Organic Gardening 101: Making the Most Out of Your Backyard

 

So you decided to have your own garden, grow your own produce and go organic. However, as safe as it will make you feel going organic is difficult. But, knowing that your family is eating healthy is worth it.  Having pesticide-free food and knowing that your pets are playing in a garden that is free of toxins it is worth it.  Chemical solutions are there to help ease gardening, but they harm your produce and also make the soil chemical-dependent. Organic gardening will take some time, and more effort, but the results will be invaluable.  Check out these other backyard vegetable gardening tips too.  

Check the soil

Not all soil is the same. There are times when the soil is already filled with certain minerals or slightly acidic. These situations won’t allow for a good harvest.  The best way to prepare would be to take a sample of the soil and send it to your local horticultural laboratory. They will send back a report with the analysis results.  It will contain the pH value and advise which actions could be taken to improve the quality.

Which plants to choose

There are quite a lot of options to choose from, and in the end, it all depends on the purpose of your garden.

     Making your own produce – choosing to feed yourself and your family can be quite a feat. Don’t be discouraged if you are unsuccessful at times. For a beginner, it is important to choose plants that are not as demanding.  For example, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce are easy to grow. 

How to plant

It is wise to choose the location of your crops on their necessity for sunlight. Mark the areas where each plant should go, and be sure to not overcrowd the plot.  So, be sure to leave enough space for air to circulate freely.  As a result, this lessens the odds of fungi growing. Furthermore, the plants won’t over shade each other, risking crop failure.

Organic pesticides

Chemical pesticides are proven to be harmful to people. They are highly effective at protecting the crops, but at what cost? The chemicals the plant absorbs can affect their texture and taste.  Most importantly, pesticides cannot be washed off. Choosing organic, home-made alternatives can more often than not just as effective. One organic and consumable pesticide is Lemongrass.  Lemongrass not only repels certain plant-eating insects, but it also works against mosquitoes.  Furthermore, it doubles as a seasoning and tea herb for human consumption.  Also, ladybugs or praying mantises naturally hunt the pests you have overrunning the garden.

Fertilizing and watering

Even if you choose low-maintenance plants, to get the best results, you will need to regularly water and “feed” them. You can never be too careful when watering.  Water at the base of the plant to avoid damage. When it comes to fertilizer, the best compost is the one you make yourself. Designate a place in your garden for a compost bin.  Mix organic waste, soil, water and open air to create the perfect balance of carbon and nitrogen enriched compost.

 

organic gardening

 

Weeds

Weeds are a pest as much as insects. Its seeds make it almost impossible to root out, especially if you decide to go herbicide-free. And if not controlled as quickly as possible, they tend to spread out and take over the entire garden, bit by bit. There are several ways in which you can suppress the growth and spread of weeds, and all include using your own two hands, some strength and some mulch. Placing mulch around plants will help reduce weeds. And when it comes to mulch, you have a few choices:

     Wood chips – unless you have personal access to the source, these can get pricey
     Burlap
     Straw – a short – term, but cheap solution
     Lawn clippings – high in nitrogen, so they should be used only near plants that need them

Finally, the food tastes better when it’s brought to the table by your own two hands. Organic gardening provides as a good alternative to farmer’s markets.  However, it requires patience and dedication. Make this project easier, by sharing experiences with other gardeners.  Connect with other gardeners on-line, join online forums, and include your friends and family. 

About the Author:  Victoria Lim is a journalist, freelance stylist and a girl with a distinctive taste for home decor. She’s quite passionate about writing, sharing tips and DIY projects.

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #124

Sundays Best linkup

 

Welcome to Week 124 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup.  This is the first week of Remembering Our Heroes. We’re looking for crafts, recipes,  décor, cocktails, and more.

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover, gardening tips, SEO & blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeover ideas, organization tips, ideas for backyard hot dog roasts, and more. Blow the dust off your old posts and share those on our linkup too. They’re great for inspiration.

Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. Be sure to tell your friends, they will want to join the festivities too.

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on our linkup post the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best Featured Blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts pinned to Rhonda’s Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board and Kim M. pins the weekly featured bloggers to her Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board too!

The Reader’s Choice post(s) will be determined by the post(s) with the most clicks. We will be adding the winner to our Sunday’s Best Linkup featured bloggers.

All posts linking to Sunday’s Best Linkup will be promoted on Twitter.

In addition to the Post With the Most Clicks, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well.

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best Linkup host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts.

Your Sunday’s Best Linkup Hosts Are:

Sunday's Best Linkup

 

Debbie at Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains — Kim at Life in a House of Testosterone 

Rhonda at Mother 2 Mother — Brittany at A Mama Tale

Here are the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:

Mother 2 Mother: Please like Rhonda’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter;, Google+;, Pinterest;, BlogLovin, or subscribe/join her blog on the right sidebar before you leave.

Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains: Please connect with Debbie on Facebook and follow her on Bloglovin, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter before you leave.

Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter;, Google+;, Pinterest;, Bloglovin;, or Instagram; before you leave.

We would like to welcome our new host Brittany from A Mama’s Tale:

A Mama’s Tale: Please like Brittany’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, or Pinterest or before you leave.

Snag a Button!

Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. Please let your readers and followers know by placing the Featured Blogger banner on your site.

Sundays Best Linkup Sundays Best Featured Blogger

 

Your readers may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. We appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now, let’s party!


Rhonda selected Coastal Candle Holder from a Terra Cotta Pot from Across the Blvd.
 

craft ideas

 

Debbie selected Chocolate Biscuit Cake from Trick N Treat 

chocolate cake ideas

   

Kim selected Does Talking About Suicide Encourage Suicide from Living In Mommywood  

 understanding suicide

 

Brittany selected 20 Mother’s Day Crafts from There’s Just One Mommy  

Mother's Day Crafts

 

 The Post with the Most Clicks

   

39 Self Care Tips from The Professional Mom Project    self care tips

and

Our Favorite Theme Post(s) –  Celebrating Moms

 

Mother’s Day Tin Can Photo Collage from Dazzled While Frazzled  

 Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Mother's Day Gift Ideas
   5 Free Gifts to Delight Toddler Moms from A Mama Tale
Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Mother's Day
 Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and we deeply appreciate each of you participating on Sunday’s Best Linkup.  We have so many great posts that it gets difficult to choose a featured blogger. Finally, your hosts would like to invite all of you back to link up your post(s) again … you could be selected next week! While you’re here, take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love and be sure to connect with others on social media!


Introduce Children To These Ethnic Cuisines

ethnic cuisine

 

 

Food is love, and love is food. Families make food to feed one another and bond over the daily ritual of eating together. Everyone has a favorite dish and it’s often a pleasure to cook family favorites, but over time, eating the same style of food can get dull. That’s when it’s time to mix things up and make some ethnic food for the family! Children especially benefit from having their palates broadened by new flavor combinations and foods while they also gain precious memories from the time mom or dad made this special dish. Following are three ethnic cuisines worth introducing to your children.

 

jamacian jerk chicken

Image via Flickr by Jetalone

 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican jerk chicken is a BBQ-style meal that brings the taste of the tropics to the home. But be forewarned before you embark on making some: it is known for its heat, which usually comes from scotch bonnet peppers. If your children aren’t ready for hot foods, you can use milder peppers such as sport or jalapeno in place of the scotch bonnets. This is a great meal to make in the summer on the grill, or get really authentic and smoke it over wood instead of coals or gas. You can also pair it with an authentic Jamaican snack.

Sushi

Sushi refers to the vinegared rice that acts as a container for the ingredients inside this classic Japanese cuisine. It’s possible to dispense with the vinegar for kids who find it too tart. The beauty of sushi is that any ingredient can go into the roll. Make it with fruit, hot dogs, or even Spam, for kids who aren’t quite ready for the more adult taste of certain types of fish.

There is no end to the combinations of ingredients that can go into sushi. The basics of the dish are the rice and the wrapper. Anything that goes in is fair game. Use sushi as a spring board for creating savory meals while introducing your kids to a uniquely Japanese cuisine.

Beef Bourguignon

Famous chef Julia Child brought French cooking to American tables and made it accessible for all. Countless adults have enjoyed her beef bourguignon paired with a glass of wine. But it’s also a good meal for introducing kids to the concept of French cuisine. It uses beef, bacon, carrots, potatoes, and onions along with red wine. Don’t worry about the alcohol content; it gets burned off in the cooking and helps to create a wonderful sauce. If the alcohol is still a concern, use an alcohol-free version to get the same flavor.

Much of French cooking uses farm-to-table ingredients and is great for showing kids how to make a delicious dinner out of seemingly basic foods.

These three ethnic cuisines are from different cultures.  However, it helps your children experience world cuisines in your own kitchen. Make it an opportunity to learn and have fun with meals. It changes things up for everyone, expands young palates, and opens the minds of your children to the idea that there’s a big world out there with unique foods.

We hope that you enjoyed our suggestions for ethnic cuisines that you can introduce to your children.

 

18 Character Building Books for Children

character building books character building books character building books

This post contains affiliate links.  If a book is purchased, I may receive a fee.  However, all funds are used to maintain Mother 2 Mother blog.

First, building character is essential when raising children.  Character helps define who we are.  Most importantly, it guides our perspective on how we see the world and how we operate in the world.  Our character will define whether we’re trustworthy, fair, responsible and caring.  Also, character is built over the course of years, but it starts in childhood.  We must teach our children that stealing, lying, being rude or not having empathy for others is unacceptable.  It’s imperative that we be examples for our children, and we teach them right from wrong.

Next, I put together a roundup of character building books that will help teach children life lessons.  Furthermore, they will help build their character:

Cell Phoney– Next, this book teaches children the six rules of cell phone usage. The rules teach them how to stay safe, but it also teaches them not to hurt others.

Cheaters Never Prosper – Noodle decides to cheat so he can win.  He has decided that everyone has to cheat once in a while.  What’s the harm?  Children will learn a lesson about cheating.  Ages 5 – 9.

Cliques Just Don’t Make Cents – Penny tries to hang with the Coin Clique, but sometimes feels left out. Quarter and Half Dollars are best friends. So, they do everything together.  But they tell Penny she isn’t worth much.  However, Dollar helps Penny see her value.  Penny learns to feel beauty on the inside and out.  Ages 4 – 8.

Hygiene… You Stink– Jean the fork hates taking a bath in the sink or in the dishwasher.  She doesn’t understand why the other forks are being used and not her.  The other forks, knives and spoons don’t want to be around her. She talks to the can opener, and he explains the importance of hygiene.  Ages 4 – 7.

Well, I Can Top That  – Brad loves to one up people. For example, a student wins a contest.  Brad tells how he won a bigger contest.  Another student breaks his arm.  Brad said he broke both arms and both legs.  This book teaches the importance of pulling people up, not one upping them.  Ages 5 – 8.

Sorry, I Forgot to Ask – RJ has to sit in the time-out chair a lot.  Without asking permission, he walks home instead of taking the bus. Later he gets on his dad’s computer without asking.  His dad teaches RJ the importance of asking permission.  This leads to less time in the time out chair. Ages 4 – 11.

Market Street– Every Sunday CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town to church.  CJ wonders why they don’t own a car, why he doesn’t have an iPod, and why they get off in the dirty part of town.  His grandma helps him see the beauty in their trip and everything around them.

Baditude! – Noodle thinks life stinks. Homework, practice and family pictures stinks.  His negative attitude is alienating everyone.  Noodle learns to turn his have tos into get tos.  Ages 5 – 8.

Lying Up a Storm– A Storm is Brewing.  Levi doesn’t tell the truth.  He just makes up stuff.  His mother explains that each lie that he tell starts a storm inside. She explains that telling lies damages trust.  Ages 4 – 8.

My Mouth Is a Volcano! – Louis has a hard time not interrupting. It seems his words wiggle and jiggle, he erupts and than interrupts others. He mouth is like a volcano.  This book teaches children to hold their words and wait for their turn to talk.  Ages 5 – 8.

Rude Cakes– This book is about a cake that’s not so sweet.  As a result, this cake never says please, thank you or listens to its parents. A lesson about manners and bullying is taught.  Even the rudest cake can change.  Ages 3 – 5.

Ricky Sticky Fingers – Ricky steals. He takes things that don’t belong to him.  But he learns how it feels when he has something stolen.  Ricky learns to use the good in him to return the items that he stole.  The book teaches empathy.  Ages 5 – 8.

Table Talk– Another one of our character building books teaches children to understand that table manners are about more than what fork to use.  Table manners also include being respectful, considerate of others and sharing feelings. Ages 8 – 12.

Teamwork Isn’t My Thing – RJ’s having another bad day. His teacher wants him to work with bossy Bernice, messy Frankie, and Norma (who just sits and picks her nose) on a report about Egyptian mummies. After a frustrating school day with his “team,” RJ goes home to find only one cookie left in the jar. And his mom makes him share it with his sister! With the help of his coach, RJ learns that working as a team and sharing are skills needed not just on the soccer field, but in school and at home too!  Ages 5 – 12.

Those Shoes– So, everyone at school is wearing a pair of the latest shoes.  Jeremy wants a pair, but his grandmother tells him they can only afford what they need.  Jeremy soon realizes that his grandmother is right. He has warm boots, a loving grandma and a good friend.  They’re worth more than the latest shoes. he wants.  Ages 5 – 8.

Bully B.E.A.N.S. – Our character building books include Bully B.E.A.N.S. It is a fun story that teaches people of all ages to become proactive when it comes to bullying. This book can help children and adults understand why bullying happens and what they can do to stop it.  Ages 5 – 8.

Soda Pop Head– Lester has a funny name.  His nickname is Soda Pop Head. But, when Soda Pop Head gets upset his ears get hot, his face turns red and he blows his top.  Fortunately, Lester’s dad teaches him to cool down before he blows his top. Soda Pop Head learns to control his anger and manage stress.

Tease Monster– Unfortunately, One-of-a-Kind” is laughed at by Purple. Purple thinks One-of-a-Kind is weird.  Green playfully calls One a klutz after tripping on the stairs.  Is he Tease Monster to blame?  Mom teaches about the Tease Monster.  Not all teasing is the same.  Mom teaches that laughing at someone (mean teasing) is hurtful, but laughing with someone is alright.

Last, we hope you enjoyed our roundup of character building books for kids.  As parents, we can all use a little guidance in teaching our children.  Therefore, these books will provide a little inspiration and will help to instill life lessons.  You may also like 24 Books for African American Girls.

 

 

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #123

 

 

 

Sunday's Best Linkup

 

Welcome to Week 123 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup.  This is the last week of our Mother’s Day – Mom’s Are Awesome theme. We’re looking for Mother’s Day crafts, recipes,  gift ideas, cocktails, and more.

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover, gardening tips, SEO & blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeover ideas, organization tips, ideas for backyard hot dog roasts, and more. Blow the dust off your old posts and share those on our linkup too. They’re great for inspiration.

Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. Be sure to tell your friends, they will want to join the festivities too.

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on our linkup post the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best Featured Blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts pinned to Rhonda’s Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board and Kim M. pins the weekly featured bloggers to her Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board too!

The Reader’s Choice post(s) will be determined by the post(s) with the most clicks. We will be adding the winner to our Sunday’s Best Linkup featured bloggers.

All posts linking to Sunday’s Best Linkup will be promoted on Twitter.

In addition to the Post With the Most Clicks, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well.

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best Linkup host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts.

Your Sunday’s Best Linkup Hosts Are:

Sunday's Best Linkup

 

Debbie at Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains — Kim at Life in a House of Testosterone 

Rhonda at Mother 2 Mother — Brittany at A Mama Tale

Here are the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:

Mother 2 Mother: Please like Rhonda’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter;, Google+;, Pinterest;, BlogLovin, or subscribe/join her blog on the right sidebar before you leave.

Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains: Please connect with Debbie on Facebook and follow her on Bloglovin, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter before you leave.

Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter;, Google+;, Pinterest;, Bloglovin;, or Instagram; before you leave.

We would like to welcome our new host Brittany from A Mama’s Tale:

A Mama’s Tale: Please like Brittany’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, or Pinterest or before you leave.

Snag a Button!

Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. Please let your readers and followers know by placing the Featured Blogger banner on your site.

Sundays Best Linkup Sundays Best Featured Blogger

 

Your readers may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. We appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now, let’s party!


Rhonda selected Tulips at Bellingrath Gardens from Stone Cottage Adventures
 

Tulips at Bellingrath

Debbie selected French Provincial Chair from Faeries and Fauna

   office makeover ideas

Kim selected My Secrets to Paperless Home Organization from Lambert’s Lately 

 home organization

 

Brittany selected String Art for Signs for Teachers from My Busy Beehives 

 

string art

 

 The Post with the Most Clicks

   Front Porch Dining from Penny’s Vintage Home  

  front porch dining

and

Our Favorite Theme Post(s) –  Celebrating Moms

 

10 Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes from Marilyn’s Treats 

 Mother's Day Ideas
 Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and we deeply appreciate each of you participating on Sunday’s Best Linkup.  We have so many great posts that it gets difficult to choose a featured blogger. Finally, your hosts would like to invite all of you back to link up your post(s) again … you could be selected next week! While you’re here, take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love and be sure to connect with others on social media!


Ideas for Organizing Board Games

 

 

organizing board games

 

You’ve collected a number of games because of your recent interest in old and new titles. However, it’s beginning to look like an episode of Hoarders at your home. Therefore, a bit of structure and organization has become a challenge.  Will you be declared the winner and once again the owner of your space? Here’s how to win with organization.  We also have a few tips on organizing board games:

Rolling Cart

Rolling carts are great for walking a few blocks with groceries or other items.  It’s also used to carry chairs, coolers and toys on the beach.  Also, a rolling cart is convenient for storing your board games. You can clearly see titles while neatly stacking them.

Soap Containers

Losing one card from a deck could mean spoiling the entire game forever. Seems like a major punishment for such a trivial thing as losing a small piece of paper. However, you won’t have to worry when you wrap a rubber band around the deck before placing it in a soap container. It’s an orderly, waterproof, and bend-proof way to maintain your card games.

Large Zip Lock

Likewise, it’s crucial to keep all game pieces in one spot. The game box was designed for this task, but mysterious things happen to pieces. Therefore, be proactive, ensure all pieces are kept together in a zip lock bag. Also, make sure the box maintains its integrity.

Toy Box

Moms and dads have been maintaining kids’ goodies in boxes and chests for years. Shell out some money and invest in a medium to large sized toy chest. With a bit of selection and an eye for interior decorating, you could buy a piece that looks great in your family or living room while it houses your tabletop games.

Closet Organizer

You can grab a closet organizer from your local Walmart or online at Amazon. It’s an easy fix for those who have too many shoes…or games. Rather than hang it in your bedroom closet, utilize your hall closet and store a plethora of board games.

Bookcase

How serious are you about board games? Serious enough to amass an entire library of titles? If so, rather than a place to house books use shelving to house your board game collection.  You can take the economical route, and build DIY shelves or you could hire a carpenter to build  something custom and more suitable for board games.

Milk Crates

They’re durable and great for storage.  Even better, you can stack them and place them beside one another. There’s no limit to how many games you can conveniently store in milk crates.

Wooden Ladder

Old, rustic looking ladders are chic at the moment and you can find them in kitchens, bedrooms, family rooms, etc. Decorators hang blankets over them, place books on top of rungs, or just paint them to match the interior. You can use one to arrange and start organizing board games in your home too.

We hope you like our tips on organizing board games, and will implement one or two in your home.

Practical Ways to Pest Proof Your Home

pest proof your home

 

Pests can invade your home at any time.  Furthermore, they may come to nest, to access an easy source of food, or to find shelter from the weather. They can fly, crawl, burrow, or jump to get into your property.  They have one thing in common, and that is to get in regardless how bad you want to keep them out.  Check out my tips on pest proof your home:

Common Pests

The most common invaders are rodents and insects. Rodents are extremely successful breeders and, if they are not dealt with promptly, can multiply rapidly and bring disease and nuisance.

Insects fly and crawl.  Some can be very destructive to furniture and to the fabric of your home.

Prevention or Cure

Traps can be either lethal or non-lethal, although live traps leave you with the dilemma of what to do with the creature.

Poisoning, unless carried out by an expert, comes with a variety of drawbacks, including

  • The risk of inadvertently killing other animals, including members of an endangered species.
  • The difficulty of finding the dead bodies, which may still be in the house.
  • The limited effectiveness of some techniques, such as rodent smoke bombs.

So prevention is generally a preferable route, where it is practical.

Don’t Invite Them

The most important step, is to discourage pests from getting near your home.  Once they are comfortably settled close to the house, it will not be long before they decide to move inside.

Also, remove piles of debris from around the walls, including discarded building materials, firewood, trash cans, garbage containers, compost and leaf piles. All these make comfortable homes for insects and rodents. They can move in to nest and then look for somewhere a little warmer when the air turns cold.

Clean out gutters, downpipes, and drains. The organic matter that accumulates in these is very attractive to insects. Cut back trees and plants that are touching the walls or roof.

Replace traditional bulbs in exterior lights with sodium lights which attract less flying insects.

Move bird feeders away from the house, as fallen seeds will rapidly attract vermin.

Block Their Entry

It is said that if a hole is big enough for a pencil it is big enough for a mouse. Go around your house and inspect every surface for ways that rodents and insects could get in.

Check all your doors and windows to ensure they are close fitting and the frames are sound. Pay particular attention to basement and attic windows. Check all the points where pipes enter the building. Seal holes with caulk or concrete.

Damp and rotting wood is both attractive to insects and easy to chew. Replace it with sound wood or another material.

Keep Your Home Pest Free

Regardless of how hard you work to pest proof your home, everybody gets a pest problem at some time. There are plenty of companies around to help, but you can keep their requests to a minimum by taking simple steps to stop the critters getting inside in the first place.

Simple Tips For Families To Consider For Studying Abroad

studying abroad

 

Graduation is an exciting time in a young adult’s life.  Many head into the next stage of their life, college. While some decide whether to go to college, attend a junior college, or wait and save money, there are other options. For example, you can decide to devote one or more semesters studying abroad.  Here’s a few things that families should consider and discuss when considering studying abroad:

 You Can Make Connections

 While some parents may look at a semester away as an opportunity for a child to goof off, there are opportunities for the child to make potential business and career connections while overseas. There is no reason why the student can’t start networking abroad, and start building partnerships and relationships.

 The Time Is Now

Getting an opportunity to travel can be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  You may think that your child will have a life time to travel. Yet things happen and some never again get the opportunities they had when they were young.  Graduation, a job, marriage, and children become priorities.  Seize the moment and opportunity. It could be decades before your child gets to travel again if ever.  When it comes to studying abroad, remember that now is as good a time as ever.

 Some Things Books Can’t Teach

As parents, there are insights only gained through experience.  They cannot be found in a book or teacher lecture. Studying abroad will place your child in another land and culture.  It will take your child out of their comfort zone.  They will learn to be more independent, how to respect other people and cultures.  Additionally, they will realize that the world is a lot larger than the city and environment they are used to.  Read about what awaits them at Cambridge summer school.

 Who Will Pay Tuition

Cost is likely to be a top reason that parents won’t be receptive to their child studying abroad.  Make an agreement that the child help pay for the tuition or part of the trip.  Furthermore, some universities have work and study programs to help students balance their life while making an income. Discuss expectations of the student helping to pay for the experience.

 Show Interest in a Place

Consider how many wants and interests your child has had since they were very young.  They have grow interested and then quickly disinterested in a few things.  Have them research universities with foreign study programs, the foreign exchange rate, the language and culture of the place they where they want to study.

 Prove the Destination is Safe

There is a lot of unsettling news stemming from areas all of the globe. As parents, you may not like the idea of your child going overseas or to a certain place.  Research the intended destination, and consider if it’s safe for students to live, study, and prosper there.  Also, contact the school and ask if their is a way to contact current or previous teachers and students who have studied abroad.  They will be able to offer insight into studying abroad.

 

 

Backyard Garden Tips That Will Make You Look Up

 

backyard gardening tips

 

I don’t know about you, but when I am busy in my garden, I am usually looking down.  After all, that’s where all the plants and flowers are, right! But I’ve just realized that it could actually be worth looking up while you are gardening. Here are a few backyard garden tips and reasons why:

Check Your Trees

It’s not just the plants and flowers in the ground that are susceptible to various diseases and pests. The trees in your gardens are as well. So, how do you know if you need to contact a tree surgeon such as http://www.arboristusa.com/? Well, the first sign of a fungal tree disease will always be noticeable in the leaves. More often than not, they will be very discolored. Your tree might also start losing leaves at an excessive rate. Next time you are out in your garden, look up to make sure your trees are in good health!

Think About Lights And Lamps

Would you like to spend your summer evenings sitting outside enjoying your garden? If so, you might want to add some lights and lamps to brighten up the outside of your property. Look up to see the best places you could put your lights. Usually, most homeowners like to place outdoor lights on the side of their property and garden shed. Another nice idea is to wrap some fairy lights around the top of your fences and any railings that you have in your garden. Just make sure that they are safe to use outside: http://www.screwfix.com/c/electrical-lighting/weatherproof-switches-sockets/cat830538.

Look Out For Birds

When you look up, you might notice a few birds flying around and nesting in your garden. Don’t notice many? If not, you can always encourage more birds to come to your garden by adding a bird feeder. Make sure it is always filled with bird feed so you can to attract a wide variety of birds. You might want to also include a bird bath in your garden, as this will encourage birds to visit your property for a bath as well!

Hanging Baskets

If you want to add some more dimensions to your garden, it could be worth adding some hanging baskets. You can hang these from the side of your property and wooden fences. These will increase the amount of flowers in your garden, and will give you a chance to add even more bursts of color. You will be able to find a wide variety of hanging baskets in your local garden center. Or you could try making your own from flower pots.  If you don’t find hanging baskets appealing, you could install raised flower beds. This is another great way to add some dimension to your garden!

So, next time you are working in the garden, don’t just focus on the ground below your feet. Look up and see the rest of your garden!  We hope that you enjoyed our backyard garden tips.

 

 

Spring/Summer Makeup Tips for Busy Moms

summer makeup tips

 

If you’re a working mom, you  know the daily struggle that includes taking care of your kids while getting ready for work.  Applying makeup can be time consuming, but you can create a flawless makeup look at just a few simple steps.  Here are six summer makeup tips and tricks that’ll help you speed up your morning makeup routine:

Choose tinted moisturizer instead of foundation

We know that you love your favorite foundation.  However you’ll kill two birds with one stone if you opt for a tinted moisturizer! Apart from providing great coverage, this product will also nourish your skin to the max and keep it hydrated all day long.  A tinted moisturizer is generally much more lightweight than a foundation.  So, you don’t have to worry about clogged pores and potential breakouts!

Don’t forget the primer

If you want your makeup to be long-lasting, it’s crucial to get a high-quality primer.  You should definitely invest in a primer.  It will allow your makeup to stay on all day long without touch-ups.  As busy moms, this is exactly what you should look for. The primer will smooth everything out in no time and boost your hydration levels, so don’t skip it under any circumstances!

Concealer is your best friend

If you’re a sleep-deprived mom who has to cover those hideous dark circles under the eyes, concealer should definitely be your best friend. The best way to apply it is to draw a triangle with the base under your eyes and the point toward the cheeks. Besides concealing dark circles, this technique also creates the illusion that your face is lifted, which is what you need for an early morning meeting. You can even skip a tinted moisturizer and apply concealer only.  Add this to your summer makeup tips, and it will provide a fresh look on its own!

Voluminous eyelashes for a wide-awake look

Two coats of your favorite black mascara will do wonders for your overall appearance, even if you didn’t get much sleep last night. Don’t be afraid to use an eyelash curler which can give you a wide awake look in the blink of an eye. It’ll inevitably make your eyes look much bigger, which contributes to a fresh morning look. Just remember to use this handy tool before applying mascara – never use it afterward since it can stick to your mascara and even pull your lashes out.

A nice blush will save your day

The warm natural color is vital in a quick beauty routine, so make sure not to skip it. Just a touch of peachy blush or baby pink will result in a beautiful, luminous skin that looks healthy and fresh. Use a tad bit of it on the apples of your cheeks and you’ll see an instant improvement. You can get either a powder blush or a cream one – it really doesn’t matter, as long as it gives your face a gentle glow.

Plump up those lips

Plumping up your lips is the final step before heading straight to the office or running errands. From balms and glosses to regular lipsticks and even lip stains – everything’s on the table. Here’s a little tip: apply these products with a lip brush since that’ll help them last a lot longer on your lips. Of course, applying some of them (such as lip stains) is much more time-consuming.  So, save those for special occasions and use a lip gloss instead.  This can be added to your bag of summer makeup tips without much effort.

As you can see, there are ways to come up with flawless summer makeup tips in just a few simple steps.  It’s all about optimizing your routine and using high-quality products.  Products that will allow your makeup to stay on throughout the day, without touch-ups. Once you master these steps, you’ll manage to look stunning in no time, and all day long!

Author BIO:  Sophia Smith is Australian based beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. She is also very passionate about DIY projects, latest fashion trends and organic beauty products. Sophia writes mostly in beauty and fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life.

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