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.
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.
When you welcome a newborn into the family, the first few weeks can fly be in a blur. When you’re sleep deprived, and you’re getting used to the miracle that is your new addition, it can be hard to find time to take stock of what’s happened, and how your life is about to change forever.
You never hear a new mom or grandma remarking how slowly time is passing. Time flies when you’ve got a tiny person around, so it’s important to try and remember as much of the early days as possible.
Before you know it, that beautiful bundle you hold in your arms for hours on end is desperately trying to wriggle away and play. If you’re a new parent or grandparent, here are some wonderful ways to commemorate those special first few weeks.
A baby book
A baby book is a fantastic way of charting your baby’s growth and development and celebrating mini milestones. There are usually pages you can fill in with information about what your baby looks like, how much they weigh and what they like to do, as well as space for photographs and messages from visitors.
You can keep a baby book, and when you’ve got inquisitive, energetic toddlers running around, have a browse and wonder where on earth the time went.
A photo shoot
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having a newborn at home. Suddenly, there’s a beautiful baby around, and you can’t stop staring at them and watching their expressions and movements. Even when you haven’t slept for days, there’s something magical about holding your baby in your arms and sharing those unique moments together.
Babies change every day when they’re tiny, and they grow and develop so fast. One way of commemorating their first few days is organizing a shoot with a photographer. Natural, understated shots are a beautiful way of celebrating your new arrival, and you can frame the images to hang on the walls and order prints to give out to friends and family.
If you do want to arrange a shoot, search for a photographer with expertise in family portraits and child photography, and have a look through online portfolios.
Image from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/baby/
A video diary
Every mom says the first couple of weeks fly by in an instant. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, which will take you from the heights of ecstasy to feeling like you can’t plod on a moment more without closing your eyes and catching some Zs.
When your child is older, you may well forget those days, and a video diary is a great way of ensuring those memories last. You don’t set up CCTV or film all day.
But a 5-minute snippet each day will capture moments that you’ll cherish forever.
There’s no experience in the world that you can compare to becoming a parent for the first time and bringing your baby home. When you’re adjusting to life with a new baby, time seems to fly by and the days run into each other. It can be hard to remember what life was like back then when your baby has grown up. If you have a newborn, these ideas will hopefully help you to celebrate and commemorate those special times.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money ...though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
It's so easy to feel overwhelmed by the ongoing home tasks that need to be done to bring calm and organisation from the chaos of family life.
Organising a home routine that runs smoothly is not easy. It's not as if you can just do a task once and then forget about it. As someone once said, "The problem with life is that it's so daily!"
And when you add kids into the equation, the items on the family to-do list are not just additional but rather, multiplied. So what can you do?
Don't despair. You're not alone. Everyone struggles; but you don't need to sink beneath the relentless onslaught of home and family demands and tasks that need to be done. These five simple secrets will quickly help you bring organisation and calm back into your home.
Stressed out mothers, and many others, want to know the secrets of being an organized mum. They may wonder if being organized as a mother with children at home is even possible. Rest assured, mums - it is possible to have an organized home and a life which runs smoothly – at least some of the time.
Secret Number 1
‘A place for everything and everything in its place.’
Determine the best place to store things and ensure they are put back when not in use. Doing this will help you know where to find something the next time you need it.
Purchase multiples of some items which are used in different rooms. For instance, if you use scissors in the kitchen and in the craft room, it would be a good idea to have two pairs of scissors. Teach your children early on where things should be kept and expect that they will put them there.
I find that any horizontal surface, but the kitchen bench tops especially, attract letters, assorted notes, books, magazines, pens and more. It's really hard to keep these areas clear. You might find it helpful to keep an attractive basket or container just inside the front door and encourage your family to drop those items in it until they can be sorted or retrieved later.
Hallway and entry tables with drawers or space for baskets are another option for containing and storing those many items that arrive home with your family and are often allowed to drop in the living room or kitchen counter.
Secret Number 2
Create routines to help your day run smoothly.
A smooth-running morning begins by having a great routine and doing as much as you can the night before.
Go through your children’s school bags to find out what needs to be signed, or write important dates on the calendar. Make lunches the night before and keep them in the refrigerator. Have your children bathe and choose their clothes. Place everything that needs to leave the house by the door so nothing is forgotten.
Make routines for other parts of the day as well. The more you can get your family used to doing without thinking about it, the better organized you can be. Download some free home cleaning routine checklists -daily and weekly tasks- to keep on top of everything and prevent to-do tasks from building up.
You don't want to use your weekends for catching up on cleaning or organising, either. You need some rest and relaxation on the weekend plus fun family time.
Need extra help? You might like to download a free workbook from the Creative Homekeeper to help you organise and prioritise your home life.
Secret Number 3
The more ‘stuff’ you have, the more disorganized you can appear even if you really aren’t.
Children outgrow clothing and shoes so quickly. Unless you have children who will grow into clothes, get rid of what is outgrown. However, don’t throw everything away. You can sell clothing, toys and shoes at consignment stores, on the internet, at yard sales or you can donate them to charitable organizations.
Teach your kids to clean out their things, too. Establishing a weekly routine of sorting and cleaning out their school backpacks is a great way to start, (and prevents the buildup of stale food and rotting fruit in their bags..aghhh.)?
Go through your own things as well. If you’re not using it and haven’t in quite a while, someone else might be able to use it.
Secret Number 4
Ask for help if you need it.
There’s a saying that ‘No man is an island; entire of himself.’
This means you can’t do everything and you shouldn’t be expected to. Delegate tasks you don’t have the time to do or simply don’t want to do yourself.
Enlist your partner’s help in doing tasks they’re better at doing.
Teach your children at an early age to help around the house. Give them chores to do and expect that they will get done. There are many chore charts available that can help organise and provide incentive for tasks and chores. It's a valuable life skill for them, too.
If everyone in the family pitches in (even young children can do something), you won’t wear yourself out by having to do everything by yourself.
Secret Number 5
Plan your meals ahead of time.
Doing this one thing can save you money, time and headaches.
By planning your meals for a week at a time you can make one shopping trip to get everything. You can also save money by matching what you need with discounts and coupons. You’ll also save yourself headaches by not having to run to the store in the middle of the week to pick up something you don’t have.
Don't forget, you can find family meal plans already organised for you atgrandmasplace. You can download the meal plans, with links to the recipes, filled with meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus dessert and snack ideas for an entire week.
The above are five priceless secrets of an organized mother.
They are a great starting point for escaping those ongoing feelings of discouragement and overwhelming tiredness. They provide the first steps towards finding balance at home and fulfillment in life. But don't stop there. You'll find other helpful articles here- simple tips for making school lunches, feeding fussy kids, developing healthy habits and more.
You may learn other secrets and tips from other mothers, too, who you think are organized and have everything together. In due course, you may also discover that others increasingly see you as an organised mum, someone with helpful ideas and skills to learn from and emulate. ?
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Plus, when you order though my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
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.