(BPT) - While cooler temperatures slowly fade, gardeners across the country eagerly await the arrival of spring – and the chance to get outdoors and grow something. If gardening is your passion, you don’t have to wait until the weather is perfect to get started. In fact, working ahead by growing your own seedlings is a great way to ensure your garden is successful throughout the warmer months.
(BPT) - One of the first questions new empty nesters face is: what do we do with the nest? Some are eager to downsize and sell. Others like where they live and choose to stay put.
(Family Features) If you're looking to update the look of your home, or just want to redesign key rooms, you can find inspiration right on your home computer. From flooring to crown molding - and everything in between - these online resources have you covered. And with the organizational capabilities these sites offer, you can catalog what you like for later recall. With so many options available online, the only trouble will be narrowing down your options.
(Family Features) Whether you're looking for a gift to give a gardener in your life or you're looking for some ideas, there's no shortage of new gardening books available. Here are a few books that will plant seeds of inspiration for gardeners of all ages and stages.
(Family Features) If you're a fan of antiques, you likely already know that true antiques can cost a fortune. But the truth is, some modern pieces can be made to look antique, and when balanced with real antique pieces, you can achieve an overall look that will fall in line with your aesthetic.
(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) If you're looking to give your home a makeover, nothing can revamp your place quite like a fresh coat of paint. But unless you're a seasoned pro, painting your home interior can be intimidating. Use these tips and resources to get the job done right.
(BPT) - It’s easy to dream of perfectly pristine outdoor spaces when looking at the decks in magazines and online, but too often what we want and what we have don’t align. If your deck suffers from weathered wood, loose railings or dated balusters, you’re not alone. The good news is there are surprisingly simple ways to give your deck a facelift and transform it into the outdoor oasis you want in as little as one weekend.
(Family Features) When decorating a home, there are endless possibilities to make each room a chic oasis. The laundry room can be upgraded to exude personality and design flair so it becomes a more enjoyable place to spend time in.
(Family Features) The lawn is the backdrop to the home and essential to curb appeal. While keeping a healthy lawn may seem straightforward (mow, water, fertilize, etc.), don't be fooled by some common lawn care myths.
(StatePoint) It’s the time of year when sprucing up your deck and patio becomes a top weekend priority. Whether you use the space for entertaining or for solitude, you’ll want it clean, comfortable and safe this spring.
(BPT) - As spring rolls around, it’s time to start thinking about yard maintenance. If your budget is tight, you might be tempted to let the lawn care slide, but maintaining a great lawn doesn’t need to be expensive – and the reward for just a small investment is a beautiful, environmentally friendly setting for outdoor activities of many kinds.
(Family Features) Available in a variety of colors, sizes and scents, candles are a favorite decorative item seen in homes everywhere. While some are drawn to the glow an open flame brings to a room, others adore candles for the calming benefits of aromatherapy.
(Family Features) With cold temperatures, dreary skies and bare winter landscapes, it's easy to feel a touch of the winter blues. But there are three ways you can bring some cheer to the inside of your home, no matter what it looks like outside.
(Family Features) Winter months can be difficult on kids of all ages - adults too. All the hours spent indoors can leave us feeling that cabin fever. You can, however, find creative ways to change your surroundings and inspire some quiet reading time for your child as well.
(Family Features) Windows can bring new life to existing homes by letting in fresh air, flooding rooms with natural light and opening up beautiful views. They also come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Important considerations for selecting the right window are type, material, style, climate and budget.
(Family Features) If yours is like the average American household, you have amassed a collection of unorganized stuff, tucked away in piles or behind closed doors to deal with "later." Establishing good organization habits and creating proper storage areas can transform that chaos now and set the stage for less mess in the future.
(Family Features) When the weather conditions are just right, a relaxing evening spent on the porch or patio is perfect for enjoying good company and the beauty of the outside world. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy these comforts regardless of the season?
(BPT) - No matter if you live on a coast or in the Upper Midwest, you can use your outdoor spaces to the fullest in any season by adding a few enhancements. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it's easy to add features like a seat wall and a fire ring for an outdoor gathering spot, or an outdoor kitchen to create the taste of summer all year. A few simple improvements can help you create a space that keeps you outside longer into the night, earlier in the spring and later into the cooler seasons.
(Family Features) - There may not be a lot you can do in your garden during the winter months, especially if you're in a colder part of the country. But there is plenty that you can do right now that will keep you connected to the garden you love while helping you prepare to get your hands dirty in the spring.
(Family Features) What do zebras, cows, crocodiles and leopards all have in common? Fabulous skin. Real or faux, the animal print trend is still going strong. In fact, some now consider it a design "classic."
(StatePoint) Your backyard is a space where you enjoy quality time with your family all year long. But accidents can happen anywhere -- even in the oasis of your backyard. For parents, taking extra safety precautions out back should be just as important as childproofing done indoors.
(Family Features) Putting your own flair into an old piece of furniture or thrift store find is a creative and budget-friendly way to transform unused items into personal treasures.
(Family Features) What comes to mind when considering safety hazards around the home? Do you think of electrical safety, fire prevention and reducing the risk of electrical shock? Often times, our quest for new kitchen cabinets and hardwood floors takes priority, while the projects to increase home safety are put on the back burner. One project, however, that should not be put off is evaluating the electrical safety of your home.
(Family Features) For many people, a trip down the lighting aisle can be an overwhelming experience, especially when considering the many energy-efficient lighting options available. Whether looking at light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs or compact fluorescent technology (CFL) bulbs, there are some factors you should think about before making a purchase.
(Family Features) After returning home from a long day at work, a weekend soccer tournament or an all-day shopping excursion, it's natural to want to drop everything and relax. However, literally dropping everything can cause a tremendous amount of clutter in the home, leading to stress, misplaced items and wasted time. To eliminate the clutter that busy lifestyles create, try establishing designated drop zones throughout your house to regain a sense of order. Don't worry, you can still drop everything and relax when you come home - just drop everything in the right spot.
(Family Features) Location, location, location may be an important mantra in real estate, but the Golden Rule should be to make a great first impression. Home builders often hire professional stagers to create an impression that will get a home to sell quickly. Here are a few tricks of the trade you can use in your home:
(Family Features) - As temperatures dip and snow flakes start to fall, your home will require extra maintenance to keep it in shape throughout the winter.
(Family Features) When selling a home, the process of an inspection can be a stressful situation. Even the smallest of faults can shed an unfavorable light upon your home. But there are a few simple ways to be prepared for the big assessment.
(Family Features) - Christmas tree-related fires are too often a sad part of holiday news coverage.
(Family Features) Parties filled with festive drinks, food and fun are in full swing this holiday season. Every event is a chance to come away with great memories, plenty of pictures and sometimes, a stubborn stain or two.
(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) - Kathie Bond-Borie, Guest Columnist - If you're looking for a plant with year-round appeal, holly belongs near the top. No matter where you live, hollies offer shiny red, orange, or yellow berries, and many varieties have characteristic waxy leaves that cloth the plant in all seasons. There are thousands of different varieties (the main distinctions being either evergreen or deciduous), and they all prefer similar growing conditions. Here are some tips to keeping hollies healthy and full of fruits.
(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.
(Family Features) - If it seems like you're constantly doing laundry, you're not alone. According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the average American family does 8 to 10 loads of laundry each week. And from wash to dry, a single load takes about an hour and a half to complete.
When considering general lighting needs, even light distribution and flexibility are essential. Consider recessed fixtures spaced evenly throughout the kitchen, with additional lighting positioned above islands, working countertops, sinks and ranges.
(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) 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.