The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student Series

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Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m a strong believer in giving to charities that will help people and animals in need.  I donate to charities like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , Autism Speaks, Feeding America, PETA and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a student series and I’m proud that schools in my area are participating with this campaign.  I set up a page and you can click on the link below.  Any donation and I mean any is greatly, hugely appreciated!  THANK YOU!

http://events.lls.org/pages/cpa/PaxtoniaElementarySchool/AMercado

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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Juvenile Chapter Books – Ivy & Bean and The Adventures of Sophie Mouse

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m continuing with my book finds because it’s very dear to me. My girls and I love juvenile chapter book series and when we sit down to read a book with chapters before bedtime we usually read one or a couple of chapters every night until we’re done with the book.  This allows us time to read several other easy to read or picture books before lights out.  I strive to read up to three books per night depending on how long each book is.

The first book series that we fell in love with was on a summer reading list and we quickly found it at the library.

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Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows + Sophie Blackall

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_and_Bean

As soon as we finished the first book of these two fun-loving and mischievous friends, we couldn’t wait to check out book #2.  The series, so far, goes up to book #10, which left my daughters baffled and in despair for book #11.

“But why isn’t there a book 11?” they asked me and I said, “Because the author probably hasn’t finished writing it. We have to be patient and find another series to read in the meantime.”

And that’s exactly what we did.

Sophie Mouse to the rescue!

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The Adventures of Sophie Mouse

by Poppy Green, Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell

We stumbled upon this wonderful book series at the library when my youngest daughter spotted a nickname version of her own name on the front cover of the book.  They absolutely go bonkers whenever they see their names on the front cover of books.

This series is a great introduction to chapter books.  It’s completely adorable and there are beautiful black and white illustrations within the book.  The stories are endearing and the main character, Sophie Mouse, is an artist who simply loves adventures and sharing them with her dear friends, Hattie Frog and Owen Snake.  So far the series is up to book 6, but book 7 has a release date for this year so I’ll be requesting a hold on a copy at my library so my girls and I can get a chance to read it as soon as possible.  We can’t wait!

I highly recommend these books.  You should check them out at your local library and if they don’t have it, request it!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and at my daughter’s school they did something pretty cool this year.  They wanted their students to decorate and bring in a valentine holder for their valentine cards and treats.

My kindergartener and I decided to decorate an empty graze snack box (graze.com) because it was already partially decorated for Valentine’s Day (red hearts) and it was the perfect size to transform into a purse/clutch valentine holder! 🙂

We just added my daughter’s name in the front (covering the graze name) along with some 3D valentine stickers

and glued a piece of purple construction paper in the back and decorated it with a variety of stickers.

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I secured the box with a little bit of clear tape and made a slot, which we decorated with a fabric, flower ribbon, for the valentine cards and treats to go in.

We recycled the clear plastic backing, which you can probably see in the first 2 pics, of the glitter tape decoration that we placed around the box (not shown in the pics) for the purse strap.  I then showed my daughter how she could hold the box two ways:  as a clutch with her hand or a shoulder purse with the strap.  The giddiness that ensued after transforming that box into her valentine holder will stay with me forever. 🙂

As for my third grader, she had a vision and it involved one of her favorite cartoon characters, SpongeBob Squarepants.  She loves that little dude!

She didn’t want to do plain, old SpongeBob though.  No, she wanted to make SpongeBob in his Kuddly Krab work uniform.   This uniform is featured in the episode titled “Bossy Boots.”

We printed out some pics of SpongeBob wearing the uniform so we could easily reference it.

I also made a template of the purple flower design that’s on the uniform so my daughter could easily trace, cut, and glue the design onto the box.

The materials we used were a cereal box, construction paper (pink, yellow, purple, white, and neon green card stock paper), and pipe cleaners.  We also printed out a small spatula and a “Krabby Patty,” which we taped onto his hands.

        

From a cereal box to “Kuddly Krab SpongeBob Squarepants!”

           

Here’s the breakdown: We gift wrapped the box with pink construction paper using tape and glue.  My daughter traced a big circle out of yellow construction paper for his face and two small circles for his eyes with white paper as well as two little squares for his front teeth.  She then drew the details herself.  She used the template for the purple flower designs and we glued those down as well as his face.  The pipe cleaners were used to make the antennas, arms, legs, socks, and shoes.  She wanted to place two pink hearts on the antennas instead of the red K’s.  For his yellow hands I copy and pasted a picture of SpongeBob and cropped the pic until his hands were the only things on the screen, then printed and glued onto the pipe cleaner.  We did the image two sided so it was easier to glue.  A slot at the top of the box ensures that valentine cards and treats will go in nicely!

There you have it!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

April Fool’s Brownies

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Happy April Fool’s Day!  My oldest daughter, Olivia, woke up today super excited because it’s April Fool’s Day and she really wants to pull a prank on someone.  That someone is her dad so I went on Pinterest and searched for silly pranks.  There was one in particular that was cute, simple to do and silly enough for a six-year-old to enjoy.

So we’re baking a batch of brownies for dear old dad, oh wait did I just say/write baking brownies.  No, what I meant was we’re making brown E’s for unsuspecting, dear old dad.  Check it out:

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I left some E’s for Olivia to cut out once she got home from school, then we put a book inside the baking pan (so it could feel heavy), placed all the E’s inside, and closed it up with aluminum foil.

I even put it inside the oven, which prompted my youngest to say, “Oh no, the E’s are going to get hot,” even though I didn’t turn it on.  🙂

Needless to say, once my husband got home from work, the girls couldn’t contain themselves.  Sophia kept shouting, “April Fool’s Day!” so I quickly told my husband to sit down ’cause we made him some brownies before our prank was revealed.

We brought the pan of brownies and told him to uncover the pan completely.

The result:

My husband was surprised and happy with the brown E’s, but then really sad ’cause there wasn’t any real brownies. 🙂

Happy April Fool’s Day everyone!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

Oh angry bird…

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Oh angry bird

look at you there

staring fiercely at me,

but you bring so much joy

to so many kids, including my own.

You’re even inspiring.

Beckoning me to take a photograph of you

with your beady little eyes,

furrowed eyebrows and pointy beak.

Who knew you were such a model?

You definitely have that je ne sais quoi.

– Angelica Mercado

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Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, less writing these past few months days.  Just going through the motions and preparing for Christmas.  The tree and decorations are up at the Mercado household, the online wish list has been emailed and the gift shopping is very SLOWLY getting checked off.  As for my angry bird inspiration above, my kids are always taking their toys, whether they’re bath toys or not, to the bathroom and while taking a shower the other day, I spotted the angry bird on the dollhouse table.  It beckoned to be photographed.  So I did.  And then gave it some words.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY Minion

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I have a great craft idea that came from my darling, beautiful and very crafty 6-year-old daughter, Olivia.  With a toilet paper roll, construction paper, glue, markers, scissors, and googly eyes Olivia made her very own minions from the movie “Despicable Me.”  She came up with this idea on her very own so I’m sharing it with you step by step.  Enjoy!

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My husband put up a ledge shelf for Olivia’s Arts and Crafts finished projects.  Here are her Minions – Ballerina, Mom, Dad, and Baby Minion

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I covered the toilet paper roll with yellow construction paper.  I added the googly eyes with the glue dots.  Then traced around the eyes with the silver marker to make the goggles and used the black sharpie to make the band.

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Using the sharpie I drew the smile and hair.  With the blue construction paper I made the front of the overalls, adding a pocket and the letter G for Gru.

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I glued the construction paper using the Fabri – Tac glue because it works best for me.  I used the glue dots for the small strips of construction paper.  You can always make the Minion with one eye like the toy figure pictured.

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Here’s my finished Minion.

This is a fun craft project for your kids and it’s also a great decorating idea for any Minion party!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Fourth of July Flag Craft Project

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

The Fourth of July is a couple of days away and I wanted to find a craft project for my daughter, Olivia, to do for this day.  I found a great project with craft sticks and here’s what we did:

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You will need the instructions (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/july4/craftstickflag/), craft sticks, glue, blue paper, white stars (I used a small star puncher that I have), paintbrush, and red and white acrylic paints.

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We painted the sticks, let them dry, and then glued one long stick in the back and broke another in two and glued those in the middle and on the other side of the craft sticks to make the flag sturdier.  I didn’t have enough craft sticks that were required in the instructions, but we were still able to make the flag.  No biggie!

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Olivia glued a small blue square to the corner of the sticks and then glued on the stars.

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We glued the final craft stick to make the handle longer and I also used masking tape on the back of the flag and the handle to secure it better.

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Happy “Early” Fourth of July

from the Mercado household and themercadoproject.com!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Think Breakfast

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Yesterday was my daughter’s last day as a Kindergartener!  It’s definitely amazing how I can feel as if time flew on by, but at the same time the jitters and anxiety over the first day of school are still fresh in my mind.  Like they say, “it was just yesterday…”, and that’s how I’m feeling.  With time, the unknown (school/Kindergarten) became familiar, but now we’re full circle and back to the unknown (1st grade).  I say unknown because I have absolutely no recollection of my time in the early years of school and this is my first kid entering the school system, so there you go.  Now, I can only hope that some of her new friends are placed in her new class and she’s given a great teacher like the one she had before, whom by the way I want to thank once again for writing a lovely message in my daughter’s Dr. Seuss “Oh, the places you’ll go! ” book.  Her message made me cry because it was so nice of her and I couldn’t wait to show it to Olivia.  I did debate on whether or not to keep the book and its messages a secret for a great surprise in the future, but then I don’t think the memory of each teacher would be fresh.  At the end of every school year I’m going to do my best to get a personal message from each teacher written in that book just for Olivia.  It’s a great idea and I knew once I heard about it that I was going to do it.  I’m very happy that I did.

Changing subjects and making the title of this post relevant, I wanted to share with you a great program that was introduced to my daughter at school.  It brings awareness to eating a healthy breakfast.  There’s even a song and dance called “Think Breakfast,” which Olivia performed with her class at her school during their annual festival dance.  She also received a water bottle and a pedometer (promoting hydration and exercise).  The pedometer was a hit with Olivia.  It simply fascinated her that this little gizmo could count her steps.  Of course, she put it to the test by walking around our apartment and stopping every so often to see the latest number.

Olivia: What number is this?

Me: Two hundred and fifty-eight

Olivia: Whaaaat?  That’s a really big number.

Me:  It sure is.  You’re walking a lot.

Olivia: I want to walk until it says 1 mile.  What number is that?

Me: Ten thousand, one, zero, zero, zero, zero.

Olivia: Whaaaat?

🙂

Check out the website for recipes, videos, activity pages, and games.  I had both girls watching the video, learning the dance steps and singing the song.  A funny and wonderful memory just for me.

http://www.thinkbreakfast.com/

Take good care all.

Until next time…

A NOT SO PUZZLING EFFECT

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A not so puzzling effect

Her eyes dart

from piece to piece

looking for a place to start.

She takes a quick glance to see

exactly what she’s looking for.

I can’t take my eyes away

from her beautiful face.

As it comes alive with a series

of emotions

such concentration,

undivided attention,

then, sheer frustration.

“Help me mommy,” she says.

“Look for a corner,” I offer.

She has to do it on her own.

And when she fits the final piece

seriousness instantaneously

shifts into happiness

for us both.

– Angelica Mercado

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Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

My children are a great inspiration and when a moment occurs, in which I want to describe and keep it forever in words, I toss procrastination to the side (along with some housework, I’ll get to it eventually), sit down, and just write.  Some days it’s hard to get the right words down quickly when you have a 3 and 5-year-old beckoning every two minutes so I have to hit SAVE and walk away, but lately I’ve been getting back to my writing instead of letting it sit there in oblivion.  It’s a good feeling to get back to it.

Thanks for visiting!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Clothes, shoes, space…oh my!

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

I’ve been tackling and frustratingly looking for space to put away the clothes and shoes that no longer fit my oldest daughter, but are still in wearable condition for my youngest.  Yes, I could always buy a bigger bureau, but then that would allow more (unnecessary) clothes to come into the house.  My way of corralling my kids’ clothes and keeping things at a minimum is by having a medium size bureau.  It has four drawers and I separate things between my girls by two drawers each.  I have their short and long sleeve shirts, leggings, skirts, shorts, pajamas, socks, underwear, and undershirts in this one bureau.  Nice and tidy (until tornado hubby comes along looking for something!)  There’s also a SMALL (NYC, enough said) closet, a storage chest (mainly used for winter pajamas and baby clothes that I simply couldn’t part with, for example, their first outfit worn home from the hospital), and this gem that was being tossed out by a local pharmacy and my husband and his brother-in-law were walking by just in time.  They were gracious enough to give him every single little piece that came with it, including the shelves, nuts and bolts!  🙂

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Just in case you don’t know, that’s my oldest daughter’s name above, Olivia, so it was meant to come home with my husband.  It used to house body and hair care products for sale, but after my husband drilled holes and inserted a dowel, it became a small, open closet.  We put up some of the shelves for shoes and left the bottom open in order to place a basket (Ikea) for additional shoe storage.  I hang up my oldest daughter’s school uniform and my youngest daughter’s spring/summer dresses in this closet.

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As for the shoes that my oldest has outgrown, but are still good yet too big for my youngest, I save them in wide, delivery boxes.  Recycle, reuse (both, shoes and boxes).  In order to know what’s inside after I taped up the boxes, I take a picture (inserting sizes on the pic), print it out and tape it onto the box.

Why do I do this?  So I can stay sane, save money, and help the environment (less trash for the landfills).  Extra space would be nice, but I feel more comfortable using what I already have instead of buying new or more.  I also like to pass things down as my children grow out of them.  I usually distribute between my sister-in-law (who has a daughter one year younger than mine), family members in Puerto Rico, the donation bin two blocks down from my home, and the church my parents attend.

Thanks for visiting and viewing.

Take good care.

Until next time…