There are so many reasons to get kids more involved with cooking.
Obviously, cooking is a skill which will last them a lifetime. In the future, they’ll be able to prepare tasty meals for their families, friends, or even restaurant diners if it becomes their career path. Not only that but cooking with you kids is a great bonding exercise and a chance for you to impart some wisdom!
Having a recipe passed down through the generations is a great link to the past, and a great way to celebrate family. Cooking with the kids is also a great way to keep them occupied and interested on a rainy day too.
Here are some things to think about when getting your kids involved in the kitchen…
Mastering The Basics
Introducing kids to the basics of cooking is a good way to build a solid foundation. Start off small and teach them how food must be prepared. It’s a good idea, to begin with ingredients they're used to seeing. Broccoli, for example, or maybe even carrots.
Explain to them why food needs to be washed, how to prepare it, and then you can move on to cooking it. Vegetables are a good place to start and cooking them is fairly simple. It also teaches kids to have respect for healthy foods, and build meals around them.
Breakfast dishes like toast are also a good beginner meal. Simple to make, and with lots of toppings, toast is a great place to start.
Safety is of the utmost importance when kids are learning to cook in the kitchen.
Don’t introduce your children to cutting or slicing too early on. When you do, be sure to explain to them the dangers and to emphasize how important it is to be careful. Crinkle cutters and kitchen scissors are a good way to introduce children to kitchen utensils when they’re still starting out.
It’s also important to have a good pair of oven gloves. Cooking tools like non-slip gloves are an essential for older kids who may be starting to use the oven or handle warm plates. Make sure yours have superior heat protection and fit your kid’s hands.
Invest Time Now, Save Time Later
It can be time-consuming to let your kids help in the kitchen. Jobs that usually take half the time will become a much longer process.
Investing this time now will save you time later, however.
Teach your children how to make sandwiches. This is a good way to get them to be responsible for their own lunches. Let them know which ingredients are available to them and they can butter the bread and choose their fillings themselves.
So many kids leave home ill-equipped to take care of themselves. Furnish them with those skills now and you’ll reap the rewards later.
He could be hard to buy for, he could be easy to buy simple gifts for, but what about when it comes to buying something nice, big, memorable. It’s tough isn’t it?
It’s easy to pick up the simple stuff, when it comes to buying the important stuff it becomes harder. You need to be savvy, clever. When you ask him what he wants and he replies “nothing, I don’t need anything,” or worse, “whatever, I don’t really mind.” You need to control your temper. You can win through if you put your mind to it.
There are dozens of things dads like, dad needs, and dads want. This article can help you through it. You may already have a few ideas, but read on and see if anything else stands out for you.
In the first instance you should look for one or two items that can be personalised, items that can bring laughter and cheer. Get a mug and get it personalised, or with a funny tagline that your dad often says. You could also go for something more out there like a photo collage blanket, or any other kind of thing that can in some way be made unique or personalised for a joke and giggle.
If you wanted to get something more practical, then look for the hobbies and pastimes. If he spends most of his time out in the garden then get him something related. It could be something that sounds utterly boring to you, but to him it could be something that is great and means a lot.
Look at the hobbies and pastimes and you can come to a conclusion. Consider things like books on the subject he enjoys. Check out the ones he already has and upgrade it. He will appreciate it.
Men don’t like paying for things they need for the most part, so you could address this by purchasing what they won’t. It could be a new winter coat, something for their wardrobe. New jeans, a new shirt, the possibilities are endless here. Check the wardrobe out for further information and guidance. If they like a particular brand then you know what kind of things they like.
Doing your research means he will get a much better gift than if not, it shows you have put the effort in and have a better chance of getting something pertinent and memorable. It may be time consuming on your part, but certainly worth while.
If they enjoy technology then you have a great in. A new game for their games console could be a good hit, or perhaps something to do with their phone like a case or accessories. Your budget dictates what you can get here because most tech is expensive, but if you are open to purchasing a decent present, turning to technology can provide you with an interesting solution.
Again, before any expensive outgoings you may want to speak to him to check it is what he wants or need, better that than waste the money.
If you’re a keen gardener you will know that termites are good news for the soil as they break down waste and add vital nutrients that feed our vegetables and plants. This same feeding behavior though, when unleashed on your home, is something of a disaster. Termites feed predominantly on wood, bad news for your home’s structural strength and safety.
Image courtesy of American Home Shield
Termites are social insects that live in large colonies that are structured similar to the bee hive. Subterranean termites, the most virulent species we have, nest in the soil and can attack your home by building tubes that connect their nest to wood in structures. They can also build aerial nests that don’t require a ground connection at all - in fact all the nest needs is moisture!
Subterranean termites are the most destructive insect pests of wood in the United States causing more property damage than that caused by fire and windstorm combined.
Termites are a problem even if your home isn’t predominantly made of wood as these determined insects are capable of moving through plaster and even metal sidings. The termites are then free to munch on cabinets, floors, ceilings and wooden furniture causing costly damage and distress.
Spotting termite damage can be tricky. An infestation makes surfaces and areas such as walls and ceilings bulge and warp. It also smells similar to mildew and therefore it can easily be mistaken for water damage from a leaky pipe or gutter.
If you see these signs in your home you may have a termite problem and need to act immediately!
So what should you do if you think you have termites in your home?
Unfortunately you normally only spot a termite infestation once damage occurs. If you can see termite damage you should definitely contact a pest control professional rather than trying to tackle the problem on your own and run the risk of spreading the infestation or creating more damage to your home.
A pest control specialist can identify the problem and discuss the best treatment options with you. Most pest control companies even offer a free home inspection to check for termites before they become a problem - so please check out the company website before booking to claim any special offers.
If you are unsure whether you have a problem or not it is still worth calling in a professional rather than hoping for the best. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) U.S. residents spend at least $1 billion on termite control and repairs each year. Some experts estimate it is closer to $2 billion.
Most insurance plans don’t cover the treatment or repairs either so it really does pay to be vigilant. Working with a professional you can even put in place a termite prevention plan to reduce the risk of these costly visitors to your home.
In the meantime you can reduce your risk of attack by reducing the key resources a nest requires - namely food (wood) and water. You can also keep the perimeter of your home clear so that any potential attack can be seen before it takes root in your home.
Retirement is the dream. All our working lives, we fantasize about the days our dues are done, and we can get round to the things we always wanted to do. There’s no denying that retirement is all it promises to be. But, it’s a different way of life. As such, it takes some getting used to. Never is that truer than during your mornings. All your life, you’ve set your alarm because you had to be at work for a particular time. Suddenly, that doesn’t apply. So, what adjustments do you need to make to ensure retired mornings work for you?
SET YOUR ALARM...STILL
Yes, you’ve been doing it all your life. Surely now is the time you can kick back and kiss goodbye to that neverending wake-up call? We’re afraid not. It’s still important to set your alarm. If it helps, choose a different tone. That way, there’s less chance of you jumping up and thinking it’s work time again. Opt for something relaxing. Natural sounds are always good for this. How about a little bird call? However you do it, make sure you still wake up early. Not having a job doesn’t mean you have time to lay in bed all day. And, lying in will leave you less productive when you do wake up. Not to mention that it will leave you feeling confused for the day if it’s not what you’re used to.
As you’re still waking up early, a coffee can’t hurt. Chances are, this is a habit you got into when you were working. Don’t deprive yourself of that blissful morning cup. Experiment with a new option, like this middle eastern coffee. That way, the smell won’t bring back any memories. This will ensure you’re fresh and ready to face the day. If you can, cut down to one morning cup a day. That way, you still get to appreciate that thing you love, without overdoing it. You don’t need to boost your productivity at work anymore, after all.
It’s also important to eat the right thing for breakfast. Bear in mind that your needs for the day ahead have changed. The breakfast that’s served you well for decades may not suit your needs anymore. What’s best depends on what you have planned for the day ahead. If you have a day with the grandchildren, you need energy. Opt for a slow burning cereal, like oatmeal. If you have an easier day ahead, you may be best off eating fruit, instead. It’s also important to think about healthy options. You aren’t getting any younger!
WRITE A TO-DO LIST
While you drink your coffee, it’s worth writing a to-do list for the day. This will ensure you know what you have to do each day. It’ll help you keep some sense of stability, which is important. We all need routine, after all! Think about whether you have any home repairs, or visits to make. Then, write it all on the list!
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.
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.