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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gorgeous Gardens: Making Your Backyard Somewhere You Can Be Proud Of

Recently, we’ve talked a lot about gardening, showing you the potential that your garden has. Today, we’re focusing on how you can make your backyard a space that you can be proud of, so that come summer, you have a beautiful outdoor area to enjoy. Whatever state your garden is in, you can transform it into an area that you love. So, with that in mind, below are some tips and ideas for creating a gorgeous garden that you can be proud of. Read on for everything that you need to know.

Start with general maintenance


The first step to getting your garden looking its best is to focus on general maintenance. This means mowing the lawn and trimming any overgrown areas.


It also means getting rid of any weeds that are growing in your garden. To kill weeds and stop them from regrowing, you need to remove them from the root. To make this easier, there are weed killing sprays that you can buy - these kill weeds as soon as they touch them, causing them to go brown and die, making the weed easier to pull out. Just make sure not to get weed killer on any plants, as it can kill them too.


If you have trees in your garden, the chances are that they have become a little overgrown over winter. If this is the case, you need to trim them back. However, if you’re not keen on heights, then you may not want to do this yourself. Instead, you could use a service like the one offered on http://www.treeservice-fortworth.com/ to get your trees trimmed back, ready for the summer. Overgrown trees can cast a shadow over your whole garden, which is why regular trimming is so important.


Do you have a deck in your garden? If so, now could be the perfect time to varnish it to protect it from the elements and smarten it up. If you have a patio, now could also be the ideal time to pressure wash it, and get it looking nice and smart, ready for the summer.


Beautify the space


Once you’ve completed the general maintenance, next it’s a good idea to focus on beautifying the space and making it look pretty.


The first step is to focus on planting lots of new plants around the place. This could mean planting up the borders, or it could mean creating pretty pots, depending on what your garden is like and what you would prefer. For ideas for borders and pots, have a browse online - you are sure to find plenty of inspiration and ideas.


Accessorize


There is a common misconception that accessorizing is something that should only be done inside your home, but actually, that’s not the case. If you want your garden to be a beautiful space, you can also accessorize it.


To add a little elegance to your garden, adding a pond or water feature could be ideal. Just make sure that if you have little ones, that the water feature only includes running water, not standing water. There are various water feature designs, the one that you opt for will depend on your personal preference.


If you don’t already have outdoor furniture, this is also a must. There’s something about some smart, stylish pieces of outdoor furniture that can make a big difference to the look and feel of the space. So when it comes to picking your garden furniture, make sure to be selective about what you pick.


Don't forget to invest in outdoor lighting, if you don't already have it that is. The best lighting option tends to be solar powered lighting, as this doesn't require connecting to the main power supply.


Believe it or not, turning your garden into a gorgeous space is much easier than you would think, it just takes a little TLC that’s all.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lush of Greens in the Garden

I found out that the  dwarf lilac's blooms last longer than the  regular lilac bush.  The two lilac bush  at the side of our home is still in full bloom despite the heavy wind the other day.  It really smells so good whenever we go out the door, the scent  soothes your  nose with it's fragrance.
During the first two weeks of Spring, I did some projects in the garden.  I added   some rocks on the other side of our walkway  because it did not look balance  that I just had it on one side.  I removed the rocks around the  crab apple tree  to use in this project and I replaced it with  mulch.
The mulch was on sale   for the Easter weekend   so we took  the opportunity to buy 30 bags to put some more mulch around the flower beds.  You can click here for a great deal on some of the  gardening  tools and plants.  I also ordered some trees online because it is cheaper to buy it online than in the store.  
I did however bought some dahlias to  add some  colors to our front porch.  
I can't wait for the Asiatic and day lilies to bloom.  I love these plants because they are very easy to   grow and maintain and they  come back every year.  I basically started  a couple of plants with them  then I segregated and replanted them when they got thicker, now I have   so many of them in the garden.
I can't wait to see the blooms of this  pink roses in the middle of the lilacs.
The deer  is starting to eat the  burning bushes and hosta so I bought a bottle of deer  repellent to scare the deer away. 
I also put mulch around the  emerald green pine trees to  add a little pop of color  to them.
Burning bushes are beautiful during the Fall.  I can't wait for them to get thicker so that  we will have a pop of color too in the driveway when Autumn comes.
I have a thick Italian parsley in  my herb garden so I thinned them out and  transfer them to the pots.  I have so many small  pots that I can use for it and they seem to do well as well.
I love gardening, I can do it everyday all day.  I have plenty of things to do around our garden but the rain and heavy wind is hindering me from doing what I want to accomplish.  I still don't have a vegetable garden because I am waiting for the fence to be built before I finally decide  where to put my vegetable garden.  I don't want the deer to  eat  the veggies before they  even begin to  bloom.  So that is it for now, I will update again  next time when the fence is up and I did  my veggie garden.  Hopefully I still have the time to do it  before the season ends.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Garden Troubleshooting 101

Growing your own is incredibly rewarding. It’s a hobby that keeps you fit, gets you outside, and best of all you get to reap the rewards whether it’s with tasty fruits, vegetables, and herbs to eat or gorgeous plants and flowers to look at. But gardening can be tricky, it’s not just a case of sprinkling down a few seeds and hoping for the best. For your crops to do well, you need to provide the right kind of environment for growth. If you’ve given it a go but aren’t having much luck, here are some of the places you might be going wrong.

Your Soil Isn’t Right
The right soil is absolutely crucial, and unfortunately, it’s not a ‘one size fits all.' Some plants prefer light, sandy and free draining soils. Others prefer those which are heavier with more moisture. Some prefer acidic soils, some neutral and some alkaline. You can’t really guess at these things, before sowing your seeds or planting things up, do some research. Work out what kind of soil each different type of plant needs.



It’s The Wrong Climate or Weather
Certain plants are adapted to certain climates, meaning there are some things that you will simply not be able to grow where you live (without a lot of intervention with things like greenhouse temperature). Even things that usually thrive in the country where you live might have trouble if you have a year that's particularly warm/cold/dry/wet. You need to work out what climate zone you’re in, as this will give you an idea of the things you can realistically grow. And if you’ve had bad luck with a certain crop (that you know grows in your climate) give it another go the following year. You might have just got unlucky with the temperature, rainfall or something else.

They Haven’t Pollinated
In the cases of fruit trees, they will only bear fruit if they have been pollinated by another type. So for example you would need to different varieties of apple trees nearby to each other for them to begin producing apples. If you’ve owned a fruit tree for years that has never bore fruit, this is probably why. If you don’t have a whole lot of space, you can buy self-fertile trees these days from sites like https://www.chrisbowers.co.uk. The hard work is already done for you, simply give it the right conditions and you’ll get a great harvest year in, year out.


Your Plants are Competing
If you’ve set up a vegetable patch without much planning, you could end up with different vegetables that are competing for the same nutrients. For this reason, one (or both) could suffer. You need to do plenty of research before setting up your patch, some vegetables are good ‘companions’ and can ward off pests from other plants, whereas others will simply compete and never do as well as they should.

What problems have you encountered in the garden?

Tree-Mendous Gardening

Do you think your garden could do with a few more trees?

Lots of gardeners love adding them to their garden as they can encourage a lot more wildlife, such as birds and squirrels. Not only that, though, but they also help to create shaded areas in gardens, which are important during the summer when you want to sit outside but out of all the sun!
However, even though trees are very popular amongst gardeners, they can be a lot trickier to plant and look after than shrubs and plants. Here are my top tips to ensuring that your trees look great and are in top health.
Prepare The Earth


Before you plant your tree, you will need to make sure that the earth is all prepared. Firstly, take some time to loosen the soil. Once it’s all nice and loose, leave it for a day or two to encourage the are to drain. If the soil is particularly hard and heavy, you might want to mix in some organic matter to loosen it up further.
When To Plant?


If you visit your local gardening center, you will find that they have lots of small seedlings that will be ready to be planted straight into your garden. For most trees and shrub seedlings, the best time to plant them is between October and April. Even if you do plant during this period, you should try and avoid doing it after heavy rainfall as the ground will be waterlogged. It’s also wise not to plant after a hard frost, or if a frosty night is forecast. You might prefer to plant your seedling in a container and keep it inside until it has grown and will be able to face the elements better.
Potential Problems


Unfortunately, trees are very susceptible to various fungal diseases, including Dutch elm’s disease and Deadly Oak Wilt. If you ever think that your tree is showing the symptoms of one of these diseases, it is a good idea to get in touch with a tree professional such as www.arboristusa.com/tree-doctor/. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action. They will do all they can to help save your infected trees!

Pruning And Cutting


A healthy tree needs to be regularly pruned and cut back. As well as ensuring the tree stays healthy, regular cuts will mean that it won’t ever get out of control and infringe on your neighbor’s land! If you aren’t too sure what you are doing when it comes to pruning, don’t worry; there are plenty of videos with lots of tips on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LiWRXrC9So. Ideally, you need to prune your trees in late summer, as this will stop them weakening through the winter. You should also remove dead wood and branches in summer too.
Hopefully, this blog post has given you all the information you need to know about planting and growing trees in your garden. As you can see, it isn’t terribly difficult!

Monday, May 1, 2017

DIY Home Improvement Projects and a Letter from the City Mayor

In February of this year, we were surprised to receive a letter from the City mayor.  It made us feel really good!  We have done home improvements on our  former house but we  didn't have this type of recognition so it  was a sweet surprise.  Then again, the mayor that time was a different person.  But anyway, the letter states:
I am writing this letter just to let you know your efforts with maintaining the appearance of your home there on Donnell Street have caught my eye and I want to thank you for caring about your property as you have.  We all know that pleasant and appealing  surrounding influence us in a positive way and promote pride  in our community.
 It is such a pleasure to see a responsible property owner invest their time and resources for the upkeep  of their home and betterment of their neighborhood and city.  Thank you for being a role model for us all and for helping  to make Weirton a great place  to live."
Time flies, I can't believe we   bought this house a year ago already.  It is almost a year  since we moved in and we have done a lot of DIY home improvement like refinishing the hardwood floors,  doing some landscaping, putting new  mailbox in,  painting all the walls, upgrading the powder room,  and installing new windows.
We also built some storage area down the basement and  at the  garage so we could organized all our  seasonal stuff and tools.  Here are my  crew at work.  We have a two car garage but there is no storage there so  it's hard to organize  the tools and things that we normally use outdoors and for the vehicle so we bought  some  materials and  started working on it  during the winter.
It was not pleasant to work there  at the detached garage during the winter because there is no  heater there.  The portable heater that we were using was not enough to warm us up but we  did it anyway.  We have completed  putting  shelves on the other side and still plans to  build shelving on the other side to organize the big tools that we use in the garden.
Our daughter love helping with this kind of project.  I think she has  that natural knack for building things, just like her Aunt Crystal.  You can't keep her out from doing projects like this which is the contrary to our son.  He does not have the patience to  measure things and figuring out  the way to do stuff, he got that from me.  I mean, I love helping but I don't like  measuring and doing all that  exact measurement s.tuff.
My daughter is like my husband, it has to be done right or not do it at all.
She might be  very little for her age but she can do things that other kids her age   hasn't done yet.
She's a great helper for her Dad when it comes to  measuring  as it prevents my husband from bending  over or  going to his knees.
Below is the newly organized  garage, now I know where to look for the things we need.

A post shared by Chubskulit Rose (@chubskulitrose) on

A post shared by Chubskulit Rose (@chubskulitrose) on

I love doing projects like  with my husband.  I am the  calming factor whenever he is getting frustrated.  Below are the shelving we  built at the basement.
We have a big basement so  it is really an advantage.  I hate  looking at boxes laying around the floor so I am glad that we have this storage area where I can organize  things.  
My husband thought that it was enough to store all of our seasonal stuff but he was wrong! We still need to build an additional shelves to fit all the stuff we have and believe me, we did two trips to Goodwill already to get rid of the things we no longer use and need.
Our next project will be the fence. We already purchased all the materials but we are still waiting for ,my husband to get done with school so we could work on it. Right now, he is doing all the final requirements and projects which is stressing him out. I can't wait till he gets done with his master's. He still have one more semester left then he can graduate.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Save $100s On Your Favorite Hobbies With These Simple Tips

Is your favorite hobby costing you a fortune? If so, you are in good company - we are all guilty of spending over the odds to do the things we love the best. Something always seems to get in the way of sound financial sense when your passions are involved, and whether you are buying an expensive gardening tool or an overpriced tin of artist’s pencils, it can be hard to avoid temptation.


However, there are several things you can think about doing if you want to start saving big on your hobby. And in today’s guide, we’re going to go through a few tactics and methods you can use to keep your costs down. Let’s get started with some of the basics.




Budget Your Time


Don’t forget that time is money in every aspect of your life. When you are involving yourself in your hobby, you aren’t earning money working - and ignoring your responsibilities is going to end up costing you money. Balancing a busy schedule with your passions is a tough thing to do, but there are a few ways of finding the time.


First of all, be realistic, and budget yourself some time accordingly. For most people, you aren’t going to be able to indulge yourself for several hours a day, but it is important to set aside at least 30 minutes or so every other day to practice and/or take some lessons. Even an hour a week can be useful, and it only takes the simple decision to watch less Netflix every week to free up the time.


Find a Mentor


In business, mentors tend to cost a lot of money - but with your hobbies, you will find a lot of people out there willing to offer you help and advice for nothing. Look around your local community for a group that engages on a regular basis - artists meetups, or gardening groups, for example. Get talking to people, and you will get plenty of hints and tips on how to get better at your favorite past time.


The Internet can be an excellent place for free advice, too. There are dozens of sites out there specializing in any given subject, and even if your hobby is something of a niche subject, the worldwide audience of the web means you will find hundreds of other people who share your passions. There is no need to spend money on one-to-one tuition which, although the fastest way to achieving competency and skill, can cost an awful lot of money.


Use Coupons


There’s a big myth surrounding the world of coupons that could be costing you money. Ask the average person, and they will all hold the same opinion - coupons are for groceries, processed foods, and people that are prepared to spend hours every day just to get a few cents worth of discount off their weekly shopping bill.


To an extent, they are right - there are hundreds of coupon campaigns launched on a weekly basis to try and tempt consumers to try a new food or switch brands. But a quick look over at DontPayFull.com reveals that there are coupons available for almost everything you can think of - including the products that you need to buy for your hobbies. Look into specialist magazines, and scour your favorite websites online, including all the major coupon services. You will be surprised at what you might find, whether your favorite hobby is spending time in the garden or DIY home decorating.




Rent First, Buy Later


Starting up a new hobby/ If so, don’t dive in headfirst until you know it’s the right pastime for you. While it can be tempting to invest in all the latest gear and materials, the reality is you will be wasting a lot of cash on something that you quickly get bored of. Your best bet is to see if there is any way of renting your equipment, rather than buying it outright. It will give you the opportunity to find out whether the hobby is a suitable one for your interests, and, ultimately, save you a lot of money.


Once you realize that your hobby is the right one for you, then you can consider making more of an investment. It’s the same principal for taking out memberships - the local gym being the perfect example. You could splash out on an expensive annual membership, but if you only go to the gym for a month, it’s a complete waste of money. Always try and dip your toes into any new hobby first - and monthly payments will end up being cheaper for you until you know you are going to stick it out.


Find Free Stuff


There are plenty of places you can pick things up for free - whatever hobby you take up. Let’s say you are getting into woodworking - a local building firm might have piles of leftover wood from their big projects that they are willing to give you for nothing as it will save them on disposal charges.


You should also try and look into online services such as Freecycle.org - people give away all kinds of things, and you might be surprised at what you manage to pick up. And don’t forget to pay a visit to your local library. All the resources you could ever want to get started in a new hobby can be found in a book that is available to you for precisely zero cost.


Visit Yard Sales


Got a yard sale happening in your local community? Go to all of them - and local auctions can be a good idea, too. Many people take up hobbies and move on very quickly, and whether you are looking for paints, equipment, or other materials, you could find them for knockdown prices at a yard sale.


Pro Tip: If you live near a wealthy community, make a note of all the thrift stores that operate in the area. You will often find that the thrift stores in affluent communities sell some incredible items for next to nothing - and you could pick up some serious bargains. So much so, in fact, that even the act of thrift store shopping could become your hobby!


Can A Secure Garden Be A Beautiful Garden?


For many of us, our garden is about pleasure. It’s about cultivating our own plants, creating our own little slice of Eden in our backyard. It’s our haven from the world, where all of the usual stresses and strains can’t reach us.


It’s easy in the midst of this to forget that our garden is also, to an extent, the vanguard of our home. It’s something any unwanted visitors will have to cross if they wish to gain access to our property. This is something we tend to keep in mind when we assess the security of the front of our house, but do we give the back area the same thought?


There’s a good chance the answer to that question is: no. While most of us will focus on upkeep that ensures our garden is secure, for the most part, it’s not the thing that we focus on with this area. And why would we - when it’s a space for pleasure, to grow things, to rest from the world? It’s no surprise we don’t want to clutter that up with reality, with security concerns.


Can Security Measures Be Beautiful?


Yes - but you have to be willing to work with them. Realistically, security measures aren’t known for their aesthetic beauty - and for good reason! It’s not what they’re for, so why waste time focusing on that aspect when the main thrust is that they need to be secure.


So while you might have to put a little bit of time and effort into making these measures attractive, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do so. Not convinced? Here’s a few ideas towards a more secure garden, without damaging the work you have put in to create a haven outside your home.


Chain Link Fencing + Climbing Roses




Fencing like https://www.longfence.com/content/chain-link-fence-durable-resistant may not initially be the most attractive thing in the world, but with the addition of a climbing rose? Beautiful.


If you’re new to training roses where to climb, there’s a good primer to be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hG0wamcyCc. While this isn’t going to be an immediate solution - the rose will take time to grow, of course - over the course of a few years, you can have both a secure fence and a beautiful, fragrant display.


Security Camera and/or Lights + Insect Hotel




If you don’t have an insect hotel for your garden, then this is the perfect opportunity to start creating one. Encouraging beneficial insects to your garden is not only good for the ecosystem, but also for your plants and flowers when you want pollination.


Insect hotels are, by their nature, haphazard - as the picture above shows. You can put them on walls, build them from the ground up; whatever suits your garden. It would be almost impossible to notice a small camera or motion sensor light amidst the usual wood shapes and differences used to create the various nooks and crannies of an insect hotel. Well worth considering, especially if you have a large garden and wish to illuminate as much of it as possible.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Home Sweet Home? Make Sure Your New House Is Ready For You

Finding a buying a new home can be enough of an effort itself. It’s no wonder it’s commonly claimed to be one of the most stressful periods in any one person’s life. However, you’re not free and clear just because you get in a home. There are some elements of a home you might not catch if you haven’t invested in a thorough investigation beforehand. These are a few steps you need to take to avoid any disasters with your new home.


The essential security
Most people already know that they should be doing this, but it’s a point too important to skip over. Regardless of whether you’re renting or you’re buying, you should get your locks changed. If you’re renting, then make sure you let the landlord know. You simply don’t know who could be holding onto a key and while you don’t want to make any assumptions, you don’t want to leave any doubt as to the security of the home. You don’t have to buy a brand-new lock entirely, either. You can save money by working on re-keying it yourself.
Get a good look at that plumbing
One of the most dangerous things to do with plumbing is to leave it alone for too long. Even if you’ve tried the faucets and they’re all working, make sure you give the plumbing a once-over, including finding the water shut-off valve. One of the biggest risks, of course, is a frozen drain pipe if a home has been left on the market over the winter. If the home looks like it has no insulation or protection against frozen pipes, be very careful. Being too reckless could see you dealing with thousands in water damage repair costs.


Insulate and protect
The pipes aren’t the only insulation you should be checking. Take a good look at the attic and ensure all insulation is in place, checking for any signs of rot. Look for mold and mildew throughout the home. Give the home a once over, caulking any gaps that look like they might provide the faintest of risks. Don’t make the common mistake of missing the roof, either. It only takes one missing or cracked tile to cause a whole home’s worth of damp and mold issues.
Check the elec
More dangerous than mold and mildew is the very serious risk of electrical fires in a home. Whether it’s a fuse degrading over time or pests chewing wires, you can never be too certain of the safety of the electrics in a new home. If you have an electric fault, then using a guide to locate them can help you understand the best course forward. Of course, it’s a good idea to get an electrician in there if you’re not confident with checking yourself. Make sure you at least know the location of the mains so that you can operate with any faults safely.

You don’t need an electrical fire or a burst pipe crashing down on your parade while you’re trying to adapt to a new home. Don’t rest on your laurels until you’ve completed all the tips above.

About Me

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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