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  • Quick test: is it a weed or a plant? If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
  • read all shaktoids!
    September 16, 2014
    Best Fall Plants To Bring Color To Your Yard

    Fall is my favorite season. I love the weather, the colors, the smells, the sights, the holidays, the clothing options, and the flavors (I could live on pumpkin forever and be perfectly happy). One of my favorite things to do in the Fall is to take an afternoon and go on a drive through the country to look at the colors. But, while this is fun, and a great family or date activity, why should you have to drive miles away to see the gorgeous colors of the season? Why not bring them to your own yard? Read this article by Steve Bender at Southern Living for a list of plants that will dazzle you this season:

    -October Glory’ red maple (Acer rubrum )- for spectacular red fall foliage. September is a great time to plant.

    -Plentifall pansies- survive below-zero temps with little damage, so they should bloom for you from fall through spring

    -Moss- If grass won’t grow in a damp, shady area in your yard, grow moss instead. Moss stays green all year!

    -Confederate rose- (Hibiscus mutabilis ‘Plena’) a shrub with late-summer and autumn flowers that change from white to pink to deep rose as they age. 

    Photo Credit: Kanegen 


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    September 9, 2014
    Fall Entry Way Inspiration

    September is here! It’s not quite officially Fall yet, but it’s close enough for me. It’s time for the hot summer months to go away! Fall is here (kinda), and in my mind, that calls for a change in décor. Bring on the pumpkins, the mums, the corn, and the hay bales! If it were up to me, I’d have Autumn stuff out year round. Having season appropriate décor is also a great way to boost your curb appeal, especially if you’re trying to sell. A main drawing point is the front door- it’s extremely important when considering curb appeal. For some outdoor/entry way decoration inspiration, look no further than this post by Better Homes and Gardens. It also contains tutorials on how to make each project:

    -Festive Fall Greenery: An old washtub is new again when you fill it with fall plants such as wheat stems, fir branches, and holly leaves and berries. 

    -Wreath of leaves for the door

    -Use orange paper lanterns on your porch

    -Pumpkins as planters

    -Cozy mum wreath

    Photo Credit: Rachel Kramer 


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    September 3, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Outdoor Living Room

    Photo from TG Interiors


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    September 2, 2014
    DIY Citronella Candles

    Outdoor time is a staple at my home. We have a large porch, a fire pit, and a pretty mean grill cook (my dad). Needless to say, we have a lot of outdoor parties. But, we also live in the country, so pesky bugs like mosquitoes and flies can be a problem. That’s why we go through citronella candles like candy– we have to buy new ones every few weeks during the summer, and it can be a pain. That’s why I was super excited when I saw this post by Jody at Premeditated Leftovers! She has a tutorial for how to make your own! Check it out:

    • 6 cups soy chips
    • drops citronella essential oil
    • wicks
    • pan

    -Melt soy wax chips, stirring constantly

    -Dip metal disk on wick into melted wax, immediately place on bottom of desired container to fix it in place.

    -Stir essential oil into melted wax well, pour wax into pre warmed containers. prop wick up in the center with pencils or sticks.  Allow to sit for several hours until set.

    Photo Credit: Logan Ingalls 


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    August 26, 2014
    Hydrogen Peroxide In The Garden

    I’ve used hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant for minor cuts and scrapes, and as part of a DIY teeth-whitening solution. That’s why I was more than a little surprised by this article by Joe Macho at Hubpages that says it’s also great for gardens. Like, seriously, what? You’d think it’d immediately kill any living thing trying to grow. But, apparently, most plants eat that stuff up! Check out some of the many uses of hydrogen peroxide in the garden:

    -Organic pesticide: feeding a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to the infected plants will rid them of soil dwelling pests like root worms

    -Soil aeration and root rot treatment: it will break down rapidly in the soil, boosting oxygen levels and expelling any anaerobic conditions.

    -Water treatment: it will remove chlorine, and chemical pesticides

    Photo Credit: Adinaplus 


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    August 19, 2014
    Rain Chain Inspiration

    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

    Photo Credit: Field Outdoor Spaces 


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    August 15, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Add Some Curb Appeal To Your Home This Summer
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxrhud8

    I LOVE the “outdoor living room” idea!


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    August 12, 2014
    Indoor Gardening Idea: Terrariums

    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!

    Photo Credit: a2gemma 


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    August 6, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Rainbow Planters

    Photo from WebSta


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    August 4, 2014
    Yes You CAN! Beginner Canning Recipe

    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.

    In my opinion, water bath canning is the best way to learn how to can. It’s slightly less intimidating than pressure canning, and water bath canners can often be found at yard sales or thrift stores.

    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.

    Photo Credit: The Bitten Word 


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