A lot of us will coast along doing bits and pieces in the garden, keeping it presentable but not making any major changes. However, you might have hit a point where you looked out onto your garden and wished that it was a little more lively. The patio or deck is one area which can start looking a little bleak after a while, so here are some tips for sprucing yours up…
Learn to Love Container Gardening
When you’re looking for ways to spruce up your garden, flowers are an obvious go-to option. Why not try creating an assortment of pots containing colourful perennials or annuals, or even a few evergreen shrubs? Obviously, the space you have may not allow for several pots in a nice, balanced arrangement. If this is the case, you can still use a ladder or wall planter. Shop Style has some gorgeous ones which may fit in well with the rest of your garden.
Turn it Into an Outdoor Dining Area
No Australian garden would be complete without a barbie, so why not accentuate this central feature by turning your whole patio into an outdoor dining area? This will give you a lovely alfresco area which you can use for breakfast, lunch and dinner when the weather allows for it. Just a few comfortable chairs and a sturdy dining table can be all you need to accomplish this transformation. To top it all off, have a barbecue built, or buy a fresh model from places like BBQs Plus BBQ Store. Once it’s all dusted off, you’re sure to get a lot of visits from your friends and family!
Create a Mini Kitchen Garden
Because most patios are right next to the kitchen, it makes the perfect place to for growing herbs, along with a range of fruit and vegetables. Even if you’re squeezed for space, you can still start growing a range of healthy, organic produce with the right gardening gear. You can have a tomato grow bag in a tray, a mint plant in a herb wheel leaning against your wall, and nurture strawberry plants in a hanging planter. There are also various berries that will grow quite happily in a small container.
Let There be Light!
Having a few lights around the patio can make a massive difference to how comfortable and attractive this area of your garden is. Depending on the space you have to play around with, and your stance on the environment, there are solar-powered models and ones that wire straight into your mains. Obviously, solar lights need to be exposed to sunlight in order to work, so step onto your patio, have a look around, and think about where you’d be able to position them. Some models will be more flexible in this respect than others, so do your research before you buy. When you’ve got the whole clan around and the sun goes down, you’ll be able to just flip a switch and chat the night away!
'Presentation is Everything.'
Do you have family visiting for Easter? Whether you're planning your Easter celebrations for just your own immediate family or an extended gathering of friends and family, a beautiful table arrangement really sets the scene for a perfect Easter celebration.
Now, this can be daunting consideration. But, don't feel you need to spend hours preparing a lovely display. I've found a collection of ideas, from a simple minimal approach to an amazing table overflowing with delight.
You may have decided to go with a separate table for the kids. That's fine. I've got that covered, too. So, just click through the images and find the table creation that appeals to you and your needs. There is a link on each image to the original and the instructions.
And remember, you can add to or simplify the original concept or substitute items where necessary.
Just as an example, this Easter arrangement took minutes to prepare.
STEP 1. Buy an Easter wreath. Yes, you can make your own but I didn't have time and you can find them everywhere.
STEP 2. Place the wreath in the centre of the table.
STEP 3. Add a floral arrangement to the centre of the wreath, or an apothecary jar filled with eggs. (You can buy a floral arrangement or make your own.)
And that's it! Done. Simple.
Check out the other beautiful and creative ideas below.
There are many other ideas from truly creative people, and I gathered some to show you, that will inspire you and provide some simple, yet beautiful solutions. From fun-filled kids' table arrangements to elegant designs to outdoor dining ideas, you'll find something in the following collection that, I'm sure, will help you create your own Easter table arrangement.
And... as an added bonus, why not plan to include Easter themed table serviettes.
You'll find links to the instruction below.
If you're looking for other Easter ideas and inspiration, the check out my Easter Pinterest board. Are you planning an Easter Egg Hunt? Here are some tips. And if you'd like an Easter that allowed you time to focus on what really matters, download my free book below, Stress-Free Easter.
Need a gift idea for someone that sings or plays an instrument? The music trade is teeming with all kinds of exciting gadgets and accessories. Here are just a handful of ideas worth tuning into.
Musically stylised ornaments and pieces of furniture can be a great gift for a budding musician and don’t require too much technical know-how. Think beyond guitar-shaped fridge magnets and rock star mugs and go for something a little off-kilter such as a vinyl clock or a musical keyboard tie. Such gifts are cheap and cheerful and show a bit of personalisation.
Most modern audio equipment isn’t expensive, but if you’re looking for a big gift sound bases and sound bars can be a great option. They provide high quality surround sound and can be used for dual purpose TV surround sound. For a small gift, consider a cheap pair of in-ear headphones. With most people now opting for over-ear headphones – even the most high-quality noise-cancelling in-ear types are now selling for less than $25.
Music production gear
You no longer need to hire a recording studio – you can record music from the comfort of your bedroom with some production software and high-quality mic. There are plenty of production software types out there – some of which are more expensive and complex than others. The likes of Beatcraft are great for beginners, whilst still having many advanced features for those eager to progress their musicianship to the next level.
For microphones meanwhile, there are many high-quality low-end models now on the market such as the Shure SM57, which you can get for $100. Don’t feel the need to go above $200, unless you’re buying for a professional musician.
As well as producing their own music, many DIY artists can distribute their own music. Companies such as Nationwide can supply bulks of CDs, which can be used to copy music onto. If they’re playing a gig and want to sell a few CDs whilst they’re there, whatever better gift than a simple pack of CDs. Alternatively, you can use such items to create your custom album of songs to give as a gift. Whilst CDs may be becoming old-fashioned, they can still make a great personal physical gift.
Buying a musical instrument for someone is quite an expense – unless you’re buying something small like a harmonica or a tambourine, you can expect to fork out a lot of money for a decent quality musical instrument. Instead of full-blown instruments, consider accessories. If someone you know plays a guitar, there are many affordable and useful extras that you can purchase such as a guitar strap, a capo or a set of plectrums (you can even get plectrum-makers that allow you to make your own custom guitar picks). Music stands and metronomes meanwhile are gifts that have a more universal use. You can find such gifts online, or by going down to your local music shop.
When we eat, we tend to go for the taste without worrying about much else. The more picky and health-conscious amongst us will avoid those high in saturated fats, those on diets may avoid the carbohydrates and others are down to personal taste, but few of us realise the amount of vitamins that are in the dinners we are consuming on a daily basis.
The foods that we eat can have a great effect on not just our health, but how we are feeling - the moods that we find ourselves in. It’s weird to think that something as simple as what we eat can make such drastic changes, but the complexity behind what we are putting in our mouths is something to behold.
This vitamin is vital in promoting a strong immune system and also preventing eye diseases. It can be found in foods such as milk, eggs and cereals, as well as certain fruits and vegetables which are dark or orange in colour (an obvious choice would be an orange…)
There are a lot of vitamins which come under this umbrella term almost like subheadings; B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 … the list goes on. They all do different jobs but are centralized around the operations of the internal organs, as well as your blood cells and nervous system. If you eat a good, balanced diet of greens, red meats, legumes, grains and nuts, you’ll be well on your way to ticking all of the B-vit boxes.
Now we’re on to keeping yourself from falling apart - almost literally! Your body will be thanking you for an intake of Vitamin C, as it will helps to form collagen to keep your tissues and cells together. Regular intakes of fruit are what you need, and it can be prevalently found in strawberries, kiwis and all citrus fruits. Pass the glass of OJ!
The thing that is transporting you around, your skeleton, is a lover of Vitamin D. Teeth and bones need a good source of calcium to remain strong and healthy, and Vitamin D helps bones to absorb this vital body-building component. It can be found in foods such as white fish fillets, egg yolks and fortified foods, but can also be gained by taking a step outside in the sunshine and letting the rays absorb for a little while. A great excuse for getting out and about.
Forget about the antioxidant serums that you’re investing in - the way to go is simply intaking more of nature’s antioxidant with certain foods. Whole grains, avocados and vegetables oils are great, healthy examples of what you can include into your diet to help speed things along and get the best from what you’re eating.
If you’re going through a pregnancy, you will most likely be prescribed folic acid to help with the production of red blood cells, as well as helping to make DNA. It can be found in broccoli and other green vegetables such as asparagus. If you try to include a rainbow of different coloured food onto your plate when you’re preparing your meals, you’ll be well on your way to gaining your required vitamin intake!
Even if you leave your baby with a relative or close friend whenever you go to work or head out on an evening, you will find that you always worry that your baby is in safe hands. This is perfectly natural, as all parents worry about leaving their baby with someone else, even if it someone who they completely trust!
Sometimes, though, even the most experienced babysitter or caring family member could do with a little guidance from you about your child. Sharing some simple information with them could really make a difference and could prevent a difficult situation from turning into an emergency.
So, before you leave, make sure you write a quick note with some of the following information.
You should always let the sitter know where you will be. Make sure that they have a contact number for both you and your partner even if the two of you will be together the entire time. If you are going out for dinner, it’s also a good idea to leave the number of the restaurant.
Just think, you might not hear your phone ring in a busy restaurant, but the staff will also be manning the restaurant’s main phone. If you are going into work, leave your office’s number.
It’s also a good idea to leave contact details for a trusted neighbor or relative just in case the sitter can’t get in touch with you or your partner.
Special Dietary Requirements
Any allergies or dietary requirements also need to be mentioned in your note. Even if you have told the babysitter in person, it’s always important to write this down as well so that they do not forget.
When it comes to baby and toddler food, keeping it organic is a priority for many parents. If it is for you, you might want to also mention this in your note and let your sitter know where they can find the organic snacks and food in your kitchen.
Don’t forget to mention any food that your child shouldn’t eat just before bed, such as sugary snacks.
Write down the location of your first-aid kit so that the babysitter doesn’t waste any time looking for it if they ever need it.
You should also make a note of any health conditions that your child has that might need attention. For instance, if your child has allergies you should let the sitter know where their EpiPen is.
You might also like to leave your family doctor’s phone number, just in case!
Your Baby’s Routine
Babies love routines and knowing what to expect next. I’m sure you will have established one for the run up to bedtime. This will ensure that things stay familiar for your tot even if someone else is bathing them and putting them to bed.
By sticking to a routine, your babysitter will be able to sidestep any potential tantrums!
When you leave a note for the babysitter, you will find that you have more peace of mind and won’t worry quite so much!
Fear not! Your iPhone is safe if you're using this. 😉
Sponsored by: Case Haven
"Nan, I'm swimming! Can you see me?"
"No honey, you're on the phone. Send me a picture."
Within minutes I'm looking at my cute grandson as he laughs and splashes in the small waves of 1770 beach.
Yes, it's amazing technology- simple enough for even young children to take photos. It takes them no time at all for their little fingers to find Peppa Pig on YouTube. And, it's easy for them to expertly handle the device's controls and play the amazing games and apps.
But, in those same small hands, it's easy for those devices to bounce down stairs, drop to the floor, or sink beneath the water at the beach.
And there's nothing cute about a smashed screen.
So, it makes sense to kid-proof your device before handing it over to those eager, slightly sticky, fingers.
You might think it would be safer to armour-clad your iPhone or Samsung. But fortunately, there are some amazing options that look as good as their protection.. and they do look great!
Protection that looks a million dollars
If you're looking for something that combines a touch of elegance with excellent protection, then consider the classic good looks of genuine leather iPhone cases and covers. Rest assured that, all holes and cutouts are precisely located to allow access to all your phone's buttons, speakers and ports.
If you're heading to the beach, a high-quality, protective water-proof case is a wise choice. It means that you have peace of mind while swimming or snorkeling up to 2 metres. And, it's also shock proof, dirt proof, snow proof and scratch resistant... did I mention, kid-proof?
Plus, an anti-reflection glass means that your photos will be clear and high-quality.
Consider a screen protector
Last, a glass screen protector is worth considering, too. I haven`t actually done this but I`m thinking it would be a sensible investment in the protection of my iPhone. Rather than the older style screen protectors and their problems, (agghhh.. tell me about it) these curved edge-to-edge tempered glass protectors cover the whole screen.. and no bubbles.
When you consider the cost of these amazing pieces of daily-use technology, why take chances? When your family includes small, excitable, energetic little people, accidents happen, and happen often. A bit of added protection is certainly key to your peace of mind.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.