Relevant Research on Mongolia – Trans Siberian Routes

Image by mark.weegmann1 via flickr

For those who love to travel, Mongolia won’t be far off their list, especially for those who are planning to experience getting on board the Trans Siberian train. This oval-shaped, landlocked nation situated between China and Russia is among the last few locations where nomadic way of living is still in tradition.

Amazing Mongolia

Although many of the foreigners visiting Mongolia for the first time are inspired to travel to this beautiful country by what they have read about Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, and his grandson Kublai Khan, others just appreciate superb scenery. People planning to go on one of the well-organised Trans Siberian train trips involving a stop at Mongolia would be well-advised to do some reading on the many interesting facts about this East Asian sovereign state. Trans Siberian trippers dying to know more about the things to do and see in breath-taking Mongolia can look for browse the internet for some information regarding this landlocked nation. Fortunately, for people interested in facts about Mongolia, there are some great websites providing well-researched articles on this awe-inspiring country.

There are certainly plenty of great things to do in Mongolia including the following:

  • Stay in a Ger (traditional nomadic home)
  • Ride a camel in the Gobi Desert
  • Sleep in a magnificent monastery
  • Try a glass or two of Airag (fermented horse milk)
  • Experience one of Mongolia’s Olympics Styled festivals
  • Go skiing in the Altai mountains

By putting in a few hours or so researching the many things to experience in Mongolia, which is sandwiched between Russia and China, trippers stopping there during a Trans Siberian train tour may be able to find out which things they can do on their trip.

Scenic Route

Travellers who are lucky enough to have visited some of the world’s most enchanting countries are likely to still be hugely impressed by what Mongolia has got to offer when travelling there for the first time.

Affectionately known as “The Land of Eternal Blue Sky”, Mongolia is heaven on earth for travellers who are driven by their quest to witness the more fascinating scenery around the globe. Of course, a good way to get around anywhere would be to have a local map of the area we are in. Websites saying you can check out this Trans Siberian railway map tend to be amongst the better companies operating in this particular travel niche. If we would like to learn more about the geographical location of Mongolia with regards to Russia and China, it should not be an issue finding a site featuring a suitable map. Indeed, these exciting trips can be so much more rewarding if we have carried out the kind of research that helps us to know exactly where we are as we travel down the route to Mongolia.

Visa Requirements

Anyone with experience travelling to far-flung places will appreciate how getting through paperwork for visas to some of these regions can be a bit arduous at times. However, by learning more about the visa requirements for Mongolia, folks that will be stopping there whilst on a Trans Siberian train trip should be able to deal with this process without any issues. Indeed, well-prepared travellers on their way to Ulaanbaatar after departing from Ulan-Ude are bound to get through the immigration process very easily. Moreover, by reading some of the blogs written by people who have gone through this procedure, it will become clear just how friendly and cooperative the Mongolian immigration officials are.

By all accounts, the capital of Mongolia is a fusion of western characteristics and traditional features of East Asia. Therefore, walking around a city like Ulaanbaatar with high-rise buildings interspersed with yurts must be a very interesting experience indeed. In fact, there is no wonder that many of the people who visit Mongolia for the first time whilst on a Trans Siberian tour will return as soon as they possibly can.

Learning Friends 100 Words Book Leaps In Fun For Children | Product Review

LeapFrog is a favorite in our household as we enjoy the interactive, innovative and educational toys that they offer. For more than 20 years, LeapFrog has helped children expand their knowledge and imagination through award-winning products that combine state-of-the-art educational expertise led by the LeapFrog Learning Team, innovative technology, and engaging play – turning playtime into quality time that helps children leap ahead.

This is why we were extra excited to get one of the latest and hottest toys from LeapFrog, Learning Friends 100 Words Book™. This interactive toy is a touch and learn word fun in a book type format. So what does it do?

Touch and Learn

Discover abundance of things like animal noises, colors, food, clothes and body. These words are learned through pressing the pictures on each page. The beauty is that the words that were chosen are toddler friendly and appropriate by learning experts.

Three Play Modes

There are three play modes available on the Learning Friends 100 Words Book which are: Play words, exciting sound effects and fun facts. No matter which play mode you are in, it is a guarantee fun learning experience.

12 Learning Categories

There are 100 different words in the book and each page is designed beautifully and with many colors to engage the child in learning. The categories vary and some are foods, clothes, colors and more.

Bilingual Play

With a simple slide on the language switch, your child can learn about colors, objects and animals in both English and French – c’est magnifique!

Benefits

One can only except a learning piece to LeapFrog and they have done it so well with the Learning Friends 100 Words Book. The skills that your child can learn from this product are: First Words and Phrases; Colors; Animals; English; Geometry; Food and Nutrition; Opposites; and Human Body. There is just so many great things to learn in one little book.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Learning Friends 100 Words Book™ by LeapFrog has made it onto our most recommended list for children 18 months to 48 months. It is a great toy to help a child learn in a fun and colorful way. We love the ability to press each image on the page and have the child hear the word to associate it with the image. We have to admit that even though my daughter is almost four years of age, she really enjoyed the book and was very proud that she knew all the words. Now she is even more excited to use the book to teach her baby cousin who is five months old to give her a head start. 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it, 5+++ Leaps out of 5. It’s an amazing learning tool and it makes learning so much more fun. Also I need to mention to all the parents that this toy comes with a volume button so you can control how loud you would like it to be. As parents we truly appreciate and value that little extra function. Believe me this toy will not annoy you. 😉

If you would like to purchase this product please click here to see the closest location to you.

A special thank you to LeapFrog Canada for the opportunity to review this great product for our amazing readers and followers.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and no monetary benefits were exchanged.

7 Ways To Design Your Windows

Ask any homeowner what is the number one thing that they love about their home, and they may just say location and views. Many homeowners prefer a great view and pretty much every room in your home can benefit from lovely windows. Best of all, there are plenty of designs to choose from.

Here are some ways the design of your windows can influence your home.

  1. Natural Light

As human beings, we are just like green plants. When we have natural light, we feel inspired and prosperous. It’s the source for body and mind and a connectivity to the outside world. So, make sure your home has natural light in every room.

  1. Windows That Complement A Room

If you are lucky enough to be involved with designing your home, consider the spaces where windows will be placed.  Large rooms and tall ceilings can benefit from clearstory windows that sit high above the ground, whereas smaller rooms can take advantage of views and sunlight with windows that have lower windowsill heights.

  1. Framing The View

There’s nothing like waking up to a beautiful view right through floor-to-ceiling windows or marvelling at city lights through curtain wall windows. Figure out what perfect views you want to capture and then choose windows to match. Don’t forget to look at those pretty made to measure blinds to finish the look.

  1. Different Opacities

Is there a room in your house where natural light streams in, but you also need your privacy? Bathrooms are the perfect example. For such rooms, consider a range of opacity levels. For instance, transparent glass is completely see-through, whereas translucent glass is more common in bathrooms.

  1. Light And Space

In most homes, wall space is important. Whether you like to display art or just prefer privacy, having clearstory windows is a great solution. These windows can be located high off floor level and close to your roofline, but still allow natural light to flow in while freeing up wall space.

  1. The Right Design For Your Property

If you are just planning your home, do consider the location and how your house will be situated in terms of sunshine. You may not want to put a window wall of glass in your bedroom where early sunshine will wake you if you prefer to sleep late. Also consider climatic and seasonal changes so you can effectively maximise hot and cold temperature changes when picking the perfect windows.

  1. Use Different Sizes And Shapes

When it comes to picking window sizes and shapes, there are no design rules set. So, get creative and play around with solid spaces and voids and come up with interesting ways and configurations for your home’s windows that are aesthetically appealing and that take advantage of your beautiful views.

From curvilinear to rectilinear varieties of windows, to custom shapes and sizes, there are so many creative and functional options available for your home.

Momma Braga’s Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe

Chicken Vegetable soup is always a favorite in my household, especially on a crisp day or even when one is under the weather.

If you are looking for a simple and hearty soup recipe then this may be the one for you.

INGREDIENTS

  • Water
  • Vegetables (Assorted)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Knorr of Chicken
  • Onion
  • Pasta (we usually use the small alphabet pasta or elbow macaroni pasta)
  • Potatoes
  • Boiled Chicken Breast (marinated with salt, black pepper and garlic powder)

DIRECTIONS

  • First clean the chicken breast and marinate it with some salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Once completed, boil it first until it is fully cooked.
  • Once chicken breast is cooked, remove it from the water. Shred the chicken breast into pieces to add into the soup afterwards.
  • In a new pot, add water for the soup. It is always best to almost fill to the top as water does decrease when boiled. Add some salt, a dash of olive oil and knorr of chicken.
  • Clean the vegetables that you would like to add into the soup. We like using carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and onions. Add the vegetables into the pot of water.
  • We also peel potatoes and cut them into small pieces to add into the soup.
  • Once all ingredients are added, turn the heat onto medium.
  • Stir as necessary and once potatoes are almost fully cooked, add the pasta and shredded chicken. Take a quick taste to see if additional salt needs to be added.
  • Once pasta is cooked, the soup is ready.

That is it! A simple recipe that is hearty and delicious! This soup is a great side dish for a lunch sandwich. Enjoy!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Capturing Moments | DIY Photoshoot

*Please note that these are ideas and we do stress to be very careful while taking photos of your child. Always make sure that they are always safe during the process. Happy Baby will make a Happy Mommy!

Written By: Karen Silva (A.K.A. Mama Silva)
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Sometimes we just want that “picture perfect” photo that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine or Pinterest. So how can you create this yourself? Where do you start? What would you need?

I will share with you some of the ideas I threw together and some tips and tricks I use whenever I feel like being a baby photographer for one afternoon. Please keep in mind that all babies and children are different so if yours is not photogenic just remember to work around their schedule and be PATIENT!

First, I think of a room or two around the house that I know will give me great natural light for my pictures. I always choose a room with large windows. Once I find the room I like, I gather all the décor pieces and background ideas to the room. In the mean time, I will either have my little one watch her favorite cartoons or have someone look after her just until I am ready to take my “model” to her photo shoot.

Background Prop & Décor Ideas

Some background ideas that you can use are blankets, fabrics, carpet or if you are willing to spend some money on professional looking backgrounds, you can buy some on Amazon. Also keep in mind of colors when choosing your background. You wouldn’t want to do a flowered background if you are planning on having your baby wearing all flower prints. You can also be creative and use nature as your background by having your baby lie on the grass.

Next, I think of some décor pieces that I would like to incorporate in the photo with my daughter. As an example, for her first Easter, I got some plastic eggs and a stuffed bunny to put around her while I took photos. You can add fresh flowers, your pets, toys and any props that you see fits your theme.


Dress Up

Now comes the fun part which I like to call “dress up time”. This is where you get an outfit or a couple that you would like your baby to wear for the “photoshoot”. Remember to play-off on your baby’s mood. I normally do just one outfit but may switch her headbands, this way I can focus more on getting that “money shot.”

Picture Perfect Tricks

You might be asking, what is the money shot? Well for me, it’s when I get that ear to ear smile from my little one. If she’s in a good mood I will get it no problem by just talking to her. Other times, I may need a little “motivation.” Some of my tricks that help me get that “money shot” is getting someone else to get her attention and get her to smile. If that doesn’t work or if I am by myself then I like to use some of her favorite toys… and that works for me EVERY TIME! 🙂

Finally, it is time to get my little “model” all dressed up and brought in the room. I use my cell phone to take photos but feel free to use a professional camera if you have one. Also remember to take breaks and just have fun with it. I love to do these on rainy days or when she is just bored of her usual routine. If you choose to do this on rainy day just remember that you will have to provide your lighting the right way to get a good photo. It’s a little more work but overall still worth it.

I hope these tips and tricks helped you and motivated you to do a little photoshoot of your own with your little one. It’s a great way to create some memories and spend some fun bonding time together.

If you choose to do this fun activity with your little ones, I would love to see them. You can tag me on social media on Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time…Happy DIY!

About the Author

Karen Silva is a writer on Momma Braga and is Melanie Braga’s sister. Karen graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently joined Momma Braga and has become an expert writer for the blog. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

Karen is also a mother of one very adorable baby girl in 2018.

 

Neymar | A Soccer Dream Come True

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition. The championship has been awarded every four years since the tournament began in 1930 (with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War). The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world.

Therefore, it is no surprise that it’s an exciting time when the FIFA World Cup begins. You see the flags proudly displayed on cars, homes and of course team jerseys worn to support their teams.

We can’t forget the players who are playing on the field and how proud they are to represent their country on the biggest world stage.

One team in particular has played in every tournament and has won five times.  This team is Brazil and this year they are hoping to bring the World Cup for the sixth time. Now there is a player on Brazil that is well known and that is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.

We have definitely heard of him before and this is why we were excited to be introduced to a children’s book that is about him growing up.

Neymar A Soccer Dream Come True, is about Neymar growing up as a child in Brazil with the dream of being a professional soccer player. It is written by Mina Javaherbin and pictures are by Paul Hoppe.

The book takes you on the journey that Neymar took to get to where he is today. It shows us that if you work hard and believe in your dreams, they can come true.

We love that positive message for kids to read! The book flowed nicely and it was an easy read. The illustrations were a great compliment to the story too. For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Neymar A Soccer Dream Come True, 5 GOOAALL out of 5! A personal like of this book for me was the Portuguese that was included in the book and it was neat that they included a glossary on the words. Since I can read Portuguese it was exciting to read it to my daughter and know exactly what the words mean.

If you are a soccer fan and one of your favorite players is Neymar, then this is the perfect book for you! To purchase this book, click here.

We hope you all have been loving the FIFA World Cup so far this year and I am excited to see who wins!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Our Little Family DIY Craft

Written By: Karen Silva
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When your baby can’t walk yet and they are just not into playing in their jungle gym anymore that day, you have to think of something to do to keep your baby entertained. This can be a difficult task to do especially if you have a young baby on your hands. I did some research and found the perfect activity that has helped me keep my four-month old baby entertained.

Not only did it provide great entertainment but it also became a great family project.

Our Little Family

This activity was seen on Pinterest which has become one of my obsessed apps of all time. When I saw how simple, fun and creative it was, I knew I just had to do it.

Material Needed: All you need is White cardboard, pencil, scissors, two different paint colours, glue, glitter and a picture frame.

Instructions:

  • First, I took the glass from the frame and put it on top of the cardboard and with a pencil traced it out. Once completed, cut it out.
  • Next step was to first paint my husband’s hands since his is the biggest with one paint color.
  • Once it was dried I did my handprint on top of his, then set it aside to dry again. (Tip note: I made sure we all used the same hand so it looked neater.)
  • I didn’t have a chance to buy non toxic safe paint so instead I used school glue. With the help of someone holding my daughter, I added glue to her hand and then pressed her hand onto my handprint.
  • Then sprinkle the glitter over before the glue dries and then tap off the access.
  • The final touch I added was the writing on the top, then put it in the frame.

This is how “Our Little Family” Craft turned out and we love how it came out. It was simple to do and it kept us all entertained, even my four-month old.

Give it a try and let us know how your little family turned out by sharing in the comment section below.

Until next time…Happy DIY!

 

About the Author

Karen Silva is a writer on Momma Braga and is Melanie Braga’s sister. Karen graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently joined Momma Braga and has become an expert writer for the blog. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

Karen is also a mother of one very adorable baby girl in 2018.

 

Remember Life’s Greatest Moments | Custom Star Maps

There are many moments that change our life forever such as the birth of a child, a wedding, anniversary or even moving into a new home. These are just some of life’s moments and wouldn’t it be grand to have a custom night sky to remember your special night?

The night sky isn’t the same all year round as it changes and you see different constellations. This change is due to the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the sun. The Earth shifts approximately one degree per day, making each night sky different from the night before. Therefore, your special night would be unique to you and your life moment.

We recently discovered, Modern Map Art who customizes these special moments and we are thrilled to introduce them to all of you.

This frame was not included.

 

How It Works

Modern Map Art uses an incredible detailed star database with hundreds of thousands of stars, and find what the sky looked like at an exact time and place in history (or future). Then, you would simple select your style and order. Your print will then arrive in a matter of a few business days (depending on where you live).

#MelAndNikkiReview

We give our Modern Map Art, 5+++ constellations out of 5 for being out of this world! It offers a unique way to remember one of our most memorable life events, our daughter’s birth. Now we have a custom piece of the exact date, time and location of where she was born and we love it!

The process to order was simple and easy. We love how customized it is as we got to pick from their colors, fonts and styles. This really gave us the feeling of being unique with the choices we were able to make. Now we have a piece that we can proudly display and it will always be beautiful art as it was one of the best moments of our lives.

 

We highly recommend Modern Map Art to anyone who wants to remember life’s greatest moments in the most unique and beautiful way. A perfect gift for anyone in your life.

To purchase your very own, click here.

Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Fox and Raccoon | Storytime

Storytime is always an exciting time especially when new books arrive to be featured on the #MelAndNikkiReview! We love sweet and unique books as they make storytime that much special. This is why when we were introduced to the sweet and charming world of Juniper Hollow, we were in enchanted.

Juniper Hollow is where fuzzy friends abound and that is where Fox and Raccoon live. They are the best of friends and live next door to each other. They also spend every day together with the exception of today. It appears that Fox is so busy that she doesn’t have time to play.

But never fear as Raccoon is here to help! He helps her with all the tasks that she needs to do but it seems that Fox is STILL busy. Will she ever have time to stop and play with him? As it turns out, she has a surprise up her sleeve…

After reading this book a few times (almost every night) since it arrived at our doorstep, we can’t help but feel enchanted by Fox and Raccoon. Firstly, the textile art is captivating and it allows us to feel that we have been transported to Juniper Hollow. Secondly, the friendship between Fox and Raccoon is beautiful and sincere. It was heartwarming to see how much they cared for one another as the story progressed.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Fox and Raccoon 5 juniper berries out of 5! The story of friendship and love is an important message for children and it is portrayed beautifully in Fox and Raccoon. We also loved the textile art as we personally have not read books with this type of art so it was neat for us. We would recommend this book for children ages three to seven and this would make a perfect addition to storytime.

This children’s picture book is a debut for Lesley-Anne Green who is the author and she is a textile artist who creates her adorable critters using wool, thread, fabric and love. She lives in Toronto with her family and an incorrigible pug named Lola. We hope she will continue to create more beautiful books for children.

If you would like to purchase this lovely book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

6 Things Your Kids Should Do After Leaving High School

Written By: Claire Adams

Graduating from high school can be both exciting and stressful. On the one hand, it’s a big milestone for every child, something they can be proud of. On the other hand, college is just a few months away, and the pressure of their parents to enroll right away can often be too much. However, there is no real reason for them to start college the same year – there are many ways of spending their gap year wisely. So, if you’d like to help your child make the most of their free time after high school, here are six things they could do.

1. Encourage them to learn something new

Taking some time off means that they’ll finally have enough time to dedicate to something else, like learning a new language or improving their tech skills. They probably already have some ideas in mind, something they’ve always wanted to do but could never find the time to start.

There are many skills that can be useful in both educational and professional field, which is why you should inspire them to get involved wherever they can. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, and it shouldn’t be anything stressful; the idea is to have fun while using their time wisely, so they should choose something they will enjoy doing.

2. Help them improve the skills they have

Besides learning something new, they can also work on what they already know. For example, if your child likes editing pictures in Photoshop, they can sign up for a graphic design course and improve their skills. Or, if they like drawing or painting, they can sign up for art classes and become even better. In other words, if they are passionate about something, taking some time off to nurture that skill and bring it the next level can mean the world to them.

3. They can get a job

A good way to spend the time between high school and college is by earning some money. Getting a job can help your child become more independent and responsible. It doesn’t have to be a serious full-time job, though – any decent job can teach them how to work in a team and organize their time, which are skills that can be quite valuable in the future.

Moreover, there is always something that kids want, whether it is a new computer or a new pair of jeans. Getting a job would allow them to treat themselves to something nice and learn the importance of money and hard work. Even if they don’t buy anything, they can always save for the future. Plus, earning money on their own can be quite fulfilling, and having some work experience could help them land a much better job in the future.

4. Let them travel

Is there a better time for your child to see all the places they’ve been learning about? If you’re worried about your child’s safety, or if they’ve never traveled alone, there are many safe and fun student trips organized by Unleashed Grad Trips that can offer your child lots of opportunities for fun, education, and relaxation.

Traveling is also a great way for your child to leave their comfort zone and make new connections with people from all around the world. They’d get to experience different cultures, see different points of view, and develop skills like cooking, managing their finances, finding their way around in unknown places, etc. Therefore, let your child see the world, and they are guaranteed to return home much more mature and refreshed.

5. Suggest volunteering

Just like getting a job, volunteering can teach them responsibility and organization. Plus, they’d feel great about themselves once they realize that they can make a difference and do something useful for the community.  Moreover, doing charity work shows that they are compassionate and capable of adjusting to unknown situations, especially if they choose to volunteer abroad. This is something that would look great on their resume, and it would surely be a life-changing experience for your child.

6. Allow them to relax

It’s not the end of the world if your child doesn’t know what they want to do next. Some kids just need time to unwind and figure things out, so try not to make a big deal out of it. Let them do some research, try out new things, or just relax and think things through. After all, it’s better to take some time off and rest than enroll in a college right away just to realize one year later that they’ve made the wrong choice.

There’s more to life than studying, and there are many ways to learn besides going to school. So, let your child take some time away from hovering over a book, and encourage them to spend that time wisely. This way, you can rest assured that your child will be much more motivated and more likely to make the right choices in regard to their future.

 

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.