(Family Features) - According to the Farmers' Almanac, this winter will see an increase in "shivery conditions," where temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation and snowfall will be significant. Are you and your family winter ready?
(Family Features) For most Americans, the holiday season is the busiest and most demanding time of the year. From social engagements and travel to buying gifts and baking, it's often hard to juggle competing commitments. In fact, 80 percent of Americans anticipate stress during the holiday season, according to the American Psychological Association.
(Family Features) - Nothing captures the warmth of the holidays quite like the gentle glow of candlelight. This season, set the mood with delicious holiday scents and decorations by making fragrance your centerpiece.
(Family Features) - Parking a lawn mower in the corner of a garage or storage building is not tucking it in for winter.
(Family Features) The change in seasons should bring about more than just a change of wardrobe. It's important to check out your appliances and home systems now in order to help prevent unnecessary repairs when you need those systems the most.
(Family Features) If you've got a gardener on your holiday shopping list, but you can't tell a peony from a petunia, don't fret. This handy gift guide will let you pick out a gift that will make any home horticulturalist happy.
(Family Features) Every chef knows a properly outfitted kitchen is a must in order to create culinary masterpieces. This year, make sure the special food lover in your life has everything he or she needs to stir their passion for food and drink. Expand their culinary library with a book that serves up helpful food tips and original recipes. Let them prepare their favorite recipes with a set of ergonomic and innovative knives. Perk up their mornings with a coffee maker that quickly brews a customized cup at the touch of a button. Or, help them serve up delightful dishes by keeping their pantry stocked with superior quality olive oil. This guide will help you find unique gifts for every kitchen connoisseur on your list.
(Family Features) With frigid weather and gloomy days, adding some charm and pizazz to your front porch can seem like a lost cause in the winter. But there are a few ways to bring a fresh, chic feel to your porch that will last well past the holidays.
(BPT) - Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, bats and beetles play an important role in producing healthy plants and food for people and wildlife. Without pollinators feeding on nectar and moving pollen from one flower to the next, most plants would not produce fruit or seeds.
(Family Features) - Are you shivering and bundling up inside your house? If your thermostat is set at the desired temperature, your furnace runs continuously, your utility bills are ridiculously high, but you are still cold, it is probably because energy is escaping your house.
(Family Features) As America's economy strengthens, remodeling and home renovations are on the rise. "Homeowners are looking for ways to update their current homes, rather than buying a new property," said Sarah Reep, director of designer relations and education at KraftMaid Cabinetry. "From simply adding a new faucet to completely gutting a bathroom, there are many ways to revitalize any home." For homeowners seeking inspiration for their bathroom renovation, here are the top trends to know:
(Family Features) - Scrambling to tidy up the house before, during and after the arrival of holiday houseguests is one tradition that many Americans would like to simply forget. Between shopping for gifts, cooking elaborate meals, and reconnecting with loved ones, keeping the house clean can seem like the one chore that never gets checked off the holiday to-do list.
(Family Features) When it comes to getting the house clean and tidy, closets often get left off the to-do list. From hall closets and linen closets to bedroom closets, "out of sight, out of mind" thinking quickly leads to clutter - and then frustration when you can't find what you need when you need it.
(Family Features) It’s that time of year again when everyone needs help finding the perfect holiday gift. Whether you need a gift for a foodie friend or a family member who likes to cook, these awesome ideas are sure to please. Even better, the list features several different price ranges so there truly is something for everyone on your list.
(Family Features) The holiday season is all about gathering family and friends together. But hosting any kind of holiday gathering means stacking a lot of items on your plate during an already busy season, taking the fun out of the festivities. With a little planning and the right attitude, you can pull off a fantastic event and enjoy being the holiday host or hostess.
(Family Features) When creative inspiration strikes, you need to seize the moment and create. But if supplies are strewn from one end of the house to the other and clutter reigns, you may battle a real cramp in creativity.
(Family Features) We all want a clean and tidy home, without having to spend the time and effort to make it clean and tidy. But the truth is - if you don't keep it maintained, it takes much longer to sort and organize. Here are some tips to keep your home organized as you go:
(Family Features) - Fall is a great time for yard maintenance. Raking leaves is a given for many homeowners, but there are more things you can do to help make sure your lawn, trees and shrubs will be ready for the new growth of spring.
(Family Features) For most people who work full-time jobs, it often feels that more time is spent at work than at home. Spare your co-workers and yourself a drab, flair-free desk and bring elements of your personal style to your work space.
(Family Features) The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house - especially around the holidays. With all the cooking, baking and celebrating going on, it can be hard to keep the kitchen clean.
(Family Features) Embrace style by adding colorful additions into your home. Use these simple tips to glean inspiration and ideas that give your interior an instant makeover.
(Family Features) As decorations are hung this holiday season in preparation for entertaining family and friends, consider creating ambiance using lighting in the main social rooms of the home, including the kitchen, dining and living rooms. Beyond the trimmings, presents and other jolly adornments, it is essential to have the proper lighting to enhance the glow of the holidays and adjust the mood of a room.
(Family Features) The holiday season gives people the chance to take a break from their typically hectic lives to catch up with family and friends. Beyond the festive decorations, music and food that make this time of year so special, it’s important to take a moment to enjoy the scents and the great feelings, memories and motivations that they inspire — especially while entertaining. Whether it’s the smell of mom’s homemade cookies or the woodsy allure of a fresh-cut tree, these smells have a remarkable way of boosting spirits.
Unlike most hobbies, backyard birding doesn’t cost a lot, doesn’t take tons of equipment, and doesn’t require that you decipher complicated instructions just to get started. All you need is a backyard or a balcony.
(NewsUSA) - Ahhh ? the sounds of the outdoors. They bring such welcome tones, like wind chimes and laughter from children playing games. However, the buzzing sound of stinging insects is perhaps one of the most unwelcome sounds. For some, this noise evokes fear about being stung, but bees, wasps, yellowjackets and hornets can cause more than just pain. Stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the hospital annually.
(ARA) - Let’s face it: When you live in the suburbs, a healthy, well-kept lawn is a must. Before anyone even steps into your house, it’s your front lawn that makes the first impression of your home. So what’s something that can help keep your lawn healthy? Many people seem to forget about aeration.
(ARA) - Comfortable spaces don’t need to be constrained by four walls, and an outdoor entertaining area can quickly become the most important “room” of your home. You aren’t alone if your porch or patio looks outdated and drab. Weather conditions can be tough on outdoor areas, but with a few simple updates, you can create a perfect outdoor space in no time.
(ARA) - The cooling weather signals most homeowners to retire their lawn and garden equipment for the year. But before you stow away the rakes and hoes, remember that fall offers a unique opportunity for starting projects that can yield beautiful landscape results next year. You can save time and potentially money by doing a few simple projects now so when spring arrives, your yard reaches its full potential.
(ARA) - Does maintaining a lush, healthy and green lawn to enjoy with friends and family seem daunting? It's often a task that is easier said than done for homeowners. But take heart, a simple watering routine can help grass thrive.
(ARA) - With warmer than average temperatures the norm for much of the country, people are looking for new ways to cool off. Nothing is more cool and refreshing than sipping on an ice-cold drink while enjoying a meal made on the grill or resting in the comfort of a hammock. The garden can hold the key to some tempting new drinks and offers a chance to perk up those old stand-bys.
(ARA) - For many American gardeners, 2012 has not been a kind year. Most of the Midwest is dealing with one of the worst droughts on record. And while the Midwest is bearing the brunt of the drought this year, other parts of the country have also been hit hard in recent years, and climate change may be making matters worse. Since a drought can strike any year, anywhere, it makes sense to come up with a sustainable plan for helping your garden survive through the driest summers.
(ARA) - Home and style magazines, social media and interior designers on TV are inspiring more homeowners to transform their spaces into places they love. Projects range from renewing your bathtub to refreshing your backyard deck, and can be completed in just one weekend.
Most homeowners take great pride in keeping their lawns and yards beautiful. While there are many critters that can become a nuisance in your yard, there is one intruder that can quickly turn a groomed lawn into one filled with dirt mounds and yellowed grass and dying shrubs. Moles can be tricky to get rid of because of their extensive tunnel systems and the abundant food sources, but knowing more about these unwelcome guests can help you kick them to the curb.
(ARA) - The growing season isn't over with the arrival of cool weather. Until the first hard frost hits, you have plenty of time to plant, pick and plate cool-weather crops. You'll save yourself some money in the grocery's produce aisle too.
(ARA) - Everyone loves to receive a bouquet of roses as a gift, but an even better gift is one that keeps on giving for years to come. Why not give a beautiful rose bush instead of a bouquet of flowers? Whether for birthdays, holidays, the birth of a baby, a house warming or even as a hostess gift, it's a wonderful show of appreciation and sentiment to share the beauty and fragrance of roses with loved ones. With the right selection and a few simple pointers, you can be sure those recipients will remember your special gift long after cut flowers would have perished.
Looking for a fun, kid-friendly activity to help your family appreciate the outdoors? Backyard birding is a great way to get the kids outside and learning more about the beautiful birds in your area. Here are a few helpful backyard birding tips to get started.
(ARA) - Most deck owners know that one of the keys to keeping their decks looking good is staining it every few years. However, while deck staining is a process that most homeowners are capable of doing themselves, finding the time to do it can be difficult. With the right approach and the right products, you can get everything done in just one day and spend the rest of the year enjoying your newly stained deck.
(ARA) - Hot and dry weather provides reason enough to think about simple ways to save water while still enjoying beautiful yards and gardens. You may even find that your efforts to be water smart may improve the health and appearance of your plants.
(ARA) - Last year's summer temperatures broke records in many areas of the country. Depending on where you live, this summer could be shaping up to be a scorcher for you. As temperatures climb, many of us retreat indoors, leaving our outdoor living spaces vacant until fall. However, it is possible to enjoy being outside throughout the sultry months if you take a few steps to keep your outdoor living spaces as cool as possible.
(ARA) - Water is one of the most important and precious natural resources necessary for garden and lawn health. Now that planting is in full swing, getting plants established while using water wisely is essential for a successful growing season.
(ARA) - Warm weather and outdoor entertaining go hand in hand. Sit back and relax this summer with family, friends and great food at your next backyard barbecue. No matter who or how many guests, you'll want to create a memorable gathering that keeps people talking. Plan your next summer celebration with these no-fuss party ideas.
(ARA) - From neighborhood picnics to kids' play time, summer means outside time. Much of that activity occurs during longer daylight hours, but darkness is also a great time to enjoy warm-weather days. How can you create an environment that extends the fun of summer past sunset?
(ARA) - With spring arriving earlier this season, gardeners across the country are inspired to plant now. Daydreams of fresh produce used in delicious sauces, salads and stir fries have many drawing garden plot plans and even starting seeds for future transplanting. Tabletop gardens are a fun and decorative way to expand into new planting opportunities.
(NAPSI)—If your lawn mower is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider a replacement. In the past decade, engineering advances have produced gas-powered lawn mowers that run cleaner, start easier and are more fuel efficient than ever before, while providing a variety of options that make yard care easier.
(NAPSI)—“You can learn a lot of things from the flowers,” as Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” remarked. Here’s a look at a few of the things you can discover among the flowers in America’s beautiful, bountiful public gardens.
(NAPSI)You dont have to be an expert to create a beautiful yard that makes your neighbors green with envy. With a little knowledge and the right equipment for the job at hand, you can easily enjoy a healthy, green lawn.
(NAPSI)—There’s good news for homeowners who want the grass to grow greener on their side of the fence.
(NAPSI)—The next time you start up your lawn mower, string trimmer or other equipment powered by a gas engine, think about adding a fuel preservative to protect your investment from the harmful effects of ethanol fuel blends.
(NAPSI)—Birds and butterflies add color and excitement to a garden that can’t be found from any other source. And their contributions are much more than aesthetic: Birds help control insects and slugs; while butterflies are important pollinators. Almost anywhere a plant grows will get an occasional visit from these attractive and beneficial creatures. Making your yard a welcoming oasis for them can be as simple as choosing the right plants.