Understanding Weeds

Tired of those pesky invaders marring your garden? Yes, when your garden springs to life during the spring and summer season so do the weeds. Managing the weeds that pop up in your garden can be super challenging. It often results in an all-out war. The key to effectively managing weeds in your garden is understanding their role in the ecosystem. It may seem like spring is still far off, but now is the time to start planning.


What Are Weeds?

What exactly are weeds? Weeds are unwanted plants that grow in a garden. They don’t take on one specific look. In fact, they can belong to a branch of any plant family including; grass, tree perennials or even an annual. A weed can be a native species plant or a plant that has already been introduced to the garden but grew out of hand. Weeds can change based on their geographic location. They even spread by roots, seeds, and runners.


While these unsightly plants are often undesirable they can offer many benefits. Some weeds are edible while others serve as a food source for pollinators.


Removing and Preventing Weeds

It’s impossible to completely prevent weeds from growing in a garden. However, there are few strategies you can implement to limit them from cultivating in your garden. Here are some important tips:


Build Rich Soil

Weed grows in compacted soil and rich soil will greatly reduce weeds. If you have a vegetable garden you should form your soil beds at least twelve inches high and fill it with high-quality soil. Line the bottom of the soil bed with cardboard which will smother intrepid weeds.


Regular Maintenance

The smaller the weeds are the easier they are to remove. Therefore, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance to remove them while they are small before they have time to go into seed mode and spread further. Weeds on raised beds can simply be plucked away with your fingers.


Remove the Root

When removing weeds, you’ll need to pull them out by the root or the whole plant. Weeds with fibrous roots you will have to dig around the entire plant.


Smothering Plants

If you have a big weed problem, you can try smothering or solarizing them which will starve the soil of oxygen over a few weeks. While this is a drastic measure it will definitely be effective at staving off weeds. 

Clean Your Windows Like A Professional

Have you looked out your window only to realize that the surface was marred with streaks and smears? Or maybe, there is dusting gathering at the bottom of the window sill? Dirty windows can take away from the overall aesthetic of your home. It can be a challenge to get your windows clean and clear. We’re going to show you a few tricks to get your window looking spiffy.


Pull Out the Vacuum

Before you begin cleaning the window it’s time to tackle the window sill. Yes, pull out the vacuum. Use the detachable upholstery tool to vacuum the sill and remove dust, spider webs, and grime. If you have window treatments like blinds and shades you should clean the dust off them as well with the vacuum. Drapes and curtains need some attention too.


Get to Cleaning

If you have large windows, then you’ll want to thoroughly clean them with a squeegee. You’ll need to tackle this job with a bucket of hot water and just a few drops of dish soap. The dish soap breaks the dirt down and makes it easy to wipe off with the squeegee.


Windows With Panes

Cleaning windows with panes can literally be a pain to clean. You can use an eyeglass cloth that is used to clean lenses to attack the window. You can find an eyeglass cloth at almost any store with a pharmacy. Spray a bit of water on the cloth and wipe away the smudges and dirty spots to achieve that crystal clear look.


High Windows

Sky high windows are a beauty but cleaning them can be extremely frustrating. When cleaning windows that are out of your reach you’ll need a telescoping microfiber dust. You can spritz water onto the duster portion of the tool and proceed to wipe away any foggy buildup.


Attacking the Streaks

To avoid streaks on the window, clean and dry the inside portion in a horizontal motion and the exterior vertically. This will help you to find the streaks more easily.


Don’t Forget the Screen

Window screens attract dust and dirt. Avoid washing them. Instead, wipe them clean with a dry microfiber cloth which works to pull off the contaminants from the screen. 

Unique Garden Looks

Creating a garden can be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable tasks you do. Everyone has their own idea of what makes theirs perfect but what makes it fun is customizing the space so it brings a smile to your face and gives you a sense of accomplishment. It also needs to have a unique look that lets your personality shine through and adds visual interest to your home’s exterior. Here are a few unique ideas for your garden area.


To start, try shaping your garden area in a unique way to catch the eye. Using a shaping tool, carve out areas of grass to create a geometric landscape that immediately lets all who enter know that they are in for a visual treat. Whether the design is soft or shaper looking, it’s all about creating your personal vision. No matter what style you choose, be sure your distinct lines direct the eye towards your garden’s focal point.


For entering the garden, try a mosaic walkway with bright colors that complement the garden’s features. Light the way with uniquely shaped solar lights and assorted garden art. Hanging wind chimes, painted rocks and decor influenced by outdoor wildlife (birds, rabbits & squirrels for example) will add whimsy and a natural touch. Plant unique flowers that will survive in your geographical area but are not as commonly seen in your neighborhood.


Showcase flowers and herbs in a unique way through spilled pots and hanging baskets. Use brightly painted wooden stakes to mark cooking herbs for easy gathering. Break up all the leafy areas with a rock-filled spot equipped with comfortable outdoor seating and a calming water feature-be it a small waterfall or fountain.  Having a place to sit and enjoy your garden is very important, so go with seating that will make you want to linger and take in the sights. For a little extra fun, add a fairy door and tiny home exterior to a nearby tree to create a little fantasy area that children will love. Consider a uniquely shaped birdfeeder as well so you can let nature come to you while you enjoy your outdoor getaway.


Start brainstorming today. This is your vision, so there’s no wrong way to do it! Let your idea of an outdoor escape become reality. 

How to Choose the Right Color LED Bulb for the Home

As your incandescent bulbs burn out, it’s a good time to consider switching to LED bulbs. You have always counted on incandescent bulbs to provide a warm yellowish hue for the home. LED bulbs come in a wide range of colors, last for years and are cooler to operate. We have put together a few tips to help you determine how to choose the right color LED bulb and more.

  • LED bulbs can display a wide color range from red to purple, whites and yellows. For the home, generally, we are still looking for the warm yellow that incandescent bulbs produce.     
  • The most popular colors for LED bulbs are “warm” white or “soft white and “bright” white.   
  • “Warm” white and “soft” white produce a yellow hue like incandescent bulbs.  “Bright” white bulbs produce a white blue light like daylight and retail store lighting.
  • Light color or color temperature is measured in kelvins. The lower the number, the warmer more yellow the light. Typical incandescent bulbs are between 2,700K and3,500K. To ensure you are purchasing a warm yellow bulb look for this range when shopping for LED bulbs.
  • LED bulbs are more expensive than the old incandescent bulbs, but are cheaper to operate. LED bulbs will pay off in the long run, they produce less heat, last much longer and can be operated by smart phone technology. As more competition is entering the market, we are already seeing the price of LED bulbs falling and becoming competitive in the market place. Be aware that unless you are replacing many incandescent bulbs in your house, you will not see significant savings in your power bill.              
  • Please note that due to their circuitry, LED bulbs are not always compatible with traditional dimming switches. You may need to replace with a LED compatible dimmer switch, or pay slightly more for a compatible LED bulb. If you experience a LED bulb humming, buzzing, or flickering you need to replace with a compatible dimmer or replace with a compatible bulb.
  • Not all light fixtures or lamps can be used with LED bulbs. If your LED bulb last less than a year, it is probably due to an old fixture or lamp.

As always, we love to hear from you. Please let us know your thoughts and ideas per this helpful topic!                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Organizing Your Garage

You may store your cars, boxes, tools, or miscellaneous items in your garage and that is okay. But we want to help you take your unorganized garage and transform it into a fully functional space. Here are six ideas to organize your garage this summer: 


  1. MetalChain Organizer: Attach a hook to your garage wall then hang one end of a metal chain on it. Tightly wrap up your garden hose and secure it onto the metal chain. Attach the other side of the metal chain to your hook and voila, no more tangled garden hoses. It is just that easy.
  2. Window Planter Storage: If you find yourself with a lot of little, miscellaneous items, try using a window planter for storage. You can store things like car wash supplies, spray cans, and gardening tools.
  3. Old Lockers Transformed: Lockers are not just meant for books and backpacks, but they are perfect for storing all garage-worthy items. Touch them up with a nice coat of spray paint and they will look brand new. 
  4. Rethink Old Golf Bags: Before you toss out your old golf bag, use it for storing larger items like racks and shovels. You can even utilize the smaller pockets for things like gardening tools and gloves.
  5. Tipped-over Filing Cabinet: Transform your old filing cabinet into a storage bin by turning it over on its side. Have the drawers facing up then remove the physical drawers from the cabinet. You will be left with four open basins to fill with all your garage supplies like racks, shovels, and mops. If you are looking for a more aesthetically appealing organizer, try to spray paint it a fun summer color to bring beauty into your garage.
  6. Mason Jars: Store all your tiny screws and nails in one place with mason jars. You can even purchase them in a variety of sizes for different projects. You will never lose track of your nails again with this quick fix. 


We hope you enjoyed these garage organizing tips and tricks. How do you keep your garage organized? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below: 

A Beautiful Backyard

Investing in your outdoor space can become expensive. That is why they say it is an investment. Proper landscape, seating, and lighting can make your backyard an oasis. We want to help you make that oasis with a realistic budget. 


1. Brighten the space.

If you plan to entertain outside at night, install some lightning around your backyard. Lighting an outdoor space allows you to get artsy. Hanging a string of Edison-style light bulbs can bring romance and warmth to the outdoors. These lights are known to be energy efficient and have a low brightness, which is perfect for your outdoor oasis.

-You can even place some candles and tiki torches around the yard for extra lighting. Just remember to always make sure your candles and torches are completely out before going back inside. 


2. Get greenery. 

Adding greenery to your home brings life to an outdoor space. Take on a fun project and build a flower bed. You can even plant your own vegetable garden. Pick up some chalkboard signs from your local craft store and make it personalized. 

-If you are not ready to completely redo your landscaping, add some potted plants to your backyard. The potted plants will liven up the area and do not take as much maintain. 


3. Stylize with decorations.

Decorating your backyard can be extremely fun. You can decorate with affordable items from your local discount retailer. Incorporate items that you would even find inside your home: candles, pillows, throw blankets, bird cages, flowers, etc. These will be things your guests notice most because you have added your personal touch to the outdoor space. 


4. Finish up with furniture. 

Furniture will be the most pricey portion of outdoor spaces. Investing in good furniture can be highly beneficial in the future. Rather than choosing inexpensive future now, take the time to save for quality furniture. 


Creating your outdoor oasis with a low-budget is possible! It takes time to make it just right, but you are embarking on a creative journey. Let your thoughts become reality. In your backyard anything is possible. 

Homeowner’s Toolbox

Whether you are a new homeowner or have lived in your home for several years, having the right tools at a moment’s notice is essential to happy, efficient living. Let us add to your tool box and discuss the importance of owning each tool. 


Your tool box needs: 

  1. Hammer. Experts encourage homeowners to purchase two types of hammers. One hammer should be “heavyweight” and one should be “lightweight.” The weight of your hammer depends on the project. For instance, when you are using smaller nails, you should use the lightweight hammer.
  2. Tape Measure. There will always be a need for a tape measure if you want the job done right. We suggest that you buy a tape measure that locks and retracts back to its original position. These tape measures help with the ease of doing a project. 
  3. Pliers. One of the most helpful tools for homeowners is a nice pair of pliers. When buying your pliers, look at the various kinds of pliers available. We recommend buying several pliers that will each serve different purposes. 
  4. Screwdriver. One project may need a certain screwdriver head (Phillips) whereas another project may need a different head (Cross). Screwdrivers take on various forms so be sure to buy one driver with a variety of “interchangeable heads.” 
  5. Nails, screws, bolts, nuts, etc. If you are building something from scratch or using a prepackaged design, be sure to have the proper tools. We encourage you to buy extra nails and screws because you never know when you may need some extra. 
  6. Wrench. A wrench will be a helpful tool to have for different projects. Home improvement stores sell an array of different sizes, but you could just buy yourself an adjustable wrench. 
  7. Drill. Drills help with extensive projects that would require a heavy amount of manual labor with just your screwdriver. Skip the extra work and invest in a quality drill. You will also need a variety of drill bits for your projects. 


Having your essential tools will be helpful for any home improvement project and now, your tool box has never looked so good! Are they certain tools you cannot live without? What are they? We encourage you to leave your comments below. 

A Home Office

If you have ever worked from home, you understand the importance of having a home office. It is a place that you can do your work as well as organize any of your household paperwork. Home offices have become a lasting trend over the past decade and can help the organization of your home. If your home allows the space, we recommend creating yourself a home office. They do not need to be an entire room. You can place your office in a corner of any room. Make sure the room contributes to a helpful work environment. Placing the office in your baby’s bedroom corner may not be the best idea, but have it in a corner of a quiet, clean space. 


Since home offices have become popular, there is a lot of advice about what to include in your office. Home offices will ideally need some sort of a table and chair. The rest of the furniture and decorations can be personal preference. Items include pens/pencils, notebook, stapler, tape, envelopes, paper, sticky notes, white-out, paperclips, calculator, calendar, computer, etc.


Keeping your office organized will contribute to its effectiveness. You are likely to avoid using your messy office if it is not organized. Since offices can become a mess quickly, set rules for yourself:


    • Try to never leave anything out on the desk.
    • Keep any electric cords tucked away and out of sight. 
    • Install shelving or a bookcase to give your books a home. 
    • Have somewhere to put your pens and pencils (Jars, containers, canisters, etc). 
    • File paperwork instead of leaving it out. Offices are great for filing/sorting through your mail. 


Once you have decided to create an office space for yourself, do not hold back. Make sure to include all the items you will need to have it run efficiently. The last step is to decorate. Decorating should come last because you need to be sure you have room for all the essential items. After you put the finishing touches on your office, you will feel brand new! Congrats, you now have a designated area to do all your work.

Patio Redirect!

It’s that time of year when the need to clear your porch off and get it ready for the summer gatherings you have planned. After the winter and spring months your patio may be a mess though, and it is hard to know where to begin when planning on redesigning and sprucing up your outdoor space. A few quick and easy ideas may be of some help to you as you prepare your outside area of entertaining and enjoying warm, comfortable nights.


One of the most important aspects of your outdoor space will be lighting. Of course, barbecues begin when the sun is still up, but they are sure to stretch into the dusk and evening hours as your guests and family relax and enjoy each other’s’ company. Stringing lights to provide your outdoor space with adequate lighting is a must. Don’t rely on your backyard floodlights either, this lighting will be too harsh for entertaining. The soft glow of strung up lights or patio lanterns is sure to set the mood.


The next most important aspect of your patio is going to be making sure that you have a sitting area for your guests and your family. The amount of seating will depend largely on the size of your space so consider what you have to work with and plan accordingly. Don’t forget to be sure and provide some type of table that the seating is congregated around so that guests have a place to set their food and drinks as well. You could even double the table as storage and get a table that’s top is removable and allows for storage within it.


Finally, no patio area would be complete without planters to set the mood outside. Get creative and come up with ways to make decorative planters. If you already have a bunch of pots ready to go, purchase some paint in some fun colors and paint the planters yourself. Or you could come up with something a bit different and repurpose an old battered antique such as an tire you might have laying around, or and old wooden basket.


Once your patio is clean and decorated enjoy having your friends and family over on warm summer nights outside. With the right seating, lighting, and decoration your space will feel relaxed and ready to go.

Home Office Tricks

Your office is so much more than just a room with a desk, it adds the essence of your home. A home office is where your work can be brought home, paperwork is organized, and internet browsing is done. The office, wherever it may be in your home, can be practical as well as stylish. The two concepts go hand-in-hand when organizing your home office. We have the perfect list of tricks for you to organize your office space. 


Home Office Tricks:

  • Find it in the files. Organize your home office by separating bills and necessary paperwork into a filing drawer. Mark each file with a label to ensure the papers go in their rightful home. Investing in a label maker will help guarantee you know what belongs where and you will have quick, easy access to your files.  
  • The ultimate tidy up. Electronic cords can become easily tangled and look messy in an office. You can velcro your cords together to hide the overwhelming bulkiness of the cords. Label each plug with your new label marker to ensure you are unplugging and plugging in the right electronic. 
  • Computerize your life. If you have a lot of paperwork, invest in a desktop scanner to go paperless. A lot of your paperwork can be put on the computer and stored digitally for later use. 
  • Incorporate a Grommet Hole. Some desks have grommet holes already installed in them, but if your desk does not, it is an easy fix. Installing a grommet hole will help collect all your cords into one area of the desk to encourage tidiness. 
  • Space Jam. Unfortunately, it is extremely easy to run out of space to put your things. Think of ways you can keep your all items without taking up valuable desk space. If you have a desktop computer, consider mounting the monitor on the wall to provide more room on the desk. 
  • Buy more cordless features. We are in the age where cordless electronics can be found everywhere. Buying cordless will give it a cleaner appearance and eliminate clutter. 


Now you can get some work done in your stylish yet functional home office space.