Tag Archives: outdoors

Small Renovations That Make A Big Difference

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Small Renovations That Make A Big Difference

When people think about home renovation projects, they often think big with HGTV worthy remodeling. While this will definitely make a huge impact on your property it is not feasible for everyone as it is a huge expense. Today, we are going to discuss some renovation projects that you might not have ever considered. These ideas might not be as big as a full fledged room makeover but they still pack a punch, all the same. Let’s get to it:

Exterior Projects:

Boosting your property’s curb appeal begins from the outside in because the exterior of your home offers the first impression to friends, neighbors, and strangers. Make their first impression a great one with these projects:

Driveway Repairs:

You might not think much about your driveway but it is subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Cracks and potholes are inconvenient as well as unsightly. Repairing these issues is a definite must for boosting your curb appeal. You might also want to get driveway sealing before winter to better protect the road to your castle.

Porch Perfect:

Your porch, patio, deck, or any other outdoor seating area can be a huge selling point for your house. The front porch is one of the first things people notice about your house so you want to make sure it is putting its best face forward. Replace rotting or splintered wood and don’t forget that a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.

While you are working on your front porch, consider your front door too. A brightly colored door is sure to catch attention. Shades of blue, red, and yellow all look especially charming.

Outdoor Accessories:

Every great outfit is not complete without the right accessories and the same goes for your house! Outdoor accessories are not so much of a renovation as it is placing objects but it sure is a fun way to showcase your personality. Bird baths, fountains, swings, solar lights, and even garden gnomes can offer a playful touch to any home’s exterior.

Interior:

Tile Backsplash:

Creating a tile backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom is an amazing way to add color and patterns into the room. It is relatively cheap and can also be done on your own. It will feel great to see something so pretty in your place and knowing that you did it all by yourself.

Something Extra:

Do you ever feel like a room is missing just that little extra something to make it pop? We’ve got you covered. Although this is a somewhat tedious and minor project, have you ever considered changing out your door knobs and cupboard handles? There are countless different options for you to look into. For a touch of glam, how about diamond handles for your dresser? Or even colorful square knobs for something different? A little change, yes, but swapping out hardware accessories can be a fun way to add something new.

Floating Shelves:

If an area is feeling cramped with a bulky shelving unit or dresser, you could consider having floating shelves installed. These are an awesome way to display all of your favorite treasures while taking up a fraction of the space. Floating shelves will turn your wall into an instant work of art – no painting required!

Mini renovations can still make a huge impact and will help keep the exterior and interior of your home fresh as well as visually appealing!

Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

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Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

Whether it’s a gentle breeze caressing your face while you run or the sun kissing your skin while you cycle, taking your workouts outdoors is always a refreshing experience. However, it is necessary to exercise without putting your health and safety at risk. Are you thinking about taking your fitness regimen outside? Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe while you exercise:

Map your route ahead of time:

It would be pretty frustrating losing your way when going for a run, walk, or cycle outside, especially if you’re new to the area. Thankfully, almost all smartphones come with a Map application and GPS functions, so you can plan your route before setting off. It is also advisable to share your route with someone you trust before you leave. If you take your phone along, be sure to keep your location on to make locating you easier if you should get lost or injured. If you already know your area, ensure that you avoid inconvenient places like construction sites, busy streets, etc. You might also want to avoid areas with stray animals to prevent incidents such as dog bites.

Dress for safety:

From workout clothes to the shoes you wear, you should aim for comfort and safety. Regarding footwear, having on the right shoes for the right activity will help to avoid blisters, twisted ankles, or any other injury. Also, your clothes should not inhibit blood flow or airflow in any way. If you plan on doing your outdoor workout at night or under poor visibility, you should wear workout clothes with features that make you more visible, especially when working out near busy roads. For example, you can wear bright colored clothes or opt for ones with reflectors to make you more visible to motorists.

Take your cell phone along:

Carrying a phone along when going for a run can be an inconvenience as you want to run or cycle ‘freely,’ but you also need to be safe. And if you get lost in an area without any internet connection, you will need something to use to call for help. Many workout garments come with spaces to store cell phones and keep them out of the way until you need them.

Protect yourself from the sun:

Sunscreen is an absolute must if you plan to work out in the sun, especially for your face. It is best to look for sunscreen products designed specifically for athletes, as they wouldn’t come off when you sweat. Moreover, the heat can wear you out pretty fast, so don’t forget to carry a bottle of water along. If possible, try to exercise during or after sunset because the sun can be scorching in the afternoon.

Protect yourself from the cold:

Cold temperatures can also drain your energy. It is possible to burn about 6,000 calories in one day when exercising in the cold. So, make sure you wear protective clothing. You might also want to take a bottle of water along to sip, as cold temperatures can suppress thirst, and you don’t want to be dehydrated.

Working out outdoors is great but doing it safely is the best with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Cleaning Check List

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Cleaning Check List

When people think of cleaning their homes, they often think about the usuals of dusting, vacuuming, and clearing clutter. However, there are surely some things that most people forget when it comes to cleaning up their property so let’s discuss a few key areas to tend to during your next cleaning day:

Your Car:

Cleaning up your car isn’t an obvious choice when you are tidying up your home. But, if you’re like me and are constantly throwing Diet Coke cans into the backseat, then it might be time to give your car some love! Purchase some car cleaning products and get to work so your vehicle looks just as nice as the day you took it home. After having a massive clear away in my car, I realized that the incessant rattling of pop cans was something that I could do without!

The Lawn:

Paying extra attention to your back and front yards is another thing that people might breeze past on cleaning day but I promise it is worth the effort. The exterior of your home gives people an instant first impression so why not let it be a great one? Pull weeds, mow and fertilize, and try cleaning the windows you can reach while you are out. A well maintained lawn is some people’s pride and joy. If nothing else, it will be nice to spend some time outdoors. 🙂

Nooks & Crannies:

If all you do when you clean is tend to things on the surface level, then it might be time to engage in a deep clean because there could be a lot of yuck that you are missing. Crumbs and fallen food under appliances or furniture is a welcome smorgasbord for pests. Even forgotten remnants of dinner on the inside of your garbage bin can attract bugs, which would be a horrible surprise when you open the trash can. Pay attention to nooks and crannies as well as hard to reach places. Hard to clean? Somewhat. However, it is imperative to keeping a safe and sparkling clean home.

Frequently Touched Surfaces:

If you have been somewhat lax about cleaning frequently touched surfaces, then there is no better time than the present to start that up again – especially with the rise of the Delta variant. Wipe down doorknobs, telephones, and light switches and don’t forget the TV remotes, computer keyboards, and buttons on appliances. This is a chore that can be completed quickly and is paramount for keeping yourself and family safe.

Of course, cleaning can be a hassle but you will feel so good once all of the tasks are complete, especially the ideas above!

4 Life Upgrades That Work Wonders

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4 Life Upgrades That Work Wonders

Learning to upgrade your life can take many different forms. You could learn how to improve your mindset or start exercising more. The general consensus is that if you want to upgrade your life, it’s all about building good habits and, more importantly, having the discipline to practice them every single day. So with this in mind, what does it take to upgrade your life using the right habits?

Take Pride in Your Surroundings:

Pride is something that doesn’t come before a fall, provided we take pride in the things we know we’ve worked hard on. For example, if you spent a long time working for your home, that notion of being proud is a great thing, and it is a reminder that you put your mind, body, and soul into something that will reap dividends in years to come. But if you don’t have pride in your surroundings, your home can do with simple upgrades. For example, having a Renewal by Andersen window replacement can give you a simple way to have a window to the world. The simple upgrades around the home can evoke that feeling of being house proud.

Get Outside:

One of the benefits of opening up the windows to the world is that you will get more sunlight, and getting outside is so important for many reasons. It can reset your circadian rhythm, give you that all-important Vitamin D, and it can also improve your focus and your mental health. When you are out in the sun breathing in the fresh air, it can help you to refocus your life and is one of the simplest ways for you to feel healthier almost instantly. If you double this up with an exercise routine outdoors, you are giving yourself additional benefits.

Managing Your Time:

Upgrading your life is not about setting a million challenges for yourself, but is about making sure that you meet each goal one day at a time. One of the best ways to upgrade your life is to set challenges but make sure that you learn to prioritize and allot the relevant time you need to complete everything necessary. We all feel like we do not have the time to do everything we want, especially when it comes to self-care. This is why learning to manage our time effectively is important, because it gives us the opportunity to complete the tasks we want and feel more accomplished.

Stop Fearing Failure:

Everybody fails, it is a fact of life. Failure is the key to success, and while failure feels terrible at the time, it is only fleeting. It gives us the greatest lesson of all, the lesson of resilience. And if you are looking to upgrade your life, you’ve got to look at the people you admire and see how many times they actually failed. They failed more than you think! As soon as you learn to embrace this failure, you will learn to keep working in spite of it which will guarantee you better results.

Ready, set, upgrade your life with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

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Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

Hello! Today, we are going to take a look at my last bunch of pictures from the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio. The estate and botanical gardens of Charles Kelley King was an absolute delight to explore with my family and I am itching to go back. I am also looking forward to going to the Cleveland botanical gardens with my husband since he had to work the day we went to Kingwood. 🙂 Let’s get to it:

While it was so fun to walk through the grounds of the Kelley estate with my family, my favorite part of the day actually happened indoors. About halfway through the botanical gardens is an expertly placed children’s play center so the little ones can cool off and have quiet time after a lot of walking. We took a pit stop there with my nephew and I had the best time playing with stacking blocks and stuffed frogs with him. Due to the pandemic, it was hard to see my brother and his family who live out of state so I I really cherished getting to have some TT time with him. ❤

Another cool part of the botanical gardens is the Storybook Trail. Every twenty feet or so on this wooded path, there is a display of a page from a children’s book. As we walked the trail, my brother and I took turns reading about a baby bat named Chiro and that was also special to me since I have never got to read a story to my lil nephew before. Even though he won’t remember our day at the Kingwood Center Gardens, I will for forever. It was the best. 🙂

Are there any botanical gardens 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

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

Pansy Party

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Pansy Party

Hi! My dad is an avid and exceptional gardener but, unfortunately, broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder about a month ago. Needless to say, his injury put a huge damper on his plans for his flower and vegetable garden this spring and summer so everyone in my family has stepped in to help make it happen anyways. This past week, I spent some time outside with my dad planting pansies while he oversaw the process and we are both very pleased with the outcome of our first project! Check it out:

I used to love helping my dad in the garden when I was younger and our afternoon planting flowers brought me back to those happy times in the sunshine with him. He was so sweet to provide gardening gloves for me to protect my talons with and it felt really good to metaphorically get my hands dirty and make something beautiful grow. Our pansy patch was a team effort and my dad and I planned the layout together and I dug the holes while he removed the flowers from their containers.

I absolutely love pansies because I remember helping my dad plant them back in the day and my grandma used to have them growing outside of her funeral home. I feel so proud every time I see our completed project in my parent’s yard and it immediately brings me back to the time I spent with my dad making it happen.

We gardened on the most glorious spring day and it was a blast to enjoy the weather and talk and laugh about anything and everything. In fact, it was so warm out that day that I was wearing shorts and my legs got pretty filthy. Just like in my youth, my dad helped me hose off all of the dirt once the flowers were planted and it was the perfect way to end our Pansy Party. I can’t wait to start our spring veggie garden next!

What is your favorite outdoor activity? What do you plan on growing in your garden this year? 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.

Pexels Image

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

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