Chinese New Year kid’s DIY paper lantern

During the Chinese New Year festivals, lanterns are hung in celebration. Red lanterns in particular are hung. Red is the main color of the festival as it is believed to be an auspicious color.

Here are the materials you will need to make a Chinese New Year paper lantern with your child:

12 x 12 gold or red scrapbook paper
gold or decorative red washi tape

-Cut a 1 inch wide strip of construction paper for the handle.

-Fold the remaining paper in half.

-At the folded edge, cut slits about one inch apart. Make sure that you stop about one inch from the other side of the paper.

-Apply washi tape along the top and bottom edge of the scrapbook paper.

-Unfold the paper and roll it into a tube to form a lantern and then overlap the edges about one inch and staple the bottom corners together.

-Attach the handle to the top with staples.

You can make many red and gold lanterns and use string to hang them to decorate for the Chinese New Year. Wishing you good fortune in this new year.

Today I am grateful for new years and new beginnings.


2017 Chinese New Year- The Year of the Rooster

The Chinese New Year starts on January 28, 2017, which is the second new moon after the winter solstice. 2017 will be the year of the Rooster.

We are not Chinese so we don’t know much about the Chinese New Year. But I love learning about and celebrating different cultures and their traditions. In addition, teaching a child about a different culture or tradition is beneficial. Not only does it open their minds and hearts, but by learning about a different culture or tradition, it teaches your child cultural awareness and diversity. It teaches them to understand and respect differences as well as similarities. It also helps them to learn a little bit more about themselves and others. Mostly, it teaches us humanity.

Here is what I learned about the Chinese New Year:

-Chinese New Year celebrates a year of hard work. It is also celebrated to wish for a lucky and prosperous new year.
-Firecrackers are set off to start off the new year and ward off evil.
-Chinese New Year celebrations last for up to 15 days. It begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice and ends on the full moon 15 days later.
-Some traditions include a family reunion dinner where several generations get together to share a meal and good times together.
-Certain foods are eaten to increase good luck such as fish. Dumplings, spring rolls, glutinous rice cakes, and sweet rice balls are also foods that are eaten in celebration. In addition, the orange is a fruit that symbolizes wealth and good fortune.
-The streets are decorated with red, such as red lanterns. Red is the main color of the festival. Red is believed to ward off bad luck and misfortune.
-Children are given red envelopes filled with money. This is to give them good luck for the new year.
-The holiday ends with a festival where people hang red lanterns and attend a parade.

There are also some great children’s books you can borrow from the library or purchase so that you can read about the Chinese New Year to your child. I found a few at Amazon.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin.


Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year by Joan Holub and Benrei Huang.


Chinese New Year and the new moon- a great time for new beginnings. Set your intentions at this time for love, health and happiness. Don’t forget to add a dash of gratitude. Wishing you a prosperous and happy Chinese New Year!

How will you celebrate the Chinese New Year?

Today I am grateful for happy celebrations and traditions with family and friends.

Oh, Sweet Monday: October life lessons and love

I love October. It’s my favorite month. This was a great October. However, I must admit that there was a rough week in there. A really rough week. It was the week before my birthday. I allowed some drama into my life and I let a couple of incidents bring me down. But sometimes the only way up is down. I certainly learned alot of hard lessons this month. It was a real eye opener. Lessons that open your eyes are always good. Lessons that open your heart are even better. After my anger subsided, I learned alot about compassion, respect and understanding. And another good part is…after you are down, the only way is up! That’s the best part. So on this Sweet Monday, I am grateful for life lessons and love. I will continue to learn and grow. I know that there will be ups and there will be downs. Today, I will focus on the ups.

So at the end of this Sweet October, I am grateful for birthdays:

I arrived to work the Thursday before my birthday to a decorated cubicle courtesy of my co-worker, Adriana. She decorates all of our cubicles at work. She is so thoughtful. I loved it. It lifted my spirits and lifted my mood. It was a great way to start a birthday.

My aunt took me to a tea house for my birthday. She invited my daughter (who came all the way from San Diego just to be there) and another aunt. We had such a good time. We went to the tea house on my actual birthday. It was nice to have a birthday this year on a Saturday.  It was a fun and relaxing way to start the day and weekend. Afterwards, we went to a boutique and my aunt surprised me with a candle that I was planning to purchase myself. I was waiting in line to buy the candle which was waiting for me at the counter. The storeowner wrapped up my gift quickly so that I wouldn’t see and my aunt presented it to me at the store.

After the tea house, I arrived home and my husband and son surprised me with birthday cards, birthday flowers, a birthday sign and light up balloons and even a birthday pinata. My first birthday pinata ever. 

The next day, my sister and niece prepared a delicious birthday breakfast for me. My sister asked me what kind of cake I wanted and I told her that I wanted a chocolate chip cake. It’s not my favorite flavor but she made it for me for my birthday a few years ago and it was such a special memory. I wanted it again. 

Aw, memories…

2012 birthday cake

Goodbye October! Until next year…