Tag Archives: home

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

You May Never Need To Clean Your Toilet Again!

When you ask people what their least favorite household chore is, at the top of the list of most people is cleaning the toilet. Can you imagine if there was a toilet that would take care of that dreaded task for you? Well, you can stop dreaming about it because American Standard’s ActiClean toilet is real! This toilet cleans and removes stains at the touch of a button.

I will admit, I was very shocked to learn about this toilet a few months ago. We actually have one and cannot wait to install it. Our “little leak” in our kitchen that caused extensive damage to our home, has delayed our bathroom renovation projects just a tad. We will update with all the details as soon as we are ready to resume that project. I thought I would share my joy with you in the meantime about this amazing toilet.

How does the ActiClean System work?

American Standard provided us with an ActiClean Toilet for our project. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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Filed under Curb Appeal, Decorating, Home & Garden, Home Improvement

Maximize Your Kitchen Storage #Giveaway

Right now, my home is under construction in a few areas, one is my kitchen. I literally have had to remove everything in my cabinets and kitchen in order to get ready for the demo that is going to begin there. Having all my cabinets empty is so strange. I should take a photo because it is a rare thing. Normally, I think of ways to maximize storage of my plastic containers, pot lids, spices and more.

Are you looking for ways to organize, condense and maximize your storage space? If so, I just discovered some great products from YouCopia.

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I knew I had to have the StoraStack because I really need to organize my food storage containers. I used to spend so much time digging around the drawer looking for the right lid.

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The StoraStack smartly organizes food containers in your kitchen drawer. Two clip dispensers can be positioned as needed to hold two container stacks in place. Individual slots keep matching lids upright so everything stays tidy and easy to find.

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My next issue was pot lids sliding around in my roll outs. That is why I like the StoreMore Lid Holder.

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The StoreMore Lid Holder organizes all of your pot and pan lids in the cabinet or pantry. Strong wire dividers can be adjusted to keep lids upright, separated and easy to retrieve. Save space and reduce clutter by storing lids vertically!

 

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Last issue for me was how to deal with all the spices I have. I have so many spices that the built in spice cabinet is not enough. I ended up using 2 cabinets to store them all. The problem is that smaller spices get lost and so when I saw the spice steps, I knew I had to try them.

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The 24-bottle SpiceSteps™ is the easiest, most affordable way to organize spices in the kitchen cabinet. Maximize space with four tiers instead of the standard three. Label the bottle caps with included stickers to quickly find spices.

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Would you like the chance to win a product of your choice from YouCopia? If so, enter the giveaway below and you could win your choice of product from YouCopia up to a $40 value. Good luck!!! Open to US residents.

YouCopia Product Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Giveaway, Kitchen, Review

How To Pick The Perfect Farmhouse Sink For Your Kitchen

If you love the look of a farmhouse sink and want one in your kitchen, you are not alone. The farmhouse sink with its apron front was designed for the comfort of women who spent long hours in front of them. By eliminating the countertop in front, women did not have to lean forward over sink. So, what is it about these sinks of yesteryear that appeals to us today? I think there are a number of reasons they are so popular. The size is larger since the apron front extends over the bottom cabinet. This makes them ideal to wash even large pots, pans, cookie sheets and more.

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Besides looking beautiful that apron front means that any drips will not be falling on the cabinet but onto the floor eliminating the chance of water damage to your cabinets. Without having to reach over the countertop it is much more comfortable than a conventional sink. I think there is a certain romantic quality to a farmhouse sink that beckons us to simpler times and tugs at our heartstrings.

When you are considering a farmhouse sink there are some factors to consider. Material is a major one. Farmhouse sinks are available in white porcelain, cast iron enamel, Fireclay, stainless steel, copper and more.

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For me the look of the white Fireclay along with the durability make it a strong contender. I do have a more modern stainless steel farmhouse sink in my laundry room but I still find myself longing for the true farmhouse look of the Fireclay. There are sink grills available which will help protect your sink. I love sink grills and would highly recommend them. If a Fireclay sink does chip, it can be repaired with a repair kit.nantucket-sink-grill

 

Fireclay sinks are heavy and some require that the sink cabinet is customized with extra support to handle the weight. You will also need to decide on a double or single bowl. For me it is a no-brainer. I want the full experience of the large sink and don’t want to split it into 2 bowls.

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Since I grew up with a dishwasher and don’t hand wash anything that can go in the dishwasher, I just did not see why I would want 2 bowls. The things we hand wash are large and so I know a double bowl would not be able to handle them with the ease of a large single bowl.

Even after you have decided on a sink material and bowl size there are still other decisions like the design. This is the hardest for me. I have been working with Jake from Nantucket Sinks and he has helped me tremendously. I finally made my decision and I choose the Hyannis 30″ Fireclay Sink.

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So that is one decision down for our kitchen and about 1,000,000 more to go! What do you think of my choice? If you have any questions please let me know.

 


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Filed under Cooking, Curb Appeal, Decorating, Home, Home & Garden, Home Improvement, Kitchen

Kitchen Renovations-What You Should Know

Kitchen renovations are much different today than they ever have been before. It used to be that when someone did a kitchen renovation or a remodel the only real options they had were the design and architectural features of the room such as arches/doorways, walls/ceilings, and flooring or additional space options.

These days, though, you have many other elements you can add such as smart appliances and products for a smartly designed kitchen. If you are curious about the different smart kitchen ideas available, consider reading the article below for some cool and technology driven ideas to make your kitchen more forward friendly, convenient and comfortable.

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Smart Appliances For A Smart Kitchen

Most appliances in the kitchen are already pretty darn smart in terms of timers and knowing when to stop cooking a product. But, you also have a lot of other different “smart” options available to you, such as:

– Touchscreen Stove Tops: Not only is this a really cool type of cooking technology, but it can also be used in a kitchen with children as well, since it’s a very safe product to use. Essentially the cook top uses conduction to heat things like pots and pans. But, the other parts of the stove stay cool – to the touch. You can actually use the touch screen to browse the internet, look up recipes to make, check out cookbooks in digital format and more.

– Home Chat: This cool little app is meant for specific things like the fridge. It will essentially keep track of items and ingredients inside the refrigerator and you can ask it questions such as: Do we have butter and it will reply back via text yes two sticks or no we do not. This is really efficient because you can use the app even out of the house.

Smart Fridge

This is a really cool option but in the near future, we will also have an even cooler option (it’s a concept right now) that will actually order food, keep track of what’s in the fridge and alert you when you are running low, and do a plethora of other cool options. For now, though, you have these smart refrigerators. The LCD display allows you to watch TV, listen to the radio, check the news, leave memos for yourself or other family members, check out the calendar and leave notes on specific days and more. It’s quite expensive, at around $3600 but if you want a tech driven kitchen, this might be the addition for you… for now anyway, until that higher tech fridge comes along!

Pair 3D Design Application

Okay, this is a really cool app and unlike any other smart application above. It’s only an Apple App right now, though. Essentially what you do is you bring up the camera on your iPhone and the app will give you different furniture options for that camera viewer. In the camera viewer, you can see how that piece of furniture or an appliance would fit in your space, what it would look in a 3D manner and more. The app can also be used by brands and businesses as well. But it’s also a great design tool for home owners that allow you to set up a room in real-time.

Radiant Flooring

In a lot of cases, you see radiant flooring done in a bathroom. But, since more and more people are also using porcelain in the kitchen as well (its durable, budget friendly and beautiful) some manufactures have started to make radiant flooring options for the kitchen too. This is a perfect option for any flooring in the kitchen, but especially stone or tile like porcelain because even though it does have a lot of benefits, one of the disadvantages are that it can get quite cool to the touch in the winter. In order to fix this, you can use radiant heating underneath the flooring to warm it up before you ever set foot on it.

Radiant flooring can be set on a timer so that it turns on every morning before you wake up to make the floor nice and toasty so when you come down for breakfast or coffee the floor is already heated up. You can also use Wi-Fi with a lot of radiant flooring systems so as soon as you wake up you can turn on your app – and have the floor heated so by the time you make it downstairs it’s warmed. Tile flooring like porcelain is a great conductor of heat. In fact, the two best materials to use a radiant floor on are porcelain and wood. Porcelain is a really good option though because it won’t expand as it warms and cools which means it won’t crack which means your flooring will last for longer!

radiant flooring

There you have it, kitchen renovation ideas that you should know before you start your project.


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Filed under Guest Post, Home, Home & Garden, Home Improvement, Sponsored

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!

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Filed under Home & Garden, Home Improvement

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.

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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

Here’s Why You Should Try Liquid Chalk Markers-Bonus Giveaway!

Don’t you hate writing with messy, dusty, chalk that gets all over your fingers?  I remember in college one professor hated to write with it, any time he absolutely had to, he would always say that he was risking getting cancer to write on the board.  He was talking about the chalk dust.  Anyway, with most chalk boards you don’t have many options besides using white or colored chalk. If you’re looking for an easier option, one that is colorful, neat, non-toxic, eco-friendly and FUN…I have the answer. Fun Chalk, Liquid Chalk Markers take chalk to a whole new level.

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Here are just some of the benefits of these Chalk Markers:

* 8 Bright, Eye Catching Colors
* Long lasting, quick drying ink
* Clean-up is quick and easy. Simply wipe off with water and a cloth.
* It’s dust free making it a prime choice for those with asthma or allergies
* Non-Toxic, xylene-free, odor-free

Plus, FUN CHALK’s Chalk Markers are environmentally friendly and conform to all the requirements set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials and the European Standard for Toy Safety Testing.

FUN CHALK has been tested and APPROVED by moms, kids and teachers. It’s time to let your imagination and creativity take flight. BUY our Chalk Markers now and receive FREE SHIPPING! Just click add to cart. Your purchase will be backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

IMPORTANT: All liquid chalk is meant to be used on non-porous materials. We recommend that you test FUN CHALK on a sample or inconspicuous spot on the material you are going to use.

 

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I recently test drove the 8 piece broad liquid chalk markers. There is a little trick to get them started.  First you push down on the tip to release any pressure, then you shake it vigorously and then depress the tip while holding it on a piece of paper until you see the color filling the tip and it flows.  After that, it is time for fun!

Fun Chalk Box

 

Liquid Chalk

 

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I used them on my black dry erase board and they worked great! The eye-popping, vibrant colors made leaving messages or drawing pictures really fun!  You can use the markers on non-porous blackboards, mirrors, windows and plastic.  Use them at your next business meeting, on  your family message board, to decorate windows or whatever. The easy, wet cloth erase will  make cleanup a snap. There’s also a set of 8 fine tip fluorescent colors available.  You can purchase the high-quality chalk markers on Amazon.

 

Enter The Giveaway!

Fun Chalk is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a 8 pack of broad Fun Chalk, Liquid  Chalk Markers.. Thank you to Fun Chalk for the review chalk markers and for sponsoring this vibrant giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Fun Chalk, Liquid Chalk Markers Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Fun Chalk, Liquid Chalk Markers


New From: $13.99 USD In Stock


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Filed under Family Fun, Giveaway, Home, kids, Kitchen

Finally An Orchid That I Can’t Kill!

I would consider myself to have a green thumb, two in fact, but when it comes to orchids, something changes them both to brown. I love the look when I see them in the store but take them home, and soon all I have to show is a planter. Recently, I found a beautiful orchid that will stay that way.

At Silk Flowers Direct, I can shop online from a vast selection of silk flowers, plants, topiaries, palms, trees, containers, custom items and even commercial products. I love you can choose from various  filters that let me find items by the type of flower or plant, color, shape, quantity, material and more. Silk Plants Direct offers the largest selection of lifelike faux plants and trees for your home or office decor. They not only offer a collection of stocked products, but they also manufacture plants and trees to each customers exact specifications for turn-key solution.

Here is the beautiful Orchid I received and it is so pretty.  I put it next to my tub and it is a gorgeous, tranquil piece that is perfect for gazing at when relaxing in the tub.

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Exclusive Discount Code-Save 10%

So take a look at the huge assortment of beautiful flowers, trees and plants at Silk Plants Direct  and if you decide to purchase use the exclusive discount code, BLOGGER10  created for Mommy Ramblings’ Readers to save 10% on your order!  Follow Silk Plants Direct on Facebook and  Twitter to stay in the loop on the newest products and promotions. 

 

 

 

 

I was sent the orchid silk plant to facilitate my review by Silk Plants Direct.  As usual my words and views are 100% my own!


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Epson LabelWorks LW-600P Label Printer Review & Giveaway!!! #HolidayGiftGuide

Epson Logo

Are you trying to get more organized?  Do you ever pack things up in boxes and totes and forget what’s inside?  Do you ever want to do something crafty like create professional looking monogrammed or personalized ribbons  for cards, wedding favors, hair bows and more?  If you answered yes to any or all of these things, I want to introduce you to the Epson LabelWorks LW-600P Label Printer.  

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This compact desktop label printer will let you create original labels that you can customize with clip art, your own photos and even your own handwriting or drawings.  You can also take a picture of what is in the boxes you are packing and create a bar code label to stick on the outside of the box.  If you scan the bar code label you will see a picture of what is inside the box!

 

 

 

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Labels are not the only thing it prints.  How about printing on beautiful ribbons.  What a great way to make wedding and party favors, your own cards, custom ornament hanging ribbon, hair bows, and so much more.

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It’s so simple to start printing with the bluetooth capability.  I was able to create and print from my laptop, iPad and iPhone in a flash.  Just download the app and I was ready to roll.  I cannot wait to use this to organize our home which is in the middle of at least 4 major home improvement projects at the same time.  I am so excited to start taking back some order and taming the chaos around here.  I will update with more of my own projects and organization examples very soon.  You can find the Epson LabelWorks LW-600P on Mommy Ramblings’ 2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

More about LabelWorks LW-600P:

Print labels smarter

Now, it’s easier than ever to print customized labels — virtually anywhere — with the LW-600P portable label printer. Print labels from your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. Print date labels for food items, QR code labels, or labels to organize cables. Create ribbons for gifts, or even labels with symbols or hand-written messages. Preview labels before printing. Or, use smartphones with voice recognition2 to create labels fast. Download the Epson iLabel app for iOS or Android devices or choose from other compatible apps3 available. With multiple tapes to choose from (up to one-inch wide) and an automatic cutter, you’ve got all you need for customized labels on the go.

Connect smarter

The battery-operated1 LW-600P can print wirelessly from iOS and Android devices, via Bluetooth. Simply download the Epson iLabel app or other compatible apps.3 Use your mobile device to create handwritten labels, iron-on labels, ribbons and more. This compact printer can also print from Windows® and Mac systems via a USB cable.

Enter The Giveaway:

Epson is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win an Epson LW-600P Label Printer. Than you Epson for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Epson LabelWorks  LW-600P Label Printer Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Christmas, DIY, Giveaway, Holiday, Kitchen, Main Page Post, Mommy Ramblings, Tech