5 Backyard Activities for the Whole Family

Among all the rooms and spaces in your house, perhaps none can be as surprising as your backyard. A great backyard is a magical place – a private space where you and your family can do anything you want. Memories are often built here, and it’s the perfect place to spend some quality time with your loved ones. If you’re looking to make the most of your backyard, here are five activities to help you get started.

1. Eat outdoors.

Nothing brings the family together like a good meal, and even more so if it’s outdoors. There’s just something so special about eating with your family outside in the fresh air. And to make it even more memorable, treat it as a special event that your family can look forward to. Plan it beforehand and set up a time during the week to do it (Sunday lunches are what many families love to do). Then get your whole family to join in the preparations, from the planning and cooking to the cleaning up after the special meal. You can even set a theme for each occasion so that every event is different and exciting.

2. Play outdoor games.

Backyards are the ideal place to play games and get active with your family. Not only does it provide ample space for outdoor games (i.e. sports, children’s games), but it also gives you the privacy to have any kind of fun you want. If your backyard has enough space, you can even set up equipment and tools that you’ll use for whatever games you’ll play. Much like eating outdoors, playing outdoor games with your family is almost always a fun and memorable event.

Image by Photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3. Do arts and crafts.

Backyards, decks, and patios are the ideal place for getting your hands dirty doing arts and crafts. Unlike inside the house, you won’t have to worry about making a mess in the backyard. This inevitably makes doing arts and crafts with your family much more fun and exciting. Try undertaking a big project as a family, where everyone contributes and helps out each week in creating a piece of work. Once you complete it, there’s no thrill quite like it.

4. Go camping outside.

If your backyard is grassy and ideal for camping, then spending a night there with your family can definitely be a memorable experience. It’s a fun way to use your backyard and the little ones will love your sense of adventure – even if it’s just outside your house. And if your backyard isn’t ideal for pitching a tent, a night out with your family in the deck or patio can still be just as much fun.

Image by Pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5. Read, nap, unwind.

Unwinding together in the backyard often brings families closer and creates many positive memories for the future. Making time every week to read, talk, play music, or simply relax together out in the backyard can be wonderful activity for any family. You could set times during the week to do this, or even just go out there whenever you feel like it. The more time you spend together, the closer your family will be.

Every backyard has the potential to be a truly special place for most families. They’re private, secluded, and provide the ideal setting for many family activities. If you need to spruce up your backyard or are thinking of building a better backyard, deck, or patio, then consult with those who know how do it best. Backyard specialists like Additions Building can recommend the best options for your property (click here to see samples of their previous work) and build them for you at fair prices. That way, you won’t have to spend much time worrying about your backyard – you’ll be busy enjoying it with your family.

Eskulin Kids Shampoo in Refill Packs

REFILL PACK. Two words that are music to any frugal mom’s ears. So this news would make all moms who use Eskulin run to the nearest grocery.  Eskulin Kids Shampoo and Conditioner now comes in 500ml-refill packs. Yes, Finally! A kids’ shampoo in a refill pack!

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Among the shampoos that the kids have been using for years now, Eskulin shampoo continues to be their favorite. Obviously, their fave cartoon characters printed on the bottles pretty much explains why the kids love Eskulin but there’s really more to this shampoo than a pretty packaging.  Eskulin Kids Shampoo & Conditioner is specially formulated with double action Pro Vitamin B5 and Tea Tree Oil helps to keep hair smooth and healthy. The fruity fragrance stays long and keeps their hair smelling fresh even after several hours.

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With the refill pack, we not only save Mother Earth from plastic bottles but also save money for other expenses.  The 500ml refill pack costs only 151.75.  Compared to the 200 ml bottles that cost 114.75, that’s certainly a lot of savings! Now I just wish they would have different variants available.

I bought my refill packs in Save More.  The first time I bought them(about a month ago, I think), there were only a dozen or so packs on display.  This week, I only found two refill packs on the shelf so the next time they replenish their stocks, I’m definitely going to hoard. :P

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One pack fits perfectly in the soap dispenser(re-used kiddie soap bottle).

Find the Right Tool Chest to Get the Job Done

One of the essential things every house should absolutely have is a handy tool chest. You wouldn’t want to call a handyman for the simplest things such as tightening screws, right?  Even ladies who live on their own should have their own toolbox at home.

Whether you use them for your livelihood or you use them for simple home maintenance, tools are essential.  You need your tools. This is why you should also know how important it is to take care of them. You have to keep them organized and have everything in its place. You need Elite Toolboxes to help you with all of your toolbox needs. Whether you are looking for hutches, tool chests, or a complete roller cabinet, you will find a comprehensive selection that will suit your needs.

Have Your Tools on Hand When You Need them Most

When you are in the middle of a big job, you do not want to go on a scavenger hunt for your tools. You need to know exactly where everything is. Be prepared with a toolbox or assortment of toolboxes that will work for you so you can find the right tool immediately. You can have a portable tool chest when you need to go mobile. Put your tool cabinet on wheels when it needs to come to you in the garage. Think of a hutch to complement the toolboxes you already have or when you only have a small collection of tools. You don’t need to go overboard. You can make your toolbox work for you.

Compare Prices and Stick with Your Budget

When you shop at elitetoolboxes.com, you can shop according to your price range. Plug in what you want to spend and a list will be generated for you. Compare your options and choose the right fit. Keep it in your budget and make it affordable. You will walk away happy and your tools will be exactly where you need them to be.

Toolbox Shopping Made Easy

With Elite Toolboxes, you will have your go-to source for tool cabinets, chests, and hutches. Do your shopping when you are on the go or at home. At the touch of a button, you will be able to place your order. You won’t need to worry about transportation. Your toolbox will be shipped to your location. The next time you are ready to buy a toolbox, turn to Elite Toolboxes. Check out the selection, find a variety of brands, and get the product that will handle your storage needs for your tool collection.

Kid Recommended Mom Approved Movies Based On Books

The kids’ summer lessons won’t be starting until mid-April, so we’ve been bonding over movies (lots of ‘em) the past couple of weeks. Since we’re also book lovers, we’ve been watching several movies that are based on novels we love. Here’s our list of Kid-Recommended Mom-Approved Movies Based on Books:

Chronicles of Narnia

Since 2005, Walden Media has released three film adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia.  This is a series of seven novels written by C.S. Lewis.  We have a collection of the entire series and have already read the Magician’s Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, and The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Their familiarity with the characters and the stories are partly why the kids love the movies. Only three novels have been adapted into movies though:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian (Jade’s fave), and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Jakei’s fave).

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The stories revolve around the Pevensie children and their adventures in Narnia – a world created by Aslan, a powerful and wise lion. There’s fantasy, adventure, mythical creatures, captivating scenes – just what every child wants in a movie!

Bridge to Terabithia

Being one of my favorite books, Bridge to Terabithia was among the very first chapter books I read to my two little ones.  They love the book but they love the movie even more.  Jade says that the movie is “really good” and she loves “the wild imagination of Leslie and Jesse.” Jakei likes “the boy because he is good”.

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In this movie, the life of Jesse Aarons is transformed when he becomes friends with Leslie Burke.  Together they create a magical forest kingdom and call it Terabithia. My kids can totally relate to both Jesse and Leslie as they also have wild imaginations and often create their own make-believe kingdoms.

City of Ember

This science fiction film starring Bill Murray is based on a 2003 novel by Jeanne DuPrau.  The story is set centuries from today in a dying underground city called Ember.  With power and  supplies including food about to run out and the city’s structure about to collapse,  two young adults find a way out.  Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow bravely stand against a corrupt mayor and face various obstacles in their quest for a safe way out of Ember.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If my memory serves me right, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the very first chapter book that Jade managed to read on her own.  Since that first Roald Dahl book, she has read half a dozen more of his fantasticilicious stories.  Well, it’s no surprise that she and her brother love the movie adaptation of the Chocolate Factory.

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The film version that my kids saw was the one starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.  I’d still love for them to watch Gene Wilder’s version of Willy Wonka though. :-)


Wizard of Oz

Now who doesn’t know this wonderful novel written by L.Frank Baum? It may have been written a century ago but it still remains popular generation after generation.  Proof of this is the many adaptations, both on stage and in the widescreen, that have sprung from the story.

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After watching Judy Garland as Dorothy, you may want to watch the Disney adaptation Oz the Great and Powerful.

Oz the Great and Powerful

The story is set 20 years before the original story of the Wizard of Oz. In this adaptation, we learn how Oscar Diggs (portrayed by the dashing James Franco) came to be the Wizard of Oz.  We also find out that the Wicked Witch of the West wasn’t so wicked before.

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Michelle Williams who plays Glinda the Good Witch of the South also plays the role of Annie who would eventually become the mother of Dorothy Gale.  Now, I’m hoping they would do a re-make of the Wizard of Oz.  Just imagine how amazing the visual effects would be with all the technology available now.

These are just the ones we have recently watched.  Among those that the kids have already seen and loved are the Harry Potter series (strictly parental guidance though as the kids have plenty of questions about the characters and the events), Alice in Wonderland, Forrest Gump (strictly parental guidance also and you may want to skip some scenes involving Jenny), and Matilda. I’m sure there are plenty more but my memory fails me. :P

Then there are also those that we have yet to see but are definitely in my list: Oliver TwistCharlotte’s WebThe Jungle BookTo Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, James and the Giant Peach.

How about you and your kids?  What movies do you love and recommend? Would love to read about your mom approved movies, too.

Coloring The Room With Tiffany Floor Lamps

One of the easiest ways to redecorate your interiors is adding accent pieces that change the entire look of a room without requiring any costly renovations.  Find marvelous works of art and they make great conversation starters too.  Customized furniture, intricate light bulbs, and one-of-a-kind lamps make for great accent pieces.

tiffany lamps

Whether you have an older home or one that has been recently built, stained glass is a beautiful addition to any room. Tiffany style floor lamps are easy to place, giving color as the light shines through the shade to the area of the room where the lamp is located. When you are trying to decide where to place the Tiffany floor lamp, consider putting it in front of a window instead of in a corner where the only light that gets through the glass is from a bulb. The sun will allow the natural colors of the shade to get through. Larger windows are ideal for stained glass with items other than lamps being displayed on the ledge of the window in the home.

If you don’t want to add a lamp to the room, consider replacing a window with stained glass. You can get the glass in a pattern, or you can use a random design that looks like a rainbow. Another option is to use the glass in a cabinet. You don’t have to replace the entire cabinet; instead, the glass can be placed along the edges for intricate details. Smaller lamps can be used on end tables and night stands.

Whichever you choose, these accent pieces will surely change the look and atmosphere of any room.