Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Vacation


Due to the 4th of July week, I will be taking a vacation from my blog! My wonderful hubby is on vacation and we plan on finishing our back yard (pictures to come), build our new patio set (pictures to come), and spend some much needed FAMILY time!
Be safe and have LOTS of fun!



(All images found on google images.)

FLORIOGRAPHY: Larkspur

Floriography is The Language of Flowers. A discreet form of communication, particularly used in Victorian times, Floriography has been around for past generations with religious and symbolic meanings, continuing on to this day. A bunch of flowers wrapped in a lace doily and tied with ribbon, also called a Tussie-Mussie, reads like a poem and/or secret message.



My son's birthday is this coming week.  So in honor of him, I decided to do his Birthday Flower.  The Flower to represent all Birthdays in July is the LARKSPUR.

The LARKSPUR is the common name for the delphinium.  Delphinium got its name for the dolphin like blooms. LARKSPUR is native to all the Northern Hemisphere and the top of mountains in tropical Africa.

LARKSPUR is very common in cottage gardens.  LARKSPUR is a love of cool, wet summers
and not a huge fan of hot, dry weather.  Bloom time is late spring to early summer. LARKSPUR is an annual here in the Rocky Mountain Region that I call home.  Considered "Middle of the Pack", LARKSPUR can grow from 1-3 feet tall, great for middle of garden beds and borders.  Plant taller varieties in back of garden beds and dwarf varieties in the front.  With larger varieties, stake to prevent bowing over in high wind.  The LARKSPUR comes in blue, white, and shades of purple and pink.  Sow seeds directly into ground in sun to part shade area.  LARKSPUR is most happy in consistently moist soil. Once blooms have wilted, remove the dead flowers for longer bloom season.

A WORD OF WARNING!!!!
LARKSPUR IS POISONOUS!
Very young  plants and seeds 

are poisonous.  They can cause nausea, 

twitching muscles, paralysis, and even death, if 

ingested.
PLEASE DO NOT EAT OR LET YOUR CHILDREN OR PETS EAT


LARKSPUR makes great cut flowers.  If you cut them once the blooms open and bring inside, they will bloom again.  Add sugar to any arrangements of LARKSPUR. Also can be added to pot pourri mix for color. 

Pests to watch for are slugs, snails, and cyclamen mites.

Now to the FLORIOGRAPHY. Delphinium stands for boldness, big-hearted, and fun.
But LARKSPUR (being a type of delphinium) stands for fickleness, levity, an open heart, and lightness.

Which is really creepy because my son is all those things.  Sorry... thinking out loud.

LARKSPUR is sacred to Venus. For magickal purposes, LARKSPUR can be used for health and protection spells and charms.  


(All images were found on google images.)

FLORIOGRAPHY: Alyssum

Floriography is The Language of Flowers. A discreet form of communication, particularly used in Victorian times, Floriography has been around for past generations with religious and symbolic meanings, continuing on to this day. A bunch of flowers wrapped in a lace doily and tied with ribbon, also called a Tussie-Mussie, reads like a poem and/or secret message.



ALYSSUM are one of my favorite flowers to grow in the garden!  I love the color, their look, and they are pretty easy to grow.

 ALYSSUM has a great fragrance. They are favored in all sun loving gardens. Growing under 8 inches tall, ALYSSUM are considered part of the "short" group of flowers, fitting great in the front of beds, borders, spilling over containers, between stepping stone and filling in where the larger plants can't! 

ALYSSUM comes in pure white, rosy lavender, and multi colored.  Bloom season is from spring to frost and bloom best during the cooler weather.  ALYSSUM is an annual unless in a mild climate and in some favorable conditions, my reseed itself.  In the spring when the ground has  warmed up just a bit, you can sow the seeds directly into the ground or you can start seeds inside and transplant in May.  


ALYSSUM attract bees, birds and butterflies. Drought tolerant, ALYSSUM is a great addition to your xieroscape garden. ALYSSUM is somewhat resistant to insects and disease. NICE!

ALYSSUM is actually VERY hard to find a floriographic definition. I have found it in one place.  ALYSSUM means worth beyond beauty!  WOW!  NICE!

ALYSSUM is used in magick to expel charms and break manipulative spells.  Also added in faery gardens to attract faeries.

Ok so not as exciting as some, but ALYSSUM is beautiful in my eyes!

(All images were found on google images.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY DANI MARIE!!!!

On Friday, my baby girl turned 1 years old!  She is growing up so fast! She is beautiful and intelligent! Look out world!


My little Peanut the day she came home a year ago!


My Peanut on her 1st birthday after eating her cupcake!


We spent all Friday and Saturday partying, so sorry for the lack of blogs.  I will double up on my FLORIOGRAPHY FRIDAY this week for your reading and viewing pleasure!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Happy Father's Day




Father's Day for our family was spent with other great dads and kids! 

For more WORDLESS WEDNESDAY's check out 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grateful Senses

Every month, we get a newsletter from our wonderful health insurance company.  In this newsletter, it tells you some great ways to stay healthy etc.  
This month, there was an article that caught my attention.  

"Researchers have found that focusing on what we're thankful for can increase our sense of well-being and happiness.  And, the benefits may go beyond our emotional health.  For example, people who make a habit of writing down what they're grateful for report fewer physical complaints than others."

VERY INTERESTING!

The article suggests that you keep a gratitude journal- hand written, on computer, or smart phone.  Whatever works for you!  Another suggestion was to use your 5 senses to guide you.  To find an example of something you are grateful for using each sense.  So here I go!

1.) Sight: Seeing My children playing nicely together.
2.) Smell: NOT smelling anything!
3.) Hearing: A toy that does not need new batteries.
4.) Taste: My wonderful lunch (left over baked ziti with italian sausage my hubby made)
5.) Touch: My very loved laptop!


Now I think you should do it.  And I would love for you to share!  Share in the comments or in your blog, then share the link in the comments.  I would love to see what everyone else is grateful for!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

JUST ADD WATER Exhibit at The Children's Museum

   


My little family of four had the pleasure of experiencing the new exhibit at The Children's Museum - JUST ADD WATER! Guess what it is about!? Yep! WATER!
Now its not a water park or spray park. But you will get wet! And it is outside.  




In the above picture, my husband and son are pumping water through tubes and sending it to different parts of the ... creation is the best way I can describe it!  




Here you pump up pressure.  When you are done, you release it and water pushes through the pipe and sends the ball flying! 2nd biggest "Get Wet" part of the exhibit on The Baker Family Scale.



Grady releasing the pressure and sending the ball flying!




This is the #1 "Get Wet!"  on The Baker Family Scale! 
Here there are 3 things you can do. 1.) send the ball down the pipe and send it into the air via water. 2.) send the ball down a vortex and out a pipe. 3.) The ball sits on top the water "fountain" that also "smokes".

                                                    Vortex Tub                   Water "Fountain"

                                     Ball going down the vortex             Sending the ball sky high!




Can you guess what Bubba's favorite exhibit was?

The JUST ADD WATER exhibit is a great addition for the summer!  Go check it out and all the great exhibits inside!  And you could use this coupon!



You need directions or any information, go to The Children's Museum website 


Also, go check out USFamilyGuide.com to find more great deals!

(All pictures were taken by me.  Any use without my permission is not prohibited!)


Friday, June 15, 2012

FLORIOGRAPHY FRIDAY: Geranium

Floriography is The Language of Flowers. A discreet form of communication, particularly used in Victorian times, Floriography has been around for past generations with religious and symbolic meanings, continuing on to this day. A bunch of flowers wrapped in a lace doily and tied with ribbon, also called a Tussie-Mussie, reads like a poem and/or secret message.

Welcome back to FLORIOGRAPHY FRIDAY, here at Gretel's Modern Day Fairy Tale! This week is the GERANIUM!

So GERANIUMS are a little weird when it comes to their botanical name.  GERANIUM is NOT their botanical name.  It  is their common name.  Their botanical name is Pelargonium.  The plant with the botanical name Geranium is a whole different plant then the GERANIUM we know and love! So when going to the nursery to pick up some of these beautiful flowers, make sure you have the correct ones!

GERANIUMS are an annual, unless you live in a hot climate.  Here in the Rocky Mountain region, they are an annual, but are great at coming inside over winter.
This full sun loving flower needs part shade in those hot climates. GERANIUMS are a great plant for beginners! They are also great for the middle of the garden beds, boarders, and most containers. GERANIUMS need soil that drains well.  But they can live off of little water and fertilizing.  Just give them enough water so they do not wilt. 

GERANIUMS will grow from 6 inches to a couple feet or more! Each variety is different.  GERANIUMS respond well to pinching.  By pinching, you can get a bushier plant. Make sure to deadhead the blooms that have expired.   This promotes a healthier plant and more blooms.  
GERANIUMS are great for root cuttings.  Here are some tips to help get you started:
  • Use cuttings from the tips of the stems 
  • Insert in moistened vermiculite or perlite
  •  Cover with plastic bag to create mini green house effect (will root more quickly)
When it comes to getting your GERANIUMS ready to come inside for the winter, start in September. 
  •              Cut back leggy stems
  •        Dig plants up and pot in a quality potting mix
  •               Add teaspoon slow release granular fertilizer mix into soil
  •        Water well
  •               Place in bright light encourage healthy stems/foliage   (If a sunny window or greenhouse is unavailable, place under artificial light)

Here are some pests to keep an eye out for:
  •            Geranium budworm: loves geraniums, nicotiana, ageratum, and petunias. Small caterpillars, bore into flower buds and eat flower before it opens or feed on open blooms, which results in no flowers, only leaves.  They leave small holes in blossoms or tiny black droppings.  May also see worm on flower
  •       Aphids, spider mites and white flies

Geranium Budworm

Lets get started on some FLORIOGRAPHY!  When researching, I have found you need to look in multiple places to find definitions of flowers.  Most of the places you look will be the same meaning, but depending on the era, religion, or preference I guess, you can get some different meanings. Also, depends on the color or variety.  I like to go with the majority.  
GERANIUM means Gentility, Comfort, True Friend. 
GERANIUMS are a great starter to put in the middle of your Tussie-Mussie!  Then build around with smaller flowers.

Geranium from my garden

The magickal properties of this beautiful flower are Fertility, Health, Love and Protection. Happiness and Renewed Joy.  GERANIUMS are female in gender,  elemental sign is Water, and their ruling planet is Venus.  Hmmmm... This flower speaks LOVE!   
The magickal uses for the GERANIUM are:
o   All types are protective when grown in garden or fresh cut and placed in water in home
o   Protects against snakes:
          Snakes will not go
          Where geraniums grow
o   Banks and pots of red geraniums are quite protective and strengthens health
o   Pink geraniums are used in love spells
o   White geraniums increase fertility


Next weeks flower is going to be a surprise!


(I found the top two pictures on google images.  The bottom one is my picture)





Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY:Flowers




For more WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS, go to 5 Minutes for Mom

(Picture was taken by me.  It is a flower in my garden.  Please ask to use picture. Use without my permission is not prohibited!)

Free JUMPSTREET Tickets!


This looks way cool! I think taking the 4 year old there is a great idea!

Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park 
"Each location has huge jumping areas, dodge ball on trampolines, eight individual batting cages, inflatable’s, indoor practice fields, "Earthquake" our exclusive safe, fun area for kids 7 and under, and private party rooms...  We really do offer something for everybody.  Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park - Where it's OK to Bounce Off the Walls."


Check out these great Specials! To get these, click the link below:


-Father's Day ONLY: Buy the first hour get the 2nd hour for free; Dad's jump for free. Valid for up to four people. ONLY one coupon per visit.
-Sunday ongoing: Buy the first hour get the 2nd hour for free; Valid for up to four people. ONLY one coupon per visit.
-Any day Any time: $2 off any jump session; Valid for up to four people. ONLY one coupon per visit 
-Birthday parties: Birthday child is free


Are you a blogger and want to get in on the great things USFamilyGuide.com has to offer?  Go here and get your blog approved!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Floriography Friday: SUNFLOWER


Floriography is The Language of Flowers. A discreet form of communication, particularly used in Victorian times, Floriography has been around for past generations with religious and symbolic meanings, continuing on to this day. A bunch of flowers wrapped in a lace doily and tied with ribbon, also called a Tussie-Mussie, reads like a poem and/or secret message.



For the first FLORIOGRAPHY FRIDAY here at Gretel’s Modern Day Fairy Tale, we are learning about the SUNFLOWER! I have included the SUNFLOWER'S Floriography, general information, general growing information, magickal properties, history, and things you can do with the SUNFLOWER!

FLORIOGRAPHY:
SUNFLOWER has several different meanings, depending on what type of SUNFLOWER and who you ask.  Pride and sunshine, Congratulations or Thank You for Everything are pretty general. For the tall variety, false riches and pride; For the dwarf variety, admiration.
So for me, I would totally go for sunshine and a thank you!  I do not look at a SUNFLOWER and think anything but happiness and brightness.  I would give a Tussie-Mussie with SUNFLOWERS in it to my daughter for her birthday or to say Thank You to someone that made my day brighter. Or even for a graduation gift.

HISTORY:
The SUNFLOWER is one of the few crops originally from North America.  The Native Americans were the first to domesticate the SUNFLOWER.  And there are archaeologists that think SUNFLOWERS were domesticated before corn!

After being brought over to Europe via Spain in the 16th Century, the SUNFLOWER made its way over to Russia, where it was  commercialized for the first time.
The Native Americans used the SUNFLOWER for food, purple dye, body painting and other decorating. Now a days, it is used for edible oil, meal, industrial applications, and non-oilseed (For bird feeders and human consumption), just to name a few. 
The SUNFLOWER was named for its bloom that looked so much like the sun.  Some think that the SUNFLOWER “tracks” the sun.  Which is partially true. They are phototropic.  As a young bloom, the SUNFLOWER follows the sun which increases light exposure and photosynthesis.  After pollination,  it starts to face down and to the east permanently.  This protects the seeds from solar radiation.
This really cool flower is also the State Flower of Kansas and the National Flower of Ukraine!



GENERAL INFORMATION:
These flowers are tall and showy, with daisy like flower heads, with round stems early in growth and then become more woody. SUNFLOWERS attract bees, butterflies and birds.
The SUNFLOWER is usually yellow or red, but come in lots of different colors. They can grow from 2 feet tall to 10 feet! Average 2-4 in across.  Some varieties require support. According to Wikipedia, there is at least 32 species. SUNFLOWERS have a very short growing season. They go from seed to flower in 2-3 months. 

GENERAL GROWING INFORMATION:
SUNFLOWERS need full sun and long, hot summers to flower well.  Moist, well-drained soil is required.  SUNFLOWERS can grow in almost any type of soil as long as they do not get waterlogged.  Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep rooting.
The SUNFLOWER can tolerate high and low temperatures ranging from 69-91*F, but prefer 70-78*F. You can sow SUNFLOWER seed right into the ground once risk of frost is over; soil temperature being between 55-60*F.  If possible, plant in a spot sheltered from high winds like a fence or building.
SUNFLOWERS bloom in the summer, late July through September. Mulch heavily and fertilize often! These flowers do not winter over.  Most are heat and drought tolerant.
Birds and squirrels love the seeds.  This can cause them to become pests.  Other pests to keep an eye out for are deer, a small grey moth that likes to lay its eggs in the blooms, downy mildew, rust and powdery mildew.
These are MY SUNFLOWERS I started this spring. They are surrounded by Alyssums.  


MAGICKAL PROPERTIES:
The SUNFLOWER is used as a symbol for the solar deity.  Also, associated with the day SUNDAY, because their planetary correspondent is the Sun. Used by those who are seeking confidence and wealth or fame and fortune.
Also associated with creativity
The SUNFLOWER’s magickal meanings are: Opportunities, self-actualization, happiness; wishes, wisdom, fertility, health, money magick; energy, protection, power; false riches; royalty; truth. You could use the SUNFLOWER in any spell, ritual, meditation etc. having to do with any Sun God or Goddess or any Sabbat or Holiday around the Summer time.
Sleeping with a SUNFLOWER under your pillow is said to show you the truth in all matters.






OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH THE SUNFLOWER:
-They make excellent cut flowers for flower arrangements
- Save dry heads (especially the large ones) and set out for the birds in the winter time
-Save thick stems and dry them for winter kindling 


(All images were found on google images except the picture of the flowers in a flower pot. That picture was taken by me.)


Next weeks FLORIOGRAPHY FRIDAY will be geraniums! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Next Generation Gardener





For more Wordless Wednesdays, go to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Heritage Square Amusement Park Coupon!



Have you ever been to Heritage Square?  I have been going there since I was a child!  Not only because there is family history with it, but also because it is AWESOME!  I have started taking my kids there. 
Heritage Square Has:

  • 22 Rides and Attractions
  • FREE Entry
  • FREE Parking
  • FREE Family Picnic Area
  • Garden Grill- There is a courtyard eating area adjoining the Grill with plenty of sun and shade
  • Python Pit Grill- A great place to grab a quick hot dog or frozen drink
  • $12 Tuesdays Unlimited rides (excluding Mini Golf, Go Karts and Boats)
  • Clean Restrooms
  • 2 NEW Rides- Space Shuttle and Python Coaster
  • 3 different GO Kart Tracks for all speeds and sizes
  • Arcade
  • Mini Golf
  • Boats
  • Magic Shows
  • Special Events
  • Group Discounts 
  • And MUCH MUCH MORE!
*Easy access from anywhere in the Denver Metro area. 
18301 Colfax Avenue, Golden, Colorado*

Just click on the link and ENJOY!

http://www.coloradokids.com/coupon.php?id=10010802

(Are you a Colorado blogger?  Want to get in on the fun with USFamilyGuide.com?  Click her and get started! http://www.usfamilyguide.com/submityourblog.php )

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer UnPlugged: AMF Bowling Offers



I love to bowl! And if you have to stay inside during the summer, than ya might as well bowl! Check out this offer through AMF Bowling:

"Looking for a Fun, Interactive Outing? AMF Bowling is affordable entertainment that everyone loves!   No matter your budget, bowling is one of the best entertainment values available. You can check out ourweb page for specials or join the eClub at amf.com, for our best deals! Then just grab the gang and head over for a great time, any time! For fun or for competition, when it comes to bowling, AMF has everybody else beat."
Summer UnPlugged 
FREE Bowling for Kids ALL SUMMER LONG!  At AMF, kids 15 and under can bowl for free all summer. Simply register and you'll get a weekly voucher for two free games per child per day through September 3. Shoe rental is not included. 

OR
Save as a Family - Only $8.99 for 2 Hours of Bowling for up to 6 People!  


Friday, June 1, 2012

12 Weeks of Summer Vacation Sweepstakes!!!



Who wouldn't want to win a Family Vacation? 
Here is the 411:

Register to win a summer family vacation.

 This summer USFamilyGuide.com has created a promotion that celebrates the family vacation by giving away 12 incredible trips for families looking to create their own memories. They have hand picked some of the most memorable destinations their families have experienced and asked them to provide a FREE vacation to award to perhaps YOU!

Some of the places they have picked are San Francisco, Zion Utah, Cancun Mexico, Pennsylvania, Galveston Island, Colorado and more are being added!


Rules: 
One entry per day
Prizes will be awarded beginning June 1 
through July 31.


Go to the link below:


and ENTER Once a day!! 

Have fun and GOOD LUCK!


Floriography Friday

"The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, was a Victorian-era  means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken." 
Definition taken from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia 


I am starting something new each week!  Floriography Friday!  Each week I will have a new flower and their "meaning".  As well as basic information and possibly history and/or magickal properties. (Yes, I said MAGICKAL.  Take it or leave it! Someone out there will enjoy the information and  I hope we are all open minded!)  


Look for the first one next week!  I am thinking Sunflower....