say that the way of application is not really easy. It takes a while before bars melt, and it takes really long when you have cold hands, which is my problem. So to apply this cosmetics I need to first worm up my hands (on a cup of tea, for instance). Secondly, it takes a while until hands are not more oily. It is not something I can use at office just as I did with my Dove cream. But the hydrating effects lasts longer than this of my Dove. And I know what I am putting on my skin! Perhaps I should make a real hand cream instead of bars. I think I will experiment with this a bit. Once I learn more I will share my thoughts. For now I share some photos of my mini bars.

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P.S. To be honest, I really regret that I do not have anyone close by (a friend, not just anybody) that could experiment a bit with me.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

“Find yourself a cup; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me hundreds of things” Saki

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It does not happens very often, but from time to time both of my children go to their friends after school. This happened last Tuesday. Since I did not have anything important to do, I decided to relax a bit and brew a cup of green tea mix “Mona Lisa smile”. It is a beautiful mix of green tea, rose blossom and pieces of strawberries. It has beautiful colors, scent and tastes great. Very inspiring… as you can see. I could not stop to take pictures and then it was difficult to decide which I like the most. Below is a selection of my favorites along with some tea-quotes.

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The first cup moistens my lips and throat.
The second shatters my loneliness.
The third causes the wrongs of life to fade gently from my recollection.
The fourth purifies my soul.
The fifth lifts me to the realms of the unwinking gods - Chinese Mystic, Tang Dynasty

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Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousands miles away, there are always two cups on my table. – Tang Dynasty

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The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you’d just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency. – Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

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Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things. - Okakura Kakuzo

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The soil.
The elevation.
The climate.
The sunshine.
The rain.
The tea.

Body.
Mind.
Equanimity.
Harmony.
Water.
Tea.
    The Minister of Leaves

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Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future - Thich Nat Hahn

Thursday, 5 February 2015

D.I.Y. lip balm/ Balsam do ust własnej roboty

For quite some time I was thinking about making own beauty products. In the secondary school I used to make some toners and cleansers but then I stopped. Last week I made my first step by making own lip balm. It was a bit intimidating in the beginning but believe me, it is very simple. I melted two teaspoons of cacao butter with one ts beeswax and four ts sweet almond oil in a water batch. After I remove it from the water batch I added four drops of orange essential oil. Then I distributed it into containers. If you want to try, remember that it solidifies very fast.

It tastes different that balms I used to buy (my kids says that it is tasty) but it is very hydrating and feels very soft. And most of all I know what is in it and what is not (no toxic additions like colors, conservants etc.). A colleague of mine who got it from me liked it a lot.

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Od jakiegoś czasu miałam ochotę by zrobić sobie kosmetyki domowym sposobem. W czasach szkoły średniej zdarzało mi się zrobić jakiś tonik czy preparat do mycia twarzy, ale potem jakoś skończyłam. W zeszły weekend poczyniłam pierwszy krok i zrobiłam sobie balsam do ust. Początkowo trochę się bałam, ale okazało się to bardzo proste. Trzeba było jedynie stopić ze sobą dwie łyżeczki masła kakaowego z jedną łyżeczką wosku pszczelego i czterema łyżeczkami oleju ze słodkich migdałów w kąpieli wodnej. Po ściągnięciu tej mieszanki z kąpieli dodałam cztery krople olejku z pomarańczy i po zmieszaniu przelałam do pojemniczków. Jeśli chcielibyście spróbować to uważajcie bo ten balsam bardzo szybko zastyga więc trzeba się śpieszyć.

Ten balsam działa nawilżająco i zmiękczająco na usta. Smakuje inaczej niż balsam ze sklepu, moje dzieci mówią, że im smakuje. Najważniejsze jest to, że wiem co w nim jest i czego w nim nie ma (toksyn, mających przedłużyć mu świeżość, poprawić smak lub kolor). Koleżanka z pracy, której podarowałam słoiczek była nim zachwycona.