8 Sep 2014

Activities for Toddlers - Homemade Kid's Bow and Arrow

- 6 comments
activities for toddlers
Activities for Toddlers - Homemade Kid's Bow and Arrow

Materials Required


Toilet Paper Tube -1
Bamboo Skewers - 2 to 3 (or as per requirement)
Rubber band (stretchable) - 1
Colored papers - 1 to 2 (or as per requirement)
Gum - 1
Scissor - 1
Cottons - a little
Cello tape -1

The homemade bow and arrow is completely safe for children to use and is an interesting activity for toddlers. It is made using available things at home and by recycling toilet paper tube. The below steps explains how to make a basic model homemade bow and arrow. Variations can be made by adding more colors and decorations. 

Step 1: Making of Toilet Paper Tube Bow


activities for toddlers
Kid's Homemade Bow and Arrow
  • Make a hole in the center of the toilet paper tube. This hole will serve both as inlet and outlet for the arrow we will be making in the following steps.
  • Cover and paste a yellow colored paper over the toilet paper tube including the ends. Make sure that the hole is seen.

Step 2: Making of the Bow String


activities for toddlers
Kid's Homemade Bow and Arrow
  • Mark and make a small cut at either end of the toilet paper tube. Similarly do the same on the other side of the paper tube.
  • Pass the rubber band over the cuts on the top and the bottom of the paper tubes.
  • Make one side of the rubber band strong and let the other side be stretchable. The former will impart the required grip for the bow string and the latter will make sure to extend our arrow to the desired length.

Step 3: Making of the Arrow


activities for toddlers
Activities for Toddlers
  • Take a bamboo skewer and cut the sharp end off.
  • Using some cotton, cover the cut end and tape it using a cellotape. This will reduce children getting hurt while using and playing with them.
  • Now, cover the bamboo skewers with colored paper and tape it.
  • Make a small cut on the other end of the skewer so that it stands on the rubber band when you are ready to launch the arrow.

Step 4: Completed Bow and Arrow


activities for toddlers
Kid's Homemade Bow and Arrow
The completed look of the bow and arrow (above) is made using and recycling things at home. It is a complete homemade bow and arrow which is quite harmless but entertaining for the kids.

Variations can include
  • adding more decorations for the paper tube
  • adding watered and colored sponge/cotton to make the striked place colorful.
  • Bigger models can be made using long tubes.

Step 5: Working of completed Bow and Arrow


The enclosed video shows the working of the completed bow and arrow by my little son Berry. So, if you wanted to find out how far does the arrow fly, kindly view the video wherein little Berry skills are seen. Comments appreciated :)

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4 Sep 2014

How to Create Mail Merge in Gmail with Google Docs

- 5 comments
I always wanted a way to reach out to my readers other than what blogspot already offers in the name of - syndicating the contents of the post to the subscriber of my blog "Momscribe" whenever a new post goes live. Instead of sending the snippets or entire contents of my blog post, I wanted to send emails which I can personalise according to my needs. Researching the Internet, I found that the work of sending email is done by Mailchimp, Aweber and Mailigen, some of the best online email marketing solution to manage contacts.

But, I wanted something more simpler and that which worked in my power. And this is what I found. Email Marketing for blogs can be done if you have the knowledge of Mail Merge. All you will need is a Gmail account and a Google Drive (using Google Docs Spreadsheet) - both of them free and powerful tools till date. Now, let us see how to mail merge an email using the below four steps.

Note: The below post will explain in detail on how to mail merge your Blogger Blog post with Gmail for creating Newsletter and for sending Bulk emails.

How to Mail Merge an Email


Step 1- CREATE A SPREADSHEET


Click this link to go to this specific Google spreadsheet.

In that spreadsheet, click File and Make a Copy giving it a suitable name. Let's name it as "mymailmerge". This will be saved in your Google Drive mail folder.

By default, you have a First Name, Last Name and Email Address column but you can add any number of columns as per your requirement. Remember, that email address column is mandatory.

Now, we need to populate the rows. This can be done in three ways,
  1. By manually filling it on your own, 
  2. By importing your contacts from Gmail to your spreadsheet and 
  3. By making the visitors sign up their contact details and collecting them as responses.

Okay, for the sake of this post, I have entered two email ids manually (using the first option) in my "mymailmerge" spreadsheet. These emails are the ones to which the Momscribe newsletter will be send.

gmail mail merge
Email Mail Merge Steps

Step 2- GMAIL INBOX


We are going to create a email template which will be used to send across various recipients. In my case, it is two of them. For to do this, go to your Gmail inbox and create a new message. Do not fill in the To, CC or BCC fields in your inbox as we will be using mail merging to access the recipients emails. Just fill only the subject line and the body of the email.

In the body of the mail, we will be accessing our spreadsheet column headings and to do this, we got enter the variables as $%Column Title%

Example: For our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet, we have
$%First Name%
$%Last Name%
$%Email Address%

Make sure that the variables that is entered matches exactly the column heading that has been used in our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet. Now, let's see how we can incorporate these variables in our email the way we want - see image below for details.

gmail mail merge
Email Mail Merge Steps

Step 3- BACK TO SPREADSHEET


After creating the email template, just leave it open (do not close it) and navigate back to our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet. This is done so that our template is live as a draft in our mailbox and is not deleted. All you need is to just navigate away from our Inbox by leaving the template as such so that whatever we have written inside the body of our email works just fine.

Now, go back to the spreadsheet and click "Mail Merge" from the above. In there, click Standard Merge (see image below).

gmail mail merge
Email Mail Merge Steps
When used the first time, you will get a notification asking for a script to run. Click "OK". After granting access to the script, click on the Mail Merge menu and the Standard Merge again.

You will get a window asking you to choose the template for our mail merge.

mail merge gmail
Email Mail Merge Steps 
In the "Select a template to begin the mail merge" box, you will see a list of templates which has been named exactly as we have entered in the subject line of our email template.

Select the "Momscribe Newsletter" template and then click "Send Mails". You will be getting a message as "The merge is done" as seen in the below image.

mail merge gmail
Email Mail Merge Steps

Step 4- BACK TO GMAIL INBOX

Success! You should have received a mail just like the template we have created during our mail merge. Also, the same mail is send to whatever email ids we have had in our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet (it can be two or tens or even hundreds).

mail merge email
Success! Mail Merging is done
Similarly, we can extend the features more to what texts we need to send and how it appears by inserting colors, tables, hyperlinks and images.

Hope you found this post helpful!

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30 Aug 2014

Between Me and My Home - a Quick Makeover

- 6 comments
Home sweet home, whether it is big or small, situated in the city or not. Like most of you, I too have some favorite spots in my home. I personally love sitting on the sofa situated in the hall reading novels or just stare through the window sky-watching. I also love the comfy corner of my bed just close to the wall facing the street. Whether it is the season of rains or boiling hot days, I have the tendency to make my room go on par with the seasons. Every women is an interior designer when it comes to her home. Likewise, I too love making changes in my home which reflects my mood and which my family often do approve of. After all, it's only me who happen to share a very special bond with every nook and corner of my home being a homemaker and that gives me an advantage when coming to redoing the interiors of my home. After all, she takes care of me and vice versa. Having said that, here I share with you some three basic and interesting designs with minimal pieces which I personally love incorporating in my home.

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN

home decor 

I like to incorporate my bed in colors of red and yellow hues from Swayam Magical Linea Bedset which complements the large Artjini Red Flowers acrylic art frame situated just above the bed. The bright colors of the bed sets with its funky patterns imparts some liveliness in the bed room esp. when used during the summer times. Now, what is a bed room without a light lamp. Browsing through the products, I found that this ivory white ceramic Oil Burner as a perfect companion for the night. When lighted, it gives out soft and elegant glow through its abstract design cut out. Another special feature of this lamp is its ability to  use oil, thereby giving out both light and fragrance that makes any night memorable.

CHIC DESIGN

home decor
The above image imparts a stylish and a modern effect. I have chosen the Repose Modha bean bag which is made up of a premium leatherette for its texture and relaxed look. The wall above is decorated with a Wonder Arts 3D effect wall decal which I personally love for its words "Love Home" which sits in the middle with the flower pots on its either side. This 3D effect will give a feel of filling the wall. And to suit both the bean bag and the wallpaper, I choose a chic night lamp which equalizes the color codes of the bean bag and the wall decal. All these products put together will make a feel good appearance in the corner of my room or hallway. Specially, it suits me for having a relaxed resting place hearing music esp. at dawn and night time.

ETHNIC DESIGN

home decor
I love vintage items. And having traditional decoration now and then in my home imparts an eternal feeling of old times. The theme that I have chosen has calm colors with understated decorations on the wall. All the elements of traditional decoration emphasis only on the work of art. The Aapno Rajasthan miniature pots typically decorated in rich colors and different sizes sitting on the unique wood finish gives the wall a look of timelessness. The Karigaari music men and the Earth welcome hanging mural, both complements the miniature pots wall mount. These decorative pieces will surely be eye catching when placed in kitchen, dining room or hallway.

This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at BlogAdda.com

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25 Aug 2014

My Online Wedding Planner through Baggout

- 9 comments
A wedding is a most important occasion in an individual life and every care should be taken to make it memorable for the whole family. But most of the times, the close ones of the bride or bridegroom family are left to handle the encumbrance of the wedding. Indian weddings includes a large number of customs and rituals from inviting guests to taking care of other arrangements that the immediate family members are left alone to handle them, many a time missing a part of the event and are put under pressure to make the wedding go as smooth as possible giving no place to slightest of mistakes.This is where the magical term "wedding planner" comes in. These wedding planners are in fact a boon for families getting prepared for their children's wedding.

Keeping aside the professional wedding planners, in this post I am going share the details of how one can handle the responsibility when been entrusted the role of a wedding planner in any situation. Yes, as a wedding planner my job is to make sure that my favorite celebrity Kajal Agarwal savour every moment of her Shaadi by being her trusted wedding planner by making all the wedding arrangements right in place and with the right budget.

Starting from wedding invitations, venue arrangement, wedding decorations, wedding attire selection to bridal hair and make-up arrangement, I am all set to search the right bargain at the best price. To make things more easier, let's start by doing all the arrangements online. I have chosen a website called baggout.com which will help me find the right retailer for my needs and more importantly for providing me cash back for my purchases.

baggout
Making a wedding planner though Baggout
From the above image, you can clearly see the list of top retailers along with the cash back options they provide. All I need is to pick my retailer through baggout and do my shopping as usual. Rest assured, I will be also be getting my cash back from baggout within days of my shopping. Double Damaka!


1- WEDDING INVITATIONS
wedding invitation
My choice is Vistaprint.com as it has quality wedding invitation cards at best price and it also offers Rs.300 cash back on all purchases through Baggout.

My choice of selection is the blue wedding horizontal folded invitation cards. Vistaprint also allows custom uploads and personalisation. So, I will use these options to further personalise the cards and give it a rick look.


2- WEDDING VENUES
wedding venue
Wedding Venues plays an important role as with wedding decorations. A decent, well light and well ventilated wedding venue makes the guest comfortable and also elevates the grandeur of any wedding. Browsing through Baggout, I found very good hotel deals in Expedia which can serve a very good wedding venue.

Even Car hire and honey moon bookings can be made through Expedia.co.in which offers about 6.0% Cash back on all purchases.


3- FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS AND DECORATIONS

Flower decorations plays an important role in any wedding. The choice of flower and the way it is arranged makes a wedding look at its best.

My choice for Flowers for the wedding decorations are brought from fernsandpetals (www.fnp.com) as it has lots of varieties to offer ranging from flowers bunch, flower bouquets, glass vase arrangement, basket arrangement. Also, this retailer offers me 11.25% cash back on all purchases through Baggout.

4- WEDDING ATTIRES AND FASHION ACCESSORIES

wedding attires
Wedding attire for both bride and bridegroom can be brought from Flipkart.com since my gorgeous pick seems to be located there including of min 70% off some fashion accessories.

My selection was  Sherwani set for Bridegroom and  Lehenga Choli for the Bride along with some jewellery sets to adorn the bride.

5- BRIDAL JEWELLERY

Bridal collection uses classic and contemporary look that lend an incomparable radiance to every woman who adorns it. Bright and matching to the wedding attire, the bridal jewelleries are brought from suratdiamonds.com at 7.5% Cash back on all purchases through Baggout.

6- FOOD ARRANGEMENT
wedding foods

The main highlight of the any wedding is food. It is only the choice of food that displays the grandeur of the wedding. With a lots of options to choose the restaurants, drooling food arrangements are made through foodpanda.com which provides Rs. 30 Cash back on all purchases, again through Baggout.

7- OTHER NECESSARY ITEMS

Items like table mats, napkins, bridal make-up accessories, mehendi and gifts are brought from Limeroad.com which offers Rs. 225 Cash back on all purchases and Myntra.com offering 10.5% cashback on all purchases through Baggout.

With all the arrangements in place, a perfect wedding planner is done all without the hassle of running up and down, travelling from one place to another just by shopping through baggout.com.  So, shall we call it as online wedding planner?  Okay, now its time to return to my favourite celebrity to show her what I have got. Knowing her preferences, I am very well sure she is going to be pleased with all my selections. Well, wishing her in advance Happy Shaadi!

wedding planner
Credits: jamesthomaslong.com
Note: This post is written as a part of "Wedding Planner" Baggout contest . You too can participate before the contest ends on 30th September 2014 by clicking on the above link.
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