Tag Archives: garden

Stuck On Early Holiday Shopping? Have Some Ideas!

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Stuck On Early Holiday Shopping? Have Some Ideas!

Hello!! Yes, yes, roll your eyes all you want to my last minute holiday shoppers but Lil Red is over halfway done with her Christmas shopping! In case you haven’t noticed, I absolutely love gift giving and because I have so many people to shop for – the earlier I can get done the better for me. A stress free December where all I have to do is wrap up prezzies is the goal.

However, my drive to complete my holiday shopping doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten stuck on gifts to purchase. In fact, it’s been difficult this year because I feel like I’ve used up all of my best ideas before. Lol, so I had to get creative and if you got gifter’s block like me, you might appreciate these ideas:

Insect Condos:

I have quite a few giftees with a positively green thumb and gifts for the garden always go over well for them. This year, I was very interested in insect condos to help promote healthy garden growth as well as our bee population. These little “houses” feature all of the materials that handy insects like lady bugs, bees, butterflies (the list goes on) love like sawdust, bamboo, and cedar wood.

I thought these insect condos would be a perfect addition to the gardens that my giftees tend so lovingly and you can find tons of amazing homemade ones on Etsy or there are plenty on Amazon. I also had to snag a butterfly feeder for my dad (He doesn’t read my blog so I can post this, I swear!) because him and his granddaughter love watching the butterflies in his garden together. I know they will both be happy with it!

Baking Boxes:

This year, I wanted to get something different for the families I work with as opposed to the normal holiday decor, chocolates, or ornaments. So, I found some baking boxes through King Arthur Flour to gift them with. These boxes come with all of the ingredients to make a delicious dessert and I thought it would be a fun activity that all of them could bake and enjoy together.

There is nothing better for baking than products from King Arthur Flour and I was happy to be able to get such nice gifts for a price I was comfortable with. In fact, I plan on purchasing more as it gets closer to Christmas to have shipped to other loved ones on my list.

Willow Tree Figures:

I have always been fond of gifting the beautiful Willow Tree figurines to people because they are sentimental and simple decor and it’s easy to find one that applies to wherever your giftee is in life. For example, last year when my mom and dad became grandparents, I gifted my mom a statue to represent that, as it was a grandma holding her sweet grandbaby.

From celebrating your pets and relationships to saying thank you by purchasing a Willow figure holding a bouquet of flowers, you are surely to find the right one for your giftee!

Stocking Stuffers:

Stocking stuffers are great if you need a little something extra for a gift or you want to do an entire goodie basket. Winter accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves are a great place to start if you’re doing a gift exchange in your friend group. Cozy blankets, a decadent box of chocolates, and bottles of wine always go over well too! Still stuck? Candles, bath and body care, gift cards, your favorite book, and even socks (I like getting them!) are all crowd pleasers.

Take some of the stress out of your holiday preparations with the gift ideas above. Happy shopping!

When do you normally start holiday shopping? Who is the most difficult person on your list to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Caring For The Trees In Your Garden

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Caring For The Trees In Your Garden

If you have a large garden, planting some trees is a great way to use the space and attract wildlife. However, trees do require a lot of maintenance, especially as they get larger. Before you decide to put any trees in, it’s important that you know what is involved in tree care so you can make sure that they stay happy and healthy for years to come. These are some of the most important tree care tips that you need to know:

Early Tree Care:

When you first plant your trees, they need to be supported by canes and tree guards so they can find their feet without getting blown over by the wind. It’s important that you check inside the tree guards on a regular basis to make sure that there are no pests in there and they are still stable.

You shouldn’t need to water your trees because they will adapt to their natural environment. Over watering them in the early stages could cause the roots to rot, so make sure that you are careful when watering the surrounding areas. Cutting the grass can be an issue as well because it encourages faster grass growth and the grass competes with the tree for moisture. If you do want to cut the grass, do it carefully and leave the area around the tree.

Pruning:

Pruning is an important part of tree care because it encourages them to grow upwards, rather than outwards, and it helps to remove any diseased branches before the infection spreads. Pruning a tree in the right way can be quite difficult, so it’s best to call out a professional company, like VistaScapes LLC to handle it for you. You don’t necessarily have to prune your trees if you don’t want to but they will spread outwards and take over the garden and the risk of disease is much higher.

Coppicing:

As your trees get larger, you need to think about coppicing. This is the process of cutting lower branches and making cuts near the base of the tree to encourage new growth. It also allows more light to reach the ground so any flowers and plants that are close to the tree can still flourish. You shouldn’t need to worry about this until your tree gets quite large, usually after around seven to ten years of growth.

Avoiding Pests:

Pests love trees because they can climb up and use it as a way to access your home. If you have rats in the house, it may be because your trees are too close to the roof. When you are pruning, make sure to trim the trees back enough so you do not allow easy access for pests. If you do notice a lot of pests, it may be worth putting some traps around near the base of the tree. Just make sure that you don’t use harsh chemicals that could damage your tree.

Trees are a great addition to the garden. Let them thrive by following these tips!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Getting Your Home In Shape For Cold Weather

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Getting Your Home In Shape For Cold Weather

We’re fast approaching the autumnal and winter months and many of us can’t wait! This season goes hand in hand with all sorts of things that many of us love, including cozy nights in, hot drinks, seasonal festivities, and more. But it’s important to remember that this is a time of year that can prove much harsher on your home and outdoor space.

There are harsher elements to deal with and colder temperatures that could cause potential damage too. So, to help your property make it through these seasons unscathed, it’s important to put a little work in now during the lead up to them. Here are a few areas to focus on that will help you to protect and maintain your property and space as best possible:

Make Sure Your Windows are Double Glazed:

Chances are you’ve been told this time and time again, but by now, every home should have double glazing. If you don’t, you risk all of the heat you’re generating in your home escaping easily. Not only is this a huge waste of money and resources, but it is also likely to leave your property cold, which creates an unpleasant living environment for you and anyone else who lives in the house.

While new builds tend to have double glazing built in as standard, older properties in particular tend to have single glazing. If you’re unsure whether you have double glazing or not, you can always have a professional come in and check. They will then be able to fit double glazing if you don’t have it, helping your home to contain energy a lot better. You may even need Replacement Windows fitted for the best of the best.

Carry Out General Maintenance Tasks:

There are a few general maintenance tasks that are advised in the lead up to autumn and winter every year. Here are a few that you should fit into your schedule:

Clearing Gutters: The gutters outside your property help to catch rainwater from the roof and ensure that it is transported straight into a drain rather than flooding the ground around your property. However, autumn sees more leaves fall, which can clog up your gutters, along with other debris, making it so they can’t do their job properly. Make sure to have your gutters professionally cleaned during this time of year. This will prevent dripping and potential flooding when it rains heavily.

Have the Chimney Cleaned: If you have a chimney and plan to use it throughout the colder months, now is the time to hire a professional chimney sweep.

Taking Care of Your Garden:

Use Mulch: One of the areas of your garden that is most likely to be impacted by colder temperatures, lots of rain, and frost is your flower beds. To maintain these in spite of harsher elements, you should look into using mulch. Bad weather can see your flower beds become extremely prone to frost and over watering, which can freeze or clog roots in any hardier plants that you have and cause them to struggle or die. Laying down mulch provides a protective barrier against these elements and can also prevent water logging, which can give your plants and trees a much better chance of surviving the autumn and winter.

Plant Hardy Plants: If you’d still like some sort of greenery in your outdoor space during the colder months of the year, it may be a good idea to invest in and plant some more hardy plants. Any plants with petals are likely to wither or die during winter months (even if they’ll regenerate when the weather improves a little), which can leave your garden feeling empty and bare. You can avoid a barren looking garden by adding a touch of greenery in the form of evergreen trees. These are widely available and will keep their leaves year-round. Firs tend to be the most popular option, so browse local garden centers and fir specialists to find the perfect specific species for your space.

Invest in a Greenhouse: Some of us want to maintain growing fruit, vegetables, and other plants year round. This isn’t a hobby we just want to carry out in the summertime. If this sounds familiar to you, you may want to consider investing in a greenhouse. A greenhouse is a secure glass building where you can maintain a constant temperature and controlled atmosphere for your plants to thrive in. This is a particularly effective option if you’re planning on growing things like strawberries, tomatoes, and other plants that can easily be ruined by frost.

These are just a few different areas of home maintenance and improvement that you might want to consider in the lead up to the colder months of the year. Each holds its unique benefits and could prove to be something that makes you a lot happier and more comfortable throughout the autumn and winter until spring arrives again! So, why not give them a go?

Featured Image By: Elle Decor

Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

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Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

The backyard is the one private space you have in your home that gives you a chance to be in touch with nature and get outside at the same time. It’s also the place you have free rein to be as creative as you like. Getting outside and enjoying your garden space means choosing to reinvigorate and redesign your garden to make it look as beautiful as possible.

You should be able to head into the back yard with a book and a drink and soak up the scenery. The kids should be able to play safely and happily. You should be able to plant your favorite fruits and vegetables, knowing that they are in a healthy place to grow. With the tips below, you can make your garden the most extraordinary place possible, so that you can kick back and enjoy it no matter the season.

Use Trees:

Planting trees in your backyard to frame the garden is one of the prettiest ways to add something amazing. Asking New Life landscape to help you with your lawn is going to help you to map out exactly how you want your garden to look. Adding fruit trees is a great way to not only grow your own fruit, but you will be able to add these trees to the corners of the garden to frame that newly laid lawn of yours. Choose apple trees and lemon trees and watch them grow!

Design The Beds:

Between those new trees you’ve planted, adding garden beds will enhance the edges of the garden. You can make it as informal or as formal as you like, and you can plant beautiful flowers in the flowerbeds. The beds can vary in length, and you can plant flowers and bushes of a variety of colors to make it pop. You can coordinate the flowers by height and by color, and you can share your ideas with a professional landscaping team to bring it all to life properly.

Go Beyond Greenery:

Garden beauty comes in more than just flowers and bushes. You need to consider hardscaping. Hardscapes like decorative rocks and stone patios will help you to make your living space comfortable and low maintenance. You can add different types of hardscapes to the garden, too, to really give it a unique look.

Irrigate:

You should look at installing a drip irrigation or soaker hose system to water your garden properly. Irrigating your landscaped backyard will keep it fresh, healthy and it will stop it from flooding in the rain. Choose the right size irrigation system and make sure that you have your garden covered. You have the chance to create a beautiful backyard, and you should use these tips to give your garden the boost you need.

With the right inspiration, you can make your garden stand out and improve the way that you spend time in it at the same time. Take the time to landscape your garden this year, and you’ll be enjoying it by next summer!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Creating A Perfect Garden

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Creating A Perfect Garden

Having some outside space at your home is a significant asset and one that enables you to enjoy spending time at your property both indoors and outside. Keeping your yard looking great has many benefits; for a start, it improves your home’s curb appeal, which could add to its value should you decide to sell it. Secondly, having a yard that is in tip-top condition enables you to get outdoors and spend time in the beautiful natural surroundings of your garden.

If you don’t naturally have a green thumb, you may feel a little daunted by the idea of taking care of a garden, and the thought of keeping it looking great may feel overwhelming. However, creating a gorgeous garden is well worth the effort, and is so much easier than you may think. Plus, being outdoors and closer to nature is believed to have significant benefits on your wellbeing, so having a lovely garden is most definitely a winner.

Ready to get to work on creating a photo worthy outside space? Here’s how to create a perfect garden:

Luscious lawns:

Your lawn is likely to cover your yard’s largest area, so it is worth taking the time to get your grass looking its best. Achieving a perfect lawn requires the right tools for the job. You will need a mower that makes light work of trimming your grass, plus a trimmer to neaten up the edges. It is worth doing some research for the perfect garden machinery to match your needs, as it does make a big difference. You can click here to read handy reviews to help you decide on the right tools for you. You might also want to check out https://www.lawncare.net/service-areas/georgia/ for the best professional care for your yard.

Pick Your Plants:

When you pick the right plants for your yard, they will stay looking good for longer and will really enhance your space. You will need to consider the climate that you live in along with the soil conditions where you live to choose the perfect plants for your yard. Some plants are better suited to colder conditions, and some flowers are hardy enough to survive even the hottest climates. It is also worth thinking about how much time you have to take care of your garden. If you are short of time, there’s no reason why your backyard cannot stay looking great. It would be best if you simply choose low maintenance options to keep your garden looking awesome with minimal effort.

A Place to Relax:

No garden is complete if you are unable to enjoy it. When creating your perfect garden, you need to consider how you plan to spend your time outdoors, so that you can ensure that your yard matches your needs. Perhaps you like to relax in the sunshine with a good book, or maybe you want to practice yoga on the lawn. Whatever you love to do in your garden, you can create an outdoor space that fits the bill.

Create your own outdoor oasis with new lush garden landscapes!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

3 Key Ways To Impress A Home Buyer

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3 Key Ways To Impress A Home Buyer

Are you thinking about selling your home soon? If so then you need to make sure that you are taking the right steps to impress potential buyers. Steps like the following:

Ensure The Property Is In Tip Top Condition:

If you are trying to sell someone your home, they aren’t going to be interested unless you have got it in tip-top condition. All of the repairs should be done. There should be no peeling wallpaper or paint coming off of the walls. Nothing should be broken or look like it is about to be broken. All of the holes in the wall should be filled and anything else that takes away from the condition of your home needs to be sorted out.

If you are not marketing your property as a fixer-upper, then that is not what people expect to see. People will only pay your asking price if they are impressed with your home, and if it looks as though it’s going to need a lot of money poured into it to restore, this isn’t going to happen. As well as making all of the necessary repairs, check that all the decor is up to standard, no paint on the floor, and so on. All of the rooms in the home should be clear and tidy, and you can even look into master bedroom organization tips to keep your room looking awesomely neat.

Don’t Forget About Curb Appeal:

The first impression that anyone has of your home is when they see it from the outside. If you haven’t focused on the curb appeal of your property, and it looks like a mess from outside, they are already going to have this opinion of the home in their head by the time they come inside. This could be detrimental to the possibility of a sale, so you must be careful with this and take the time to improve the outside of your home.

It doesn’t have to be a lot to make it impressive. Simply keep the grass at a reasonable length, add some flowers for decoration, and perhaps a plant pot or two. If the actual house itself looks as though it could use an update, do this too. It might feel like a lot of work for a home you are moving out of, but you can get the money back through the sale, so it’s not the end of the world.

Include A Few Unique Features:

Finally, you need to make sure that you are thinking about adding some unique design options to your home. Don’t forget that there are going to be a few different properties around your neighborhood that will undoubtedly be on sale at the same time. You’ll need to make sure that your home stands out from these. One of the best ways to do that is with a few unique features One of these could be a water feature at the front of the home. These can look incredible and are cheaper to set up than you might imagine. There are even DIY options to explore.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now understand some of the key ways to impress a home buyer. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

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My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

Hello! When I’m at work, I am constantly being handed bagfuls of goodies from the gardens of whichever home I’m at for the day. During my produce haul last week, I was given a gigantic squash that I had absolutely no idea what to do with. My client’s mom suggested spaghetti squash and I have always wanted to try it so I thought I would give it a shot over the weekend.

Unfortunately, my attempt at making spaghetti squash was not very successful and, after a quick Google, I learned that the squash I used definitely did not look like traditional spaghetti squashes. WHOOPS! Lol, oh well. I tried something new and now I know differently for the next time! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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To learn how to prepare my “spaghetti squash”, I visited the blog Cookie + Kate. This is one of my mom’s favorite sites to get vegetarian recipes from and, as her spiel goes, “Cookie is the dog and Kate is the human”. Lol, I consulted Kate’s recipe while making my squash and it was so easy to follow because it was just like learning how to make it from a friend. No unknown cooking terms and no long stories of how she found God while making this dish, haha.

To prepare my spaghetti squash, I cut it in half from the middle and then halved the pieces again. Afterwards, I scooped out all of the squash guts… AKA the seeds! It was actually pretty fun. Once the squash halves were seedless, I drizzled olive oil onto each of them and then seasoned with salt and pepper. All that was left to do was bake them and I kept my squash in the oven for a little under an hour at four hundred degrees.

I was eager to take my squash out of the oven but, sadly, there was nothing really “spaghetti” about it. I tried to fluff the insides into a spaghetti like texture as Kate had mentioned but there was hardly even any squash to work with on the interior. What I was originally hoping was going to be a noodle shape ended up being a few forkfuls of the squash and the texture definitely looked more like pulp. Although, I must say, it still tasted really good!

Sadly, my attempt at making spaghetti squash didn’t go too hot. However, I feel confident that if I ever get the right ingredients to make it with, it will turn out delicious with the help from Cookie + Kate! 😀

What is your favorite vegetarian recipe? What do you top your spaghetti squash with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Garden Goodies

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Garden Goodies

Hi! I looove having lots of fresh fruits and veggies at my apartment and, during the summer, I am never lacking in that department. My dad as well as all of the families of my clients have gardens and I always seem to be returning home from work with surplus veggies. It’s freaking awesome and I haven’t been without cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans in weeks.

I know that all of the families I work with are up to their ears in produce and they have entire gardens but, shit, I am too! I can’t even get to the bottom of my crisper drawer until it’s filled up again with all of the garden goodies I am constantly being gifted with. The last thing I am doing is complaining about it, though!!

My appetite changes drastically in the summer because I get nauseous when it’s really hot. I find myself craving light dishes as I think I would keel over even thinking about eating a heavy meal in my hot ass apartment. Having a never ending supply of veggies has been a game changer because I can snack on them all day totally guilt free and it has added a lot of variety to my cooking.

This past week, I had an overflow of produce that I needed to purge from my fridge – cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, lemon, and lots of garlic. So, I decided to prepare a cucumber salad with the ingredients I had available. My recipe went as so:

Lemon Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large cucumbers with the skin peeled and cut in slices
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Juice from one lemon, with some of the pulp added too
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

I am obsessed with the salad I whipped up and have been eating a few servings daily. I just love the tart lemon mixed with the tang of the balsamic vinegar and when it’s poured over crisp veggies it is an absolute treat. Get creative with your cooking and try making a salad recipe of your own next family dinner!

How has your garden been doing? What do you have growing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

In Summer, We Wear Black OOTD

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In Summer, We Wear Black OOTD

Howdy! Something I really miss doing while I continue to keep my distance amidst the coronavirus pandemic is having photo shoots for lifewithlilred. I loved doing my makeup, styling the perfect outfit, and feeling like America’s Next Top Model for the day. This past month, I felt comfortable enough to schedule a social distance photo shoot with my usual photographer. But, unfortunately, he had to cancel due to a COVID case at his work (All has since been resolved!).

After that, I decided that I would have my mom take my pictures for me over the weekend – just like she used to when lifewithlilred first started! Now, sweet JANE has no photography experience at all but, unlike my dad, she knows how to take pictures on my iPod. This makes it very easy for me because I can set up the shot, have her stand exactly where I want her to, and she can snap away.

After ten or so shots, I usually take a look at what we have, evaluate what I liked and didn’t like, and then continue the process until I’m satisfied. JANE was a rock star, as per ushe, and I was very happy with the following shots for this All Black Everything OOTD:

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Who? What? Wear?

Nine times out of ten in the summertime, you can find me posted up in my normal uniform of all black. Ten times out of ten, you will hear me complaining about how hot it is. Be that as it may, I never “outgrew” my emo phase. It has turned into a lifestyle at this point so I can’t just stop dressing in a way that I’m almost always prepared for a funeral for a little thing like the sun, lol. Besides, the feathery fake lashes I was rocking were enough of a neon pop to make up for the, otherwise, bleak color palette.

I have become a huge fan of fake eyelashes lately and when I saw the funky pair I’m sporting in the pics while online shopping Sephora, I couldn’t pass them up. I knew that I wanted them to make a major statement in my pictures because they are so unique, so my all black OOTD only enhanced it. It also made the beautiful flowers in my dad’s garden pop, which was another goal I had in mind when preparing this shoot.

When it comes to my personal style, I love having a lot of essential pieces that have an extra something to them. The skort is such a fun take on traditional shorts and they also give the illusion of a romper when styled properly (Which is great for me because I look awful in real rompers!). With a playsuit vibe in mind, I opted for one of my favorite tops to wear tucked in and the end result was an, in my opinion, more modern take on an actual romper or shorts and T-shirt combo.

After the initial outfit was styled, it was all about accessories. I chose one of my smaller brimmed hats for this shoot because I didn’t want a huge floppy one taking away from the eyelashes. Wearing Johnny’s sunglasses was another easy choice because they’re relatively plain and it definitely popped nicely against the black.

Bat wing embellished platforms helped complete this chic goth in the sun OOTD. In fact, I know they did because one of the neighborhood kids said they looked vampire-y. Great success! And, finally, I am extra enough to carry a parasol. Enough said.

I am not exaggerating when I say to you all that I felt like a million bucks in these pictures. It was a hot day but my outfit kept me nice and cool and I felt freaking sexy in it. Lol, since coronavirus, I have not put the most effort into my personal appearance and it felt amazing to both feel and look good. I definitely spammed Facebook with pictures of myself but, damn, I couldn’t help it! Your girl was feeling herself!!

This wasn’t exactly the fancy shmancy photo shoot that I had in mind but it was easily one of my favorites. I loved being able to spend time with my mom and I got a HUGE boost of self-confidence. Some new content on the blog is nothing to sneeze at, either. 😉 Keep it posted for more pics this week!

When do you feel confident? Which color do you wear the most often? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Home Sprucing

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Summer Home Sprucing

When the sun’s shining and the temperature heats up, you’ll want to make the most of your home and garden. Fortunately, it’s easy to transform your property in time for everything the season has to offer. With these simple sprucing tips, you can enjoy the summer weather in your own relaxing retreat:

Overhaul your garden:

It’s easy for gardens to get overgrown in the spring, particularly if you haven’t had a chance to undertake any winter maintenance. However, now’s the time to catch up if you want your garden to be summer-ready. Mow the lawn, trim back overgrown plants, and power wash the patios for simple but effective transformations.

Book pest control services:

One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for summer is to ensure your property is pest-free. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for pests to infiltrate gardens and homes, especially during the spring when they’re often building nests. With residential pest control services, you can ensure there are no nasty surprises awaiting you. Both pest prevention and removal are essential if you want to make sure your property is safe and hygienic. Professional pest control services will give you peace of mind that no vermin or bugs are present and allow you to relax and enjoy the summer.

Add shade:

When you can combine indoor and outdoor areas, you maximize the space in your property and make it far more functional. Bifold and trifold doors are a fantastic way to do this but even adding an awning or cabana to your garden can have a similar effect. When you can escape the blistering rays of the sun or take cover while there’s a shower of rain, you’ll truly get to make the most of the season.

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Pixabay Image

Keep things cool:

Warmer temperatures can be lovely but only if you don’t get overheated. If you have an AC system, you’ll certainly want to get it serviced and cleaned before temperatures get any hotter. With regular servicing, your AC will use less power and perform better, which means lower running costs and cooler temperatures. In addition to this, professional cleaning will remove potential allergens from the AC system, such as dust or pollen, and help to improve the air quality in your home.

Be bold with color:

Warmer, earthier tones are perfect for fall or winter, but spring and summer give you the opportunity to explore with bolder shades and more vibrant colors. From sweet pastels to vivid reds, oranges, greens, and pinks, there are no limits when it comes to summer color. Updating your accessories, tableware, and fabrics make it easy to change your décor to suit the season, so you can stay on-trend with minimal effort.

It’s never too late to make the most of summer, so why not start transforming your property now? With a few minor tweaks and changes, you can turn your property into a summer idyll and make the most of the longer days, lighter evenings, and spectacular sunsets.

Featured Image By: Pixabay