Hosta Haven

I enjoy sitting on my front porch in the morning gazing at my Hosta garden. I call it my little “Hosta Haven” as it is so relaxing with the multitude of textures and shades of green! There’s not much else I can grow in this spot between the pine trees. It is very shaded with lots of roots from all the trees. Pine needles, from the White Pines, create a needle bed under the plants. At first, I thought they would never grow in such soil, but they find a spot and thrive among all those gnarly roots! They’re tough and seem to like the acid pine needles!

 

Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

Scattered through the hosta are a few little pieces I’ve found to highlight the garden.  Of course, I have a windmill. Found it at a yard sale! Being of Dutch heritage, it fits perfectly!

My Hosta Haven grandparentsplus.com

A few large rocks for interest….

 

My Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

 

My Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

The different shades of green change with the sun throughout the day.

 

My Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

Each year it gets better and better as they mature and fill in little open spaces. Sprinkled in are Huchera, ferns, and a few other shade loving plants. I try to mix color, texture and size.

This grouping is right next to my front porch. I like the gradual decrease of sizes. The large hosta in back are Montana, next is Chiquita, Christmas Tree and finally Kabitan.

Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

From the front porch, there are Guacamole Hosta, Red Salvia and Stella-de-Oro Daylillies .

 

Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

Coral bells, so delicate, against the hosta.

Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

 

Hosta Haven  grandparentsplus.com

 

Throwing in a bit of color, with Impatients planted in a little cart, gives a striking contrast. Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

Even my little turtle enjoys the view!

 

Hosta Haven   grandparentsplus.com

I like to divide my plants in the Spring just as they are coming up. That way, they never look like they’ve been touched. It is hard to distinguish one from another so in the fall, I place a red plastic knife beside the plants I intend to divide and write the name of the plant on the knife (both top and bottom). In the spring, I know exactly which ones to divide and what variety I have!

Hope you enjoyed my “Hosta Haven” tour. I have some hosta around a tree in the back, but this year the deer ate them all! I didn’t get my Coyote Urine ( yes, gross!) deterrent on fast enough! Ugh!

How is your garden growing?

Phyllis

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Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo

My Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo!

Last fall, the squirrels  (maybe raccoons – never caught the critters) chewed my white wicker set to pieces. I needed to find something to replace it for the front porch. I was on the hunt and found a unique set and decided to do a Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo to match the color scheme on the front porch.

I knew that changing the colors was only a matter of paint. So after some effort, I now have a cute table & chairs set on my porch in red and white. It’s perfect for a lovely breakfast, snack, or just a glass of lemonade while watching the hummingbirds in my garden.

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo grandparentsplus.com

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo grandparentsplus.com

With spray paint in hand, the redo began! The yellow just didn’t go on my porch! I re-used the cushion fabric from the old wicker set to recover the chair pads.

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs…….. AFTER!

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo grandparentsplus.com

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo grandparentsplus.com

I love the detail that you see through the glass top!

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo grandparentsplus.com

 

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo grandparentsplus.com

I love my Red and White Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs!

Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo grandparentsplus.com

 OK critters! Now, try to chew this one!

Thanks for stopping by and seeing my Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo project. My husband and I had dinner there the other night! Nice!

Phyllis

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Duck Themed Baby Shower

Duck Themed Baby Shower   grandparentsplus.com

Just recently, my sister and I hosted both a double baby shower and a bridal shower in one day. It is a tradition that we give each of our nieces a wedding shower and with their first baby, a baby shower. Not every family member lives in town. So with lots of family coming in town on one weekend, we decided to do a double baby shower and a wedding shower. We did everything on one day so people didn’t have to travel great distances again.  It was sort of a mini-reunion with baby shower, wedding shower and a big get-together that same night! WHEW! My sister was in charge of the first event and did a cute Duck Themed Baby Shower. I’ve posted the wedding shower that I was in change of doing. You may want to check it out, too!

The darling duck cake became the centerpiece for the table. It was a double baby shower for two of our nieces. One niece had a boy and one had a girl.

Duck Themed Baby Shower   grandparentsplus.com

The Duck Themed Baby Shower was carried out in all different ways. Cheese slices cut with a cookie cutter looked cute on a plate! Very simple and easy to do.

Duck Themed Baby Shower  grandparentsplus.com

Ducks floated in the punch bowl…….

Duck Themed Baby Shower  grandparentsplus.com

Yellow duck mints made from a mold, duck napkins and a whimsical duck with candies added to the theme!

Duck Themed Baby Shower

More duck themed decor…..

 

Duck Themed Baby Shower  grandparentsplus.com

Knife, fork and spoon wrapped in the napkin and tied with yellow tulle added another decorative touch to the table.

Duck Themed Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

 

Along with cake served, guests picked up a scoop of orange sherbet decorated with a little duck pick!

 

Duck Themed Baby Shower  grandparentsplu.coms

The serving table for the Duck Themed Baby Shower Brunch……

My sister made  two Amish Egg Bakes. One had Sausage and Mushrooms and the other was with ham!

Notice the baby buggy with fruit?

 

Duck Themed Baby Shower  grandparentsplus.com

The complete menu included Amish Egg Bake (it was “yellow like a duck”), fresh fruit, Swedish Almond Rusks, assorted quick breads, cheese, cake, sherbet, duck candies, punch and coffee.

Duck Themed Baby Shower   grandparentsplus.com

I’m sure you’ve seen this idea for the baby buggy before, but I think my niece did an excellent job making this one. The babies are lemons with curly lettuce hair.

Duck Themed Baby Shower   grandparentsplus.com

Did you notice the difference between the boy and the girl? One has curly lashes and the other one doesn’t! So cute!

Duck Themed Baby Shower  grandparentsplus.com

 

We played a “Duck Game” using facts about ducks and their ducklings! The winner won a little duck flashlight key chain and a ” duck tape-measure”.  It is pretty easy to find lots of little duck themed items in stores.

 Many of these ideas certainly are adaptable for a young child’s birthday party, too!

Hope this gets your creative juices flowing!! Now, wasn’t this post just “ducky”?

Thanks for stopping by,

 

Phyllis

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Bridal Shower Ideas

Planning a Bridal Shower is always a special time for honoring the Bride-to-Be! Our family tradition is to have a family bridal shower for the nieces and niece-in-laws. That amounts to 12 showers so far! Giving a Bridal Shower involves a lot of preparation and planning. There’s food, games, gifts, and we always include a devotional (encouragement and challenge from God’s Word).

Bridal Shower Ideas   grandparentsplus.com

 For each Bridal Shower we do a color theme  or a theme that especially fits the new bride. The shower I just did had a “fashion” theme. The bride worked in a major department store chain and was in charge of the women’s departments in several stores.  Knowing this, we decided to tie into the  “fashion” theme and carry it through the game, food and devotional.

The wedding was in Washington State during the tulip season. This shower was scheduled after the wedding due to the bride’s work schedule and traveling to the Midwest. We used a similar theme for the center of the table as they had for the reception tables at the wedding. She used a beige linen runner and pink and white tulips and candles in cylinder vases for the long reception tables. They were very simple, but elegant!

Here’s our copy version….

Bridal Shower Ideas  grandparentsplus.com

A look at the entire Bridal Shower table setting…..

Bridal Shower Table  grandparentsplus.com

These are the tables at the wedding reception…..

Wedding Shower Ideas  grandparentsplus.com

Along with the bridal gown cake, I decided to do a bridal gown veggie plate! It turned out pretty well! Perhaps it is a “bridesmaid dress”! It all fit with the “fashion” them for the Bridal Shower!

Bridal Shower Ideas   grandparentsplus.com

 

Bridal Shower Ideas   grandparentsplus.com

Another view of the table….

The menu included Wild Rice Chicken Salad, Tortellini Salad, Fruit Fling, Croissants, Pickles, Veggie Plate & Dip,  and Pink Lemonade. I made the Fruit Fling pink by adding just a drop of red food coloring. Bridal Shower Ideas   grandparentsplus.com

 

Bridal Shower Ideas   grandparentsplus.com

The bridal gown cake…..

Bridal Shower Ideas   grandparentsplus.com

For the game, I downloaded pictures of bridal gowns from each decade 1900’s – 2000. Guests wrote  the decade they guessed under each picture.  I tried to get ones that looked particularly like that era.

Wedding Shower Ideas   grandparentsplus.com

Can you guess the decade that these gowns were worn?

 

Wedding Shower Ideas  grandparentsplus.com

How many can you get correct?

The answers are at the bottom……

The devotional was on the theme of “What we wear as a Christian” . It included thoughts on the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5:22.

Each shower is special! This one was no exception. Everyone had a great time together!

Hope you enjoyed these ideas!

Phyllis

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Answers: 1.1940, 2. 1950, 3. 2000, 4. 1900, 5. 1930, 6.1960, 7. 1910, 8. 1980, 9. 1970, 10.1990, 11. 1920

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Tiptoe Through the Tulips!

Tiptoe Through the Tulips   grandparentsplus.com

 

You probably have heard of the song ” Tiptoe Through the Tulips” Well, over Easter, we did just that! We traveled to my nephew’s wedding and it happened to be at the time of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington.  I had never heard of this before so we decided to take it in while we were in the area.

What a gorgeous sight! All those tulip fields, with brilliant colors in a row, looked just like a rainbow! The day was sunny and clear so the colors were spectacular! Every turn drew an “Ooh! and Aah”!  While this is quite different from my normal posts, I thought I’d share with you the beautiful sights. Put this place on a list of “must see someday”!

The gardens I photographed are at RoozenGaarde. They were started by the Roozen family and now have more than 1,000 acres of field blooms. They maintain a 3 1/2 acre display garden with a quarter million spring-flowering bulbs. The pictures are of the display garden.

Enjoy!

Tiptoe through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips   grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips   grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips   grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

Tiptoe Through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips   grandparentsplus.com

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips  grandparentsplus.com

Tiptoe Through the Tulips grandparentsplus.com

Now, that was just a taste! You need to experience it in person someday!  I  was blown away by the beauty!

If you can make a trip there sometime, check out the website of Tulips. You can order tulip bulbs directly from them, too!

Please note that I am not compensated for this post in any way. I have been to Kuukenhoff Gardens in Holland, too. While this is not as big, it is easier to get to and still so beautiful! It is well worth the trip!

Thanks for stopping by and “tiptoeing through the tulips” with me!

Phyllis

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Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona  grandparentsplus.com

 

I am diverting from my usual posts to show some amazing designs at the Chihuly Exhibit in the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. We took a warm respite and traveled to Arizona and visited the Chihuly Exhibit while there. The glass designs were lit at night, but they were just as beautiful during the day against the textures and beauty of the desert plantings.

There is a permanent Chihuly exhibit in Seattle so if you’re there, take it in! It is quite amazing what he does with glass!  Go to his site to learn more about Chihuly.

Here are some memories…..   Remember, each design is  all blown glass!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At night, it looked like this….

Chiihuly Exhibit in Arizona   grandparentsplus.com

More designs!

Chilhuly Exhibit in Arizona   grandparentsplus.com

 

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona   grandparentsplus.com

 

There was a gift shop with a display of his beautiful bowls for sale. Notice the price on the one bowl. Needless to say, I didn’t go home with one! Here are two of my favorites…..

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona

 

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona

More photos of the garden pieces……

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona

 

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona   grandparentsplus.com

 

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona  grandparentsplus.com

On this next picture, the exhibit that was up on the mountain shows, too!  Tell me how they got it there in one piece!

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona  grandparentsplus.com

 

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona  grandparentsplus.com

 

Do you have a favorite so far?

 

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona  grandparentsplus.com

This  would make quite a Christmas tree! WOW!

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona  grandparentsplus.com

This kind of “snake” I don’t mind!

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona   grandparentsplus.com

The grand finale!

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona  grandparentsplus.com

At night……

Chihuly Exhibit in Arizona   grandparentsplus.com

I didn’t include all  my pictures, but wanted to give you a taste of how beautiful it was. This was held in February 2014 for 10 days at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona.

When we arrived back home, it was zero degrees! Quite a shock! Looking forward to Spring!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Which one was your favorite?

I always appreciate you taking the time to stop by!

 

Phyllis

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Puppy Themed Birthday Party

Puppy Themed Birthday Party  grandparentsplus.com

One of our granddaughters had a birthday. We traveled there to spend the weekend and get in on the party. I just had to share the cute Puppy Themed Birthday Party with you.

It was held at a Petland store. I don’t know if you have one near you, but you can check your local listings. They supplied goodie bags and had the party in a separate room at the store.

In preparation, my daughter-in-law and our granddaughter made the cutest puppy cupcakes! They were so easy to make! Our granddaughter added most of the details while her mother added the eye and mouth details.

Materials needed:

Puppy Birthday Party

Puppy Birthday Party

Pull apart the Nutter Butter cookies and place 1/2 on for each ear!

Puppy Birthday Party

Didn’t they turn out cute?

Instead of purchased “eyes” , they cut a miniature marshmallow in half and added a dab of frosting.

Now, on to the party…..

At the Puppy Themed Birthday Party, the kids sat in a circle in a back room. Every 10 minutes the birthday person got to choose a new puppy or other animal to bring into the room. The employee would bring them in one at a time and talk about the animal they chose while the kids played with them. The girls loved it and had so much fun holding and petting each animal! The store employee in charge of the party was there to watch and guide them in handling the animals.

Puppy Birthday Party

 

After having fun with all the puppies, kittens and rabbits, the kids washed their hands and had their birthday party with the presents and puppy cupcakes. The idea for the cupcakes was found at the Cupcakepedia website.

Puppy Themed Birthday Party  grandparentsplus.com

So fun to celebrate with our granddaughter! Happy Birthday!

Hope you enjoyed this easy Puppy Themed Birthday party idea!

 

Phyllis

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Bird Problem?

Bird Problem?

 Bird Problem?

Funny question and a strange post,  but I promise this info about a bird problem will come in handy sometime.  I had such a problem with birds nesting under our front porch.  After some research, I came up with a solution and decided to pass this info on as this might be just what you are looking for in solving a bird problem, too!

My bird problem was this… I had birds always wanting to nest up on the top of the pillars under the porch. They also liked my hanging ferns which are protected from the elements by the porch roof.

Now don’t get  me wrong. I love birds! I feed them and love to hear them sing. They are a beautiful part of God’s creation! It’s just that I don’t want them in my hanging baskets on my porch or up on the ledges. They make a terrible mess! I would rather enjoy them at the feeders and bird houses that I have all around!

Nesting Bird Problem  www.grandparentsplus.com

They love those protected corners. Guess birds aren’t dumb!

Here’s the mess they leave down below!

nesting Bird Problem   www.grandparentsplus.com

This looks terrible and it’s not fun to clean!

 

If you have young children, it is cute to watch the stages of the eggs hatching and young birds growing, but my kids are grown, my plants suffer, and I have a mess to clean! We live in a wooded area so it isn’t as if there aren’t plenty of nesting options all around. See the woods in the background?

Putting nails up above wasn’t an option so I set out to find what might be a deterrent. I found that the natural predator for birds is a snake. If they see a snake, they leave.   So that gave me an idea.

Off to the Dollar Store I went to find some snakes. They had to be quite small to fit in those places. Besides, I didn’t want to scare any guests I  have sitting on my porch sipping lemonade only to look up and see a large snake! That wouldn’t do!

 I found a package of small plastic snakes 8/$1! I thought they would be perfect! At least it was worth a try! It worked!

Now, each year, if I don’t have my “deterrents” in place early, they find those choice spots and quickly make their nests. Once the eggs are there, I don’t have the heart to destroy it. So I need to place them quickly at the start of spring. I can leave them on the ledges over the winter, but sometimes they get lost with the winter winds blowing them off.

 

Bird Nest Problem

I placed the snakes up on the pillar ledges and in the fern baskets. No one can see them, but they are there! The birds will fly in, check it out, see the snake, and off they go!

Nesting Bird Problem

See the small snake? It doesn’t matter which color! I used an orange one so you could see it!

I haven’t had one bird make a nest in those places again!

It even works under a boat lift. Barn swallows like to nest there and then you have a very messy boat.  Place a larger plastic snake up in the corner and those birds won’t be back!

Now you know how to end a bird problem! ! If you have a spot where you don’t want birds nesting, try it! You only have a dollar to lose.

Have you ever had a problem with this?

Love for you to follow on Pinterest or Bloglovin’ and subscribe to future posts.

P.S. Guess I’ll place this post under “Misc.”!

 

Phyllis (Oma)

 

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DIY Cards,Posters & more….

DIY

 

Cards, Posters, Awards,

 

Certificates, Calendars & More…. Free!

 

 

Graduations!  Birthdays! Anniversaries!

New Baby!

Achievement Certificates!

Weddings!

Sports Awards!

Holiday Events!

 

 

Whatever the event, you can create a free card, poster, etc… all at no cost to you with the easy templates on this site! I am so excited to find this and I thought I would share it with everyone. Each project is easily printed on your own home printer. The quality is not like ordering from a picture website, but for quick everyday uses, it is fantastic!

What kid or adult doesn’t love a special poster or card created just for them. Graduations are just around the corner and personalized posters make great decorations, too. Just print them out right at home!

In the past, I have made my own cards and invitations on my computer using Publisher and other programs, but this is so much easier! Anyone can do this! It is much quicker with the templates ready to go. You have an option to change any text to your own liking.

Here is a picture sample of a couple things I’ve made….

 

 

Make Your Own Cards, Certificates #cards #certificates #awards wwww.grandparentsplus.com

Lots of templates for cards, posters, certificates, awards, etc.  www.grandparentsplus.com

If you’re a coach, children’s ministry leader, youth leader, Brownie or Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout leader, mom, grandmother, S.S. teacher, or school teacher (just to name a few), you’ll want to be sure to check this out. I receive no money from this recommendation, but just wanted to share it with you! I find it so easy and quick to do!

I love it and will be using it often!

Have fun creating!

The link is here.

Phyllis (Oma)

 

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Watermelon Centerpieces

 

Watermelon Centerpieces
Elegant creations from watermelons and cantaloupe! Tutorial link included. www.grandpartsplus.com #watermelon #centerpieces

Summer is coming and soon we’ll see bins of watermelon in the grocery stores! Instead of just serving watermelon wedges, think about creating a centerpiece out of it. If you happen to get a tasteless one, this might be a way to salvage it for another purpose.

 While this is not like my usual posts, I just had to share these ideas. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to try something different. Some of these ideas are easy and some more difficult.

Watermelon Flower  #watermelon #fruit creations #centerpieces  www.grandparentsplus.com
Imagine this bursting forth on your table! Truly a show-stopper!  www.grandparentsplus.com  #fruit  #centerpiece #watermelon flower

 

 

 Are you brave enough to try this?

Beautiful Watermelon Creation! Perfect for a fruit  and salad table!  #watermelon #watermelon creation #centerpiece  www.grandparentsplus.com
Flower centerpiece made from a watermelon. #fruit#centerpiece #fruit-centerpiece www.grandparentsplus.com

 

Now, the next one is way beyond my ability!  Don’t think I’ll be trying this, but if you are artistic, go for it! The headdress is from radishes and greenery.

Watermelon Sculpture
Watermelon Sculpture!
#watermelon #fruit sculpture #watermelon creations www.grandparentsplus.com

 

Made with leaves carved out of the watermelon rind, this next creation uses long carrot curls for the petals, and black raspberries for the center! Soak the long carrot shavings in ice water to make them curl. Then, place them to look like the flower petals. Use toothpicks or skewers to hold everything in place.

Fruit flower creation!
Beautiful Flower made with watermelon rind carved leaves, long carrot curls and black raspberries!

 

Another melon creation made from cantaloupe!

Another beautiful flower made from fruit.
Made from canteloupe!

The best video for directions on how to do the roses is on YouTube at this site…

 http://wp.me/p2kxxE-AR

Watermelon rose
Watermelon made to resemble a rose.
Watermelon Centerpiece
Wow!
Watermelon Centerpiece Carving
Spectacular!

This bird is easier than it looks. Hold everything together with skewers and then cut off with pliers at the entrance point to hide it. 

See my  Fruit & Vegetable Creations post for pictures of the construction.

 

 Now if you are brave and you feel inspired, it is your turn to try these watermelon creations for your centerpiece! Beautiful, aren’t they? Thanks to the chefs on Royal Caribbean for the inspiration and for instructions on YouTube!

 

I’m starting on the Watermelon Rind and Carrot Curls Flower!

What have you got to lose?

If it doesn’t turn out, just eat it!

Phyllis (Oma)

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Fruit & Vegetable Animal Creations

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Fruite and Veggie animal creations  #fruit #centerpieces # fruit animals

Fun collection of ideas for whimsical fruit & veggie creations. #fruit #vegetable #animals  www.grandparentsplus.com

Just recently, we went on a beautiful Caribbean Cruise. Luckily it wasn’t the ship that was stranded! We cruised on the Liberty of the Seas by Royal Caribbean and it was fabulous! I highly recommend Royal Caribbean! The food, service, entertainment and the ship itself was outstanding! The presentation of the food was so beautiful. One night they had a dessert buffet where they displayed such fun, creative fruit creations.

Fruit & Vegetable Creations 2

Fruit & Vegetable Creations 3 Fruit & Vegetable Creations 7 Fruit & Vegetable Creations 8

Fruit & Vegetable Animal Creation #fruit animal  #centerpiece #fruit centerpiece   www.grandparentsplus.com

More variations of fruit and vegetable creations!

Final product!

So many fun designs!

 

I loved the whimsical animals! I had never thought of doing this for a centerpiece! My creative juices started and I got to thinking of all the possibilities that could be made. The nice thing is after using your creation for a centerpiece, the fruit and vegetables are still usable the next day!

I took some pictures of a fruit creation that a chef was making and thought I might try these at home for a special occasion! Some of them didn’t look that difficult if you know some of the secrets.  The only tools needed are a couple of sharp knives (small & large),  pliers and bamboo skewers along with a variety of fruit and vegetables. The bamboo skewers hold everything together and then they are snapped off with the pliers when everything is in place. The pictures tell the story of how to create it.

Animal Fruit Creations #fruit #centerpieces #fruit centerpiece

Fun creations using fruit and veggies!

To make the wings stick out, insert a small part of cantaloupe underneath each wing.

Fruit & Vegetable Animals   #fruit  #fruit centerpiece #fruit animals

Making the eyes

A slice of carrot, radish and grape make the eyes.

 

Fruit Animal   #fruit  #fruit centerpiece #fruit creation   grandparentsplus.com

Adding the eyes and nose

A strawberry for the nose or try a carrot, too! The hat is either a cut of watermelon, a red or green pepper or whatever you choose.

Fruit & Vegetable Animal Creation   #fruit #vegetable #centerpiece   grandparentsplus.com

Another variation of a fruit and vegetable animal

Whimsical Fruit & Veggie Centerpiece Creations! #fruit #centerpieces #fruit creations

Make a whimsical centerpiece with fruit and veggies!

 

Fruit & Vegetable Dog Creation    #fruit  #vegetable  #fruit centerpiece

Puppy Dog made from fruit and vegetables!

Puppy Dog made from fruit and vegetables!  #fruit  #vegetables #centerpiece   grandparentsplus.com

Side view of the puppy dog!

Use red pepper for the tongue and oranges for the ears and feet.

A decorative cut cucumber makes the tail!

Fruit & Vegetable Creations 12

Fabulous way to present fruit kabobs!

What a way to present fruit kabobs!

Fruit & Vegetable Creations 7

Other creations seemed more difficult and I’ll post those later. Meanwhile, happy creating with fruits and veggies! I think the possibilities are endless! I’m going to try these for a special occasion! I think they would be great for a summer centerpiece, don’t you?

Smaller versions would work, too. Perhaps combining an orange and grapefruit instead of using a cantaloupe and making a smaller individual animal for a child.  

I love these fruit and vegetable animal creations! They make you smile, don’t they?

Thank you Royal Caribbean chefs for inspiring me!

 

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Best Photobook & Photo Card Sites – A Quick List of Links and Recommendations!

 

Making memories are easy using these sites.

Making memories are easy using these sites.

 

Many people have asked me for the photobook & photo card sites that I have used for making all my books and cards. I have used many sites.The following is a list and their links. What I recommend is to register on each site. They will usually send you offers of free or discounted books. I always look for those offers and try to take advantage of them. The memories are priceless, but my pocketbook likes the free or discounted offers! Don’t you? Besides using them for grandchild memories, I like to make photobooks for myself and others, too! You can download your pictures to the sites, work on your book, save, and be ready to go when a good discount offer comes through.

  • http://www.artscow.com/?Ref=500841   By registering on this link, you will receive free photos and 6 free 8×8 photobooks. Shipping is about $9.99 per book. This company gives lots of free photobook offers so I take advantage of these as well as other sites when I make multiple books for my grandchildren. They have a deluxe quality photobook, too, but I find the regular 8×8 books are fine for the kids. There are many other products and cards on their website as well. They do take some time to arrive as they ship from Hong Kong. For this site, you need to download their Silverlight program. It is completely safe. Also, on this site there are 3-D cards for all occasions along with other photo items.
  • www.snapfish.com   These books are better quality and they offer more size choices. This company often runs 50% off on various products. They also have nice photo cards for holidays as well as all-occasion cards. I like to make individualized birthday cards for my grandchildren with their picture on it and a special poem or message inside.  With their picture on the card, they don’t throw them away. It become a keepsake!  Check out the many other products that they offer, too! One special feature that I like is the storyboard where you can move the pictures and group them for each page. Then, they automatically go right into the book on that specific page. This helps when you want pictures in a certain order. I may not have explained this very well, but you’ll find out by going on the site.  Good product! Highly recommend!
  • www.winkflash.com  This site has a download for your computer. It is completely safe. They have many sizes of books and their product is also of good quality. They, too, will do different promotions so watch for specials. I have made many personalized birthday cards for kids through Winkflash..
  • www.shutterfly.com  Nice quality books. Register and they will send you discounted specials from time to time. Good choice of sizes as well. Another great site! Photo cards are available, too.
  • www.picaboo.com  Picaboo has a great quality book. You do need to load their program on your computer.  Then, complete the book on your computer without logging into their site. When completed, you the send it online to Picaboo for printing.
  • www.mypublisher.com  Very nice books. They have limited backgrounds to choose from, but the books are excellent quality. They do send specials from time to time.
  • www.mixbook.com   I haven’t used this site, but just signed up so I’ll see what specials they offer.
  • www.walgreens.com/photo  If you need the book fast, you can make it and pick it up the next day. Quick turnaround time!
  • www.tinyprints.com/photo-books.htm  I haven’t used this site, yet, but they offer stationary, too.
  • www.snapily.com  This website is not for photo books, but for hologram and 3-D cards. This is a very different product. If you are doing the 2 picture flip cards, it works best to plan the picture. For best results, use the same setting, just have the person change their expression or make a slight change. For one of the cards I made, I had each child stand with both hands down. The next shot was both arms up. It looked like they were flapping their arms! Keep the background the same and just change the expression or something about their hand or foot position. These cards get cheaper by creating more than one card so I try to plan ahead and do cards for each grandchild all at once. The kids love the cards. You don’t need a special occasion to send a card. Just make one that says “I love you”.  Other items are available on this site, too. Check it out! I highly recommend this for something different!
  • www.wordle.net  This site is a card or folder making site. You list words that either describe a person or words related to a main topic and it fits them in a fun graphic for the front of a card or folder. Look at some of the examples for ideas. Pictures are not involved in this project; just words. Very fun and different. You need to print these out on your own computer.
  • www.picmonkey.com  If you are looking to make a collage, this is an easy site to do it! You simply download the pictures you want to use and then make the collage. Save this to your computer as one picture in your picture file. Then, you can turn this into a card or just a single photo on any other site you choose.
  • https://www.canva.com/create/cards/greeting-cards/ !  This site allows you to make cards and then print them off on your own computer. Most of the designs are free.  Some cost $1.00. They have a tutorial on how to make your card. You are able to download your own pictures to add to the card. With today’s cards costing up to $6-7 dollars, this is a nice cost-saving option and it’s personalized!

I hope this list encourages you to try something new. If you are new to photobooks, just play around with the sites until you are comfortable with them. Many of them have an “automatic fill” choice, too. That is where they put your pictures in the book for you. You don’t have to buy them until you like how it looks and you push the “purchase” button. Have fun trying it out!

Besides making books, I love making cards for my grandchildren as they really get excited when they get mail. Just another memory maker!!! So check out the card making sites, too! I figure that when you pay $3-7 for a regular card in the store, receiving a personal one with their picture on it is much more special! Don’t you agree?

HINT:   When making a book, collage or card, always hit “save” after each action. I have learned the hard way. You can always change it, but can’t get it back if lost, so “save” often as you go along!

Happy photobook, photo gift and card making!!!

Do you have other suggestions?

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Phyllis

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Crazy Ideas for Family Fun at Mealtime!

Stop boring mealtime and add some fun!

Sometimes you need to change things up a bit. Mealtime might be the same ritual each night. Why not change it up with a few ideas for family fun at mealtime? Make it memorable and different. Try something new each month and make it a lasting memory. Take pictures and get into the fun!

1. Hat Night

Wear or make a hat to wear to the dinner table. Be as crazy as you can. Decorate a hat you already have or make one from a paper plate, paper bowl, newspaper or whatever you might have on hand.

2. Make a Card Night

Assign each a member of your family. Put names in a hat and draw one out for the next evening. Make a card for that person and tell what is special about them. Share at the dinner table the next night.

3. Backwards Night

Wear an item of clothing backwards to the dinner table that night.  Item choices could be t-shirt, shorts, hat, etc. Good for some laughs! You could even have the meal backwards – dessert first!

4. Random Acts of Kindness Night

Put names in a hat and draw one out for the next evening. Anytime during that next day, secretly do some kinds acts for that person. It could be picking up their clothes, making their bed, making a card for them, putting away a toy they left out, letting them play with something special of yours or whatever kind idea they can find to do. At the dinner table, each person tells what it is that they did for their  person. When my kids were young, I found they spent the day looking for kind things to do for the other person and not always thinking of themselves.

5. Joke Night

At dinner, be ready to share a joke. With little kids, Mom or Dad can help with this.You could have a jar filled with jokes and riddles and each draw one out.

6. Fancy Dinner Night

Get out the good china and have the kids help set the table. Use goblets purchased at the dollar store so you’re not afraid if they break. Let the kids be in charge of a nice centerpiece or you can help them make something by arranging flowers or using a plant. Use special napkins and  have them make the table look great. Stress good manners, On this night, kids can help Mom be seated and push the chair in for others, etc.

7. “Restaurant  at Home” Night

On this night, Mom and Dad are the waiter or waitress. Tell them what the “special” is for the night and take their order. At the end, present the children with a fake bill.  When the kids know the routine, they take their turn being the waiter or waitress the next time. Be sure to refill the water glasses, too!

8. Glasses Night

Decorate a pair of sunglasses or find some crazy glasses to wear to dinner. Use pipe-cleaners, glue, tissue paper to decorate existing glasses or make some out of cardboard, pipe cleaners, tag-board etc, and decorate with markers.

9. Theme Night

This could be Mexican, Italian, Chinese or any theme. Serve food that is from that country and have the kids make some decorations that would go with the dinner. For Mexican night, they could make some tissue paper flowers. On Chinese night, get some chop-sticks for the kids to try.  Talk about that country and what it might be like to live there.

10. Make your own dinner night!

On this night you could do foil packet dinners. (I call this a hobo dinner.) Give each person a piece of foil. With shiny side in, spray with a non-stick spray. Layer hamburger, par-boiled diced potatoes, spoonful of cream of mushroom soup, onions, mushrooms,  frozen vegetables or Veg-all and cheese. Each one chooses their own ingredients and then wraps the foil in a pocket. Place in oven @350 for 20-30 minutes. There are many foil desserts that each one could make, too. Check out my other posts for Banana Boats.

11. Crazy Hair Night

Use gel and let them make it crazy for the dinner that evening. It is good for laughs! Be sure to take pictures. For those with short hair, wear a wig!

12. Pajama Dinner

Everyone gets ready for bed early and eats in their pajamas. (I probably wouldn’t recommend this if you have company!  HA!) This could be combined with a popcorn and movie night!

13. “Red” Night (or Blue, Green, Orange, etc.)

Pick a color and everyone should wear something that color for dinner. Even your food could go with that color. Red: red meat, strawberries, beets, cherries, watermelon or red velvet cake for dessert.

14. Winter picnic

Spread a blanket by the fireplace (or use a pretend fireplace) and have a picnic. Kids will think this is so much fun! Serve hotdogs with all the fixings.

15. Funky Night

Dress “funky” with mismatched clothes, colors, shoes, hats, etc. Anything goes! Serve mismatched food! (Chinese with spaghetti, etc.)

Rotate the different suggestions each week or month to make fun memories! Be sure to take pictures! 

What do you do for fun at mealtime?

Share your ideas!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Best Christian Music for Children

The following list has songs and sites that I recommend for Christian children’s music. The songs are upbeat, singable and have great lyrics with a message. These are great to play in the car, at home or give as a gift. I will update this periodically.

Amazing Wonders Aviation by LifeWay – VBS 2012  Song Titles: “Remarkable”, “If God” ,”A-M-A-Z-I-N-G”, “Worthy”, “In Your Power”   www.lifeway.com  Amazing Wonders Avaition is a VBS curriculum, but you can order just the CD’s of the music. by Jeff Slaughter. Found a link on YouTube with all the words and motions for the songs. Check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9w8zVFpFTg&list=PLMntuwhil8rk575K5EsKE22y0v34_JES6   From this link you can find all the other songs as well.

Also from LifeWay : “Made for Praise Volume 10″   Link here for great praise songs for kids.

 

 

Brentwood-Benson Publishing    www.brentwoodbenson.com     Jeff Slaughter has done it again in the Around the World VBS by Brentwood  – Benson  for 2013! His songs can be previewed on this site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2N1yP78Hfk  You can order the separate music CD from the VBS curriculum.

 

Songs by Group Publishing   www.group.com  You can also download songs for $.99 from this site. Just click on the song title to listen to a sample of it. Group also has VBS curriculum CD’s which you can order separately. Sky (2012 VBS) is one that I recommend. It has a wonderful version of “Indescribable” plus lots of other great songs! Last year’s VBS CD’s was Pandamania. From that VBS, I loved the songs “God is Listening”, “He Knows My Name”, “No Greater Gift”, and “How Great Thou Art”!

Update: New CD available : Shine! Greatest Hits CD & CD-ROM   They have a preschool CD, too!

Songs from Willowcreek Church    www.promiselandonline.com  Click on the CD name Make Some Noise  and they have some of the motions to the songs as well.

Integrity Music has several CD’s for kids. Go to www.integritymusicdirect.com and click on music and kids. You can preview the songs on the CD’s by clicking on the CD picture. I wish all sites had this feature!

Great Big God 1, 2, &3 plus other children’s cd’s from www.vineyardmusic.com  Be sure to go to the Children’s Curriculum section and then to “music”.  Great Big God 1 is out of print, but you can download the individual songs  as MP3’s. I especially like (and so do the kids) “Great Big God”, “No Other God”, “God You’re Good to Me”, “Father God” and “I Give Thanks.” from that album.

www.seedsfamilyworship.net has children’s music CD’s with scripture songs. Go to “store” to find them. The songs are wonderful and certainly useable for adults to memorize scripture as well. There are 6 volumes and each package has 2 of the same CD. One is to keep and one is to share. I have given the complete set to each family for listening in their car. This site has other resources for families, too. Check it out!

Hill Song has great kids music, too! Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G689PlEXiXk  to hear “One Way” plus check out their other songs. You can go to Amazon and listen to a sample and download an MP3 version for $.99. I especially like “Every Move I Make” from the “Shout To The Lord” CD.

Another great tool is to learn some sign language for some of the words to the songs. Go to http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm-29  and there they have a video demonstrating how to stay a word in sign language. Just click on the word that you want to sign and the video will come on for it. You can replay it over and over to learn it. Kids love to do this!

Watch for more updates!

Update:

Go Fish has some great songs from their 2013 VBS called GOTTA MOVE!

Go to:https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=hyBmPOlPWNA&feature=endscreen

This video is the song about the Fruit of the Spirit. It will give you an idea of their music!

For their CD selection,  go to www.gofishresources.com

or www.gfguys.com

Check out “I’ve Got the Joy” , “Ten Commandments and “This Little Light of Mine”. They have very different catchy tunes and upbeat rhythms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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