Getting Your Garden Winter Ready

Pros And Cons Of Pans Made From Various Metals

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of Pans Made From Various Metals

If you’re choosing cookware for your kitchen, you have three basic metals to choose from: aluminum, stainless steel, or copper. Which is the best choice for you will depend on how you intend to cook and what qualities are most important to you. To help you decide, here’s a look at the pros and cons of each material. Aluminum  Aluminum reacts quickly to temperature changes, making it a good choice when you want to heat something up quickly. It is resistant to corrosion and rust, and when you choose anodized aluminum (which is very common in cookware), it is naturally non-stick, so you do not have to use a lot of oil in cooking. The downside to aluminum is that it will react with acidic ingredients like tomatoes and vinegar. giving the food a metallic taste. If you cook with these ingredients often, you’ll want to choose a different metal for your cookware. Stainless Steel Stainless steel cookware is durable; it won’t bend if you drop it like aluminum sometimes may. It is non-reactive, so you can cook any dish inside of it, and it tends to be quite affordable. Stainless steel cookware won’t rust or tarnish over time; it stays looking like new for ages. The downside to stainless steel cookware is that it has poor heat conductivity when compared to copper or aluminum. It takes longer to heat up, so you have to exercise a little patience when cooking. Copper Copper cookware has excellent conductivity and heats up quickly, which is why many skillets intended for high-heat cooking are made from copper. Though copper itself is reactive with acidic ingredients, most copper pans are lined with stainless steel to prevent this issue. Copper is known for its even heating, which is important if you’re cooking highly intricate dishes. The downside to copper cookware is that it is quite expensive in comparison to other materials. It does not work well on induction-style cooktops, either. Also, copper cookware does not take well to paint, so most copper pans are plain copper in color and may take on a tarnished look (similar to that of an old penny) over time. In the end, it is up to you to choose the cookware that best suits your needs. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with having multiple metals in your cookware collection. For instance, you could have a copper skillet, an aluminum pot, and a stainless steel...

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How To Find The Source Of Bad Smells In Your Carpet

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Find The Source Of Bad Smells In Your Carpet

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your house clean from top to bottom and realizing that something smells bad. You can try spraying air fresheners, but chances are that is only going to take care of the problem temporarily, if at all. What you really need to do is find the sources of the bad smells in the carpet so that you can fully remove them. Follow Your Nose It might seem like your nose already did everything it could do by finding out that something in the carpet isn’t right. While that’s the first step in the game, there’s more to it. If you close your eyes and follow the bad smell, your nose can actually lead you to the spots that are the worst. Trust your senses and let them do their job. If you feel as though you’ve become too adjusted to the smell, try clearing your olfactory nerve by smelling something cleansing, such as coffee grounds. This helps your nose to “reset” itself and you’re more likely to be able to find the source of the bad smell. Use a Black Light One of the more common causes for bad smells in carpet is urine and other bodily fluids. Some of these types of stains are obvious, but others are not at all. One foolproof way to find these stains is to use a black light. Components in urine and other bodily fluids glow when exposed to black light. Make sure that you vacuum first, because lint can also glow under the light. The room needs to be dark for the black light to work properly. Once you find the stains, make a note of where they are so that you can get them thoroughly cleaned. Watch Your Pets If you think you’ve found all the spots, but you’re not sure, watch your pets. They’ll go back to spots that they’ve soiled over and over again. Try not to be obvious about watching where your pet is headed, but you need to make sure that you’ve found all of the smelly spots. Once your pet does lead you to some questionable spots, clean the area with enzyme cleaners that can break down the elements that attract your pet to that location. Whether you’re dealing with pet stains or other sources of stinkiness in your carpet, it may be time to leave it to the professionals. Contact a carpet cleaning service today who can ensure that all of the bad smells are totally removed from your carpets. To learn more, contact a company like Darling’s Carpet & Floor...

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5 Tips For Dealing With A Cockroach Infestation

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Dealing With A Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches are notoriously hardy and breed rapidly. Once you begin to see roaches in your home, there is a good chance that there are many more that you can’t see hiding throughout your house. If you begin to see multiple cockroaches in your home, use the following tips to deal with an infestation. Contact a Pest Control Specialist Cockroaches are very difficult to kill, so if you have an infestation in your home, a bottle of bug killer you buy at a home improvement store is not going to get the job done. If you want to get a roach infestation under control, you will need the services of a pest control company. Depending on the severity of the infestation, your home may need chemical smoke bombs to kill off all of the pests. Strong chemicals are typically used to control a roach infestation, so it is in your best interest to remove your pets and children from the home while the pest control service is being performed. Your pest control technician will be able to tell you when it is safe for you to return to your house. Keep Roaches Out After initially dealing with a cockroach infestation and killing them off with chemicals, it is important to make sure that new roaches can’t get back in your house. Look around the exterior of your home to see if there are cracks or holes near the foundation of your house, around the windows, or next to pipes going into your house. Seal any cracks or holes, and consider using drain stoppers in your sinks and showers, as roaches are capable of coming up through drains. Eliminate Food Sources If you want to prevent another roach infestation, it is important to remove all possible food sources. Keep all food in tightly sealed containers, and don’t leave pet food out after meal times. It is also important to wipe your counters frequently to remove crumbs, and  make sure that trash cans in your home have lids. Take Care of Leaks In addition to food, cockroaches are continually looking for water sources, so if you have a leaky or dripping faucet it can be a beacon to roaches. Fix all leaks in your home, and be mindful to dry puddles in or around sinks after using them. Regular Pest Control Services After you get a roach infestation under control, one of the best ways to prevent another one is by getting regular pest control services in your home and around your property. In addition to keeping cockroaches away, pest control services can also ensure that your home is free from other gross insects and...

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Warning Signs Of Hard Water In Your Home

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Warning Signs Of Hard Water In Your Home

Although all water contains some level of naturally occurring minerals, water that’s too heavily saturated with minerals is referred to as hard water. It can be destructive to your pipes and appliances, and it can sap the life out of your skin and hair. If you aren’t familiar with hard water or don’t know how to tell if you have it, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the common signs. Here are several things to watch for that may indicate the presence of hard water in your house. Persistent Soap Residue Take a look at your tub and sinks. If there’s a hazy residue left on the surface of each one or you’ve got soap scum accumulating on them, you might have hard water. If you do, you’ll also see film or haze on your glasses when they come out of the dishwasher. The mineral content of the water makes it hard to rinse soap clean away. Chronic Dry Skin and Hair If you’re using a lot more conditioner these days to battle drying hair, it may be due to hard water. Similarly, if you’ve found yourself having to invest in a lot more moisturizer, that may be the reason. The minerals can dry your hair and skin out significantly, and the soap residue left behind on your skin can intensify the reaction. Extensive Buildup on Fixtures The final place to evaluate if you’re looking for signs of hard water is your water fixtures. Since your water flows through these fixtures regularly, the mineral content in it often leads to deposits along all of your water fixtures. If you see any white residue on your shower head, faucets and other water fixtures, it’s a likely sign that you’ve got hard water. You might also see those same deposits inside your dishwasher. Take a look at the heating element that’s inside the dishwasher to see if it is black with a smooth, clean finish. If you’re seeing white or brown spots instead, that’s a sign of mineral deposits. You may find that the deposits on your water fixtures become severe enough that you have to actually wash the sprayers to unclog them. Use a mineral deposit remover for this if you want it to be as effective as possible. If your home is showing any of these indications that you have hard water, you should reach out to a water softener installation contractor like Metro Water Conditioning Inc. He or she can put in a whole-house water softener to help ease the...

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2 Reasons to Utilize Chemical Free Laundry Detergent

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons to Utilize Chemical Free Laundry Detergent

Choosing to go with a chemical free laundry detergent is a great decision, mostly because it can benefit you and your household in a number of ways. You should consider utilizing a chemical free laundry detergent to minimize allergic reactions and create a safer environment. Allergic Reactions A regular type of laundry detergent will typically have a variety of perfumes and dyes in them that can cause frequent and severe allergic reactions in many people. In addition, since the detergent will be used on all your clothing and bedding, there is a good chance that if you have a skin allergy that you will end up having an allergic reaction across large portions of your body. Not only can this be a very unpleasant experience, but it can also be dangerous if you have severe skin allergies. However, not only does a chemical-free laundry detergent get rid of all the harmful chemicals, it also gets rid of those perfumes and dyes. This helps you avoid any unpleasant or painful allergic reactions in sensitive areas. This is also going to be especially useful if you have a young child or infant in the house because his or her skin is going to be extremely sensitive.  Safer Environment Another reason to switch to a chemical free laundry detergent is to make your home into a much safer and healthier place to live. Having harmful chemicals in your laundry detergent could lead to residual chemicals remaining on your clothing and blankets even after they are washed. This means that not only will your skin be in contact with the chemical residue, but you will also be breathing it in.  In addition, many chemical free laundry detergents are also designed to be safe for homes with small children and pets. As a result, you will not have to panic if there is a small detergent spill, or if some of the detergent ends up on your pet’s paws or your child’s hands. Due to the lack of harmful chemicals, the detergent will not burn your child’s skin, and some are even safe if they are accidentally ingested.  Visit your local department or grocery store in order to see the many great chemical free laundry detergent for babies options. A chemical free detergent can make your home quite a bit healthier for you, your family, and your pets. In addition, chemical free detergents can also reduce the risk of you experiencing an allergic reaction if you have skin...

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How To Protect Your Trees From Woodpecker Damage

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Protect Your Trees From Woodpecker Damage

The knock of a woodpecker can be one of the lovely sounds of nature when you’re walking in the woods, but it can cause some worry if you hear it on your own property. That’s because woodpeckers can damage your landscape trees as they bore for insects. This damage can weaken trees, leaving them open to disease and insect infestation. The following guide can help you prevent this damage to your trees. Perform a Tree Health Check A woodpecker hammering on your tree’s trunk can sometimes indicate that there’s an insect infestation already. Keep in mind that woodpeckers peck tree trunks for a variety of reasons, such as to attract potential mates or to get sap, so it doesn’t always mean there is a problem. The quickest way to find out if insects are the cause is to check the health of the tree. Some common signs of insect infestation include chewed or damaged leaves, weak growth, and dieback. You may also see galls on the branches or the underside of leaves, or fungal growth on foliage and branches. This is because fungus  and mold is often attracted to the sticky substance called honeydew that is excreted by feeding insects. If you find an insect problem on your tree, you will need to bring in a tree service company (such as L and M Tree Service). They can accurately identify the pests and begin treatment. Once the bugs are gone, the woodpecker will also likely leave.  Get Sticky If the woodpecker isn’t nesting in the tree and it isn’t feeding on insects, then it’s likely hammering holes to communicate with other nearby birds or to reach the sweet sap inside your tree. You may be able to discourage the bird from landing in your tree with a commercial sticky product. These products are made to be spread on the tree trunk. Woodpeckers don’t like the sticky feeling on their feet, so they won’t land on the trunk anymore. You will need to reapply the substance when the stickiness wears off. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Scare ‘Em Bird scare devices will sometimes work to frighten off a woodpecker. Try stringing mylar “bird” tape in the branches. This tape blows in the breeze and flashes in the light, which may startle a woodpecker. Devices that make noise or move in response to motion may also work. As a final scare tactic, try placing a hawk or owl decoy in or near the tree. The woodpecker may recognize the predator and decide to hammer...

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2 Ways You Can Embrace Aromatherapy When You Have Sensitive Skin

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Ways You Can Embrace Aromatherapy When You Have Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, then you know all-too-well that one type of ingredient you must typically avoid in skincare products and even your laundry detergent is scent. Your sensitive skin may keep you from being able to apply that great, uplifting citrus body lotion or use that relaxing lavender bath-bomb in your evening bath, but don’t think it has to keep you away from great scents and aromatherapy altogether. Using alternative solutions to fill the room and hit your nose with great-smelling and mood-altering scents may lead to you never missing those scented body products again.  1. Try Tealight Oil Warmers Tealight oil warmers are great to use for aromatherapy, and as an added bonus, they also double as home decor. They are typically made from ceramic or other glass, and you simply pour a little scented oil into the top compartment of them and light a tea candle underneath to heat the oil.  Don’t worry, because the gentle heat from the tea candle does not burn the oil, but it instead heats it enough to allow it to slowly evaporate and fill the room with a great scent.  You can place one warmer in the kitchen or living area and fill it with an uplifting scented oil, such as bergamot or mandarin, and let the energizing scent help you power through those household chores or help you concentrate while you work at the computer on that important thesis paper.  Place another in the bathroom, and fill it with relaxing lavender or vanilla scented oil, so you can enjoy these scents during your bath without using irritating scented bubble baths or bath bombs. Other scented oils can help when you are feeling depressed or anxious, and you may end up noticing that you don’t need that evening cocktail when your home is filled with relaxing scents.  2. Embrace Oil Sniffing When you need a quick pick-me-up away from home or you need a scent to help combat that anxiety before a big meeting, don’t let it upset you that you cannot wear a scented lotion that can help combat these bad feelings. You can purchase those same essential oils that others are able to use in their skincare products, but instead just take them and inhale the aroma that unleashes when you open the bottle for a quick whiff of mood-altering scent.  If you are using tealight oil warmers and have already found your favorite scents to combat your unwanted moods, then you can decant a bit of the oils you love most into tiny containers to keep in your purse. You can the pull them out whenever you need a quick mood boost from their great scents.  If you have sensitive skin and you can’t take advantage of the mood-altering aromatherapy body products, then try using tealight oil warmers to fill the room with scent instead. Remember that the scent only has to hit your nose to do its job, and scented body products are only one of many delivery options for great...

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What You Should Know about Pruning Trees

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Should Know about Pruning Trees

If you have trees in your backyard, whether they are meant for decoration, shade, or harvesting, you should learn how to trim trees. Part of trimming trees includes pruning, which helps to improve the healthy and vitality of your trees. Here are some tips for pruning your trees. Reasons to Prune Your Trees It can first help to know exactly why you need to prune your trees. Here are the most important reasons for pruning trees: Personal safety – The first reason you might want to prune your trees is for safety reasons. Some branches might be at risk of falling on their own and injuring someone, so you should remove these branches before that happens. You also need to trim branches that might affect someone’s line of sight in your driveway, which can also affect someone’s safety. Tree health – Pruning your trees will also help the tree itself. When you remove diseased parts of the tree, you allow the rest of the tree to get healthy and thrive. Pruning when you are thinning the top of the tree, called the crown, also helps increase airflow to the tree. Appearance – Lastly, you might want to trim the trees for aesthetic reasons. This includes keeping the trees at a reasonable size and allowing the stimulation of flower production. Thin the Crown You should start pruning the tree by thinning the crown. This is necessary if the tree you are trimming is a hardwood trimming. With crown thinning, you are removing certain branches and stems around the top of the tree to provide better air circulation and light penetration from the sun. Find any stems that have a narrow or V-shaped angle and remove those first. You want the branches that have a U-shaped angle unless they look diseased. Remove any inner lateral branches or foliage that might cause tufts of branches. Raise the Crown Once the crown of the tree has been thinned out, it is time to raise it. Crown raising is the process of removing branches from the bottom portion of the crown where you are able to provide better clearance for the line of suite, vehicles, and pedestrians. This is done most often with trees on the street or along driveways. Looking at the bottom crown of the tree, find any branches that seem to be sticking out or creating an obstruction of someone’s line of sight. These are the ones that should be removed. However, if it looks too tangled up or like you would need to remove a large portion of the tree, you would be better of hiring a professional tree trimming company. Remove Diseased or Infested Branches Te last step to pruning a tree is removing anything that looks diseased or at risk of dying. You should be able to tell the dead branches from the healthy ones. They are often darker in appearance when they start rotting and dying, sometimes having a soot-like or dry quality to them. You may notice little holes or cracks in the branches or leaves, which show signs of pest infestation. If they look diseased or dying, make sure they are removed. These simple methods of pruning a tree will help you get the tree to its approximate size and remove branches that are not...

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3 Tips To Prevent Tree Damage To Your Home During Hurricane Season

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you live in an area that is affected by hurricanes in the late summer and early fall, you probably worry about your home being affected by tree damage. Most people who live in hurricane-prone areas have seen at least a few houses and structures that were damaged by trees, and you probably want to do what you can to prevent this from happening on your property. Luckily, following these tips before hurricane season strikes can help you protect your home and your family: 1. Cut Down Weak or Dead Trees Overly weak or dead trees are an accident that is just waiting to happen, especially in the high winds that can occur during a hurricane. Look for the signs of dead trees — such as a moldy trunk — and consider having a tree service cut these trees down. You should also remove any trees that are very tall and thin or that are otherwise more prone to breaking; otherwise, a particularly weak tree could fall on top of your home. Your local tree service can help you determine which trees should go and can talk to your about your options, such as moving weak trees to an area of your property where they cannot cause damage to your home. 2. Trim Your Branches Tree branches can cause more damage than you probably think during a serious storm. Make sure that any long branches are trimmed so that they cannot reach your home; otherwise, they could cause damage to your roof, your windows and other parts of your home. Also, look out for power lines, and have any branches that might affect these lines trimmed. Weak tree limbs should also be cut down in advance so that they are less likely to snap and break off during a hurricane. 3. Ensure Your Home is in Proper Condition Although it’s always smart to start with your trees, there are other improvements that you can make to help prevent them from damaging your home during hurricane season. For example, consider inspecting your roof and adding extra roofing nails to keep shingles secure; then, if a tree branch does hit your roof, it will be less likely to cause damage. As you can see, proper preparation before hurricane season can help prevent tree damage. By working with a local tree service and following these tips, you can help keep your home as safe as possible during these nasty storms. To learn more, contact a company like with any questions you...

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An Easy Way To Make Cheap Candle Lanterns

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you would like to add lighting to your backyard without spending a fortune, you could make your own candle lanterns to hang. This option is not only affordable, but it is also easy to do. Homemade candle lanterns can be made from things you probably have on hand, and they are easy enough for anyone to make. While there are many different ways to make your own candle lanterns, here is a great idea if you are new to crafts. The materials you will need Making your own candle lanterns is easy and cheap if you make them with old tin cans. These can be old vegetable or soup cans, or any type of tin cans you have around the house. The other materials you will need are: A hammer and a nail Wire and pliers Spray paint Once you have these items, you can begin making your candle lanterns. How to make them The first thing you should do is clean the cans. You will need to remove the labels and glue from them. The easiest way to do this is to let the cans soak in hot, soapy water for a few hours. When you do this, the labels will easily come right off. Next, you will need to take the hammer and nail and begin hammering holes in the can to form a design. To do this, simply place the nail on the can and hit it with the hammer. You can make as many holes as you would like, and you can do this in a pattern, or you can simply make random holes in the can. Once you are done with this step, make two holes in the top of the can– one on each side. These holes are used to attach the wire, which will be the handle. The wire should be around 10 inches long, and you can place it through both ends and lock it in place with a pair of pliers. The final step will be painting the lanterns. You can use any color of paint you would like, and make sure you paint the inside and outside of each can. Once the cans dry, you can place small candles in them, hang them in your yard, and light them with a candle lighter. If you don’t have time to make your own candle lanterns, or if you think you would not be able to do this project, you could order some online. There are stores that sell cheap lanterns online, and you can pick from a wide variety of types, sizes, and...

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