Showing posts from 2014

Cook up some memories with your grandkids

Yesterday, I cooked up a batch of simple Jam Drops and, while still warm,  packaged them up for my grandkids. I wasn't certain whether they would appreciate them. After all, the grocery shelves are lined with colourful packs of commercially made biscuits of all shapes, assortments and flavours. And Jam Drops are quite basic.

They're the sort of biscuit that I used to whip up quickly and pop into the oven while the dinner cooked. But that was when my kids were small... and times, and tastes, change.

Apparently, though, kids still like Jam Drops- especially when they're still warm and fragrant. "You know, you're just like a real grandma, Nan... you know, cooking up special treats for their kids," commented one of my grandsons, with his mouth filled with Jam Drop. "How many can I have?"

In case you've misplaced your own family Jam Drop recipe, I've listed my own below. It varies considerably from my own grandmother's vague recipe that incl…

Create a mini greenhouse in an afternoon

It's wet and miserable today, with sudden downpours of rain that are too heavy for a fun walk in the rain and certainly too cold to take two small boys puddle jumping. But they will be here soon looking for an exciting afternoon adventure with grandma.

Fortunately, I've stocked up on indoor activities for just such a situation. Today's plan?... a wonderful mini vegetable garden.

 'Woolworths Fresh Food' store's latest shopping incentive for families and the latest in their range of collectible cards, is Jamie Oliver's Garden.

The collectible cards are very attractive with some textured, embossed and even heat sensitive that change if you hold your finger on the print. There are also some cards that are fragrant.

An optional journal can be purchased to store the cards and stickers or you could also buy a coordinated designer tin.

I noticed that, among other matching items that can be purchased, there were some small aprons, gardening trowels and watering ca…

A storybook app destined to become a family classic

C.S.Lewis once commented, "Though I get no more tired now than I did when I was younger, I take much longer to get un-tired afterwards."

I can relate. Today, I am struggling with the 'getting un-tired' part.

My grandsons stayed longer with me this week. I care for them a couple of days each week while their parents work. Business commitments and other factors this week meant that their parents worked later hours. So, they stayed with me until after dinner.

And that was fine... they are only little, although energetic bundles of fun. But by early evening, they were tired, and so was I, and I was running out of quieter activities to keep them occupied.

So, just for a bit of added interest, I quickly downloaded the app, 'Nighty Night'. I'd seen it reviewed a number of times and it seemed to gather a lot of positive comments. The cost of $3.99 was less expensive than a regular picture storybook,

I should say, first of all, that the graphics are beautifu…

14 Evernote Uses for Grandmas

Make your life a little easier....

I really thought that, by the time I became a grandma, my life would be slow, relaxed, maybe a little mundane but certainly tranquil. I had certainly created sweet, though fictional, cameos in the recesses of my mind: of curling up in a cozy little nook to read for hours, cooking fragrant cupcakes and biscuits in my well-designed kitchen and preparing for the occasional visits from grandchildren, pottering around for hours in picturesque craft and novelty shops as I searched for unique and enthralling gifts and crafts.  Ha! Little did I know that this part of my life would become, arguably, my busiest!

The role of today's grandparents has changed considerably. Certainly, the only time I manage any reading opportunities is on my iPad. Sometimes I'm able to listen to an audio that I've downloaded from while driving to one or other of my grown children's homes or their planned events. And yes, I do take time to cook.. for my…

Create a simple, vintage wooden ruler

I love glossy magazines, especially the home-beautiful, country-living, vintage craft style of magazines. After a busy week filled with constant activity and endless demands on my time, I love to curl up in a favourite chair in the sun, relax and read a beautiful magazine.

But I recently discovered a magazine I hadn't seen before, an European publication, and I've really enjoyed it. In fact, I returned almost immediately to the newsagent where I found it to buy one for a friend and all the copies had sold. Have you found it yourself? It's called 'Daphne's Diary and you will find the website here>>>

It's beautifully presented with a vintage flavour and includes articles on antique furniture, herbs, country cooking, home decorating and journals. There's a segment on travel, antique dolls and a frame-able poem that reflects on a new year.

There are some lovely pull-out pages of postcards to use and some folder tabs to detach and adhere to your organi…

How can you store all your grandchildren's works of art?

Have you ever watched the look of intense concentration on the face of a child as they draw, paint or create a masterpiece of art? I often wonder what thoughts are going on behind that intensity.

Yes, art is fun. Yes, young children enjoy getting messy with paint and feeling the textures of different media. I love watching them concentrate on a new paint texture and try out ways of using it or changing it. But it's so much more than just 'fun' for a child's education and development.

Studies show that, through art, children learn to think creatively, to observe, describe, analyse and interpret. They learn to express feelings with and without words. They practice problem-solving skills, critical thinking,  and develop related language and vocabulary. It also develops confidence.

So.. as a grandmother, I encourage my grandchildren to explore art and to create. It's a real thrill when one of them rushes up to say, "This is for you, Nan. I made it 'specially!…

Create a mystery bag filled with surprises

Visits from your grandchildren should always be enjoyable, fun.. something that everyone looks forward to. But there may be times that the visit is unexpected. Or perhaps you have to care for them when they're feeling unwell. Or, at the last minute, you may need to travel with them.

Be prepared! Create a bag full of fun and surprises for just such emergencies.

First, you'll need a bright-coloured bag.. one that looks as though it's about to overflow with sunshine and laughter. It doesn't have to be too big but it's great if there are extra pockets inside to hide treasures and fun.

Give your bag a name so that the grandkids will associate it with entertainment and excitement. You could just call it your 'Mystery Bag', 'Bag of Hidden Surprises' or even 'Rainbow Bag.' The main thing is to identify the bag with wonderful shared experiences and good times.

Next, fill the bag with bright, appealing toys and objects that will delight your grandchi…

Display your grand-kids' photos in an unique photo-frame tray

Recently, I discovered a creative idea to make your own small table tray using a photo-frame. It's not a large tray but perfect for decorating the tabletop or as a small tea tray. The idea was very simple but the end result looked really good. You can find the original idea in a post by Aimee Song here.

She provides step-by-step instructions so it's well worth the time to read the entire post. And I've included an image of her completed design below.

But the concept did make me wonder whether I could change it slightly to create an unique display of my family and, in particular, my grandchildren.

Amy uses a photo-frame as the basis of her tray. She pops in a decorative paper and then attaches handles to the photo-frame. It looks really good.

But, since the design uses a photo-frame, I wondered I could include some photos of my grandchildren instead of the decorative paper.

My completed project is a little more rustic than Aimee's sophisticated version. But now, not on…