Doll Clothes from Old T-shirts

Today I would like to share with you simple examples of how we make Doll Clothes from T-shirts.

My daughter got into sewing some time ago. She does it by hand. And sometimes she just uses safety pins to keep her creations together. I often give her old T-shirts and dresses to use. I encourage her hobbies. And why wouldn’t I when she goes for a sewing kit pretty much every other time when she gets an allowance money to spend?

She makes clothes for her dolls and for her sister. And she dreams to be a clothes designer some day!

She is the one who gave me the idea for this post and I below you will find 3 mini photo tutorials.

Materials Needed:

T-shirts pieces rectangular or square shaped

Safety pins

Dolls or ponies

Doll dress:

Wrap a rectangular piece of t-shirt around your doll. Throw one end over the shoulder. Secure with a safety pin. You have a lovely summer / beach dress for your doll!

Pony Hoodie:

Cut two holes in a square piece of t-shirt, leave enough material in between. Put your pony’s front legs through the holes and throw the middle over its head – you have a pony with a hoodie!

Pony dress:

Throw a square piece of T-shirt over pony’s back. Meet the ends in front, under its head. Secure with safety pins. Your pony has a fancy dress now!

Do you have a child who likes to make clothes for her dolls? Share your ideas with us!

Join us for Earth Day 2018 hosted by Teach Me Mommy!

Here is the participating list :

DIY Abacus from Recyclables from TMM

Earth Pom Poms from The Gingerbread House

CD and French knitting Coaster by TMM

Doll Clothes from Old T-shirts by Creative World of Varya

Purse from old Jeans by Jeddah Mom

Starting seeds with recyclables by Projects with Kids

February Goals: Healthier Lifestyle and More

I have commited to sharing my monthly goals for a year and today I will continue with sharing my February Goals: Healthier Lifestyle and More.

Last year I haven’t posted much as I have been so busy figuring out what would be my next step in life. If I did, you would know that I lost around 27 kg through changing my eating habits and becoming more active.

Oh, I did gain half of it back! So no magic here – just ups and downs of eating habits.

Since half of February we are on holidays here in China, it will be easier to concentrate more on my eating habits and my health.

Besides, if you follow my newsletter and my Instagram account, you would know that I have also taken my Aromatherapy hobby more seriously and I now have a second website as a wellness and aromatherapy advocate: Aromatherapy With Varya. And another IG account – aromatherapyvarya . You can follow me, by the way, if this topic is of any interest to you.

Getting back to my goals:

1. Work on eating habits and healthier meals.

2. Adding more exercise to my daily routine.

3. At least 2 Live workshops per month for both my sites.

4. This one is exciting: complete preparation for a series of workshops on cooking and DIY with essential oils.

5. Start bi-monthly Montessori series.

That’s about it. I don’t think all of it would be a matter of just one month. I am sure this will stretch well into the next. I just feel inspired and motivated, and I know I can do it!

While thinking about your own goal, stop by Mama Smiles and 3 Dinosaurs to see what they have planned for February!

Five Ideas for Dates When You Have Young Kids {That Worked for Us}

Some years ago I wrote a post on Dating Your Husband with Children. That was before we had our 3rd. Now that all our 3 kids are bigger, here are Five Ideas for Dates When You Have Young Kids that worked for us.

1. Movie night date in our living room. This is after hours, when everyone is asleep. Usually we end up just watching an episode of a favourite show. But once in a while we actually get to sit through a whole movie!

2. Lunch date. Since both of us work relatively close to each other, we go on lunch dates. We get to spend a couple of hours just the two of us.

3. Bicycle ride date. We haven’t done many of those. We actually went on just ONE bicycle ride just the two of us. But it is in the plans!

4. Salsa night date. This would only work if you have an older child who can babysit. Even in our case this babysitting happened for 1 hour while the over two were down for the night, and we were just 10 minutes car ride away.

5. Nap date. This is what we do sometimes during our lunch break – we pass out for a short nap! I love that Chinese schools usually have long lunch break where both children and teachers can go for a nice rest. So we take advantage of that.

Today is my husband’s birthday! So I dedicate this post to him!

Feel free to share your ideas with ms!

Come back and check out all of the great ideas these awesome bloggers are sharing. You can find an updated schedule over at Inspired by Family. Our 12 awesome mom bloggers are: Paradise Praises , Inspired by Family, Beauty Through Imperfection, The Gingerbread House , The Classy Chapter , Confidence Meets Parenting, Pichea Place, Thinking Kids Blog , Simple Acres Blog, Clarissa West, Creative World of Varya, The Educators Spin On It

Expat’s Emergency Checklist

I wish I was writing under better circumstances but unfortunately it is a sudden passing of a fellow expat that made me think of  an Expat’s Emergency Checklist, and share with it with my readers.

I won’t go into the details but since the person didn’t leave behind any information on how to contact his family, I asked my self a question: “Who has the information about our families in case something happens to us?” 

I mean, we all have good friends who would take care of our possessions and funeral in case we pass away; who will donate and raise the money if we are ever in need. But what information should I have available in case something to happen to me abroad?

So here is the checklist for you (and especially if you are an expat in China, since my list is based on the circumstances here):

1. Make sure you are registered with your consulate/Embassy. They should have your up-to-date information. It is probably the easiest. 

2. Make a list of emergency contacts back home and keep it somewhere visible.

3. Make a list of emergency contacts where you currently reside and keep it somewhere visible.

For the #2 and #3: a lot of phones now allow adding emergency contacts to the locked screen. So in case something happens one doesn’t need to break into your phone. 

4. Know your exact blood type and Rhesus. 

5. Always have a list of allergies and your ailments available.

For #4 and #5: you can keep that information in your wallet. Most hospitals can tell you your blood type and Rhesus when they draw blood from a vein. You can just request it as a separate blood tests, too. 

6. Have a copy of your apartment key with a trusted friend. This is optional but it is a great option. 

7. Carry a copy of your passport and police registration (if applicable) with you.
If you can add more points, please do comment. 

And last, but not the least:

While we all have right for privacy, it is important to let on some people. There will always be at least one person you can trust with your life. Don’t close up from them. Share the good and the bad. We never know how our life turns out to be. We just have to trust that there are enough people who will be there for you, no matter how close you are. 

Aromatherapy Amulet For The Baby

Life in the South of China teaches me new things every day. 

For example, I have recently found out that local Guangdong residents make a small hand-stiched amulet for the baby, which is attached to the back of the child’s clothes. It is mostly made with a red piece of cloth. Some people told me there is something inside from a temple – I guessed it was some kind of writing that is supposed to protect the child from harm.

Now coming to the title of my post today. This amulet gave an idea that I could create lovely gifts for my friends who have babies – Aromatherapy Amulet for the Baby.  Instead of a protective writing, it would have a piece of cotton inside and a drop of safe for babies oil could be applied. This amulet can be easily made together with your older children! 

What you will need:

A piece of cloth 

Some cotton

A needle and a thread

A safety pin


How to make it:

1. Cut a square shaped piece of cloth (yes, it is a rectangle in the photo. It became a square later!)

2. Stitch along the edge, following the shape of the cloth, with a single stitch. When done, pull slightly by the thread to gather the cloth together. 

3. Fill in the cloth with cotton and pull together. Secured the ends by stitching through them few more stitches. 

4. Open the safety pin and stitch over the non-moving part to attach the amulet to it. Secure the amulet. Close the pin. You have your amulet!

For a young baby not many oils are recommended to use. But such oils as Lavender and Roman Chamomile are my oils on the go with tiny ones. One drop on the amulet and the soothing smell with accompany your little one throughout the day. 

You don’t need to keep the pin on the baby, it can be placed near the crib, and in the pram. Either way, it will be a nice thoughtful handmade gift along with one of the oils to share with your friends. 

Today is the last day of wonderful series – 10 Days of Kid-Made Christmas . Hop over to other blogs who posted today by clicking the links below. 

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Castle View Academy

Christmas Tree Tassel Decoration

Christmas was not celebrated much in USSR where I grew up. And even now, it is celebrated in January, based on Orthodox Christian calendar. 

Yet, celebrating New Year meant decorating the tree in December, preparing frozen goods, and having the same excitement and anticipation as people around the world have for Christmas. 

If you click on the link above, you will read all about unusual Christmas/New Year’s decorations we put on our trees. I remember clearly at some point we had curtain tassels hanging on our trees!

So today, to commemorate my childhood, I am going to show you how to make DIY Christmas tree Tassels Decoration. It is quick and your kids will have fun. Good thing? You can always use them later on your curtains!

What you will need:

A piece of cardboard


White and colorful thread (ours is shiny!)

A needle


1. Draw and cut out a circle from your cardboard.

2. Using the white thread, secure it and roll over in all directions on the circle. Add the colourful thread. Roll as thick as you want your tassel.

3. Secure the ends. Now, using the needle with a thread, go under the treads on one side and secure the middle. 

4. Cut the threads on the other side and tighten the thread you used with the needle. Now you have just a bunch of threads tied up together!

5.  Adjust the treads to look like a tassel, and using white or colorful thread, roll over to decorate the tip which will keep the threads down. 

6. Now make a knot on which the tassel will hang, and cut the ends of the thread to even it out. Voilà!

These tassels will also make great decorations to put around the house!

Every year bloggers of Kid Blogger Network get together to celebrate Christmas and bring you some fun ideas for decorations!

Hop over to Mama Miss to see what other decorations the bloggers have made for you!

Check out other bloggers who posted on the same day with me:

 Rainy Day Mum

Preschool Powol Packets

My Bright Firefly

Happy Brown House

Castle View Academy

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Schooling Active Monkeys

The Mama Workshop

Kindergartens in Zhuhai {Education in China}

I have made it a mission to write about Kindergartens in Zhuhai. However, it took me a while to get to it!

As the time passes by, there are more and more expat families coming to Zhuhai. And one of the first questions is: what is the situation with schools like here?

Today I will share what kinds of kindergartens Zhuhai has to offer. My own children are in a private Chinese kindergarten and a private Chinese primary school. Their education is in Mandarin Chinese, and at home we speak English. 

Disclaimer: these are very general highlights of what the preschool education system in Zhuhai has to offer. The details may vary from place to place, and so do they fees. If you have something to add here – please get in touch with me, or leave a comment so I can correct, edit, or add the information.

I placed all kindergartens in three categories:

Government/Public kindergarten

Main language: Chinese. Usually (but not all) children who graduate from these kindergartens continue into public schools. 

Curriculum: in accordance with the Education Bureau

Extracurricular activities: depends on the budget and the status of the kindergarten. Low-budget kindergartens usually cost less, have less children, and don’t offer any. Kindergartens with better status and funding offer a range of extracurricular activities (dance, sports, arts etc). All extracurricular activities have extra fees.

Starting age: 1.5 – 3 years old.

Fee range: 500 yuan to 2000 yuan tuition, plus, term fees for books and uniforms, meal fees, and bus fees (if applied).

Note: some of these kindergartens hire full time or part-time teachers to offer extra English classes.

Private Kindergartens:
In this category I included all Kindergartens with fully local management, franchises which have local management; and so-called international kindergartens with foreign teachers.

Main language: Chinese. In some kindergartens a bilingual curriculum has been adopted, where foreign teachers spend half a day or full day with children, participating in their daily activities. Usually children who graduate from these kindergartens continue into public or private schools. 

Extracurricular activities: usually plenty, and they cost extra. 

Starting age: 2 – 3 years old. 

Fee range: 2800 to 8000 yuan a month, plus, term fees, and uniform and book fees, meals and bus fees. 

International kindergartens:
The kindergartens that are part of foreign found international education establishments that offer education to expats and locals children from the age of 2-2.5 to 5 years old. This age range is only applicable for 2 fully international schools in Zhuhai: ZIS (Zhuhai International​ School), and QSI (Quality School International).
Main language: English. Chinese is not offered till 5 years old. 

Extracurricular activities: there are some afterschool activities offered for additional fees. 

Starting age: 2-2.5 years old. 

Fees: Currently, the tuition fee for kindergarten around 80,000 yuan, plus, capital fees, meal fees, and bus fees. 

I am currently working on a list of kindergartens that have experience working with foreigners. Please keep an eye on my blog!

Blogging Buddy Series: Helen


In Kid Blogger Network we run a monthly project for pairing up to be blogging buddies for a month.

I had a pleasure of being paired up for a month of February with Helen of Peakled Pie and Witty Hoots.

I have previously worked with Helen on various projects and blog hops she hosted and I always enjoyed cooperating with her. Her creativity is amazing and I always enjoy her posts, photography and the way her blogs are designed in general.  

The month of February and the beginning od March were a little strange and busy: Chinese New Year holidays, all three kids getting sick after being back to school… Needless to say, this, plus some Internet connection problems, kept me away from being actively involved into 2 blogging buddy projects.

However, today I am very happy to share with you some information about Helen and introduce some of her best posts to you!

Helene and I sort of interviewed each other and here are the questions and answers that will give you a little insight her personality! Don’t forget to read her About page to learn more about who she is and how she came about blogging!

Varya: What moved you to start your blog?

Helen: Encouragement from another blogger and I wanted to record and share everything I was doing at home with my young daughter aka Peakles.  After about a year I started to realise I wanted to blog about other things that were not within the Peakle Pie niche – hence I started Witty Hoots.

V: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

H: Hopefully still blogging!  I want to write fiction books, some e-books and an online baby signing course.

V: Do you ever regret starting a blog?
H: No! I wish I had begun blogging years ago!  I have met or worked with some fabulous people and made some good friends too.  I have gained some great skills and I am constantly trying to improve my writing, photography and social media skills.

V: What would you be doing professionally if you were not blogging?

H: I’m not too sure, probably running my own business or writing a book!

V: What advice would you give to someone who was wanting to start a blog?

H: To write from the heart and to find their own unique voice, don’t try to copy what everyone else is doing and to join a blogging community that they can trust.

These are some of Helen’s best posts and projects:

Quirky Blog Hops

Teenagers and Exams: Top Tips for Parents

Mother of the Child in Green Wellies

Please follow Helen via her Facebook Page, Twitter, Pinterest, G+

Top 10 Valentine Quotes on Love


Top 10ValentineLove Quotes

Valentine’s is fast approaching and I am happy to prepare for celebrations by joining in with bloggers of Kid Blogger Network with Top Ten Lists of 2016!

Today I am sharing printable images with you on quotes of love which are great for printing out as cards and sharing with your friends and family. These quotes are also meaningful and great to have your young readers read and memorize.

Feel free to print these and share with your friends and family!  Click on the image below to download!

Top 10 valentine love quotes


Please join us in celebrating Valentine’s Day with Top 10 List for Valentine’s!

Valentine's lists

Visit the blogs below to see what lists they have prepared!

Top 10 Valentines Play Dough Recipes from Craftulate

Top 10 Valentine Desserts Kids Can Make from Study at Home Mama

Top 10 Free Printable Valentines from Our Whimsical Days

Top 10 Nature-inspired Valentines from OutdoorsMom
Top 10 Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Skills Activities from Happy Brown House

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Dinner Dates with Kids from Our Good Life

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Books for Kids from Sunny Day Family

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Printables for Preschool from Living Life and Learning

Top 10 Eco Friendly Valentine’s Day Crafts from Nemcsok Farms

Top 10 Valentine Keepsake Gifts from Rhythms of Play

Top 10 Valentines Learning Activities for Preschoolers from Crafty Kids at Home

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Activities For Toddlers from Adventures of Adam

Top 10 Photo Frame Valentine’s Day Gifts from Teach me Mommy

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Sensory Activities from Play & Learn Everyday

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Treats from The Resourceful Mama

Top 10 Heart Crafts for Preschoolers from Powerful Mothering

Top 10 Valentine Party Games for Preschoolers by Playground Parkbench

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Decorations from Witty Hoots

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Sensory Bins from Still Playing School

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Sensory Bottles from Little Bins for little Hands

Top 10 Candy Experiments for Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures

Top 10 Valentine Sensory Projects from Project Sensory

Top 10 Valentines Food Ideas for Kids from Eats Amazing

Top 10 Free Printable Valentines for Boys from Preschool Powol Packets

Top 10 Valentine Quotes on Love from Creative World of Varya


Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #35


Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!

The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can’t wait to see what you share this time!

Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.

This month our co-hosts are:

Peakle Pie on Multicultural Kid Blogs
Creative World of Varya
Crafty Moms Share
Castle View Academy
La Cité des Vents
Peakle Pie
Raising a Trilingual Child
Our MultiAsian family life
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
Living Ideas
Crazy Little Family Adventures

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place for you to share your creative kids culture posts. It’s very easy, and simple to participate!
Just follow these simple guidelines:


    • Pinterest, Google+

      , Twitter

      , or Facebook

      . Please let us know you’re following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.


    • Link up any creative kids culture

      posts, such as language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no giveaways, shops, stores, etc.

    Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop


    Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop


      • Please grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post. Note: By sharing your linkup on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures, and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.


        • Don’t be a stranger, and share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment. Everyone loves comments!


          • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 3rd Sunday of the month. It will run for three weeks. The following blog hop we will feature a previous link up post, and if you’re featured, don’t forget to grab the button below:

          Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop


          Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

          Here’s my favorite from last time:

          Meeting Food Nanny from La Cité Des Vents


          Thank you for linking-up, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!