Mirage

Mix of motherhood, writing, photography and homemaking

Circle of Mom’s Top 25 Photographer Moms

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Pink, that’s also what little girls are made of

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Weddings

The Top 5 Wedding Blogs of 2017

By on September 20, 2017

If you are getting married soon and are in the midst of planning your wedding, you are likely scouring the web for inspiration and ideas on how to make your wedding the best one of the year. The best wedding blogs not only give you ideas, but they also provide you a great deal of information about what to ask potential vendors, how to save money, how to select the perfect gown, and provide tips on wedding hair and makeup for the big day. There is a plethora of information on wedding blogs and they can be extremely helpful in your planning. This post will feature the best wedding blogs of 2017.

image via http://www.acrimsonkiss.com/2014/04/jayme-and-slater.html
  • A Crimson Kiss. This blog is full of gorgeous photos of real-life weddings. If you want to read stories about romantic proposals and wedding ceremonies, blog owner and author Lena has created a great space on the web that will delight your soul. Hop on over for great wedding ideas, romantic stories, and gorgeous photography of weddings from all over the world.
image via https://dylanmhowell.com/wedding/
  • Dylan M Howell. If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, this blog is perfect for you as it will not only inspire you, but it will also provide you with great information on vendors in your area. With award winning photography and great information on all things related to getting married, this is a great go-to website to add to your bookmarks now.
image via https://www.stylemepretty.com/2017/09/19/a-gorgeous-alfresco-garden-wedding-in-the-desert/
  • Style Me Pretty. This blog has been around for a decade, and for very good reason. This blog is one of the first that showcased bridal style in a way that had never been done so before online. It is because of this blog that the bar for wedding style and class has been raised to new heights. If you are obsessed with style and it is paramount to your big day, this is a great blog to read regularly. You will not be disappointed.
wedding
image via http://ruffledblog.com/classically-beautiful-intimate-wedding-in-tuscany/


  • Ruffled. This blog was born in 2008 and has since been giving couples the inspiration they need to plan a wonderful event. Offering a plethora of ideas and DIY projects, this blog is perfect for couples who want to make their wedding unique and represent them.
image via http://offbeatbride.com/tropical-themed-wedding/
  • Offbeat bride. This website is a celebration of those bride’s who are not the status quo. They like to march to their own beat and they do things different from all others. If you are an offbeat bride and want your wedding to be unlike any other, be sure to check out this blog for inspiration and the extra push to do things differently than have ever been done before. Want to wear black at your wedding? This blog will encourage you to do whatever it is that will make you the happiest on your big day!

No matter what your wedding style is, you cannot go wrong in consulting these blogs for ideas and inspiration on planning your big day.

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Kids

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Be More Empathetic and Compassionate

By on August 3, 2017
Finding Vienna’s Neko Cafe

While we of course want our kids to grow up to be happy and healthy, how much attention are we realistically paying to their emotional well-being on any given day?

Even if you’re always there to support your child emotionally, the fact remains that empathy and compassion aren’t something they’re going to learn overnight. Likewise, if you aren’t encouraging positive values and behaviors on behalf of your child, where else are they going to learn them?

As a result, it’s important for mothers to understand the steps they can take to teach actively teach empathy to their children. To small everyday behaviors to specific activities you can take part in with your child, consider the following strategies to help your child grow emotionally.




Become More Active in the Community

Chances are you’re already taking your children out and about on a regular basis, but how meaningful are your outings?

Finding opportunities to introduce your child to your local community, especially through volunteer work and community service is a major factor to teaching compassion.

From community service activities such as cleaning up a local park to spending time at a soup kitchen, encouraging your child to see the bigger picture in terms of the world around them is crucial. In fact, Outdoorsy.co notes that some families actually take full-blown vacations for the specific purpose of volunteering and making a difference, which in turn has a major impact on the children involved. By teaching your children that “just because” is a justified reason to do good, they’ll reciprocate that compassion as they get older.

libreriakids
In Venice’s Libreria Aqua Alta

Expose Them to Diversity

Don’t be afraid to take your child far beyond their own backyard when it comes to who they’re spending time with. It’s important to introduce your children to new people of different ages, cultures and nationalities. For example, simply spending time with the elderly can help children understand the concepts of aging and respect simultaneously.

Again, diversity isn’t going to solely be learned through daycare and daytime cartoons. If you want your children to understand just how diverse the world is, you need to be willing to show them.

Model Good Behavior Yourself

On a similar note, your kids are watching how you act at any given moment. As a result, how you handle conflicts and respond to situations is incredibly important. Therefore, take special note when interacting with…

• People in public, including conflicts you might have with others that might otherwise lead to an argument
• Discussions and debates with your partner, remaining calm and civil in the face of diversity
• Your children themselves: for example, make sure to explain any punishments or be patient with them when they’re asking questions

Don’t think of  modeling good behavior as putting pressure on yourself. Instead, think of how staying calm and collected can help your children grow up to act the same way.

Teaching empathy and compassion in children can certainly be challenging as there’s really no guidebook on the process. That said, these tips can help put your children on the right path to developing emotionally and growing up to be empathetic.

maxxx
With Max, the frenchie…

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home comfort zone

Spic and Span Homes for Spring, Summer and the Rest of the Year

By on April 20, 2017

Spring and summer seasons are perfect for doing general cleaning, home repairs and home improvement projects. The good weather condition allows homemakers to inspect and repair the outer areas of the house or temporarily expose the interiors to facilitate home improvement projects. Most households take advantage of this weather to do some general cleaning and turn their homes inside-out to make sure that everything is in spic and span condition. These tasks are easier said than done which is why there are contractors, carpet cleaning, plumbing and house cleaning services available for those who can’t do everything on their own.

squeaky clean

Giving the whole house a thorough cleansing usually involves de-cluttering every room in the house, removing stubborn dirt and stains, disinfecting sensitive areas, and replacing or removing corroded elements in the house. Bathroom and kitchen areas are often easy to address as they are cleansed and disinfected more often that the other rooms in the house. Carpeted areas like the living room and bedroom need extra work especially for rugs with stubborn stains. These areas may be cleaned or vacuumed on a regular basis but they still require a power clean once in a while. Those who are not so skilled in housekeeping are better off with professional cleaners to get their carpets clean and disinfected without losing their luster. The same goes for upholstery and wall carpets. Affordable carpet cleaning services are easy to find nowadays because of the internet. One can even set a same day appointment with their cleaners which is quite convenient for those who entertain guests frequently.

Cleaning the storage areas, basement, attic, or garage can be a tedious task because they usually get the least attention in terms of maintenance. However, these rooms don’t normally require professional attention unless there are toxic materials or electrical hazards involved. Checking the roof and gutter for leaks can be done by any household member with a bit of handyman skills, repairing them on the other hand requires a certain level of expertise. Handyman services can be availed by those who need to get their roof or gutters fixed. There are also contractors who can help on painting jobs, window sill replacement, wall papering, and other major home projects.

Having a clean and healthy home environment is easy when there are affordable professional home services available. It is up to the homemakers to keep it in spic and span condition as long as they can or at least until the next spring cleaning session.

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Techie

Working On-the-Go: The Convenience of Mobile Technology

By on March 18, 2017

 

These days, you do not have to be strapped to an office chair sitting behind your computer to be productive.  You can actually work on-the-go with various technologies available today.  While some would cringe at the thought of working 24/7, being able to access your work files anytime, anywhere using mobile devices is actually a convenience you can enjoy.  When used properly, these devices can make your working life a whole lot easier and less stressful.  Think of sitting on a comfy couch at Starbucks while finishing up some admin work on your tablet – this sure paints a more pleasant picture of the work environment.  You can work while on the train or while stuck in traffic perhaps to book a working lunch or even to send out the day’s memos.  You can even go on a travel tour and not worry about going back to a pile of paperwork when you get back from your vacation.  You only need to have the right tools to work on-the-go.

mobile technology
great convenience

1.  Mobile computing device.  The gadgets today are already capable of basic computing processes.  You do not even need a laptop anymore to do your office tasks.  As long as you have a tablet or a smartphone with the right operating systems and compatible software, you’re good to go.  Make sure you have a browser that can open your email accounts and social media accounts.  You also need a device that can run any corporate apps and software that you might need.

2. Connectivity.  You don’t need to be hooked up to wires anymore to be connected to the internet.  There’s WiFi and 4G technology to keep you connected even while you are on-the-go.  Most commercial establishments offer free WiFi to their patrons – now, that’s a great excuse to hang out at your favourite coffee shop for hours.  You can also make use of your mobile phone plan for 4G internet services.  There are also mobile pocket wifi devices that you can simply plug into your device to connect to the internet.

3.  Storage.  For file access anytime anywhere, you can make use of cloud storage.  There are actually some platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox that allow you to store your files and even share them with others.  The great thing about these cloud services is that you can sync your files so you don’t have to worry about not having the latest version of your files when you work on another device.  Collaborations are also much more convenient this way.  Entire work teams do not necessarily have to be in one location to accomplish their goals.

Recent developments in mobile technology are meant to make lives easier.  Knowing how to take advantage of these modern ways of getting work done will surely help you make better use of your time anywhere you are – even while on a European tour.

 

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Travels

Dream Destinations for Kiddie Travellers

By on February 12, 2017

 

lamp, disneyland resort paris
Daughter at Disneyland Resort Paris

Traveling is a great way to expand people’s horizons. Experiencing different cultures and discovering new sights is a fun and exciting way to learn about the world. Travel fanatics would invest time and money in exploring new frontiers from the most rugged to the most modern destinations around. There are also those whose aim is to visit the Seven Wonders of the World during their lifetime and others who would be simply happy to travel in places that they can afford.

The wide range of travel packages available allows families to achieve their travel dreams easily. Parents can plan their vacation with the kids to destinations that will bring them memories to last a lifetime. Here are some vacation spots that Kiddie Travelers are sure to enjoy.

A. Paris, France. This Romantic City of Lights is a favored destination for sophisticated urban chic travelers, art lovers, and romantic couples but they also offer some great spots for children of all ages. A trip to Paris will not be complete without a trip to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Families can enjoy a lovely picnic in the lawn or surrounding park areas with a great view of the tower. The Seine River Cruise is also another way for the kids to enjoy the Paris landscape, scenery and architecture. But the most popular Parisian spot for kids is none other than Disneyland Paris. A day is not enough to cover all the wonderful attractions in their magical place and if the kids have their way, they’ll probably spend their entire vacation with the Disney Characters that they love.

hello kitty sanrio puroland
Sanrio Puroland

B. Japan is another fun and interesting place for the kids to visit. The land of Hello Kitty and anime characters hold some of the most innovative and modern structures around. The Sanrio Puroland Theme Park holds seven attractions that feature Hello Kitty and her Sanrio friends. The kids will also love taking their pictures wearing various Sanrio costumes at the Mini Photo Factories and Plants at the Puroland. They also have their own Tokyo Disney Resort with the twin amusement parks Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Let the kids experience Japanese culture with a visit to the Ghibli Museum, Mount Fuji and Tokyo Tower, a ride in the Bullet Train, and stop at a traditional Japanese Restaurant.

C. Germany is also a great destination for Theme Park Lovers with the Europa-Park and Legoland in its map. The Europa-Park, with a mix of attractions that cater to the adventurous thrill-seekers, children, senior citizens, and the disabled, is one of the best theme parks in the world . A visit to the themed areas, exhibitions and interactive areas is something that the kids will truly enjoy on top of the thrilling rides in the park. Legoland Parks hold more than just roller coaster rides, water adventures and shows in their park. Their MINILAND attraction is an amazing sight to witness. This wonder took over 25 million LEGO bricks to recreate famous European towns and landscapes. There are a lot more theme parks all over the country, you just have to look which is the nearest in the city you are visiting. Parents can also let their kids experience a bit of history and fairy tale magic with a trip to the Castle Road where they can get glimpse of some famous castles in the country.

D. Florida, USA. The sun and the sand make Florida a great destination for some outdoor beach fun for the whole family. Aside from some great family beach resorts, this state also has several theme parks that attract visitors from different parts of the world including Disneyland Florida, Universal Studios Orlando and Sea World Orlando.

E. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA is another bright city that both kids and adults can enjoy. Kid-friendly spots like the Adventure Dome, Lion Habitat, Mirage Dolphins, Stratosphere Tower, Town Square Las Vegas, and the Shark Reef are worth exploring. There are also family shows featuring magic tricks, musicals, and acrobatic performances for the kids to watch. Parents who would like to go on late night excursions after putting the kids to bed need to have an efficient and trusted guardian who can watch over the kids for a few hours.

The children of today are quite lucky to have affordable travel packages and modern conveniences that make traveling a practical leisure option for the whole family. It doesn’t have to take a lifetime to visit dream destinations anymore as some travel goals can be reached with a little planning and a little savings.

tucherland, germany
My kids and their cousin at Tucherland, Germany

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