During the summer, we spend so much time outdoors enjoying our gardens and patios! Time to perk things up mid-summer! Here are just a few ideas on perking up the garden and patio for this summer!
A Lively Border For The Patio
So many gardeners use river rocks or gravel as a border for the patio or to fill the gap between pavers. Why not add a little pop of color? These colorful glass pebbles are easy to find at dollar stores and craft stores – use one color to coordinate your outdoor color scheme, or use multi-colored for a vibrant effect.
Change Up That Wooden Deck
Have a wooden deck that is in need of an upgrade? Consider painting your deck with an unexpected design, like this patio featured on HomeDepot.com. To check out more pictures of this beautiful deck, Click Here.
For tips on painting a wooden deck, you can find information provided by the experts from “For Dummies” people at Dummies.com.
Finish off your look with updated cushions and pillows for your outdoor furniture – mid-summer is the perfect time to find some new favorites on sale! Check WorldMarket or PierOne for some great outdoor pillow sales.
Add Mood Lighting Through Gardening
With this REALLY simple project, planters become mood lighting for the deck or patio. Plant favorite flowers along the outside edge of your pot, leaving space for hurricane glass and candle. A beautiful way to bring the garden onto your deck!
Add some nighttime visual interest to your garden with Glow-in-The-Dark spray paint. Choose to paint a pot, stepping stones, or anything your want to highlight in the garden. (Not for use on plants or animals!) Works best on products that have a white base.
Love the look of Tie-Dye, but don’t want the hassle (or the messiness) of dye! Try this great idea from SunScholars.com: Sharpie Tie-Dyed T-Shirts! Rachel of SunScholars.com provides these instructions:
- Variety of Colorful Sharpie Permanent Markers (Tried other brands with poor success)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Something to “Tie” Dye, such as a white T-shirt
- Plastic Cups
- Rubber Bands
Folding clothes is one of my least favorite chores. Trying to fold a shirt is right up there with trying to fold a fitted sheet in difficulty for me! I find myself watching with envy at the way department store employees so easily fold knit shirts and t-shirts (those GAP employees are masters!).
My friend, Holli, sent me this video and I knew had to share it for all those people who might feel the same way as I do! So sit back and be amazed as the great Dave Hax shows you how to fold a shirt in less than 2 seconds!
(I now have a new skill to practice this summer!)
I’M BORED! Those dreaded words that make any strong mother or father drop to their knees and scream, “What on earth can I do to keep them entertained?!” If this kind of describes you and your summer with the kids, then this topic is for you! I have pulled together some great summer entertainment ideas that will help keep your kids entertained (at least for a little while!).
I have included credit and links to websites where I found some of these ideas. I encourage you to visit the sites – they are wonderful and worth the visit!
Homemade Ice Cream in a Baggie! My girls did this yummy project in elementary school, and it is a surefire winner in entertaining the kids! This project is great for older and younger children alike (even us moms and dads!). Recipe credit goes to OverTheBigMoon.com– Adorable website with great craft ideas and more!
- Half and Half
- gallon Ziploc baggies
- quart Ziploc baggies
- Rock salt
For each serving you need 1 cup of half and half, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Pour ingredients into a quart bag and seal. (Blogger did about 3/4 cup half and half and 1/4 cup whipping cream. She said, “the whipping cream made it really smooth and creamy. Do not use all whipping cream though because it kind of whips up and doesn’t freeze as well.”)
Fill a gallon Ziploc bag a little less than half way up with ice and then add 1/2 cup rock salt and the quart baggie with the ice cream ingredients. Then shake it! It takes about 5 minutes to get it a really thick consistency. (Best of all, the kids will be exhausted by the time it reaches the right consistancy!) Once is it done, you can add chopped fresh fruit to make it a little extra special.
When everyone has enjoyed their treats, ask the kids how they think it became frozen. Challenge them to research the answer online. A teachable moment!
Crafty Orange Bird Feeders. Most kids are naturally drawn to any project that helps animals. And the reward of creating a bird feeder that attracts beautiful, colorful birds into your yard is a real treat, plus it demonstrates the immediate benefit of the project. This idea comes from SheriSilver.com, a website full of crafty ideas!
(4) pieces of twine, yarn or string, cut into 24? lengths
With a sharp knife, cut the orange in half – scoop out the flesh. Pierce 4 small holes on opposite sides, about 1/2? from the top edge of each half . Thread one piece of twine through a hole, and out the opposite end. Repeat with the second piece of twine in the remaining holes (you’ll have an “X”). Gather the ends together and tie in a knot. Repeat with the other half. Fill with bird seed and hang from sturdy branches outside.
Family and Friend Dog Show! Gather together the sociable dogs of family and friends, a few props (you can use chairs, skateboard ramps or the slide in the backyard), and lots of treats, and you have the makings of a great dog show!
Let the kids take the dogs into the backyard and have them “train” the dogs to run an obstacle course, perform tricks, or just sit and look cute. The kids get to be creative with their pups, and the dogs get some much loved attention!
The Mini Movie Challenge! Encourage those budding movie directors with the Mini-Movie Challenge Using Vine. Vine is an application for your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad, that allows you to create short (6 seconds), looping videos. I watched my teenager and her friend spend over an hour creating their perfect movie – it had drama, humor, and a murder mystery all in 6 seconds. Best of all, you can share the movies with family and friends!
For the younger “directors”, you might want to give them a theme to start from. For the older kids, let them do it freestyle, and just step back and let the creativity flow!
For a Challenge – Try a challenge like the international, 48 Hour Film Project: Break them up into teams. All teams must incorporate the same prop and the same phrase into their movie. You’ll be surprised how different each film will be!
NightTime Ring Toss: This simple and inexpensive idea is sure to keep the kids entertained in the evening hours. Two glow-in-the-dark bracelets, attached together with the connectors (included in packages) and reinforced with tape, make perfect rings for ring toss! Place two wooden poles approximately 10 feet apart, and you have a simple ring toss pit! To make things a little easier, paint the wooden poles with glow-in-the-dark paint.
You can find packages of glow-in-the-dark bracelets CHEAP at places like Hobby Lobby, The Dollar Store, Target, Oriental Trading Company. (15 bracelets/$1.00)
Check out MommaDidIt.Blogspot.com to see this idea, plus many more great, nighttime activities!!
For more great summertime activities, I recommend checking out a few Pinterest Boards:
Summer Ideas For Kids: Terrific ideas to keep the kids entertained throughout the summer! Compiled by Lisa from OverTheBigMoon.com.
Summer Board: Cool summer ideas for decorating, food, games, and more, compiled by Megan Mathis.
Summer Lovin’ Board – A Round up of activities, recipes, style, and decorating ideas compiled by SimpleSolutionsDiva.com.
Not everyone is handy with Do-It-Yourself projects, but if you are interested in how to do a few simple things around the house or apartment, check out The HandyWomanDIY.com.
Great website with videos that take you through some simple DIY repair projects for the home. This is the perfect website for a little “coaching,” whether you are an independent woman looking to learn or a manly man just needing a little reminder on how to handle a hammer!
Click on image below to visit The Handy Woman DIY!
Summer is HERE! Simple Solutions Diva has collected some great summer recipes, ideas, cocktails, and more on her new Pinterest Board, Summer Lovin’! Click on the photo above to visit the board! Stay cool and refreshed all summer long!
Last week, I had the opportunity to celebrate the new direction a neighbor is taking. Her husband has a fantastic job opportunity that requires them to move away from the area. She has been a part of our neighborhood for more than 10 years. One of my neighbors (a crafty lady!) came up with this beautiful idea to send a little piece of the neighborhood with our friend.
This gift features a beautifully framed (and matted) photo of the intersection sign of the street where our friend lives. Flip the frame over, and each neighbor signed the back with well wishes. A space was left to insert a photo of all the ladies who attended the goodbye lunch.
What a great gift idea!
This is the season for graduations! After the mortar board and tassel are tossed in the air in celebration, where does the tassel end up? Usually, dangling from the rear view mirror (am I showing my age?)! But it doesn’t have to stay there! I found a great way to save those tassels and I thought I’d share it with you.
Simply take a clear, refillable ornament (4-inch size would be perfect) and insert the tassel, leaving the cord wrapped around the neck of the ornament. You can add confetti that coordinates with the school colors. Replace the top on the ornament, leaving the tassel suspended inside the ornament.
Now you have a beautiful keepsake of graduation that can be displayed year-round or as holiday ornaments!
To find 4-inch Clear Acrylic Fillable Keepsake Ornaments by the case (because you KNOW your friends will want to do this, too, for their kids!), Click Below!
Bulk Case of 24 Clear Acrylic 100mm Fillable Keepsake Ball Ornaments
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