Bees Should Be Encouraged To Thrive

Bees Should Be Encouraged To Thrive

A Bee Does More Than Sting

You might not have given this much thought but it really is something to consider. Have you made your garden an inviting place for bees to come? You may be thinking, “What? I don’t want to get stung by a bee nor do I want my kids to be stung. No bees in my garden!” It is time to change your thinking if you feel that way. Bees are a necessity to every garden! Those plants rarely pollinate themselves, you know. When a bee travels from blossom to blossom it will carry the pollen on it’s feet and then it transfers to the next plant. That is a good thing! If they happen to be honey bees, then some hive is going to produce some delicious honey!

bees in garden


So, what plants do we have in Indiana that will create a bee garden? There are so many wonderful trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables that bees love to come dine on. The trick is to have something in bloom during the entire growing season. You want those bees to keep coming back and to tell their friends to come, too. Providing plants that offer nectar and pollen gives each bee a balanced diet.

Vintage Bees and Daisy Post Card
Vintage Bee and Daisy Post Card by knottysailor at zazzle


Indiana Trees Good For Bees:

  • Apple trees provide both nectar and pollen and bloom from April to May
  • Pear trees provide nectar and bloom from April to May
  • Elm, Maple, Redbud and Oak trees provide pollen and nectar blooming in March and April
  • Walnut trees provide pollen and bloom in April and May
  • Tulip Poplar trees provide nectar and pollen blooming in May and June

Indiana Shrubs And Brambles That Every Bee Will Like:

  • Boxwood shrubs bloom in March and April and give the bees nectar
  • Blackberry and raspberry plants bloom in May and June providing both nectar and pollen
  • Butterfly Bush blooms July to September and gives them nectar to eat
  • Cotoneaster produces nectar and pollen in May and June
  • Roses produce pollen from June through September
  • Viburnum has nectar in May and June
Viburnum Post Card
Viburnum Post Card by florianesser at


As I sit here writing this, I realize that I haven’t even scratched the surface on the plants that grow here in Indiana that can be a part of a bee garden. The longest list comes from the flowers, fruits and crops that also attract bees. So, I think I will make them separate posts so that this does not get too long.

Having any of the trees, shrubs and brambles in the above list as a part of your overall landscaping plan around your home is going to attract those much wanted little bees and have them buzzing around with delight.

English Gardens Calendar 2017

English Gardens Calendar 2017

Lovely Calendar Showcases English Gardens

english gardens

Example of an English garden from

There is not anything more entrancing than the magic of English gardens, in my humble opinion. I would venture to say that just about any gardener envies the charm and tranquility that is provided in any well planned English garden. Speaking of planning, a calendar showcasing those types of gardens is a great way to plan the coming year and enjoy a love of gardening at the same time.

Just as in planning the every day events of our busy schedules takes a little time, so does the planning of the English gardens found around the globe. One does not just accomplish a garden that is truly English in style in one day. Perhaps during 2017 you can organize your busy days while admiring the lovely styles of gardens that the English have made so very popular.

English Gardens 2017 Wall Calendar

What defines the making of English Gardens?

Typically English gardens incorporate a path of some sort that leads one into an inviting world of topiary and vined trellises. We are greeted with vibrant colors of a variety of flowers as our senses also take in the fragrances of the plants. A garden in the English style invites the visitor to take in the peace and tranquility of nature as they walk the paths.

One might find a bench to rest on while enjoying the view around them. You will also almost always find a mixture of flowers, herbs and vegetables in a garden of English design. If the area is large enough there will also be a grassy area to enjoy.

There will be raised beds along the way with either perennials or annuals or a mixture of both. The path will wind lazily around the garden or perhaps in a more elegant setting there will be a maze to wonder through. Shaped hedges both short and tall will mingle withing the landscape creating a most peaceful visit with nature.

Whether you plan to have your own garden with an English design or you just admire the creativity of one, I think having a calendar for 2017 of English gardens will serve you well. As you plan your year, you can enjoy the beauty of the age old designs of gardening in the style of the British.

Baking Cookbook From Duff Goldman

Baking Cookbook From Duff Goldman

Baking Like A Pro With Duff’s Help

baking angels

Baking angels from

I love baking and I also love watching Duff Goldman on the different programs that he is involved with on the Food Network channel. Imagine my delight when I found this cookbook with his recipes in them! I am always fascinated with his artistry when it comes to decorating cakes and also his down to earth personality. The kids shows that he helps host are just delightful and I love how he works with children.

So, one of the items that I plan to ask for when my birthday rolls around is the baking cookbook by Duff Goldman.

baking cookbook
Duff Bakes: Think And Bake Like A Pro
(paid link)

The cookbook offers over 130 different recipes that are not just artful cakes. Duff is actually quite a good pasty chef who happens to excel in cake decorating. In this cookbook we can learn the skills of baking breads, pastry doughs, muffins, cookies and so much more from Duff. I noticed that one of the recipes is for bacon jalapeno biscuits. Now that sounds like a savory treat that both my husband and I would enjoy! I think that is one reason that this particular book appeals to me, it isn’t just about baking desserts.  You and I will find some recipes for other baked items as well.

Available In Different Formats

Another feature about this book is that it is available in hardcover which is what I prefer for my cookbooks and also in digital form for those who prefer reading their recipes from their mobile devices. Being able to access his recipes from your tablet or phone is a real convenience if you happen to be away from home or do not have room to store several cookbooks.

I am really hoping that one of my girls will get choose this as one of my birthday gifts this year. I am pretty sure with the help of Duff, my baking will take on a new level.

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Rag Doll Patterns To Make Yourself

Rag Doll Patterns To Make Yourself

Sew Your Own Rag Doll

rag dolls

If you are a woman who is crafty and looking for a fun project, using rag doll patterns to sew a doll for yourself, a special child, or even to sell is a delightful option. Girls still love fabric dolls to play with. There are several options available to work on a project of making a rag doll today. It might even be a fun project for a sewing group to make up several rag dolls sharing patterns and donate them to a shelter for battered woman and children.

A Little History Of Rag Dolls

Fabric dolls or what is commonly known as rag dolls began to appear during the American Colonial period. Up to that point most dolls were made from corn husks, carved from wood, or made of wax. Creative mothers, grandmothers, and aunts began to fashion dolls out of scrap fabric or “rags” for the little girls in their lives. The body and clothing were made from cloth with the hair made from yarns, string, and sometimes lace. It was not uncommon for the doll to have a blank face. Some adults and some children painted faces on the dolls. It was an inexpensive way for a little girl to have a doll that she could love and care for.

A Few Examples Of Available Rag Doll Patterns

A modern version of the infamous Raggedy Ann doll is a wonderful option for a doll pattern. I particularly like the fabric dolls pattern in the second photo. It gives you the option of creating different hair styles and clothing for the dolls, too.

Raggedy Ann Doll PatternRaggedy Ann Doll PatternCHECK PRICE

Rag Doll & Clothes PatternRag Doll & Clothes PatternCHECK PRICE

Raggedy Ann Probably The Most Famous Rag Doll In The World

Johnny Gruelle created the fame of a raggedy old doll named Ann in a series of stories that have been loved by many since he first started to write and illustrate them in the early 1900s. There are several legends as to how he got the idea for Raggedy Ann. The one that I am most familiar with is the one that occurs in Indianapolis, Indiana when supposedly his little girl Marcella brought him a rag doll from the attic that needed some repair. Legend says that he penned a whimsical face on the doll and suggested she have her Grandmother sew another button on for her eye. There are other legends similar that say it happened in other cities that the Gruelle family lived in. It must depend on the area that you are closest to as to that part of the legend. It has even been suggested that Gruelle himself started that legend to add to the charm of the stories. Myrtle Gruelle, Johnny’s wife, was said to have told that Johnny himself rescued the doll from the attic and said that it would make for a good story. I think that it probably doesn’t matter what the real story is or was. What is important is that an adventurous little doll became loved by people all over the world and still is.

My first rag doll was made from a pattern for Raggedy Ann by a loving relative and I cherished her. Both of my daughters were given a Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy doll made by my Great Aunt. I think that there are probably a lot of women that remember that their rag doll was sewn from loving hands by someone who thought they were special. That is a wonderful tradition to carry through into today, don’t you think?

Of course the rag doll doesn’t have to be Ann, you can choose any rag doll pattern to make a doll for a special little girl to love, snuggle, and cuddle with. With the wonderful fabrics available today, the fabric doll can even fit the heritage of your family with the correct clothing to match the culture of your own lineage.

Cloth, Fabric, or Rag Dolls As A Charitable Gift

I love the idea of women coming together to craft items much like the old days when women met to quilt together. Wouldn’t it be cool for women to make several rag dolls and have them available to give to little girls when a disaster has befallen her little soul? Perhaps fire destroyed her home, a flood ruined the family belongings, or a tornado swept everything away. A doll made by loving hands could lift her little spirits. Rag doll patterns of a variety of styles could be used to make dolls for the children in Homeless Shelters or shelters for abused women and their kids. Perhaps you could use your sewing talents with some women you know to do this very thing!

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Jyn Erso Rogue One Costume

Star Wars: Rogue One Female Costume For Jyn Erso

A perfect costume for the ladies who are fans of Star Wars! Dress as the ultimate rebel, Jyn Erso either for Halloween, your next ComicCon or any CosPlay event that you plan to attend. Ladies, get in touch with your inner roguish self while wearing this fun costume. Prepare to give the Empire a run for their money!

I’m sure you know the story of this character so, hone in on all of those skills that Jyn has on her Imperial rap sheet. You know…she is good at forgery, doesn’t mind assaulting her enemies and has been known to possess stolen goods from time to time. You will find that you can be the most wanted candidate in the room to try and steal those plans for the Death Star.

jyn erso costume
Star Wars: Rogue One Adult Women’s Deluxe Jyn Erso Costume

Deluxe Costume Includes:

  • Jacket with attached shirt front (has velcro closure in back)
  • pants (elastized waist for comfort)
  • belt (fastens at the waist and thigh)

This Jyn Erso costume has all of the basics for you to dress as your newest favorite Star Wars character. You can add your own boots and gloves, if you like.

One feature that you should be aware of is that the holster is a painted on design. I think that makes for a more comfortable wearing adventure but it will detract if you want a more authentic look for your costume. It is still a good start for your character costume and you can always add a real holster and Jyn Erso gun when they become available in the future. I haven’t found any yet but as of the writing of this post, the movie is a fairly new release and new merchandise is coming out every day.

American Girl Doll Spring Clothing Gift Ideas

American Girl Doll Spring Clothing Gift Ideas

Spring Clothes For 18 Inch Dolls

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Are you looking for American Girl Doll clothes that are great for Spring? You have landed in a good spot, if you are. With three Granddaughters to buy for, I went in search of some nice doll clothing that fit the 18 inch dolls like the American Girl dolls. There are some really cute outfits for these wonderful dolls, so let’s see what the fashions are for this Spring…shall we?

kaya american girl doll Every little girl has her favorite character doll from American Girl and some of us “big” little girls do too. The image to the left is a photo of my very own American Girl Doll. Her name is Kaya and she represents the Native American culture. I don’t know if I will find a Spring outfit for her that stays with her culture, but you can be sure that I will be looking.

Jeans: American Girl Doll Clothes

I think this little set is perfect for us and our American Girl Doll clothing this spring. A sweet little white top decorated with pink and blue butterflies tops a pair of jeans with the same butterfly motif. There is even lace on the hem of the pants. This set only has the two pieces included. You could also get a pair of Pale Pink Doll Sneakers to go with them if you like. The sneakers are sold on Amazon, too.

jeans american girl doll clothes
Jeans Set For American Girl Doll Clothes

About American Girl Dolls

The clothing that I am always on the look out for are for the 18 inch American Girl dolls. The company makes a few different lines in the 18 inch dolls. Of course little girls like to dress up their dolls no matter which line they belong to. The different 18 inch dolls lines are:

Historical Character:
Addy (a black girl from the Civil War Era)
Josefina (a girl from New Mexico in 1824)
Julie & Ivy (best friends in 1974)
Kaya (A Native American Girl from the Nez Perce in 1764)
Kit & Ruthie (best friends in 1934)
Marie-Grace & Cecile (best friends in New Orleans in 1853)
Molly & Emily (best friends in 1944)
Rebecca (a Russian-Jewish girl from 1914)

My American Girl
This line allows a little girl to have the doll made to her specifications. She can choose the skin tone, color of hair, and color of eyes.

Girl Of The Year
2011 brought us Kanani a little Hawaiian Girl and in 2012 the doll of the year was McKenna. Saige was selected as the 2013 doll. For 2014 we are introduced to Isabelle who loves to dance and design her own clothing.

Spring Doll Dress

Made by Carpatina LLC for the 18 inch dolls including American Girl, this little dress was inspired from clothing worn by little girls in the 1950s. The short sleeve dress is adorned with peach and black polka dots and a sweet peach ribbon. Satin lined with a double layer tulle underskirt. The dress is offered below. No shoes are included, however Amazon does offer a pair of White Patent Leather shoes that would look so cute with this little dress.

polka dot dress American girl doll
Vintage Polka Dot Dress – Fits American Girl Dolls

Sweater Set Is Nice For Spring

There are several cute little sweaters and sweater sets to be found. The great thing about them is that usually they come with two or three pieces which adds to the wardrobe with pieces that can be worn with other things. Of course the doll can always slip on a sweater with just about any outfit she has on when the days are cool and she needs something to keep her little arms warm. I think it is a great thing to have for any collection of American Girl Doll clothes.

When looking for clothing for your American Girl Doll, look for ones that fit the 18 inch dolls. Madame Alexander clothing fits the AG dolls and vice versa.

Doll Pajamas

Dress your doll for bed in the Spring or any season from a wonderful selection of Doll Pajamas! There are so many really cute ideas for bedtime no matter which season of the year we are in.

Raincoat For Dolls

A cute little red raincoat with matching umbrella and boots is a must have for doll clothing for Spring. What a fun wardrobe accessory on a rainy day! If red is not your choice of color, you can find other colors, too.

raincoat for American Girl Dolls
Red Raincoat with Belt and Hat

As you can see there are some really fun selections to be found when it comes to American Girl Doll clothes for Spring. I only just gave a you few samples of what can be found. What I have found with my granddaughters is that they really like to be able to dress their dolls in the same type of clothing that they will be wearing for the day or evening. Having at least one outfit that goes with the season of the year just enhances their playtime. I think it is really fun to see how my oldest granddaughter mixes and matches the pieces of clothing to come up with some really spectacular looks. So, in my opinion, by providing her with different types of doll clothing I am encouraging her to use her imagination and helping her develop her creative skills while she plays with her doll.

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Competitive Swimmer Gift Ideas

Competitive Swimmer Gift Ideas

Best Ideas For Girls Who Swim For Sport

competitive swimmer

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Our oldest little grand-daughter has started swimming competitively so I have been looking at gift ideas that will help her in her new sport and take a little stress off of Mom when it comes to buying the swimwear that our little swimmer needs. It can get a little expensive but it is such a wonderful sport for her to be involved in. Whether she continues with swimming in competitions or not, the activity is a very healthy one and she can do it for the rest of her life. I guess you could say, “Grandma approves of her choice” and I am so very proud of her! Anyway, back to the suggestion at hand. Swimsuits that are best for wearing for competition or even practice are different than just a plain old swimsuit.

Materials or Fabrics to look for in a competition style swimsuit

The materials or fabrics that are used for competitive swimming are ones that are made to reduce drag in the water. They hug the skin tightly making them feel almost like a second skin. Normal swimsuits start to sag away from the body after they absorb the water and this causes a slowness in the swimming. They cause a resistance or drag that isn’t so great if speed is what you are looking for. Normal suits could be worn over the top of a competition suit if you wanted to work on endurance in the water over speed. So, what are the fabrics you should look for?


Lycra is the industry standard providing excellent stretch and a comfortable fit. Suits made with lycra which is also sometimes referred to as spandex are good for the swim meet competition. They do not last as long as suits made with other materials, however. The lycra suits are best purchased with the thought that it will be the suit that she swims in at the swim meets and she will have a different suit to practice and train in. An example of a lycra suit is:

Speedo Big Girls’ Youth Superpro


An alternative to an expensive lycra suit is one that is made from polyester fibers. These suits last longer and are good for practice and training sessions. They are typically not as soft as a lycra suit and are not as stretchy. They can be used in competition if you want to; there is nothing wrong with making that choice. If you have the option of buying an expensive one for the meets and a lesser costing one for practice, the polyester is the best choice for practice and a suit that will be used often. An example of a polyester suit is:

competitive swimsuit girls
Tyr Sport Girl’s Suit


Personally, I wouldn’t get a nylon suit for competitive swimming. Sure, they are lightweight and they do not absorb the water as quickly as other materials. The thing is that they do not have the elasticity of the other types of suits which could begin to cause a bit of a drag when swimming because they are looser. The colors do not hold well with the nylon suits, either. Swimming very much with a nylon suit and the colors will fade quickly. These types of suits are great for recreational swimming but not, in my humble opinion, of the quality that a competitive swimmer will need.

So, now you know what to look for when your little girl decides that she wants to join the swim team. My suggestion is to start with a polyester blend suit because they are the least expensive when it comes to athletic swimsuits. If she sticks with it and shows promise, then consider splurging for a lycra swimsuit for her to wear during the competitions.

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American Girl Doll Winter Clothes

American Girl Doll Winter Clothes

American Girl Doll Clothing For The Winter Months

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

american girl fleece jacket Have you been searching for winter clothes for American Girl dolls? Well, you have landed in a good place to find some delightful selections! Because our little girls love their American Girl Dolls and they want them to be dressed in more than one outfit, we are always on the look out for clothing that will fit our 18 inch dolls.

I think it is fun to have at least one outfit for each season of the year; so, that is why I am addressing the winter clothing available for the American Girl dolls in this article. They make wonderful holiday gifts and birthday gifts for the little girls in our lives.

Image Credit: Hot Pink Fleece Jacket For American Girl Doll product page.

Winter calls for a coat doesn’t every doll need one?

Most little girls want to take their American Girl Doll with them when they are out and about. Having a winter coat as a choice in her American Girl doll clothing makes some sense. I remember when one of my daughters was small, I had to have an argument with her each time we started to leave the house in the winter. She did not want to put on a coat. If I had only had a winter coat for her doll, she might have been easier to convince. I have selected two coats for you to look at, but there are many others available.

winter clothes coat
Winter Doll Clothes 4 Pc set

winter doll coat
Doll Dress Coat fits American Girls Dolls, 4 Pc set

Winter Boots

You might know that if you can find a winter coat for your American Girl doll, then winter boots are available too! There are so many cute styles and colors to choose from. I’m sure you can find a pair that matches or at least coordinates with her coat if the coat did not come with a pair. Besides, a girl (er doll) can never have too many pairs of boots and shoes!

doll winter boots
Black Fur Button Boots for American Girl Dolls and Most 18 Inch Dolls

A Wardrobe For Your Doll Clothing

Teaching our little girls to take care of their own clothing can be assisted by making sure that they always properly hang up the clothes that their doll isn’t wearing at the moment. This little wardrobe is perfect to store 18 inch doll clothing in.

doll wardrobe
KidKraft Littile Doll Armoire

Be Sure The Size Fits: When shopping for winter clothes for an American Girl Doll, make sure it will fit an 18 inch doll.

Winter Pajamas

A nice thought would be to have a set of winter pajamas as a part of the clothing for your American Girl doll, or should I say your little doll? Sometimes I think us Grandmas and Moms have just as much fun with these doll clothes as our little ones do. There are several options for winter style PJs for your 18 inch doll clothing. I have selected one for you to consider.

doll pajamas
18 Inch Doll Clothes Pajama Set & Doll Slippers

Doll Sweaters For Winter

Oh my goodness aren’t these little winter sweaters just adorable? Perfect to wear with a skirt or pants! I can not imagine knitting these small little doll sweaters! You can find other options for your American Girl doll. I just wanted to showcase one that I thought was cute. Some will come with other clothing as a set which makes it fun to mix and match with other clothes already in the wardrobe.

doll sweater
Irish Cable Knit Doll Sweater

A Company That Continues To Grow

Back in 1986 when the company first began about the only way you could get one of the dolls was through their catalog sales department and the line was limited to Historical dolls which happen to represent 9 year old girls from different eras of history.

Eventually a magazine dedicated to the dolls and their stories was published and then the website was developed so that customers could order the dolls online.

In 2010 the first retail stores began to open around the country. My grand-daughter just visited the Chicago store and she thought it was pretty awesome. I wish you could have heard her bubbling with excitement as she told me all that she saw. The stores have a hospital for any dolls that may have sustained an injury during playtime. There is a beauty salon for girls to take their doll in for fixing up their hair (especially nice if the hair has been mussed from little hands). Of course there are dolls, clothing and accessories to be found, too. Oh, there is also a restaurant for a girl and her doll to dine in, too.

Mattel (who owns the company) has been progressive in growing the company, I think.

Doll Clothing For Winter

fits your American Girl Doll

Oh there are so many cute little winter outfits being made to fit the American Girl doll. Our little girls will have some treasured fun dressing their doll in an outfit to keep them warm. Here is one of my favorites.

winter doll clothes
Wild Cat – Faux fur vest and boots matched with a chocolate pants and ivory blouse

Clothes For American Girl Dolls: Winter Choices

After having invested more than just a few dollars in the American Girl Dolls themselves, it is nice to know that there are such varieties available to dress them in. I am really glad that we do have options to purchase cute American Girl doll clothes made by seamstresses who sell them individually. You do not have to only purchase from the Doll company. I think that if you shop around a little you will find that these handmade doll clothes are less expensive which means you can have more than one outfit for your little girl’s doll.

Thank you so much for stopping by today to view the winter clothes for American Girl dolls that I have found. I hope you enjoyed your visit! Please do feel free to leave a comment. Do you plan to shop for doll clothing for a gift? Let me know which outfit you liked the best.

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