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.

Transforming Your Garden Into A Wildlife Magnet


Wildlife lovers needn’t hike out into the country to see nature at large. By making a few adjustments to your garden, you may be able to attract many of the Earth’s beautiful creatures to your back door. Here are just a few ways that you can transform your garden into a natural sanctuary full of biodiversity.

Plant a tree

Trees encourage all kinds of wildlife from birds to squirrels. Even something small like a crab apple tree is likely to attract aphids, which in turn provide a tasty food source for other bigger animals. You can hire a professional to plant one for you, or do it yourself. This post on Expert Tree Planting Advice offers some useful information on how to introduce a tree to your garden for those going DIY. Make sure to check with your neighbours and planning committee. Trees do take a few years to grow, so those looking for more instant results may want to try other methods in the meantime.

Build a pond

Ponds have all kinds of benefits from looking pretty to upping the value of your home. They’re also ideal for attractive wildlife to your garden. Of course, you can buy your own fish, but quite often these won’t be the only animals that want to live here. Frogs and newts to your pond, especially if there are other water sources nearby. Insects such as dragonflies meanwhile will be a more popular sight.   

Set up a birdfeeder

The ultimate way of attracting birds to your garden is to set up a bird feeder. You can make your own, or buy a pre-built one. A bird feeder can hang from a tree or be free standing. Occasionally, wily squirrels will steal your bird feed. Whilst there are squirrel-proof bird feeders available, buying a squirrel baffle may be a simpler solution.


Lure with specific plants

Plants that are rich in nectar will attract pretty insects such as butterflies and bumblebees. By attracting more insects, your garden will also attract more birds. There are pollen-heavy plants that can attract wildlife all year round. Buddleias and ivy are generally autumn flowering, whilst crocuses and winter aconites can attract insects in the coldest months.

Don’t throw all your dead plant matter in the compost bin. Creating a woodpile at the end of the garden can be a great source of woodlice of worms that will in turn attract wildlife such as hedgehogs.

Cut out the chemicals

Chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weed-killers may all be having a negative effect on your garden’s ecosystem. Where you can, try to swap out these chemical methods for more natural approaches. Use animal dung and mulched up compost as a natural fertiliser. Use salt and vinegar to ward off weeds instead of using chemical sprays. Meanwhile, try experimenting with various bio-friendly pesticides such as chili powder, onions and beer traps that are likely to ward off intended parasites without disrupting your garden’s entire bio-diversity.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Best Kept Secrets About Gardening

Ah, gardening. One of the most therapeutic activities known to mankind. What could be better than sitting in a garden you’ve lovingly crafted? Getting intimate with nature is the one remedy for both depression and stress that always helps.

Our bodies are wired to respond to nature in healthy, positive ways, so the more time you are able to invest in your garden, the better. But are you really making the most of your garden? Do you know all the handy tips and tricks to make your time in the garden more fruitful? (Pun absolutely intended)

Are you hoping to keep a vegetable patch or greenhouse one day? Then look no further as we dissect the best-kept gardening secrets you can use to really make your green space flourish.

Foil can work as a pest control agent.

It’s true. Insects are repelled by aluminium foil, leading to fewer chomp marks on your precious flowers.

Salt water kills weeds.

This can save you hours of time on your hands and knees pulling up weeds at the root. Instead, accurately pouring a salt water solution on it will kill them outright. If you enjoy weed-pulling though, don’t let us get in the way of an excuse to get in your garden!

You can grow from cuttings.

It’s not always understood that you might not need seeds to grow a flower. Sometimes, you can grow from the cuttings. This can sometimes result in accelerated growth, and sometimes they could even bear fruit! Just be sure to take care of that which sprouts, and remember, results may vary.

Collecting rainwater can have positive environmental effects.

Instead of using the hose or tap, why not collect rain water using drainage pipes and buckets in order to lower your environmental footprints? If you’re cultivating a garden you’re surely in love with the environment, so why not keep this attitude in every avenue of your garden development?

All manner of kitchen waste can be used as fertilizer.

Everyone who maintains a garden knows about how well eggshells can work to fertilize your soil, but did you know that coffee grounds and banana skins can be used for a variety of purposes? Banana peels can help with your rose beds. Just be sure you don’t drop any on the pathway to prevent you falling over like a cartoon character.

Storage space can be used for allotments.

Allotments are the best way to keep a garden if you don’t own one yourself, sometimes finding storage space for your materials can be important, especially if you want to use speciality tools, or having somewhere to house your pots. Using a service like MyBelkins (https://mybelkins.com) can be handy here.

Keeping a garden is probably the ultimate labour of love, but like most disciplines, the bulk of enjoyment is not to be found in what you create, but how you create it. The journey is more important than the destination, and what metaphor for that proverb could be as present as it is in gardening?

Keep these simple tricks to mind when planning the next exploits of your green thumb, and you never know, your garden could be even more beautiful than you intended.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Preventing Mold and Mildew from Overtaking Your Home

Fungus thrives in the warm and moist conditions typically left behind by a flood.  When the flood occurs in your home, you only have hours to spare before black mold and mildew begin to grow in your flooring, in the walls, and elsewhere in your house.  Because of the dangers that fungal infestations pose to you and your family, you may not want to attempt to clean up the mess by yourself.  You can get your home back in safe and sanitary condition by hiring contractors trained in disaster cleanup, flood restoration, mildew elimination, and other services for this job.

The Dangers of Fungal Infestations

You may be unfamiliar with the dangers that mold and mildew can present to you, your loved ones, and your home.  Mold and mildew spores enter your home through the air vents, windows, and doors, looking for the perfect conditions in which to grow and thrive.  They typically invade areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and utility room where conditions are often damp and humid.

However, they also will quickly invade your home after a water disaster, such as when your pipes burst, your water main or sewer backs up into your house, or your roof collapses after a heavy rainstorm.  You may think that once you get all of the water out of your home that the fungus will stop growing.  However, the spores take root inside the walls, along the floorboards, and under the carpeting where they progressively grow and spread.

Once they start growing, the fungi can negatively impact your health, causing skin rashes, allergies, respiratory issues, and other reactions.  Black mold is especially dangerous to the elderly and young children.  Because of how quickly it and other fungi spread, you may be unable to contain and eliminate it yourself.  You can get rid of it entirely by hiring professionals who are trained in this type of disaster response.

Emergency Services

You never know when a water emergency will occur.  When your home floods during the middle of the night or your pipes burst on a holiday or weekend, you can still get the help you need immediately.  The company offers around-the-clock emergency services.  You can get fast help without having to wait until the next business day to call.

Mold and mildew thrive in wet conditions.  You can protect your home by trusting water cleanup to professional contractors.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Dried Roses

As much as I love  looking at what the Guitar Center has, studio speakers at a great price! I am  disappointed that it is  snowing here at  my neck of the woods.  The plant are just starting to grow and this would kill  it or affect the growth.  My indoor plants  badly need  some sunlight but I am glad I didn't put them outside yet.  The cold weather would have  easily killed them.  
 I love this basket planter that  my husband's company sent us during his Dad's passing.  The plants are so green and really doing well.  I thought that  it would die  but it didn't.
 I hope that this plant live for a long time.
I  dried the roses and preserved them as remembrance of him.
A post shared by Chubskulit Rose (@chubskulitrose) on

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Keeping Your Garden In Great Condition

Very much like your hair - your garden grows and it won't stop until you cut it! Or get it cut. One way or another, someone is going to have to work hard at getting your garden into shape. Keeping your garden in good condition is going to seem like hard work, a chore and a bore at times - but you deserve a nice garden to sit in!

There are plenty of tools needed to keep a garden looking good. A lawnmower, pruning tools, hedge trimmers, gloves, rakes, trowels and hoes are the basic tools among others that people use to keep their garden in great condition. These tools are widely available, can be cheap and are easy to find.

The basis of the garden is the lawn, and if yours is in terrible condition there are a number of things you can do. You can either tear it up and replant it with a new species of grass that will afford a little bit more protection. You can attempt to care for it, or you can hire a lawn care service to take care of it. All of these options have their merits, but as usual - getting the professionals in is likely the best thing to do for the longevity of your lawn. It is truly the carpet of the garden and needs to be cared for in that manner!
If the lawn is the floor, then the trees are the ceiling. Tree branches can be a big obstruction and in some cases, a major hazard. What's more, some types of tree are plain ugly and can harbor all sorts of nasty insects and the like. If you don't like a tree, you shouldn't take an axe to it - that can be incredibly dangerous. Get a professional to deal with an ugly, or fearsome tree. Trees do have their benefits, though! They can add a lot of green and privacy to your home. Hedges are the wall of the garden and don't need much care, but they can grow a bit wild, so a trim will be needed at least once per year. Like trees, they add that little bit of natural privacy to a garden.

You can also add to your garden with plants, shrubs, fruits and vegetables! Cordon off sections of your garden and add the requirements needed for your chosen plants. Shrubs need little care, but most kinds of flower, plant, fruit and vegetable need constant care to protect them not only from the environment, but the pests that will look to feast on them. Certain types of fruit and vegetable will only grow during certain seasons, so it is well worth the time taken to research information on seeds and growth before you stick them in the ground only to find that you have wasted not just your money, but your time.

Keeping a garden tidy is a constant process, that doesn’t mean it is impossible though! With the right tools, mindset and research, you can master your garden in no time at all.

Add This