Monthly Archive for "March 2011"

Parenting Vivian | 31 Mar 2011

Internet Parental Controls – 3 Reasons Why They Are Essential to Keep Your Child Safe From Predators

Would you let your child wander around unsupervised in an adult bookstore? Without the proper internet parental controls in place, this is what letting your child use the internet can be like. Here are three reasons that proper internet parental controls are essential to your child’s safety on the internet.

Reason 1: Pornography is pervasive on the internet-There are currently over 4.2 million pornographic websites on the internet. That means 1 out of every ten websites contains objectionable sexual material. This industry needs to hook new customers & targets them at an early age. Over 26 childrens character’s names have been used to link to pornographic sites. Furthermore, studies have shown that viewing pornography stimulates the same parts of the brain as crack cocaine does. Once someone is addicted to viewing pornographic images, breaking the pattern can be very difficult to achieve. Internet parental controls can block your babies from this constant barrage of objectionable sexual material & keep them safe from this industry.

Reason 2: Sexual predators target kids & teens through the internet-Here are some sobering statistics:

  • 1 out of every 5 kids ages 10-17 have been sexually solicited over the internet.
  • 70% of unsolicited sexual advances have been directed at children using the internet
  • Over a million & a half Americans a year are stalked online. Out of that total, 4 out of every 5 are female.

And how often have you seen a story on the news where some pervert tried to set up a meeting with a teen or pre-teen girl only to find out that they were set up in an internet sting by the police? Let’s face it, setting up the proper internet parental controls is crucial to your child’s safety!

Reason 3: Pornography & unwanted sexual advances aren’t the only hazards on the internet- your child can also be exposed to graphic violence, gambling sites, religious cults, & hate groups on the internet. Without the proper internet parental controls in place, someone else can be placing objectionable material & ideas that do not fit in with your values at your child’s fingertips.

The internet is an invaluable resource that can help you learn, have fun, & seek out new information, but not everybody on the internet shares your values. Your kids are relying on you to keep them safe & protect them from people who do not share your values. Making sure you have the proper internet parental controls in place will keep them safe while they are on the internet.

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 31 Mar 2011

When Would Be the Best Season For Green Dollhouse Furniture? This and More

Green Furniture

Have you ever thought of using green for your dollhouse furniture? A great reason for choosing green dollhouse furniture is that it adds variety and mixture that not only stands out, but helps other pieces and designs look unique. There are more green furniture options than you might think and they come in a variety of sets, rooms, and designs.

Understanding Dollhouse Scales: Inch Scale

Dollhouse scales tell you that the you are buying the right sized furniture for your dollhouse. All items at Dollhouse City are on this 1 inch scale unless the title of the item tells you it is on a ?or ?inch scale.

Most dollhouse furniture, like most dollhouses, are built on a 1 inch scale (also known as 1:12 scale). Every inch of dollhouse furniture is equivalent to twelve inches of real furniture. For example, a 6 inch dollhouse sofa represents a 6 foot real sofa. In other scales, such as half inch and quarter inch, less than an inch represents a foot of real furniture.

Other scales include the half inch (1:24) and quarter inch (1:48) scales. There are other scales, but they are less popular and common

Dining Room

Dining rooms will help to make your dollhouse look extremely elegant-and/or extremely fun The majority of dining room sets are intended to look graceful and stylish; however, hand-painted or country-ish dining rooms give you another great option. Dining rooms are a perfect place for play, whether kids are having make-believe guests over for supper, or you are showcasing a quaint tea set


Looking for a nontraditional design for your dollhouse furniture? Choosing a wire material means that the craftsman has greater flexibility to do what normal wood could not. Wire lends itself so easily to miniature design that you will notice greater detail and miniature replication. You will see this material in most interlaced dollhouse furniture designs.


Instead of a natural wood finish, if you choose black dollhouse furniture, it will pop out more. Not only does black furniture attract the eye, but most pieces have accented hand painted designs. This is a great color for a more nontraditional or cultural design for your dollhouse.

Living Room

No matter how big or small your dollhouse is, a living room is an essential area to have. Because there are so many fabrics, material types, and styles, there is a greater variety of living room sets than almost any other dollhouse room. Be sure to look at several different options, because this room will go a long way toward showcasing the style of your dollhouse


There is a huge range of dollhouse kitchen sets available, from a few simple appliances to deluxe, everything-included kitchens. A table and chairs are important to have in your kitchen if your dollhouse will not have a dining room. Some of the most fantastic dollhouse accessories belong in the kitchen (such as cookie tins for the cabinets and a gallon of milk for the fridge), so make sure you have room to exhibit them

Babies-Toddler Vivian | 31 Mar 2011

Large Baby Gates – For Special Situations

Gates for babies are very essential for protecting your kid from getting into danger zones of your home. But there is a good probability that you do not find a baby gate that fits into the wider spaces of your house or stairs. There is no need to worry if such is the case as there is a wide range of wide gates available in the market. Most of the common barrier gates do not fit into the stairways that are wide. Though one can put up the fence model to block extra wide areas, these models are very flimsy to offer the required protection for wide hallways or stairs.

Large baby gates have been designed specially for wide hallways and stairs to offer maximum security. The wider gates have all the standard features of a normal one and have additional structural strength as add on feature that would provide maximum security. It is advisable not to fit the small gates that can be extended for fitting into wider places and fit wide one designed specially for this purpose. The normal gate which has the option of being extended can turn out to be very unsecured and flimsy. It is also wise not to invest on gate that might just fall apart when your active toddler leans or applies pressure on them.

When you are on the look out for baby gates that are wide ensure that you choose the perfect size that fits into the stairway for maximum protection. These gates can either be hardware mounted or pressure mounted. Gates that are pressure mounted are best for spaces between rooms, stairway bottoms and hallways. Whereas gates that are hardware mounted are best for the top of stairways as they are stable and give maximum protection.

While choosing a Large baby gate, ensure that they are made from excellent quality materials. The most secured models are the ones that have slats placed vertically with minimal spacing between them so as to prevent the child from being stuck. Make sure that the model is designed in such way so as to enable convenient walking. Also check if the latch system enables smooth and easy release. These gates must have easy installation and must confirm with all the safety standards.

Gardening Vivian | 31 Mar 2011

Hydroponics Systems

If you are interested to grow your own plants in your home, use hydroponics. Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without soil. It is highly productive, conservative of water and land, and protective of the environment. This requires only basic agricultural skills and is very convenient for us, plant lovers who do not have the luxury of having much backyard space for gardening.

Starting your own hydroponics system at home is not difficult. Just learn the basics – what you need, where to look for it and gather the essentials. What you need to know mainly revolves around the hydroponics system you would want to use and install, a good lighting system, starter cubes, a nutrient solution to feed the plants, and, of course, the seeds. Here is some information to get you started in growing your own plants at home.

First, decide what to plant. Seeds are available in all grow shops and many stores near you. They even have them in some grocery and convenient stores, in plastic packages. You can buy grow kits that include in them seeds to plant in your system and guides with how-to’s and the basics. You can also research about which plants to grow and which of them grow faster in hydroponics systems. Tomatoes and lettuce are the favorites. The following are among the fastest growing hydroponics plants: spinach, with 14 to 20 days; Swiss chard, with six to seven days; turnips, mint and spearmint and most vegetables.

Another thing you should need to know about is starter cubes. Starter cubes are made of an inert material, which is a material that doesn’t provide anything to the plant other than as a support for the plant and its roots. The material retains some water but doesn’t supply any nutrient. In hydroponics, nutrients are supplied through the water. There are basically four kinds of starter cubes: Rockwool, Oasis cubes, Organo-Cubes and “peat pots”. The most commonly used are Rockwool, Organo-Cubes and Oasis cubes. These cubes retain water well but also retain enough air so that the medium doesn’t stay too wet, making them more favored than peat pots because the latter retain too much water and tend to “drown” the plants.

All hydroponic plants require a nutrient solution which is a mix of certain chemical elements to live introduced through the water in the system. This is a mixture essential nutrients that are divided into two categories: macronutrients, or nutrients plants need in large amounts; and micronutrients; nutrients plants need in small amounts. Macronutrients include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Micronutrients include iron, copper, zinc, nickel, manganese, molybdenum, boron, and chlorine. Solutions may vary in strength depending on the type of plants and the stages of growth the plants are in. Most nutrient solutions are sold in mixing parts with a specific formula and instructions for use in the different phases of plant growth.

Your lighting system: Plants need the proper lighting to thrive in your hydroponics system. The lighting should mimic the optimum lighting in the habitat of the plant you would like to grow. The three basic types of lights used in artificial lighting are incandescent, fluorescent, or high intensity discharge lights. Fluorescent lights are affordable and the type that can easily be found in stores. That is why it is also most preferred by home gardeners. The most effective for home growing are high intensity lights because they provide more heat that is what is usually needed for most plants, but they can be expensive. Some plants, though, can require lesser light and heat to grow. You can use incandescent light for these types because incandescent light emit lower heat that is perfect for plants that need indirect or grow under a shade.

Gardening Vivian | 30 Mar 2011

Is Your Greenhouse Eco-Friendly?

Greenhouses are a great way for even the home gardener to grow top quality and nutritious vegetables and fruits for many months of the year. One of the more popular and eco-friendly trends in gardening is to become an organic or natural gardener. If you grow vegetables or fruits in your greenhouse, you may want to make your greenhouse eco-friendly.

Growing your own food is a good way to reduce your energy consumption. Think of this – the produce you buy at a grocery store may have been grown in fields, or even a greenhouse thousands of miles away. It has to be trucked to your store, or even flown in – using energy. The store must keep it cool, so that takes more energy, and your trip to the store takes even more energy! So, you can save a lot of energy by growing your own foodstuffs.

If you plan to use your greenhouse in the cooler months, it will require more energy in the form of heating and additional light. You can’t cut down on either and expect to grow healthy plants. However, you can save on your utility bills by increasing insulation in cool months and using lower energy supplemental lighting. Just adding a layer of bubble wrap at night can reduce the heating needs.

Another way to stop heat loss is to keep the glass clean so maximum sunlight can enter the greenhouse during the day. If your greenhouse has a fiberglass roof, make sure any moss or algae is scrubbed off and it is kept clean. Seal any cracks and make sure the door fits well. If you have poly sheeting on the walls, put a second layer inside on the studs so there is an air space to prevent heat loss.

Plants within the greenhouse need watering, and since they can’t get rainwater directly, set up a rainwater collection from your roof. You can fix simple gutters in place with downpipes that feed into a storage tank right inside the greenhouse. Rainwater is much better to use than tap water, since it does not contain chlorine.

Within the greenhouse, you may still have pest or disease issues. One of the best ways to prevent disease is to pay attention to the ventilation. Plants need warmth, but they also need some ventilation. In warm or hot months, you may need to open all the vents – top and side – to control heat buildup. Even in cool months, you should open the roof ventilator about an inch at midday for a few hours to allow air change. Stagnant humid and cold air is the main cause of grey mold and other diseases.

Use good quality sterilized soil in your greenhouse pots or beds. This will ensure it is pest and disease free. If you are using your own compost, you can sterilize it by baking it at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes. Alternatively, solar sterilizing can be done outside, and you can find directions for this on the internet. The soil within a greenhouse should be kept on the dry side in cool months, since cold wet soil encourages root rot.

So why not have a look at your greenhouse this year, and see what changes you can introduce to make it greener. Your greenhouse will be much more eco-friendly as you make these adjustments, and you will enjoy healthy nutritious foods with less energy consumption.

Pregnancy Vivian | 30 Mar 2011

Fabulous Handmade Baby Shower Invitations Made Easy!

Baby shower invitations are one of the most important pieces of planning for a baby shower. Why you might ask? Well, the baby shower invitation is the first impression that your guests will have of the event. It is therefore the first chance you have to set the tone and theme for your wonderful baby shower. By carefully planning ahead and making a handmade baby shower invitation you can really wow your guests before they ever get to your doorstep. By using simple materials your probably already have or purchasing a few extra things you can easily make a handmade baby shower invitation.

The theme is the most important guiding principle in making your baby shower invitation. You will want to carefully consider ways to pull the theme into the invitation. Be it through the graphics, colors, or wording of the invitation you want to be sure to use your theme.

This can be a very easy process and by following some of the ideas below to spark your imagination you should be off and making your own unique and handmade baby shower invitation in no time.

Handmade Paper – It is not very difficult to make your own paper at home or even buy handmade paper at your local craft store. This combined with a few of the other techniques discussed below can really make for a handmade baby shower invitation that has quality written all over it. Honestly there is nothing quite like the touch and feel of handmade pieces of paper. When your recipients of these invitations open and read the invitations they will be delighted with the sensation of handmade paper. These types of papers will work well with stamps, calligraphy and other handmade baby shower invitation techniques.

Stamps – More and more people are getting into stamping and scrap booking. The supplies and techniques that are available in these fields is growing exponentially. It is really a lot of fun and can be a wonderful way to enjoy your hobby while make a handmade baby shower invitation. So simply go to your local craft store and pick up some fun stamps, pens, and even embossing powder and get started making your invitation. Try to find stamps that fit with your theme. A very fun theme can be baby building blocks and there are also many stamps that you can use to make an invitation with baby building blocks or Alphabet blocks.

Stickers – Stickers can be another fun way to make a handmade baby shower invitation. You can easily buy stickers from your local craft store that will fit well into your theme. Pick carefully and use high quality products. You might also want to think about how you can integrate handmade papers, stamps and stickers to make a really unique handmade invitation.

Wax Seals – Wax seals with an initial can be a lot of fun to add a quality finishing touch to your handmade invitation. You simply close and seal the envelope closed and then melt a little bit of wax on to the outside of the envelope. Then press a seal with your initials or family crest into the hot wax. This is a very nice finishing touch to a handmade baby shower invitation.

Computer – There has been a huge proliferation of computers in recent years and almost every household now has a computer. Many of the computers come with wonderful printing and page layout software. For example some popular titles are Printmaster, Microsoft Publisher, Print Artists and many others. If you do not have one of these programs they can easily be purchased for under $15.00 dollars and they are very easy to install and get up and running. The great advantage of doing a baby shower invitations this way is you can make each one unique and custom. You can add in the recipient’s names and even change the colors of each invitation to make them all individual and unique. Also with the templates that are often included with these types of programs it should be easy to find a template that will fit your purpose and theme. You can easily find a template that fits in with your theme and then make a few changes to customize it like changing colors or inserting different graphics.

These are only a few of the ideas that can be done in creating a handmade baby shower invitation. It might help to have your friends or close family member’s pitch in and help with making them or even gathering materials and ideas for the invitation. Just make sure you plan well ahead of time and leave yourself enough time to be creative and not under a lot of stress.

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 30 Mar 2011

Ship Model Jigs

You have selected the model that you want to build and decided how and where it will be displayed. You have collected the tools, plans and reference material you will need and created a secure work area for yourself. You are almost ready to begin.

Before the actual construction of the model starts, there is one more preparatory job to be carried out; the building of the jig. The jig’s task is to provide the model with a stable base during construction and to hold it still while the modeler carries out work on it. There are two types of jigs that you will find useful. The temporary jig and the permanent display stand.

The temporary jigs are either commercially available or the model builder can build his own. Commercially available jigs are devices such as the Fair-A-Frame used to ensure perfect alignment of the bulkheads to the false keel, a hull planking vise which holds the false keel allowing the builder plank the model on the stand, a timber tapering tool which acts similarly to the hull planking vice and the Keel Klamper which is also similar to the hull planking vise but with the feature of allowing the builder to rotate the model in many directions making the build much more easy. With anyone of these jigs, the model can remain on the jig during the compete construction.

To build your own jig, the base plate should be a sheet of chipboard about ? thick, somewhat longer and wider than the ship’s hull. Glue paper or plastic film on to the base, and draw on it the exact centerline of the ship and the precise location of the frames – later on you will appreciate these lines: you will be able to tell whether the bulkheads are exactly at right angles to the false keel by using a small plumb bob or a square. The supports for the stem and stern must be exactly 90 degrees to the base plate, to ensure that the keel, stern, and sternpost are exactly vertical. This again allows you to check whether the centre of the frames and the centre of the deck beam are exon the mid-ship plane by using a small plumb bob. The supports can be made of wood but angle iron is better. The model will remain on this building jig until the wales are fitted when the hull becomes quite rigid. At that stage the model can be removed for planking.

After planking, staining, painting and coppering underwater hull (if appropriate) it makes sense to fix the model on a permanent display stand. The base plate of this stand should be made of a high quality hardwood, as appropriate to the model. The choice of wood is of course a matter of taste but it should harmonize with the colouring of the ship model. The stand should not draw the attention of the viewer away from the model itself. As an example, oak, walnut or mahogany should only be used with the fairly dark planked ships of the 19th Century. To prevent the base plate suffering damage during further construction work, cover it with a sheet of thick plastic and secure the edges with tape.

There are three types of model display stands; cradles, pedestals, and blocks. Dioramas are also some times seen with slipways holding up the model.

Which ever way you choose to display your model, ensure that the stand is securely attached to the base board and the model itself. Gluing is good, screwing is better. The advantage of the cradle is that the models security and the builders peace of mind are ensured; the disadvantage is that in two places, the lines of the underwater hull are interrupted. Incidentally, the support surfaces of the cradle must be an exact fit for the hull. The advantage of the pedestal is that the hull form is shown off to its maximum effect; the disadvantage is that you have to drill a hole in the keel of the model. The pedestal should not be too tall – maybe 1 ? to 2 inches – again you don’t want to distract from the ship model itself.

There are a number of other jigs that you will find helpful. For planking of the deck, it is useful to create a cutting template so that all of the lengths are equal and an overlay pattern so that the toenails are properly lined up. More on this topic later.

For bending wood, once again there are commercially available jigs and tools. A Planking Machine will bend the wood to an unspecified degree but does make the piece more pliable. A Plank Forming Jig allows for different shapes and angles because the tool itself is adjustable. This is very good for pieces of wood that are up to 0.8mm thick. Then there is the Electric Plank bender which allows for very severe bends in thicker pieces of wood. This tool is excellent for early period ship modeling. There are a number of hand tools that are available that work by notching the wood to allow for bending. You can also create a wood bending jig from a scrap piece of plywood and nails. Arrange the nails into a crescent shape, cover them with tape (to avoid rusting) and place your wet planking material in the jig to dry. This is very effective for hull shapes like schooners.

For rigging, assembling rat lines present a special challenge. Once again there is a commercial product available called a Loom-A-Line The advantage of this jig is that you create two rat lines at once and the pegs that are used to create the shape are adjustable allowing for different sizes of rat lines. However you can easily build your own jig using a scrap piece of plywood and nails positioned in the shape of a teepee. You would likely need to build a few of these for the sizes required by the model. There is also a jig called a reeving tool. This tool makes threading of deadeye assemblies or blocks and tackles easier, and assures perfect spacing of deadeyes.

There are many other jigs that can make your modeling experience rewarding;

If you are coiling lines for a ship model to hang around belaying pins, you can make a jig from a piece of one-by-two and three nails or pegs for each coil. One nail goes into the top surface and the other into the face and a third nail is further down the face.

Mast and spar tapering jigs are very useful and are made from hollowed out tapered wood in which you rest a piece of sandpaper.

Rope walks can be easily made that allow the builder to produce your own rigging lines. There is also a commercially available rope walk.

And the list goes on.

Holidays Vivian | 29 Mar 2011

Tips For Finding Easter Gifts

Are you looking for great Easter gift ideas and do not have anywhere to start looking, especially if you are looking for unique Easter gifts. In this day and age there are dozens of resources available to make your task of finding a unique Easter gift, a swift and painless process, if you want to have a lot of options quickly check out the internet. A quick search for Easter gifts, Easter gift ideas, or unique Easter gifts will give you dozens of options to choose from, no matter who you have in mind.

For those people on your Easter gifts giving list who prefer religious Easter gifts there are sites that cater especially to help you locate a special and unique religious themed gifts, here are some religious Easter gift giving ideas, Figurines, precious moments makes a beautiful collection, bible or specially blessed rosary, prayer cards, having a donation made, or special prayer requested. Keep in mind that not even religious minded people need to get religious themed Easter gifts they might be equally happy with more mainstream Easter gifts like, baskets of candy, or a themed basket with their favorite sports team.

Children are the most fun of any, found on an Easter gift givers list. There are dozens of various types of toys all perfect for Easter gifts, everything from clothing, pencils, and brightly colored pastel themed toys, there is sure to be something to please the smallest Easter gift receivers. If you want to give a more traditional Easter gift, they make baskets in all sorts of themes for children, with or without candy and even sugar free candy.
Some other traditional Easter gifts are things to help with Easter decorations, like egg dying kits, for people who put on large dinners, or Easter parties, the best Easter gift could be offering to help set up an activity or bring a dish.

For Easter gifts, the whole family can enjoy trying putting together an activities kit including egg dying, some fun Easter craft activities and some recipes for great Easter treats. If you抮e coming up short on trying to find original, unique and interesting Easter gifts, check out a variety of other options like jewelry, novelty fun items, like personalized stationary, pens, or shopping lists. Easter gifts are no longer bound by the restrictions of tradition and religion. Give your Easter gift giving some thought.

These days there is a little bit of Easter themed things in any type of gift you might think of. For something really unique why not try giving decorative lawn pieces, flags and decals to add to the spirit of Easter. No matter what type of Easter gift you give, make sure that it was chosen with the person receiving it in mind. Nothing will impress your friends and family more than to receive Easter gifts tailored to fit their tastes and personality. It will go a lot way to keeping those smiles on their faces and laughter in their hearts.

Parenting Vivian | 29 Mar 2011

The Features of Parenting Magazine Online

Parents often say that they know what is best for their children. While this is true, parents must admit that there are times they are clueless as to how exactly they should care for or deal with their children. This is where resources on parenting, such as parenting magazine online, can be of great help.

Obviously, the advantage of parenting magazine online is that it is easily accessible. Since most homes today have access to the internet, all that parents have to do is go online and search for the parenting help or information they need. Parenting magazine online seeks to address all the important and common concerns of different types of parents.

There is a parenting magazine online for parents of babies, toddlers, adolescents, troubled teens, and special children since the demands of each differ. There is also a parenting magazine online that targets moms or dads only, single parents, separated parents, foster parents, step parents and teenage parents.

A parenting magazine online can be a purely internet medium or an online version of a printed publication. In the case of the latter, parents have the option to subscribe to a magazine which they can collect, go back to at any time or lend to other parents. One disadvantage of parenting magazine online is that when their content changes, the previous write-ups are deleted from the site, unless they are archived online.

Nevertheless, a parenting magazine online features a bigger advantage of providing free information, tips and advice on all sorts of parenting concerns. But most sites will feature a parent抯 club that requires a membership fee. Of course, member parents get to enjoy special support, freebies, and special discounts on child products, for example.

Moreover, member parents get the opportunity to become part of an online community of fellow parents. Such a support group is an excellent source of inspiration, encouragement and confidence for many parents who are struggling with not only the practical aspect of parenting but also the emotional aspect of the experience.

Parenting magazine online is also an excellent way to get free advice from child and parenting experts such as pediatricians, nurses, and qualified counselors. Parents can get specialist advice on a wide range of health, safety and behavioral topics.

Find parenting articles, guidelines, how-to tips, recommendations and other useful information in a parenting magazine online. So, start browsing and begin learning how to become a better parent.

Gardening Vivian | 29 Mar 2011

Tea Herb Gardening – A Guide to Growing and Harvesting Your Tisane Herbs

When you think about what to do with your herbs there are many options. One of the most satisfying and easy is to use them to make tea. You get the full taste of the herb alongside numerous health benefits which include reducing stress all the way to reducing your cancer risk. Herbs such as chamomile and lemon balm are being researched at the moment and the number of proven benefits continues to increase.

Amongst the herb grower community, there is a small amount of disagreement over the term that should be used to describe these herbs. The word ‘tea’ is usually used to describe the drinkable parts of the Camellia sinensis plant. Therefore an additional word ’tisane’ was coined to describe any herbal teas that were not made from the tea plant itself. As most people are familiar with the word ‘herbal tea’ that is the one that I will be using for both kinds of teas.

The list of herbs that can be made into tea is almost unlimited. The best part is that most of the best herbs for tea are those that are most easy to grow. Here is a list of herbs that I recommend for your teapot:

* Anise/ Aniseed
* Boldo
* Catnip
* Cerasse
* Chamomile
* Echinacea
* Fennel
* Lemon Balm
* Mint
* Sage

The easiest way to make tea is to simply cut off the required portion (Usually 2-3 tablespoons is plenty) and then pour boiling water on top. For the best flavor fresh herbs should be used, if you use dried herbs you may have to add more herbs to the pot. As a general rule the leaves are the most flavorful part, however stems or twigs may sometimes be used too. This can be great as it allows you to use some of the ‘unusable’ parts of the plant. Some herbs may be a little bitter, so you may want to add some honey or sugar.

Some herbs taste great by themselves, but can taste fantastic in combination with other herbs or fruits. The best part is that you only use a little bit of the herb, so you can really have fun experimenting with many different flavorful mixtures. For example sweet flavors with chamomile are great as are bitter flavors with mint.

The best time to harvest herbs for tea is the same time that you would harvest herbs for the cooking pot:

* Harvest the herbs early in the morning when it is cool and dry as heat and rain will reduce some of the oils that make the herb taste good.

* Check whether your herb tastes best before or after the flowers bloom. As a general rule, most a best harvested before blooming

* Make sure that you harvest before cold or exceptionally hot spells as these will often hinder growth.

Tea herbs often yet another use for your herb garden. It is a great way to relax after gardening or before food to get your taste buds working.