Visit the Shaks
Shak & Jill
Join Jill for savvy Real Estate discussion.
visit the shak!
Did you know?
Quick test: is it a weed or a plant? If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
I love rain chains! I only recently found out about them, but I think that they’re wonderful. They’re kind of like windchimes, but with rain. The water falls down them (usually made of metal) and makes “music”. Chains also direct water downward, and some people use them as replacement downspouts on gutters. Others use them to direct water in their gardens. Personally, I like them only as decoration. If you’re interested in a rain chain of your own, check out this post by Kathy Woodard at the Garden Glove:
Birds and Blooms had this rain chain from spoons project, complete with instructions. I love the look of this, and using old flatware just makes it more interesting!
Burbs and the Bees made this cute pine cone rain chain.
Dollar Store crafts made this very cool wire and stone rain chain
I LOVE the “outdoor living room” idea!
If you have a tiny lawn, or no lawn at all (hello, apartment living!), then this post is for you. I went from living in a home with a huge yard (I think we had 2 acres, if I’m remembering right) to a two bedroom, barely-700-sq ft apartment. One thing I missed almost immediately was the greenery. And of course, in an apartment, you can’t do anything to the land. There are ways to grow plants indoors, but I also had cats that liked to get into everything– so that wasn’t really an option. But- there is an alternative! Check out this slideshow at Refinery 29! It shows, in detail, how to build your own self-contained terrarium, complete with beautiful photos. Be sure to give it a look!
Canning is an amazing way to store food for extremely long periods of time. You can save your summer harvest for the winter, or even for longer. It’s a staple for most homesteaders, and can also save you tons of money. The only downside is that it’s a bit intimidating to newcomers, and can be difficult to learn with no prior experience. However, if you want to get into canning but have no idea where to start- fear not! Check out this post by Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead. She has written an excellent intro on canning techniques, what is best for beginners, and even provides a beginner recipe for canned applesauce.
If you are new to canning, I can’t think of anything easier to learn on than applesauce!It’s frugal (if you buy the apples in season), versatile (great as a side to any meal), and very forgiving.
Having a well manicured lawn is a basic step to getting your home sold. However, if you want to go the extra mile and boost your curb appeal, maintaining a garden or landscaping your yard will help. To me, there is just something magical about a stone path winding its way through a bed of wildflowers. I’m more of a bohemian romantic type though. Maybe you prefer straight, classical shrubs to stroll through, or rows of homegrown fruits and veggies. Whatever your tastes, having some landscaping done will seriously up your curb appeal. An easy way to do this is to install a stone walkway through your yard or garden. Check out this step by step tutorial by Liss at Budget 101!
I love, love, love growing my own fresh herbs. They’re the only plants that I don’t accidentally kill– plus, they’re practical! I love how they taste, and I love how they look. But the thing I love most of all about herbs? There are plenty of ways to get creative with planting them. If you need inspiration for planting your own herb garden, look no further than this compilation at By Stephanie Lynn-- it is the absolute mother lode of herb garden ideas. Some of these look like more art than dirt and plants. Here are some of my favorites:
-Old wheel barrow garden
-Repurposed ladder and tin cans
-Recycled book planter
-Spiral built rock bed
-Cinderblock garden wall
Growing your own, fresh veggies is way cheaper than buying them from the grocery store in the long run. You just have to know what you’re doing and have a few bucks to start up. Plus, you control exactly what you grow and how you do it: you can go completely chemical free if you like. Sometimes, though, people can be intimidated when building their own garden from scratch… You have to buy raised beds, gardening soil, and seedlings to start out with. However, Pam at Brown Thumb Mama shows in this post how to start your own plentiful veggie garden for less than $25! Here’s how she did it:
3, 6-foot cedar fence boards $1.50 each: $4.50
2 in. x 2 in. x 24 in. grade stake (6-pack): $5.47
1 box of 35, 2” nails: $1.30
2 bags of steer manure @ $1.37 each: $2.74
Catalina baby spinach: $2.79
Lacinato heirloom kale: $2.79
Jericho romaine lettuce: $3.79
ShakYardGot a green thumb? Let's dish dirt.
Antique and modern Oriental furniture from Greentea Design.
Solid wood computer cabinets and other home office furniture