By Criss White

Hosting a baby shower or an official event signifies that some of the guests could arrive alongside their children. Keeping kids entertained during an all-adult party could be difficult, challenging and affecting the overall party atmosphere.

In order to provide kids with entertainment during an adult party, you need to know the number of children that will be attending and their age.

Once you are aware of these facts, you can plan some kid entertainment that will keep little ones occupied and entertained during the entire party.

Make Them Active Party Participants

The easiest way to help kids have fun is to make them active party participants. Children love helping and they love being treated like grownups. Distributing some ‘major’ tasks among them is a perfect idea.

Give one kid a camera and ask for party pictures. In fact, you can have several small cameras available and distributed to kids. You can even divide them in teams and have a photo competition.

Let kids help with serving food or welcoming guests. All these little tasks will make little ones feel good about themselves.

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Get Kids Dancing

Most kids love to dance. One way to keep them entertained is to put some music on and to stimulate children to show their moves.

This idea helps for kids to be integrated into the adult company. Everyone should be having fun at the dance floor, including the youngest individuals attending the party.

Holding a competition is a suitable idea. Make kids dance or give them the chance to evaluate the dancing skills of adults.

Have a Special Activities Corner

Set a table especially for the children attending the baby shower or party. This specialized kid’s corner will give young ones the chance to have fun, while their parents are enjoying each other’s company.

Have paper and crayons available. Modeling clay is another good idea. You can also pick table games that can be played by a number of people.

Hire Someone to Entertain Kids

If you feel uncertain about handling children on your own, you can hire somebody to assist you during the party.

Babysitters and child entertainers will keep kids entertained. You can hire several individuals, in case you are expecting many kids during the party.

A clown or someone who knows the games that kids love to play will offer a helping hand, lifting the responsibility off your shoulders.

Get Movies

Kids love watching movies. They are expected to enjoy tremendously even films that have been seen in the past.

Get a wide selection of kid movies available. Assist kids in picking the film to watch since they could otherwise get in an argument. Movies will attract the attention of little ones at least for an hour and a half. Adults can use this time to enjoy the party.

Keeping children entertained during a baby shower or an all-adults party sounds more difficult said than done. It is all about knowing what children want and enjoy. Have several options available. Make sure that little ones are safe and happy and give their parents the opportunity to relax.

About the Author: Criss White writes about

baby shower ideas

and other party related topics. To get a free

baby shower checklist

, visit Criss’s website.

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By Lee Dobbins

Decorative items are the icing on any interior design theme and will help pull your Zen decorating theme together. In keeping with the look of a meditation garden, you should choose peaceful and serene decorative items that have a minimalistic feeling. Your Zen style decor will really shine when you add chosen complimentary wall art, knick-knacks, and pillows.

Putting up your wall art correctly is necessary for the right look. Many people hang artwork so that the top or bottom edges line up, but you really should hang them so that the center of the pieces line up. If you are displaying a grouping of wall art pieces, then work out the design on the floor beforehand to decide how they look most appealing. To match your Zen decorating theme, try displaying watercolors sparingly.

Finding the appropriate knick knacks to match your room can be fun plus help pull the room together. To add interest to your Zen decor, think of using ones with a peaceful and serene ambiance. Decorating with a water fountain on a low table or making use of a bamboo plant in a simple planter. You can add your own unique style to the interior design by buying accessories which reflect your personality. Contrary to what you may be led to believe, you don’t have to have a lot of money to have great decorative items. Looking for buys at thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets can provide captivating items for a lot less.

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Some other decorative pieces which can help develop the allure of a meditation garden include a lotus bowl with 1 flower, rice paper lamps, and Asian pottery. To best benefit your decorating theme, you should buy accessories that not only compliment each other, but also the design style. If you pick pieces in a hurry, then you may end up diluting the feeling you are working hard to achieve.

Decorative pillows can bring a soft touch to your room design. They’re fun to find and you can employ them in any room. Pillows can be used in the kitchen or bath, consider putting them in chairs, on the hamper or on shelves. Piling them up in rows against your headboard can give a professional appeal to your bedroom. Pillows on the chairs or couches in your family room, den or living room will help inject a bit of the Zen decor feel. Add unique charm to your design theme with pillows that are silk.

Adding shoji screens, plants and furniture with simple lines to your Zen decorating theme will really help the room have that designer look. Before you go shopping, it’s a fantastic idea to decide on the styles, and types of accessories you need so that you don’t buy items that won’t fit. Size matters, so go around the room and decide on the size of wall art and accessories you should have and select them accordingly. In this fashion you can be positive to get pieces which look and fit together wonderfully.

About the Author: Lee Dobbins write for

Perfect Home Decorating

where you can learn more about decorating your home and get more tips on the

Zen decorating style

.

Source:

isnare.com

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Rare And Exotic Garden Perennials For Landscape Planting

by

Pat Malcolm –

The term, ‘perennial plant’, means simply that the plant returns following severe freezes, to grow again the next year. Trees are cold hardy tested perennials by nature, some trees that are evergreens and do not go dormant, but merely slow down during various seasons, and other shade trees enter dormancy and shed the leaves. Tree growth of shade trees may stop altogether in extremely cold climates, but in the spring, will surge with buds that open to flower and leaf out.

Great difficulties arise in assigning a plant, ‘perennial’, mainly because the primary determining factor, temperature range varies from year to year; and every century extreme cold temperatures may erase certain plant populations that have survived in areas before for decades or sometimes even centuries. A perennial plant may be a survivor, thus a ‘perennial’ for a given growing area, then suddenly may become extinct in that growing area. The USDA has constructed a zone map that reveals averages of temperatures reached by the location in your State. This map is a nursery tool used to predict whether a perennial will live (cold hardy) in your area.

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Agaves are a diverse genus of over 200 species of rosette, spear-like, leafed evergreen perennials. Agave typically grows as low shrub-like plants in dry or well-drained soils of the Southern part of the U.S. from New Jersey down to Florida, and then West to California. Many Agave species, such as Agave americana or Agave tequilana, have sharp recurved, protective teeth running along both sides of the blade of its semi-curved, lance-shaped leaves, with a sharp needle-tip lance at the end. There are Agave species, like Agave attenuata, and Agave stricta, that do not have sharp-teeth at all, but are smooth. The color variations of Agave plants range from shades of green, to silvery-grey, bluish-green, top yellow or white stripes, such is the case with Agave americana ‘media-picta’. The bloom of mother Agave plants are a beautiful array of pendulent bell-shaped, creamy-white flowers soaring high above the mother plant on a flower stem that may reach 20 feet or more for some agave species. The bloom period of a mother Agave plant is during the summer and the flower stalk is magnificent to behold, however, this event means the cycle of life ends for mother Agave and begins again for her Agave offspring. Agave plants are an excellent choice for rock gardens or well drained soils that lend themselves well to terracotta or cement planters. Agaves are fairly slow glowers so expect higher prices on these sunloving garden jewels at retail garden centers. Huge specimen agaves can be quickly delivered by semi-trucks. Recommended Agave cultivar plants are: Agave ‘Victoria-Reginae’; Agave americana; Agave americana ‘Marginata’; Agave americana ‘Media-Picta’; Agave angustifolia ‘Marginata’; Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’; Agave bovicomuta; Agave celsii ‘Nova’; Agave colorata; Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’; Agave desmettiana ‘Zebra Stripe’; Agave ‘Felipe Otero’; Agave franzosini; Agave geminiflora; Agave lechguilla; Agave parryii; Agave parryii ‘Compacta Variegata’; Agave potatorum ‘Verschaffeltii’; Agave pygmaea; Agave salmiana; Agave stricta ‘Pueblensis’; Agave ‘Shark Skin’; Agave sisalana ‘Variegata’; Agave toumeyana; and Agave tequilana ‘Weberi Blue.’

The ancient Egyptians in 1500 BC grew the Aloe for healing, and while the Pharaoh held all the Jews in captivity, aloes were used as cosmetics and for the sacred healing power of this mysterious perennial. The Book of John, in the New Testament Bible, John 19-39, records that Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloths and aloes after the corpse was removed from the crucifiction cross before burial. Aloes are evergreen perennial plants that grow as shub-like, climbing or tree-like plants. The aloe plant leaves are fleshly, succulent, long tongue-shaped groups of rosettes, or as star-patterned limbs. Most forms of the aloe, 300 species genus, have toothed leaf blades with soft to piercing hard teeth. Aloe saponaria and Aloe vera are the two most commonly found containerized aloes in homes and gardens. Aloe vera plant extracts have long been used by mothers on their children for fast relief for minor cuts and burns. Aloe saponaria is cold hardy down to freezing temperatures and is widely grown in Southern gardens for the beautiful, coral-colored, tubular blossoms and for the making of medicated soap. Most aloe plants are small, 1-3 foot tall and width, however, a few tropical aloe species, such as Aloe marlothii grow into large, 120 foot succulent trees. Aloe plant varieties may vary enormously in color from yellow, red to blue-greens, or to spotted or striped with random variegation. Recommended cultivars of Aloes are: Orange Aloe.(Aloe acutissima ‘antaramorensis’) ,Blue Aloe (Aloe acutissima) ,Aloe aristata ‘Montana’ Tree Aloe (Aloe bainsii) Aloe brevifolia Red Aloe (Aloe camronii) Climbing Aloe (Aloe ciliaris) Kokoerbom(Aloe dichotoma) Aloe distans ‘Yellow Teeth’Aloe ‘Dorian Black’ Aloe ellenbeckii White Aloe (Aloe glauca) Aloe kedongensis Bergaalwyn (Aloe marlothii) Gold Tooth Aloe (Aloe nobilis) Tiger Aloe (Aloe nobilis ‘Variegata’) Aloe petricola Spiral Aloe (Aloe polyphylla) Coral Aloe (Aloe strata) SoapAloe (Aloe saponaria) Aloe traskii Medicinal Aloe (Aloe vera) Partridge Breast (Aloe ‘Variegata’) Aloe verdoorniae Aloe ‘White Teeth’.

Fern plants are a beautiful landscape choice or a container perennial, because of the delicate graceful foliage. Fern plants are native to the U.S., and found growing on every continent on the Earth. Some ferns grow well as cold hardy plarts in some areas bordering arctic conditions. A gardener can find a fern perennial to buy in practically any nursery or mail order operation.

Florida tropical perennials are restricted for growing in many States, because of the lack of cold hardy resistance. Some gardeners prefer to plant Florida perennials in greenhouses, or to grow as an annual. Many recommended plants are: Desert Rose, Adenium obesum; Allamanda cathartica; Giant Yellow Shrimp, Barleria micans; Hallmark, Bulbine fruiticasa; Clerodendrum ugandense; Bleeding Hearts, Clerodendrum thomsoniae; Bat Faced Heather, Cupha ilvea; Sapphire Showers, Duranta erecta; Euryops; Bolivian Sunset, Gloxina sylvatica; Iochroma cyaneum; Jatropha integerrima; Ixora; Lantana camara; Orthosiphon stamineus; Pentas; Russelia equisetiformis; Russelia equisetiformis aureus; Stachytarpheta urticifolia; Stachytarpheta mutabilis.

Flowering Vine perennials grow fast to cover fences, lattices, walls, and not only offer rewards of flowers, but many interesting flowers in colors of red, blue, white, pink, and yellow. If planted and grown in the sun, the flowering vines require little care of vine maintenance. Recommended flowering vines to plant are Coral Vine, Antigonon leptopus; White Coral Vine, Antigonon leptopus ‘Alba’; Jekyll Island Vine, Bignonia capreolata; Tangering Beauty, Bignonia capreolata; Night Blooming Jasmine, Cestrum Nocturnum; Bleeding Hearts, Clerodendron thomsoniae; Lavender Trumpet Vine, Clytostoma callistegoides; Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens; Heart Vine, Ipomoea batatas; Chinese Jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum; Brazilian Firecracker Vine, Manettia inflata; Mailbox Plant, Mandevilla x Amblilis; Red Mandevilla, Mandevilla sanderi; Peaches and Cream, Mandevilla ‘Peaches and Cream’; Pink Mandevilla, Mandevilla splendens; White Passion Vine, Passiflora; Blue Passion Vine, Passiflora x Alato-Caerulea; Red Passion Flower, Passiflora coccinea; Lady Banks Rose, Rosa banksiae; Blue Glory Vine, Thunbergia battiscombei; White Sky Vine; Thunbergia grandiflora; Confederate Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides; Blue Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis; White Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis ‘Alba’;

Groundcover perennial plants are beautifully colored and fast growing, to keep soil erosion under control. Recommended groundcover plants are: Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’, Burgundy Glow; Allium tuberosum, Society Garlic; Arachis glabrata, Perennial Peanut; Ardisia japonica ‘Variegata’, Ardisia japonica ‘Variegata’; Aspidistra elatior, Cast Iron Plant; Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’, Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’; Apsidistra lurida ‘Milky Way’, Apsidistra lurida ‘Milky Way’; Asystasia gangetica, Ganges Primrose; Curculigo capitulata, Palm Grass; Ficus repens ‘Variegata’, Creeping Fig Vine; Ficus repens ‘Variegata’, Ficus repens ‘Variegata’; Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’, Chameleon; Liriope; Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’, Border Grass; Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’, Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’; Liriope muscari ‘Super Green Giant’; Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’; Liriope muscari ‘Silver Dragon’; Lysimachia congestiflora ‘Eco Dark Satin’, Golden Globes; Ophiopogon intermedius ‘Aztec’; Ophiopogon japonicus nana, Dwarf Mondo Grass; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Ebony Knight’, Black Mondo; Persicaria capitatum, Jump Seed; Persicaria microcephala, Red Dragon; Setcreasea pallida, Purple Heart; Setcreasea pallida, Pale Puma; Pseuderanthemum alatum, Chocolate Soldiers; Rubus calycinoides, Emerald Carpet; Scuttelaria longifolia, Red Fountain Sage; Spilanthese oleracea, Eyeball Plant / Toothpaste Plant; Trachelospermum asiaticum, Asiatic Jasmine; Tulbaghia fragrans, White Fragrant Garlic; Tulbaghia violacea, Society Garlic; Tulbaghia violacea ‘Tricolor’, Tricolor, Society Garlic; Vinca major ‘Maculata’, Periwinkle; Vinca major ‘Variegata’, Periwinkle; Vinca major ‘Wojo’s Gem’.

Herbacious perennial plants freeze during the winter, but return in the following spring to produce flowers of many colors and rare forms. Recommended cultivars are: Bee Balm, Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’; Blue Butterfly Flower, Clerodendrum ugandense; Blue Woodland Phlox, Phlox divaricata; Brunfelsia Pauciflora; Buckeye, Red, Aesculus pavia; Butterfly Bush, Buddleia lindleyana; Cestrum aurantiacum; Cigarette Plant, Cuphea micropetala; Clerodendrum bungeii; Cone Flower, Echinacea paradoxa; Cuphea ‘Allyson’; Devil Star Lily, Clerodendrum puniculatum; Echinacea ‘White Swan’; Echinacea purpurea; Firebush, Hamelia patens; Flowering Maple, Abutilion x hybridrum; Gaillardia ‘Pin Wheel’; Lestrum fasciculatum ‘Newellii’; Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Stars’; Liatris spicata ‘Floristan’; Lions Head, Leonitus leonarus; Obediant Plant, Physostegia virginiana; Orange Shrimp Plant, Justicia ovata; Orange Tongue Plant, Justicia leonardii; Phlox maculata ‘Alpha’; Pink Tongues, Justicia carnea; Platycodon grandiflora; Plumbago auriculata ‘Monott’ PP7822; Princess Flower, Tibouchina urvillenana; Purple Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii ‘Lochinch’; Red Cigar Plant, Sinningia sellovii;Red Prince, Weigela florida; Red Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeana ‘Red’; Mouth of Hollywood, Rehmannia Elata; Rudbeckia hirta ‘Becky Mix’; Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’; Ruellia elegans; Scarlet Butterfly Lily, Odontonema cuspidatum; Shasta Daisy, Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Alaska’; Shower of Gold Shrub, Galphimia glauca; Tecoma stans ‘Yellow Bells’; Turks Cap, Malvaviscus drummondi; White Tongues, Justicia carnea; Yellow Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’; Yellow Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeana ‘Yellow’; Yellow Tongue Plant, Justicia aura.

Yucca is a genus of evergreen plants, with approximately 40 species that grow in dry, desert-like areas. However, this is a common misconception, because members of the Yucca family can be found growing in 30 of the States in America, from New Jersey, down to Florida, and west to California. Yuccas can be grown as small shrubs or yucca trees, up to 30 feet tall, depending upon the yucca species. Yucca has lance-shaped leaves growing in a rosette pattern, on a woody stem or trunk-like frame. Yucca plants may vary dramatically in color from shades of green, to white or yellow stripes, to blue-green hues, as with Yucca rostrata, a jewel for any garden. Most yucca plants are stiff and sharp pointed, like the Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia), while some yuccas have flexable soft leaves, such as Golden Garland Yucca (Yucca flaccida). The flower blooms of yucca grow in summer, and develop into a beautiful, creamy-white pendulum of bell-shaped flowers that tower 8 feet above the mother plant. Yuccas are very adaptable and are among the oldest living trees in the world. The Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), Yucca filimentosa (Bear Grass or Adam’s Needle) is among the most cold-hardy and widely grown varieties. The strong, stringy filament (fiber), that run a course from the needle tip, down the margin of the leaf, was used by native Americans for making into garments and possibly the treating of war wounds. The roots of Yucca were also used to make soap. The primary use for yucca plants in todays landscapes are for their ornamental beauty, like we find in Yucca flaccida ‘Golden Sword’, in terracotta pots or in ground landscape plantings. Some people use Yucca aloifolia ‘Spanish Bayonet’, Yucca treculeana ‘Spanish Dagger’, or even Yucca brevifolia ‘Joshua Tree’, as security hedges for their beautiful and exotically bazaar, stiff leaves, hence the nickname, ‘Burlars’ Nightmare.’ Yucca plants are typicall sunlovers, growing in well drained soils, but are adaptive and often grow faster in moderately moist areas, such as the Southeastern U.S.. Recommended yucca cultivar plants are: Yucca aloifolia; Yucca brevifolia; Bear Grass, Yucca filamentos; Bright Edge, Yucca filamentosa; Golden Garland, Yucca flaccida; Golden Sword, Yucca flaccida; Ivory Tower, Yucca flaccida; Variegata, Yucca flaccida; Silverstar, Yucca elephantippes; Soft Leaf Yucca, Yucca recurvifolia; Spanish Dagger, Yucca treculeana; Rigida, Yucca rostrata; Linearis, Yucca rostrata; HesperYucca paviflora; Cordyline ‘Baueri.’

Patrick A. Malcolm, owner of

TyTy Nursery

, has an M.S. degree in Biochemistry and has cultivated perennial plants for over three decades.

Article Source:

Rare And Exotic Garden Perennials For Landscape Planting

Dont be Embarrassed

by

fin2000

Watch your Step

Zone out if you must, but keep your eyes open. I ran into a fire hydrant that had an extension attachment on it, says Liz Kruger. Not only did I incur a deep puncture wound, I also opened the hydrant valve and sent water gushing on to a busy street during rush hour.

Katie Hobson ran into freshly poured concrete on the pavement. In midair I remember seeing the faces of the construction workers saying ‘Noooo!’ But it was too late.

Distracted by a cute guy, Anya Marcelle fell, blacked out and woke up to find him helping her and informing her she’d ripped her sports bra. I said thanks and walked away, bloody, partially nude and completely mortified.

Check your Gear

Rachel Chalmers found out the hard way that her tights had become threadbare. On a run someone yelled at me, Hey, we can see your a**.

Madhur Kotharay was underdressed for freezing temperatures during a run in mid-winter. At the medical tent, I was diagnosed with ‘frostbite of the penis’ and made to sit in the official car with the heater on full blast, he says. During a run in the Kalahari, Robert Julies discovered the perils of sweltering heat. The humidity had made my shorts stick to my skin, and they had completely disappeared into my butt cheeks. I may well have been running in a thong.

Wear Dark Colors

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I had a pair of lightweight yellow shorts for running in the heat, but they became increasingly see-through as I sweated, says Anthony Cooper. At the end of my run, everyone was staring at my crotch.

A new runner called Slow Moving Vehicle recently completed his first 10-K. I looked down at my white running shirt to find two perfect outlines of my nipples, in dried blood, as well as blood tracks all the way down to the hem, he says. I hadn’t even noticed.

Byo TP

Elites like Crete Waitz and Uta Pippig, who famously suffered the trots while winning marathons, may not stop for bathroom breaks. For mortals who do, cleanup can be a problem. Looking around for something to take care of business, the only thing I found was my race number, says Marius.

Raul Patrick had to do number two multiple times during a 16km run. I used my left sock first, and threw it away. Then I had to go again, and used my right sock.

Mackenzie Rubin relied on pine needles. Let’s just say they don’t make for luxury ply toilet paper.

Rob Scarborough also turned to nature. Unfortunately, it was dark so I couldn’t see I was using poison ivy. It took two weeks to heal.

Respect Animals

On a run, Michael Raymond approached a flock of geese on a sidewalk, assuming they’d move. When I got within four metres, they sprang their multiple-pinching-beak assault. he says. They didn’t so much attack me individually as much as they assailed me as one formidable presence. While on holiday in the US, Paul Fredericks stepped on a skunk and got sprayed. Let’s just say my planned tempo run turned into a speed workout.

Keep it Down

I push myself so hard in the final moment of a race that it makes me vomit immediately after crossing the finish line, says Philip Perrault. Matt Swan, 12, tossed his cookies during his first cross-country race but toughed it out and finished, earning him the respect of his high school athletics team. Mary Arnstein felt queasy after running a leg of her company’s corporate relay. Our managing director came over to congratulate me, and I returned his kindness by throwing up on him.

Swipe your Nose

My nose always runs when I do, says Joe Hazel. And snot rockets never quite cut it. In the winter I use gloves with terry cloth on the fingers.

Mary Thoresdale recommends using your shirt. Long sleeves are best, shoulders are good and the front works as well. Sarah Pestana went into a Vida e Caffe for a post-run coffee one morning. I guess I didn’t do a great job of cleaning when I blew my nose, because the guy at the counter told me I had ‘a little something’ on my face.

Tread Carefully

I was running on the treadmill when the magazine I had on the front panel fell off, says Lauren Hoffman. I slipped on it, hit my face on the front panel as I fell and knocked over a trainer and her client as I flew off.

Says Megan who also fell off the treadmill. I was propelled straight into a mirror behind me, which promptly cracked. Stacie Rose landed face first on the belt, breaking her nose. Runners have arthroscopic surgery, but I got rhinoplasty.

Pay Attention

Sarah Foster heard shouting just before a 5-K. I looked up to see I was standing in the middle of the road about three metres in front of the actual starting line, with all the runners waiting for me to get out of the way so they could start the race.

When Justin Shelman began suffering during his first marathon, he sought a medical tent. I spotted what I thought was a liquid painkiller and swallowed it he says. It was Vaseline.

Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at

bodybuild.rr.nu

.

Article Source:

Dont be Embarrassed }