DIY Home and Garden, Creative Crafts, Holiday Craft Tutorials, Family Fun Travel & Reviews, DIY Doll Accessories, Recipes and More. You Can Do This!

Well, this year once again we are fortunate to be able to take our grandsons on a little vacation. Like all families, we want to get the most of that valuable time and the best way to do that is planning! If you follow these simple steps you can maximize of your time, stay within your budget and meet your holiday goals whatever they might be. Remember you have to be adaptable and some time you might just want to leave days for the unknown. There is no such thing as a full proof plan, but there is an improved likelihood you’ll have a stress free and fun holiday with kids if you take the time to put together a travel itinerary. Avoid the tears and disappointments that come with poor planning and try these 8 easy steps to planning the best trip ever!

trip 1

STEP #1 – What Is The Purpose of Your Holiday?
Before you commit to a particular vacation spot always consider what the goal is. Are you seeking something quiet and restful or after more wilderness adventure? Is the trip about spending time together as a family or having variety of options so everyone can do their own thing? These are the kind of questions you should consider to ensure you are planning the vacation that’s right for you and your family. When we started planning our vacation we established that the itinerary would be based on attractions or activities of interest to the grand kids with some less active days in there for us. Once you established  your personal vacation criteria you are ready to start planning!

STEP #2 – Set Date and General Location
Set the dates and general locations. In in our case we knew we wanted to go to Calgary and the Rockies and maybe a few attraction along the way, but we kept it general and let step 3 narrow down the specifics as to exactly  where, what and for how long.

STEP #3 Research Attractions
Now it’s on to research. Start by visiting websites and social media sites to find the articles and reviews about family fun attractions in and around the area.  Make a list of what interests you  or your family. Don’t spend a lot of time with this, give it a quick review and if it looks interesting then add it to your info, for now, just gather possibilities. There are endless ways to organize your info: book mark, itinerary apps, social media platforms, Trello and more so use what works for you.I find it easiest to just use  a word document, I copy and paste a general summary of the attractions I find  with a hyper-link to the website so I can easily review info and re-order from most to least favorite in step  #4.
Tip  Also include  research on indoor alternative options so you’re prepared if it rains. Look for back up activities like bowling, rec centers in the area; indoor rocky climbing, museums so you’re not trying to search for options with unhappy kids in the back seat. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you’re prepared and ready with Plan B.

STEP #4  Review & Select Best Picks
Once you have compiled a master “wish” list of attractions you might want to visit, check each website for more info. There is nothing worse then telling the kids you’re going to do something amazing and then get there only to find out they are too young or too short to participate or you needed to pre-book. This can all be avoided by planning in advance. Are your children within the required age, weight or height for access? What are the costs?  If the activity or attraction looks right for your family keep it on the list and add a notation regarding costs or particulars.  Prioritize the the attractions by re-ordering them into a list with starting with your number one pick and working your way down.

STEP #5  Budget Considerations
You should have a general idea of how much you are prepared to spend on activities and attractions. First add up the costs for all the activities you’ve selected and see if it is within your means. If not, remove activities starting at the bottom of your list and working up until you are within budget. Once you’ve arrived at a final list of things that work within your budget, you will have a better idea of where to book your hotel and for how long.  Before I started my attraction/activity list, I had thought we would likely spend the most time in Banff but surprisingly, it wasn’t the case.

STEP #6 – Booking
I can`t tell you how critical it is to book ahead and at that time get any information on what you`ll need for that activity. For example, we were reminded when we booked our horse riding activity to make sure we have sturdy shoes or boots and helmets with us so I was able to make a notation on my itinerary to remind the boys to bring along hiking boots and their bike helmets.

STEP # 7 – Accommodations
Now that you know where you want to be and for how long; the next step is to book your accommodations. Hopefully you have a  sense of what your  budget will be for accommodations so you want to take cost into  consideration as well what amenities or options you’d prefer when you pick your hotels and don’t leave it to the last minute, particularly if you want to book a hotel with a pool or water-slides – don’t delay.

STEP # 8 – Itinerary
Now you know what you want to do on each given day and have booked accommodations or attractions you simply put together an overview of info.  On my itinerary, I include all the confirmation numbers, dates, booked times, costs, contact numbers, particulars re what we need to have and as I mentioned earlier you can use all sorts of platforms online to do this or write it out manually if that works for you! I also have a back up list of activities if the weather doesn`t co-operate. Taking the time to have it set out in your calendar or listed by the days, helps you see things you might not have notices; for example, maybe you have 3 days with lots of activity and then 3 days with very little, you might want to change up the order of things. Having a visual timeline or overview really helps you to see the big picture.

Here are links to some of the wonderful attractions and activities we are looking forward to visiting or re-visiting this summer and check back at summer’s end to see upcoming blogs on our travels and experiences!

Sports Rent – Rafting Down Bow River
Alpine Helicopter Tour
Cross Zee Ranch Trail Rides
Canmore Caving Under Crotto Mountain 
Fairmount Hot Springs
Reel Axe Adventures 6 hours Guided Fishing Tour
Radium Hot Springs
Sports Rent – Bike Rental Bowness Park
Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions

You Might Also Be Interested In Viewing:
Edmonton Prospects Baseball Games – A Family Hit!
3 “Must Try” Banff Attractions For Families With Tweens & Teens
Family Fun At Calgary Skyline Luge – You Have To Try This!

Great upcycle re-purpose ideas for DIY Barbie beauty salon.

Starr's DIY Creations & Inspirations for Home and Family

By Starr Durrant

How to Make A Hair Salon For Barbie How to Make A Hair Salon For Barbie

This scene was inspired by the two chairs which were originally candle holders that I purchased for under a dollar at a garage sale. That same day I also found the polka dot fabric at a garage sale down the lane and there the vision was born. This project is a compilation of repurposed elements and found objects. Learn how to make a Kleenex box with an eraser, a curling iron and blow dryer from pen parts and more!

Beauty Station
This is a box covered in sparkly pink paper – the counter top is a bracelet box lid and the upright is a the lid to an old music box embellished with jewels from the dollar store for bling. The mirror is an old coaster.

Series 3-7 Pink Salon - Copy (2) - Copy
These are two picture hooks bent into shape glued with hot glue


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By Starr Durrant

The best way to create a “naturally” beautiful space is to incorporate natural elements so here are 12 ways you can bring a bit of the outdoors in. Remember; nature’s palette is diverse so natural decor does not have to be limited to neutral tones.

#1 Rock – The opportunities to incorporate rock in your decor are unlimited offering everything from feature walls, fireplaces, rock climbing walls, granite counter tops to smaller accents like stone carvings and art. If you want to keep it simple; consider putting a few interesting rocks on a shelf, you’ll be amazed at how many of your guests will be drawn to them.

Red Sofa In The Room S Photo by Feelart

Red Sofa In The Room S Photo by Feelart

#2 Leather – Leather furniture is a great way to enhance your natural decor and you can find every style, color and price range imaginable. You can use leather for your main living room seating or just add an accent chair. Sometime too much darker  leather can make a space feel heavy so add some colored cushions to brighten things up. If you aren’t a fan of leather furniture, consider putting some leather books on a shelf or get funky and pile up some old leather suitcases for a end table.

Sofa Photo by Salvatore Vuono

Sofa Photo by Salvatore Vuono.

#3 Wood  – Whether its wood flooring, walls, furniture, shelving or accents; wood is a must have element in natural decor design. The options and possibilities are endless.  If you aren’t partial to a lot of natural woods incorporate it in your smaller accents like picture frames or give it some paint and brighten things up! This pallet shelf is  great example.

Wooden Shelf Photo by phanlop88

Wooden Shelf Photo by phanlop88

#4 Metal – Metals  can be a great natural addition to your home decor and furniture and decor accents can range from whimsical to ultra modern. Try to select elements that enhance rather than dominate the space or you can end up with a room that feels more industrial than natural – like a good marriage, it`s all about balance and team work.

Vintage Lamp And Sofa Photo by phaendin

Vintage Lamp And Sofa Photo by phaendin.

#5 Natural Light – There is nothing quite like natural light to brighten up a room and one’s spirits along with it. Try to position  your furniture to make the best use of the light coming in taking in to considerations you seating in relation to it – do you want the sunshine directly on your desk or favorite chair or would you prefer it less direct on these pieces of furniture?  If you have limited windows, installing sky lights is a great option but expense – an alternative is to use mirrors to reflect  the light you have back into the room.

Top View Of Living Room Interior Top View Of Living Room Interior ID-100346588

Top View Of Living Room Interior Top View Of Living Room Interior Photo by stockimages

#6 Plants – Try including some herbs or a few well placed plants in your living or dining room. Healthy plants, assuming they don’t overtake a space, are always a winning way to brighten up the room and of course you can’t go wrong with fresh cut flowers!


Herbs In Kitchen Photo by BrianHolm

Herbs In Kitchen Photo by BrianHolm


#7 Fabric & Textiles – Wool, silk, cotton and burlap are just a few examples of ways to add natural  textures and color to a room. Whether it is a table runner, blankets, cushions or window coverings; this is your opportunity to make the space your own with personal touches that compliment your decor.

“Vintage Pillowcase Handwoven” by sattva

Vintage Pillowcase Handwoven Photo by sattva.

#8 Glass -If you are seeking an open and breezy ambiance then consider incorporating a glass dinning or coffee table. Remember to take into consideration the use of the room and if it you want it to be child friendly this might not be the best option. An alternative is to incorporate it in your decor accents with mirrors, lamps or colorful glass vases.

Vase on Shelf Photo by Salvatore Vuono.

Vase on Shelf Photo by Salvatore Vuono.

#9 Brick –  Who doesn’t love a brick accent wall? There are so many brick options available so you can easily find the brick that speaks to you!

Brick Wall And Frame Stock Photo ID-10021904

Brick Wall And Frame Photo by twobee.

#10 Fire – Fire is sensual, warm and inviting natural element and maybe the most beautiful of all when framed in a stone fireplace. If a fireplace isn’t for you then candles are a great option with a range of colors, shapes and scents to choose from.

Lavender And A Candle Photo by Aleksa D.

Lavender And A Candle Photo by Aleksa D.

#11 Water – Not everyone can have a pool, create a water fall accent wall or incorporate a fountain in their design but consider a fish bowl or aquarium as an eye catching way to incorporate water into your decor .

Angle Fish In Green Aquarium by  junaspix

Angle Fish In Green Aquarium by junaspix

#12 Sea shells  – Sea shells are beautiful and unique natural elements and they come in an abundance of colors and shapes. Simply add a few shells to a basket, tray or on a shelf for display to create that relaxed ocean ambiance

Spa Setting Photo by Artur84

Spa Setting Photo by Artur84

Hopefully these ideas will inspire you to find ways of bringing the outdoors in and creating a “naturally” beautiful space that will make you and your guest feel welcome and relaxed.

You may also be interested in:
How to Set Up the Perfect Home Office
Inspired Ideas For Fresh Cut Flowers – Thinking Outside The Vase
6 Easy & Affordable Decorating Solutions That Really Work!
Simple and Elegant Fall Arrangement
Creative Centerpiece For That Special Occasion
Re-purposed Solutions That Keep Your Accessories Organized
How To Use Left Over Wall Paint for Decor Accents

All photos courtesy of

A year ago our family found a new passion; the Edmonton Prospect Baseball Team and while the baseball was more than entertainment itself, there was so much more to the experience!


One of the highlights beyond the sound of the bat hitting the ball and the cheers from the crowd or singing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” which is in itself is up-lighting, is the irrefutable sense of being a part of all the excitement. Suddenly Edmonton doesn’t seem so big and disconnected.


At the Prospect games, fans of all ages and community sponsors, volunteers, team members, dancers, vendors, announcers, the mascot and more, all come together to create a fun filled experience. I have to admit, I’m not a sports fan but I was completely won over and can’t wait for the 2016 schedule to start!

Perhaps my favorite thing was seeing the smiles on my grandson’s faces; all of our faces actually from 8 to 80 years old. Of course the team Mascot and dance team are always  crowd favorites. Like all ball games, the kids in the crowd are hopeful a ball will come their way and with the agility of childhood,  leap over empty seats to be the first to get to any that come near.



My mother is a huge baseball fan so we decided to book a suite for her 80th birthday and when I called to make the arrangements, they asked if she might like to throw the first pitch. It was a huge honor and thrill for my mother. She was our super star and I’m so very grateful we were all there to cheer her on – it’s a memory we will cherish for years to come. The team manager spent some time with her playing catch and warming up and we couldn’t believe what a great ball player she still is and with no glove!

Video of my 80 year old mom warming up and throwing the first pitch!

We also celebrated our grandson’s birthday and the attached, private in-door room behind our boxed off seats worked out great! We were able to order in food, cake and drinks and had the best service ever from our friendly, efficient representative and server.


If you are looking for a fun and unique idea for a special party or event, this is a great option. Don’t forget to ask if it’s possible to have a special message flashed up on the screen – I can’t guarantee that they can accommodate every request but I know from experience they will do everything they can to make your experience memorable.


Did you know the Prospects run a summer baseball camp for kids? After we went to our first game we found out about it and our grandson who is a baseball enthusiast was eager to attend. He had a fantastic time and learned so much!



So come on Edmonton – lets get out there and have some family fun!

Visit the website home page to view the season schedule then call your friends and family and meet up for the next game.

There are a range of seating and ticket price options so check the site for the game schedule and ticket information but I think you’ll agree that there’s something for everyone!

If you like raffles there are several per game and some great merchandise you can buy for reasonable prices.

In addition to the games, the organization offers baseball instruction and camps. My grandson attended the week long camp last summer and said it was one of the best experiences ever! He’s going back this summer too so if you have a baseball enthusiast in the family you may want to check out the programs that are offered.

Most importantly is the heart of the organization; the hard working, dedicated people who volunteer and keep things running. You will be amazed at the variety of different types of volunteer opportunities they have from marketing, to game day hosts, office, ticketing supervisors, billet coordinator, club house manager, ticket sales and more. Many of these positions would be valuable experience and great on a resume for someone trying to gain work experience.

If you are an Edmonton business that believes in family fun and activities that promote sports and health then please consider contacting them to sponsor a game, advertise on their website or book suites over the season.

Please use the social media links below and share this blog to help support the Edmonton Prospects.

 Looking for More Alberta Family Fun Ideas?
3 “Must Try” Banff Attractions For Families With Tweens & Teens
Family Fun At Calgary Skyline Luge – You Have To Try This!




Well it’s that time of year again to get creative in the yard, so as curator of the Hometalk DIY Bird Bath Board, I’m happy to report there are a number of new insanely cool additions this spring and 37 continues to grows.

If you don’t have a lot of experience with DIY projects; bird baths are great projects to start with so take a look, get inspired and give it a try. It only took me 5 minute to make the Purple Vase and Plate Bird Bath and it turned out to be my favorite project ever! If you’ve made a bird bath (or anything else for that matter) don’t forget to share your projects with the friendly and welcoming Hometalk community and learn more about what other members are up to. Visit me there!


 Also Visit My Blogs

DIY Bird Bath From Re-purposed Vase and Plate


Eight Affordable Re-purposed Patio Accents That Will Make You Say “I Want!”

Patio & Yard


For newbie dad’s out there planning something special for Mother’s Day or for those of you who are trying to make improvements; here are the secrets to getting it right! If there is a step mom involved in your children’s lives, this is for her too!

Dad's Guide To Mothers Day stock photo via freedigitalphots

#1 – Buy her flowers and not just any flowers, the ones she likes. If you don’t know which flowers and colors are her favorites; you should, so  find out before the big day.

#2 – Do something you don’t typically do. Consider getting up early and tidying up before she wakes – that’s always a great way to start the day.

#3 – Together with the kids, plan something special like breakfast in bed, a picnic or other family outing she would enjoy. If you have very young children; it’s up to you to come up with a plan on their behalf. Note: Do not ask mom to organize it.

#4 – Help the younger children and remind the older ones to make or purchase a card or gift that imparts how much she means to them.

#5 -If you and the kids make her breakfast, brunch or lunch (or order in) make sure it’s not mom doing the post celebration clean-up.

If you follow these five basic universal rules you are sure to make Mother’s Day a happy, meaningful, and memorable day for the woman who gave you the greatest gift of all – knowing your children have a wonderful mother.

You May Also Be Interested In:
5 Must Read Tips If You’re Hosting Mother’s Day Brunch
12 Awesome Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Edmonton
DIY Centerpiece For Mother’s Day Brunch

Photo from

By Starr Durrant

Are you hosting a Mother’s Day brunch this year? If so, make it spectacular with these special touches and helpful suggestions.

1 –  Fresh Flowers for Your Centerpiece
No matter what what flowers you choose, they will be the centerpiece of your beautiful table setting so definitely a worthwhile investment. Also have an additional vase ready in case your guests bring flowers as a hostess gift. For idea’s on unique ways to display cut flowers visit “Inspired Ideas For Fresh Cut Flowers: Thinking Outside of the Vase”

Photo by khongkitwiriyachan

2 –  Display Your Napkins in a Unique and Appealing Way

If you are using linen napkins there are all sorts of fun ways to fold them into beautiful designs. I love this idea of adding a a string of pearls or adding some flower or ribbon. For more great ideas visit Buzz Feed’s “28 Creative Napkin-Folding Techniques” by Peggy Wang


Photo7 by Apolonia

3 – Shine Up The Cutlery, Crystal and Glassware

It only takes a few minutes to make sure your silverware and glassware are spot free and it’s the things your guests don’t see that matter as much as what they do. 3V Venosta has a great visual guide How To Set The Table” if you want to make sure you have your silverware and glassware properly set out.


Photo3  by khongkitwiriyachan
4 – Be Creative With Your Presentation
Not everything has to be served on a plate. It’s always fun to serve family favorites in a new way and sometimes just changing how or what you serve it in can make all the difference.

Photo5 by Apolonia

5 – Coffee & Dessert – Do You Have What You Need?

Nothing worse than serving that dessert you’ve worked so hard on and realizing you’re out of cream for the coffee! Plan ahead and make sure your coffee and tea supplies are on hand including sugar and cream.

Photo3  by Apolonia

I’m confident these suggestions will help you ensure success and you can be certain your guests will appreciate the efforts you’ve put into to all the special touches and details!

You May Also Be Interested In:
A Dad’s Guide To Mother’s Day: Getting It Right
12 Awesome Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Edmonton
DIY Centerpiece For Mother’s Day Brunch


Photo’s courtesy of  khongkitwiriyachan and Apolonia at

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