Garden Herbs

Summer is in full force which means cookouts, barbecues, and picnics! All of these activities can be improved with herbs right from your home garden. Do you not have herbs in your home garden? No worries, we have the perfect list of herbs for you to plant: 

 

The Six Must-Have Garden Herbs: 

  1. Basil. One of the most popular herbs that homeowners grow is basil. It is rich in nutrients and full of bold flavors. Basil is one of the most versatile herbs because it can be used fresh or dried! The meal possibilities are endless with basil from homemade pesto to basil tea! 

Pro-tip: While you are growing basil in your garden, pull out any flower stalks that begin to grow. By doing so, you will have the best-tasting basil. 

Meal Idea: There is nothing like a homemade margarita pizza with fresh basil. You and your loved ones will delight in the pizza’s simple yet bold taste. 

  1. Chives. Not only is this herb delicious, but it discourages mosquitoes and other unwanted insects from entering your garden bed. Chives are light yet tasty. Chefs compare their delicious taste to onions. 

Pro-tip: When preparing to take your chives to the kitchen, try to keep 1/2 inch of the chive’s stub in your garden to help keep it growing properly. 

Meal Idea: Want an easy dish to bring to your next party? Try making homemade sour cream and chive dip.

  1. Cilantro. You will get two opinions on cilantro: I love it or I hate it. People usually have very strong feelings about cilantro. If you are a cilantro lover, you must add this unique herb to your home garden. Plus, cilantro has several health benefits from aiding in digestion to reducing inflammation. 

Pro-tip: Throw out any dried, brown leaves from your cilantro plant to stimulate a healthy growth.

Meal Idea: Guacamole can be savory with a dash of cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper and diced tomatoes. The cilantro helps bring all these flavors together into an enticing Mexican dish. 

  1. Mint. Not only will its smell delight your senses, but mint’s versatility makes it the perfect herb. You can add mint into your favorite drink or even a sandwich. Mint can be delicious in a variety of different dishes, just try it out. 

Fun fact: Mint has beneficial properties that can be used to help to relieve headaches or sinus infections and can help with digestion. 

Meal Idea: In a water bottle, place a couple pieces of mint with sliced strawberries. The flavors will help you drink more water and aid your digestion. 

  1. Parsley. The herb that takes away bad breath and tastes delicious. You will notice that parsley has a more bitter taste than the other herbs, but it works well in all types of dishes. 

Meal Idea: How delectable does grilled steak with parsley sound? The next time you prepare a meal on the grill, try adding some parsley as a delicious garnish. 

  1. Rosemary. You will love this herb because of its versatility and bold flavors. Rosemary can be paired with meat, vegetables, nuts or bread. 

Meal Idea: Add rosemary sprigs to some olive oil and voila, you have a mouth-watering dipping sauce for your bread. 

 

Having an herb garden makes cooking all the better. You will love the fresh flavors and spice your herbs can add to a meal. 


Five Ways to Make Your Living Room Cozy

Whether you’re working with a small or large layout it’s important for your living room to be a comfortable space. After all, the living room area serves many different functions. It’s where you entertain your guests, spend time with the family and watch all your favorite flicks.

Here are some tips to turn any sized living room and style into a cozy space. 

  1. Trade your bland coffee tables for stuffed oversized ottomans. Yes, plush ottomans will instantly add a sense of comfort to your living room. In addition, ottomans can serve multiple functions. An ottoman can serve as a coffee table, you can store extra items inside them and let’s not forget they are great for resting your feet on.
  2. If you’re working with a large space, then consider filling in your space with a large sectional. Sectionals are super inviting and it creates a sense of warmth. The best part of having a sectional sofa is that you’ll have sufficient seating options which will allow the family and your guests to sit comfortably.
  3. Lighting is often overlooked when designing a room to be comfortable. Lighting drastically affects the mood of the room. A living room that is dark and doesn’t use sufficient lighting can feel depressing. Therefore, be sure to leave your drapes open so that natural lighting can flow in the room. If necessary, consider increasing the wattage of light bulbs or adding in extra light fixtures.
  4. Don’t forget the throw blankets. Who doesn’t like to curl up in a plush blanket during movie night? Throw blankets don’t have to be tacky. To stylishly pull off this look use a blanket that is rich in color and texture. A throw blanket will make your living room feel more comfortable while also adding a bit of style to the area.
  5. Throwing a soft area rug in the mix is another great way to add some comfort to the living room.  An area rug will add some warmth to your contemporary tile or wood floors.

 

Kids Bathroom Decoration Tips

If you have children, then you’re an expert at getting them to do things by turning them into a fun activity. Sometimes even that doesn’t work, but you’ve got to keep trying, right? For instance, their nighttime wash up routine can feel like it takes forever and quickly become draining when you’ve had a long day of running errands, working or being their all-day entertainment. Decorating their bathroom in a fun, easily accessible way to excite them and give them a chance to learn to take care of themselves.

 

Know that however you decorate this room, messes are going to happen. Children are in a constant state of learning and self-control isn’t necessarily their strong suit. Water will be splashed onto the floor, toothpaste will drip onto the counter and wayward toys will make their way into the sink and bathtub while you aren’t looking. Starting this process with a flexible attitude will prevent unnecessary stress and frustration, so think like they would when you are envisioning the space.

 

For the bathtub area, choose a fun, playful shower curtain and non-slip shower floor mat. Add suction cup containers to the shower walls to store water toys to play with as well as their body wash essentials. Loofahs wash cloths with fun animal shapes add a little flair. Don’t forget the bubble bath solution! Be sure to have an absorbent bathroom rug right outside the tub to catch those playful splashes and add a stool or cushion nearby to kneel or sit on so you can relax while they play. Have their favorite towel ready on a rack mounted shorter on the wall for easy access.

 

Make room for a hamper you can keep in the bathroom so the children learn to help you out with the laundry instead of throwing clothes on the floor. The sink area should have only the essentials as other items can be distracting and lead to delays. That figurine or picture frame on the counter will end up as a toy in no time! Extra items like these should be put on shelves that cannot be easily reached by little hands. Pictures can be installed on the wall. Add a carpet to this area as well in a fun color. If children are still unable to reach the sink area, add a sturdy stool and sink extender attachment so they can reach the water. Make hand towels available on your counter so kids do not have to reach too far for the wall mount and possibly slip from their stool.

 

Finally, if you need to give them a little incentive, create a wall chart that you can install low on the wall and check off each bedtime routine item so they can have a sense of accomplishment and learn to stick to a routine. If they do it well after so many times, you can give them a reward for being a “big kid”. 

 

Talk with your kids about what they want to see in their bathroom design and have a fun family trip to the store to make their vision come to life!

Kitchen Organization 101

A kitchen holds a lot of importance in a household. A kitchen is so much more than just a place where you cook. Think about the memories you have made in the kitchen. Whether you were baking cookies with grandma or preparing your first meal in a new home, a kitchen can hold a lot of significance. Let us treat our kitchens with the respect they deserve by taking care of them. A clean, organized kitchen can allow you to make the memories you want with your friends, children, spouse, etc. So let us organize our kitchens to get the maximum use out of them: 

 

  1. Take it all out. Remove everything from your cabinets and drawers. There may be some items in there that you did not even know you still owned. Separate the items into different piles: keep, donate, and trash. Chipped, broken items can go into the trash and unused, good condition items can be donated. 
  2. Sort items. Make your kitchen more logical and convenient by sorting items based on what they are. For example: group your glassware together and put them in one area of the kitchen. 
  3. Make it convenient. Think about the layout of your kitchen and place items by where they can be easily used. For example, place baking items near the oven for easy access! Store items that are not frequently used up higher and items that are used daily within reach. 
  4. Label items. If you like to make homemade dressings, jams, or sauces, make sure you label the container with the date and what product is inside it. This can avoid future confusion for you and your family. 
  5. Place lids on top of their container. This will be a lifesaver when you are trying to store your leftovers. Whenever you wash a container and lid, make sure to put them back together for easy use in the future.  
  6. Divide the drawers. Drawer dividers can be extremely helpful for cooks because they save us from having to dig through drawers. You can divide your silverware, utensils, etc. It will help you find items fast and remove clutter. 

 

Time to get cooking and make some amazing memories! What are some of your favorite memories you made in the kitchen? Feel free to comment in the section below: 


Hostess with the Mostess

You have been invited over one of your coworker’s houses for a summer get-together. You know that you need to bring a gift for the hostess, but you are stumped on what to get them. You are racking your brain trying to avoid the typical gifts like flowers or wine. There is no need to frantically wonder anymore because we have the perfect list of gifts for your summer hostess. They will become the hostess with the “mostess” from your amazing gift. 

 

Hostess Gift Ideas: 

Idea No. One: Ice Cream Sandwich Maker

What says “summer party” more than an ice cream sandwich? This gift is unique and will be well-loved by guests and the hostess. The best part is that you can find these for an inexpensive price at a home goods store.  

Idea No. Two: Fresh Tea. 

You have probably noticed tea stores located in the mall or shopping plazas. Buy and brew some fresh tea for the hostess’ party. Everyone will be able to sip and enjoy your delicious gift which is an added bonus. 

Idea No. Three: Coasters. 

A hostess can never own too many coasters because people need a place to sit their drinks during the party. If you live near a big city, buy city-themed coasters. Homeowners typically love the city that they live in and will enjoy the themed coasters. 

Idea No. Four: A Good Book. 

People can really appreciate the gift of a good book. If you are a book lover yourself, buy them one of your favorite books to read. If you do not read many books, visit a local bookstore and ask for advice from one of the workers. Ask them what people are reading this summer and look up some reviews online about the book that the worker suggests. Plus, if you are trying to build a relationship with the hostess, it will give you a topic to discuss in the future. 

Idea No. Five: Scented Candle. 

Summer scented candles have officially been released and yes, they smell amazing. Gift the hostess with a nice smelling candle. 

Idea No. Six: Infused Olive Oil. 

If you are located near an olive oil shop, buy your hostess a good bottle of olive oil. Odds are that they never treat themselves to a nice brand of olive oil and your gift could brighten up a cook out. 

 

We hope you enjoyed these tips and the summer party! 


Clean Your Garden Tools

If you are like us, the beginning of spring marks the enjoyable start of planting and gardening. Gardening can help relieve any stress brought on by intense spring cleaning, but we must not neglect cleaning our gardening tools. Begin your season off right with fresh, sparkling tools by following these easy tips: 

 

  • Muddy Tools: Remove all dirt and mud from your gardening tools by hosing them off with a high-powered garden hose. If excess dirt remains, you can use a putty knife to scrape off extra dirt. 
  • Rusty Tools: Tools seem to get rust over the years, but we can fight back against rust by scrubbing them with steel wool. 
  • Sticky Tools: Place a small amount of mayonnaise on a white cloth to remove sap and goo from your tools.
  • Exposed Tools: Sometimes, plants get sick with fungal or bacterial diseases. It is important that you do not transfer this disease to any other plant. Clean your tools with a bleach-free disinfectant wipe to ensure sanitation.  

 

Soaking Bucket: After you have removed any dirt, rust or goo from your tools, place them in a bucket with hot water and dish soap. Let the tools sit for about ten minutes before removing them from the soaking bucket. Take out the tools then rinse them off with warm water. You will need to dry your tools with an old rag to prevent future rust. 

 

Cleaning Bin: Instead of waiting to clean your tools, you can create a quick cleaning bin by combining a medium size bag of sand with one cup of vegetable oil. After you use your tools, place them in the sand bucket and let them sit overnight. The sand bucket will help any mud or dirt come loose from your tools and make any future cleaning easier on you.

 

Now you never have to neglect any of your gardening tools again with these easy tips. Do you have any tool cleaning tricks up your sleeve? We would love to hear about how you keep your garden tools and supplies clean in the comment section below.

Adding a Distinct Charm to Your Living Space

Adding character to your home doesn’t require a complete overhaul. From small changes to larger statement pieces, you can add charm without breaking the bank.  You may already love your space but feel like something more is needed or lacking to make it perfect. Here are a few ideas to get you started with finding that missing puzzle piece to your decor. 

 

When you walk through your home, do you have a lot of open wall space? This can make your living space seem like a blank slate waiting to be claimed.  Using a large wall decoration will not only fill that empty space but keep it from becoming cluttered with smaller items intended to fill every square inch of free room. By using a larger piece you will be able to solve the problem of lack of decoration while adding some charm at the same time. When it comes to what to place there, think of things like a tapestry, large wall clock, canvas painting or even a metal wall sculpture. 

 

Do you have a home office or living room that looks a little bland? Try adding a couple of tall bookcases where you can display all the good reads you’ve picked up throughout the years.  Use a rich stain to really give it a classic look.  Whether plain in craftsmanship or built with intricate designs and patterns, it will be an attractive addition to your home. If there is room on top of them, consider a couple of small sculptures you can place on top of each. 

 

An easy way to add charm to your home is through an update of hardware and other fixtures. If your doorknobs are plain in appearance, try crystal knobs or a french door lever handle style. Look at your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Are the faucets looking a bit dull with use? An update in color (from brass to brushed nickel or bronze, for example) can change the room’s look.  Look at the handles you are using on your kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well. If they are a bit dated, opt for a more modern design. Finally, updating your light fixtures with distinctive glass shapes and pendants can instantly add character to the room. Play around with bulbs, glass colors and different areas of the home you could add a little light.

 

A few simple changes can make a big difference.

Kids Bathroom Decoration Tips

If you’ve got kids, then you’re an expert at getting them to do things by turning them into a fun activity. Sometimes even that doesn’t work, but you’ve got to keep trying, right? For instance, their nighttime wash up routine can feel like it takes forever and quickly become draining when you’ve had a long day of running errands, working or being their all-day entertainment. Decorating their bathroom in a fun, easily accessible way to excite them and give them a chance to learn to take care of themselves.

 

Know that however you decorate this room, messes are going to happen. Children are in a constant state of learning and self-control isn’t necessarily their strong suit. Water will be splashed onto the floor, toothpaste will drip onto the counter and wayward toys will make their way into the sink and bathtub while you aren’t looking. Starting this process with a flexible attitude will prevent unnecessary stress and frustration, so think like they would when you are envisioning the space.

 

For the bathtub area, choose a fun, playful shower curtain and non-slip shower floor mat. Add suction cup containers to the shower walls to store water toys to play with as well as their body wash essentials. Loofahs and washcloths with fun animal shapes add a little flair. Don’t forget the bubble bath solution! Be sure to have an absorbent bathroom rug right outside the tub to catch those playful splashes and add a stool or cushion nearby to kneel or sit on so you can relax while they play. Have their favorite towel ready on a rack mounted shorter on the wall for easy access.

 

Make room for a hamper you can keep in the bathroom so the children learn to help you out with the laundry instead of throwing clothes on the floor. The sink area should have only the essentials as other items can be distracting and lead to delays. That figurine or picture frame on the counter will end up as a toy in no time! Extra items like these should be put on shelves that cannot be easily reached by little hands. Pictures can be installed on the wall. Add a carpet to this area as well in a fun color. If children are still unable to reach the sink area, add a sturdy stool and sink extender attachment so they can reach the water. Make hand towels available on your counter so kids do not have to reach too far for the wall mount and possibly slip from their stool.

 

Finally, if you need to give them a little incentive, create a wall chart that you can install low on the wall and check off each bedtime routine item so they can have a sense of accomplishment and learn to stick to a routine. If they do it well after so many times, you can give them a reward for being a “big kid”. 

 

Talk with your kids about what they want to see in their bathroom design and have a fun family trip to the store to make their vision come to life!

Laundry Room Organization

Laundry rooms are often forgotten when it comes to organizing your home. Homeowners typically focus on the main areas of their house like the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. But, what if we told you that simple updates in your laundry room can change the way you feel about doing laundry. Doing laundry is a dreaded process, let us be honest. It is not fun to take time out of your busy schedule to sort, wash, dry, iron, hang and put away all your clothing. We want to help you put the pep back into your laundry-doing step with these simple laundry room organization ideas: 

 

Tip #1: Designate a Folding Area. 

Folding can be such a chore if you are constantly looking for a place to fold. Designate a specific counter space for folding all your clean clothes to reduce wasted time. 

Tip #2: Add a Hanging Rod. 

By your ironing board, install a hanging rod to place your recently ironed clothing. This will help deter wrinkles from reforming and incorporates useful storage opportunities. 

Tip #3: Incorporate Slat Wall Storage. 

Utilize the wall space available in your laundry room by using a slat wall to incorporate more storage. Slat walls are typically found in garages, but this organizer can be brought indoors for some stellar updates. Try painting the slat wall your favorite color to add design and function to your space. You can even add some stenciled artwork to make it more pleasing to the eyes. 

Tip #4: Get a Hanger Organizer. 

The time we spend detangling hangers . . . Invest in a hanger organizer and your life will be forever changed. This system is perfect for busy homeowners!

Tip #5: Encourage The Family to Sort. 

Sorting can be done quickly if everyone participates in the job. Encourage members of your family to place the whites, blacks, and colors each in their particular basket in the laundry room. This will help save time with washing everyone’s clothing later. 

Tip #6: Jar your Detergent. 

Detergent can be a bit of an eyesore in laundry rooms. Place your detergent and fabric softener in cute jars. Try using a glass drink decanter for liquid detergent and you will never go back to boring bottles. Plus, if you want to save money and the environment, you can make your own detergent and you will not have to waste detergent bottles anymore. 

 

We hope you enjoyed these laundry room organization hacks!

Growing Roses

Roses have captured the hearts of many over the years because of their beauty and fragrance. The best time to plant roses is in the early spring or fall and you will notice them in full bloom during the early to midsummer months. You can easily put these colorful, breathtaking flowers in your yard by following these simple steps:

 

Supply List: 

  • Garden Gloves
  • Large Ceramic Container (18 inches deep) 
  • Broken Clay Pot Pieces
  • Potting Mix 
  • Bagged Manure
  • Slow-release Fertilizer
  • A Patio Rose (Examples: Regensburg or Ingrid Bergman) 
  • Bedding Plants (Example: Bacopa) 

 

Steps:

Preparation: Place the pot wherever you want it to sit on your patio or in your garden because once we fill it, it will be difficult to lift. 

Step One: Gently place your broken clay pot pieces at the base of the ceramic container then sprinkle a layer of your potting mix combined with well-rotted manure. Your mixture should be 1:10 (manure: soil). 

Step Two: Take your potted rose and put it inside of your ceramic container to check the depth. You want the base of the stems to be underneath the soil. Take your rose out of its pot and place it inside of the ceramic container. Add or remove soil wherever needed. 

Step Three: Now we are going to take our bedding plant and remove it from its original container. Gently place the plant inside of the ceramic container and add your soil/manure mixture around the plant’s base. You will want to make sure that you leave approximately two inches between the soil and the ceramic container’s rim for watering purposes. 

After Planting: Make sure to water your plant and keep it moist during the growing season. During springtime, take the out the top layer of soil and add in some fresh soil and granular rose fertilizer. During the early summer months, you may choose to add the liquid feed to your roses. During the winter months, place your ceramic pot on top of “feet.” The feet will help allow the plant to drain properly. 

 

Roses can brighten anyone’s day and they can be a great gift to give to show your appreciation for someone. From teachers to mothers, gifting your potted roses can be a thoughtful gesture. We hope you enjoyed these steps and your new roses.