Backyard Fairy Lighting

by & filed under Be Inspired, Our Favorite Things.

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Set the scene in your back­yard and cre­ate the per­fect ambiance for your fam­ily and guests! It’s easy to make the atmos­phere feel sim­i­lar to an out­door restau­rant patio. There are plenty of options to beau­tify your back­yard, no mat­ter how it is set up. One of the most com­mon sources of light­ing are out­door string lights, which can be ele­gant for an evening din­ner party, or casual fun for every day use. The most pop­u­lar types are globe lights, a stan­dard clear bulb that cre­ates a soft, beau­ti­ful light. Paper lanterns are easy to main­tain and offer a unique glow. Or, you could go the clas­sic and more sim­ple route and use strands of Christmas lights to enhance your deck and rail­ings. You prob­a­bly already have the mate­ri­als handy! Decorating plants or trees is also a taste­ful option that brings an aura of tranquility.

Check here to find the best look for your backyard!

Victorian Gardens Amusement Park

by & filed under Our Favorite Things, People and Places We Love.

Victoria gardens

Central Park is NYC’s most tran­quil and beau­ti­ful park, but it has more to offer than just the scenery. Because the land is so vast, there is an amuse­ment park called Victorian Gardens right inside of the park! Who would have known? It is actu­ally fan­tas­tic and has many rides and activ­i­ties for our lit­tle ones. They also have live enter­tain­ers, as well, for us par­ents to have a laugh. I heard about it from Mario, our stu­dio man­ager and dear friend, who is also a par­ent. This tiny car­ni­val par­adise in the mid­dle of the city is a per­fect fun-​filled out­ing for the whole fam­ily! We’ve been told that it’s best to visit this attrac­tion in the early hours of the day when it first opens, or in the later hours of the day before it closes because it is exposed with lit­tle shel­ter from the blaz­ing sun. Other than that, it looks like a great place to play games, have some snacks, and watch the kid­dies go on rides!

For hours of oper­a­tion or to learn more, visit their web­site. They even host birth­day parties.

Make Your Own Citronella Bucket Candles

by & filed under Be Inspired, Family Craft Ideas, Great Ideas, Our Favorite Things.

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You’ve prob­a­bly already dis­cov­ered that there are some pests at your sum­mer par­ties that you didn’t invite. No, I’m not talk­ing about your daughter’s friends or your mother-​in-​law. I’m talk­ing about the mos­qui­toes that gnaw at us while we are try­ing to enjoy our meal and our com­pany. They can end the party really quickly and that’s when we start relo­cat­ing to the air-​conditioned house and onto the couches. Sure, we might love stay­ing inside dur­ing the peak hours of the after­noon, when tem­per­a­tures are above 90 degrees, but as the sun is set­ting, it is the best time to sit out­side. However, it is also feed­ing time for our ene­mies. Bug spray only works tem­porar­ily and haven’t we all won­dered if they actu­ally like the scent of the spray? It seems that they are more attracted to us after we already doused our­selves with the bad-​smelling repel­lant. Sitting beside a fire works to keep them away, but we can only last for so long before the smoke gets to us.

Citronella can­dles are our best bet and we should never set up a table with­out them. The best part about them is that they smell good and they can serve as a cute dec­o­ra­tion, or even a cen­ter­piece to keep your table cloth from blow­ing away. My favorite kind are the ones made in cute, lit­tle buck­ets. They have a nau­ti­cal and authen­tic, vin­tage look to them. Many times, we take the easy route and buy some at a store, but what we do not real­ize is that the can­dle might just be “cit­ronella scented,” which means that it most likely does not have the nat­ural cit­ronella to repel the mos­qui­toes. It’s a great craft and a use­ful one that is rel­a­tively easy to do. You can make them how­ever you like to match your out­door décor!

Click here for step-​by-​step instructions.