Toilet paper monkey

June 3, 2012 – 11:20 am



March 27, 2012 – 9:01 pm

I used to work for a consulting company, that meant lots of traveling. I accumulated lots of travel points and gained status. It also meant lots and lots of travel toiletries! FREE toiletries. I like free stuff. This is not exclusive to asians. I can’t help it. I’m compelled to take them. But I ended up with bags and bags of random toiletries sitting in the corner of a room. What to do with all those small shampoos, conditioners, soap bars, etc?!

One day, Vision’s small groups did a service project. We walked around the city to talk to the homeless we encountered and gave away bags filled with a sandwich, bottle of water and socks to the homeless. I had an AH-HA moment (rare, i know). Our group also added my toiletries to the mix.

I still had plenty left and was still accumulating so I asked a friend who lives and works in Guatemala if maybe they could use them. They said “sure, we teach workshops on hygiene”

My head still has trouble wrapping around the fact that people in this world, in the US, and in the grossly abundant NYC, don’t have what I consider a basic necessity. So I challenged myself to stop being lazy and write a page on this blog with tips on how to collect and distribute toiletries. HERE

It’s not hard to do, but sometimes the simple stuff needs to be written out and remind myself and others of the easy things we can do to help “the least of these brothers and sisters”

Next time you stay in a hotel and decide to take the toiletries home, I challenge you to pass them along to your local shelter, soup kitchen, the homeless person asking for money or food in the train, or me and I’ll pass them to organizations who can use them.


Toilet paper roll duck

March 23, 2012 – 8:57 am

Its Lent, so we’re preparing for easter. Here is a quick craft zoe and i did one lazy sat morning.

Orange construction paper
Black marker
Yellow paint (or yellow paper)
Toilet paper

Paint or cover the toilet paper roll with yellow paint or paper. Cut various shapes and sizes from the orange paper. After the toilet paper roll is dry, glue on the beak, and whatever else your creative child wants. In this case, zoe wanted hair, wings and feet. Then using the black marker make two dots or circles for eyes. Simple, cute, quick and fun!


Duct Tape Magic Wallet with Extra Pocket

March 22, 2011 – 12:14 pm

my tyvek mighty wallet, given to me by steph and zoe, was the perfect replacement for my old leather wallet which I had stolen from my dad when he started using a money clip instead.

unfortunately zoe likes to play with our wallets. in this case, she likes to take everything out and try to take it apart/unfold it. basically that translates to a wallet nearing the end of it’s life cycle. *sad*

however, in prep, i made myself a magic wallet using some household items.

If you want to make one, here’s some basic instructions [via Youtube]

Review: Playtex Fridge-To-Go Bottle Holder – Double

January 26, 2011 – 11:11 pm

We received this as a gift from our registry. I didn’t think too much about it when Joseph added it to the registry, but thought it might be a practical tool. Practical is an understatement. We’ve used it an exorbitant amount, and it’s traveled with us everywhere (note the travel theme). Our daughter was exclusively fed breast milk, due to personal preference for the first year of her life. And for multiple reasons, she received it in bottle form for nearly the entire year. That’s where this bag comes in, and the important part it played.

What it is:
* A tote that actually keeps stuff cold or cools things inside of it.

* Two cool compartments. One compartment that is cold on both the front and back. One compartment that is only cold on the back.
* A side with a “window” that allows you to slip in a piece of paper with pertinent information like name.
* A side with a velcro-able pouch.
* Entire tote can be placed into the freezer.
* Keeps items cool for ~12 hours (per manufacturer).
* Removable strap.

What I like:
* Since we’d go out so often, it was important for us to be able to carry Zoe’s breastmilk bottles with us everywhere. I could easily fit 2 5oz medela bottles and 2 nipples with covers for the bottles.
* Zoe was also teething so we would put her pacifier in the front pocket. A cool pacifier I’m sure felt nice on her gums.
* Entire tote could be thrown into the freezer. I’m lazy. I don’t want to zip out any freezer packs and have to zip them back in.
* Easily fit into our large Backpack Diaper Bag with plenty of room to spare.

What I don’t like:
* Not really sure what you could use the velcroable pouch for since I never found anything that actually fit in it.
* The manufacturer says 12 hours?! are you nuts, it’s probably more like 8. But thankfully breast milk lasts for 4 hours after being out of the fridge.

Overall: I was really pleased with this bag. It made going out a lot easier. We still use the freezer bag to hold milk cartons, fresh fruit, cheese and other snacks. Add this to your registry if you’d like to making going out with your child a bit less stressful.

Playtex Fridge-To-Go Bottle Holder – Double on Amazon

Hospital Chux – Changing Pads

December 26, 2010 – 1:09 am

Both of the diaper bags we have included changing pads. I never used either of them. They just don’t make a whole lot of sense. They’re meagerly padded, and not really great if they get dirty. What if you’re child pees or worse.. poops on to the pad by accident? Sure, just wipe it off and be on your merry way to clean it better when you get home. But what if you need to be out longer and need to use it again later?

A similar scenario happened to me recently at the doctors office. But instead of using a changing pad, I just used the patient bed that was covered in the paper that the doctor rips off and pulls new before the patient sits on it. It reminded me of why I use hospital chux instead of those changing pads.

If my daughter pees or poops on the chux, I just chuck (har har) the thing into the trash. And since I have the awesome-est diaper bag I always have a spare or two.

What it is:
* Like a mini mattress pad, that’s disposable. They’re commonly used in hospitals for random things like setting out tools, or putting under patients to catch blood or urine.

*  Absorbent
*  Waterproof

What I like:
*  Very portable.
*  Thin. So thin that carrying around 3 is still smaller/thinner than most changing pads.
*  Disposable. I know, not great for the environment, but they’re also..
*  Durable. I can easily use a single chux for at least a month before wondering if I should toss it for sanitary reasons.

What I don’t like:
* Nothing.

Overall: I add a handful of these in the gift I give for baby showers.

Champion Blue Disposable Underpads (Chux), Large Size 23 x 36, Pk/25 on Amazon.

Review: Dad Gear Backpack Diaper Bag

December 25, 2010 – 11:58 pm

We’ve been using this diaper bag for about a year now, and I think this is the shizzle. I recommended it to a friend and I don’t think I’ve seen them use another bag since.

This diaper bag looks like an OK backpack. It’s definitely not a COOL backpack but design wise it’s very practical (it’s designed by dad’s what do you think you’d get?). I don’t think a dad or anyone else will feel ashamed or embarrassed to sling this on their back. Most people won’t even know what this bag really is.

What it is:
* A no-nonsense diaper bag  that’s a backpack instead of a messenger bag, oversized purse, etc.

*  Two compartments on the sides for water bottles, sippy cups, etc (one on each side)
*  Wipes compartment easily accessible without having to open the bag
*  Top compartment that fits about 8-12 diapers. Zoe’s in a size 4, and it easily fits 8
*  Large main compartment. Holds a change of clothes, blanket, and almost anything else we feel like throwing in there
*  Two “smaller” pockets that will hold misc items like diaper cream, hand sanitizer, changing pad, etc
*  Comes with a changing pad (I tossed this. We use hospital chux instead)
*  Built in stroller straps (’nuff said)

What I like:
*  Convenience of the wipes and diaper. This is the essential part of any diaper bag. You don’t have to dig for anything.
*  How much stuff it holds. It doesn’t fit as much as my old North Face, but pretty darn close.
*  Not girlie. I’m a “tomboy”. Girlie things and I just don’t get along. The messenger diaper bag we had was nice and not girlie, but the strap across my chest which was unfortunately placed, just made me feel uncomfortable.
*  Travels really well. If you knew us, you’d know we travel quite a bit. Our daughter’s passport already has been stamped twice (would’ve been 3 if we got the Canada stamp) before she was even 1.5 years old.

What I don’t like:
*  The wipes box that is built into the diaper bag can be tricky to close. It’s not hard to close it, but you need to fidget a little with it. If you’re not willing to fidget, it’s fine. There are straps that you velcro over the box to ensure that it stays shut. GENIUS!
*  Sometimes you have to dig around in the large compartment to find what you need, but that might be because I’m not organizing my bag well enough.

Overall: I really think this is THE diaper bag. I’ll probably even use it after Zoe is potty trained.

DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag on Amazon

Free Potty Training Kit from Pampers

December 24, 2010 – 11:54 pm

I’m asian, that means I also love things that are FREE!
Particularly things that I’ll use. I’ll probably use what comes in this kit. Mostly the stickers since Zoe’s going thru a sticker phase.
Here’s what it includes:

  • Sample of easy ups
  • Coupons
  • Stickers and Coloring pages
  • Potty Training Tips
  • Progress Chart
  • Dora/Diego Training Trophy

Half of this will probably go into the recycling. Get your kits while they last!

Free Potty Training Kit from Pampers

Random Thought – Names

September 17, 2010 – 9:21 am

Why do some folks shorten their references to a Pastor with initials? For example, some call Joseph PJ. I’ve also heard/seen references to PY, PB, PK, and PL.

I don’t really care about this abbreviation. Though, I do feel strongly about people calling Joseph, “Joe.”

If people introduce themselves as “Joseph”, “Deborah”, “Jennifer”, or “Theresa”. I think you should call them by that name, unless given permission to call them something else. However, this rule does not apply if you were introduced to the person as “Debbie” but over time the person now introduces themselves to new people as “Deborah”. You may continue to call them “Debbie” if you so please, until the person has asked be addressed otherwise.

Making my own custom fit ear buds

September 1, 2010 – 4:25 pm


The headphones that came with my captivate are actually pretty decent, they were just a little uncomfortable for the longer train rides to and from work.  Ear bud type headphones are, in my opinion, best for loud areas like subway stations and rides over over the ear type of headphones.  It’s not the sound quality that’s the issue for me but rather the ability to travel well/easily as they tend to be more bulky, especially if you get a closed set or something with noise cancelling.  Also, I can’t afford real custom ear buds which I’ve seen for about $1500, not to mention a required trip to a special technician.

So when I saw this post on make I got excited and tried it myself.

The sound quality of my headphones haven’t been reduced, which is a deal breaker for me.

If you want to do this yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
1. In-Ear-Headphones that have exchangeable buds – the stock ipod headphones will not work as they take up too much space in your ears and not enough room for the custom plugs
2. Custom molded earplug kit. Available here on Amazon: [Radians Custom Molded Earplugs]
3. Clean ears and hands

Link to the instructions:  [MakeZine]