Tips For Making The Most Of Your Garden And Outdoor Space
A garden or outdoor space is a fantastic thing, and a special one. Making the most of it can be a great boost and these tips will help you to do just this.
1. Hide Unsightly Areas With Screens
Don't allow unsightly areas to detract from your garden. Instead, consider hiding them with screens.
Everything from your compost heap to your outdoor tools can be tucked neatly away behind beautiful screens, instantly making your garden look a lot nicer. Consider using screens made out of materials like bamboo or reed since they will help enhance the natural feel of your space.
2. Store Items That Aren't In Use
If you in your family spend a lot of time outdoors, you probably have a lot of accessories. From barbecues and garden tools to outdoor toys, these items can leave your yard looking a bit messy and cluttered. One of the fastest ways to make your space look nicer is by storing all of these items neatly away.
Storage benches or outdoor chests are both good options since they are low enough to the ground that they won't block your view. They are also a great space-saving option. The materials you choose will also help set the tone for your outdoor space. Wooden storage chests will create a natural look while storage benches or chests in shades of cream will allow you to create a more sophisticated space.
3. Enhance Your Garden With Potted Plants
Even if you aren't a skilled gardener, you can still add a lot of color and visual interest to your space through the use of potted plants.
Best of all, container gardening is a lot easier than you might think. You can buy pre-planted containers or hanging baskets at any nursery. From there, all that you have to do is make sure to give them enough water to keep them alive. As soon as you get them in place, they will instantly bring color and life to your garden.
4. Create A Manicured Look By Edging Your Lawn
One way to keep your lawn looking its best is by installing edging around the outer perimeter. Even though it takes a little bit of work, the results can last for years.
There are a variety of different materials to choose from including stone, wood, and metal. If you want to create a clean, modern-looking garden, opt for edging with a simple design. Alternatively, if you want to make your space more elegant, edging with an ornate design is a better choice.
5. Give New Life To Old Pieces
If you have old, worn-looking garden furniture, you can breathe new life into it by giving it a makeover. With just a touch of work, you can make older pieces look like new again. This is particularly true for items that are made out of wood.
To refurbish a piece of wooden furniture, start by sanding the surface. Then, apply several coats of exterior paint. If you want to give your garden a vintage vibe, opt for a pastel shade.
6. Outdoor Fountain
An outdoor fountain can be something that really adds some spark to the garden and
There are plenty of options. Why not try this site - there are plenty to choose from on Soothing Walls.
7. Consider Artificial Grass
If you don't have a lawn and aren't interested in putting one in, you can try artificial grass instead. This is a great way to instantly create a beautiful lawn.
Most garden centers sell artificial turf at relatively low prices. After it is installed, it provides a natural looking lawn for your home. Best of all, because it is fake, you don't have to worry about watering or mowing it. Of course, once you get up close, you will be able to tell that it is a fake lawn. However, it can be a fun, low-maintenance way to dress up your outdoor space.
8. Install Automatic Sprinklers
When it comes to watering your lawn, it is ideal to do it early in the day. Most experts recommend watering before 10:00 AM so that it isn't too hot outside. With how busy life is these days, that isn't practical for most people.
One way to get around this problem is by installing an automatic sprinkler system that runs on a timer. That way, you can program it to water your lawn at the correct time of the day even if you aren't home, helping to ensure that your yard stays beautiful all summer long.
9. Add Outdoor Lighting
It is easy to fall into the trap of only thinking about the appearance of your garden when it is light outside. If you install outdoor lighting, however, you can continue to use your outdoor space even after the sun goes down.
Along with lighting, you may also want to install an outdoor heater. That way, you can stay warm and comfortable even when there is a chill in the air. Consider using spotlights to create focal points in your garden. Dramatic lighting like this provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor get-togethers.
10. Rent A Pressure Washer
Pressure washing your patio or deck can go a long way toward making it look like new again. This simple process removes any moss, algae, or dirt that has accumulated on the surface.
Unlike scrubbing these surfaces by hand, using a pressure washer is fast and easy. Best of all, it gives excellent results. Just make sure to use the correct attachment for the job.
As a young mother, the development of your baby is in your hands. For this reason, you need to expose him or her to as many new sensory experiences as possible. It’s important for your little one to cultivate the love of nature and a sense of self-reliance early on. Needless to say, camping is the perfect activity for this.
How to Prepare for the Trip
It’s no secret that babies require a certain level of special attention, especially when you have one of your own. This applies to the camping scenario as well, which is why you need to prepare for the occasion differently this time around. Websites such as MomCrib.com are a good way to start, as they offer valuable baby care tips for any situation.
Still, it’s important to remember that the initiative starts with you. Getting the little one excited is essential if you want them to enjoy the occasion as much as you are. Bring his or her favorite toys along so that they can fully appreciate the experience and ensure that they are comfortable throughout.
What is more, according to REI.com, practicing beforehand is an ideal way to assess how the trip might unfold. Pitch the tent overnight in your backyard or home, and sleep there with your infant. Pay attention to the following:
Teaching your child the wonderful sentiment of loving natureconstitutesan essentialfirst step towards a happy and healthy family life. Spending time outdoors instead of being cooped up at home gives your baby a wonderful chance to explore and learn new things, which is something every parent should aim for.
Baby Camping Essentials
Due to their young age, babies are high maintenance most of the time. Naturally, this will apply to your camping trip as well, during which you have to cater to their specific needs. Fortunately, with the help of some camping essentials for babies, you will offer your little one an experience they will enjoy tremendously.
Why we should encourage teens to read more books
By Tony Malloney
Studies have indicated that those who read books for pleasure enjoy higher levels of self-esteem and are able to cope with stress and overcome difficulties better than those who do not include reading literature as a pastime. Reading for pleasure has also been associated with improved sleeping patterns.
It is therefore prudent to encourage teens to read for gratification and entertainment, especially for extended periods ... rather than just short posts on social media! Reading literature can lead to improved reading speed, increased ability to mentally process texts, improved language competence and greater knowledge. What's more, books can make the reader a better writer by increasing vocabulary and powers of description.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss
Fortunately, many teenagers are still reading books: especially e-books downloaded directly to their phones, where they can store their personal library. It makes sense when today's teenagers can't be parted from their phones!
But one thing preventing teens reading good books is of course cost. Apart from college books, not all parents can afford to include fiction or non-fiction books within a bringing-up-a-teen budget. There are however places where teens can download books free, legally. One of the most popular platforms is OBOOKO, which has been distributing free ebooks since 2010 and has a dedicated Teen & Young Adults category, containing over 160 free books for teens
Check out their teen category by clicking here!
Should My Children Wear a Sports Mouthguard?
Youth mouth guards are a sport's device which has been worn for the safety purpose during recreational and athletic activities. Youth mouth guards are usually called the mouth guard for the children due to their small size and special shape which comes up with extra fitting instruction and other guide.
Should my children wear a sports mouth guard is a common question which parents asked from the sport's trainers or at least think about it when their children start playing different sports. This question should not be asked by the parents because the safety should be the first priority of the parents especially when it’s come to the sports where the chances of getting different injuries are quite common. I recommend all parents that they should buy the sports mouth guard for their children if they intend to involve in the sports where there they got the contract with the hard surface and other players.
There are different types of mouth guards are there, some of them are specifically designed for the specific spot. For example, there is football mouth guard, a mouth guard for hockey, boxing and so on. For kids, there are youth mouth guards which are different in size and made with the flexible material too. The mouth guard for 7-year-old is usually called extra small mouth guard due to their small size. In short, you should not be worried about when it’s come to purchase the mouth guards for the kids because they are available in the small size too. They also come up with fitting instruction too including how to mold a mouthpiece in the kid's teeth as the shape of their teeth is different from adults.
Football mouth guard is the most common name which has been used for the mouth guard generally but they are available for other sports too. It protects children from bruising, tooth fracture, reduce neurologic injury chances and prevent laceration etc. Football mouth guards are not easy to carry, that's why there have been different types of them are available for kids which include boil and bite mouth guard, fitting mouth guard, extra small mouth guard and mouth guard for 7 years old etc.
Children Mouth Guard Buyer’s Guide:
When purchasing a mouth guard for kids, you should consider different things which include:
Find out more about Oral Mart by clicking here!
I'm an author, sometimes a speaker, and a relational coach on a fairly regular basis. To put things into perspective, it takes 3-6 months to create a new product (such as an e-course, a workbook or journal) before I can put it out for sale. It takes me a year to write a book. And that doesn't include the time it takes for promotions. Speaking engagements are kept to a minimum unless I happen to be in a somewhat close proximity, and coaching is kept to one or two small groups per week.
So, I paint you this picture so that you can see that my income structure is sporadic and difficult to determine from one month to the next. I haven't really been looking for another income stream, because my plate is pretty full on any given time, but I'm always open to hearing about new opportunities.
Enter It Works!
Full disclosure. I discovered this company as a client. I use their products and I love their products. I think they are well made and they really do all the things they promise. They are worth every single penny. My daughter started selling the product and she loves the company side of things too! So, with some convincing, (not much, actually) I decided to sign up to be a distributer too! It's now a family business!! Lol!
In case you haven't heard of It Works, it is a company that offers Health and Wellness products that are sold through Independent Distributors. Their products are plant-based which makes them an instant "YES!" to vegans or those who have a difficult time getting their daily requirements for a healthy body. (Which I think we ALL struggle with! Lol)
It offers weight loss, hair, skin and nails, a full skin care line, healthy shakes, help with stress, digestion, and so many other wonderful and well made products. There literally is something for everyone! Check out their products here.
I love it already because it doesn't add a ton of more items to my already explosive list! No inventory. No parties. No cold calls. No expensive sign up fees or subscriber fees.
Did I mention that I now get a really great discount on the items I'm already using?! Lol!!
I spend a lot of time on social media and blogging already, so this is was just an extension of things I'm already doing. The company is very clear that they don't want a bunch of pushy sales people. They just want you to tell the people you are in contact how you feel about the products.
I can do that!! I AM doing that!! And, people come to me. It's amazing. It helps that the company has a good reputation and a recognizable product.
So, here I am, letting you know I'm here for you! I'll probably be blogging a bit more about the products but I promise not to take away from the amazing content already found here. (Maybe I'll start a different blog?)
If you are interested in product, let me know! If you are looking for a real, honest-to- goodness work from home option, let me know. I am happy to brag about this one! I am so impressed already!
If you want to dig around the site to see what it has to offer, here ya go. Just click here!
If you have any questions about anything (as always), please reach out to me and ask!
If Only My Teens Would Hear These 35 Things…
By Elizabeth Bourgeret
If there was a window of time that teens would allow me to spill out all of my years of advice and wisdom from being a life-coach and mom, this short list is what I’d like them to know…
I know it’s hard to see past this time in your life and you may feel disconnected, but, I promise you- you WILL make it through and you will be able to look back and reminisce about these very days sometime in your distant future. (Probably when your teens are going through the same trials and you wish nothing more than to be able to ease their stress)
I have made it my personal mission to help teens get through the tricky time between high school and adult life though classes, workshops, coaching and essentially being the “other Momma”. But just in case I don’t get a chance to meet up with you, here are just a few things that you probably won’t learn in school, and the test you take on your comprehension of said items, is not a pass or fail grade but a level of success and happiness to be found in your daily life.
So if I’ve kept your attention this long, my easily-distracted teens, keep reading. Here comes the good stuff.
1. The choices you make today will impact your future. You may think that the things you do right now don’t matter, but even when you turn a giant airplane’s direction a fraction of a degree, it completely changes its destination.
2. Your destination is not pre-determined. You have the power to create the future you choose. Don’t ever let anyone tell you anything different.
3. No one owes you anything. If there is something you want, go to work for it.
4. In order to have friends, you must first BE a friend. And not all friends are true friends. Those are few and far between and should be treated as special as they are.
5. Goal setting and taking action is the key. Even if it is a small action. Work toward your goals a little bit every day. And you WILL reach them eventually.
6. A goal without action, is just a wish.
7. Always, always take the high road and walk in integrity.
8. Anything you share on social media is NEVER private. If you don’t want your mother to see it, don’t post it. Don’t send it. Don’t… you know what, better yet, delete it. Delete it right now.
9. Get enough sleep. Your brain and body need it to help you in this huge mental and physical growth spurt you are enduring.
10. Choose your friends carefully. They have more influence over your decisions than you realize. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Who you spend the bulk of your time with will shape how far you will go in life.
11. Never stop dreaming. When you see your dream to reality… dream a new one.
12. Read something positive or influential every day.
13. Choosing a spouse is the single most important decision you will ever make. Do not rush into a lifetime commitment, but once you do commit, never let go.
14. Learn to take responsibility for everything in your life. Your words, your choices, your actions and reactions. By taking responsibility (even though it sounds super scary) is actually the key to your freedom.
15. Value your family.
16. Keep your commitments. You are only as good as your word.
17. Technology cannot and should not replace human relationships
18. If you feel your parents would disapprove of something you are about to do, practice the Pause. Think it through to what the consequences might be. Those “gut” feelings are there for a reason. Take heed and if you must proceed, proceed with caution. But trust me- you don’t want to walk willingly into regret.
19. Manners make a difference.
20. Life is hard. It’s supposed to be. It’s molding you and shaping you into the person you were meant to be. Don’t give up. You appreciate things more if you have to work for them.
21. What is your story? Who are you? What do you believe about yourself? When you know your story, the answers to many of life’s toughest questions are already answered for you. Have faith in your story.
22. Be good to your parents. They are doing the best that they can, and really do want what is best for you. (They are not out to ruin your street cred!)
23. Don’t waste your time, money or brain cells on drugs. Need I say more, cause I can go on for days…
24. Take photos. Smile. Commemorate your life. Appease your mother when she insists on family photos. You’ll be glad to have them to look back on when she is gone. These small capsules of your life will keep you company when you are lonely.
25. Don’t judge others. You have no idea what they may be going through and you don’t like it when it’s done to you.
26. Be kind to yourself. What you tell yourself everyday will either lift you up and make you stronger or break you down and suck the self-confidence away from you.
27. Always be willing to help others.
28. Don’t’ take anything for granted. Be thankful for the good, the bad and the lessons learned.
29. Always be kind to others. There is absolutely no reason that you can’t be kind.
30. Don’t ruin a perfectly good today by dwelling on a not so good yesterday. You can’t change what has already happened, but the future is wide open.
31. You don’t HAVE to be in a relationship. Enjoy your own company! Figure out who you are. Be patient. Love will happen when it’s time. Work on becoming the right person and the right person will come to you. (Not necessarily in high school, but someday.)
32. Sometimes things don’t have a solid answer. Sometimes things aren’t all black and white, either, or, this or that. Don’t spend your nights thinking on things that just don’t have answers right now. Sometimes you just have to accept things as they are and let the rest go. Eventually all the pieces will fall into place, just right.
33. Actions speak louder than words. Without exception. Actions prove who someone is. Words only show you who they think they want to be.
34. If you continue to live your life thinking that everything should be about you, then eventually, that’s all that you will be left with… just you.
35. And one last thing; You are unique and precious and so worthwhile. You fill my life with sunshine and give me purpose. You- yes you- can accomplish anything you put your heart to… and I’ll be right here cheering you on.
(motivational teen-life coach and creator of the Total Truth Workshop for Teens. Find out more about Elizabeth Bourgeret by visiting her website: www.elizabethbourgeret.com or following her on Facebook.com/EBourgeret)
Is Professional Steam Carpet Cleaning Really Safe For Babies?
Dirty carpets are an unfortunate inevitability for most of us. Pets, children and shoes from all over (yours included) track all kinds of dirt and grime onto your carpet. This results in having to get your carpet steam cleaned. If you have a baby in your home, there is more to consider. The solutions used by many professional steam carpet cleaners contain ingredients that can be harmful to babies, who are notorious for rolling all over the carpets, sticking their fingers into the fibers and then into their mouths.
Before hiring or renting a professional steam cleaner to clean your carpets, do your best to research what products and solutions each company uses. Avoid using carpet cleaners that employ or contain any of the following chemicals: benzyl benzoate, butoxyethanol, formaldehyde, glycol ethers, hydroxyacetic acid, hydrofluoric acid, naphthalene, nitrilotriacetic acid, perchloroethylene, perchloroethylene, perfluoro-octane sulfonate (PFOS), phenol, sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, and tetrachloroethylene. These chemicals can be harmful to babies, even in small bits of exposure.
For those concerned about this, there is a simple solution. Hire a carpet cleaning company that employs non-toxic cleaning products with a low-water cleaning process. If you’re looking to rent a steam cleaner, make sure to do your research beforehand. Call different cleaning companies and inquire about the products they use.
Some dry shampoos, carpet cleaning powders and foams leave a residue that lingers on carpet fibers. This residue is supposed to be picked up by a vacuum and removed from your carpet’s fibers quickly, but sometimes the residue can be buried too deep within the fibers to catch. Powders and foams often contain fragrances and certain acids that can be irritating to babies’ skin, eyes and lungs. To be safe, it’s best to keep your baby out of a room after the carpet’s been treated with a dry cleaning treatment.
Another big concern about babies and steam carpet cleaning is mold and moisture. The worry here is that the carpet will not dry quickly enough, making it a fertile spot for mold and mildew to grow. When you get your carpet steam cleaned, it dampens the carpet and the pad beneath. In a humid or poorly ventilated room, this can be an ideal space for mold to grow. Once mold begins to grow in a carpet, it’s almost impossible to remove without professional assistance. If you live in Kennebunk, Maine we recommend http://carpetcleaningkennebunk.com as they use only eco friendly cleaning chemicals. To hinder mold growth after your steam cleaning, be sure to leave windows open and run ceiling and standing fans to ventilate air and facilitate drying. If a baby has to play in any of the rooms after they were steam cleaned, put them in a standup playpen so they’re not directly exposed to the fibers, in case of unseen mold growth. The presence of mold spores can cause headaches, allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
Regardless of the type of cleaning you’ve done on your carpet, it’s recommended you keep your baby out of that room for at least four hours following the cleaning. If you get your carpet steam cleaned, don’t let your baby crawl around that carpet until you’re sure it’s dried completely. If anyone in your home begins exhibiting signs of an allergic reaction to mold, be sure to contact a mold removal specialist.
From Houston native Sherel Ames, comes Fight For The Family, a new web series focusing on all aspects of life and the struggles that come along with it, including marriage and divorce, blended families, alcohol and substance abuse, dating, and more. Fight For The Family is a new drama that is sure to connect with audiences at the very core, due to the ‘real world’ subject matter and situations.
The show itself follows Detective James Guillory, and his younger sister Toi Allen as they work together to overcome the various issues threatening to rip their family apart. Fight For The Family deals with the relationships, the trials, and the triumphs a family can go through - but will they become stronger in the end? Check out Fight For The Family yourself - It just may be your new favorite web series.
Check it out here!
It Begins and Ends with Family
by Jo Ann Wentzel
A book written by parents who fostered over 75 kids, mainly teen aged boys and often eight at one time. The book relates the experiences of a foster parent and some of the discoveries made about why and how to foster.
Order your copy today from Amazon by clicking here!
Of What Good is Story?
Norma Jean Lutz
Has a Story Any Practical Use?
Did you ever wonder about this? Really now. Of what good is a story? Has it any practical use? It’s not like a gadget or a gizmo that can actually do something, or can provide a useful function. One could probably successfully live and die and never read a novel, or be told a story. (Although I shudder to think of such a life, I suppose it could happen.)
Stories, I venture to say, are so ingrained in who we are and what we are, they can easily be overlooked or dismissed or disparaged. It would be the same as being oblivious to the melodic sound of a child’s laughter. Or ignoring how sunlight sparkles and shimmers on the surface of a bubbling stream.
What Is a Story?
Going back to the basics of basics – what exactly is a story? A co-worker told you a juicy bit of gossip at work this morning. Is that a story? Yes. That can be a type of story; but not story in its purest form.
Essentially, every 60-second commercial attempts to tell a story – albeit an extremely short story.
Story in it purest form must go somewhere. Something happens; then something happens next, which makes the reader (listener) want to know what happens next. Each is interconnected.
These series of events must happen TO someone. That someone will be the main character (or characters). Next, that someone must be a someone that the reader cares about. For if the reader does not care, that reader will cease reading. The story at that point is missing a key element. That key element is a character who is so real and lifelike that the reader is closely relating to that character.
What then is the function of a story? A story’s main function is to explore human emotions, values, and beliefs. A story allows us to see people and circumstances that we may deeply relate to, and yet we can stand separate and apart (objective) from them. Stories give humankind a tool, so to speak, to be used for the purpose of gaining understanding.
Albert Einstein gave us this nugget of truth about stories:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
What is he saying here? Stories have a distinct function in the development of the human mind and psyche.
My quote would read more like this:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read aloud to them. If you want them to be more intelligent, read aloud to them more.”
Personally, I was reading aloud to my children almost from birth. No PSA ad on television had to tell me this was beneficial. As a storyteller and story-lover, I knew it was beneficial. (I, at the time, had no idea just how beneficial!) My grandchildren have now been read to from little up and all four are avid readers. But I digress.
Exploring and Knowing Self
If the story explores human emotions, values and beliefs, and if characters come to know self through a series of events, it stands to reason that the reader will gain insight as to how to know self. Often what is revealed to the character in the process of self-discovery, can be mirrored in the mind and heart of the reader.
“Ah yes.” The reader gives an inward sigh as the book closes on the last word of the last chapter of the past page. It’s a sigh of satisfaction, yes. But it’s more. So much more.
It can be compared to listening to a concert rendered by an orchestra of great renown. At the last fading note of the last encore, something in the human soul has been fed and nurtured. A good story in the same way, feeds the human soul and makes the world a better place.
I love it when my daughter (busy homeschooling mother of three) is reading a great novel and greedily snatches moments to read. Literally, she can hardly wait to get back to the story. It lies there on the kitchen counter, or the table by the couch, wooing her with a siren song that cannot be resisted.
Of what good is story?
I guess I could say I’m in the business of manufacturing an intangible product known as a story. I have stories that also woo me with their siren song. The song I hear is different. It’s not to read the story, but to tell the story. Write the story.
It would matter not a whit to me if tomorrow someone proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that stories were of absolutely no worth to anyone on the planet.
Of what use is story?
Story makes me want to get up in the morning!
That’s enough for me!