Posted by Peggy Farber on 5/6/2015

While summer brings thoughts of backyard barbecues and outdoor activities, it is also the time of year when the bugs come out. One of the worst culprits that ruin our summer fun is the mosquito. Applying smelly, sticky bug sprays full of chemicals can make outdoor activities even less enjoyable. Here is an idea for making homemade chemical free mosquito repellent that can also be used to keep away ants and fleas: Ingredients: 1/2 litre of alcohol 100 grams of whole cloves 100 ml of baby oil or similar (almond, sesame, chamomile, lavender, fennel etc) 1. Marinate the cloves in alcohol for four days. 2. Stir the marinade every morning and evening. 3.  After 4 days add the oil of your choice. The repellent is now ready to use. 4. Gently rub a few drops of oil into the skin of the arms and legs. This can also be used on pets to keep fleas away.  





Posted by Peggy Farber on 4/29/2015

Today more and more people are worried about chemicals in their home and ways to save money. Making your own household cleaners  can be a great way to save money and know exactly what you are using in your home. Here are a few tips on how to make your own glass cleaner:   Ingredients: 2 tablespoons ammonia 1/2 cup alcohol 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid A few drops blue food coloring water 1. Combine the ammonia, alcohol, dishwashing liquid, and food coloring, then add enough water to make 1 quart. If you prefer a nonammoniated cleaner, substitute 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice for the ammonia. Here is another recipe: Ingredients: Water White Vinegar 1. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. Use it as you would any other glass cleaner.    





Posted by Peggy Farber on 4/22/2015

Whether it be simply the preference of the homeowner, or an attempt at increasing home value, hardwood flooring is increasing in popularity.  Hardwood floors can add a touch of class to a smaller home, and make larger homes really show off their square footage in a way that carpeting cannot compete with. If you are considering outfitting your home with hardwoods, style and durability will be your two biggest categories to explore, after cost.  Some hardwood options, while stylish, lack the durability of others, and care would need to be taken in order to not wear out your new home addition prematurely.  Below, I'll list some of the more popular varieties of hardwood flooring options. Wide-Plank - Wide-plank flooring is quickly becoming one of the more popular options for people looking to add a touch of class to a room or home, without sacrificing their floor's durability.  This style of flooring gives you a wide variety of wood options and styles to choose from, but woods with complex grains are the preferred way to go.  Wider planks allow the natural beauty of woods like Hickory and Tigerwood a chance to shine. Reclaimed Pine - This eco-friendly option is also a popular favorite.  Perfect for homes that already possess a rustic flare, reclaimed pine flooring can add a touch of historical class to any home.  And because one of the primary sources of reclaimed pine flooring are historical buildings, this is an environmentally-friendly alternative to some of the more extravagant hardwood varieties, like Brazilian hardwoods, or teak.  Reclaimed pine is just one of many varieties of reclaimed wood, so shop around a little.  Almost all reclaimed hardwood options will add a touch of mature class to a home. Eucalyptus and Ebonized Hardwood - These varieties are extremely dark and elegant.  Best paired with contemporary homes. If you are partial to white furniture and decor, this variety will serve to complement your design style immensely. Red Oak - This variety of flooring is gaining a reputation for it's ability to successfully coordinate with any design style, as well as it's durability.  Red Oak is a fantastic choice for homes with children, as the durability of the wood will prevent most scuffs and dents that a high-traffic family would normally dish out on a less-resilient wood variety.  The lighter, warmer colors of the wood also serve to heighten the brightness and color of a room, which may be preferred in houses that don't get a lot of natural light. Brazilian Cherry - This variety is the classic "mosaic hardwood".  The natural variation in color from plank to plank is an eye-catching addition to any home, while the affordability factor is also an appeal.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 4/15/2015

Everyone loves a green and gorgeous lawn. When it is time to either start or fix your lawn you have lots of decisions to make. One major option to consider is if you should choose seed or sod?  There are a few factors you will want to consider before making the choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both seed and sod. Here are some of the advantages of grass seed: -less expensive than sod - installs much quicker -may be more viable option in shady areas -seed blends may be better for difficult to grow areas Here are some of the disadvantages of grass seed: -seed cannot be used immediately -requires attention while growing -can develop weeds and patchy bare areas -can be difficult to grow in areas where erosion is a problem -can only be planted at certain times of the year Here are some of the advantages of sod: -usable lawn much quicker -few if any weeds -no risk of erosion -wider range of appropriate planting times Here are some of the disadvantages of sod: -more expensive to buy and install -must be ordered through a local sod farm or professional landscaper -can be difficult to grow in very shady areas. Proper preparation and care is important whether you choose grass seed or sod. If you are unsure the best option for your yard consult a professional landscaper.  




Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Peggy Farber on 4/1/2015

Scrubbing the bathroom is not a fun job. Add smelly, expensive chemicals to the mix and cleaning the commode can be a real drag. You can get your toilet sparkly clean in no time and with regular household items. Here is a recipe for homemade toilet cleaner: Ingredients 1 cup borax 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice 1. Combine the borax and vinegar to make a paste. 2. Apply it to the inside of the toilet bowl, let sit for 1 to 2 hours. 3. Scrub the bowl. What is your favorite natural house cleaner?