Archives for May 2014

15 Door Prize Ideas For Baby Showers

Planning a baby shower and the date is quickly approaching?  The invitations are out, theme has been selected and the menu planned, but you completely forgotten about door prizes and the games.  Been there. We have a few ideas that we would like to share on great gifts to thank guests who are helping to make your baby shower the best ever.  After all your guests are the key to a successful shower and they’ve taken the time to honor the Mom To Be.  You don’t want them to leave empty handed.  

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Candles – Everyone loves candles.
  2. Set of ice cream bowls or sundae cups – Great for family time.
  3. Coffee or Latte Mugs – Great for sipping coffee or tea.
  4. Kitchen towel set – Who couldn’t use new kitchen towels.
  5. Loofah and body wash – Perfect gift set for a relaxing day.
  6. Stationary – Writing a personal note or thank you card never goes out of style. 
  7. Coffee or tea – Nice for week-ends when you can catch a moment to relax.
  8. Homemade jam or salsa – Bring out those jars of goodies that you’ve stored and share them.
  9. Gift certificate – Everybody loves a free treat to Annie’s Pretzels, Dairy Queen, Rita’s Sweet Frog etc.  
  10. Homemade craft – People love home made crafts.  
  11. Pictures frames – Look for frames that have family, friends Girls Night Out etc.  on them.
  12. Manicure or pedicure gift card – We all love to be pampered.  
  13. Premade Scrapbook Album –   I gave one of these to my daughter and she loved it.
  14. Matinee movie tickets – Great for date with hubby or significant other or a girlfriend.   
  15. Consolation Gifts – Bake a batch of cookies or brownies and tie the bag with a pretty ribbon.   
Check stores like Target, Big Lots, Dollar General, TJ Maxx, Michael’s etc for clearance items or the bargain bin. I’ve scored great gifts for baby showers there.  Use your imagination.  If you’re crafty, make the gifts.  

You may also like Baby Shower Game Ideas

Inspirational Quotes: Learn To Listen

Advice Quote: Know When To Let Go

Backyard Birds: Tufted Titmouse


Tufted Titmouse

Meet my Tufted Titmouse.  I love these little guys.  They’re a beautiful gray and white with a little tuft on top of their head.  They are marked with a touch of orange on the side.  They’re abundant in my backyard.  I keep them coming back by providing them with lots of black oil sunflower seeds.  They love them.  Check out my other posts on attracting backyard birds.

They’re funny birds.  They don’t normally eat directly from the feeder, they take their sunflower seed and crack it on a nearby branch and than head back to the feeder.  These little fellows will flock with chickadees, woodpeckers and nuthatches.  I enjoy watching them cling to the smallest branches while they wait their turn at the feeder.   They will eat from the platform feeder as well as the tube feeders.

 

 

The Tufted Titmouse likes to nest in holes in trees or a vacated woodpecker nests although they will also use nesting boxes.  I have plenty of woodpeckers around, so they have lots of holes to nest in.  They are known to pluck hair from live animals or humans for their nest. They mate for life.  The male does most of the singing, but the female will sing a softer version at times.  I will continue to supply sunflower seeds, as they are permanent backyard residents that I can enjoy year round. Their young are ready to leave the nest in 16 days, which I think is incredible.

 

 

 

tufted titmouse

 

 

I’m currently having problems with Starlings devouring the seed in hours.  So, I’m in the process of purchasing a new feeder and seed.  The new feeder will be enclosed in a cage, so only small song birds will be able to enter and eat from it.  I will be filling the other tube feeders with safflower seeds and thistle for the finches.  I’ll still use my platform feeder for the cardinals, but I will be replacing the sunflower seeds with safflower as well.  Supposedly, squirrels and Starlings don’t like safflower seed.  I’ll keep you posted on this change at the feeding station. 

You may also like Suet Feeders For Backyard Birds

 

Wisdom Quote: You Are Powerful

How To Find Mentors When Mom or Dad Is Absent

how to find mentors

 

 

Are you a single parent  who needs to provide male or female influence for your son or daughter?   I’ve bee there, and I also know that parenting is a taxing role.  But one that can be rewarding too.  As single parents, we worry about everything because the majority of the time we do everything.  Furthermore, having daily support from dad is rare.  So, we must become the back bone when it comes to raring our children.  However, finding resources is imperative.

My ex-husband was involved in my daughter’s life after we divorced, but it was on his terms.   His priorities were all wrong.  For example, the responsibility of getting my daughter up, providing clothing, feeding her, educating her, taking her to activities and turning her into a young lady was my responsibility.  For the most part, he thought if he handed over money he had done his part.  As a result, I ended up divorce and making it on my own.

Regardless of whether you have a son or daughter, they will need a male influence in their life.  You can and you must provide a strong male figure.  Speaking from a male perspective is something we as women simply can not do.  However I do have a  a few tips on how I accomplished that goal and provided male role models for my daughter:

  • First, if you have a sister or brother or aunt or uncle who is married, you trust them,  and they have established a home and family please call them.  I’m sure their husband or wife would be willing to spend time talking to and teaching your child how to become a positive person in our society.
  • Next, contact your local Big Brother and Sister organization – They have volunteers who wish to spend time with local children.  Also, one of my male employees was a volunteer for a little girl.  As a matter of fact, he was a huge supporter for most of her life and is still involved now that she is an adult.
  • Also, get your child involved in church activities.  Preferably with someone who is trustworthy.  We hear so much about Catholic Priests and ministers who abuse children.  Take the necessary steps, and ensure your child is around those who can truly be trusted.  Predators choose churches because we as parents make the mistake of thinking that everyone is holy.
  • Furthermore, camps are also a good way for your child to learn about leadership from both a male and female perspective.  This can be a church camp, sports, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or whatever organizations you can find locally.
  • Most importantly, if you are blessed and have your father, get him involved.  Grandfathers have great influence on their grandchildren.
  • Recreational centers are another way to provide role models and mentors for your child.
  • Last, if you have positive nieces or nephews, have them spend quality time with your son or daughter. They will share things with each other that most won’t talk about in front of their parents.  This will give your child an opportunity to hear things from a different perspective too.
In conclusion, don’t worry that your son will become a murder, rapist or bank robber because mom is not around. Don’t worry that your daughter may become promiscuous and bring home babies out of wedlock or marry the first man who comes along because dad was absent.  The world is filled with people who fit into these categories who were raised in 2 parent homes.  Most importantly, there are many people in the world who were raised by single parents, and they are successful.
You must talk to your child constantly, so they know what path to take and be honest.  Let them know that being a single parent is not a glamorous job, but in fact hard work and you want more for them.  Lead the way, they’re depending on you.

If you have additional resources or ideas that are not listed, please share.

 

Turn It Up Tuesday – Week 35

Welcome to the 35th week of Turn It Up Tuesday!
Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!

As you may know, Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Angie from God’s Growing Garden

th_025-Copy-1 (1)
In addition to being our fabulous guest host this month, Angie is also an amazing blogger. With over 40 years experience gardening, cooking, baking & canning, Angie can definitely be considered somewhat of an expert in her field.  Her blog, God’s Growing Garden, focuses on helping her fellow ‘backyard farmers’ and features some great blog hops including The Great Blog Train and Wake Up Wednesday Link Party. Angie is also celebrating her 3rd blogiversary with a big giveaway…make sure to sign up!
Are you interested in having your blog or website featured in this spot? Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month! Click here! It’s only $5 for an entire month!
Use promo code: MAYFLOWERS all month for 50% off!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

TUT Hosts 5.8.14

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for May!

TUT May 2014 (1)

Interested in being a guest host or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.  We’re now accepting guest hosts for June and July.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

unplug
Cindy chose Recharge Your Life: Unplug from Anni’s Bubble. “We are working hard to be unplugged in the evenings around here. My laptop no longer is a fixture on my lap in the living room while watching TV with the family. Unless I am home alone my laptop goes off at 5pm daily and I seldom check my phone, unless I get a text (since my youngest son is a missionary traveling the US, I always check my texts and phone calls). My unplugged evenings allow me to be in the moment with my family and I find I am more refreshed in the morning!”
cathy-post-1-300x295
Rhonda chose Scrapbooking (written by our very own Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise) on Katherine’s Corner. “I love preserving photos of my family and this blogger shares very creative ideas for scrapbooking those memories.”
garden-art-4
Angie chose Turning Old Luggage Into A Works of Art from Simple Nature Decor. “I just love that suitcase planter & that is why I picked this post as my favorite this week – I’ve seen a lot of things used as planters but never a suitcase – totally original & cool!”
diy-chore-chart-blog-image-with-rounded-corners
Katie chose Work for Hire DIY Chore Chart from My Love For Words. “This is a great idea! It teaches kids about money, it gets them doing chores and helping out around the house AND its adorable! When my kiddos get a bit older, we’re going to implement this great idea! Love it!”
Rachel also chose this post. “I love how organized and cute this chore chart is! I also love that the chores can be changed out based on what it needed to be done.”
Pretty-Storage-Box-8-1024x767
Karen chose Pretty Storage Box from Making Our Sustainable Life. “This project is very clever and something that anyone could try. Who would have thought a cardboard box could be so attractive and useful!”
PicMonkey-Collageppp
Gurvy chose S’mores – 7 Recipe Variations! from Grandparents Plus. “S’mores 7 recipe variation because s’mores are my weakness so of course the picture caught my attention, the post shared beautiful yummy pics of various s’mores that are so simple to create and enjoy!”
snippets
Jillian chose Living a Minimalist Lifestyle from Snippets of Inspiration. “I chose this week’s favorite because I really want my family to start going down a path of living a minimalistic lifestyle. This post gives me good directions on how to get this started.”
Scotty shopping_R
Jessica chose My Grocery Shopping Time-Saving Strategy from The Brown Girl with Long Hair. “I HATE grocery shopping! Especially with a 3 year old! Yuck!! That’s why I love Courtney’s solution :)). Not only do I have to step into another grocery store again, but free delivery?!? Woo-Hoo! Thanks for the tip!”
dsc_0310ultimatecrumbbrownies2
Stacey chose Ultimate Crumb Brownies from Bakewell Junction. “Brownies happen to be one of my addictions and I love to find new ways to have them. And I have always preferred pies with a crumb topping. These look absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing!”
social sharing
Ranjani chose Your Blog Needs Social Sharing Buttons from Mom Maven. “This is such a great tip and I am sure it will be of great help to new bloggers.”
rhubarbbars2
Carolyn chose Old Fashioned Rhubarb Bars Recipe from Little House Living. “I chose this post as my favorite because even just the word, “rhubarb” reminds me of the fabulous desserts my grandma used to make. This dessert looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it out!”
cell3_R
Natasha chose How do you curb your enthusiasm? from The Brown Girl with Long Hair. “Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot curb my enthusiasm. If something is even remotely amusing, I will fall out of my chair laughing almost immediately. Plus, I’ve been told that my laugh is highly contagious, so it just makes it even worse to hurt the person’s feelings. After I laugh for about 15 minutes and finally catch my breath, I do ask for forgiveness though. If I was in this situation, I would literally pass out laughing. This is too funny! Great post Courtney!”
eating-on-a-budget
The post with the most clicks is Eating on a Budget from Snippets of Inspiration.
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
Epic Mommy Adventures
<div align="center"><a href="http://epicmommyadventures.com" title="Epic Mommy Adventures" target="_blank"><img src="http://epicmommyadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/200pxturnitupbuttonfeature1_zps09bd5c75.png" alt="Epic Mommy Adventures" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

And the Best of the Best is…

unplug
Recharge Your Life: Unplug from Anni’s Bubble
eating-on-a-budget
Eating on a Budget from Snippets of Inspiration

 

As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!
Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy @ gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details!
Epic Mommy Adventures
<div align="center"><a href="http://epicmommyadventures.com" title="Epic Mommy Adventures" target="_blank"><img src="http://epicmommyadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/200pxturnitupbuttonbest_zps00692ef1.png" alt="Epic Mommy Adventures" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Just one more thing…

Natasha at Epic Mommy Adventures has been nominated for voiceBoks Top Single Parent Blogs!!! She is in the top 50 right now, but would really appreciate your vote to help her be in the top 10!
Click here to vote for her! It would be greatly appreciated!


So now that you’ve seen the Featured and the Best of the Best, met our hosts and co-hosts, and heard about Natasha’ nomination…

let’s get started!

  • Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.
  • Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!
  • Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!
Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!
Epic Mommy Adventures
<div align="center"><a href="http://epicmommyadventures.com" title="Epic Mommy Adventures" target="_blank"><img src="http://epicmommyadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/200pxturnitup1_zps05216d89.png" alt="Epic Mommy Adventures" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

Never miss another Turn It Up Tuesday! Sign up for reminder e-mails!

Interested in reading all of the Featured Posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Inspirational Quotes: Do You Stand By Your Decisions

How To Build A Green Bean Teepee Trellis

home gardening, vegetable gardens, bean trellis 


Last year I used a teepee trellis for my pole beans and it worked well. This year, I decided to modify it to maximize my harvest. Several bars were added to the teepee so I could plant beans completely around it.  However, one side was left open. I wanted my grandchildren to have a seat inside of the teepee while I’m gardening.  An adorable miniature chair will be placed inside the teepee for them to sit.  Check out my other backyard gardening tips before you leave.

Making a bean teepee can be simple and inexpensive.  I used the bamboo poles from last season and cuttings from my bamboo squash trellis from last year as well.  I found left over string from other projects under my sink and  used around the teepee.  String is great for the tendrils of the plant to latch onto. Lowes and Home Depot sell bamboo poles that won’t break the bank if you can’t found a resource locally. The Dollar Store sells string.  My brother has a yard full of bamboo, so I luck out. 

The poles should be 6 – 8 feet tall and you will need 4 pieces.  I used (4) 7 foot poles and 5 bars across.  Be sure to secure the poles tightly at the top and get them deep into ground before you tie on the horizontal poles.

 

 

Here’s the steps again:

1.  Tie your 4 poles at the top securely.
2.  Your poles should look like A-frames.
3.  Place the frames in the ground deep enough to secure them.
4.  Tie the smaller pieces (20) across the bars to form 3 sides.  Leave an opening to place a chair for the kids or spacing for growing lettuce through the summer, which requires shade.  The leaves of the beans will provide the shade.
5.  Plant your choice of pole beans completely around the bottom of the teepee and watch them climb.

 

Last, I use Blue Lake pole beans.  I believe they are more flavorful and less stringy than other beans.  However, planting Jade Bush Beans along with the pole beans will prove beneficial.  They were recommended by a fellow gardener.  Can’t wait to try them.  Also, green beans can be used as a companion to tomatoes and cucumbers.  Plant green beans close to your tomatoes and cucumbers this gardening season.  Finally, do you plant pole beans or bush beans?  What’s your favorite brand?

You may also like:  Using Eggshells In The Garden or Leaning Tower of Pole Beans

 

5 Health Reasons To Garden

Summer is around the corner and I’m looking forward to having fresh and chemical free vegetables.  I’ve been gardening for several years and wanted to share the benefits of having a kitchen garden:


1. High In Antioxidants – Herbs help reduce heart attacks and are high in antioxidants according to Fitness Magazine.  Oregano, basil, rosemary and parsley are a few of the herbs that you will find in my kitchen garden.  I love using oregano and basil in my sauces, parsley on potatoes and rosemary on chicken and in stuffing dishes.  


2. Exercise – Having a kitchen garden provides an opportunity to get moderate exercise.  


3.  Boosts Vitamin D – Sunshine is the best way to boost Vitamin D intake.  Ten to 15 minutes a day should be sufficient.  (Be sure to wear sunscreen while gardening). 


4.  Reduces Stress – Gardening reduces the Cortisol level, which is produced when you’re feeling stressed.   


5.  Better Nutrition – Home grown vegetables, herbs and fruits provide better nutrition and are more flavorful and chemical free.     


Home grown vegetables and herbs have become an important staple in my home.  I look forward to picking fresh lettuce, tomatoes and herbs for my dishes and preserving them for use during the winter.  The flavor versus what is purchased in a grocery store is beyond comparison.  That alone is a great reason to have a kitchen garden.  I enjoy walking into my garden retrieving peppers and tomatoes straight from the vine when I’m cooking.  The fresh herbs provide a wonderful enhancement to sauces, stuffing and salads.  


Start planting and reap these health benefits as well as a new found flavor and perspective on fruits and vegetables.  Start with a few herbs and tomatoes which can be planted in containers, and than start planning for next year’s garden.  


You may also like:


Gardening With Children


Using Eggshells In The Garden


My 2014 Vegetable Garden