Category: Tips

Spring in to Curb Appeal

Make the Most of Your Yard During Lawn and Garden Month

The warm weather, longer daylight hours, and blooming tree buds can mean only one thing: spring has finally arrived. Now, with winter behind us, it’s the perfect time to head outdoors and freshen up the yard.

In celebration of Lawn and Garden Month this April, beautify your landscape with these easy tips:

Add a “Recession Garden” – An estimated 43 million people are expected to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries this year. Growing your own produce can save your family a large amount of money on groceries each year, and some say that fresh, homegrown fruits and veggies taste better than those purchased at the store.

Befriend the Birds – Consider including a birdhouse, birdfeeder or birdbath in your landscape this spring. Not only will it lead beautiful wildlife to your yard, but it will also serve as a nice decoration. If you’re on a budget this year, you can easily make a homemade birdfeeder by rolling a pinecone in peanut butter and birdseed.

Plant a Family Tree – Enrich your family ties (and your soil) with a tree that the whole family can plant together. Apple trees and mulberry trees look great in the yard and provide a shady spot for relatives and friends. Try planting one of these trees to commemorate your household’s next special occasion, like a birth or a wedding.

Tackle Yard Work With Ease – With all the lifting, hauling and digging, yard work can be a heavy load to bear. The wheelbarrow is a great tool as it helps lighten the burden for homeowners, as more weight is distributed to the wheels, instead of the user.

Take the Natural Approach – If you’re looking for an alternative to pesticide, consider planting some natural repellants to keep insects at bay. For example, mint can be used to ward off ants, and garlic can do the same for Japanese beetles. These additions will blend in nicely when planted among the flowers and vegetables in your garden, and they’ll also provide lots of flavor to spring and summer recipes.

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5 Things to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

1. Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.

2. Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.

3. Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.

4. Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.

5. Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments?

9 Ways Technology Helps You Live Greener

9 Ways Technology Can Help You Live a
Greener Lifestyle in The New Year

RISMEDIA -A few simple steps are all it takes to conserve energy and help protect the environment, and with today’s broadband and wireless technologies, being green has never been easier.

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 Verizon’s tips for using technology to live greener:

1. Telecommute one day a week or once a month. Working from home using broadband connections can help reduce traffic congestion and reduce your fuel bill.
2. Recycle cell phones that are no longer used. Donating old phones to recycling programs will keep batteries out of landfills and help raise funds to assist domestic violence survivors.
3. Switch to paperless billing. Verizon residential customers helped save the equivalent of 52,000 trees last year by making the switch.
4. Have a virtual meeting. Use video conferencing instead of travel.
5. Shop online using a high-speed Internet connection instead of making a trip to the mall for a single item.
6. Watch a movie at home instead of driving to rent a movie or even to the theater.
7. Use a smart thermostat to reduce energy costs.
8. Use a mapping tool to find the most direct route to your destination to help save on fuel.
9. Use a smart power strip for your computer or wireless phone charger. Sensors in the strip turn off the power supply when the items are not in use, saving electricity and money.

What are some ways you live a greener lifestyle?

New Year Challenge: Change

What could happen if you Changed Yourself?

Each day in our lives, we hope and pray for a better day, that things should improve in one area or another. But all too often, all we do is hope and pray. That is not enough. We have to think, act and speak differently. If we don’t change how we think, speak and act, we are bound to repeat the same problems or mistakes that gives us a situation we want changed. So how do we change things?

thThe hardest part of change is thinking differently. You have to challenge your own assumptions, including most delicately, the sense of who you are. You may not be who you really think you are. Never forget, we judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions.
Yes, you meant to help someone with a project, you intended to give charity, you were planning on inviting your friends over for dinner, but if you didn’t do it, in their minds you had no intention, and you are judged as such.

the-challenge-of-changeSo start correcting this error. If you intend to do something – DO IT. Don’t procrastinate, don’t delay. Stop making excuses. You want to improve yourself, get out of your own way.

 

Now find someone you completely trust, who has your interest at heart and who can give you constructive criticism. It is often better for a friend to be this person than a spouse. And tell the person to try to remove personal bias (of how you may have hurt them or been inconsiderate). It has to be coming from a place of true concern for you. Start with one area. Don’t take on your whole life at one time. What you may realize is that you may not be perceived the way you perceive yourself. So work on correcting the balance and you will immediately feel more content and balanced inside.