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.

 

3 Non-Toxic Flooring Options for Your Home

With society’s rising concerns on health and wellness, the choice to go for non-toxic substances comes as no surprise. This is clearly shown in what articles we have at home, from ensuring that our floors are safe up to the bits and pieces on our cupboards. These choices are especially highlighted when you have children at home.

For starters, let’s look into the flooring of your house, which occupies a significant area of your living space. It is important to ensure that your flooring is free from toxic materials, as the presence of harmful chemicals can be a source of indoor air pollution. So, in order to avoid the largest environmental health risk in the world, learning about the proper flooring to use can prove to be advantageous. In fact, while carpeting is a popular choice, carpet installations are to be avoided as they are a large contributor to indoor air pollution.

Here are some useful information about alternative choices for flooring materials and how they could impact indoor air quality that you should look into:

  1. Ceramic Tile Flooring

Generally, a safe, non-toxic flooring option that is also easy to maintain are ceramic tiles. Glazed ceramic flooring tiles are resistant to water, humidity and stain penetration, which makes them an ideal flooring for moist areas in the house such as bathrooms or kitchens. However, unglazed ceramic tiles have to be sealed in order to protect their surfaces from water.

Ceramic flooring is also very durable, they are difficult to crack. A quality ceramic tile installation can last for as long as twenty years or even longer if it is well-maintained. Also, if a single tile succumbs to severe impact and cracks, then you can easily replace the cracked tile.

  1. Vinyl Flooring

Opting for vinyl flooring is a popular choice among consumers because they are durable, versatile, and economical options. Vinyl flooring can come in large, continuous, flexible sheets or as modern tiles or vinyl planks. Unlike vinyl floor tiles, a vinyl sheet floor is completely water-resistant. Aside from being impermeable, vinyl flooring is also easy to install, fairly durable, and resilient. They are also available in a variety of appearances and are affordable flooring materials.

For those looking for vinyl flooring in Melbourne at Market Timbers, check out their assortment of non-toxic flooring materials. They offer a hybrid vinyl/cork flooring system that replicates the natural look of timber flooring.

  1. Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is the best option for anyone with allergies because it improves air quality. The surface allows for easy removal of dust, pollens, dander, and other allergens. Aside from enhancing the look of your home, there are a lot of major benefits of hardwood flooring. These include being low maintenance, versatile, durable, and cost effective. Not only do wooden floors save you money, but they are also natural, eco-friendly, and more sustainable. Instead of replacing hardwood floors, they can be refinished so it costs less than getting new flooring.

Wooden floors are timeless, and if you want, you can sand and stain them to make them darker.

Indeed, picking flooring can be a daunting task with the variety of materials to choose from and each of the flooring types has an assortment of options too. Other factors such as moisture retention, wear resistance, maintenance, durability, and costs should also be taken into consideration. Plus, the impact of toxic substances on health and wellness should be a significant influence on your choices for flooring materials, so you can look into these three flooring type options.

Dada | First Words

The first word that is spoken is always an exciting time with your little one and the anticipation of what it would be, might have parents on the edge of their seats. I know this is how we were as we anticipated those first words from our daughter, Nikki.

I had a few friends and family who would tell me that the first word is usually momma or dada but a majority of them said it would be “Dada.” Of course, they were right as her first word was “Dada.”

So when I saw, Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, by Jimmy Fallon I knew this was the perfect gift for my husband for Father’s Day as it will take him back to that glorious day that he reminds me of every single day. 😉

“Your baby’s first word will be…Dada! Right? Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada”! But does it work?”

According to this children’s book it can definitely work with hard work and determination. The book is beautifully illustrated with different animals throughout and each animal has something in common – teaching their children to say “Dada.” Unfortunately, their attempts just have their child make their sound instead. However, fathers never give up and by the end, all the children say “Dada.” Hooray!

We just loved this book as it is so sweet. The story is simple for a young child to understand and flows nicely. Your child can learn as the story is read to them as you can teach your child the sounds that different animals make.

Nikki and I had a blast reading it. The best part is that Nikki was able to read the words as we went along and that made my heart skip a beat. She can now read the story to her Dada who will be so proud to hear her first words in a story form.

Therefore, it is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5+++ Dads out of 5! We do have a message for Mr. Jimmy Fallon, keep writing beautiful books and showing us how much love our children have for us as parents. Whether it is Mama or Dada, they are both loving parents who at the end of the day love their children with all their hearts. Thank you!

If you would like to purchase this book for the Dada in the life of your little one, then please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga