Australians love their backyards. Whether it is for a kick of the footy, a summer barbeque with friends or a night out under the stars, nothing tops it off like a luscious green lawn. When you are equipped with the knowledge on how to maintain your turf with ease, you’ll be well on the way to having a garden envied by your neighbours.
Don’t let weeds develop
Whether you grew your lawn from seeds, purchased turf from a local garden supplier or adopted a patch of turf when you moved into your home, your garden will unfortunately not be immune from the humble weed. They seem to sprout out of nowhere and can spread overnight. The trick is to ensure you tackle them as soon as they appear. There are a number of products available on the market including sprays, however make sure you purchase an appropriate weed killer depending on the turf you have and one that will address the specific weed that have sprouted. The longer you leave it, the more it will take over and no one likes a foot full of prickly weeds.
Don’t overlook the fertiliser
Fertilising your lawn regularly will ensure that it has the best chance of surviving Australia’s harsh weather conditions. When your turf has the perfect amount of essential nutrients, it has a better chance of dealing with the heat of summer, long periods of drought and even unfortunate disease. Fertilising your lawn is the best way to give it a boost of essential nutrients. Choose from organic or non-organic fertiliers and keep it up at least twice a year. Don’t overlook the fertiliser, your turf needs it.
Aeration is essential
Overtime our luscious green lawn becomes compacted under foot and as a result water and nutrients struggle to penetrate into the root system. Use a pitchfork, a pair of spikey-soled shoes or an aeration machine to systematically poke small holes into the turf and give it a chance to breathe.
Keep your turf watered
Your grass will love a regular drink so make sure you water it first thing in the morning, or after the sun has gone down, particularly in summer so that it does not lose water through evaporation. Depending on water restrictions in your area, you may be able to use a sprinkler or an automated watering system to assist. Be careful not to overwater though as you can weaken the leaves and cause damage to the roots.
Mowing your lawn
Depending on the variety of turf in your backyard, there may be a need to mow it more often than not. Don’t leave the grass get too long as it is much easier to care for it when you mow it regularly. Long leaves can rip and potentially leave patches and you’ll end up doing more damage than good.
Your turf maintenance plan need not be locked in stone however by following some rough guidelines you’ll be able to keep your grass in tip top condition and allow your friend and family to enjoy it even more.
Travelling with Children
Are you looking for fun things to do on a plane to entertain your children? Travelling with children on a plane can be the worst part of any family holiday. A long flight for little ones is often boring and with boredom comes restlessness and as the saying goes, ‘An idol mind is the devil’s playground‘.
Parents spend countless hours trying to entertain their children. Surveys report that the most annoying part of any flight is noisy and disruptive children; not to mention crying babies. Anyone with children however will know how hard it is, and embarrasing when your little one just wont sit still (or quiet).
If you are planning a family holiday and looking for some fun things to do on a plane, here are 20 activities for children that should keep them entertained over and over. These activities will help keep them out of trouble and hopefully stop them disturbing other passengers who are not happy when their seat is repeatedly kicked or those who are not interested in your child’s quirky face-pulling antics.
If you have a fear of flying yourself, keeping your mind off the flight works wonders. Maybe you will enjoy these activities too.
In no particular order, here are 20 fun activities to do on a plane.
1. Scavenger Hunt: With the help of the FREE in-flight magazine, take your child on a scavenger hunt. As you flick through the pages, ask questions such as, “Can you see a red shape?”, or “Can you find three different animals?”. Be as creative as you can depending on the content of the page. For older children, you could get them to trace letters or words to practice their writing and spelling.
2. Where’s Wally: The good old-fashioned entertainment book which requires you to locate the character of Wally in very detailed scenes. Tough even for the adults.
3: Animalia: A beautifully illustrated book which requires you to locate items specific to the letter of the alphabet, and with a keen eye you will find thousands of animals and hidden objects. If you are not keen on the lugging the book on holiday, you can download the app from iTunes for your iPhone or iPad.
4. Creative Story Time: Have your child make up a creative story. Use the things surrounding you in the plane as inspiration, or their plans and dreams for the holiday. You could also start off a story and have them fill in the gaps.
5. Creative Writing: With the art of letter writing fading due to the use of technology, how about asking them to put pen to paper and start to write a diary for their holiday, a postcard to grandma or a letter to a friend about their trip so far. You could extend this activity throughout the holiday and make it a memorable record of their trip. Equip yourself with one of these newest boogie boards to write on and the kids will love it!
6. Create their own backpack: Pre-purchase cloth backpack and have your child color it and decorate it in the theme of their choice and then it can be used to carry all of their activities with them off the plane. These backpacks come in a variety of themes – sea life, sport etc so there is surely one to suit your child.
7. Temporary Tattoos: For a bit of fun, put some temporary tattoos on the arms or hands of your children. You can get tattoos that are themed so if you are travelling around halloween, for example, get some halloween tattoos. No mess and easy to wash off.
8. Scratch and Sniff: Have some fun with a scratch and sniff book or a sheet of scratch and sniff stickers. The smelling options are almost endless.
9. Magna Doodle: Always a lot of fun, for adults too and in a travel size this is a great way to get their fingers active.
10: FREE iphone or iPad games: Pre-load some free interactive games from iTunes onto your iPhone or iPad and surprise your children. There are so many free apps these days. Just make sure that the games do not require internet access as you are limited to use in most airlines.
Things to do on a plane – Tips
Pack a surprise pack – if your child has been a part of helping to select their in-flight activities, make sure you keep a couple of things ‘secret’ from them and produce them when needed. This surprise pack can be small and can contain some of their favourite snacks, stickers or anything else that is small.
Another idea is to make a number of small surprise packs which you can produce at intervals throughout the flight. For example if your flight is a 3 hours, produce one ever hour or mid way thorough.
11. FREE fun games: For the smaller children, games like peek-a-boo can provide endless joy and for the older children, more interactive games such as ‘I Spy With My Little Eye’.
12. FREE airline activity kits: Most airlines offer children free activity packs that can often contain pencils, a coloring book and some other toys. They may not freely provide these so just ask; it may be worth asking the flight attendants as you board the plane to bring one as a surprise for your child.
13. Go for a walk: Depending on the size of the plane and the level of patience your child has, going for a short walk up and down the aisles can provide enough entertainment for them. They can chat to the flight attendants, look out the door windows and maybe they will see other children on the plane that they can interact with.
14. Visit the Cockpit: A pre-arranged visit to the cockpit of a plane for the older kids is a great treat and incentive for them to behave. This is an exciting activity for kids of all ages!
15. Relax time: As hard as this sounds, children also need a break from activity. A short break can free up their minds and give them the energy to go on. It could also mean they use this time to entertain themselves. You never know what they may come up with alone.
16. Activity Kits: Using a pre-packaged activity kit means all the hard work has been done for you. These kits come with lots of different pens, papers, and puzzles.
17. Get crafty: Make a collage of pictures using images, faces, words, shapes and anything else that catches your child’s eye. Using a glue stick, a scrapbook and some old magazines that can be disposed of at the end of the flight.
18. Origami: Folding colorful paper into different animals and shapes is lots of fun. You can download free guides from the internet and use your own colored pieces of paper or buy an origami kit which will have papers, a book and lots of activities.
19. Card Games: Depending on the age of your child, you could play UNO, Snap, Fish or make up a game of your own. Use a standard pack of cards or cards in a particular theme that they enjoy.
20. Magnetic Games: There are many suitable travel games you can take on a plane using a magnetic board. Scrabble, dominos or just letters and numbers. The magnetic board means less chance you will lose bits and pieces.
Limit sugar intake
Before the flight, try to limit sugar intake and any foods with caffeine or artificial coloring. This will avoid any overstimulation.
When all else fails and nothing, absolutely nothing will make your child quiet or entertained then just realise that the flight will soon be over and you will never ever see these people again. Let’s just hope they do not get on your tour bus! Anyone on the flight with children of their own will understand your frustrations and those without just have to deal with it. Sometimes the flight attendants can help to entertain your children for a short time too. Be creative and be adaptable.
Have a fun and safe holiday.
Send me a postcard!
Although you may be planning a little something special for your husband, wife or significant other, have you considered including the kids this Valentine’s Day? After all, the day is all about love so why should they miss out? Better still, getting them involved in making a gift or helping to create something totally unique will ensure it’s a wonderful family day to remember.
Here are ten Valentine’s gift ideas.
1. Breakfast in bed
There’s nothing better than spoiling someone you love with breakfast in bed. Whilst the toast may end up slightly burnt and the coffee a little milky when the kids are in charge, cutting bread into love heart shapes and topping it with strawberry jam will make it a masterpiece.
2. Create unique art
Consider letting the kids display their creative side by giving them a mini canvas to paint and decorate. It will make a totally unique gift and become a keepsake.
It may not be the most traditional of gifts however it’s certainly one that will be memorable. Every child has far too many broken and unwanted crayons so why not put them to good use and recycle them. They’ll need your help to melt them down but once they set in love heart molds, they will be perfect for the family to create memories again.
4. Family picnic
When February 14 comes around, grab the picnic basket, a comfy rug and a selections of family favourites and head off to a local park or lake where everyone can enjoy a relaxing day out. Take a ball or frisbee and make it a day full of laughter, activities and food.
5. Decorate picture frames
Giving the gift of family photos is always a great idea and one way to get the kids involved is to get them to decorate the picture frames. Whether they use sparkles, ribbons or other craft pieces, allowing them to add a personal touch is sure to make photos come to life. The Gumtree home décor area has plenty to choose from, and something that is sure to catch your eye.
6. Handmade cards
Handmade cards are easy to make and bound to be kept for life. Everyone can choose their own words to express their love for mum, dad, grandma and grandpa. Let kids embellish cards or simply use their love heart crayons to draw something special.
7. DIY decorator pillows
Valentine’s Day gifts can also be practical items such as home décor. Buy a few blank decorator pillows and with some craft markers, let the kids design their own. They’ll become talking points for years to come and gifts that won’t be thrown into a cupboard and forgotten about.
8. Magic bean pots
Magic message beans are another unique gift for Valentine’s Day and one way to get the kids involved is to get them to decorate a pot plant for the bean to grow in. When it sprouts Love You Mum or Love You Dad, it’s going to become an even bigger surprise.
9. Making jewellery
A fun craft activity can involve jewellery making. Threading paper hearts onto string can make a gorgeous necklace for mum that’s totally unique and inexpensive.
10. Movie night
Another fantastic way to celebrate the day is with a family movie night. Get the kids to choose a movie, then pop the corn, get the red jelly set and snuggle down together to spend quality time making memories.
We all need a bit of sunshine to stay healthy and happy and, as busy as our lives are, sometimes
we don’t have enough time to sit outside and get our daily requisite. #Vitamin D is an essential vitamin to our body so we can absorb calcium and promote bone growth, as well as being thought to stave off depression, weight gain and even cancer. Our Vitamin D requirements depend on many factors such as age, weight, skin colour, time of year and individual health. So what can we do?
Of course spending long hours in the #sun can be very unhealthy so here are some sneaky ways to get your daily sunlight without risking your health or sacrificing your busy schedule.
- Wind down your car window
As you drive from destination to destination or take your child to their obligatory dance or karate class, wind down the car window and take advantage of those sun rays. Every little bit helps.
- Pull up your sleeves
It may not be the weather for short sleeves just yet but when you are outside, be mindful of the fact that you can pull your sleeves up a little bit to catch some of those healthy rays.
- Walk on the sunny side of the street
If you are going to choose a side of the street to walk on, opt for the one in the sunshine. Embrace the outdoors and enjoy it while it lasts.
- Walk to get some lunch or take a short stroll each day
Try to get outside as much as you can even if it means going for a walk during your lunch break to pick up your sandwich or the dry cleaning. Even walking your kids to and from school if it close enough will make a difference to your day.
- Draw the curtains, open the windows and let the sunshine in
Whenever you can, let the sunshine into your house to keep things feeling fresh. It is so easy to huddle in a closed environment, especially in winter, therefore you need to ensure that you let the sunshine in whenever you can.
- Set yourself up so you can work outside for a period of the day
If you are busy, try finding the balance to sit outside even while you are working. Granted, it is hard to work with a laptop or iPad outdoors, but if you position yourself correctly, you might be able to avoid a distracting reflection.
- Take your coffee outdoors
As much as you might like to sit in the coffee shop, grab your coffee to go and sit in the park or other outdoor area. You will definitely feel better for it.
These simple tips will give you the burst of sunshine you need to feel healthy and happy. Approximately 20 minutes of sunshine each day will do wonders for your system.
If you’re in a team or club, chances are that you devote many hours to training when you’re not
actually playing competition games.
Unless you have regular organized training sessions, it can be difficult to find someone willing to train with you – especially if you feel you aren’t up to speed and need some extra practice.
Simply bouncing the ball off a wall or fence is unlikely to increase your skills very much and can fast get boring.
That’s where the Crazy Catch net comes in very useful.
It’s a strong, easy to assemble net that gives you an easy way to practice on your own for all types of ball sports.
Crazy Catch Net
The Crazy Catch net gives a fast, strong rebound at completely random angles, meaning you’ll be running and jumping for the ball.
- It can be used for up close and intricate contact control or longer range for passing and catching practice.
- It improves hand-eye coordination and is great for reaction work.
This net isn’t just for solo practice either. You can combine practice with team mates, having them throw one or more balls at the net, allowing you to catch them.
The net is also a great training tool for goal keepers.
It can be combined with all different types of sports training including football, soccer, touch and rugby.
Just don’t forget that sometimes skills are best honed by someone who is familiar with your skills – not just a net which rebounds at random. Although great for solo stints, don’t forget to get children working in groups to master difficult skills and make sure they are able to continue challenging themselves in their selected sport.
And remember – the options are endless when it comes to the crazy catch net.