6 Porch Design Ideas for Simple Outdoor Enjoyment

With the onset of spring, you might be looking for a few porch design ideas this month. One of the things I love most about visiting my parents up north is their wraparound porch. I spend my morning enjoying coffee while the birds sing and the kids sit outside slurping on popsicles in the summer heat.  We use our back patio for the same types of things.  Relaxing, enjoying nature, and spending time with family.In some areas of the country, it's porch season year-round.  For many others, porch season seems far too short. Porches are one of … [Read more...]

Growing Annuals in Pots: Follow These Tips for Beautiful Flowers

After a late freeze and some very chilly rain, the sun is finally out again and I think spring has actually arrived. I have started buying some herbs and a few seed packets and am looking forward to getting my hands dirty.  Since I want to add a pop of color to my porch and patio, I am growing annuals in pots.  There are a wide variety of flower types to choose from at the nursery this year.  I chose a few edible pansies but am also planning on adding a few more as the weather warms up.  If you want to start growing annuals, here are a few tips … [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning Your Office: Don’t Let It Lead to Identity Theft!

Have you started getting the itch to dust, organize and declutter your home?  When the crocuses and tulips start peeking their heads out of the ground, I know it is close to spring!  Along with the nice weather comes the open windows, the gardening, and the spring cleaning.  Each room of the house has its own set of 'chores' that I try and do once a year.  Spring cleaning your office is is a great way to prepare for tax time.   If you want to join me on my spring cleaning journey, I will include a few affiliate links for things that might come … [Read more...]

How to Prepare for Company so Your Guests Feel at Home!

Fall is finally here and the holidays are fast approaching. Now is the season for visiting friends and family and you may be wondering how to prepare for company so they feel at home during their visit.  As much as I hate to think about it, the chaos of the holidays will be here very quickly!  Shopping, baking, wrapping and holiday parties are a lot of fun but add them to an already hectic schedule and you get one really stressed out mama.  One of the things I really enjoy about the holidays is having company to cook for but having house guests … [Read more...]

10 Uses for Wood Ash When Your Campfire is Finished!

Do you know what my all time favorite thing about fall is?  Outdoor fires in our fire pit.  Not only is it a great way to get rid of some of our yard trimmings, it's a wonderful excuse to pour a glass of wine and just enjoy the crisp, fall air.   After you roast marshmallows and toss acorns into the fire, eventually the wood burns up and the campfire dies off.  Ever wonder if there an any uses for wood ash instead of just throwing it away? There are a ton of useful ways to use wood ash once they are cooled off.  Here are just a few things to do … [Read more...]

The Leaf Blower: A lazy person’s lawn manicure

As you read this, are you listening to the sound of your neighbor's leaf blower? Does it sound like a hoard of angry mosquitoes descending on your home? I absolutely love this time of year.  Growing up in New England, Fall was always my favorite season.  The brilliant reds and oranges of the maple leaves, the crisp, cool mornings, and the earthy smell of the air as the leaves started to drop to the ground.  Then my dad would hand me a rake and tell me to go clean up the yard.  THAT part of Fall I could seriously have done without.  I can not … [Read more...]

Best Ways to Winterize Your Home to Save Money and Go Green

With the weather finally starting to cool off, are you looking for the best ways to winterize your home?  Sure, you may love the crisp days of autumn and the smell of fallen leaves but winter will be here soon.  While I live in the relatively mild south right now, I grew up in New England.  I know a thing or two about cold weather. I know what it feels like to walk outside and have the inside of your nose freeze because it is so darn cold out.  I know what it's like to get out of bed and put your feet down on a freezing cold floor when you … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Eucalyptus Leaves for Home and Health

I have a serious problem.  One that has me looking for uses for eucalyptus leaves and considering buying a koala bear.  What is this problem I speak of?  Well, I can't seem to go into a garden nursery without buying every weird plant that I come across!  Seriously.  One year I bought tarragon even though we had never used tarragon before. And apparently it is a perennial and now I have enough tarragon to outfit a small nation.  Well, last year I bought a eucalyptus plant and now I am wondering what to do with eucalyptus leaves.  Because … [Read more...]

Our Renovated Linen Chest Bedding Storage Project

When I was growing up, my mom had tons of my grandmother's old quilts.  She had a linen chest bedding storage system at the foot of her bed that was solid wood and absolutely gorgeous.  It was made out of cedar and I'm pretty sure it was an antique that cost a whole heck of a lot of money.  I have wanted my own linen chest bedding storage space for  years but the prices I have seen online are just way too expensive for my budget.  I came across an old pine chest at my neighbor's garage sale a few weeks ago and decided to try to renovate it and … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Lemon Balm When it Takes Over Your Garden!

Several years ago I decided I wanted to grow lemon balm.  Great idea, right?  Well, now I am constantly looking for new uses for lemon balm because the stuff is growing like a weed and taking over the back of my house.  Seriously.  Why can't I get my cucumbers and squash to grow like this?   Growing lemon balm might have been a great idea but it requires near-daily maintenance to make sure it stays where I put it.  If you have a ton of lemon balm in your own yard, here are a few things I have found so far to do with it. Creative Uses for Lemon … [Read more...]

Practical Money Saving Tips That Help You Go Green

My budget this year is pretty much shot.  Between the $20,000 we have done in home repairs and our recent vacation, we have pretty much depleted our bank account and I'm starting to think I need to start coupon clipping again.  I have gotten spoiled in the last few years and while we are careful with our money, I wouldn't say I have been thrifty or budget conscious.  We will soon be moving into the holidays and I am starting to look into some practical money saving tips to help get our bank account up where it needs to be in case of … [Read more...]

10 Cleaning Tips for Surviving Spring Allergies

Surviving spring allergies has become quite a chore in my house. I'm already stocking up on saline, tissues and eye drops.   The number of people suffering from spring allergies has increased significantly in the last 10 years.  Air quality is getting worse and our immune systems are getting overwhelmed.  Having grown up in the North, my system just can't seem to handle the mold, cockroaches and year round plant blooming that you find here in Georgia.  Some people have a harder time than others when it comes to surviving spring allergies. There … [Read more...]

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

In a recent conversation with my mom, she told me she is trying to clean out her house and get rid of some things. For my mom, learning how to eliminate clutter is quite a chore…she is a packrat and still has things like my old prom corsage and 50 years worth of cookbooks! It got me to thinking: why do we keep the things we do? To hold on to the memories? Because we feel guilty throwing them away?  You are not the only person who needs to learn how to eliminate clutter from their lives.  The average American house size has more than doubled … [Read more...]

Best Tips for Decluttering Your Child’s Room

Want to know the best tips for decluttering your child's room?  Keep reading and see what I have learned over the years! My kids, like most everyone elses, have WAY too many toys.  They are scattered from their bedrooms to the playroom into the living room and occasionally make their way into my office.  I get tired of seeing them, frankly, and we need to start sorting through this mess before the holidays.  Since my kids have November and December birthdays there is a HUGE influx of STUFF into my house during the fall and winter.  Decluttering … [Read more...]

Never Buy Second Hand for These 10 Items

Over the years, I have become a huge fan of thrift stores.  When you buy second hand, you reduce your carbon footprint and save a whole ton of money.  I have spent an amazing amount of time roaming around Goodwill and checking out local garage sales.  Even buying items online at places like Etsy and Craigslist have become incredibly popular in the last few years.  However, there are a number of items that I will not buy second hand.  Sometimes it is just too great a risk for the cost and other times there is some 'ick factor' that I just can't … [Read more...]

How to Conserve Water in the Kitchen to Go Green and Save Money

With the heat of summer and a thirsty garden, last month's water bill was rather high.  While these things tend to go in cycles depending on the season, I don't like knowing I am using more water than I usually do.  I admit, I love my garden and my long showers and those things are both water hogs.  In order to conserve water, I have decided to look towards my kitchen this month.  How can I conserve water in the kitchen to cut back on rising water bills?  I decided to do a bit of research and share my water saving tips with my readers.  If you … [Read more...]

5 Unusual Uses for Aspirin for Home, Health and Garden!

My father has always told me that taking aspirin at the very onset of a cold will keep him from getting sick.  It is a tried and true method that he always swears by and he is a relatively healthy man.  I don't take too many aspirin, myself, but I have gotten into the habit of keeping it in the house 'just in case'.  Because dad told me to.  Advice from dad should never be taken lightly!  Since I always have aspirin around the house and it does expire eventually, I have found a few unusual uses for aspirin around the house that I thought I … [Read more...]

16 Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Old Muffin Tins

As I struggle to declutter my kitchen, I find myself hesitating to get rid of a few things.  One of the items I can't bring myself to toss out is my grandmother's set of old muffin tins.  They are dark with age but have sentimental value and I just can't send them off to Goodwill.  Of course, I have a set of rather nice muffin tins that I acquired at some point in my marriage.  So, the bottom line is...I have WAY too many muffin tins in my house.  Especially since I don't bake all that many muffins! So, I find myself wondering what I can do … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Old Mason Jars

I have been compensated for the articles I write for SC Johnson but all opinions expressed are my own.A few months ago I decided to try my hand at canning blueberries, and, although it was fun, it turned out to be a lot of work. Surprisingly enough, the canned blueberries have lasted me a while (I’m still going through my summer batch!) but have also left me with a cabinet full of empty jars and lids ready to be put to use. Check out my article on the SC Johnson Greener Choices blog for a few creative uses for your old mason jars. If you do … [Read more...]