Tag Archives: backyard

How To Create The Perfect Family Friendly Backyard

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How To Create The Perfect Family Friendly Backyard

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or simply want to revitalize your usual surroundings, revamping your garden to better suit your family’s needs can upgrade your property to no end. You should never allow your backyard to go to waste, as it offers the perfect opportunity for you and your little ones to get outside and immerse yourselves in nature! Thankfully, it couldn’t be easier to create the perfect family friendly garden, as there are just a few key steps that you can follow to turn your backyard dreams into a reality in no time. So, if you’re interested in finding out more, then read on to uncover some of the best tips and tricks that you can utilize today:

Always Prioritize Safety:

Your first priority when it comes to revamping your backyard should always be safety, as you need to be able to maintain ultimate peace of mind that your little ones are out of harm’s way whenever they head outside to play. Start by sourcing quality fence installation to secure the perimeter of your backyard so your children can’t leave the grounds without you knowing, nor do you want people from outside gaining access. Make sure there are no potentially harmful plants in your garden space, such as poison ivy or stinging nettles that could injure your children while they play.

Make Space For Play:

When crafting the ideal family garden, it’s important that you can make space for your children to play. Having nothing but empty green space will not motivate your kids to want to visit your backyard, so you need to encourage them somehow! Set up a play area with some fun equipment like a swing set, a slide, and a range of other exciting options that will keep them occupied for hours. Making play accessible will ensure that your children spend their waking hours laughing and joking outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, so get online and start searching for some suitable equipment.

Establish An Outdoor Dining Area:

Eating ‘al fresco’ or outdoors can offer a totally different experience to chowing down inside, especially when the sun is shining! You and your family can expect to benefit from a lot of different features when dining outdoors too, so it’s a win-win situation. Identify a spot that’s large enough to house a weatherproof table and chair set, away from low hanging trees and other things that may disrupt you while eating. Making the decision to set up a barbecue grill of some kind will take your family garden to a whole new level, as it will provide you with the opportunity to cook up a storm in the great outdoors.

There’s no time like the present to upgrade your backyard, which will provide you with lasting memories of joyous family time on a beautiful summer day!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keeping Safe At Home During A Heatwave

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Keeping Safe At Home During A Heatwave

When a heatwave strikes, everything becomes more dangerous. Spending too much time outdoors can lead to an array of serious issues, and many activities become off limits as a result of high temperatures or water limitations. It can be hard to figure out how to stay safe during a heatwave, especially if you haven’t had much experience with extreme weather in the past. Thankfully, there are a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of to protect yourself despite the unrelenting sunshine. Read on to uncover some of the most effective steps that you can follow to keep cool and calm this summer:

Protect Your Property:

Your home should act as a safe sanctuary during a heatwave and there are many different ways that you can create a cool, refreshing environment in which you and your family can stay refreshed and healthy. The color of your home’s exterior can contribute massively towards its overall temperature as dark colors are more likely to absorb the heat whereas light colors like white can reflect it.

It’s a good idea to invest in a set of shutters that you can install outside of your windows because once closed this will act as a barrier between your home and the intense sun outside. You will be able to keep your windows open to benefit from a breeze without filling the room with sunshine, so it’s the perfect solution for a hot day. Installing an air conditioning unit may be something that you want to consider, but it’s important to note that the unit itself will emit a lot of heat which can intensify under the harsh summer sun. Stick with a simple fan if you want a cooler breeze, which is also far more environmentally conscious.

Adapt Your Garden:

It’s absolutely vital that you make an effort to adapt your garden to better suit the heatwave and its risks, as there are certain features that can pose a serious danger in the event of severe sunshine. For example, leaving piles of old branches, leaves, and grass cuttings out to dry may have been an acceptable activity during the winter, but this can easily lead to a fire if you make such a mistake during a heatwave. You don’t need to read a property damage restoration FAQ page to know that a fire in your garden could spread to your house in less than a couple of seconds, so you must be vigilant and adapt your outside space to suit the extreme weather that’s headed your way.

Heatwaves can come with a few benefits, as it’s a great time to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables that thrive on the intense sunlight. Extra spicy chilies, sweet melons, and juicy tomatoes will be great in your garden, so you may as well make the most of the opportunity to get some home grown vitamins to power you through the heatwave!

Stay cool this summer by adapting your property to the extreme heat!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Garden Tours

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Garden Tours

Hi! My dad is, hands down, the best gardener in the world and has a million green thumbs. Whenever I’m over at my parents, I always enjoy our “Garden Tours”. My dad and I will walk through the backyard together and check on the progress of his flowers and veggies. There is something new to see every time and it never gets old! Take a look at some pics from our backyard stroll and keep in mind that it was all done by a man who recently broke his dominant arm. Like I said, my dad is the best gardener in the world. ❤

My dad’s garden is home to many creatures both real and fake. There are bunnies, butterflies, bees, and bats as well as all of the decorative birds, lizards, frogs, and gnomes! My niece loves to play outside and my dad is always on the hunt for new lawn decorations to surprise her with as she is partial to the fake flamingo he has. It is also so much fun to look for bunnies and butterflies with her. 🙂

A few weeks ago, we had a family visit to the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. The botanical gardens were splendid, but I don’t think they have anything on my dad’s backyard and I live for our Garden Tours. What a guy!

What are you growing in your garden? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Turn-Offs To Watch Out For When Buying A House

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5 Turn-Offs To Watch Out For When Buying A House

Buying a home is a milestone everyone hopes to achieve in their lives. Identifying and purchasing the house can be very difficult and having a visual of your perfect house will give you a good starting point during your search. If you choose to use an agent, you will probably have an easier time presenting your expectations to the agent and only waiting for a call for a house viewing. Searching the house by yourself can be pretty cumbersome. The research, house visits, and lengthy processes can take a toll on you; it can lead you to settle for much less than you deserve.

It is essential to be adept at critical warning signs that might help you assess the house’s condition so there are no surprises when you move in:

A Rugged Backyard and Garage:

If you are fortunate enough to get a house with a vast backyard and a garage, you need to check out their condition. See if you can put any additional structures for your use within the compound. If you prefer having additional storage or relaxing places, you should analyze and consult the experts on sheds near me to help you decide how you can set up your backyard. A beautiful shed will enhance the quality and appearance of your backyard.

The garage should also be in good condition to ensure your safety and security. Investigate the locks and doors to make sure everything is in working order.

Cramped Attic:

Most attics are usually rustic and quite cramped. Check out the walls and floors to figure out how you can utilize them in your home. There is so much potential in having a spacious attic and it could become the ultimate hang out in your new home!

Poor Quality on The Walls and Floors:

The walls and floors of a house will give you a heads up on the house’s condition; it is easy to distinguish a well-maintained house from a poorly maintained house from the walls. Peeled-off wall color or mold is usually not a good sign.

However much the owner may want to mask the actual condition through painting and varnishing, the cracks will always give away the actual house status. If you are unsure of how to identify faults in a house, bring along an expert who will point out any issues.

Leaking Roof:

The roof is usually among the forgotten elements in a house visit. You will most likely concentrate on the interior rather than the exterior but the roofing condition can come back to bite you if you are not keen on them. Analyze if the roof will need any repair or replacement lest you encounter leaking roofs after you have moved in.

Unserviced Mechanical and Electrical Systems:

A house typically runs on various mechanical and electrical systems. The plumbing system of the house needs a thorough inspection by a plumber. A flawed plumbing system discovered after moving in will ruin the new home excitement really quickly! You should also check on the electrical wiring and connections before you make your decision.

Finding a perfect house is a near-impossible job. There are some acceptable faults but having these five elements is a definite turn-off for the house and you shouldn’t settle.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Pansy Party 2.0

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Pansy Party 2.0

Hi! A few weeks ago, I planted a pansy patch in the front yard of my parent’s house with my dad and it was a hoot. I felt so proud of our handy work after we completed our project and smile every time I see the pretty blooms. We are still waiting to begin planting vegetables but, in the meantime, my dad has begun decking out our garden space with his vast collection of solar lights and statues. This past week, he upgraded our pansy patch to a fairy garden and I love the results! Check out the 2.0 version:

Not only is the landscaping of my parent’s yard beautiful with its flowers, dogwood tree, and raised planters but it is also filled with outdoor decor that offers adorable surprises throughout. There are an abundance of strand solar lights wrapping around trees and bushes and in ground ones that display a nightly “light show” in the yard. Not to mention his insect hotels, bird baths and houses, pinwheels, wind chimes, and bird, hummingbird, and butterfly feeders that provide perfect bird watching opportunities and the music of nature.

I was so tickled when I saw the 2.0 upgrade of our pansy patch because almost all of the decorations he chose for it were gifted by me! The fairy garden motif also was special to me because my dad and I had recently enjoyed looking at the employee fairy garden contest together at one of his physical therapy appointments. Seeing the little colorful mushrooms poking out among the flowers, solar lights, and garden gnome Godzilla brought me back to the Christmases and Father’s Days that I gifted these decorations to him and it was so nice to see him still using them a few years later.

I can’t wait to garden more with my dad and am looking forward to seeing how he upgrades our next project! ❤

What is your favorite flower? What is your favorite kind of outdoor decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

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Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

Trees can be an amazing addition to any outside space. In fact, this is such a wonderful little extra that it’s not unheard of for homeowners to ultimately make their decision to buy based on something like a lovely oak tree in a corner. Unfortunately, as amazing as they are, trees are also pretty extreme forces of nature. While this needn’t be a problem if your yard is large enough that they’re well out of reach, it could soon spell issues if your trees are up close and personal with your property.

Of course, you’re going to want to do everything that you can to avoid resorting to removal. Still, it’s vital to look out for these signs that your tree might be taking its toll on your house in the wrong ways:

Blocked gutters:

Autumn leaves can get everywhere, including into your gutters. This is the case no matter how much you sweep them up and, left unchecked, those autumnal remnants could well cause blockage issues that lead to everything from leaking pipes to damp interiors. To avoid this, it’s fundamental to rake leaves at least once a day in the fall, and also to install a drain cover that keeps the worst at bay. Make sure, too, that you invest in professional gutter cleaning or tackle this task yourself at least twice a year. That way, you can keep enjoying that tree, without once feeling its impact in your waterworks.

Overhanging branches:

Unlike flowers, trees grow wherever they want to, meaning that overhanging branches can soon become a problem. This can cause safety issues even in your own yard, but, most often, branches have a habit of growing over the garden fence. This can cause rifts with your neighbors like little else, especially seeing as they’re not legally allowed to chop those branches down. Make sure it doesn’t happen by getting any errant branches pruned at least every two to three years. This will instantly refresh your outside space, and might just ensure that you stay on the best terms with everyone else on your street.

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Structural damage:

Unfortunately, trees can also cause structural damage if surprisingly large tree root systems make their way under your property. If this happens, your structural foundations are at real risk, and immediate action is necessary if you notice warning signs such as cracks in your stonework, bulging walls, or uneven floors.

Luckily, tree surgeons can cut longer roots without damaging your tree itself, meaning that there’s no reason this needs to spell the end. Depending on where roots are, professionals may even be able to install root barriers that stop a repeat performance. However, this is dependent on fast action, because a tree that’s too deeply embedded underneath your house might need to go, after all.

Whether you spend much time in nature or not, trees can be an amazing addition to your yard. Or, at least, they can be if you stay vigilant of these key issues at all times!

Featured Image By: Pexels

The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

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The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

It feels like it’s been a long and cold winter. Indeed, it probably feels even longer and colder than it has been because fun and good times have been in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other global issues. However, if there’s one thing that we should all remember, it’s that winter doesn’t last forever. In the not too distant future, we’ll all be able to enjoy all of the pleasures that can come from spending time in the sunshine with friends and family.

And what’s the best way to enjoy these moments? By having a BBQ! In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that will make you the host with the most:

Prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌Yard‌:

The food will take center stage, but it’s important to remember that the yard will provide the backdrop for the BBQ. As such, it’s worthwhile getting it into shape beforehand. There are numerous ways to do this. A little bit of landscaping will go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard and create an oasis (unless you want to). The most important aspect will be to have plenty of comfortable seating options and, if possible, to make the yard feel private.

Simple‌ ‌and‌ ‌Delicious‌ ‌Recipes‌:

People are going to judge the quality of the BBQ by the overall atmosphere of the day, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the quality of the food is important, too. The good thing about BBQs is that even the simple classics will do the trick. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the way to go! Just make sure that it’s high-quality meat. Don’t forget dessert, too; there are plenty of easy fruit salad recipes that are perfect for summer afternoons. If you don’t want to be responsible for all the food, then you can ask your guests to bring some with them – if everyone brings something small, then everyone will eat well.

Remember the Drinks:

What’s a BBQ without drinks? All meals should have drinks by their side, but it becomes even more important for BBQs since it’s usually so hot out. While you can provide the basics, such as soda, beer, and wine, it’s also fun to push the boat out a little. Could you make some homemade lemonade or create a cocktail station where people can make their own colorful and delicious drinks?

Bring the Music:

BBQs are all about sinking into all of the good times that summer can bring. So do your best to create a fun and light atmosphere, one that allows people to escape the worries of everyday life. The best ways to do this are to play a killer summer playlist and to provide some games. If you’ve got some reggae or otherwise good-vibe music on the stereo, and people can play twister or other fun yard games, then your BBQ will be a hit.

Enjoy the weather, food, and good company with the tips above to make your BBQ the best on the block!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

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Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

Hello! The last time I went to my mom and dad’s house, I was completely amazed by all of the lovely yellow daffodils lining their driveway. I had been there two days ago and there wasn’t a single bloom – then, out of nowhere, there was color everywhere. Yellow flowers always put a smile on my face because they remind me of my grandma and the daffodil surprise felt like a special hello from her. Check it out:

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The Daffodil Day was, indeed, a glorious one with temperatures in the seventies and it put me in a hopeful, happy mood. I have been enjoying my time outside so much after being cooped up all winter and have already been making the most of the nice weather with photo shoots with Johnny, going on walks with my brother, and playing at the park with my niece and sister. All of the beautiful flowers blooming is an added bonus. 🙂

I hope all of you are experiencing mild temps and flowers and here’s to a wonderful and safe spring!

What is spring weather like in your area? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

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Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

Howdy! The warm weather brings us the exciting promise of seeing friends more safely in an outdoor setting. However, it is still so important that we maintain a social distance because COVID-19 and variants of the virus are still a very real threat. Today, we’re going to look at a few outdoors activities that can be done from a social distance and are a lot of fun too. Try incorporating the following into your next outing with friends:

Paint A Masterpiece:

Pre-COVID, paint nights were insanely popular and for good reason – they’re a blast! And now, they can make a comeback because having a painting party outside is a possibility. For a project, you could all find something different to try your hand at painting or even hire a local artist to walk you through a summer landscape. Set up blankets six feet apart from each other with some snacks, drinks, and art supplies on each one. You could host the party in your own backyard or at a local park. No matter how your masterpiece turns out, it will be so nice to create with your friends in the fresh air.

Food Wars:

Everyone who likes to grill more than likely thinks they are the best at it lol so put the skills of those in your friend group to the test with a good old fashioned cook off. Every week you could have different categories like appetizers, main dishes, and desserts so the less grill savvy can participate and keep track of how everyone is faring on score cards. By the end of summer, you will find out who is the master chef!

Gardening Group:

Gardening is such a rewarding hobby and can be done from a social distance. Perhaps you and your friends could start a garden together that you can all help tend to so everyone can have fresh veggies and flowers all summer long. Of course, it doesn’t have to end there! Look up recipes that utilize the veggies you are growing and host a garden party to showcase your hard work.

Games Tournament:

Work hard play hard, amiright? But seriously, there are so many fun outdoor games that can be played from a social distance so why not put together a backyard tournament for your friends? Cornhole, bocce ball, croquet, and horseshoes are all great places to start. Don’t forget that there are huge outdoor versions of classic games like Jenga, chess, checkers, and Connect 4. If anyone has children, you could all work together to create an outdoor Candy Land board for them to enjoy.

For bonus categories in your tournament you could include best sidewalk chalk art, best bubble soap, most Pogo Stick jumps, and the like for even more fun in the sun.

Backyard Water Park:

Okay, stay with me here but how cool would a backyard water park that you and your friends put together be? I have been thinking about this so much because the pool at my apartment community won’t be open again this summer and it would be nice to have somewhere to cool off! Now, when I say water park, I don’t mean huge slides and a wave pool. No, I’m talking an ultimate Slip n’ Slide, sprinklers, water balloons, a kiddie pool to soak your feet, a sand castle building set up, and an area to work on your tan. And, of course, an endless supply of concession stand style snacks and lemonade. I think that would just be the best!

I feel like people hear the phrase “social distance” and they instantly think “less fun” but that isn’t the case at all. You just have to get a little creative, like with the ideas above, and you will safely enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors all while having a ball. 😀

What are you looking forward to this summer? How do you plan on seeing your friends social distance style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

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Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

There’s just something about the combination of spring cleaning and the improved weather that turns the “curl up and relax” mentality of winter completely on its head. When the sun comes out, it puts a renewed pep in our step and I’m sure many of us have been thinking about home improvement projects both big and small that can be worked on during the warm weather.

If you’re experiencing the “get up and go” attitude of spring but nothing immediately comes to mind, consider the following projects:

Windows & Doors:

Replacing old windows and doors will give a welcome facelift to both the interior and exterior of your home. A bold front door is a must and if you get new replacement windows, then it is all the better to let the sunshine in with. New windows and doors are also an instant curb appeal booster so it will raise your property value! If you’d like to take this idea one step further, you could even turn one of the rooms into a sun room with floor length windows. A bright, sunny room will be a nice change of pace after the darkness of winter.

Backyard Fun:

It’s safe to say that absolutely everyone will be outside as often as they can in the warm weather so make sure your backyard is well equipped. This could mean arranging a patio area or a deck for social distanced hang outs or preparing your barbecue pit for the season. If you enjoy woodworking you might want to try your hand at making and decorating cornhole boards for tournaments. Don’t forget a net for volleyball and badminton!

Of course, if you want your backyard to be the ultimate place to hang out this summer, you will want it to look its best. Flowers, gardens, soft green grass to play on, and solar lights and other decor are all great places to start. Remember, a well kept outer property will only help boost your curb appeal so don’t be afraid to go all out with your gardening.

Nature Window:

Creating a nature window ties the two ideas above together for an activity you can enjoy inside. Outside of a large window place bird feeders, baths, and houses, hummingbird and butterfly feeders, butterfly bushes, and insect condos. Basically, anything that will help attract local wildlife. You will have the perfect view of all of the birds flying in and out and all from the comfort of the air conditioning! Not to mention that all of the animals will thank you. 🙂

Don’t let your get up and go energy get up and leave! Try out some of the projects above to welcome back the warm weather.