Tag Archives: spring activities

Gardening: The Hottest Hobby Around

As many continue to follow stay at home orders, nurseries and greenhouses are reporting a huge uptick in sales. It seems that gardening has become a very popular hobby.

Aside from enjoying beautiful blooms, or the satisfaction that comes from growing your own veggies and fruits, gardening also has both physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages.

The process of planning, creating, and planting gardens gives your brain stimulation and helps you forget about the stress you may have in your life. Gardening connects us to nature and allows us to focus on the entire process. Your finished product then continues to give back two-fold: It provides an ongoing outlet for stress relief as you maintain it, and the end result is a soothing environment that you can enjoy and decompress in for the entire season.

The physical aspects you gain from gardening have tremendous health benefits. To begin with, gardening releases serotonin and dopamine in our brains, otherwise known as the “feel good” chemicals.  A 2007 study showed that working with soil just makes us happier. A bacterium in soil called Mycobacterium vaccae triggers serotonin release, which in turn lifts mood and reduces anxiety. The human body also benefits from the vitamin D we get from the sun and the fresh air we inhale. These elements give you energy, build immunity, cleanse your senses, and help you sleep better.  Plus… you’ll find that you eat more fruits and vegetables because you have them right on hand. It’s surprising how much more delicious they really are when picked fresh!

The best thing about gardening is that you can have one regardless of where you live. Here are some popular methods for creating your very own garden getaway.

Apartment or Condo Living: You don’t have to have a huge back yard or acres of farmland to surround yourself with nature. Urban patio gardens, for instance, come to life with hanging planters, raised beds, and oversized pots. You can grow just about anything from flowers to vegetables in these receptacles so don’t be afraid to experiment

Small City Lots: If space is an issue, consider a leveled garden and using window boxes to maximize your growing area. You’d be surprised at how many varieties of botanicals, vegetables, and herbs don’t need a lot of room to flourish. Did you know you can turn an old dresser into a beautiful vertical garden? It’s the perfect way to repurpose an unwanted piece of furniture.

Subdivision Spaces: If you live in a subdivision, there is a good chance you have a Home Owners Association that has some guidelines you’ll have to follow. Find out what those are before you start planting because it’s common for HOA’s to limit gardening spaces to side or back yards only. With a little creativity however, that’s plenty of room to grow your garden paradise.

Wide Open Spaces: If you’re fortunate enough to have a larger property where the sky’s the limit you’ve got yourself a gardener’s paradise. Containers, levels, flower beds, hanging baskets, and more can all be worked into your creation. The possibilities are endless so use your imagination. Let both ideas you find online and your local garden center provide inspiration and don’t be afraid to try different things.

The weather is getting warmer so get out your gloves, shovels, and fertilizer and join the growing population of home gardeners. Your new space will be the perfect place to have your morning coffee or evening cocktail, spend family time, and eventually start entertaining again! It’s also the ideal place to just lounge in your pajamas!

 

Happy gardening!

 

We want to see your garden creations! Post your pictures here or visit our Facebook page and let’s see how you enjoy paradise!

 

 

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
home-2406416_640

At Home Spring Activities for the Whole Family

With the weather getting warmer and spring knocking on the back door, it’s time to brush off the winter dust and embrace spring. With what’s currently going on with the Corona Virus, some people are a little nervous about doing things that involve large groups of people, but still want to take in the warmer weather and embrace spring. We’ve got some great ideas on just how to do that without straying too far from home.

blog animals-avian-beaks-birdhouse-1156507Watch the Birds. During March and April, the bird migration season is in full swing. Hundreds of species that spend their winters in warm climates make their annual trips north to breed and spend their summers. They will be hungry from their long flights, so a great way to see a wide array of feathered friends is to set up bird feeding stations. Orioles, Hummingbirds, and songbirds all like different food, so make sure you have enough for everybody. Here is a great resource to learn about different feeding options and how to attract birds to your backyard. You might want to pick up a birders guide as well. The whole family can help identify your visitors and learn a lot along the way.

young-tomato-5808Plan a Garden. Nothing is better than veggies straight from the garden. Not only do they taste so much better than store-bought produce, but the satisfaction from planting, maintaining, and reaping the fruits of your labor are second to none. Sit down with the family and decide what you want to plant and who will be responsible for the various tasks like weeding and watering as the garden evolves. You can get your space ready and start seeds now so that when the weather is warm enough, you are ready to get planting. This website offers hundreds of tips and pointers for starting, planting and caring for your garden.

SM BearCheeks_IGDo Some Spring Cleaning. When the whole family gets involved, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore. You can even do it in your pajamas! Turn on some fun music, assign everyone a task, and go to town. There’s a great chance that you’ll unearth some forgotten treasures and memories in the process. You can also teach kids lessons about giving back to others. Share with them that there are a lot of people who don’t have as much as they do, and how wonderful it can be to donate unused and unwanted items to people who can use them. Have fun with it, teach life lessons, and get organized all at the same time!

family-1454783_640Take a Walk. Ok, so technically this isn’t an ‘at home’ activity but there are likely places in, and around, your neighborhood where you don’t have to deal with crowds but can still get outside, enjoy the weather, get some exercise, and take in nature. Do an internet search for local hiking or walking trails, or large parks where you can be out in the open and enjoy the great outdoors without the crowds.

paint-1167786_640Create Outdoor Art. Brighten your outdoor living space with décor created by your family. There is so much you can do like painting rocks, making patio pavers, and creating flower planters. Look on Pinterest. You’ll find ideas that you never even thought of. And once you’re done, you’ll have one-of-a-kind outdoor artwork for the whole neighborhood to envy!

We’re confident that leaders will be able to control and eliminate the current health scare our country is facing. The most important thing to remember is to practice good hygiene and make wise decisions. If staying home to be safe is one of the things you choose to do, at least these ideas will help make it much more fun. Happy Spring!

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
7 Best Earth Day Seed Starters

Earth Day: 7 Easy Indoor Seed Starter Projects

Earth Day is coming up this Sunday, April 22nd. Celebrate Mother Earth by planning a summer garden with your family. Buying fully grown plants is expensive and unnecessary. Seeds are more affordable and sprouting them indoors gives them a better chance of surviving outdoors.

Sprouting the seeds indoors protects the seeds from being eaten by birds and keeps the sweet sprouts from being devoured by insects. Plan your summer garden this spring with these simple upcycled indoor seed starter projects. These fun ideas turn everyday trash into helpful gardening tools. No green thumb required!

Queen Bee from The Cat's Pajamas

We adore this ‘Queen Bee‘ PJ set from The Cat’s Pajamas!

Simple Upcycled Seed Starters for Earth Day

Earth Day Seed Starter Milk Jug Greenhouse

1. Milk Jug Greenhouses. Got plastic? Upcycle your plastic milk jugs by cutting off the tops and using the base as a container to grow plants. If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can reuse the entire jug by turning it into a self-contained miniature greenhouse. In this cool tutorial from Preparedness Mama, you learn how to create a sprouting container that keeps the soil moist so you can grow your delicate seedlings in direct sunlight. Depending on the type of seed you’re growing, your plants will sprout in three days and will be ready for your garden in just two weeks. Learn how on preparednessmama.com

Earth Day Seed Starters Mason Jars

2. Mason Jar Seed Starters. It’s not a ‘DIY’ list unless there’s a project involving mason jars, amiright? The great thing about this seed starter project from Miser Mom is that depending on how many jars you save, you can create so many seedlings at once! If you wrap a ribbon around the top of the jars, these also make great gifts. A mason jar sprout is a thoughtful way to encourage your neighbors to start their own summer gardens. Learn how on miser-mom.blogspot.com

Earth Day Seed Starter Chinese Takeout

3. Takeout Container Seed Pods. Turn cardboard Chinese takeout containers into beautiful and unique ‘seed pods’ courtesy of this tutorial from instructables. Most of these containers are water-resistant to keep saucy food from leaking. This means that they won’t leave water stains on your window sills as you move them around the house, chasing sunlight. When it’s time to transplant, the sides easily fold down, making it nearly impossible to damage the roots unlike traditional flower pots that require a bit of shaking. Learn how on instructables.com

Earth Day Projects Milk Carton Seed Starter

4. Egg Carton Seed Starters. This is probably the most popular method of starting seeds at home. You can purchase planters specifically designed for starting seeds at your local home improvement store. You can grow seeds in these planters just as you would a traditional pot, but you can plant the entire container when it comes time to transplant. The containers are designed to biodegrade. Traditional egg cartons are also biodegradable. You can start the seeds in each slot, then cut apart the container and bury it whole when you’re ready to transfer the contents to your garden. Learn how on motherearthnews.com

Earth Day Projects Juice Seed Starter

5. Juice Carton Seed Starters. Cardboard juice cartons (or milk cartons) are perfect for starting a garden on your windowsill. They’re deep enough that you can grow the seedlings to a hearty size before transplanting and wide enough that you can fit multiple plants in each container. This image was found on Pinterest.

Earth Day Projects Seed Starter from Newspaper

6. Newspaper Seed Starter. Doesn’t get any easier than this! If you have an old newspaper on hand, you can learn to fold the paper into a container, origami style. As with egg cartons, the newspaper container and your sprouted plants can be placed directly into the ground, avoiding ‘transplant shock.’ Learn how to turn an old newspaper into a beautiful planter on HGTV.com

Earth Day Projects Loofah Seed Starter

7. Loofah Sponge Seed Starter. We saved the best for last! This is a decidedly unique way to recycle an old loofah sponge. Traditional loofah sponges are made of natural materials that will break down and feed your plant after you transplant the sprout. The container is ideal for encouraging root growth. You might argue that loofahs actually make better seed starters than exfoliants! Learn how to upcycle your loofa on thymesquaregarden.blogspot.com

For more ideas for springtime family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Activities That Will Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy

Puppy Love: Keep Your Bestie Happy and Healthy with These Activities

Spring has sprung! (Unless you’re living in the Northeast… over here spring comes and goes as it pleases.) The blustery winter weather is becoming less severe and warmer spring days are more frequent. This is great news for you and your dog, as the warmer weather opens up a slew of activities for you to enjoy!

Your pup loved cuddling with you on the couch in matching pajamas during the long winter months, but dogs crave companionship, entertainment, and mental stimulation just like people do. Make time for activities that will facilitate exercise, bonding, and learning for a happy, healthy dog. Your best friend will reward your effort with unconditional love — but we have a feeling that’s already on the table.

Fun Activities for You and Your Dog

We’re dog lovers and we adore this Cool Cowboy Dog Flannel Set from PJ Salvage!

7 Tail-Wagging Activities to Keep Your Dog Healthy

1. Choose a different path. Do you ever get bored with your daily walk route? Chances are, your pup does too. Mix it up and explore a different part of your neighborhood. Or if you go to the same park every morning, try a new one. Plan to move slowly so your dog can soak up all the new sights, sounds, and smells. Not instinctively knowing what turns you’re going to take will be far more entertaining and mentally stimulating. Despite the slow pace, don’t be surprised if your dog is more worn out than usual, from processing all the new information!

2. Go for a hike. Instead of your everyday walk route, mix it up and hit a trail with your dog. Maybe your nearest trailhead or national park is 15 minutes away, or maybe it’s a day trip. A car ride and picnic lunch will just be another super exciting bonus for your pup. Be sure to bring a towel in case your dog happens upon a stream and decides to go for a dip! The best part of a good hike is the rewarding view from the top, and who better to share it with than your best friend?

3. Ultimate Fetch. Do you have a dog who loves to chase a tennis ball? These handheld tennis ball launchers give you the ability to throw a ball up to 85 feet, effortlessly! This is perfect for a high-energy breed who wears you out when you’re playing. Bring a water dish, even if it’s cold out, so your buddy doesn’t dehydrate. A dozen throws with this gadget and your pup will be ready for a nap!

4. Tracking. If you enjoy hiking or taking long walks in the woods, this might be the perfect hobby for you and your dog to share. Tracking gives your dog a “job” during your walks and provides them with a challenge, something most dogs enjoy immensely. There are many books that can teach you how to train your dog to track. This is an activity that will be fascinating and fun for both of you!

Outdoor Activities for You and Your Dog this Spring

Keep your best bud warm in this super cute dog hoodie from Big Feet!

5. Agility Training. If your dog is on the high-energy side, consider agility training. Not only will it burn energy, it will teach your active breed to listen and focus. If you’re competitive, there are many regional competitions your dog can participate in if your dog shows promise. A quick search online will yield agility training classes in your area. If classes aren’t an option, there are many online videos that will teach you how to train your pup at home!

6. Puzzle Toys. Puzzle toys are often used to distract dogs that experience anxiety while their owners are at work. Puzzles are also used to distribute meals to a dog that eats too quickly. Even if your dog doesn’t experience these issues, puzzle toys are a blast! You can use them indoors or outdoors (if you want to keep a certain someone from being under foot at a BBQ). They often come with different difficulty levels and can be purchased at your local pet supply store or online. If buying in store, talk to a customer service representative who will help you determine your dog’s skill.

7. Frisbee. Believe it or not, you can join versions of ‘ultimate frisbee’ teams with your dog in some regions of the US! Even without the team, if your dog enjoys fetch she’ll love the added challenge of the frisbee. A frisbee takes more focus for you to throw and requires more skill for your dog to catch. Your pup will have to judge the arc of the frisbee’s path and the speed of descent. A frisbee isn’t just another thing to fetch, it’s an extra mental workout for your dog!

For more ideas for how to have fun with your buddy this spring, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest