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Posts tagged ‘starr durrant’


DIY Barbie Patio Set From Re-purposed Dollar Store Finds

By Starr Durrant

In under 30 minutes and for under $5.00 I was able to put together a great little one of a kind patio set that Barbie can use to enjoy those lazy summer days!


DIY Barbie Doll Patio

I like to be creative in terms of re-purposing and as a huge fan of the dollar stores and Barbies, I’m always on the look out for ways to convert something intended for one use into something completely new. Hopefully this inspires you to look at things in a different way and find your own dollar store treasures that you can re-purpose with or for your Barbie enthusiast. You will be surprised how much kids enjoy playing with toys they’ve made themselves: they learn how to embrace imperfection, how to recycle, how to be resourceful and how to occupy their time with creative endeavors that gives them a sense of accomplishment and achievement, so dig through the junk drawer or take a trip to the dollar store together and see what you can turn into Barbie magic!


Family Fun At Calgary Skyline Luge – You Have To Try This!

By Starr Durrant

Skyline Luge 1

We have been very fortunate to have shared so many amazing experiences with our grandsons over the years that I was inspired to start a new blog category and highlight some of our favorite family attraction starting with The Calgary Skyline Luge in Canada Olympic Park.  If your family is seeking thrills and action packed family fun then this is for you! We had a fantastic time last summer with our grand children and are looking forward to taking the boys again.

Your big and small kid alike will love the thrill of soaring down 1.8 kilometers of winding track, twisting and turning as it snakes back and forth on its long journey to the base of the world’s longest luge track and all while driving a super fun, gravity driven, wheeled cart.

This is a great activity for all ages and children under the age of 6 years or under the minimum height of 110cm can ride along with an adult. There is ample parking and a large comfortable lodge where you can get drinks and food. The prices start at $15.00 for one ride and up to $32.00 for 5 rides and there are also family packages available. Prices can change so it’s always a good idea to check the website for prices first. (See link at bottom of post) Visit site to per-purchase tickets online.

First, select a helmet and catch the chair lift up.

Skyline Luge Chair Lift

Don’t forget to take in the beautiful view!

Skyline Luge - View From Chair Lift

When you arrive at the top, the friendly staff will direct you in regards to getting safely into your luge and how to operate it – when your training is complete you receive a stamp and you’re ready to go! The luge carts are gravity driven and have easy to operate brakes so you have control over the descent. I’m going to have to admit; there is no speed slow enough for me but I thoroughly enjoyed cheering on the gang!

Skyline Luge - Calgary

Skyline Luge 1

Ready Set Go!

It’s a good long ride down before you reach the finish line.

Warning –  Family members young and old will want to go again and again and again!

Skyline Luge - Finish Line

Thumbs Up To A Great Afternoon!
Grandpa and grand-kids give the Calgary Skyline Luge thumbs up for action packed fun and I give it a thumbs up for great staff, good value and best of memories. We can’t wait to go again!

Skyline Luge - A Great Time

On Reflection
My husband and I both spent our earlier childhood in Calgary and have fond memories of school trips and ski lessons to the then Paskapoo Ski Hill. What was once a small ski resort on the west outskirts of the city, opening in 1960 and starting with a homemade rope-tow and two ski runs; later became the Canada Olympic Park for the 1988 Olympics, hosting events such as bobsledding, luge and ski jumping. For those of you  that know the story of Eddie the Eagle, this is where the magic (or madness?) happened.  I’m glad to say while so much has changed over the years in all the best of ways – the tradition of creating family fun and fitness for all ages remains unchanged.

While you are visiting the Calgary Skyline Luge located in Canada Olympic Park (operated by Winsport)  you can also take in the Mountain Biking activities including a bike rental shop. There are lifts and biking trails/courses for all skill levels.

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3 “Must Try” Banff Attractions For Families With Tweens & Teens


How to Set Up the Perfect Home Office

By Guest Blogger Mary Sauer

Whether you work from home, stay at home with kids full time, or work a traditional 9 to 5 job, a home office can be incredibly beneficial to your lifestyle. Without a quiet place to work, or to manage the many responsibilities that come with owning a home and managing a family, you may find it difficult to keep up with daily tasks and keep track of work documents, school release forms, and the family calendar.

Not all home offices are equal—the setup of your office can either empower you to maintain a productive and efficient work space, or it can make accomplishing your daily tasks difficult and frustrating. The perfect office should contain everything you need to do your job, and to do it well. At Modernize, we love to inspire homeowners like you to create a space that is not only efficient, but also matches their personality. Here are a few ideas for setting up the perfect home office.

Home Office 2

Choose a Quiet Room That Receives Natural Light

Before you begin to set up your office, you will need to decide what room in your home will become your home office. The room should be comfortable and beautiful, especially if you will be spending large amounts of time working in the space. We suggest choosing a room that is removed enough from the main living areas to be quiet enough to focus on your work. Additionally, choose a room that has enough window space to allow in plenty of natural light, which will boost your mood while you work.

Splurge on Comfort, Save on Decor

If you are on a tight budget, always prioritize comfort over decor. Sitting in a chair that does not offer proper ergonomic support can put significant stress on your body. In some cases, the long term consequences can require extensive medical care or physical therapy. Make ergonomically designed furniture a priority, and find creative ways to save on the decor. Consider shopping second hand or creating your own decorations to give you more financial freedom to put your physical comfort first.

Build the Space Around Your Daily Tasks

The purpose of creating a home office is to simplify the work of your day to day life. Because of this, we suggest sitting down and writing out what you need to accomplish on a daily basis. This should help you to begin to plan your space around your daily tasks. If you spend a significant time at the computer, make a computer desk central to your space. If you create products with your hands, create a standing desk and make sure all of your supplies are within arms reach.

Focusing on Organization That Works for You

Organization is key if you want your home office to remain tidy with minimal effort. Everything in your office should have an assigned place, so create your space with organization in mind. Spend time creating storage solutions for even the smallest items, finding ways to keep paperclips and pens tidy will help you maintain your sanity and focus as your begin to use your space.

I would like thank Mary Sauer and Modernize, for contributing this fantastic blog – I know my readers will appreciate these useful suggestions!

Also See Additional Blogs
How To Create A “Naturally” Beautiful Space
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

Inspired Ideas For Fresh Cut Flowers – Thinking Outside The Vase


By Starr Durrant

Now that spring has arrived I set out in search of new and creative ways to display cut flowers and found some beautiful and unique DIY ideas that are sure to inspire you to “think outside of the vase”.  Check out my tip below on how to make your fresh cut flowers last longer.


FRESH FLOWER TIP: Have you heard that fresh flowers like room temperature water? Well, I’m here to tell you that I would have to disagree. I add 4 to 6 ice-cubes to my fresh cut flower vase daily and have found it keeps the flowers perky and vibrant and they last twice as long.

Free Images Courtesy of Photos by Tuelekza,Khunsapix,Tiverylucky,kittijaroon,feelart,rakratchada torsap

Also See My Additional Posts
How To Create A “Naturally” Beautiful Space
How to Set Up the Perfect Home Office
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


DIY Duct Tape Decorating Ideas for Easter

By Starr Durrant

These fun and easy duct tape decorating ideas are great for all ages and skill levels!  Look for the Easter themed Duct Tape at your local craft or dollar store and go bunnyanas!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Using the Easter duct tape, it’s fun and easy to decorate a vase, candle or candy dish and by adding some ribbon or embellishments you can get creative and make it your own. These are just some ideas but you could decorate napkin holders, salt & pepper shakers, picture frames, and so much more! I found two different patterns of Easter tape that appealed to me but there are lots of different designs to choose from.

Happy Easter!

Also Visit My Other Easter Blogs
DIY Duct Tape Easter Bows

Easter Lily Fairy 2015
Easter Egg Secrets – How to Remove Whites and Yolk Without Cracking Egg


12 Tools & Tips For Successful Craft Bloggers

By Starr Durrant

Whether you are a new blogger or a seasoned pro sharing your creative projects, these tools and tips will work for you! When I started blogging two years ago, I had no idea there were so many amazing useful and user-friendly ways to enhance the quality, content and exposure of my blog.  Looking back, I sure would have appreciated finding a link to  all these great resources in one place so with this in mind; I’ve put together a list of my favs to share with you.

Successful Craft Blogging
Headline Analyzer & Title Generators
CoShedule offers a free blog post headline analyzer that will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value. It is so simple to use and gives you a lot of feedback. You just enter your blog title in the box, click on ‘Analyze Now’ and your blog title rating and feedback displays. You can adjust or change the title and continue to do so until you enter a title with a high score. Portent Title Maker is also a great free online tool.  You simply type in your topic key words and it suggests a title with a breakdown of what to consider and why. 

Pinterest Group Pages
PinGroupie is a great site if you want a listing of all the groups where multiple people share pins. You just enter your search word, like Crafts, and it provide you a lengthy lists of groups to check out and or join. When you join (you typically have to follow their page and then message them with  your interest or request to join) you can then add your pins to their board or page and increase your blog exposure via their followers but remember to pin  and share other projects in return!

Grammar Matters
If you struggle with grammar this is a great site. Correctica offers an easy to use tool that catches what spell checkers, grammar checkers, and human editors can miss. Correctica looks for errors in your web posts, emails, blog posts, resumé, online profiles, Word and PDF documents. You can try it by entering your URL and getting a summary of errors in under 2 minutes and if you feel it is something you can benefit from there is a small monthly fee to sign-up.

Inlinkz is an easy and fun way to network with other crafters. You can host a link party on your blog and website and invite others to submit a link to their project which displays as a gallery on your site. The benefits of this are increased traffic to your site because ideally the individuals who have submitted projects are helping to promote it. You can host challenges, have voting and announce winners! There is a nominal fee for service but you can try it for free to see if it works for you. For an example of what a link party looks like here are  a few of the linked parties I’ve participated in: La Cartera Holiday Craft Favorites – Week #6 – Christmas Cupcake Toppers Twelve on Main The Christmas Link Up  and Remodelaholic Great Organizing and Decor Projects Re-purposed Solutions That Keep Your Accessories Organized

Tracking Pins on Pinterest
WIf you want to know which of your pictures people are pinning copy and paste the following URL. NOTE that you have to add your own website or blog URL minus the http or www after the slash Your Website 0r blog URL here without the http or www

Content Suggestions & Trends
BuzzSumo is designed to find the most shared content across social networks. You enter your topic of interest and will immediately be provided with a listing of content that is popular or trending. You can filter by day, week, month or year as well by language, country or content type. This is an excellent tool to research terms or topics that are likely to be of current interest when you are selecting your content topics. Google Trends is also a tool that is free and allows you to enter your topic to identify related trends. For instance when I entered ‘crafts’, I found that ‘crafts for kids’ was the most popular related term.

About Me
Having an  About Me page is really important. You will be surprised how many people check out who you are and what you do. It’s always a good idea to give your readers a sense of what interests or motivates you to be creative and don’t forget to keep a list of where your work or projects have been posted or featured. This is a great way to highlight your success and also is a way to direct your visitors to the sites that accepted or published your projects.

Taking Quality Photo’s For Your Blog
If you are doing your own photo’s there are many articles and resources available online like Video2Brain’s “The Art of Craft Photography Show Your Work in the Best Light” that have some excellent tips. You may also want to invest in a mini photo studio like Optex Photo Studio Lighting Kit – OSLKIT  which are great for smaller craft items.

Vertical Pictures
Have you noticed on Pinterest how some people will post 3 – 5 pictures vertically?  Vertical pins attract more attention and get pinned more often so this is something I have yet to try but it’s a definite on my to do list! If you’re interested visit  Thinking Outside The SANDBOX How To Create Vertical Pin for Pinterest”  for step by step directions on how to do this using PicMonkey.

Free Photo Stock
There are so many free photo stock sites available out there where you can access professional quality pictures without the royalty costs. The picture at the top of this blog is from , I find they have a good selection and it is very easy to use. Remember to read the agreements and include a reference to the site the photo originated from when you use it.

Managing You Unfollows On Twitter
ManageFlitter.makes it easy to see who isn’t following you and who isn’t actively tweeting and with a simple click you can unfollow them. Basic use is free with upgrade options. You sign up and you can go daily to access a list  and with a single click, you can unfollow up to 100  unfollowers a day with a free account.  

ALSO SEE Where to Share & Promote Your DIY, Crafts and Handmade Items.

Wishing You Success!



6 Easy & Affordable Decorating Solutions That Really Work!

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Guest Blogger Jessica Kane from ECOS Paints. Jessica is professional writer with an interest in interior design and home decor. If you have a new space or an old space that needs a new look, Jessica shares some key considerations and creative decorating solutions that are beautiful, easy and affordable.

Are you a new homeowner? Did you just move into a bare apartment? Are you looking for creative ways to infuse your new or existing space with your own unique style? If you answered “yes,” you’re not alone. It’s a very human desire to want to take a place and make it your own, to inflect a boring space with a spark of your personality. If you’re ready to take on room decoration in your home or apartment, then read our guide of five tips to consider. You’ll have fun and learn a few design principles that will keep on giving back to you as you move from room to room.

Decor Consideration - Jessica Kane Collection

Tip #1: Use What You Have
Decorating a room does not mean you need to run out and buy all new furnishings. Sometimes it does. But most of the time, we all have accrued enough decorator items and pieces of furniture to get us by. What we need sometimes is a different look for the room – and you actually can achieve that by simply moving your junk around. So enlist a friend to help you move that living room couch to a different wall. Hang photos in a different area. Arrange plants and books on your bookshelves or tables in new ways. Look at a room in a different way, and you’ll begin to envision a new space.

use old stuff

Tip #2: Replace Old Pillows
Want to add instant newness and style to your old couch? You can do this simply by replacing the pillows. Buy a few new decorator pillows, and add them to your couch. You’ll not only cover up unsightly stains, but you’ll draw the focus of the eye to those colorful decorator pillows. This is one of the easiest and economical ways to dress up a room.

throw pillow

Tip #3: Hang Curtain Rods High
In decorating, we’re always trying to fool the eye – and nothing is truer than in the case of curtain-rod-hanging. If you want to create the illusion of 10-foot-ceilings, then hang your curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible. It’s Okay if the rods are inches above the window trim. The curtains will look gorgeous as they fall and flow, and everyone who enters your room will think you’re ceilings are taller than they actually are.

high rod curtains

Tip #4: Add Live Greenery
Get the feel of the outside on the inside by decorating with plants. Now, plants do require a little maintenance, so if you’re not a gold-star green thumb, you’ll want to consider purchasing plants that require little water – such as gorgeous, green succulents that can withstand arid temperatures. Place small plants on coffee and side tables. Add a potted tree as an accent piece. Not only do plants make your living areas a healthier place by cleaning the air, but they naturally produce positive psychological benefits of greening your space and creating a place of peace and tranquility.

live greenery

Tip #5: Throw Down
Want an easy way to give instant style to a room? Thrown down a new rug. You can turn a neutral room into a modern one just with your choice of a new rug. Use free online websites to create the look you’re going for and to try to envision what different styles of rugs might look like in your room.

throw rug

Bonus Tip #6: Set a Budget
This probably is step number one in the process of decorating a room. Truly, it is best to set a budget for your home decorating. You don’t want to fall in love with a piece (or several pieces) and realize you can’t afford it or go into debt trying to buy it. At the end of the day, home decorating can be really expensive, so you’ll want to know what you’re getting yourself into before you start. Set wisely, choose wisely, spend wisely. You want to feel good at the end of the day when you walk into that gorgeous, newly-decorated room!


You May Also Be Interested In
How To Create A “Naturally” Beautiful Space
How To Set Up The Perfect Home Office
Simple and Elegant Fall Arrangements

Re-purposed Solutions That Keep Your Accessories Organized
How to Use Left Over Wall Paint for Decor Accents
Inspired Ideas For Fresh Cut Flowers – Thinking Outside The Vase
Creative Centerpiece For That Special Occasion




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