Toilet Paper Roll Fire Starters Make Campfires Easy!

These toilet paper roll fire starters are a great way to make campfires start blazing quickly.  There is certainly no shortage of toilet paper tubes in most households.  With a family of 4 and 3 bathrooms in my house, we go through quite a bit of toilet paper.  For every roll of toilet paper that gets replaced, I am left with one empty cardboard tube to dispose of.  Most of the time, those toilet paper tubes end up in the recycle bin but there are plenty of creative ways to reuse them.  If you are a fan of camping or bonfires, you can turn that … [Read more...]

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 are any uses for wood ash instead of just throwing it away?   Uses for Wood Ash When Your Campfire is Finished There are a ton of useful ways to use wood … [Read more...]

How to Control Invasive Species And Becoming a Weed Warrior

If you have ever had to pull ivy off a tree, you may have wondered how to control invasive species in your yard. Here in the south, we have a plant called kudzu that thrives in the summer heat. Haven't ever seen or hear of kudzu? It is often called 'The Plant that Ate the South' for a very good reason! This vine can grow at an alarming rate, taking over just about every surface it comes across. Hills and valleys, electrical poles and trees, houses and cars...nothing stands a chance against this fast growing vine. If the south doesn't start … [Read more...]

How to Avoid Bee Stings While Enjoying Nature

With the nice weather finally here, I am spending more and more time outside. If you love activities like hiking, gardening, and nature walks, knowing how to avoid bee stings can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your time outside. And if you are allergic to bees, avoiding bee stings can save your life! I thought I would share a few tips that may help you have a safer and much more pleasant nature experience this summer. Why Do Bees Sting? Bees sting for a number of different reasons, however, it really depends on the type of … [Read more...]

Essential Gardening Supplies for Home Gardeners

Over the past few weeks I have been teased with a few warm and sunny days. I head out and turn the soil, mentally planning what will go in each bed. Time is spent browsing online sites for essential gardening supplies and drooling over the plants already at my garden centers. I KNOW I can't plant for another month but the suspense is killing me! Since Mother Nature is just waiting for me to plant in order to send me an ice storm, I am making good use of my time by making sure I have the best gardening tools for home gardeners ready to … [Read more...]

Winter Bird Feeding Tips for Happy and Healthy Backyard Birds

Looking for a few winter bird feeding tips to attract your feathered friends? Feeding birds in fall and winter can be a bit more work than just throwing out a bit of seed for them like you do in the spring. Winter is hard for all backyard birds and providing them with winter bird seed can help make their lives a tad bit easier. Backyard bird feeding during the fall and winter will usually attract a whole different variety of birds to your yard than you do during the spring. Since most birds fly south during the colder weather, you may very well … [Read more...]

Grass Cutting Tips for a Green and Healthy Lawn

With the heat of summer in full force and lots of regular rainfall, our grass is growing incredibly fast. I have started looking for a few grass cutting tips to keep our lawn as healthy as possible. Without a healthy lawn, the constant downpours cause erosion in my backyard. The grass also keeps the dog from tracking in dirt regularly so proper lawn care is essential. I don't like to add a lot of chemicals to my lawn and always look for natural lawn care tips first to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals. If you are passionate about having … [Read more...]

Environmentally Friendly Swimming Pools: A Green Pool is a GOOD Thing!

Living in a neighborhood with a pool means that much of our lives has revolved around swimming. Swim practice, swim lessons, swim meets, Friday night happy hour, playdates...you name it, the pool was involved. Pools are not particularly eco-friendly...they use large volumes of water, harsh chemicals, and there is a lot of green space lost to the cement pool deck. I wish there were more environmentally friendly swimming pools in our area but haven't found any so far. If you have a pool in your own backyard, however, you can control its' carbon … [Read more...]

Vine Growing Tips for Your Garden Landscape

My husband and I have some rather ambitious plans for the backyard next year. There is a tree that needs to come down and in its place, we are considering some sort of wooden structure covered with vines to provide a shaded seating area. I have started reading up on vine growing tips so that I know what I want to plant and how to ensure that they don't take over the rest of the yard. Have you considered adding vines into your landscaping? They can be used in a variety of different ways throughout the yard and can help create a striking visual … [Read more...]

Best Natural Weed Control and a New Way to Look at Weeds!

I have been spending quite a bit of time out in the yard for the last few weeks now that spring is finally here. The grass is growing like gangbusters, the garden plants are in their beds and there are tons of projects that need tending to. One thing that I absolutely HATE doing is dealing with weeds. Of course, since I refuse to spray them all with chemicals,  I am left searching for the best natural weed control methods I can find. This usually involve pulling them out by hand and swearing a lot! It's hard work but it does work! This … [Read more...]

Frugal Landscaping Ideas: How to Upgrade Your Yard on a Budget!

This post about frugal landscaping ideas has been sponsored by Groupon. All opinions expressed here are my own. My husband and I are passionate about our outdoor space. From the patio and fish pond to the pots of jalapenos and pretty flowers by the mailbox. It makes us happy to see an area that is both comfortable and attractive. However, with two teens who have college aspirations, our budget is limited. That means there is no hiring a gardener or spending a fortune on decorative lawn accessories. We have found, over the years, that it is … [Read more...]

Best Trail Food For Your Next Outdoor Adventure

My husband and I love to head out into the woods and go hiking whenever we can. Our children are teenagers and are forced to come with us as often as possible. Of course, being teenagers they would rather be playing video games or gossiping with friends but I think it is important for them to get out into the woods occasionally and appreciate nature. One way to keep cranky teenagers happy in the woods is to feed them frequently. Of course, that also keeps mommy happy, too, so we bring a lot of trail food on our adventures in the wild. I thought … [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...]

Tips for Adding Wild Bird Nesting Boxes to Your Yard

Last weekend, my family and I participated in the great backyard bird count. We love bird watching and it was a great way to help scientists figure out migration patterns, population size, and habitat changes for local birds. If you enjoy bird watching like we do, one thing you need to consider is adding wild bird nesting boxes to your yard. Birds often return to the site they were hatched in order to lay their own eggs. Adding nesting boxes to your yard will help ensure species survival and also increase the population of birds in your own … [Read more...]

Creating a Peaceful Backyard Space for the Perfect Place to Relax!

Yesterday, I looked at my yard and found the daffodils blooming. After a dreary winter, my picnic table needs cleaning off and my yard needs some serious maintenance. I am determined to start creating a peaceful backyard space when spring finally sets in full force. My family spends a lot of time outside during the warm months of spring and summer. A cup of coffee during a morning fire or a glass of wine after dinner are great ways for us to relax together. We have worked hard to create a peaceful backyard space over the last few years, … [Read more...]

How to Avoid Knee Pain While Hiking

This post about how to avoid knee pain while hiking was sponsored by DePuy Synthes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however, all opinions expressed in my post are my own. Many years ago, during my college days in New Hampshire, I joined the university outing club. Basically, it was a group of outdoor enthusiasts who got together several times a year to plan backwoods adventures and explore the nearby White Mountains. From cross country skiing to back country camping, I learned a lot about nature during those trips. … [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 tell … [Read more...]

How to hike with kids and actually enjoy it!

Summer is drawing to a close and Fall will be sneaking in soon. Once the days start to cool off, my husband and I enjoy finding time to head out into the woods for some quality hiking trips. We had to learn years ago how to hike with kids since we have no family around to play babysitter for us. And truthfully I WANT my kids out in nature with us. Yes, hiking with kids isn't always as much fun as hiking with just adults. They tend to be slower, louder, and more prone to tripping or getting hurt. However, I am a firm believer in the idea that … [Read more...]

Spring Gardening Tips: Preparing Your Garden for Planting

I realize that it's barely March, but here in Georgia spring comes early. I already see dandelions popping up and my crocuses have been blooming for weeks. I have been searching the web for some spring gardening tips to ensure that I have at least a little bit of success with this season's plantings. I am a GREAT planter but not always such a good grower so I need all the help I can get. I spent an hour or two outside last week preparing my garden beds for a new crop and thought I would share a few of my spring gardening tips with you. I would … [Read more...]