Staying True To Your Roots And Having A Barn Wedding

Countryside weddings hold infinite possibilities and breathtaking photo opportunities with large open fields, the glorious hills, the wind in your hair and surrounded by wildlife. The rustic details, although they make for an incredible wedding venue, the biggest decision is where to get married. The building in which you tie the knot should be magical, and the decor, lighting, seating arrangement should be unforgettable. The high ceiling greatly increases the volume of air in the room which will be filled with a couple or few hundred people, so fresh air should be of concern. Nothing should be impeding the view of the guests, so large supportive pillars really dampen the view for when you take your vows. No matter if the inside of the building is painted a bright color like a cream or pale blue, nothing can replace natural lighting. Large windows either along the side of the building or over the heads of the couple getting married are the two most popular discerning moments of sunray entry.


Photo source – Tom Godber

Make the proper preparations

If you’re a country girl through and through, a barn wedding would be the perfect choice for you to express who you are, the values you hold dear and love for your culture. Open flat planes will surround your rustic wedding and pasture that are photogenic have their magic taken away with lines of parked cars. Renting out a piece of land for so your guests can park their cars is better than crowding around the barn. Equally, a muddy or rocky pathway up to the barn will not be very pleasant to walk on, especially for women in high heels, so lay down some freshly cut grass or a foam carpet to lead the way. Trap plywood underneath the carpet if you know there will be people in wheelchairs attending.

Staying true to your roots

Most barns or metal churches in the countryside are a 40×60 metal building, which means they’ll be lots of room inside, easily seating up to 200 people. However, the wedding doesn’t have to be inside if you plan on saying ‘I do’ out in the open there is a delicate balance you could undertake. Rather than normal seats, bales of hay break the monotony and inject some authenticity to your wedding.

You should never be ashamed of who you are, and if that means you’re the total opposite of a city slicker, then you should say it loud and proud. If you want animals to be present at the ceremony such as horses, ponies, and baby lambs, there are animal hire companies that could make that wish come true. Rather than a traditional alter, your altar could be the vast openness of the landscape; there are metal archways which you could rent to stop the wind from collapsing them and leading to an embarrassing moment.

Image Credit – Jonathunder

Your lead away vehicle

At the end of the night after hours and hours of laughs, dancing, eating and drinking, you will need your version of cinderella’s carriage to take you home. As you’re on a field or muddy pastures, you should think about hiring an off-road four-by-four which can pull in the wettest and thickest of conditions. Equally, you could hire a horse and carriage to take you to your hotel that’s, which is, of course, the fairytale scenario. If you’re a true cowgirl, nothing but a tractor will do to whisk you away to a night of passion and future happiness with your new husband.

Only Dedicated Moms Will Recognise These Issues

Being a mom is the best. You get to see you child grow and experience life, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and issues as well. Below are a few of the most common ones and what you can do to get through them.

Not getting enough sleep

A massive issue for many moms is the lack of sleep both they and their little ones can experience at particular times during their development.

There is often a struggle to get baby asleep when they are first born as they need feeding and changing a lot. Then, just when you think they have finally got into a routine they start to teethe, and they are up through the night all over again.

Of course, if Baby is up, it usually means you are up too, and this can seriously affect how you feel and cope with day to day life. To cope with this, the best thing to do about this is to allow yourself to sleep when the baby does. As well as not being afraid to ask for help when you need it so you can get a good rest too.

Comparing your child’s progress

Something else a lot of moms will do is have to deal with is other mothers boasting about their child’s progress. ‘Little Timmy can read already,’ or similar comments can really cause a lot of worry and pressure on moms.

However, you need to realize that kids develop at their own pace, and to force their progress only adds extra stress on you and them.

If you are genuinely concerned that there may be a problem go see a specialist. Otherwise, have faith that you child is learning at a rate suitable for them, and don’t worry too much about what others people’s’ kids are doing.

Getting them dressed to impress

Another issue that the dedicated mothers can come across frequently is ensuring that their little one looks presentable in the way that they are dressed.

Getting the kids to wear fashionable clothes like the ones available from Dsquared Boys can help. But you also need to get them into the habit of being careful about what they are wearing and not getting everything covering in mud, or their lunch!

Finding them something they like to eat

Talking of lunch, mothers can sometimes go a little far in their fight to find something that their little ones will eat.

In fact, there is quite a lot of folks out there making character themed foods in a bid to get something healthy and nutritious into their little ones at lunch time.

However going to so much effort in preparing a meal for your children is a bit like making a rod for your own back. As they may well come to expect it, and not be happy with the normal meals that the rest of the family eat.

That is why it’s best to encourage them to eat mindfully and healthily with the rest of the family and not worry too much if they go through a little phase of being picky. Just remember that this is a very common thing for most children to go through at some time.


Bountiful Bouquets: Simple Tips for Arranging Fresh Flowers Around Your Home

Bountiful Bouquets: Simple Tips for Arranging Fresh Flowers Around Your Home

Fresh flowers

One of the most elegant and colorful ways you can arrange fresh flowers around your home is by making table centerpieces. A centerpiece adds a great touch to a table whatever the season or event. Here are some tips to help you create a table centerpiece everyone will be talking about over dinner.


Tips for Arranging Table Centerpieces


Preparing the flowers: Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle as this enables the flowers to draw up water most efficiently. Remove any leaves from below the water line to prevent them rotting. To make the flowers last longer add a spoonful of sugar and a drop of bleach to the water, this will prevent bacteria from growing. Change the water daily to keep flowers fresh and to prevent the water becoming stale.


Creating an arrangement:  If you making an arrangement with long-stemmed flowers you will need a deep basket or tall vase. You many prefer a lower arrangement overall if your table is small and will have people sitting around it. You don’t want to have the arrangement, however beautiful, standing between you and the person sitting opposite. A shallow basket is suitable for a short-stemmed arrangement. Place a container inside the basket and add some floral foam, then you can insert your flowers. When you have finished the arrangement, cover the foam with artificial moss and soak the foam.


A floating flower centerpiece: You don’t have to use stemmed flowers to create a beautiful floral centerpiece. Instead, fill a large, round, shallow bowl with gold water. Take a selection of flowers and cut off the stems so the blooms will float on the water’s surface. Flowers which are perfect for this type of arrangement include small roses, peonies, tulips, daisies, hydrangeas, and carnations. If you are having a little difficulty getting larger blooms to float, make a small bubble wrap collar and tape around the base of the flower. Add ice to the water to make them last longer. Arrange scented candles between the flowers for a romantic twist. You can find beautiful flowers for your centerpiece at Blackwood Florist.


More Creative Ideas for Floral Centerpieces


  • A touch of romance: Combine a cluster of crimson roses and green fern to a bud vase.
  • A taste of Halloween: Add miniature pumpkins and gourds to an arrangement of orange flowers for a Halloween flavor.  
  • A country touch: Use a selection of antique milk bottle and mason jars for your floral arrangements instead of traditional vases.
  • A hint of color: Take a row of test tubes in a stand a fill each with colored water, place a white daisy in each one.

Whether you’re preparing a flower arrangement for a special occasion or just because you want your home to look and smell beautiful, fresh flowers can totally change the atmosphere and the mood of any room. Brighten up your living space today with some fresh blooms.

Give Your Child The Best Start In Life


As parents the well being and happiness of our children matter immensely to us. Her first experiences will affect how she grows as an individual and every parent wants to make sure they give their kids the best start possible. Here are a few things you should know to give your child the edge she deserves:

  1. Encourage Early Learning: Early learning plays a very important role in a child’s life. At a young age, children’s brain connections develop at the rate of 700 to 1000 per second. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the more skills your child acquires during this time, the easier it will be to learn things later. This will give them a head start at school where they will be able to effectively direct their focus to where it is most needed and would not have to struggle.

Just like playing bingo is helpful for the development of an adult brain, early learning will help your child. Check out some Gamevillage promotions and bonuses to give yourself a little brain boost today.

  1. Give them building blocks: They may not seem like much, but building blocks have been shown to increase imagination and creativity in young children. They teach them complex things and let them understand how the world around them works.
  2. Let them act out: Playing role playing games lets children use their imagination and the ability to adapt to new situations. This also increases their focus and makes them aware of their surroundings a little more. So let your child’s imagination run wild when it comes to playing because it only means that they are preparing themselves for a better future.

Homeschooling Tips for First Time Homeschoolers

Education is perhaps the most valuable gift a parent can give to their children. However, sending a child to expensive schools doesn’t necessarily that they are able to learn better than other kids. In fact some parents feel that the best education for their kids can be given at home. Notable figures like George Washington, Florence Nightingale, and Alexander Graham Bell were actually homeschooled. But remember homeschooling is not an easy task. So here are some tips for those who are just starting their homeschool journey.


  1. Adjust your attitude. Homeschooling allows you to customize your child’s education according to his/her interests and learning style. This means being open to exploring different teaching methods for your child. There are several approaches that you can try. One is the traditional approach wherein learning is based on a state or school provided curriculum for the school year. At the other end of the spectrum is the “unschooling” approach where learning is very relaxed. With this approach the lessons, pace, and methods are usually dictated by the child’s interest. Whatever approach you take it is important to be flexible, patient, and optimistic throughout your homeschool journey.
  2. Know your tools. There are plenty of homeschooling tools available online. But first you need to set your learning goals in order to determine the tools you need. Diagnostic tests and standardized achievements tests can help you set the starting point. Children with special needs may want to consider the Brigance Diagnostic Exams for a thorough assessment. Another valuable tool for a first-time homeschooler is a support group. A homeschool community is a rich source of new teaching methods and learning ideas.
  3. Commit as a family and enjoy the journey. The most conducive learning environments are those that are filled with love and support. With the help of the whole family, kids can easily achieve their learning goals while having fun and bonding with loved ones.

Homeschooling may not be the current norm, but it can be a great way to educate your child. There is a saying “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. By letting kids choose their own path they have a better chance of not “working” a day in their life and still become an expert in their chosen field.

No Fuss Early Spring Gardening


Now is an ideal time to start work on your garden. A few hours spent tidying and preparing the ground will stand you in good stead when spring finally arrives.

Sweep Away Winter

Wind, rain, snow, and bad weather all take their toll. Begin by clearing away debris that has blown into the garden. Sweep paths and driveways, taking note of any damage. Freezing can worsen cracks and create potholes. If necessary, jetwash the concrete.

Once the pathways are clear, cut back any overgrown plants and bushes. Take out your patio furniture and give it a good wash if necessary. Wooden furniture may benefit from oiling or varnishing.


Sort And Clean Gardening Tools

Caring for your gardening tools will make them last longer and may prevent the spread of diseases. For example, bacteria can be passed from dirty secateurs to plants and shrubs. Clean, sharp tools are much more efficient and will save you time when the heavy work begins.


Create Kid Zones

If you have space, create some kid-friendly areas or zones. Remove harmful chemicals or dangerous tools and machinery. Ensure that any areas of water are fenced off. Ponds, swimming pools, and even smaller vessels of water can be fatal to small children.



Encourage your kids to get involved in the gardening. It’s a great opportunity for them to observe and be part of the processes from start to finish. Sit down with them and plan what you’re going to grow over the coming year and work out a month-by-month schedule.


Prepare The Ground

It’s likely that the soil will need some preparation before early spring planting. Clear the flowerbeds and get rid of any weeds. Remove fallen leaves and cut back any dead growth. If the soil isn’t too hard, add a 5cm layer of organic matter such as manure or compost.


Plant Seeds

Some seeds can be grown in January or February. However, beware of frost. Early spring is still prone to cold temperatures, and this can harm young seedlings. In some situations, bark can be used to insulate plants and protect them from harsh temperatures. Where you position plants will also make a difference. Keep an eye on the forecast and cover plants with a protective horticultural fleece if frost is expected. If necessary, move them to a more sheltered part of the garden or into the greenhouse. Pack containers will bubble wrap for an extra layer of warmth.


Frost can also damage outside taps, pipes, and water features causing them to burst. Protect any outdoor pipes with water line heat tape. This will apply a steady source of heat to prevent freezing and potential bursts.



Fix Fences And Gates

Walk around the exterior of your property to check for any damage to walls, fences, and gates. Make fixes where needed and apply a wood protector. This may need to be topped up during prolonged dry spells.


Create A Compost Bin

If you don’t have one already, start a compost bin. This not only provides a handy area for garden waste, but it creates a rich, nutritious food for your garden for later in the year. Keep it aerated by turning it regularly with a compost fork.


Use this time wisely to prepare your garden for spring. As we enter the warmer months, you’ll reap the rewards of all your hard work.


Reap the Benefits of Gardening with Kids

Global warming is a serious concern that environmentalists have been trying to address for decades now. As parents, it is our duty to keep this world safe and liveable for our children’s future. This seems like a big feat for parents but there are small things that we can do to help the cause. For instance, gardening with kids can help make this world a bit greener. Just like the earth itself gardening has a lot to offer for your kids and the family.


Gardening with kids can help promote physical development. Arm muscles are put to work when carrying pails and watering cans needed for the tasks. Leg muscles are also given a dose of work out when walking around the garden to inspect plants. Being an outdoor activity, gardening has some health benefits too. Plants aren’t the only ones that can get nutrients from sunlight. Your kids can also get their dose of Vitamin D from the early morning sunshine. A bit of fresh air is also beneficial to the body. However, parents should note that kids are also exposed to germs and possible allergens in the garden. Children with special conditions should discuss precautions with their physician before engaging in gardening activities. But in general, exposing kids to outdoor elements can help strengthen the immune system.


Engaging in gardening activities with kids can promote healthy eating habits. Aside from familiarizing kids with different varieties of fruits and vegetables, it is usually easier to get kids to eat their veggies when that they have grown it themselves. Parents may also inject a bit of math and science lessons while gardening. Concepts of photosynthesis, pollination, etc., become more interesting when kids see them in real life. For math, they can help measure the plant growth, determine the ratio of soil and fertilizer, or weigh the veggies that they harvested.


We are all part of nature, and if we destroy it we also destroy ourselves. Help the next generation learn how to value their surroundings through eco friendly practices. Gardening with kids can be your first step towards a better future for Mother Earth.



Learning Tools and Study Habits for Kids

We often hear adults tell kids to study hard in order to do well in school.  But studying shouldn’t be a hard thing to do or a burden for kids. Parents can help their kids make a habit out of learning by adding a bit of fun in it. Making study time light and fun can ease the pressure from difficult subjects and encourage kids to exert more effort in learning. Here are a few fun learning tools that can help kids appreciate their lessons and develop good study habits at an early age.

Fun and study are two words that rarely go together. With the learning tools that we have today, having fun while studying shouldn’t be hard to accomplish. For instance, online games and apps that integrate learning are readily available. These are usually lessons disguised as games. If you want something that looks more like school work, then you can use fun activities and worksheets for kids from online resources. So even if your child has no homework there is still some learning to do during study time. Getting kids to do school work at home is easier with fun and engaging tools. When kids are having fun, studying lessons become less work and more of a recreational activity.

Aside from games and worksheets, there are also educational videos that make school subjects more interesting. NatGeo Kids or National Geographic Kids is a rich resource that your kids can explore when it comes to learning about the world. Parents can ask their kids to play a game or watch a video about their lessons during study time or before doing homework. Afterwards, they can watch or play whatever age appropriate game they want.

Toys are also learning tools that can be used for study time. Instead of just hitting the textbooks, kids can see actually see science at work through toys like the Volcano Making Kit from Kidz Labs. Parents can also help their kids come up with their own science experiments using common household ingredients.

The best way to help kids develop good study habits is to make them appreciate the value of learning. Fun tools like games, apps, videos, and toys make it easy for kids to learn and look forward to their study time. But even with these tools around, parents should be able to help their kids with work that may be too difficult for the child.