Ten Must Have Tools for Outdoor Fall Chores

autumndiycleaningtips thumb Ten Must Have Tools for Outdoor Fall Chores If you love watching Do It Yourself television and have decided that this is your year to take hold of your home and yard, then this article is for you. We can all fall into a trance when we watch the professionals show everyday people how to transform their yard and home, but taking it into our own hands is another story, a somewhat overwhelming task at times. Well, we are here to help lead you down the road for what you will need to begin the process of beautifying your landscape – even in the Fall. That is right, even though the growing season is on its last leg, there are many things you can do now to help make your yard look better in the Spring. So do not procrastinate – make your preparations now!

Preparing Flower Beds
What You Need: Weeder, Gloves, Shovel, Hedger

If you are like a lot of people, your flower beds have probably seen better days. Fall is the perfect time to tidy up this small, but big-impact space. First off, you will want to weed the garden. Pull all of the weeds that have either taken over this space, or the few that have crept into your flower garden. If you have tough, pesky weeds, a weeder is a great tool that can help save your hands and help ensure you get the entire weed, rather than just pulling the top half up. Gloves are also a must to keep dirt out of your fingernails and to protect you against anything that may be lurking behind the weeds or shrubs. If you have any dead shrubs or plants that need removing, you will find a shovel comes in very handy. Brushes are a nice touch when they are taken care of. A hedger allows you to give them an even trim on all sides, this can also be done with hedge clippers, but is more difficult to get the landscaped look. Now it is time to plant any spring flowers you want to grow – peonies, tulips and daffodils are great flowers to brighten your flower bed and fall is the perfect time to add these beauties to your landscape. Lastly, protect your plants from the coming harsh weather by mulching the flower bed. The mulch not only helps your plants retain water, it helps retain warmth as well, protecting your shrubs and flowers from freezing during the Winter months.

Lush Lawn Requires Care
What You Need: Lawn Mower, Rake, Fertilizer, Pre-Emergent
As the season turns mowing will slow down, but the last time you mow should be a shorter than usual as you prepare the lawn for winter. If you see bare spots, Fall is the perfect time to reseed for a fuller, more lush lawn in the Spring. It is important to change your fertilizer to a winter type to give your grass the nutrients it needs to survive the winter as it hibernates. Fall is also the time to use pre-emergent on your lawn to minimize future weeds. If you have trees or someone in your neighborhood does, you will want to have a rake and plenty of yard trash bags on hand to rake up lake debris – especially if snow is expected this winter.

Seal Any Cracks
What You Need: Waterproof Caulk, Weather Stripping
Staying warm and energy efficient can be as easy as applying outdoor-grade caulk to any open cracks you may see. Take a walk around your house paying close attention to the seals on your windows. If they do not look properly sealed, add some outdoor-grade caulk to fill in the cracks. On the same note, look at your doors and garage, if they do not close tightly you will want to add weather stripping to make the seal tighter. You and your wallet will be glad you did!

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6 Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season

christmascookies thumb 6 Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season The holidays are supposed to be a time for joy and giving, not eating your weight in holiday cookies. Every year during the holidays, many people struggle with trying to keep the weight off. Some people are successful while others fail miserably. If you truly want to avoid gaining weight during the holidays, the following are six techniques to help you.

1. Start working out.

If you take in 2000 calories a day and only burn off 100 of them, you’re going to gain weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is about balance, which is why it’s very important for you to create a workout regimen. Use this time to join a gym, enroll in a fitness class or to simply start exercising on your own. P90X or Insanity are two regimens you can do at home if you’re worried about time or spending too much money on a gym membership. No matter what you decide to do, starting to work out now will certainly help you avoid weight gain during the holiday season.

2. Make healthier choices.

Sure that gingerbread man may look like he wants you to eat him, but there’s likely to be something healthier for you to choose. Instead of the sugary sweets, opt for the veggie tray when snacking at holiday parties. By making smarter choices, you’ll still be able to indulge in the holiday festivities without having to be rolled out of the party for eating too much garbage.

3. Eat beforehand.

Sometimes people make the mistake in starving themselves all day because they know they’ll eat at the holiday party later. Unfortunately, this tactic doesn’t work. If you attend soirees when you’re starving, you’ll end up eating way too much food in order to curb your hunger, and this is not smart. Make sure you always eat before you attend any social gatherings. This way, you’ll be less tempted to stack your plate full of chocolaty goodness.

4. Watch what you drink.

When people think about gaining weight during the holidays, they tend to put the blame on the food they eat. But there’s another culprit adding to your waistline, and it’s in the form of beverages. Many alcoholic beverages contain a large number of calories, and if you are stingy with the food but heavy with the drinks, you could end up gaining more weight than normal. Opt for water or low-calorie beverages when out during the holidays, and stick to a one-drink minimum. This way, you won’t end up drinking your calories (or becoming too intoxicated that the entire gingerbread house becomes your midnight snack).

5. Limit your baking tastes.

If you’re a holiday baker, the majority of your holiday weight gain occurs from tasting your own creations. Whether you’re tasting the batter or eating a handful of cookies to ensure they’re “good”, you’re adding pounds to your body. Try to limit the amount of tastes you take while holiday baking. Either trust yourself that the baked goods are fantastic, or enlist the help of someone else to help perform the taste tests.

6. Stay strong.

It’s all about your mentality. You’re going to have friends and family members pushing sweets and treats in your face, and although you may feel bad if you decline, it’s okay for you to stay strong. Just because Aunt Martha made a pumpkin pie doesn’t mean you have to give in and eat the whole thing. You need to make the decision to live a healthy lifestyle, and you have to stay strong when facing temptations or pressure from family and friends.

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Ambi Climate: The Smart Upgrade for Your Air Conditioner

October 10, 2014 – Sacramento, CA – Ambi Labs, the consumer electronics startup, today announced that it had exceeded its funding goal of $25,000 in just 9 hours from its official launch on crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. To date, it has now raised over $68,000, or 272% of its goal. With funding already secured, Ambi Climate will now go into full production. Early bird backers can expect to receive their unit by November and new stretch […] Read the Full Article »

Easy to Make Halloween Decorations on the Cheap

Start saving up those jars and cans. Don’t even think of tossing those old sheets or leftover craft supplies. Get ready to repurpose and recycle these items and more into easy to-create Halloween decorations that are both spooky and cheap! Milk Jug Lanterns The carved pumpkins are the must-have glow, but you can add a few ghosts to your yard too by using milk jugs painted with a spooky ghost face. Line these up in […] Read the Full Article »

Halloween Treats that Are Not Candy

Trick or Treat does not have to mean Trick or Sweet! If you are among the many parents who are hoping their children’s Halloween goodie bags actually contain some good, then we have a list of treats we know you can appreciate. From the plastic toys to the healthy substitutes to candy, this Halloween can be filled with variety. Sweets are traditional and tasty fun, but scooping out something a bit different can be a […] Read the Full Article »