Celebrating Chinese New Year

Starting this week we celebrate "The Year of the Sheep" and a two week long Chinese New Year  celebration. With chilling temperatures and winter storms sweeping the country, it's hard to imagine that spring is in our sights or that anyone would want to celebrate a New Year.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

However, since our lives were spent living in Beijing, China for one year, we give tribute to our memories and celebrate with our friends in spirit.  I do recall so fondly our first spring Chinese New Year celebration in China, It was so delightful to see everyone so happy.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

The culture of the Chinese people is very family oriented. The adult children leave their parents and start their own families and then they leave their new babies with their parents to work. The Chinese people work so very hard and such brutal along hours, for very little pay and sometimes very far from their children and their parents.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

During the two week long Chinese New Year celebration, many of the residents who work in Beijing take the long journey to their home towns, where their parents reside and where their children are. Can you imagine only seeing your children for a few weeks out of the year.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

We've been celebrating Chinese New Year this week and remembering all our old friends!

Celebrating Chinese New Year

In the Chinese New Year tradition, I've been giving my children  Mandarin oranges for luck and  lucky red envelope to ward off evil spirits! If you don't know anything about the "red envelopes", here is a bit of background. The red envelopes, known as  'hóngbāo', can be filled with everything from a couple of dollars to a few thousand yen. It is popular to give $8, which is considered very lucky in Chinese tradition.

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About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.

 

Enjoying Netflix This Cold February in Chicago #StreamTeam

This month has been brutally cold this winter here in Chicago. On February 1st we had a snowfall of 19 inches and the groundhog warned us we have six more weeks of winter. Thankfully, we have a new original special Netflix show and two new Netflix original series premiering this month!

Mako Mermaids

Mako Mermaids on Netflix #StreamTeam

The mermaids are back: Season 2 of Mako Mermaids, a Netflix original series for kids, started streaming on Friday, February 13th.  Three mermaids try to reverse the magical merman properties acquired by a human boy named Zac in this "H20" sequel. Make sure to give your little mer-fans a first look at Season 2 this month on Netflix!

Ever After High

Ever After High on Netflix #StreamTeam

This animated series, Ever After High: Spring Unsprung, follows the sons and daughters of all the famous fairy tale characters we know and love as they decide whether to follow in their parents' footsteps. Ever After High is a boarding school for teens destined to follow in their famous parents' fairytale footsteps. Only this is high school, and that spells drama. You can find Apple White, Daring Charming and Blondie Lockes, as they embrace their "happily ever afters," while others, like Raven Queen and Cedar Wood, choose to rewrite their own stories -- which could change the fate of every one else at school.

Ever After High, Mako Mermaids and many other Netflix titles have the amazing message to teach our children to create their own destiny and follow their dreams. Since we are stuck indoors with this brutal cold weather I thought the girls would really love to have some fun with a themed craft. I have loads of scraping materials, so I let the girls have fun creating scrapbook pages all about their own dreams.

Scrapbooking With Your Kids

Scrapbooking pages for kids
Scrapbooking pages for kids
Scrapbooking pages for kids
Scrapbooking pages for kids

Streaming on Netflix Now

Need more ideas? Here are a few other ways to get your kids' wheels turning.

Streaming on Netflix for your little kids:

Octonauts on Netflix #StreamTeam
Justin Time on Netflix #StreamTeam
Sid the Science Kid on Netflix #StreamTeam

1. Build and fix things: Handy Manny
2. Make a discovery: Sid the Science Kid
3. Walk on the moon: Justin Time: Blast off!: S1E13
4. Explore the ocean: Octonauts

Streaming on Netflix for your big kids:

Fame high on Netflix #StreamTeam
Gabby Douglas on Netflix #StreamTeam
Cupcake Wars on Netflix #StreamTeam

1. Make sweet treats: Cupcake Wars
2. Get into show biz: Fame High
3. Represent Team USA: The Gabby Douglas Story
4. Master the kitchen: Chopped

And streaming on Netflix for teens and parents, and one of mine and my husband's favorite shows with Anthony Bourdain:

Wahlburgers on Netflix #StreamTeam
Parts Unknown on Netflix #StreamTeam
Liz & Dick on Netflix #StreamTeam

1. Get the corner office: Undercover Boss
2. Travel the world: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
3. Walk the red carpet: Liz & Dick
4. Run my own restaurant: Wahlburgers

In your house, how do you encourage your kids to forge their own paths?

I'm So Over Winter

Really? Is winter ever going to end? I think I say this come every February. It is just so dreadful and dreary around here. I saw an image on Instagram this week from a blogging friend who lives in Cali . . . such glorious blue skies! I need some glorious blue skies . . . and very soon.

I feel as dreadful and dead as this pod!

Snowy Images
Snowy Images

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About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.

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10 Things To Do In Paris

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and all I can think of is the city of love. The city that is beauty to me. The city of fun, the city of light, the city of shopping, the city of sights and sweets. Whenever I hear the phrase 'the city of love', Paris always comes to mind as well as le eiffel. ah  . . . de la tour Eiffel - monument de Paris. To be in Paris this week would simply be amazing. Everyone knows to visit the Eiffel Tower whilst in Paris, as well as visiting the Arc de Triomphe and a must do is to walk around the Champs-Élysées. However, there are a number of other fabulous sights in Paris that must not be overlooked.

10 Things To Do In Paris

Eiffel Tower

The soaring Eiffel Tower is a sight not to be missed. Once simply must spend hours here, walking about, taking in the city, the people, the amazing sight of le eiffel . . . 

Eiffel Tower AT NIGHT

  . . . and you must linger until dusk to take in le eiffel as it glows ethereally and bursts and sparkles every hour . . .

Champs-Élysées

There's everything you could ever want along the Champs-Élysées. Really, there is. Paris' most famous boulevard stretches more than a mile to the foot of the Arc de Triomphe. And is a shopping mecca. Or a window shopping mecca.

10 Things To Do In Paris

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe stands at the hub of 12 grand avenues to form the star.  Climb to the Arc's panoramic viewing terrace and gaze down each avenue into the city.  You can see the Eiffel Tower in its entirety from here. The traffic around the Arc is mayhem, and there are tourists everywhere, but it is still amazing.

10 Things To Do In Paris
10 Things To Do In Paris

Louvre Museum and Carrousel du Louvre

The mammoth Louvre Museum is another must do, especially if you only have one chance to visit Paris in your lifetime. The Louvre Museum is gorgeous, inside and outside. My advise for visiting the Louvre Museum is this . . . before you even walk in the doors, because you will be standing in line forever {the sheer number of tourists who visit the Louvre Museum per year is staggering} . . . have a plan of attack. Only visit the areas that you truly what to see as the quantity of art on display is overwhelming.  View the art you want and leave, enjoy the rest of the day some place else, like the Carrousel du Louvre.

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Cathedral of Notre-Dame

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame is so stunningly beautiful, it can make you tear up. I could spend hours upon hours in this glorious cathedral, just basking in the beauty. Go during mass, take communion, revel in the Lord in one of the most amazing cathedrals ever built. Take a visit to the top of Towers of Notre Dame too.

10 Things To Do In Paris

Macarons

Munch on Macarons. Yes, try the fresh bread. In fact, buy a baguette and eat whilst walking about; eat the croissants. Visit the street vendors and have crepes every single day you are in Paris. (yes, eat the crepes everyday because you won't have anything like that once you go home). But don't forget the Macarons! French macarons consist of two meringue-like cookies bound together by a delicious ganache. Try them in EVERY flavor! I kid you not!

10 Things To Do In Paris

Montmartre

Walk along the cobblestone streets and up the winding stair ways all the way to the top of Montmartre. There is an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower from the top.  Sit in a cafe and enjoy a pastry and a latte. If you like, you can even have a portrait painted.

Cruise the Seine River

Cruising the River Seine is a very romantic notion whilst in Paris. Take the sunset cruise and you will be so delighted. The monuments and bridges of Paris are lite up at night. Just beautiful. Afterwards you can stop and watch the crowds of people tangoing the night away.

Moulin Rouge

Not to be missed is Moulin Rouge. The heart of Paris' nightlife for sure.  Parisian cabaret is a fine sight.


Contentment in Winter

When you are young, the feeling of contentment seems to come quite freely.

Contentment in Winter

Children seem to have the innate ability to know that what is happening right now is right where they need to be.

Contentment in Winter

We are a world of dreamers.

Contentment in Winter

We need to learn to be happy with where we are right now.

Contentment in Winter

When we do that, we can settle into contentment a little easier.

Contentment in Winter

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About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline: The Vaseline Winter Challenge

I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of Vaseline® and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline: The Vaseline Winter Challenge

As a busy momma of three child, I am on the go all the time and basically ready to go at a moment's notice. I am always ready to embrace every action-packed day. When the cold weather dips into single digits, I want nothing more than to dive back under the covers. However, my three children have other ideas in store for me.

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline

Cold winter weather in Chicago can be a nightmare for everyone's skin. But especially those who have sensitive complexions and that would be me and my girls. The cold winds, lower temperatures and dry indoor air just sucks the moisture right out of our light skin. As a result we get itchy, dry skin and this cold weather just exacerbates our existing eczema problems. My daughter's hands actually get so dry they begin to crack.

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline

Unfortunately, it takes more than just slapping on some moisturizer to protect our skin and combat the brutal weather. A vital part of our skincare throughout the year and especially during these cold winter months is to moisturize. Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair provides a protective layer on our dry skin, helping to hold in the water that keeps it soft. We took the The Vaseline Winter Challenge by testing out Vaseline Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair lotion prior to our outdoor winter activities.

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline

When we venture outdoors during the winter, we undoubtedly bundle up in all our cold weather gear. But our first layer of protection is to protect our skin. Here is a great tip for anyone who suffers from dry hands.  In addition to applying Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair to our entire bodies; we applied a thick layer of Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair to all our hands right before we put on our gloves to go outdoors and play. This was a huge help for our dry hands.

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline
A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline
A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline
A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline
A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline
A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline
A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline

During the long, cold winter months we switch to the richer formula of Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions which contain healing micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly that deeply moisturize and heal our dry skin. We will continue to feed our thirsty skin with Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair all winter long. Because, we are still a couple of months away from warmer weather here in Chicago. Stay vigilant and protect your skin from the elements!

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline

If you need to revamp your own skin care regimen, try Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair Fragrance Free, it is clinically proven to heal dry skin in 5 days. Take the Vaseline Winter Challenge by testing out Vaseline Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair lotion for five days. This moisturizer doesn't put water into your skin, it slows the natural loss of water from your skin. You can almost guarantee that your skin will never again suffer from extreme dryness through the winter months. 

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline #Vaseline

Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions keeps our skin supple in this long, bitter winter in Chicago.

A Day in My Skin with Vaseline: The Vaseline Winter Challenge

A Perfect Snowy Afternoon

I have lived in the midwest my entire life (except for the year I lived in China, but they have the exact same weather as the midwest). . . I should be used to cold weather and snow, especially since we have it for about six months out of a year. But, if truth be told, I would rather live in an area where I never see a single snowflake again, in my entire life.

My girls love the snow and have been begging me to go outdoors with them for weeks now. I finally relented and we spent a couple of hours outdoors exploring our amazing area. We are so fortunate to live next to a forest preserve and the girls love to explore, whatever the season. But they especially love to wander about on the frozen ponds and creeks!

A Perfect Snowy Afternoon
A Perfect Snowy Afternoon

I love my home, I love Chicago, but I really wish the tectonic plates would shift me a bit closer to the equator!

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About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.

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10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois #‎Dinner4Valentines‬

Romance is a personal thing on Valentine's Day. Some of us love to celebrate and it is a deeply personal holiday to you and your loved one. Everyone has their own idea of romance as well, whether it be a tiny bistro, a cozy neighborhood joint that has been there forever or perhaps the once a year pampered service with champagne.  Certain restaurants just fill our tummies and some fill our hearts.

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois #‎Dinner4Valentines‬

Here is my pick for the most romantic restaurants in my area in the suburbs of Chicago.

NEAR, (108 Barrington Commons Court, Barrington, IL)

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois

NEAR is something special! The food is so delicious and so authentic! This is the place for a special reservation! it is the heart of downtown Barrington and very unique. Great staff who are very informative and helpful. My favorites are the Grilled Octopus and any fish dish as I love them all. Be ready to share your dish with your loved one as you will served large platters of food. If you like, you can bring your own bottle and pay a corkage fee.

Francesca's Famigilia, (100 E Station Street, Barrington, IL)

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois

I've been lunching at Francesca's forever I think! This Italian restaurant is located right in the heart of Barrington(although there are numerous locations throughout the suburbs) and offers the perfect location for lunch or dinner. Always excellent service and delicious food. The soups are always hearty and the seafood dishes are amazing.

ZaZa's Tavola Italiana, (5047 Shoreline Road, Lake Barrington, IL)

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois

A hidden little gem of a restaurant and a wonderful surprise! This is definitely a place for a romantic dinner for two. You are greeted with very nice staff and seated with warm french bread and delicious olives and Parmesan cheese to start you out.  The ambiance is quite romantic and very nice.

Ciao Baby!, (232 E. Main Str., Barrington, IL)

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois

Just a tiny little gem downtown again! Italian restaurant with a cozy bistro feel. Great specials that are every changing and the regular menu items that are always delicious. The salads during lunch are literally the best I have ever had! There are only 13 tables, and they do not accept reservations, so go early!

D & J Bistro, (466 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich Illinois)

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois

I was first introduced to D & J Bistro over 25 years ago! I loved it from the first bite and I still love this casual French restaurant. The food really is still quite innovative and amazing.  This Valentine's they are hosting a romantic setting for couples with a special Valentine's Day menu. Among my favorites are the Roasted Beets, Kabocha & kale Salad, Roast Leg of Lamb and Pistachio Crème Brûlée.

Chessie's Restaurant, (200 Applebee Street, Barrington, IL)

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Barrington, Illinois

This is another local favorite that everyone has been to and still keeps returning to. I grew up eating at Chessie's and I went there all through college with my friends and took many a date there to introduce one of my favorite restaurants and now I take my children there. My kids adore Chessie's as it is home to a REAL train car inside their restaurant. Consistent, friendly and delicious. I actually get cravings for my favorite sandwich sometimes and have to jet in there, much to the delight of my kids, since they love to dine in the train car.

Ruth's Chris Steak House, (100 West Higgins Road, South Barrington, IL)

A couple could not have a more perfect night out when dining at Ruth's Chris Steak House. So delicious! This is one of my husband's favorite restaurants to got to for a great steak. The service alone makes this one special night out.

Cooper's Hawk, (100 West Higgins Road, South Barrington, IL)

Winery and restaurant in South Barrington. The food is contemporary American and never disappointing. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. There is a tasting room that is always super busy . . . I don't drink alcohol so I can't help you on this area.

Stoney River, (20504 N. Rand Road, Deer Park, IL)

If you are looking for a great steak, Stoney River is your spot. It is a national chain restaurant and not locally owned like the other great spots I have mentioned. But great steaks it does have! They have one of my favorite dishes, Chilean Sea Bass, it never disappoints me.

Kelsey Road House, (352 Kelsey Road, Barrington, IL)

Here is another local Barrington favorite! Everyone grew up going to Kelsey's. It looks like a small castle, still, with all the changes that have occurred over the years; as there is presently a Gino's Pizza on the upper level. The best place to select to eat is downstairs, dark and mysterious! You will be waited on by waitresses in red short skirts and white go-go boots! In college, I worked there and wore those teeny, tiny skirts and boots! Such a fun place to work and eat! During the Halloween and Christmas holiday, they put up the most decorations you have ever seen in your life! Cool atmosphere and the best pizza!