Jul 25

Back to School: College Essentials Check List!

It’s mid summer and everyone is enjoying their time off or they are working like crazy before the Back to School craziness begins. We spend a good part of our early lives learning in School.

If you are finished with the first part of the chart in blue……you are surely moving forward into the green section. Back to School at a New College or University will be a major adjustment for many students.  Our focus will be the first time students entering into the college or university level of education.

Many of these first time students will be leaving home for the first time. There will be anticipation, panic, excitement and renewed fervor in learning all kinds of new things.  New friends and some old friends will be starting off on a whole new academic year that they have never done before.  Being away from home also adds that extra bit of anxiety, as the student will be responsible for him/herself, without parental input.

There will be Frosh parties and a whole week of initiation into the life of whatever college they have chosen to study at.  Your student will be learning about what buildings their classes will be held at, what kind of student clubs are available, they will be offered initiation into sororities or fraternities and a whole host of other activities that are new to them.  The Library, will still be a favorite meeting place.

How do we, parent’s, help prepare our Children for this awesome adventure in their lives?

They will have certain needs when they arrive at their dorm rooms.  One of those will be bedding, because after all is said and done, they will be exhausted from all the excitement of those first few days and they will need somewhere to rest their heads.

The next most important thing they will need is a computer bag, either for their full sized laptop, or their smaller tablet.  They will be toting their devices with them at all times.  Some colleges and universities are now digital friendly, to the point where students get their assignments by email.  They will need a bag to keep that all important device handy and ready for any information input.


  1. Bedding

  2. School Supplies (pens, paper, computer, laptop, cell phone)

  3. Personal Supplies, clothes, shoes, coats etc. (shampoo, soaps, shaving needs, toothbrush, tylenol, bandaids, antibiotic creams, etc)

  4. Personal information (Driver’s Licence, Health Cards, Insurances etc.)

  5. Personal items (teddy bear, favorite bracelet, pictures, security blanket, phone list, emergency numbers, guitar)

  6. Prepaid credit card (for emergencies only)

  7. A map of the city where the college or university is located, highlighting the closest hospital, walk in clinic, pizza parlor and coffee house!  (A prepaid coffee card would be a nice extra too!)


Some of the things on this list will make the student more comfortable and some are meant to make first time parents (those whose first child is leaving home)  feel more at ease.  One thing is certain,  your child will grow in ways that are not measurable in terms of academics, but rather in terms of life experiences.

The next four, five or six years will be fantastic and at the end of it all, you will be the proud parents of a graduate! 


Jul 20

Unwanted Nightly Visitors Vanquished

Wildlife and the Back Yard do not necessarily mix well.

It doesn’t seem to matter if you live in the suburban areas or if you live in the country, animals can and will make themselves a nuisance.  It seems that is what they are supposed to do.  Nightly Visitors can be vanquished with the use of the Yard Sentinel.   We have had raccoons declare our yard, theirs! I understand that raccoons have every right to live, but I don’t want them living in my backyard. They have a nasty habit of fishing in my pond and catching my Koi.  I am never pleased when I walk out in the morning to find only the heads of my fish lying on the ground area surrounding my pond. To that end, I have decided to get a Yard Sentinel. This device emits an ultrasonic sound that is hurtful to the ears of stray raccoons or dogs, or other small creatures that are determined to inhabit part of your space.

The animals don’t like the high frequency noises that can be set to steer them away. With several settings on the device, it can be used as a 24 hour a day deterrent or you can focus it for night time and motion sensing so that it goes off only when it is triggered. These two models that I am showcasing for you here, are similar in in how they work, the second one just has the added feature of a remote control.

That is a handy feature that you might just consider if you are purchasing this item. Why? Well, because of the different settings, you could have this going off in the middle of the night and waking your neighbors. It does have a noise setting, that can be heard for quite a distance. So if you are going to use it in that setting mode, it would be beneficial to you, to be able to reset it as quickly as possible.

It’s not nice to be making loud noises in the middle of the night, even if it is to scare off unwanted animals.  The remote will work well with this setting.  The ultrasonic settings won’t need that so much.  Most people will not hear those sounds, they are meant for animals who hear those high frequencies.  It’s the whole principle of the device.  Make it uncomfortable for the animals to be in your yard.  It will also work for noisy dogs who bark incessantly.  They bark and the high pitched noise is triggered, they stop barking because it hurts their ears.  Problem solved.  Neighbors who have these unruly dogs have no idea why their dogs all of a sudden stop barking.  What they don’t know is that you have a secret weapon the Yard Sentinel.

Jul 16

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**


Time Flies when you are having fun!  Isn’t that the truth?

My crafty friends are all in agreement.  If you make gifts for your family and friends or for craft shows, you know that your time is limited and that you need to work ahead of the average “holiday schedule”.  There is no way that starting in September or October is going to help you.  The time to start is right now!

It is only a short 5 months till the panic sets in and people are running around wondering where the time went. Don’t be part of that craziness. You want to be able to sit back and relax and really enjoy the season when it’s here. The only way to do this successfully is to get on top of the things that need to be made well in advance.   Everyone knows that I love paper crafts so I will take my own advice because I know that You will thank me in December!   I know I will be thankful that I started early!

July is a HOT month for sales at Cricut! Many of the items you will need are all discounted for the Christmas in July sale, that runs from July 16th through to July 19th!  Why wait till August and miss a great sale?

Celebrate Christmas in July with great deals at Cricut.

During the cooler nights in July you can be setting up your Cricut to make all the cards, banners, boxes and decorations without feeling the least bit of pressure. It is actually quite enjoyable to take your time, explore the possibilities and experiment with some ideas from the Design space or unlimited crafty ideas from the Cricut Design Space! You are the Designer and whatever you can design you can create. Cricut has a lively community of designers that readily share their designs and if you are running short on inspiration, you will find more than enough right here.

Not only will you be making beautiful Christmas cards, but all kinds of Christmas Decorations, Banners, Advent Calendars, and so much more. You are only limited by your imagination and even then, you can find other ideas if you happen to run out of ideas yourself. Pinterest makes a great place for inspiration too! You can check out some pins from one of my Christmas Boards just to help you along!  Grammie O’s Christmas Pinterest Board

When everyone else is running around like crazy, you can sit back and prepare all those things for a New Year’s Party!

You will have time to make your invitations, banners, and every other detail that you like so that you can have a really good start to the New Year too!  Just wait till you see how much enjoyment you get from your crafty endeavors.  Sign up for Grammie Olivia’s Blog Posts and always be in the KNOW about great sales and more happening at Cricut!

Jul 14

Bicycling Fun and Safety for the Whole Family

Bicycling with the whole family is a wonderful summer activity. Not only is it fun, but it will help the family get out and explore!

So what’s new in the cycling world?  Well there are always new bicycles and with growing families, they will need to be changed for larger frames as the kids are growing.  Hopefully there is someone younger who can inherit the outgrown bike.  I know with my own grandchildren, bikes seem to be on the radar almost every year.  At 8-6-4 they are in the formative years of growing and it will continue for a while.

The good news is that there are younger ones to hand down last year’s bikes to.  The Bad news, is that sometimes the younger ones feel like they aren’t worthy of a new bike……They always seem to get what’s left over. It’s all part of that second, third or more child syndrome.

I can remember it well, as I was the second in line in my own family.  Growing up was sometimes bittersweet, because I did always get the left overs.  The secret is to make the left overs look great and new again.

To help you with that chore,  I found something that I think would just make any kid happy to get a bike and dress it up in a way that will make their new (handed down) bike amazing.  Check this out:

Can you just see their faces when the sun starts to go down, and they are on their way home from the park and the bike they are riding starts to glow! They and their friends are going to go crazy!

These multi colored lights fit onto the spokes of the bikes with installation taking about 20 minutes at the most.  They are waterproof so you don’t have to worry about rain ruining your fun.   They also turn off automatically if the wheels are not in motion.   Check what you are ordering and know that with these lights on your bikes you will be seen much more clearly than if you just have a front and rear light. Plus they are really cool.

I have been reading customer satisfaction reports and I am surprised at how many avid bike riders are impressed with the visibility after adding these lights.  What you will find is that I have offered you several different types of lights.  Some go on the spokes of the wheels while others are actually attached to the inner side of the rims.  For children, who won’t be riding without parental support at night, the ones that fit on the spokes will give them the “cool” factor and they are easy to install and inexpensive too!   Kids will love the lights when you are out in the evenings for a ride, or if you take your bikes on camping trips.  In the woods the lights will make them much easier to spot.  From a cool and safety perspective this is a winning situation for the parents who are making the purchase.   They will be heroes for sure.

The lights that fit onto the rims take a little more effort in installation, but are also much brighter and made for people who use their bikes for serious riding at night. You will become much more visible to the cars on the road and the cars will give you more space when they know you are there.  Safety comes first, but the cool factor is fun even for grown ups who use their bikes for daily transportation.

If you are looking for safety and fun at the same time, I would say that this is a winner for you and your family.


Jul 08

Paper Crafting with Cricut Tools JULY Specials

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Summer is well underway and if you are anything like me, there are many DIY projects that are on the horizon. I love Papercrafts, I have always loved Papercrafts and Cricut makes paper crafting so much fun.

It’s July : Don’t miss the Cricut July Mystery Box

Mystery Boxes are available in limited quantities, so don’t miss out, order yours now! With a value of over $120.00 for only $29.99, I know that you are getting the best value in town.  It’s a great way to build your cartridges on a budget!

Now’s the time to start making those projects that will make your special days even more special. Craft those invites that will make everyone stop in their tracks to admire what you and your imagination have created. Your invites will never be as plain as a date and time, with Cricut you will embellish those invites so that everyone knows it’s an important invite.

Just imagine your little girls excitement when she sees the invites your created just for her Mermaid Birthday Party.  If she is not into Mermaids, then there are hundreds of other themes that can be easily used instead.

papercrafts, cricut, july

Cricut makes it easy to produce Invitations like this one.*

With Cricut and the cartridges that fit into the Air….you can do all kinds of wonderful themes. Invitations, banners, place cards, treat boxes and or treat bags, can all be made to follow a theme. With Cricut all these things are possible along with hundreds of other designs.  Join the monthly inspirations to keep you motivated and spark some great ideas for your next party or soiree!


Don’t fool yourself, Cricut is an investment in your own creativity, with the added bonuses of being part of a community of crafters who revel in sharing their ideas too.  Paper crafts have never been easier and more beautiful.  With the proper tools, your paper crafting will reach new levels of artistry.  Build up your cartridges with these monthly sales and you will be a paper-crafter extraordinaire.


*Picture from Cricuts Design center*

Jul 07

Outdoor Water Features, Garden Fountains

Outdoor Water Features and Garden Fountains make a wonderful addition to your Backyard Area.

If you spend any time at all in your backyard, how could you say no to an outdoor water feature or a garden fountain?

What’s the difference between an outdoor water feature and a garden fountain?

Simply put, a water feature is something that remains in the same place all the time. It could be a, pool, a pond or a water fountain that is hard wired into place. In other words, it will not be moved any time soon. Once in place, it will be there all year round. Now I’m not talking about pools here, rather I’d like to focus on ponds and fountains.

What about Garden Fountains?

A garden fountain on the other hand, may be hard wired into place, but more often than not, it is a movable water feature. It will be shut down in the winter months, be cleaned, drained and put away or covered, to protect it from the cold winter weather. It will only come out again in springtime, when all the snow and cold has disappeared.  Garden fountains take up much less space than a pond, and the maintenance is much less than a pond. A Garden fountain needs to be kept full of water and cleaned out maybe every two weeks or so.  Birds and butterflies, bees and other little creatures will come to the garden fountain for a bath or a drink.  Most garden fountains are above the ground level, or they have a reservoir just below the feature,  so they are easy to clean and keep neat.  A pond on the other hand will require more upkeep.

What About Ponds?

I have both of these types of water features in my yard. One is a pond that holds approximately 2,500 gallons of water. It was built for me by my husband over 10 years ago. We enjoy this water feature immensely. It is home to our 10 Koi and 2 Goldfish. My husband and I enjoy this water feature during the day, but also at night. The sounds of water falling over the rocks is very soothing and makes it very easy to sleep at night. We can hear the sounds of the water from our bedroom window and even look out over the pond in the wee hours of the morn.

Just to make it easier for you,  Amazon has pond kits. Everything you need is in the first three choices.  Pond liners, mechanical and electrical needs as well as a pump.  The fourth choice, the rigid pond liner will require a pump and or fountain head to aerate the water.water features, ponds, fountains

All of these choices are wonderful but I will not lie, there is a learning curve with keeping a pond and keeping it healthy. If you think you can fill it with water and let it go, you are in for a surprise or two. Having said that, I know our pond is worth all of the learning we had to do and we would do it again in a heart beat. We started out with a rigid pond liner that I inherited from my father. He did not learn what he needed to learn in order to keep the water clean and frustrated he removed his pond and gave it to me.  We enjoyed this pond for months, but it was not big enough for our wants.  So we designed our own.
A good suggestion is to do some reading before you start. I would suggest this book, because I trust the information from Rodale publishers.

Once you are comfortable with this knowledge, then it is time to start digging.

Take your time and follow the instructions closely.  Do Not rush the process, if you do it wrong, it is much harder to undo it and redo it again.  In less than a week, you will be sitting back listening to the soothing sounds of water flowing.  It will help to drown out the city noises and you will relax in your own little bit of heaven on earth.

Jul 06

Paper Crafts Galore To Share!

When it comes to paper crafts,there are thousands of ways that you can use your creativity to make something really special for your family and friends. You can pick a theme, and then create everything you need from invitations, to gift tags, to birthday cards and banners. The best part is that you can have fun while creating these one of a kind “extras” for the person who is being honored.

colored paper, crafts, grammieknowshow

Pick a Color, Any Color!

If you happen to run short of ideas there is a well-spring of ideas available through “Pinterest” as you can see from one of my boards, there is nothing missing here, that would not make you imagine a project or two.  Just check out this link to my Paper Crafts page. You can  Follow me if you like!



I love making cards and special things that cannot be found at the dollar store. All my friends and family just wait to see what I have come up with for them! Just as an example, my sister loves sheep, so when her birthday comes about, there will be “sheep” things everywhere….From cards to tablecloths, serviettes and banners, they will all be sporting sheep somewhere.

Not only will she be surprised, but I’m sure she will be pleased as well. After all, if you have to have a birthday, it might as well be centered around that which you love the most. So for her, it will be, family, friends, and sheep!

paper crafts, grammieknowshow, hands on

Cute sheep, my sister will love….


I know she will get a kick out of this little guy.  And just for fun I’ll make some of them black and some of them white.  After all, she was the black sheep in the family….(just kidding).

Now if you really like working with paper, there are many other crafts that use paper and they are really beautiful.  Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, can result in some really beautiful and awe inspiring shapes.  Teach your children how to make paper cranes.  Everyone will make these sooner or later and your children might as well learn how from you, practice their skills and then teach their friends how to as well.  You  can also tell them the story of the little girl who made thousands of paper cranes for peace, during the Second World War. Hopefully our children will be inspired and make them for the same reasons.

Just recently an art exhibit opened in Los Angeles, that uses origami as the basis for some collossal “Art Works”.  Please click on that link and see the beauty for yourself.  Even more impressive is this link to the artists and the art venues for this exposition, that will run till 2020.  Above the Fold  do have a look! It is a travelling art show that will boggle your imagination.


If you feel inspired to give yourself some tutorials on how to make some fantastic origami creatures, I have compiled a few choices to help you along. Please feel free to purchase one or two and share the fun with your children. It would be a great summertime activity that I’m sure you and your children will all enjoy!

Jun 28

Summer Fun for Everyone!

Schools out for the Summer!  Summer Fun now starts for Everyone!

Now it’s time for the kids to get out all of their summer toys and have a ball. Summertime fun comes in all shapes and sizes. Oh the fun the kids will have either at home in the pool or at the cottage on the lake.

With products for home and poolside, VM Innovations has some really fun and awesome “toys” for kids and grown ups too! Don’t let the kids have all the fun, get in the water and join in the shenanigans that are sure to happen when you bring all the water toys out!




Can you just imagine all the fun at the cottage when the kids and their friends end up relaxing at the Relaxation Station? Not just for kids, but for the Grown ups too, this relaxation station is the place to be.  Fit up to four adults and there’s enough room for some kids too.  Shaped for sharing the good times, four can sit and relax while four more can swim in and out of the center, relaxing in between the indents on this neatly designed floater.

If you are not into relaxing on the water, and you’d rather play, then maybe a couple of giant ducks would float your boat!  Better still, you could hook these up to a boat and have a great time riding on the back of a Giant Inflatable Duck!  Handles on either side of his head make it easy to hold on!

That’s not all the fun that your family can have, that’s just the beginning. In the Water, in the summertime, is the one place everyone wants to be. Playing can be so much fun and the memories will last a lifetime. I know my kids would have gone crazy for this Water Sea-Saw!

Now let’s not forget the smallest of the family members when it comes to having fun! Safety with baby is of utmost importance, so having a baby float will keep them safe and secure too. It even comes with an attached shade to protect baby’s skin from the burning rays of the sun.

With fast 2 day shipping, you will have all the toys you need for a great summer! The pictures, videos and time you share will make memories that will certainly last a lifetime.

Be safe and use precautions when playing in and around the water.


Disclaimer*** Grammie Olivia is an affiliate member of VMInnovations when you click on a link to buy, she will be paid a small commission.

Jun 25

Blogging for Fun and Profit-Beginners and Advanced

Blogging for fun and profit can be a mine field if you are not sure of how to do it successfully.

Trying to make your blogging experience easier, you should use some great tools to get the best out of your efforts.


Blogging is a lot of fun and it can help you to make residual income too. Make no mistake, it is work. With the proper tools to help you, this can be so much easier than trying to figure it all out by yourself. I know, I wish this had been available to me when I first started blogging.


What you need to do is jump on this opportunity, because it will only be available for 5 days from June 27 to July 1st.   After that you are out of luck.  

I can personally tell you that you are getting great value in this package.

blogging for profit and pleasure

Can it be that you are the only one standing in your way?

and you will be able to make more than the $27 dollars back in no time at all, if you apply the information contained here.

If you or someone you know loves to blog, why not give them a gift that they will surely use.  No kidding, this stack of information will make you one of the best bloggers out there and who doesn’t want that?  If you are serious about your craft, than this is the course you should be investing in.  It is filled with so much information that will help you on your journey through the Blogging World!  Don’t miss out!  I can’t say it enough, it’s only available for 5 days!  June 27th to July1st!  If you miss this window of opportunity, you will have to wait a whole year for another offer like this one.  Don’t waste that year grinding your wheels, start now!  In a years time, you will be miles ahead of those who didn’t take this opportunity!


Jun 22

Make a Splash!

Is this the year that your family will make a splash?

Having a pool in the backyard can make that backyard the “GO TO” place this summer. It’s already proving to be a warm one in many regions of the country, so why not jump in and make it a great year to spend at home in the pool!

Water and kids just seem to go together and holidays are some of the best times to make memories. Just imagine how much fun your family will have while playing in the pool on those hot summer days.

Pools, Intex, Bestway, easy set pools, metal frame pools, above ground pools, family pools

You won’t have to worry about getting the kids to do their chores, if a nice soak in the pool is the reward. They will be more than happy to help around the house, just knowing that a fun time can be had when all the work is done. Even mom and dad will look forward to coming home from work to spend some quality “down time” in the families best ever gathering place. Refresh, relax and enjoy the sun, the water and play time and when everyone is finished some nice BBQ will be the order of the day.

Not only will the family enjoy time together, they will also become stronger in their swimming abilities with the pool available to them at anytime.  Who knows, maybe your son or daughter will be the next great Olympian in some water sport and it all started with a backyard pool.

backyard pools, make a splash

Make a Splash!

Family get-togethers will be centered at your house.  Everyone in the pool for some fun, along with cousins, aunts and uncles.  You can also get to know all the kids that your children call friends, because they will come to your house.  That is a good thing for sure.  Your family will be healthier, relaxed and comfortable all summer long regardless of how hot it becomes.

Pool parties are just so much fun.  With pool toys and games you will be spending so much time in the water that you will wonder what you did before you had a pool in the yard!

The kids will have so much fun with all the inflatables and pool toys that will make the pool so much fun. I guarantee there will be laughter and lots of great memories made on a daily basis.

backyard pool fun, make a splas

Pool toys to help you make a big splash!

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