Print and use our free Picnic Birthday Invite Printable. Planning birthdays can be a lot of work so take some of the stress away with these free printable invites. Perfect for any birthday party set at home or outdoors. Original artwork that features a lovely outdoor scene including a house, tree, sun, and picnic blanket. Also included is a bonus party bag printable. All that is needed now is to decide on the guest list!
Picnic Birthday Invite Printable
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It is that time of the year again- birthday time! Miss 10 is turning 11! She is now at an age where she likes to participate in all the party planning, so this year she has decided to have her birthday down at our local regional park. Part of the party planning for her includes designing her invites. She has gone with a park theme which works well for anyone planning a park, picnic, or outdoor party.
Below we have included a PDF which makes it super easy to print out and fill out all of the details. All you need is a printer, paper, and a pen! Alternatively, you can take a copy from the image below and use Canva or a similar program to add in all the details using your computer and print from there.
To help with the party bags we have included a free party bag label printable. These labels are great to use on clear bags by folding them and stapling them over the top of the bag or use them on a paper bag by cutting out the image and glue onto a paper bag and then filling it with treats.
Households up and down the UK are currently battling skyrocketing energy bills. And on a worldwide scale, as evidenced by the annual COP UN climate summit, fighting the climate crisis is becoming an ever more pressing concern.
Now, reducing your domestic gas and electricity consumption might seem a tough task, but thankfully, there are ways you can cut the amount of energy you need to run your home. And by doing so, you can bring down your bills and help the planet. In this guide, we take a look at some of them.
How To Create An Energy Efficient Home
What are the benefits of an energy efficient home?
Improving the efficiency of your home brings a raft of benefits. Firstly, you’ll reduce your bills: less energy used is less paid for. Additionally, you will reduce your impact on the environment, especially if your home uses gas, coal, or wood for heating.
What’s more, an energy efficient home can improve its value. If you spent a long time saving for a deposit and boosting your credit score before you bought your property, chances are you want its value to increase. Having a high energy efficiency rating can be a great sign for prospective buyers – and is something that’s almost certain to grow in importance as time goes on.
Switching things off might seem either obvious or annoying, but it’s a simple, effective step that can become automatic once you get used to it. Turning off devices left on standby when you’re not in – such as your oven, microwave, Wi-Fi, smart tech, and TV – can save you money in the long run, so be switched on, and switch off!
Smart home technology
Smart home technology can be used to control appliances, lighting, heating, and so forth, remotely from your smartphone. This lets you automatically adjust temperature levels and turn off appliances when you’re not even in the house, detect where efficiency can be improved, and use less energy overall.
With a huge amount of heat being lost through walls and roofs, it’s important to ensure your home is properly insulated to help keep the heat in and the cold out. This could take the form of cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, insulated flooring, or tackling draughty windows and doors.
Lastly, there are lots of smart ways to use your appliances that can reduce costs. This includes reducing the frequency of your dishwasher use, making sure you fully load washing machines, turning down thermostats where possible, and using more efficient alternatives, such as an air fryer instead of an oven.
Got any extra ideas on reducing energy usage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
As with any power tool, quality is an important provision – whether you are a DIY enthusiast or professional in search of a daily driver. Buying branded can be a simple way to guarantee quality; DeWalt nail guns have a reputation for durability as well as versatility, for example. But before you make a decision to buy, there are some key things you need to understand about nail guns and their use.
Your Guide to Nail Guns
What Are Nail Guns Used For?
Nail guns are used in a wide variety of capacities, from structural joinery to carpentry and even craft work. Nail guns are often thought of predominantly as a carpentry tool, owing in large part to their use in home building and renovation – namely: putting timber frames together for stud walls or timber-framed homes; laying floorboards, and building decking.
Nail guns are also used in the somewhat more delicate construction of furniture pieces, and can even have their uses in haberdashery, as well as the affixing of crown moulding and other aesthetic additions to a near-finished home. But just as there are delicate uses for nail guns, there are also heavy-duty uses – including the laying of roof tiles.
The Different Types of Nail Guns
The wide set of use cases for nail guns necessitates a number of different iterations, each of which are suited for a specific subset of tasks. Nail guns come in a variety of forms, but first it is important to recognize the two key ways in which nail guns are powered.
Pneumatic nail guns utilise air pressure to drive nails into surfaces, requiring hose connection to an air compressor. Pneumatic nail guns can be used at speed and essentially have an unlimited runtime – however, they require connection to a bulky compressor which itself requires a mains or generator connection.
Electric nail guns operate in a similar way to powered drills, using a lithium-ion battery to power their driver. These are much more portable than pneumatic nail guns, but cannot run as quickly, as powerfully, or for as long. Development continues, though, and electric nail guns are fast becoming the industry standard.
In terms of nail gun types, they essentially range according to power and nail size. Roofing nail guns fire up to 10-gauge nails, which are thicker, at a high pressure. Finishing nail guns, meanwhile, fire higher-gauge nails at a slightly lower pressure for more control and precision.
Using a Nail Gun
The nose is a vital safety feature as well as an aiming guide, and must be depressed through contact with the surface before the nail gun can be operated.
The depth gauge sets the distance between the nose and the piston, allowing you to choose the depth at which the nail or brad is fired into the surface. Framers might wish for the nail to be countersunk, and set the depth so as to fire the nail far into the frame.
Magazine and Release
Nail guns must be loaded with a magazine or clip of nails. Safety measures in the form of release latches and mechanisms enable access to the nail clip and nails within the gun.
Construction materials have changed considerably over the years, as new material innovations breed new designs and new possibilities for construction and architecture. Today, our skylines are defined by these innovations, as shimmering skyscrapers of glass, metal and concrete rise up above their brick-and-mortar predecessors.
Firstly, treated timbers are incredibly durable materials, on account of the chemical treatments they receive that prevent rot and decay. Timbers can stand the test of time for decades if used properly and with intent, where other common materials can weaken over time. Hardwood timbers are naturally hardwearing and do not suffer deformation easily. As such, they are the perfect material for creating structures with staying power. Some timbers have different properties with regard to flexibility, which can be used to their own strengths in specific circumstances.
Part of this longevity can be attributed to the natural resistance many woods have to fungal or other organic growth. Chemical treatment boosts this resistance, and also provides water resistance where wood is used in panel form. Treated timbers also enjoy fire retardance, limiting risk when it comes to environmental hazards.
Timber is, simply put, an incredibly versatile material. It has been an effective building block for a wide variety of purposes, and for millennia. Its versatility makes project planning and supply extremely simple; the same supply of timber can be used for everything from fencing to structures and roofing. Different timber products lend themselves to decking and flooring, while sheet materials can be used to manufacture built-in storage and furniture with ease.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly of all, treated timbers are a much more sustainable material to use than other common building materials. Concrete, to name just one material on which many contractors rely for inexpensive and structurally sound builds, has an unfathomably high carbon cost; globally, the cement industry (cement being the core ingredient of concrete) is responsible for as much as 8% of all carbon emissions.
By centering new builds and projects around timber frame constructions, and by using structural plywood to form load-bearing external panels, you can greatly reduce the carbon cost of a given project – while also reducing the environmental impacts of the building after it has served its purpose. By adopting modular approaches to construction that forefront sustainable timbers, you increase your business’s overall sustainability too.
Clean water is one contemporary commodity and because of it we often overlook how difficult it can be to actually make water safe to drink. Some situations can leave households without access to clean drinking water and this is where some know-how and preparation will come in handy. It’s not an everyday situation for many, but sometimes, road works, accidents, or natural disasters occur and water is one commodity that gets affected and whose absence is greatly felt. Water is vital for survival and as such, we need access to it every day.
Is It Possible to Create Your Own Water Filter?
Easy Homemade Water Filter
There is not much to it if you want to make your own water filter. Multiple layers are usually the way to go and there are certain things that need to go on those layers. 4 layers are the minimum for a water filter and each will have a different coarseness and level of filtration.
The first layer at the bottom of the container is where cotton balls or a mesh layer are to be placed. This will be the last layer through which water will come out, and it has to be about 2 inches thick.
The next layer, or the second to be placed, is an inch of activated charcoal. This filtering medium is the bread and butter of the whole thing as the small pores from the charcoal work perfectly to catch many contaminants from water. Charcoal is used in store-bought water filters, so it’s only natural to make use of it in a DIY water filter project.
The third layer needs clean sand that will be a little taller than the previous two, about 3 to 4 inches to be exact.
The last layer has to be the coarsest, so this will mean using gravel, pebbles, or smaller stones. This is necessary to catch larger particles as the water flows down.
Gravity will be the driving force for a filter like this. There should be enough room at the top to pour water in and have it flow slowly. Depending on how much water you may want to filter the containers will need to be larger or smaller. This can range from a large bottle cut and filled with the layers, to a bucket or barrel for larger quantities.
Water Distillation System at Home
Cleaning water by way of distilling it sounds more complicated than it actually is. This method doesn’t need a lot of supplies, and most of every house will surely have them. These supplies are a large cooking pot, a glass bowl or larger jar, a metal lid that will be placed upside down, and ice on top of the lid.
When water boils it will cool off on the bottom of the lid and drip down into the glass bowl. The water in the bowl is now distilled. It will take a while to get through the whole water but it’s a slow and steady process.
This version with the pot and home supplies is a basic one. There are other options that can be more complex, with spiraling pipes more akin to alcohol distillers, but it works the same way for water.
Gravity filtration or distillation is all well and good but sometimes the surest way to kill bacteria is with bleach. There is of course the option to boil water, but bleach is the more direct way to tackle water sanitation. This method is one that can be more accurately described as water treatment rather than water filtration. But, filtration will surely be needed to take out larger particles like sediment so bleaching is only the last stage, if at all necessary after filtration.
To treat water with bleach you need to measure the amount of water and use a ration of bleach for that specific amount of weather. Usually, for one liter you will need to add about 5 to 6 drops of bleach. Make sure it’s not scented bleach as that will not work to clean water properly.
It is absolutely possible to make a water filter at home. The activated charcoal model is one that is used in a lot of settlements that do not have access to clean water. This method can be thus employed at home as well and makes for a great way of cleaning home water.
Part of the joy of the festive season is the opportunity it provides to get your favorite people in the world together, and to share some quality food, drink, and music. A good Christmas party will be remembered for years to come, and more than justify the effort you put into organizing it. Let’s take a look at how you might get your Christmas party organized.
Throwing a Christmas Party
The more time you give yourself to plan your celebrations, the better. If you try to bring everything together at the last minute, then you’re setting yourself up for stress. What’s more, your guests will need notice if they’re going to show up at all. Remember that this is an unusually busy time for most people.
Send out your invitations – be they physical or digital – and keep track of the guestlist as you go.
If your Christmas party isn’t appropriately decorated, then you’ll be unable to create the right vibe. This goes whether you’re at home, or in a venue you’ve hired. Make sure that you have an idea of the space’s dimensions, and decorate accordingly. Draping tinsel, lights, and wreathes will all work nicely. Ideally, you’ll want to settle your theme around a particular kind of Christmas. Combining festive greenery with cold LED lights tends to work nicely. You can pick up outdoor Christmas lights online, so this will work wherever you’re hosting the gathering.
Make it interactive
Just having your guests mingle for a few hours is probably not going to cut it, even if there’s alcohol involved. For a truly memorable party, plan a few group activities. Pin the tail on the donkey (or reindeer) and karaoke both tend to go down well. Try to avoid anything with complicated rules that need to be explained several times.
If your party doesn’t have Christmas music, then it won’t be a Christmas party. You might put together a playlist on your favorite streaming service ahead of time, or you might simply use one of the pre-selected ones. You can even allow your guests to chip in with their own suggestions – but be aware that this might be a recipe for chaos.
Without the right food and drink, your Christmas party isn’t going to feel very Christmassy. Here’s where you can get creative with a range of recipes, prepared in advance. Offer a choice of vegan and non-vegan options, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Certain kinds of food and drink, like Christmas cake and mulled wine, will always work. If you’ve arranged your party in the aftermath of the day itself, then you might find that you’ve got leftovers to get through – try to find a creative use for them!
Save time at the end of the day with this tasty Slow-cooker savory mince. This recipe is on regular rotation in our household as it is quick and easy to make and one that everyone is happy to eat! It is easy to adapt to the ingredients that you have on hand at home which also makes it great for fussy eaters as the vegetables can be family favorites. Serve it over rice, pasta, potato, or even toast for a variety of different meals.
Slow Cooker Savory Mince
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A slow cooker/ crock-pot is a must for anyone who is busy and nowadays who isn’t busy?! Simply chuck all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, turn it on, and at dinnertime, you will have a meal hot and ready to eat. This slow cooker savory mince recipe is incredibly simple and quick to make and delicious which makes it perfect for anyone, even kids to make.
What mince is best to use? We always make this using beef mince for no other reason than I don’t eat pork or lamb. Any mince should work with this recipe however the flavors will change depending on the type of mince you use. Why not try different types of mince and find out what tastes the best? Vegetarian mince could also be a good option!
Does the mince need browning first? We never brown the mince first. It probably does help with flavor but I have never had any complaints from my fussy tribe and browning the meat takes away from how simple this meal is to make. If you want to give it a go then let us know how it goes.
How about cooking the onion? Nope, this gets chopped and added raw to the slow cooker. Again if you want to saute it first you can.
What vegetables are best to use? You can use any vegetables that you like. If using something with quite a lot of moisture like courgette/ zucchini then you may want to reduce the water slightly. I normally have a base of about 1-2 cups of kumara/ sweet potato and the remainder of frozen vegetables or fresh carrots and celery. Being able to swap and change the vegetable ingredients is one of the great things about this recipe and means it is easy to keep everyone happy.
How do I serve this meal? We eat this slow cooker savory mince over rice or mashed potato. Baked potato, pasta, toast, or even as a pie filling would all be delicious.
To make this slow cooker savory mince add mince, vegetables, sauces, stock, gravy powder, tomatoes, garlic, and onion into a slow cooker and combine. Turn it on and leave it to cook for around 6 hours on low.
Aging is a natural process that some people find scary or daunting. But you can consider it a privilege. Those years added to your life could only mean more meaningful experiences and wisdom, we hope. As you age, your body will produce less elastin and collagen, two crucial proteins that help keep the skin firm and elastic. These proteins help your skin keep its structure when you make various facial expressions. But as you get older, your skin won’t have enough proteins to help it “bounce back” like before. It’s not uncommon to notice dry skin, wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin as you take more trips around the sun (i.e., get older). But there are natural remedies to help slow down the sagging of your skin. All you need to do is check out what’s in your house or visit the local farmer’s market.
5 Best Natural Remedies to Tighten Sagging Skin
What Causes Sagging Skin?
Before we get to the remedies, it’s important to understand the different factors that contribute to sagging skin. There are many external and natural factors that contribute to loose skin, but here are some of the most common ones:
Lack of Sleep
Naturally Tighten Skin with These Five Tips
1. Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sometimes the most effective solutions are the most basic. The term “beauty sleep” may sound like it’s made up, but sleep really does have helpful benefits for both your mind and body. Sleeping allows the cells in your body to repair and regrow. This also includes the production of collagen, which is essential in making your skin look healthy and plump. Not getting enough sleep, on the other hand, will make your skin look dry and dull, making wrinkles more prominent. So if you want to help slow down time or at least its effect on your skin, then you should make sure you’re covering the basics like getting at least seven hours of quality sleep.
2. Use Aloe Vera Gel
Typically grown in hot, dry climates, aloe is a plant that has been used for centuries because of its beauty as well as its medicinal properties. The gel from an aloe vera plant has been known to help treat itchy skin, strengthen hair, and yes, improve the skin’s texture. While there are many aloe vera supplements that you can take orally, you can also use it topically. All you need to do is cut open an aloe vera leaf and extract the gel. Then, apply the gel to your face and neck. Leave it on for 10–20 minutes for your skin to absorb the nutrients, then rinse off with lukewarm water. Make sure not to leave it on for too long, as it might dry out your skin.
3. Give Yourself an Oil Massage
A once-or-twice-a-month face and neck massage can help improve sagging skin. But before starting your massage, make sure your skin is clean and dry. Pour a small amount of oil (try almond oil or pomegranate seed oil) onto clean hands before gently massaging your face. Make sure not to rub too hard, as this could harm your skin rather than help it. Here are some easy-to-follow directions for your DIY facial massage:
Gently move your fingers from the collarbone to the jaw in an upward motion.
Place your thumbs or knuckles under your chin. Then, press them upward and outward, traveling across the jawline towards the ears.
Move your index fingers back and forth from the center of your forehead towards your temples.
With your pointer and middle fingers, massage your cheeks in a circular motion from the side of the lips up to the cheekbone.
Use your pointer fingers to massage the sides of your nose or nose bridge using upward and downward movements.
Rub your skin from the forehead to your skin in a continuous circular motion.
4. Wake Up Your Skin with a Coffee Scrub
A DIY face scrub is a great way to treat yourself at the end of a busy week. This relaxing weekly treat can also help “wake up” your skin. Coffee has caffeine that not only gives you a boost in the morning but also helps firm up and moisturize the skin. Adding coconut oil to the mix will make your scrub that much more effective. Coconut oil contains vitamin E, which promotes the production of new skin cells. It also hydrates the skin, which can help minimize wrinkles and sagging skin. To make your own coffee scrub at home, mix the following ingredients:
Quarter cup ground coffee
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
Half teaspoon cinnamon
Gently scrub the mixture on your face and neck for a few minutes. Then, rinse off with lukewarm water.
5. Nourish Your Body with the Right Food
Healthy skin starts with the food we eat. When you regularly prepare your meals with the right skin-friendly ingredients, it will show. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins (namely vitamins A, C, K, and E) can help improve your skin’s elasticity and help minimize the appearance of sagging skin and fine lines. Certain types of nuts contain vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids that will help preserve your skin’s natural oil barrier and protect skin from sun damage.
Aside from the above tips, make sure you’re also doing your best to avoid harmful elements from affecting your skin, like checking if you’re using skincare products with natural ingredients, avoiding heavy drinking, and staying hydrated. Take note, though, that these tips will not magically erase 100% of your fine lines and tighten your skin to make you look decades younger. But they will help you give your skin the treatment it deserves. After all, it’s done so much for you, from regulating your body temperature, protecting you from harmful elements, giving you the sense of touch, and much more.
This popsicle stick witch is an easy Halloween craft that kids will love. Made from mini popsicle sticks, googly eyes, black cardstock and wool food packaging for hair these resources are easy to find and low cost and some can be easily swapped out for alternative materials that you already have at home. You can even add a regular-sized popsicle stick to the bottom of the witch’s face to transform it into a fun puppet!
Popsicle Stick Witch
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It is Halloween which means all sorts of fun and spooky crafts! This popsicle stick witch is the perfect family Halloween craft as it is simple to put together, so simple that no template is needed. Younger children will need some help, especially if using hot glue but older kids will be able to make this craft independently.
Mini popsicle sticks have been used to make this witch craft however you could try to modify it using larger popsicle sticks or simply cut the regular-sized popsicle sticks in half. Our popsicle sticks come in a range of different colors but if yours are the natural wood ones then either paint or use a Sharpie to color them in the desired color before starting this craft.
Finally a note on the hair. We used an insulated wool liner that came in one of our food delivery cooler bags. If you do not have something similar then yarn or pipe cleaners or even tissue paper or cardstock would be great alternatives. Get creative and you will be amazed at what you will find that works as a suitable replacement.
5 mini green popsicle sticks + an additional half a green popsicle stick for the nose.
Start by gathering all of the materials needed. Place the green popsicle sticks into a line and then place the purple (or your chosen color) popsicle sticks on to create a hat shape. This is to get an idea of where the popsicle sticks need to be glued.
If using a hot glue gun, heat it up ready for use. We used hot glue for this craft however tacky craft glue would also be good to use, just a little more patience is required waiting for it to dry.
Glue the hat together. Now cut a triangle from the black cardstock, and make sure it fits well to cover the triangle hole in the popsicle sticks. Glue the black triangle onto your hat.
Next, glue the hat onto the lined-up green popsicle sticks. For extra support glue on the half popsicle stick nose. You now have a secure witch’s face! Glue on the googly eyes and draw on a mouth using the Sharpie or similar pen.
Finally, add on the hair. To do this flip your witch over and glue the wool hair to the back of your witch. When glued flip over and your witch should now be complete!
To make this craft even more fun try adding a regular-sized popsicle stick as a green neck and see it transformed into a fun puppet. Hours of fun can be had with your own Halloween puppet show.
12 Inspiring Painted Pumpkins that are perfect for Halloween. From monsters to simple designs we have you sorted with the selection of painted pumpkins in this round-up. So skip the mess of carving a pumpkin and try one of these inspiring creations instead.
To paint a pumpkin all that is required is some paint and a pumpkin base. This can be an actual pumpkin or a faux pumpkin such as these white artificial pumpkins or these foam pumpkins. There is a wide variety of suitable paint which many of the below tutorials below cover. Once you have these basics sorted it is time to get painting!
12 Inspiring Painted Halloween Pumpkins
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1. Vintage Pumpkins with Hats
We love these vintage pumpkins complete with hats! The hats have been made from styrofoam Christmas trees and air-dry clay. Beautiful work by artist, Sara Jean.
2. Puffy Paint Spider Pumpkins
Using puffy paint to paint pumpkins is such a simple and fun idea. This Halloween-painted pumpkin by One Simple Party is one that kids will love.
3. Tape Resist Pumpkins
These tape resit pumpkins are perfect for young children. Simply use tape to make a design, paint over and then carefully tear off.
4. Glitter Drip Pumpkin
A drip pumpkin but with glitter! This pumpkin is decorated with a special glitter dust paint, meaning no glitter falling off around the house! Head over to Crafts by Amanda to find out more.
5. Sharpie Fall Pumpkin
Making large white pumpkin decor from cheap foam pumpkins with spray paint and a Sharpie couldn’t be easier. This white pumpkin decor fits right in with farmhouse-style fall decorations that can be used all the way through Thanksgiving because they are more neutral and not that classic “Halloween” orange.
6. Faux Concrete Pumpkins
These fun pumpkins are painted to make them look as if they are made from concrete. Perfect to go with any Halloween decor. Visit Our Crafty Mom to learn how to create this faux concrete pumpkin look.
7. Chalkboard Pumpkins
Chalkboard paint is a great base for painted pumpkins. The writing on these pumpkins is a transfer but chalkboard markers would be a great alternative.
8. Corpse Bride Pumpkin
This Corpse Bride pumpkin sounds like it is super fun to make. Complete with yarn hair and a Sharpie or painted face this pumpkin is sure to be a favorite this Halloween. Created using a white pumpkin or simply paint a pumpkin white for the same look.
9. Minne & Mickey Pumpkins
If you are looking to move away from scary then these Minnie & Mickey Mouse pumpkins could be just the fun design to complement your Halloween decor this year. The Soccer Mom Blog has all of the details you need to recreate this Disney-themed pumpkin idea.
10. Black Cat Painted Pumpkin
Create a black cat to watch over your porch by using two pumpkins and painting them black. Use different-sized pumpkins to create cats of different sizes and looks. This is one simple yet impressive Halloween pumpkin idea.
11. Patterned Black & White Paint Pen Pumpkins
We are loving the simple patterned designs on these black & white paint pen pumpkins by Lovely Indeed. This look can be simply recreated by painting a continuous design onto a white pumpkin. The paint pen makes this look very simple to achieve but it is also possible to achieve using paint and a brush!
12. Monster Pumpkins
This monster family of pumpkins includes a vampire, Frankenstein, a ghost, a zombie, and a witch. These monsters are super adorable and very easy to recreate. Aubree Originals has a detailed tutorial that shows how each of these monster pumpkins has been painted.