Top Tips For Keeping Your Garden Maintained

We all keep on top of the maintenance with our homes but how many of us remember that our gardens and outside living spaces are just as important. If we leave them they end up looking like a jungle but if we nurture them they become an extension of our home and provide us with a perfect relaxation zone. There are certain things that you can do to keep your garden maintained and looking it’s best throughout the whole year, let have a look at some of the things you can do season by season.

Fall

Although people tend to think that the start of Fall is the time to move away from any sort of garden maintenance there are still plenty of jobs that you can be getting on with. This could be the perfect time of the year to start looking over bigger jobs such as installing and maintaining pergolas or adding and repairing walkways, driveways and slabbed seating areas as the season changes it’s cooler allowing you to carry our more strenuous jobs. Of course, you don’t have to take of this yourself and you could always look into professionals such as ProActive Landscaping, they are able to help with all your needs throughout the year.

Winter

There won’t be much that you want to be carrying out in the winter however, you should still be making sure that you have the steps in place to be able to clear pathways and driveways, remove and ice problems or build up and look into the condition of your irrigation. It may be worth having a look at stocking up with salt and making sure you have an adequate spade. Then you are able to move onto festive jobs such as installing Christmas lights and enjoying the Holiday Season if you’re expecting snow why not try out a bit of tobogganing.

Spring

Spring is seen as the ultimate time to start your garden clear up and to start any planned projects that you’ve been thinking about over the winter months. You can pretty much get on with anything and everything in the spring months as long as you are lucky enough to avoid the April showers. You should start with the basics and clear and debris, cut back anything that needs it and do an overall check of the condition of all the items in the garden, this means you are able to prioritize what needs to be done before the summer months arrive.

Summer

You may want to just sit back and relax in the summer months and who can blame you! It’s a good idea to make sure you are keeping on top of your garden even if it just by pottering around. The summer months are a good time to watch your garden flourish with green grass, bright colored plants, and well lit evening walkways and seating areas. Just be careful not to water your lawn or plants in the height of the day as believe it or not they can actually burn.

Do you have any other ideal jobs for each season? Please share them in the comments section below.

Things To Do Before You Move Into A New House

Moving into a new house is an exciting time, but there are a lot of steps that you need to take to ensure that it’s move-in ready. Whether your home is new construction or just new to you, having a few techniques to ensure that your home is secure, clean, and full of the comforts and amenities that you’re accustomed to will make the move-in process easier, and it will give you greater peace of mind during the first few weeks. These steps aren’t difficult, but you need a list so that you don’t have the nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something, and here are a few ideas to get you started.

Change the Locks

If you’re buying a house that someone else has lived in, the old homeowner’s brother-in-law, their best friend, and even the neighbor might already have keys to the house that you’re moving into, so you should change the locks before you even move in. Although it’s unlikely that half of the neighborhood has keys to your house when you buy a house that was just built, you never know if there was an unscrupulous construction worker around during the final phases of your home’s construction. Make your new home safe by changing the locks and the code on the garage door opener.

Clean Preowned Homes

If you’re buying a house that was previously owned, take the time to ensure that you’re moving into a clean house. Steam clean the carpets, wipe out the cabinets, and check for pests in the garage, attic, basement, or any other places they might have found their ways into.

Make a Prioritized To-Do List

If your house has a few things that need adjustment, you might not get to all of them immediately. For instance, if you’re concerned that the deck in the backyard isn’t large enough for you to host your entire family during the summers, you can still move in, but you might choose to expand it a few months later. You should take care of some other things, such as safety issues, right away. For instance, if one of the steps on the deck has a loose board, fix it before you let anyone spend time outside.

Switch Over the Cable, Internet, Electricity, and Other Services

During the first couple of days, more than likely, you won’t have very much time to sit back and watch television, but you’ll want to have it available in a few days when everything is unpacked. And you’ll definitely want the water and electricity to be turned on the day that you move into your new house.

Just like moving out of your house, there are numerous tasks that need your attention so that you can be comfortable and feel secure when you move into your new home. There are many legal details involved in closing on a home, and you can visit ConveyOnline to find someone to ensure that someone is looking out for some of your legal interests so that you have more time to focus on setting up your home the way that makes you comfortable.

The Ultimate Kitchen Remodeling Checklist

A kitchen is the hub of every home. It’s actually one of those places that can’t go unnoticed. Since the materials that are used in the kitchen wear out with time, you should consider scheduling a kitchen renovation every decade or so. Doing so helps in ensuring that your kitchen maintains its appeal and functionality. Besides that, remodeling throws in a punch of elegance where it matters the most. Beauty is not the only driving force here. Seeing that your kitchen has more space gives you a sense of pride.

As a matter of fact, homes that have upgraded kitchens command a higher price in the property market than those that are outdated. However, kitchen remodeling is not for the faint hearted. This is because you have to pay attention to every detail and also prioritize your needs. That’s why majority of homeowners prefer to hire a kitchen remodeling contractor to help them with the planning. But it’s not rocket science. You too can do it as long as you are willing to burn some

midnight oil. Here is a list of the things that should not be left out when remodeling a kitchen.

  1. Flooring

If the floor of your kitchen is in a sorry state, you have no option but to install a new floor. But before that, you have to literally remove the old floor. Depending on the square foot of your kitchen, such a job might take two or three days. There are actually two common types of floors that are ideal for kitchens; ceramic tiles and wooden. Both of them are actually easy to clean. However, a ceramic floor remains cold most of the time, meaning you have to wear your slippers or shoes to avoid the cold. In addition to that, you have to budget for the materials regardless of whether you prefer a ceramic or wooden floor. This is because the flooring materials are sold on the basis of square foot. You should therefore measure the dimensions of your kitchen before buying the materials so that you can approximate and avoid buying excess tiles or wood panels.

  1. Countertops and Faucets

A kitchen looks incomplete without countertop finish. When your countertop is functional, you can be sure that you will have enough space when preparing meals or cleaning the dishes. Unlike in the past when countertops were made from concrete, nowadays they are made from either marble or ceramic. The good thing is that there are many designs to choose from. Besides that, these modern countertops are very durable when compared with their predecessors. And that’s not all. Cleaning them is like a walk in the park.

Since they don’t allow water or any liquid to penetrate through them, stains become a thing of the past. You can get rid of a spill in a single wipe. Countertops go hand in hand with faucet. You must therefore install a new faucet after upgrading the countertop. Modern faucets come with chrome finish and retractable shower head among other features. A faucet that’s flexible is much better because you can conveniently fill your pots and other containers without putting them into the sink.

  1. Cabinets and Shelves

Cabinets and shelves provide space for keeping utensils in the kitchen. Instead of repainting your cabinets, you should just demolish them and replace them with new ones. But there are instances when you might want to install new shelves alongside the old ones, especially when you have just bought more utensils. Besides that, you have to choose the variety of wood that you want to use. Hardwood is usually the best but it’s also expensive. If you are on a budget, you should opt for softwood. Fortunately, nowadays you can order for prefab shelves and cabinets and mount them yourself.

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How to Turn Your Kitchen Space Into a Business

In case you are the person who loves experimenting in the kitchen, you might be ignoring a couple of great business opportunities that can increase your income, no matter if you are a full time blogger or have an actual job. Transform your kitchen into a business for a couple of hours a week, and you will be able to increase your income and have loads of fun at the same time. Find a couple of ideas below.

Baking  Business

In case you are famous for baking the nicest cupcakes or cake creations for birthdays, you might want to set up your baking business. The most important thing to do is ensure that you are covering your setup and energy costs, and are still earning enough money per hour. You might probably need to transform your kitchen space to have more space and facilities, and could be looking for a quote on the best of kitchen design. After you found out how much your renovation will cost, you will need to create a plan to get the best return on investment.

Organic Preserves

Organic and green living is becoming more popular every year. You might want to cater for people with particular food allergies and intolerances, and offer organic preserves with low or no sugar content. There is a lot of money to be made in the organic condiment business, and it is easy to set up your own manufacturing space in your kitchen to sell your products at the local market.

Natural Beauty Products

Another thing people are looking for is natural beauty products that will not cause irritation or skin problems. You can focus on one niche, for example, those with acne problems, or people with skin sensitivity. You might want to read books and go on a course to find out as much as possible about the industry and the best way of marketing your products, but you will certainly be able to find people who are willing to pay extra for all natural beauty products.

Cooking Videos and Blog

In case you are already a blogger, why not take your business to the next level by adding cooking videos and turning your kitchen into a studio? You will need to have some professional equipment, but search engines and social media sites love video content more than ever.

Herbal Sweets

If you are not looking to set up a fully operational lab in your kitchen, or you lack space, you can focus on smaller projects, such as herbal sweets. You can make them sugar free, and add some essential oils that will help people with various conditions, such as asthma or rashes. You might need to experiment for a while before you can scale up your operations, but once you have found a reseller, you can earn a living in just a couple of hours a week.

If you haven’t looked at your kitchen as a business opportunity yet, it might be time to change your perspective and find a way to turn your passion for cooking into profits.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 472

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

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Tips for Cleaning Your Home Naturally

Whether you are always looking for ways to be kinder to the environment, like to use eco-friendly, natural products and avoid your exposure to chemicals, or are keen to cut costs, it’s a good idea to think about using green cleaning items in your home.

Handily, while you can buy good options from the shops these days, many of the ingredients you’ll need to make your own natural cleaners are probably already sitting in your pantry, anyhow. To help you get a sparkling kitchen, bathroom and other areas ASAP, read on for some top tips for cleaning your home naturally.

Baking Soda

One of the best natural cleaning products you’ll find is baking soda (a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate). An odor absorber and therefore natural deodorizer, baking soda is also slightly abrasive, which makes it a good choice for scouring. It works best on grease, proteins, animal messes and the like.

Use it by sprinkling it onto the area you want to clean and then scrub with a damp cloth. When you need some more cleaning power for harder-to-move stains, combine baking soda with vinegar for an effervescent effect. You can also add water to baking soda to create a cleaning paste.

There is a wide variety of things you can clean with baking soda (and other ingredients as required). For example, use it to clean stove burner grates, ovens, garage floors and other concrete areas, scuffed walls, stained cups and mugs, grills and barbecue utensils, garden tools, upholstered furniture and more.

Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is an acidic wonder that works effectively on alkaline substances. It will help to dissolve scale, tarnish, and mineral deposits; cut soap scum and wax buildup; inhibit mold, mildew and some bacteria; and get rid of stains such as those caused by rust, coffee, tea and so on.

Use it in water as a natural cleaning tool, adding in a drop or two of essential oil to diffuse the vinegar odor if you’re not a fan. If there’s heavy buildup, it pays to soak a cloth in vinegar and lay it over the affected area for an hour or so to let it really soak in. After that time, start scrubbing.

Take advantage of the power of vinegar to clean and disinfect your dishwasher, drains, floors, steam iron, and showerheads, and use it to get things like glassware, coffeemakers, moldy walls, and windows squeaky clean.

Lemon

Lemon is a wonderful natural cleaner not just because it gives your home a lovely fresh scent and is pleasant to work with, but because it also happens to make a very effective cleaner, especially when it is combined with one of the other products mentioned above or below. The acid in lemon juice helps to remove a wide variety of dirt, stains, deposits, scum and other build-up.

You can cut lemons in half and use the wedges in cleaning, or use lemon juice in sprays and other mixes. Sometimes you’ll need to let the lemon sit on an area for up to half an hour or so to really work its magic, but other times it will be effective ASAP.

When you need to do some garbage disposal cleaning, lemon comes in handy as it’s a natural deodorizer. Grind up the peels in your disposal unit, along with some running water, to refresh things in a hurry. Lemon can also be used for soap scum in kitchens and bathrooms, hard-water deposits on glassware, countertops (though avoid using it on marble and other delicate stone as it can sometimes cause discoloration), cupboards, appliances, food stains, rust, cutting boards, faucets, grout, dishes, and even laundry.

Salt

Salt is another great natural cleaning tool that many people don’t realize they could be utilizing more. A real powerhouse because of its abrasive nature, salt is perfectly suited to scouring, whether you use it by itself, with lemon (a combination great for cleaning copper), or as a paste with vinegar. You can use table salt, kosher salt or sea salt, but table salt is obviously the most wallet-friendly option.

Use salt in your home to scrub away grime on stove grates and oven racks, and to get rid of hard-water stains on glassware. It’s also great for cleaning greasy pots and pans, stained cups and mugs, wooden tables and countertops, and artificial flowers.

Utilize some of the natural cleaning items listed here and you will soon have a home that is sparkling clean, smelling fresh, and free from nasty germs. You don’t have to put yourself, your family, your pets, the environment or even your budget at risk to do so, either.

Top Ways to Improve Your Property’s Curb Appeal

Are you considering selling your home sometime this year? Or perhaps you just want to get your property looking its best, for your own pride or for a particular event, such as a home wedding? Either way, it’s a good idea to regularly take steps to ensure the curb appeal of your home is as strong as possible.

There are many steps you can take to ensure the outside of your property looks just as neat and tidy as the inside. Read on for some cost effective and simple ways you can improve the curb appeal for your home today.

Mow the Lawns and Tidy the Gardens Regularly

First up, you will immediately boost the look of your property by taking care of your lawn and doing some gardening to tidy up the outdoor areas. Overgrown lawns, long weeds, unkempt garden beds and the like give a yard a messy, neglected feel and can be the first thing people notice when they arrive at your property.

To ensure visitors or potential buyers get the right impression, focus on completing regular yard work. Getting a lush, green lawn is a good start. Lawn mowing needs to be done often, particularly during rainy seasons. If you hate this job or simply don’t have the time for it, keep in mind that you can hire someone to do the task for you. Check out these Houston lawn mowing services as an example.

Keep your lawn looking its best by also fertilizing it at least a couple of times per year, and water it as often as it needs it (if grass is curling up or turning a different color this is often indicative that more moisture is required). Aerate the lawn annually too, so that water, sun and air get down to the roots and the soil and help keep the lawn healthy and strong. Also rake up fallen leaves so they don’t end up turning into a suffocating mat once they get wet.

As for your gardens, keep everything trimmed back and especially away from fences and paths. Remove anything which has died, do some weeding as needed, and relocate shrubs or trees which have become too large for their current position. If, however, you have the opposite problem and your yard is looking rather bare, it’s time to add some color and greenery by way of new plants. Choose drought-resistant, easy-to-care-for plants and place mulch around them so you don’t need to worry about too much upkeep.

Repair or Replace Hardware

Hardware items out the front of your home generally need some maintenance and care over time, too. For a comprehensive property exterior facelift, look at the outside of your house with fresh eyes and see what needs painting, repairing or replacing. Paint can peel, things can rust and break, and if they haven’t been updated for many years, older fixtures and fittings can also really date your property.

Check out a variety of hardware on the exterior of your house to see what needs work. This list includes your front door, mail box, windows, roof, garage, door frames, decking, weatherboard, street number, window boxes and the like.

Install Good Lighting

Lighting is another important element when it comes to curb appeal. Keep in mind that you could have buyers or other visitors coming to your home after dark, so you want things to be well lit up, so no one loses their way, trips, or hurt themselves. Good outdoor lighting also does a great job of making a property feel more inviting and homely.

When choosing lights, consider purchasing solar products, as these will be much more economical over time. They also of course are kinder to the environment. While you may find some DIY installation options, often these types of goods have to be properly put in by a qualified, licensed electrician to be safe and up to code.

Fix Up Driveways and Fences

Lastly, if your property is like many others, it’s possible that at the moment your driveway has cracks or other flaws in it, and/or the fences are falling down or otherwise in a state of disrepair. Curb appeal will not be complete until you fix these elements.

Get a driveway specialist in to repair or re-lay concrete or other “dressings” on your driveway, and fix falling down fences or those which need to get a fresh coat of paint. If you don’t currently have any fencing out the front of your yard, consider installing one. This will add style, give you privacy, and make

your property more appealing if buyers are coming to look at it and need to find a home with secure boundaries to keep children and/or pets safe.

Easy Tricks to Keep Your Lawn and Garden Weed-Free

Weeds. When you’re trying to maintain an attractive and healthy lawn and garden, they are the bane of your existence. It always seems like when you get rid of one, a dozen more pop up in its place. Weed eradication can easily feel like a losing battle, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few easy tricks gathered from the pros, you can stay ahead of the weeds and keep your lawn and garden healthy and thriving all season long.

Know Your Weeds

The first step to any effective lawn weed control plan is to understand what you’re dealing with. Getting rid of dandelions, for example, requires a different approach than eradicating crabgrass or plantain, quickgrass, or thistle. Identifying the weeds in your lawn allows you to create a more effective plan, as there is no one method that will kill all weeds. In some cases, pulling the weeds out is the best option, while others will respond better to herbicide application. If you spot weeds in your lawn, do some research to determine what you are dealing with and uncover the best methods of getting rid of them.

Be Proactive

The best way to deal with a weed issue to keep it from happening in the first place. There are two main ways of doing this. [Read more…]

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 471

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]