(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
I don't know about you, but I grew up reading fairy tales- stories of adventure, daring exploits and impossible quests. Einstein once wrote, 'If you want your children to be intelligent read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, the nread them more fairy tales.'
How much better for your kids or grandkids to create their own fairytale adventures than if they had their own fairy garden.
Now, I've seen a lot of wonderful fairy gardens that others have created. They look great! There are even fairy garden kits you can buy to make a beautiful garden that would be a perfect setting for a fairy tale adventure.
But I'm not great with gardening. So I wanted a garden that would be easy to create, easy to maintain.. and one that I could keep indoors. So... when I saw a listed Workshop with Botancials by Bella about making a terrarium in an afternoon, I thought this would be great for my indoor garden. The course was a lot of fun. and yes, I was happy with the results. So I'm sharing the technique with you so that you can have much fun making your own fairy garden as I did and sharing it with your kids or grandkids. (I hope my workshop expert thinks with my tutorial adequately explains the process!) If you want to do a workshop yourself, I can certainly recommend Botanicals by Bella- she runs a lot of different and interesting project workshops. ;)
Here's how to make your own indoor fairy garden
1. Create layers in your fairy garden using the different types of materials- sand, pebbles, sphagnum moss. Not only does this look great in your terrarium, it has a practical purpose in draining the soil while providing the nutrients for growth.
Begin with the clean river sand. Don't use sand from the beach as this will contain salt.
Add handfuls of sand to your container and press firmly into place. Build up the sand more around the edge of the container and up the side a little. Try and keep a circular hollow area in the base of the container as this is where you will add some handfuls of potting mix. Add extra sand and potting mix until this layer is level. Just ensure that the potting mix remains in the centre. You don't want to see it from the sides.
Now, add some more sand on top of the potting mix and continue to press down firmly.
Now.. add a wide ring of pebbles around the edge. Bring the thickness up to about 5cm depending on the size of your container. Fill the centre of this layer with dampened sphagnum moss.
2. Add some height and landscaping to your garden.
Add more handfuls of sand to the centre of your gardening bring it up a bit in height towards the back of your garden. Choose 2or 3 large smooth rocks and place them towards the back of the garden, too. Use your green moss and push gently into place behind the rocks and down and sides a little.
3. Plant some foliage- green moss and mini ferns are good choices
Use your finger to push a hole into the sand behind the rocks. Gently push a mini fern into the hole. Add some extra sand around the fern if needed. Add a couple more terrarium plants to your garden. Think about the size of these plants and place the bigger ones towards the back and low growing plants at the front.
4. Include foreground features- pebbles and green moss
Think about the front of your garden. Choose 2 different types of pebbles and add them in the garden to create areas of interest. You maight like to use some to make a garden path or another area. Extra green moss can be placed in the foreground too for more interest.
5. Add your fairy garden accessories
You'll find plenty of options and choices to include in your inddor fairy garden. There are cute little stools and chairs, bright coloured toadstools even fairy cottages. But you can even make these little accents. I've include a number of links on my Pinterest board to help you make your own, if you wish.
creating Keep extra fairy garden accents and replace them regularly especially if your grandkids are visiting. They will love looking for the changes and new accessories in this mini fairy garden and I'm sure they will create special stories and fairy garden adventures.
This terrarium fairy garden is relatively easy to care for. First, find a position indoors that is bright and airy but will not be in full sunshine. Although the terrarium needs to be kept moist, too much water is as damaging as not enough. If you think there may be too much moisture, hold the container above your head and check the condition of the sand/potting mix in the base.
When it needs more moisture, use a spray bottle. I find the garden is happier if I spray the garden every 2-3 days with a fine misting.
If you run into trouble or need some more maintenance tips, check out the Terrarium Survival Guide from Botanicals by Bella.
Give it a try yourself. I think you'll enjoy making your garden and creating family fun with your kids or grandkids. I know they will love to play with your fairy garden and create exciting adventures.
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, or I don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
( A guest post by Brigitte Evans )
When you think back to your childhood, your favourite memories are most likely the quality time you spent with your family. And in case didn’t have the chance to experience these moments – you know exactly how much you miss them.
But parenting and grandparenting isn’t easy and after a long day, it’s easy to say “we’ll do family time tomorrow”. But one too many tomorrows, and your kids will be all grown up, so use the time you have and make sure to spend time together whenever you can. Here are some ideas, and feel free to come up with your own!
This one is especially great for all the grandparents out there who are struggling to connect with the youngsters. Bust out the family albums and show them what your life was like well before they were even born. Show them that their parents were also kids once upon a time and tell them about the mischiefs you’ve done when you were young.
If you have any pictures from your childhood, share them with the kids. They will love listening to the stories – but make sure it’s something they can connect with. Tell them which ones of their ancestors they look and act most like and tell them stories of their own lives that they might not remember.
If you have some valuable skills that you want to pass on to the next generation, it is the perfect way to spend time together, by them helping you when you are doing that activity. Then, if they take interest in it, you can teach them, without forcing it upon them.
A perfect example of this is gardening. Have them join you in the garden and help you when you are tending to the plants. Or if you are knitting, they can unwrap the yarn and prepare it for you. Or, if you like to bake sweet treats for the family, let them help you weigh and mix ingredients, choose the flavours and decorate the finished product.
Keep up with the times
Whether we like it or not, the future is digital, and our kids are picking up on that faster than anyone else. But using computers, phones and the internet is not just an interest anymore – it’s a necessity. And one way kids love to explore that is video games – which completely falsely get a bad rap. Knowing what games your child is playing is not only completely necessary, but a great way to connect with their interests.
And games are not only fun – they can be educational too! Playing turtle games helps your kids learn spelling and different puzzle games help them develop problem solving skills. Video games can also help your kids learn new languages, practice teamwork and help them understand some difficult life concepts.
Do good together
Helping out and doing good deeds simply feels good and can be an amazing, positive experience. Take your kid to volunteer with you in a community kitchen, a shelter or simply go to your favourite local beach and pick up some thrash to make it clean again. You can also teach compassion with the small things: walk the neighbour’s dog together, help someone with their groceries or clean the street around your building.
Take a walk
We are always rushing to get to sports practice, school, doctors’ appointments and play dates, most often taking the car. And when you are driving, you have to be focused and you can’t spend too much time with your children. So simply planning out your time a bit better and leaving home earlier will allow you to walk to the places you need to be, giving you plenty of time to talk about anything you want. We are also more relaxed while we are walking, so it might be easier for your child to open up to you and tell you something that’s been on their mind.
Spending time together is crucial for any tight-knit family. It strengthens the family bonds and develops trust, making it much more likely to stay close as the kids grow up. Make sure you include all of the family members and that everyone is willingly participating. Respect your kid’s time alone and they will be much more likely to participate in family time.
If you’ve got grandchildren that you spend a lot of time with, then the chances are that you try to make every visit to your house as fun and memorable as possible. After all, you want your grandchildren to enjoy spending time at your house, so it’s important to take the time to plan activities that they will enjoy.
In addition to planning all of the usual activities - baking, playing board games and watching movies - you might be wondering about trying something new. Well, then how about starting a new hobby with your grandchildren?
Like the idea of trying a new hobby with your grandchildren? Below is a list of a selection of hobbies that are suitable for children of all ages and are sure to be a big hit.
For kids of all ages (five and over), coin collecting can be a great hobby to share with them. For kids, hunting for coins is like hunting for treasure, which makes the process even more fun and enjoyable. You can buy coins online, from specialists like LPM.hk or you can choose to hunt for them second-hand at bootsales, charity stores, and from second-hand online selling sites, there are also various coin collecting Facebook groups that you can join. Coin collecting can be a lot of fun, especially when it’s a hobby that you share with your grandchildren.
Children love insects, which is what can make insect tracking such a good hobby to do with them. Kids love the idea of tracking insects because it’s so fun and adventurous. You don’t catch the insects, you can simply take a photo of them, note down where and when you found them, and then send them on their way.
The idea is to build up a profile of your garden, their garden, and anywhere else that you go together, to see what insects there are around. This is a fun and quirky way to get the kids outside, while doing something together.
This might seem like a slightly old-fashioned hobby but it’s actually made a major comeback. If you know how to cross stitch, then you could spend your time with your grandchildren teaching them how to cross stitch.
There are so many cool patterns to create, from movie characters like the superheroes of Marvel to animals - there’s sure to be a pattern that your grandchildren will love. It might take a while to teach your grandchildren how to cross stitch, depending on their ages of course, but once they’ve got the hang of it, it’s a skill that they will have for life.
When it comes to spending time with your grandchildren, naturally you want to ensure that the time you spend together is fun and memorable. While watching movies and playing games can be fun, after a while it can get a little repetitive. By starting a shared hobby, you can create an amazing bond, and will always have something to do together and discuss.
If you have kids or if you are a grandparent who wants to spend some time with the grandchildren then there are plenty of ideas out there.
Go to an Arena Show
If you want to go to something that the kids will love then why not spend the day out and then go to a fun-packed arena show? You can easily go to see some of the many child-oriented shows out there and they are all packed full of crowd-interaction. You can even stay at the AC Hotel Guadalajara if you want, and this is a great way for you to spend some time socialising with other people as well.
Build a bonfire
Another great thing that you can do is get out there and build a bonfire. You can do this on the beach or you can even do it in your own backyard. When you do build a bonfire, make sure that you have plenty of marshmallows and even pack some fruity snacks as well to make the whole thing come together. This is a brilliant way for you to really relax and the kids will love it as well. The best thing about this is that you can easily make the whole thing a family event and it is something that everyone will enjoy.
Squirt Gun Art
If you have a water gun then you already have nearly everything you need to have a great time. You can get the whole family outside and if things get messy then you don’t have to worry about anything at all. You can use your garden hose to spray the whole garden down and this will remove any art that doesn’t really belong in the garden. To do this, all you have to do is dilute a bit of paint and then put it in an old water pistol. It helps to have a couple of these on-hand because it means that you can easily have one for each colour, and the kids will absolutely love it.
Go Watch the Fireworks
If the weather is great then why not go and watch some fireworks? There are plenty of destinations that offer this kind of thing and it is very easy for you to find a show near you. Watching the sky light up with kids for the very first time can be a magical experience and most of the time you don’t even need to travel far either. All you have to do is wander down to your local park and see if there is anything being hosted. You can even have some hotdogs on the way home and this is one of the best ways for you to have an incredible experience without breaking the bank.
Kids will have tons of fun making their own ice-pops and it is a great way for you to cool them down after a very long day. They can have hours of fun doing this and the colours when they are frozen are unlike anything you’ll have seen before! Try adding fresh fruit for a nice twist.
If you are new to investing then you may feel very worried about the risk involved. The whole thing can be intimidating and it can also put a lot of stress on you, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can easily have fun when investing and in some instances it can be very easy for you to make a profit as well. This is especially the case when you have an end-goal in sight, such as being able to buy a brand new car or even to save up for your own retirement fund.
In the long run, there are a couple of things that you need to think about. You will need to have an income if you want to go on to invest successfully, and it is more than possible for you to do this if you have a stable job. When you have a set amount of money to work with, it is then very easy for you to go on to make even more investments so you can make a really solid return.
Know your Options
There are a couple of ways that you can invest. You could even look into acorns vs stash if you wanted, and this is a great way for you to really make the most out of the income that you have. It’s important that you never make any kind of investment that you don’t understand. It’s also important that you have a good idea of how your investment is going to work and even how you are going to utilise your profits. This will give you a clear goal that will stop you from taking too much risk, so it is something that is well worth looking into.
Your money will be needed in different accounts at different times. You really can’t learn how to use one type of investment and then stick to that alone, as this won’t work out well for you at all. In practice, you need to make sure that you are always getting the highest return from your income and that means changing money around from time to time. Knowing when to do this, and when not to do this is crucial. In fact, it’s probably as crucial as knowing what you want to invest in the first place!
Here’s Why Investing is Fun
So when you know everything there is to know about your investment, you can then go on to have a bit of fun. Taking risks is a great way for you to really learn your own ability and you can feel very proud of yourself when the time does come for you to cash out. The thrill of investing in stock can really have a lasting impact on your life and it could even help you to lead a bigger and more extravagant lifestyle. After all, you’ll never know if you don’t take the chance and now is a better time than ever for you to take that next step.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. :) Full disclosure listed below.)
"That's it! I've put it off long enough! I'm cleaning out the cupboard."
Yep.. that was me last week and I started well, filled with enthusiasm. That was, until I pulled out some of the old scrapbook photo albums that I'd worked on when the kids were small. Ahh.. can you believe how little they were?
So, of course, I had to sit down and go through all of them. Did you get hooked on the scrapbooking craze? Or maybe you still enjoy it? I love it, but it's soooo time-consuming.
But there's something special about taking out a photo book, turning the pages with someone else, reliving the moments and sharing the fun and laughter together.
As a family, we regularly upload family photos to TinyBeans as a safe way to share digital family memories with our family. But my parents can't remember how to log-in or forget to check it and so miss the beautiful memories that are regularly uploaded. A photobook is a better option for them.
I have made some photobooks from other sources. But, in the most part, they're simply a book of photos without much option for placing and presenting the photos in a way that I like.
Now, I've discovered MixBook. The photobooks created with this program are wonderful! I can change the backgrounds, alter how many photos are presented per page, add embellishments like scrapbooking... even produce a book in a night if I need a book quickly. Since it's all online, I just use my computer, or create a photo book with my iPad while relaxing and watching the TV.
The completed book is printed and delivered to the door. And they make wonderful gifts- just think how thrilled your mother or father would be to receive one of these special books filled with memories.
So... check out the simple instructions below.. and start!
Share wonderful family memories together as you read through your photo-books.
Why bother... I have my photos on iCloud
So perhaps, I'm guessing you're wondering just why you should go to the trouble to creating a photo-book. After all, you have all your photos, your memories on your computer, your smartphone or iCloud.
Well, yes ... but just consider: sure, you have all those wonderful photos on your computer. But, not only are they taking up a big hunk of memory, they are also hard to view together as a family.
And... it's so fun and simple to do. You'll feel like a professional when you see the results.
A family heirloom
A photo-book is an unique picture of your family and the 'moments that matter' in your lives. Whether young or old, everyone will enjoy looking through this special book.
Create one as a gift
These photo-books are so beautiful, you'll want to make and give them as gifts- if you can bring yourself to part with them. They'd make a treasured Mother's or Father's Day gift. Send one to family who live overseas. Make a special book to mark milestones within your family or your kids' lives.
Share the memories
Everyone will enjoy reliving the fun times and remembering those special family moments as they look through these beautiful books.
So... let's get started..
You'll need to create an account.
Your first order will be 50% off as a special promotion from AtGrandmasPlace so use the promotion link to access MixPhoto. Then, sign up to start your first photo book creation.
Choose the photo book option
Although there are many wonderful projects to try later, you just need to select the 'Photo Books' option to start your first photo creation.
Choices, choices and more choices ..
Now comes the fun part. There are lots of different styles, sizes and themes of photo books. Think about what you really want for your book and who it will be for and choose according. For example, there are lovely softcover photo-books that would be a great gift idea for mothers or grandmothers. You might prefer a square shape for your book especially if you're going to include a lot of your Instagram images.
The themes and page layouts are wonderful. In fact, there are over 370 different themes to choose from for your photo book. And so many of the themes have scrapbook-like accents that really add appeal to your pages,
You can change the page layouts or the number of photos displayed on each page, add stickers, change the backgrounds and more.. Each photo book truly is your own unique creation.
Simple drag and drop format
The format is simple - upload your photos from your computer, or device. Then just choose the photo you need, then drag, and drop the photos or stickers to your page. Position and resize them until you’re happy with the arrangement.
Not happy with the layout? Click on 'layouts' and choose a different layout or different number of photos for the page.
And yes, additional text can be added in any page.
And, if you're really busy and need to create a stunning photo book in a hurry (like, in a night), just choose the instant insert feature.
It is really sooo simple. But more than that- it allows you to be as creative as you want and add as little or as many stickers and accents as you'd like for your book. You don't need to buy the stickers. You don't need to search for scrapbooking papers. There's no need to do any cutting or sticking.
And the competed book will then be posted to your address.
Start your own treasured piece of family memories now.
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.