Monthly Archives: December 2016

20 Items That Are Cluttering Your Life—Toss Them Before 2017

A few little messes, while not a big deal on their own, do add up over time, and can make the work of keeping a livable environment a heavy burden.

There’s a certain exhilaration that comes with throwing things away and freeing up space in your home. It’s not only an aesthetic task—KonMari-ing your space has proven health benefits, too. A UCLA study found that women who live in a cluttered environment are more likely to experience a surge in cortisol, a stress hormone. Yes, that untamed junk draw is adding to your stress.

Since the holidays are typically a time we accumulate more, as wish lists are fulfilled and sales make us purchase-happy, it’s the perfect occasion to take a good, hard look at all the stuff you’ve amassed over the year—and get rid of junk. To make it easy on you, we crafted this handy list of 20 things you need to toss, recycle, or donate by December 31 to start 2017 off on the right foot. Make your way through this list for a serene, clutter-free home. 

Flea beetle

Flea beetles are one of the most troublesome pests that can wreak havoc in your garden. They can kill your young plants, although bigger and well grounded plants are immune to their threats. They can jump around and devour one side of your garden one day, and transfer to another area the next day.


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Small round holes in leaves and insects that jump like fleas are two signs that a plant is infested with flea beetles. These shiny oval beetles may be black, brown, bronze, or striped and are only 1/10 inch long. They quickly leap out of sight when disturbed. There are several species of flea beetle and while some feed on only a few closely related plants, others feed on a wide variety of crop plants. Many vegetable crops are affected including tomatoes, potatoes, cole crops (cabbage family), turnips, radishes, corn, beans, and beets. Flea beetles are especially attracted to eggplants and plants may be almost totally defoliated. Flea beetles may also be vectors for transmission of disease such as bacterial wilt in corn.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Since flea beetles are so small and active, it is easy to miss them. Watch for a sudden burst of jumping black spots among the leaves. Disturbing the foliage of the affected plant or of nearby plants may cause them to jump again. Commonly found in newly planted vegetable gardens, flea beetles are most harmful to seedlings. Larger plants are usually able to withstand damage. A light infestation of flea beetles is characterized by tiny round pits or holes in leaves, creating a shot hole pattern. Heavier infestations may cause bleached or pitted areas, ragged holes, or even total loss of leaves resulting in wilted or stunted plants. Although the larvae feed on roots of the same plants, they usually do not cause injury. Larval tunneling may sometimes cause scarring on potato tubers.

Life Cycle

Adults overwinter in the soil and plant debris, emerging in spring to feed. They lay eggs in the soil and die by early July. The legless white or gray larvae hatch in a week and eat plant roots for 2–3 weeks. The larvae pupate in the soil and mature into adults in 2–3 weeks. There may be more than one generation a year.

Integrated Pest Management Strategies

1. Transplant large sturdy seedlings. Large transplants will be most able to tolerate damage. Monitor plants closely so that pests may be controlled before damage is severe. When planting seeds directly into the garden, sow extra seeds to allow for loss. Growing susceptible plants interspersed with less susceptible plants may help.

2. Use row covers on susceptible plants, especially seedlings and eggplant.

3. Avoid flea beetles.Plant susceptible crops as late as possible to avoid flea beetles …


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Tiny House Building Checklist

The Tiny House movement is catching on across North America and around the world. Do a search on the internet for “Tiny House” and you’ll find quite a bit of information. It seems this tiny house trend is catching on all across the world.


On this page I hope to outline the majority of the steps that I have taken to build my tiny house in order to help other people who are building tiny houses. It will also serve as a working list for myself during the building process. This list acts as a broad overview of how to build a tiny house. I will detail in depth everything on this page as I complete each aspect of the build. If you have ideas for improvements, let me know through the Contact page.

Before You Build


  • Determine your true needs: Info here
  • Select site
  • Talk with other tiny house people: Info here
  • Create rough floor plan
  • Determine major features
  • Draw up or purchase plans
  • Create budget
  • Address top 5 barriers: Barriers, Solutions Part I, Solutions Part II
  • Start skill building: Getting Started Guide


  • Trailer – My Trailer
  • Windows – Info here
  • Lumber
  • Tools – Basic Tools I Used
  • Appliances
  • Knowledgeable friends
  • Professionals

Consider Access

  • Consider when you need to bring in your mattress, appliances, shower stall, toilet, furniture
  • Make sure big things can fit through door or windows!


  • Site selection
  • Leveling
  • Remove decking – I decided to get a higher weight rated trailer, so I left these on
  • Cut off extras – More on the Trailer
  • Weld on anchors – Anchoring the Tiny House


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‘My Child is an iPad Addict’: 9 Tips to Get Your Kids Off Their Gadgets

In this age of computer games, many children have become addicted to handheld gadgets. Active play seems to be a thing of the past today. But while these portable electronic devices are considered great inventions when it comes to entertaining the young ones, there is a downside to them.


Are you worried that your child spends more time on their devices than with you? Do you think they’re obsessed with their (or your) smartphones: your little one’s watching YouTube cartoons or playing games non-stop, and the older one is looking at it every few minutes, texting friends all the time, checking to see how many “likes” they’ve got after they’ve posted on social media, refusing to put their phones to one side round the dinner table? Well, I share your concerns – and so do many other parents.

Too often, we have no choice but to accessorize our children with laptops and smartphones in this gadget-filled world, so we have to take responsibility for their disciplined behavior and moderation in their use as well. We buy our kids gadgets to keep them safe, help them with their homework and to keep them out of our hair but we probably didn’t foresee all the problems they can cause.

As parents, we can definitely take steps to change this situation. Will it be hard? Yes. Is it impossible? No.

Here are some ways to curb your child’s gadget addiction:

1. Parental teamwork

Our duty as parents is outlined very clearly in the following hadith. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

‘Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amir (ruler) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman is a shepherdess in charge of her husband’s house and children and she is responsible for them; and a man’s slave is a shepherd in charge of his master’s property and he is responsible for it. So each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.’ [Abi Dawud]

Hence, it is absolutely essential for parents to discuss and decide how to tackle this situation together as a team. So, what are the pros and cons of our kids having constant access to technology?

Pros: TV shows, electronic games and mobile phones can be brilliant resources for our children. Games aren’t just enjoyable; they can help them expand their ways of thinking not only educationally sometimes, but also in ways that they will need for the technology-rich future. The web and Internet gives access to amazing amount of knowledge. Using multimedia, our children can convey ideas in ways we could only dream of a decade ago.

Cons: However, we must also be aware of the downside of technology for our children. To flourish in the real world children still need emotional resilience, social competence and the basic skills of reading and writing, so we have to ensure that too much

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How to Deal with a Clogged Toilet

A clogged toilet can be incredibly frustrating and messy. Fortunately, you can take care of most clogged toilet repair without needing to find a plumber. Finishing your clogged toilet repair is often very simple and cheap.


How to Deal with a Clogged Toilet

t’s every renter’s nightmare. You finally have a place all to yourself and you’ve managed to only last a week until disaster strikes: a clogged toilet. You panic. What can you do? You are too embarrassed to ask anyone for help.

Maybe if you just try to flush one more time … You do, and then the toilet bowl begins to fill with water. It approaches the brim, you freak out and grab the nearest clothes hanger to use as a makeshift plunger.

You begin furiously prodding at your toilet hole to dislodge the blockage. Next thing you know you are standing in an inch of toilet water with a mangled wire hanger firmly entrenched in your toilet’s lower intestine.

This is not a pretty picture.

And yet, this may be more common than you realize. According to a recent survey, the most common problem that renters have to call their landlords to fix is a clogged toilet. It also happens to be the one thing renters would be most embarrassed to call their landlord about.

Let’s spare everyone the embarrassment by going over a whole host of different ways you can unclog a toilet without calling for backup. No matter what the “blockage” may be, there are a number of tools and strategies that you can use to get your plumbing back in working order.

The Plunger Method

How to Deal with a Clogged Toilet - Plunger

Perhaps the most common way of clearing a clogged toilet drain is to use a plunger. For those of you who have been living in an igloo in the Yukon for the last 50 years and are unfamiliar with what a plunger is, it sort of resembles a rubber suction cup on a stick.

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19 Cozy Bedroom Ideas That Are $30 Or Less

Of all the rooms in a home, the bedroom is virtually the only room that is uniquely and solely yours. It only makes sense that your bedroom serves as your restful antidote to the stress of each day.


1. Loop a dimly glowing bulb and cord kit around a nail for a minimalist alternative to a bedside lamp.

Loop a dimly glowing bulb and cord kit around a nail for a minimalist alternative to a bedside lamp.

A cord is $6, here, and a similar bulb is $7.99, here. See more of this gorgeous home here

2. Set a pup-shaped pillow on your reading chair.

Set a pup-shaped pillow on your reading chair.

They’re $30 each here, and you can also get a cat or a wild animal.

3. Dye this cheap Ikea rug your favorite color, and tuck it next to your bed.

Dye this cheap Ikea rug your favorite color, and tuck it next to your bed.

What better way to wake up than to something this fuzzy? Get the rug for $12.99 here, and the tutorial here.

4. Or order a rug that will make your floor look like the ocean.

Or order a rug that will make your floor look like the ocean.

It’s $28, here.

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Advantages of Granite Tiles

Granite is a kind of natural stone that is typically used for home improvement. It is used as flooring, wall, and work surface. The most popular granite noticed in almost every other home is either grey or dark shade. However, it is found in various other colors. This is a highly sought-after home improvement stone; individuals choose it for several reasons. I have described the best four benefits of them in the following droplets of the article.

Image result for granite tile


1) Beautiful & Unique
Granite isn’t only favored for the hardiness, but in addition for its aesthetic appearance. The tiles can be bought in various colors, like grey, green, yellow, black, red, white, brown, silver, etc. Diversely colored granite tiles can enhance just about any type of kitchen or bathroom set up. The polished surfaces provide little or no room for bacteria to thrive in, thus making granite tiles the safest choice for floors. It’s from this kind of tile that you get style, luxury, durability all-in-one. When you’re trying to decorate your home and refurbish your floors with granite floor tiles, you can get one that’s a great match to your personality and style.

2) Durable & Long Lasting
Granite is a greatly sturdy stone, which makes everlasting floor and wall surfaces. It’s a natural stone, and the tiles have the natural hardness, that no other material could meet. Among different types of natural stones, granite stands as the most rock-solid material. For those who have chosen to install it in your home, you are likely to get a hard-wearing, unyielding, substantial structuring. Your home’s floors and walls will have a never-ending gaze and charm. Granite definitely adds up to your home.

3) Low Cost
After marble stones if there is anything to name with regards to feature and look both, granite tiles stand apart. These tiles amazingly provide the features such as marble but are too cheap to afford. Consequently, those who are not very fascinated to go for marble tiles for their high price they can easily opt for granite. On the other hand they are not behind in any terms. Thus, granite is certainly a nice alternative for high cost marble. If you keep the comparison aside you will discover they are beneficial in practical way.

4) Easy Maintenance
Although granite tiles have an extremely hard surface, they are also porous, so spills needs to be wiped up from counter-tops or floors as quickly as possible to stop the possibility of staining if allowed to set for several hours. Harsh abrasive chemical cleaners are certainly not necessary and are not recommended for caring for this natural stone. A mixture of gentle dish detergent and warm water will do..


With the multitude of bean bag chairs on the market, making a decision on the best one to buy can be as simple as following a few guidelines. When choosing the best bean bag chair for you, look at the quality of the fabric, the size and shape, they type of fill and the overall design.


What to Look for in a Bean Bag Chair

Bean bag chairs are generally not sold in retail stores, at least not the really good quality ones. For the most part, if you want to buy a bean bag chair you have to shop online and purchase sight unseen. This is a scary prospect as you are spending a fair amount of money on an untested product at an unknown website. Returns are a hassle and can be quite expensive.

So before making a purchase ask yourself the following questions to ensure you end up with a bean bag chair that is going to work for you and your family.

  • Does the bean bag chair come with a warranty?Does the manufacturer stand behind the quality of the bean bag chair? There are bean bags on the market with no warranties, 30 day, 1 year, 3 year, 5 year and lifetime warranties. The warranty should be clearly stated and you should be able to easily contact the company if necessary.
  • Does the bean bag chair come with a removable, washable cover?Further to that, can you actually get the cover off the bean bag? If you have a removable cover but cannot get it off the chair it doesn’t do you a lot of good. Not being able to remove the cover limits the life of your chair. Even with spot cleaning the cover will only stay clean for so long. Eventually you will want to wash the cover and if you cannot remove it, you will likely want to get rid of the chair, with the end result of you wasting your money.
  • What is the bean bag chair filled with?Polystyrene bead fill is great as they make the chair light and easy to move around; however, they break down over time and you have to refill your bean bag. This can be quite costly and it is not always easy to find polystyrene beads in Canada at a good price. Polyurethane foam fill is great because it is super soft and comfy and it never breaks down so your bean bag never needs to be refilled. It is heavier though which can make moving the chair around more difficult. Look for eco foam fill that is non-carcinogenic and safe for home use.
  • Is the bean bag chair constructed of high quality materials?Check out the quality of the materials that the bean bag is made from. Request swatch samples; make sure that you are satisfied with the durability of the fabric. Upholstery or furniture grade fabrics that are stain resistant are the best because they are going to stand the test of time and they are soft and supple. They are more likely to stand up to wear and tear and to look nice in your home for many years. Avoid cheaper fabrics that may tear or stain easily.
  • Is the bean bag big enough?Choosing the right sized chair can be a challenge, especially as the dimensions are often given in a range of units. If you only have circumference to go by, phone or email the company and get length, width and height. Circumference is not a useful measurement for determining if the bean bag chair is going to work for you. The biggest factor when determining size is the person’s height (and weight). The taller you are the bigger bean bag you need to get the most support and comfortable seating position. This is true for kids as well – age is not always a good determining factor for choosing


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Types of Bathroom Mirrors

Mirrors are becoming a significant part of home décor; the stylish forms of mirrors are making them a significant piece for interior decorators. There are several things which you should consider before buying a mirror for your bathroom like size, budget, color, shape, design and many other such factors. Selecting the best one will match the general look of the room or even greatly enhance it.

Perfect Full Of Great Ideas How To Upgrade Your Builder Grade Mirror


Firstly, contemplate the way your bathroom appears and functions. Have you got a simple bathroom suite or a room of fitted bathroom furniture? Is your room large or small, light or dark? Who uses the room? And how much space do you have? Only you can decide what is best for your present bathroom style.

You could go out and shop for spectacular decorative mirrors but you do need to expect that you will be provided a number of mirrors types to select from. Choosing mirrors for the bathroom is no different; one has to choose the best mirror to cater to the decorating needs of the bathroom without neglecting its main purpose or function. You will need to look at your budget too when deciding what to go for.

Anybody can always explore various options in the market and as well as over the internet. Usually, bathroom mirrors fall in three types of categories. These are fixed, hanging and moving mirrors. Each one of the mirrors is completely distinct from the other when it comes to its location and style.

• Fixed Type

The most traditional and functional type of mirror includes the fixed mirrors which can be utilized for various reasons. The fixed mirrors are fixed for good to the walls of the bathrooms. These are more functional and practical. Most commonly it is connected to the cabinets or doors of the room.

• Hanging Wall Mirrors

Widely famous for its style and elegance, these usually offer a classy appearance to the rooms. The hanging can be found in several size and shapes to match several decorations. These bathroom mirrors are offered in various sizes and shapes; you’ll find small, medium and sized mirrors which full length in hanging mirrors too therefore offering various selections for your bathroom

• Moving Mirrors

The movable can be tilted and moved in several directions. It is primarily utilized for vanity purposes. It gives you mobility if you need to adjust the angle of your bathroom mirror often. They are common in hotels given it typically has huge space where it can be dragged just anywhere. However today, homes with large bathroom spaces now are adapting this type of mirror.

How To Save Water in Gardening

Probably the most fundamental ideas to saving water in your garden is to pick the best plants. Consider the rainfall in the area at present and the forecasts for the future as well. You want plants that could do well considering the variety of rainfall you are to anticipate in your location.

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Give consideration to Collecting Rainwater

One of the most effective strategies to providing water for the gardening year is utilizing a water butt and collecting water run-off from home roofs, garages and sheds. Through easy attachments to existing gutter downpipes water is siphoned off into a water butt with a tap for quick filling of watering cans.
Consider Drip Irrigation

One alternative you need to help you save water whilst still watering your garden is drip irrigation. This procedure is a huge contributor to water conservation. By using drip irrigation, valved pipes drip the water right where it must go. Since delivery is targeted, you won’t use the maximum amount of water. When your irrigation is complete you can simply turn the valves off. It really is fairly cost effective, durable, and a fantastic way to water your garden without having over watering.

The Best Time to Water

The lawn need to be given water at the most ideal time of the day. The optimum time to dip the yard is in the morning. Early morning watering implies a lot less chance of the evaporation resulting from heat or fungal growth. An early watering must guarantee the water can soak into the soil prior to the temperature can begin to increase.

Ensure Your Equipment isn’t Leaking

Just like in any equipment at home, you must keep track of your water consumption. You might suddenly observe an increase in your usage without significant modifications in your activities or garden. This might be a sign of leaks. See whether your hose, sprinklers heads and any other watering systems are still in good condition.

Utilizing Mulch

Applying organic mulch to the top layer of the soil will certainly let the soil to have a cooler temperature. This could stop the water from evaporating fast and consistent soil moisture is attained. Mulching will prevent soil erosion too. A protective mulch layer on top of your soil is amongst the best and easiest moisture retaining strategies that one could put into use.

These are just a few points you can keep in mind to reduce the water you utilize in the garden. In this way you keep the garden eco-friendly by conserving water.