Category Archives: Home

Planning Your Own Vegetable Garden

fresh vegetables Within the next five years, my partner and I are planning on buying our first home. While talking about the home of our dreams and about what a luxury it will be to not have to ask a landlord if we can paint the walls, hang up pictures and change the carpet in our rooms, he mentioned that he would love to have a garden.

Now first of all, my partner is very much unlike most guys you will meet–He loves to decorate, he has an eye for what colors and fabrics look best on me and he has a knack for cleaning the house a whole lot better than I could! I am a very lucky woman to have somehow attracted my very own straight gay man.

While thinking about this garden that he would love to have, we talked about not only having fresh flowers we wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for, but also our very own produce; which of course, with the rising cost of gas to get to the store and the twenty percent increase in food prices that have hit America hard, having our very own vegetables would be a dream!

Being the dedicated blogger that I am, I thought I would share some information I picked up on how to make the thought of your very own vegetable garden a reality.

Like any major endeavor you plan to take on, a vegetable garden takes planning. You can’t just go out to your yard, pick a corner and start planting, you need to take into consideration how much sunlight your crops need, how many different varieties of vegetables you will be growing and where everything is going to go.

Vegetables have very particular needs unlike any other plants. Your vegetables required deep, fertile soil, a level ground and six hours of full sun every day at the very least. You also need to take into consideration that raised beds are better for growing vegetables because they have good draining, which rids your vegetables of disease and suffocation of the root systems. Raised beds also warms the soil a lot quicker than a regular bed and of course, since vegetables need six hours of full sunlight daily, they could use all the warmth they can get!

It is much easier to sketch your plan out on paper before you begin to plant. Decide what vegetables will go where as well as the size of the beds you will need. The best type of paper for this endeavor would be graph paper so you can plan to scale and also make sure you know how big your crops will grow so you can make sure that they are spaced out properly and not overlapping onto each other.

To make the raised beds that I mentioned earlier, mark off the bed layout with string and bamboo stakes. Make sure that your beds are not wider than 36 to 40 inches and using a shovel, carve out a series of lowered paths around the staked-off areas. Then, mound the soil onto the beds and use a rake to level the soil.

If you currently have your own vegetable garden, tell me about it in the comments, I could surely use all the help I can get and if you’re feeling really adventurous, take some pictures and send them to me using the contact form.

Natural Aromatherapy for Your Bathroom

aromatherapy As a person who has easily spent way too much money on aromatherapy home and bathroom products including skin care, bath and shower products, candles and incense, I recently found a terrific natural approach to aromatherapy guaranteed to lift your spirits and your immune system.

Head over to your local flower shop or crafts store and pick up a small bundle of eucalyptus, mint, or lavender and some natural garden twine. Hang the bundles off of your shower curtain rod using the twine, close to the shower head but out of the way enough so it won’t get too wet when you turn the shower on.

If you have a cold or would like to boost your immune system, eucalyptus is a natural decongestant. The steam from the shower will release the scent throughout your bathroom and it will also clear up your cold and prevent it from returning and others from attacking.

Mint is also used as a throat soother, if you’ve looked through your local store’s cold and flu section, you may have noticed some products that aid in the soothing of the throat or medicines that get rid of sore throats and most often, those products contain mint. What not a lot of people know is that mint can also aid indigestion, helping stomach aches and also chest pains.

Lavender is my favorite plant for aromatherapy. Lavender as an essential oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and it is also used to naturally soothe headaches if applied to the temples; I used to get horrible stress headaches and ended up buying myself a natural body salve with lavender essential oils that worked wonderfully. Breathing lavender in has a calming effect and it is used to soothe stress, aches and pains and is best for you when exposed to it right before bed, as it produces a deeper sleep rid of stress that is most often carried with you into sleep making you wake even more tired than you were before you went to bed and still carrying emotional baggage and stress.

This little trick can even be used just to put a nice, natural fragrance in your bathroom that will last for a few weeks.

Book Review: Chix Can Fix by Norma Vally

Home improvement books really aren’t my type of books, since I’ve always lived in apartments and can’t really take it upon myself to paint and redecorate without the approval of a landlord, whom most often are scared to death when you say “Oh yes, I’m thinking about black carpeting and green walls, what do you think?” However, Norma Vally’s Chix Can Fix tempted me because the book is not only geared towards home improvement, but also to fixing household appliances without the hassle of having to call in a professional and be robbed blind. I was also curious as to how a woman would speak to other women about home repairs and improvements, especially considering that traditionally, this book would have been geared solely towards men, had the author been a man.

I do not watch television; in fact, for three years I didn’t even have basic cable channels so my television was only used when I was watching a movie, so I had no background on who Normy Vally was or what this so-called “Tool Belt Diva” thing was all about going into this book. I was especially interested in this book to see how Vally represents women who do their own home improvement and repair work and because I had never made my own home repairs, nor knew who Norma Vally was, I went into this book completely clueless and came out just as clueless as before, but more offended than anything else.

Norma Vally speaks down to her readers, a true triumph since this book can be found in several clearance bins in many different home improvement and supply shops. She goes into explicit detail and over-simplifies already clear points as if she were a man imitating how one should speak to clueless women. She attempts humor quite frequently, but instead of coming off as humorous, her wording falls nothing short of being condescending and petty.

The self-proclaimed Tool Belt Diva had the perfect opportunity to publish a positive and helpful book for women, already knowing that women would be more inclined to purchase her book, but instead makes the same mistake as most other books of any nature do when attempting to appeal to a female audience–Speaking abut fashion and making every other sentence “cutesy” will not build a solid fan base; instead, this will provoke readers to look at the author of the book in a negative light, knowing that she does not take herself seriously, never mind being able to take the plight of her readers seriously.

If you are still inclined to purchase this book, you will find step-by-step instructions on a variety of different home improvement and repairs, such as plumbing, electricity, walls, floors, doors and windows. You will also find an estimated budget for every project in the book if you are saving up or would like an estimate for a particular home repair or improvement.

Chix Can Fix did not impress me, nor did I see what I had expected; I expected a woman-friendly book that went above the stereotypical “man job” demeanor; what I got was the reinforcement that because you’re a woman, you have no right to do these types of home improvement jobs, but if you insist on doing them anyway, Norma Vally would like to think she can help–while insulting your intelligence the entire time.

[rating:.5/5]

Changing Table to Drink Cart Baby Furniture Makeover

baby changing table For those of you who have old baby furniture stowed away in storage that you swore you would give away to charity, GoodWill, or to expecting parents but never got around to it, fear no more! There is now a way to not only keep furniture you spent good money on maybe years earlier, but actually reuse it and get a lot of use out of it now.

If you have an old baby changing table, Better Homes and Gardens has a wonderful idea to work it back into your everyday life without even hinting towards what it’s purpose used to be.

drink cart Take your ordinary baby changing table, get a little creative with it and apply your own personal taste. The table’s waist-high and size and shelves makes it the perfect object to make over into a drink cart. The exterior can be polished, painted, and decorated and it’s shelves give perfect space for bottles, glasses, and snacks. Attach some wheels to the bottom and you’re good to go for your next entertaining event or relaxing night at home.

If you’re not the type to have a drinking cart or don’t have a need for one, your changing table can also be remade into a decoration piece or microwave stand for your kitchen. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Have fun!

Photos via Better Homes and Gardens