Educational Toys For Young Children

In an age of digital gadgets, there is still a place for traditional toys. Kids can have plenty of fun playing with classic types of toys that have entertained children for centuries. Some local brick and mortar toy stores may not carry a selection of unique items that could stimulate the imagination of young children.

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Doll houses are considered to be all time favorites among young girls. Miniature homes include replicas of realistic household furniture and other items. Of course, unique dolls are available to suit the characters of particular girls. Taking on the role of housewife is a great form of play for young girls. Such kids learn at an early age about responsibilities around the household. Perhaps, doll houses can inspire young girls to help their moms and sisters with various chores and other tasks around the house and outside.

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Trains and other locomotive toys inspire the imagination of young boys. Realistic replicas of actual railroad tracks, stations and other features create a fantasy world inside a child’s bedroom. Kids love to watch trains and other vehicles move around. A sense of space and other technical skills may be developed with play sets that include trains and other types of vehicles such as trucks.

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Parents can also shop for musical toys that stimulate the auditory senses and vocals of young kids. Small plastic toys are available to replicate realistic instruments that produce fun sounds. Toddlers can truly enjoy playing with musical toys that bring joy to the ears.

The Rundown on Allergic Rhinitis

Is your child always suffering from watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes and nose? He just might have allergic rhinitis.  If you or your husband has it, chances are, your child has inherited it.  The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may be bothersome but, fortunately, they can be addressed easily.

What Is Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is the inflammation of nasal passageways caused by allergens.  Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy eyes and nose.  If not treated immediately, it may cause nasal congestion, coughing, sore throat, and headache. Those who have frequent attacks may also develop dark and puffy undereyes.

How to Prevent Allergies

The only way to prevent allergies is to avoid all allergens that trigger them.  Allergens that cause rhinitis often include pollen, dust mites, dust, and dander.  Completely avoiding them though is impossible. The best thing you can do is to reduce exposure to these allergens.  If pollens trigger your allergies, stay indoors during pollen season.  Use microfiber cloth when cleaning your home to avoid dust from spreading through the air.  Regularly clean your airconditioner’s filter.  Clean your mattresses and upholstery often.  At home, we use Allercon, a tannic acid spray, to make sure that no mites inhabit our mattresses.


The symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be treated quite easily.  There are a slew of nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants available over the counter but it is always best to consult with your child’s paediatrician before buying any of them for your child.  Medication would depend on your child’s age, the severity of his allergy, and other medical conditions.

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To give you an idea of the possible treatments for allergic rhinitis, here’s a quick rundown of treatment your doctor may prescribe:

Nasal Wash.  This simple saline solution helps remove mucus from the nose.  It’s available in drug stores but can also be made at home using warm water(1c), salt(1/2tsp), and baking soda(pinch).  My kids and I use the ones in spray form available in drug stores.  This may be the only treatment required for mild allergic rhinitis.

Antihistamines.  These work well in treating allergies. They come in syrup, chewable tablet, and spray forms.  Though available without prescription, always ask your doctor which one would be most suitable for your child.

Nasal Corticosteroid Sprays.  These are very effective in treating allergic rhinitis but have to be used for continuous periods. Although they are generally safe for children, make sure to consult with your paediatrician first as steroidal sprays may not be necessary at all.  Prolonged use may cause nasal passages to become dry and sensitive though.  Alternating it with nasal wash may alleviate this discomfort.

Decongestants.  Clogged nose can be addressed using decongestants.  They are available in syrup, tablet and spray forms. They must not be used for prolonged periods though.  Nasal spray decongestants must not be used for more than three days.  Most syrups should only be taken for a maximum of five days.  Again, ask your doctor before giving any decongestant to your child.

Immunotherapy.  For severe cases, allergy shots may be recommended.  Your child will be given regular shots of the pollen he is allergic to.  The doses increase slightly until his body is able to adjust to the pollen and the symptoms are lessened.

Allergic rhinitis has become more common nowadays perhaps due to the grave increase of pollutants in the environment.  Some outgrow their allergies as their immune systems become less sensitive to allergens while some will need medication throughout their lives.  Moreover, medication that has worked before may lose its effect and require a new one. It is always best to consult with your doctor regularly.

NASOCLEAR for Mama Sniffles and Li’l Miss Sniffles

Ah-Chooooo! Ah-Chooooo!  Ah-Choooo!

Since I could remember, this was often how I greeted the morning – with a resounding sneeze totally unbecoming of a petite girl (now a woman) like me. Handkerchiefs and tissues were a must otherwise I’d end up with sleeves all wet and icky. Even the tissue had to be of a certain material as some make my allergies even worse.  Aside from the sneezes and sniffles, dark circles around my eyes are telltale signs of my allergic rhinitis.

The Tale of Mrs. Sniffles and Li’l Miss Sniffles

When I was younger, I didn’t mind the sneezing and the runny nose that much.  But there came a time when the allergies became so frequent and so severe that I had no choice but to take a daily dose of antihistamine.  During my not-so-favorite seasons, steroidal nasal sprays are my best friends.  Although medication and steroid sprays stopped the sniffles, they often made my nasal passages dry.  Plus, the doctor recommends using them only during certain periods of the year.  So when my allergies are tolerable, I just use a nasal sprays that contain only sodium chloride and water.

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Li’l Miss Sniffles doing the allergic salute

When my kids were toddlers, we found out that they had both inherited my rhinitis.  Li’l Jade, my Li’l Miss Sniffles, has the worse of it.  Xyzal, Alnix, Allerkid, Loraped, Disudrin, Claritin – we always keep one or two of these medicines on hand.  Their pediatrician also prescribed us to use saline solution to keep the nasal passages clear.  When they were toddlers, we used Salinase drops.  Now we use nasal sprays which are easier to use on our very active preschoolers.  Just a spray on each nostril and they’re off to go.

NASOCLEAR: Nasal Spray from a Brand We Trust

A few weeks ago, I received a sample of NASOCLEAR from Unilab. I was really more than willing to review the product. Dust, pollen, and the extreme heat trigger our rhinitis so I was thankful for an extra bottle of nasal spray.

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NASOCLEAR is a natural water based nasal spray that contains 0.65% sodium chloride.  It helps relieve nasal congestion and alleviates itching, sneezy and runny nose.   It does not contain any steroids, does not cause drowsiness, and does not have any adverse side effects.  The best thing about Nasoclear is that it safe to use on my kids

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As you can see in the picture above, both sprays look exactly the same (except for the labels of course).  They also have the same composition and work pretty much the same way.  It’s really just a matter of choosing the brand you trust.  Of course, for us, that has got to be UNILAB.  So, yes, it’s Nasoclear that keeps our noses sniffle free now.

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Even if you don’t have allergic rhinitis, do have a bottle of nasal spray for each member of your household.  Our nasal passages need some TLC too, you know.  Watch this video below to learn more about the importance of keeping our noses clean:

10 Awesome Music Festivals around the World

Music Festivals are popping up all over the globe. These vary in size, location and types of music, but they all have one thing in common: they are a great place for music lovers to hang out with each other and enjoy amazing sound. A music festival really is a giant party and revellers come from everywhere to have a blast. Here are ten of the most awesome music festivals on the planet. If these are bit out of your league don’t despair, you can hire some crazy lighting and musical equipment from Modern Party Hire and create your own music festival at home!

Image courtesy of Ponsuwan /

Image courtesy of Ponsuwan /

Paleo, Switzerland

This festival is mainly run by volunteers and is a low budget festival and yet over 200,000 people flock to attend. It features a massive range of acts, around 200, including up and coming artists and sounds. The festival showcases music and food from a different region each year.

Exit, Serbia

The Exit Festival is all about social change. It began as a statement, a movement to exit out of the madness created by the Serbian regime. This festival attracts over 200,000 people each year and features international acts as well as local ones.

Ultra, Miami

Another massive music festival, Ultra entertains over 300,000 guests. This is an electronic music festival and is so popular that it sells out well ahead of time. The festival was extended by three days so more people could attend, but it sold out anyway.

Sziget, Hungary

Sziget is another festival that blossomed out of political unrest in the 90’s. It attracts almost 400,000 followers and won the UK Festival Award for Best European Festival. This festival has visitors and artists from all over the world and features almost 200 acts.

Rock in Rio, Brazil

This event is huge. It began with a crowd of 1.5 million party goers and regularly attracts around 700,000 attendees. It attracts big name performers and tickets for this amazing festival usually go on sale two years ahead of time.

Przystanek Woodstock, Poland

This festival is a celebration of Woodstock in 1979 and features rock music. More than half a million people turn up to this infamous rock event. The theme for the event is very much like its forerunner, love, friendship and music. The amazing thing about this festival is that entry is free.

Coachella, California

This festival features alternative and indie music and has a hippy feel to it. In 2013, over 600,000 attended, making it a very well-known and well attended world festival despite its fringe beginnings.

Summerfest, Wisconsin

This festival is famous for its size and even featured as the world’s largest festival in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mawazine, Morocco

This festival had around 2.5 million attendees in 2013 and yet is barely known in America. It features an amazing line-up of artists, particularly African artists.

Donauinselfest, Vienna

This festival is the biggest festival in the world right now. Last year 3.2 million people visited over three days.

Image courtesy of Pixomar/

Image courtesy of Pixomar/

What’s the best music festival you’ve ever been to? Let us know in the comments below.

Summer Kick Off at AMBAY!

Our summer vacay officially started last weekend and what better way to kick it off than with a trip to the beach. Nuj, one of the kids’ classmates, was celebrating his birthday in Ambay Beach Resort in Botolan, Zambales and we were invited. We had no plans that weekend, so off we went to Ambay.

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Celebrating Nuj’s birthday with good ol’ Pinoy parlor games!

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Boodle Fight!!! Veggie Sisig, Veggie Kare-Kare, and even the bagoong was vegan. Kids didn’t know they were eating veggie meat. ;D

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Simple amenities, Awesome peeps!

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What do you do with driftwood and trash washed away on the shore? Turn them into pieces of art, of course!

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post about Ambay, this place is for those looking for some repose from citylife. You’ll find no television, bars, or videokes here. Neither are there five-star hotel amenities. What you instead get is good ol’ sea, sand, and sun. Yep, it’s just the beach and your family. Just exactly what you need for a weekend of family bonding!

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We’re going back to Ambay to join the Kids Ultimate Summer Experience from May 2 to 4.  The 3-day camp is packed with fun activities for the kids and the kids at heart.  Sign up now to join the fun ‘coz they can accommodate only a limited number of guests. Visit the event page on FB at to reserve slots for your family.

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