Tag Archives: garden

4 Ways To Save on Home Maintenance


The following is a sponsored guest post that may or may not represent the views of Mommy Ramblings.

As a homeowner, it’s easy to shell out a nice chunk of money keeping your home in good condition. However, that doesn’t mean all your hard earned cash needs to go into home maintenance. Instead, you need to think about ways to save on home maintenance, and then actively work towards doing so. While everyone’s situation is slightly different, the following are a few simple ways you can save on home maintenance and put your money away for something you’ll enjoy.

Opt for DIY

When you want to save money, consider doing some maintenance on your own instead of hiring someone else to do it. There are plenty of small jobs around your house that you can easily do yourself, such as install a sink, replace a light fixture, or even update your front door. Before you get quotes on different jobs, be sure to look at the task at hand and see if it’s something you can spend a few hours tackling. By investing a little bit of time, you can end up saving a fortune.

Know when to hire a professional.

Although you can save money by doing things yourself, it’s also important you realize when you need to hire a professional. After all, putting certain jobs in the hands of trusted professionals can ensure the job gets done right the first time and can save you from spending more money trying to do it again. For instance, if you have an intricate plumbing problem, it’s smarter for you to hire a trusted plumber than to do the job yourself and do it wrong. If not, you’ll end up spending almost twice as much having someone come in to fix your mistakes.

Don’t put it off.

One of the biggest reasons home improvements are so expensive is because homeowners put them off until they’ve become too big to tackle. When this happens, the cost inevitably goes up. Make it a point to inspect your home thoroughly at least once a year, if not more. This way, you can make note of areas that need your attention before they get out of control. If you’re ever unsure, have a professional come in and do a home inspection every now and then. This can make you aware of underlying issues you may not have known existed, and it could save you a ton of money in the end.

Make smart decisions.

Unfortunately, there’s not a product out there that will look good and last forever, but there are products out there that are better than others. For instance, if you are building a home, opting for materials like brick or stone is a good choice. They will hold up better and stay looking newer longer, even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. By making the investment in stone or brick, you are helping your house stay in better condition with a product that doesn’t need as much maintenance. If you make smart decisions like this throughout your home, you can save money on home maintenance in the future.

Maintaining your home may not be the most enjoyable thing you have to do as a homeowner, but it is a necessity. If you make smart decisions and follow these tips, you can end up saving money on your home maintenance, which will make you happier in the long run as well.



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Filed under Guest Post, Home & Garden, Home Improvement

10 Amazing Ideas to Make Your Home Awesome

This is a sponsored guest post that may or may not reflect the views of Mommy Ramblings.

Most of us have a vision of what we would imagine to be the perfect home. Whether you want it to be modern, have amazing landscaping, or have a spectacular pool, customizing your home is one of the many rewards of home ownership.

If you need help in sparking your creative side, here are 10 amazing ideas to help make your home awesome.

  1. Moat Pool

At first glance, these pools may seem like some kind of home protection strategy, but the fact is they provide a great look and can be quite popular in the right situation. If the idea of a moat pool surrounding your home conjures up images of Medieval castles and drop-down bridges, take a look at modern moat pools and see how far they have come.

  1. Hanging Bed

Here is a trend that has been popping up lately. Suspend your bed from the ceiling and swing yourself to sleep. The bed can be made from wood, concrete, or plastic, but you’ll definitely want strong beams and a professional installation.

  1. Automatic Window Shades

There are few things more convenient than being able to hit a button and have all of your window shades go up or down. Motorized blinds and shades allow you to manage the ambience, privacy, and sun level of each room quickly without the fuss of cords and pulleys.

  1. Interior Cat Transit System

If you are a fan of cats, then you already know that they like to live in a world of their own. The cat transit system allows them to travel the house in the privacy of their own little tunnels.

  1. Glass Floors

How about a glass floor in one of your rooms? It can make some people a bit nervous standing on one, but having a glass floor adds a coolness factor to most homes. Instead of glass you can also have smooth concrete floors with tile or glass features combining the best of both worlds.

  1. Retractable Pool Table

Imagine having a few guests over for dinner and all of a sudden, a full-sized pool table appears from out of the wall. That is high-speed to say the least.

  1. Concrete Crib

There is a company called “Concrete Crib” that can make custom concrete furniture like tables, benches, pools, and counters. Any of their unique creations would be certain to add that special wow factor to any home. Concrete products are popular because not only are they unique, they are easy to clean and durable as well.

Minimalist dining room with table; chair and two closed doors – rendering

  1. Outdoor Movie Screen

Everyone loves going to the drive-in and enjoying a giant movie screen outdoors, but they really don’t compare to having one in your backyard. You can invite friends and family over to see the latest and greatest movies without having to drive anywhere.

  1. Skateboard Room

This might appeal more to the younger generation but how about a room with built-in skateboard ramps? How many times have you seen something like that? If you want to impress your friends, add one of these to your contemporary house.

  1. Spiral Wine Cellar

You don’t have to be a huge fan of wine to appreciate the beauty of a spiral wine cellar. Your guests will be impressed at this amazing feature in your home.

Regardless of which route you take in personalizing your home, it’s always exciting to seek out fun and new things that you can add. Whether it’s a small bowling alley, or a rooftop tennis court, the options are practically limitless.

 


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Filed under Decorating, Home & Garden, sponsored guest post

6 Fun Ways To Celebrate Earth Day With Your Family

Earth Day is Saturday! Do you have any special plans to celebrate our planet with your family? If you don’t, I have some great ideas to share. Earth Day is a special day to stress the importance of giving back to the planet we live on. Teach your children to respect and nurture the Earth and you will be making a difference not only in the next generation but our planet as well.

Go on a Litter Walk

Grab some trash bags and gloves and set off around your neighborhood cleaning up the trash that is around. Explain to your kids how littering like this is dangerous to wildlife. As you pass your neighbors encourage them to join in. Before you know it, you will have a parade of trash pickers and as they say; many hands makes the load lighter.

Plant a Garden

Nothing shows your kids where their food comes from better than planting a garden. From seeds or seedlings, they will see the entire process. Let them help with tending and caring for the garden all season. By the time of your last harvest, you will have some very experienced gardeners.

If if is too cold yet to plant by you, plan out your garden with your kids. You can start getting your garden ready by cleaning up last years plant remains, leaves, sticks and other debris. Then break up the soil. You should pick a soil test kit up and test your soil to see what nutrients it is lacking. The better your soil, the better your garden.

If you don’t have land to plant a garden, plant some container gardens or vertical gardens. There are some great ideas for maximizing your space on sites like Pinterest, so check it out.

Plant a Tree

This is a lot of fun, take a ride down to your local nursery and pick out a tree or shrub. Then go home and plant it together. Again, enlist your children to take part in the planting and care of the tree. Explain how the plants and trees give us something we need to live…oxygen.

Start a Habitat Garden

Did you know that our population of pollinators is dwindling? It is, and our food supply depends on bees and butterflies to thrive. Do your part by researching the types of plants you need to create a habitat garden.

The Monarchs main food source in the Milkweed plant but along with that you can plant native grasses, butterfly bushes, bee balm and so much more. There are also butterfly houses and feeders as well as bee houses you can add to help our pollinators. We visited a butterfly house last year with our kids and learned so much.

Start Composting

Do you compost? If not you should. It will not only cut down on your organic household garbage, it will enrich the soil in your garden. It is not hard and you have a lot of options.

There are countertop compost bins you can use to collect your daily vegetable peels, banana skins, egg shells, coffee grounds etc. Then you can take them out to a compost bin or drum. They have nice units you can buy that make it super easy or your can put up some wire fencing and make a bin of your own. You can read more about the process HERE.

Go For a Family Hike:

See the beauty of our planet by taking a family hike. It is good exercise for the body, mind and soul. Pack along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. There are resources for your state where you can find recommendations for great trails. Go somewhere new, you might be surprised at the beauty you find and did not know existed in your state.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?


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Filed under Family, Family Fun, Gardening, Holiday, Home & Garden, Outdoor Fun

5 Easy Spring Lawn Care Steps #ILoveMyLawn

This is a sponsored post through the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

We are transitioning into spring in New York and the massive snowfall we were buried under, is finally melting away. As the ground becomes visible, I am filled with excitement about being able to see green grass again.

Grass evokes so many emotions, there are songs about grass, we relish the smell of fresh-cut grass and love the feel of grass beneath our feet. Our yard has a large lawn and it is where we spend a great deal of time. It is a place where our children practice their baseball skills, we gather on a blanket for a picnic, our dogs happily sprawl out for an afternoon nap, we watch the squirrels and birds frolic, entertain our friends and family and sit at night gazing up at the stars.

Lawn games are fun too, our neighbor just gave us a bocce ball set and my kids cannot wait to play. Our lawn adds beauty to our home; it is like a gorgeous carpet that compliments my perennial flower gardens. I am so thankful to live in a community where lush, green lawns are plentiful.

Lawns are beneficial too! Living on a hill at the top of a mountain, our lawn helps prevent erosion from heavy rains and wind. Beyond that, grass is beautiful and naturally calming. The visual appeal of green grass helps our mental health and reduces stress levels.

Having a nice lawn does not mean you need to be a slave to it. Sure, lawn maintenance is important for a healthy-looking lawn, but it does not have to consume your life. Did you know that the best season to revive and repair your lawn is spring? If you follow five simple steps now, you will ensure an amazing, summer ready lawn!

Rake

I like to enlist the whole family for this. We each grab a rake and get to work removing old leaves, dead grass and other debris that accumulated over the winter. Raking allows us to easily see any areas that need attention as well as providing more soil contact when seeding, which helps grass grow more easily.

Aerate

This is very important if your lawn is like ours, and has been buried under snow which causes the soil to compact. My dad used to joke that by walking on the grass wearing his golf shoes, he was doing his part to aerate the lawn. Seriously, there are core aerators you can rent or you can hire a professional lawn service to do this for you. Aerating will pull small plugs of soil out of your lawn which allows increased movement of water, nutrients and oxygen into the soil. It will also help to promote growth of new seeds by providing more soil contact.

Seed

Spring is the ideal time to seed any spots that are bare or thin. If you are planning on expanding your lawn, spring is the best time for that too. When you start in spring, the grass has ample time to grow healthy and strong before summer. Selecting the right seed for your area is imperative, ask a turf specialist at your local garden store or university extension office for guidance. After seeding, water lightly and regularly to ensure the area stays damp until the new grass grows.

Control Weeds

Did you know healthy lawns will squeeze out weeds? They will, but damaged lawns that are overrun with dandelions and crabgrass may need some help. Talk with your local garden specialist to decide what weed control options are right for your lawn and your family.

Tune up That Lawn Mower

Get your mower in top shape with an annual service including changing the oil, replacing the spark plug, cleaning or replacing the air filter and sharpening the blade. When the grass is about 3 inches high, it is time to mow. Newly seeded areas should be mowed when they reach 2 inches in height until the new grass is established. Mow with a frequency that allows you to cut less than one-third of the height of the grass. An easy-to-follow rule is to not let grass grow taller than 3 inches and not to cut it shorter than 2 inches.

Following the steps above will leave you with a lush, green lawn to enjoy this summer. I can’t wait to kick off my shoes and feel that grass between my toes! What do you love most about your lawn?



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Filed under Gardening, Home & Garden

Out of Sight Kitchen Trash Ideas!

What do you think of having your garbage or recyclables at your fingertips but also out of sight. Check out these great products from rev a shelf trash. I think it is an awesome idea if you have enough room and are not sacrificing cabinet space you need. I think under the sink would be a great place. There are so many neat options for the bathroom too. I am getting a lot of ideas!

trash under cabin

 

trash under cab

 

 


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A Great Way To Entertain Outside Without Getting Burned!

So happy to be seeing some nice weather, spring really arrived because Sunday I saw my first Robin Red Breast! The trees are budding and the daffodils are coming up. I love watching all the birds that visit our home and feeders throughout the day. I think one of my favorite things to do is to sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and my camera and spend some time with nature.

robin red breast

birds

birds 1

birds 3

We love to be outdoors when the weather is nice. We are planning a lot of outdoor projects and enhancements to make our yard, deck, porch and gardens more of an outdoor oasis for family, friends and entertaining.

We will be re-staining our deck as soon as the weather is consistent enough for that. So once the deck is all revitalized we thought since it is so large, it would be nice to have a shady area since it gets a lot of sun.

That was when I started looking for a shade type gazebo awning. I found one I liked from Abba Patio and it was available right on Amazon. that was nice since I have Amazon Prime and it would be shipped to my house quickly and for free.

gazebo

It is very nice quality and was not hard for my husband and I to put together. We set it up on the lawn since we have to stain the deck but we will update with photos when we have it set on the deck. The nice thing is you can secure it through the feet so you don’t have to worry about severe weather causing it to topple or get thrown around.

It is heavy-duty and the canvas top provides UV protection and is fade resistant. The light color works well to reflect heat and it provides a large enough space for a patio table and chairs or an outdoor seating group underneath. We are really looking forward to having everything set up on the deck and entertaining with our family and friends this spring and summer.

 

Product Features:

  • Beige polyester top-long lasting, fade resistant, easy to clean and 98% UV protection
  • Quick and easy set up with 2 or more people by easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions
  • Foot pads are installed to the canopy legs for added stability and easy access to secure anchor points
  • 2-1/5 inch diameter powder coated steel leg tube resists chipping, peeling, rust and corrosion and provides increased stability
  • Heavy-duty bungee cord tightly secure the tarp cover to the fram

Check out the video below of how we assembled it and to see more of this great portable, tent gazebo by Abba Patio.

Would love to know what you have planned for your home and garden spring and summer projects. Let me know in the comments. Enjoy the season!

 


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Filed under Home & Garden, Home Improvement, Outdoor, Review

Look at These New Markdowns at Amazon.com for your Home and Garden!!!

There is still plenty of Summer left and you might want to check out some of these great deals on Amazon.com.  Free shipping with Amazon Prime makes it even sweeter!!

Pinnacle Strategies H83710/2-UPS Metal Chicken

Pinnacle Strategies H83710/2-UPS Metal Chicken

List Price: $23.99
Price: $10.06 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $13.93 (58%)

Red Carpet Glass Studios Birdie In The Woods Birdhouse, Green Tractor

Red Carpet Glass Studios Birdie In The Woods Birdhouse, Green Tractor

List Price: $25.99
Price: $15.10 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $10.89 (42%)

 

Esschert Design Watering Can – Cow

Esschert Design Watering Can - Cow

List Price: $16.99
Price: $4.98 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $12.01 (71%)

 

Flexrake CF24A Spring Rake 24-Inch Metal Head with 48-Inch Aluminum Handle

Flexrake CF24A Spring Rake 24-Inch Metal Head with 48-Inch Aluminum Handle

List Price: $29.51
Price: $10.01 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $19.50 (66%)

 

Black & Decker 5 Position Grass Shears BD1303

Black & Decker 5 Position Grass Shears BD1303

List Price: $16.99
Price: $9.82 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
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Pinnacle Strategies B80776/4 Insect Metal Wall Plaque

Pinnacle Strategies B80776/4 Insect Metal Wall Plaque

List Price: $18.59
Price: $9.84 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $8.75 (47%)

 

Esschert Design USA BR17 Bird Silhouette Single Hook

Esschert Design USA BR17 Bird Silhouette Single Hook

List Price: $12.99
Price: $6.61 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $6.38 (49%)

 

Sunset Vista Designs Wilderness Wonders Bear Bell, 14-Inch Tall

Sunset Vista Designs Wilderness Wonders Bear Bell, 14-Inch Tall

List Price: $18.99
Price: $11.55 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $7.44 (39%)

 

Achla Designs SWB-01 Bracket With Four Hooks

Achla Designs SWB-01 Bracket With Four Hooks

List Price: $29.99
Price: $14.52 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $15.47 (52%)

 

Esschert Design DB55 Cast Iron Spade Doorknocker

Esschert Design DB55 Cast Iron Spade Doorknocker

List Price: $14.99
Price: $8.41 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $6.58 (44%)

 

For so many more great markdowns browse the selection HERE!!!


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The Yoga Garden Game from YogaKids Review & Give-Away!!! {Give-Away Ended}

Recently I received The Yoga Garden Game from YogaKids to review.  This beautiful game was created by Jennifer Durand and is a cooperative game and fun learning tool.  The game is designed to help children plan and learn yoga in the Parents Choice award winning YogaKids style.  The Yoga Garden plants seeds for a lifetime of harmony, peace and well being.

This game is really great because kids naturally love to move and enjoy yoga.  The objective of the game is to plant a flower in the garden before night fall.  As the players travel around the board they learn classic yoga postures, and have the chance to invent their own.

The Yoga Garden pose cards show the different poses and since they are named after animals and objects found in nature it provides a natural springboard to develop their imaginations and awareness, while learning the different poses.

As parents we like our kids to be active and have fun while playing and learning. This game is fun but also provides physical exercise, learning and  creativeness that we as parents try hard to foster in our children.  The game is for ages 4 and up and the illustrations on the board are so beautiful it really is a work of art as well.

YogaKids has generously provided Mommy Ramblings with another Yoga Garden Game that we will be giving to one lucky blog reader.  Would you like a chance to win this great game?  If so follow the give-away rules below and good luck.  This is open to US residents.

Mandatory Entry-Go to the YogaKids Website and let me know another product of theirs you like. Leave your choice in a comment on this post. (This entry must be done or all others will not count and be deleted).

Extra Entries: (make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry of they will not count)

1. Like Mommy Ramblings on Facebook and leave me a comment here that you did.

2. Like YogaKids on Facebook, and leave a comment on their wall that Mommy Ramblings sent you.  Then leave me a comment here that you liked them on Facebook.

3. Follow Mommy Ramblings on Twitter, and leave me a comment here that you did with your Twitter name.

4. Follow YogaKids on Twitter,  and leave me a comment here that you did with your Twitter name.

5. Subscribe to Mommy Ramblings by email and leave me a comment here that you did.

6. Vote for Mommy Ramblings on Picket Fence Blogs (Button is on the side of our blog, “We’re on the Fence) and leave me a comment here you did.

7. Vote for Mommy Ramblings on Top Mommy Blogs (button is on the side of our blog) and leave me a comment here that you did.

8. Post this give away on your Facebook status and leave me a comment here that you did.

9. Tweet this give-away on Twitter and leave me a comment here that you did with your Twitter name.

10. Like Blueberry Hill Photography on Facebook and leave me a comment here that you did.

Good Luck Everyone!!!  Give Away Ends July 5th  at 12am EST.  Winner will be selected by Random.org.


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Gardens Grow With Love!!!

I love when it is time to garden again.  I enjoy having a garden,  tending the garden, photographing the garden, and best of all harvesting the garden.  This is my second season using the two large raised beds my hubby built me last year.  We have had so much rain that it has been hard to get things started but we did get the soil turned over and most of the veggies planted.  I have a few more to put in and some patio tomatoes to plant since I accidentally bought too many tomato plants.  One can never have too many tomatoes so I bought some patio containers and will grow them there.

I also am growing my herbs in containers on the deck.  Last year I had my basil, parsley, peppermint, spearmint and oregano in the garden but this year I put it in pots.  I am still in the process of transplanting the perennial and spreading mint from the garden to the containers because of the rain thwarting my best efforts.  The local nursery did not have the zucchini and yellow squash plants in because of the rain, so I will have to try next weekend for them.  I did manage to plant a variety of tomatoes like big boys, beefsteak, early girls, cherry, yellow heirloom, and probably at least another variety I am forgetting.  I did not plant any hot peppers this year because I did last year and my husband who they were for did not eat them but ate the sweet peppers.  So now I have a great variety of sweet peppers like sweet cherry peppers, sweet banana peppers, and a variety of purple, green and red bell peppers.  I have purple and white eggplants, cucumbers, butternut squash, jack be littles, Howden pumpkins, blue lake green beans and sugar snap peas.

In the herb department I planted rosemary, cilantro, oregano, sweet mint, peppermint, spearmint, basil, thyme, dill, lavender, Italian parsley, and probably a couple of others that I am forgetting right now.

I am planting rhubarb for the first time this year, and we are starting a variety of grapes as well.   We would have everything planted if the rain would stop but we are doing what we can and we are not that behind.

Delicious grapes


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A Whale of a Sale!!!

It does not matter how much money I have or don’t have, one thing is true.   I get almost giddy when I get something I need on an incredible sale. Yesterday, I hit a jackpot of sorts.  I got myself 4 pair of Jones New York velour cozy yoga pants (I walk and workout in them), that were originally $59 for $4 and change. If that was not a great enough deal, I then picked up Levi jeans for Ethan at $6.81 a pair.  I could not believe it but I love it!!!  Got a few more bargains but those were my biggest.

It was a glorious and warm day here and I took a great walk outside with the puppies.  It felt wonderful and you can definitely smell spring in the air.  All the snow is melting so rapidly.  I know it is supposed to be cooler the next few days but there is no denying spring is coming.  Yesterday, when I was shopping the bathing suits, gardening supplies, swim toys and Easter candy were a very welcome sight.

Remember, a few weeks back I told you all I was stressing over Ethan’s birthday cake and that it was going to be a construction scene.  Yesterday, I got the trucks for that and then in another store I found the perfect things for a John Deere tractor cake.   I bought those too because with two little boys they are not going to go to waste for sure.  I plan to ask him what he would rather have, and then start my mental planning.

It is a time of planning isn’t it? Springtime, and the anticipation of rebirth and renewal.  I am mentally preparing my garden and I decided I am going to ask my husband to build me another large raised bed.  I already have 2 but I want to add a third.  I cannot wait to get my hands into the soil and to start planting.  Are you all planning a garden?  I love being able to grow healthy food that I know was not sprayed with pesticides.  I also love showing my kids how things grow.  I would love to add some free-ranging chickens for eggs and for fun, but with our pack of dogs, it just does not mix.  Heck, I have even wanted a goat or two and a miniature donkey.  That does not sit so well with my husband, who knows he is the one who takes care of all the animals.  I try to sell him on the healthy benefits of our own goat milk and making our own goat cheese, but he just points to a farm down the road where we can pick that up.  So no chickens, goats or donkeys but I will have my garden.

Don’t forget the cookie stamp give-away is over in a few hours.  I have so many great give-aways coming up.  Great things like $25.00 gift certificates and gift cards to various establishments like Dali Decals, environmentally friendly products, toys and so much more.  Make sure you subscribe to the blog so you do not miss out.


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