How to Bring Your Grass Back After Winter

 Winter isn’t a particularly good time for your lawn. Constant snowfall and cold temperatures can effectively kill your grass if you didn’t prepare enough during the previous seasons. Once winter is over, however, you have the opportunity to finally revive your lawn. So, how exactly can you achieve this? Let’s look at the ways on how to bring your grass back after winter.

Get Rid of Snow Mold

As the name implies, snow mold is perhaps the most common lawn disease that winter brings about. However, this disease comes in two forms: pink and gray. The former is significantly difficult to get rid of. Worse, it kills your lawn grass starting from its root systems and works its way up to the grass blades. On the other hand, the gray variant of snow mold is easier to manage and not as damaging to your grass.

To repair damaged lawn, you must get rid of the snow mold disease first. One solution is to apply fertilizer and let enough time for the disease to die on its own. Another method is to use a fungicide. If the disease has proliferated over your entire lawn, it’s best to hire professional services. In addition, you will likely have to reseed the affected areas afterward.

Conduct Soil Aeration

The heavy snowfall and traffic brought upon by the movement of both people and animals can lead to compacted soil. The grass needs good soil to resume active growth after winter. Without aeration, the root systems won’t receive enough water and nutrients from the soil.

To aerate the packed winter soil after winter, you can use any handheld or gas-powered aerator. Some just create holes several inches deep in the soil while the plug aerators pull out so-called plugs of soil as well. You can simply rent an aerator if you have a small lawn. Otherwise, you might be better off paying around $100 for professional services to aerate a large-sized property.

Remove the Dead Grass

Some of the grass in your lawn could have been flattened due to the snow and ice back in winter. Thankfully, these will rise once again with the arrival of spring. Apart from aeration and snow mold removal, the grass that didn’t survive through winter needs to be disposed of properly.

Ideally, your lawn should only keep enough grass clippings to form a layer that is half an inch thick. Any more than this will negatively affect the nutrient absorption of the soil. Use a rake to easily remove the excess grass clippings on your lawn.

Reseed or Lay Sod

As previously mentioned, you can cover bare patches on your lawn by reseeding. This is the usual approach. You buy a pack of seeds of your preferred grass variety and then sow them directly in the soil. Irrigate them frequently and deeply early on to help the grass seedlings establish their roots in the ground.

On the other hand, you can try to lay sod on your lawn. This is a faster and understandably pricier option to get the fresh and healthy grass back to your lawn. Essentially, sod is a layer of pre-grown grass that you can buy in local gardening stores. Hiring professional landscapers could be worth a thousand dollars, so you should try laying the sod on your own if the area isn’t that large.

Here is a video about laying sod:

Provide Moisture and Fertilizer

The last time you’ve applied fertilizer was probably back in fall. To help your lawn grass recover, apply new fertilizer. If you used a lot of slow-release fertilizer during fall, it’s okay to do this in the later months of spring. Similarly, your grass will need moisture as the weather warms up. A thick layer of mulch will keep your lawn moist while keeping it warm during unexpectedly cold nights.

Finally, water your lawn in the morning. Whether you conducted reseeding or you laid some sod, the grass will benefit most from morning irrigation. Watering at night could expose your grass to plant diseases due to excessive moisture. In contrast, watering in the middle of the day is inefficient due to most of the water easily evaporating due to the sun’s heat.

In conclusion, bringing your lawn grass back after the dreadful winter takes time and effort. You would have to check for snow mold, dead grass, and severely compacted soil. In addition, mulching and fertilizer application are essential in reviving your lawn. Lastly, you have to cover the dead patches either through reseeding or laying sod.

We hope that our guide helped you in improving the health of your lawn after winter. If you have any queries, feel free to send us a comment.

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How to Balance Your Personal & Professional Life

Maintaining a good balance between the academic and personal life can become a bit hectic sometimes. Often people claim that their professional life is intruding into their family life or vice versa. For that reason, it is good to learn how to keep a good balance between the two. Once you manage to do that, you are more likely to become more productive, focus on the main aspects of your life, and eliminate stressful or unwanted situations. Although the balancing takes a lot of planning and meditation, it is good to keep focused in order to succeed.

To learn how to keep a good balance between their personal and professional life, people can either attempt to organize their life themselves or count on professionals and life coaches. Regardless of your decision, it is important to keep your aims in mind and think about both your needs and your family’s needs. Often people tend to put their family life on hold just so that they can move up the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, over time the one takes over the other and leads to a real imbalance. These tips might help one maintain a balance between their personal life and professional goals.
Separate Work and Family Time

A good way of starting the long and complicated process is by learning how to separate the two. The internet provides a lot of benefits these days, and people can easily spend most of their day working from home or attending online classes instead of focusing more time on their family life. Sometimes it can be a bit tough to step back when work is just a few clicks away. On the other hand, not having a home office can also be a downside in this case. It has been proven that people who don’t have a clear separation of their personal and professional life at home might find it hard to transition from one to another.

Therefore, online school courses or even work can be completed at a coffee shop or at the local library. Once you finish work, you can simply leave that place, and that might help you transition to your personal life. On the other hand, if you work in an office, then it might be a good idea to either listen to music or call a friend on your way home. This will help you make the transition an easier manner.

Create a Schedule

The world that people live in these days seems to move in the blink of an eye. Consequently, it might be hard to remember what tasks you need to complete on which days and what family or personal events you need to attend. Therefore, it could be a good idea to spend a few days writing down every task and important event that is coming up.

Sometimes partners might feel that they are not appreciated enough due to the fact that their other half is spending most of their time focusing on work-related problems. That could be the start of a failed marriage, and no one wants that in their life. No matter how busy or stressed you are, try to make time for your family and show them that they can count on you no matter what. Your children and your partner might expect certain things from you. Make sure to remember them. If you feel like you’re losing the grip of your life, it might be time to try online couples counseling. The advantages of this therapy are the fact that it’s anonymous, it does not take a lot of time, and it helps both you and your partner get back on track.

Eliminate Distractions

Nowadays it is quite easy to get lost in the multitude of distractions that are getting in the way of our productivity. According to research, people spend around 20 minutes of every hour handling unplanned distractions. Although multi-tasking can help in some cases, most of the time it is better to try and concentrate on a single task at a time. People tend to be more productive once they eliminate distractions from their life. That does not mean that smartphones or tablets should be completely eliminated, but a minimization of their use can definitely help.

Some effective ways of eliminating distractions and being more productive are turning off mobile and computer notifications, working in an organized space, closing any programs that are not in use, and getting snacks and water during routine breaks. Therefore, these tips might help one have a better work life, without any interferences of their personal life.

Learn How to Say “No”

In order to be able to create a stable balance between personal and professional life, you have to master the art of saying “no.” There are certain instances when one has to become selfish and think about their private life. For example, when it comes to doing extra work or tasks that require you to spend more hours in the office, it is important to consider all aspects of your private life. Think about your family and about the extra time that you could spend together having fun. Even though there are situations when it’s almost impossible to say no, try to prioritize tasks. There are certain activities that can wait. Learning how to say “no” when it is necessary will make a real difference when it comes to this problem.

Handle Social Media

Last but not least, it is important to learn how to make a difference between social platforms that you use for work, and social media that you use for family and personal life. Having separate personal and professional accounts allows you to separate the two effectively. Now that social media plays an important role in people’s day to day life, this aspect could make a real difference. It could also facilitate life in certain situations. Create a distinction between the posts that you’re making in the online world. It is better to post personal pictures on your family profile and make professional posts and comments on your personal social platform. Thanks to the multitude of applications that are out these days, it is quite simple to pick one for academic connections and another one for personal life.

Most of the measures described above could be beneficial for everyone who is looking to preserve a good work-life balance. As most people know already, nothing is worse than combining the two. Don't forget, slow and steady wins the race!  

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The Best Careers for Those Who Love Animals

If you are wanting to take your love of animals into a profession, it can be challenging to find what role is best suited to you. Here are five of the best career options for those who love animals.



Classed as the most common profession, becoming a veterinarian is a great way to engage, look after, and treat a wide variety of animals. Veterinarians spend their days saving the lives of animals and performing operations to help make a positive difference to their health. Training to become a veterinarian takes around four years after receiving your bachelor's degree. There are also vet tech positions, which could take as little as two years, with websites such as giving more information on the process, as well as helping you find a local school near you.


If working in a laboratory or zoo is more for you, a zoologist may be the right profession to go into. The main roles of a zoologist are to study a wide range of animals on their behavior in their natural habitats, as well as having the chance to travel around the world to conduct research and analyze their conduct. However, bear in mind that training is required for the role and zoologists must possess a Ph.D. to be able to carry out research.


If you feel you lack the skills to become a veterinarian or zoologist, it might be worth looking into animal grooming. Maintaining the appearance of an animal is a necessity to their overall health and to help keep them active and fulfilling a happy life. Groomers can work in a range of areas such as in a shop or veterinary clinic, with on the job training being provided with no previous experience necessary. There is also the possibility of earning certificates through training, which can be valuable regarding progressing in your career.

Animal Trainer

A key requirement in becoming an animal trainer is having a lot of patience. As you will be dealing with unruly and potentially dangerous animals, it is vital to be patient to achieve the overall outcome of successfully training the animal. A great benefit in becoming an animal trainer is that you will spend most of your time outdoors with the animals, as well as have the control and freedom to work in a way that suits you best.

Shelter Work

If you are yet to find work in the field you want, or you just want to gain experience, volunteering at your local animal sanctuary or shelter can be a good place to start. Shelters bring in all sorts of animals who have either been abandoned or in need of a new home, with volunteers being in place to help look after the animals, clean up and maintain their health, as well as helping find suitable owners for the animals. The job is incredibly rewarding, and many volunteers go on to progress into paid work, as well as moving up the ranks.

If you need more information on what sort of role would suit you best, be sure to look online where you can find a variety of professions to suit your preference.

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Tips to Maintain a Family and Work Balance

Single parents, working couples, and other working-class families often struggle to find the perfect balance of family time and work time. Many try to keep the two separated, which can be beneficial, but sometimes if not done correctly it can backfire.

While there is no surefire way to strike the perfect balance between work life and home life, there are ways and methods you can use in order to find what works best for you. Some of these tips include:
       Find time to relax/unwind
       Have dinner with your family whenever you can
       Unplug when not at work
       Figure out what and who is important in your life
       Plan some special family trips when time allows

This list is by no means comprehensive – there are a multitude of ways in which you can find the perfect relationship between your work life and family life. However, this small list is a great place to start for the individual or couple looking to relieve some of the stress of work interfering with their family life!
#1 – Find Time to Relax or Unwind

Allowing a moment or two for yourself is incredibly important. While you might feel like you need to spend every moment not working with your family, this could ultimately prove just as harmful as constantly working. You need to give yourself a chance to decompress after work, or if there was a particularly stressful day in the household. Your mental health and stability will allow you to enjoy the good moments to their fullest, as well as allow you to achieve the most at work.

Whenever possible, find the time and place for you to do something you like that relieves tension. Perhaps you enjoy reading a good book, taking a nap, or drinking a cup of tea, doing yoga, or just sitting in the quiet in front of your air conditioning. Whatever the case, make sure you allow yourself some private time to do something you enjoy. When you are relaxed, you will find life a lot easier to take in stride.

#2 – Have Dinner with Your Family

Whenever possible, depending on your schedule, have dinner with your family. Studies have shown that eating dinner together strengthens the familial bond and builds trust and respect between the family members. During this time, try to insure that there are no phones or televisions on or nearby, as these can detract from your family time.

Have conversations with each other and your children about how your day went, and see where it goes from there. Nurturing that family bond will allow your children to feel that much more comfortable coming to you with problems and create a mutual respect within the family. This dinner time also allows you the chance to push work from your mind for a while in order to simply enjoy your family’s presence.

#3 – Unplug When Not at Work

Even if you are not directly spending time with your family, “unplugging” is supremely beneficial. If you disconnect from your phone and computer or log off from that addictive online casino game you’ve been playing, you will find yourself far more engaged with the world around you, including your family. Unplugging relieves some of your tension (i.e., you will not be constantly awaiting a call that will not come), and you will be able to truly enjoy your family time. Take that time offline to truly enjoy your family, whether it’s laying in bed on your cozy mattress to watch a movie or playing a fun board game.

#4 – Figure Out Who & What is Important in Your Life

This might seem silly, but often cutting things out of your life will not occur to us. However, if you wish to take full advantage of your time between work and family, you must determine for yourself what is important. Obviously work and family, but what about the activities you partake in? Do you miss the days of getting geared up to hike the trails? Or have you secretly been wishing to install a personal tennis court to get back into the game? Maybe you’ve always had a dream of trying your hand at becoming a music producer for a chance at the spotlight. Whatever interests you, it’s good to remember your passions and get back to doing the things you love.

On the flip side of that, if there is something you have been doing that you no longer enjoy, then do not do it. If there is a friend or coworker that you feel has been a negative influence, do your best to respectfully sever the relationship.

Finding out what matters to you will do a world of wonders for your emotional and physical well-being and will also allow you to find more time to spend with your family doing things you enjoy.

#5 – Plan Special Family Trips

When you have a few days off, plan some special family time away from home. You can do a simple day trip, an out-of-state road trip, or even plan for an extravagant but affordable trip to Kuala Lumpur if you’re feeling really adventurous. Regardless of where you go, the new environment will only facilitate more bonding and you can create amazing new memories with your family, while giving yourself a true breather from work. Of course alert employment that you will be out of contact, and then you can truly let yourself be free for a while to enjoy your family!

… And More!

Again, these are just a few tips to get you started on striking the right balance between work and family, but hopefully these will provide you the stepping stones you need to live life to the fullest!

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5 Steps on How to Get a Sports Scholarship

Sports scholarships in the United States can be hard to get, depending on the route you want to go down. Here are five steps to help put you on the right track in getting the sports scholarship you require.

Keep Studying

If you have your heart already set on a scholarship, it is important to keep studying and maintaining your grades at school. While many may want to put their schooling on a lower platform and focus on their favorite sport, it is essential to have the knowledge and maturity that high school brings to help prepare you when applying for your scholarship.

Train Hard

No matter what day it is or wherever you are, it is important to keep on top of your training. A successful athlete knows how important it is to maintain their fitness, which helps them perform to the best of their ability. Also, it is vital to stay motivated and to never give up on your training, as coaches look for those who are consistent and have the willpower to train.

Research Your School

To find the best school for you and to get the most out of a scholarship, it is essential to do thorough research on where is best for you to go. Looking at where the school is located, how much it can potentially cost, as well as reading first-hand student experiences can help tremendously, ensuring you pick the right place for you. It is also important to know what type of division you are signing up for, as they differ regarding what sport is on offer. Also, looking online can help you find a range of programs such as golf scholarships.

Engaging with Coaches

Before you go for an open day at your chosen school, it is important to have a professional and detailed resume, which should list all the experience you have and anything else that could be relevant to your potential scholarship. Ensure you send your resume out to as many coaches as possible, as the more you send out, the better chance you have of a response. Make sure to engage with coaches in a professional and positive manner, expressing your interest in the scholarship and have questions ready to help ensure the scholarship is right for you.

Requirements and Regulation

Before you apply for a scholarship, it is important to read into the entry requirements, as well as any regulations that are in place. Schools may differ in their criteria so it essential to know whether the scholarship is available to you. Also, for a scholarship to be cleared, you need to sign up to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Many scholarships involve practical and theory exams, so it is good to weigh up whether it is right for you.

If you are still unsure on what scholarship is best suited to you, it is advised to speak to students already in one who can help guide you, as well as looking on school websites, which provide all the necessary information you need.

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Pointers for Staying Healthy and Getting Your Nutritional Needs

Your health is paramount to how you enjoy your life, and if you’re not healthy you simply won’t be able to enjoy your life to the fullest.  That’s not what you want!  You want to be out fulfilling all that a healthy lifestyle affords you. The impact of a poor diet and exercise regime can spell health complications that you’d rather avoid, like heart disease, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Staying healthy and getting all the nutrients from the food you eat needn’t be difficult.  In fact, learning to incorporate the right foods into your diet can be fun. By educating yourself about your nutritional needs, you’re half way to getting fit, healthy and happy. So invest your time into your health and reap the endless and inevitable rewards.

Adopting Healthy Habits

Getting healthy, and staying healthy requires you to be dedicated, determined, and proactive about how to stay on track. Learning how to optimize your chances of sustained health is the best way of keeping to your goals and ensuring that you’re doing the best for your body, its processes, and the way it looks. You will need to implement a structure to your life that will ensure you’re keeping healthy and giving your body the nutrition it needs. This structure is your healthy living routine, and it needs to consist of healthy eating, regular exercise, cutting out, or at least limiting your alcohol intake, quitting smoking and other harmful practices, and learning how to look after other needs like attentive care to your sleep pattern and downtime. Read more about how to optimize your chances of sustained healthy eating habits through this website, and begin adopting healthy diet habits through learning and coaching, should you require it.

What You Need

If you’re a senior member of the community, then your nutritional needs will differ from the ones required by someone twenty years younger than yourself, and if this is the case, then you can only benefit by researching to find out whether you can take dietary supplements to improve your health. Nutritional needs will differ greatly from individual to individual. For further example, a bodybuilder or someone who lifts heavy weight regularly will require a significant amount more calories by way of protein than someone who enjoys moderate cardio alone and is not looking to gain mass and muscle weight. In short, there isn’t a generic rule for nutritional needs, and there isn’t a one size fits all regulation for getting the nutrients you need.


Getting enough sleep is paramount for the functioning of your body, and without the correct hours of sleep, you’ll feel lethargic, irritable, tired, and far more likely to turn to fatty and sugary comfort foods for that much needed, albeit short-lived and counter-productive boost. If you’re not adequately providing your body with the sleep and nutrients it needs, it will not be able to keep you energized, and your gym routine will soon be replaced by spending hours sitting inactively on your sofa bemoaning your inability to muster the motivation to exercise and keep active.

Intolerances And Paying Attention

To understand your nutritional needs, you should pay close attention to how you feel in yourself after eating certain foods. For example, if you feel sluggish and experience discomfort after consuming foods such as bread, pasta, and cereals, then it’s worth visiting a doctor to find out whether you’re gluten intolerant. By avoiding certain foods that your body doesn’t easily digest, you’ll be helping your health and your ability to feel happy. Steadily introduce new food groups into your diet, if you don’t already eat plenty of vegetables and leafy greens, then add them, and find a way of incorporating them into your diet and then assess if you feel better in yourself. A difference isn’t going to happen overnight. However, seeing improvement shouldn’t take too long, especially if you’re concurrently cutting out foods high in saturated fat, trans fats, sugar, and salt.

Get Into A Routine

Routine can be thoroughly enjoyable and adopting a sustainable one can be the difference between failing and succeeding to reach your health goals. After a while, a routine should feel like second nature to you, and you should be able to enjoy it once you’ve found a comfortable and sustainable rhythm. If you’re simply not a morning person, then forcing yourself out of bed at 5 am isn’t going to set you up for staying on track, and you’ll soon want to throw in the towel. If you’re not able to get up at the time you promised yourself you would, then you’ll soon lose faith in your ability, and become disheartened with your progress. This is hugely unhelpful, and you’ll be far better off acknowledging how you work and think. So if you know that waking up so early is impossible, then that’s fine, you can either work toward getting up early and go to bed earlier, or you can find another time in the day to exercise, like the hour after you get home from work and before dinner, for example. Cutting yourself some slack and finding other ways in which to fit in exercise is far more beneficial to your body and your self-belief.

Reduce Inflammation

If you’re currently suffering from inflammation, you’ll know it’s painful and inconvenient and is caused by a build-up of toxins, either from injury or infection.  Inflammation is your immune system’s method of getting you back to health, after the hot swelling stage of inflammation has passed, only then can your body’s white blood cells fully focus on repairing the inflamed area, so do your very best to boost your immune system at every given opportunity. Toxins from refined foods gather in your body and cause this painful condition, and while you should be avoiding refined foods in general, if you’re suffering from inflammation, it’s especially relevant to do so. Think of inflammation as your body’s way of voicing a complaint, so listen up in order to stay as healthy as possible.

Be Forgiving

Remember that getting healthy isn’t always easy, and it can take months, even years to feel happy, confident and content with your body. So, ensure that you’re telling yourself how well you’re doing.  If you’re losing weight, feeling happier, and are more able to complete tasks necessary to keeping up your lifestyle, then you’re doing well, and you’re getting there. If you’re attending the gym on a regular basis and managing to swap sugary snacks for more wholesome ones like oat bars and fresh fruit and veggies, then you’re continually moving closer to achieving your goals, and that should be commended. Be kind to yourself and forgive the occasional slip-up. What’s most important is that you’re dedicated to staying healthy and getting your nutritional needs for the most part.

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Why Taking Pride in Your Appearance is Great for Your Confidence

Many people seem to think that taking pride in the way you look makes you vain, and for this reason people try to hide the fact that they stare in the mirror each morning to even out their eyebrows. But the truth is, there is nothing wrong with caring about how you look for yourself and for other people.

Taking pride in your appearance is a quality which can actually improve the way you see the world, see yourself, and the way that others perceive you. So if you are wondering why you should take pride in your appearance, read on...

First Impressions

You will likely already know that people form an impression of you within the first 5 seconds of seeing you. Because of this, it is incredibly important that you are able to present yourself as someone who is well put together and professional. Taking pride in the way you look can manifest itself in many ways. It could be the way you get your clothes tailored and dry cleaned with, you could cut your hair every 6 weeks to keep that chiseled look, and you could spend 10 more minutes on your makeup in the morning to perfect that winged liner. Whatever you decide to do, you are making an impact in the way others perceive you.

Its Healthy

If you think about it, the biggest motivation you have for staying fit and healthy is making sure that you look the way you want to. If you want to stay looking your best at all times, you will likely take more care on what food you consume and you will take more time to visit the gym. This in turn has an amazing affect on your health as your body will be much more healthy overall. You’ll be less likely to develop illness due to a stronger immune system, you will be stronger and you will sleep better. So taking pride in the way you look can be greatly beneficial for your body too. You can find out more about the benefits here:

It Reflects Your Mood

If you wake up in the morning and throw on a pair of leggings, a hoodie and trainers, the likelihood is that you will feel a little bit groggy and grouchy. This is because you simply haven’t taken time to care for your appearance, and you haven’t even put on deodorant to make yourself feel ready for the day. The difference a blouse and trousers can do is amazing, and you will notice a massive difference in your attitude if you wear proper clothes each day.

It Will Make You Confident

Perhaps the best reason to take care of your appearance is your mental health. Simply by doing your hair, applying some makeup and putting on a nice shirt, you will feel much more attractive and confident about yourself. If you look in the mirror and feel more attractive, you will immediately feel much more confident when you leave the house and this will make you happier. This is a huge deal for those with anxiety or anyone in general, really.

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Making an Old Home More Energy Efficient

Old homes can be costly to run. Not only do they require more repairs, they’re also less energy efficient, which means much higher energy bills. Making a few upgrades to your old home could make it as green as a newer home, lowering your utility costs and increasing your home’s value. Here are just a few methods to consider when making an older home more eco-friendly.

Install new doors and windows

A lot of heat can be lost through old doors and windows. Upgrading to UPVC doors and windows could help to keep heat in and have you using up less gas. DIY methods like fitting draft excluders and insulated window film may have some impact if you’d prefer to preserve your home’s windows and doors.

Seal up cracks

Old homes can often have cracks in the walls. Further, heat can easily be lost through these cracks. Go around your home sealing any cracks up with caulk. Be wary of larger cracks as these may need professional intervention and could pose a structural risk to your home.

Consider other insulation

There are other forms of insulation that could further help you to use less heating. An uninsulated loft could be leading to major heat loss. You could install some thermal wool or insulating panels yourself, or hire a professional to apply blown-in insulation. Other forms of insulation such as cavity-wall insulation and underfloor insulation may also help to preserve heat.  

Upgrade your water heating

Old water heaters can use up a lot of energy. Water is stored in a tank which has to be continuously heated in order to keep it hot. An electric tankless water heater only heats up water when a hot water faucet is in use, which is likely to be far more economical.

Replace old bathroom fixtures

Many old bathroom fixtures can use up a lot of water. Old toilets can use up a lot of water when flushing, while old shower heads can also guzzle water. Consider upgrading your lavatory to a multi-flush toilet and replace your old showerhead with a water-saving new one.

Replace old light bulbs

Old incandescent light bulbs could be churning through electricity. Many modern homes are now switching to LED and CFL lighting, providing almost equal brightness while using up far less power. These bulbs can be found in your local home store.

Choose a sustainable energy source

You could consider ditching main gas and electricity for a more sustainable version. Installing solar panels on your home’s roof could allow you to generate your own electricity. Biomass boilers and woodburners meanwhile could be a more eco-friendly means of generating heating. Of course, these sources of energy do require high installation fees, however you’re certain to make up these costs in the future by never having to pay an energy bill again. Setting up your own water system is more difficult, although it could be worth buying a rain barrel or two for gardening use.

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The Difference Music Makes for Disadvantaged Kids

Access to the arts makes life so much more fulfilling, yet many people in New York City lack access to the arts because of their family or financial circumstances. However, one of the biggest advantages the city has is it's large population of artists with a desire to donate time to help. The efforts of Sing a Song of Hope  and other artists' organizations help put artist pursuits within easier reach and increase awareness of art forms.

Where Are People Most in Need?

A lot of people who live outside New York believe that only certain areas have disadvantaged artists, but nothing is further from the truth. All five boroughs have residents who lack the access to arts that they would like to have, and may think that pursuing their dream is out of reach. However, the good news is that there are enough artists dedicated to helping out in each of the five boroughs to help aspiring artists and performers achieve more.

Where Do Service Programs Take Place?

Many schools lack the amount of funding needed for strong arts programs, making them benefit from outreach programs that will help them educate more students. Community centers are also a natural choice, being close to the most public transportation and serving all age groups. Though a seemingly non-typical location, hospitals are also good candidates, with longer-term patients and their visitors benefitting from such programs.

Reaching Out Through Performance Art 

Dancers and actors have flocked to New York City for generations, making the city a hive of activity for these performers with abundant opportunities to perform. Musicians performing a variety of music from jazz to opera find plenty of great venues to perform in when seeking a start. Even puppeteers find a lot of venues besides those geared towards children, helping to keep what might become a lost art alive.

More Ways to Reach Out Through Visual Art

Painters and other visual artists have a wealth of opportunities awaiting when they decide to get their art out in New York. One of the ways visual arts help provide a connection is through using art forms that are easier for people to learn if they are new to art. Learning from working artists helps provide a solid foundation for continued learning in art and helps new artists start off with better skills.

Art For All is Important

Even though most people will not end up becoming working artists, regular exposure to the arts is beneficial for all age groups. When people get involved in the arts, they will have more exposure to a diverse range of experiences that allow them to learn more about the art form and its cultural influences. When disadvantaged kids, in particular, have access to arts and music programs, their exposure to these creative activities can open up whole new worlds of possibility for them.

There are many benefits of music education, including improved test scores, higher IQ, better language development and better spatial intelligence.

Groups in New York City that help promote the arts provide a new world of opportunity for all ages and social groups.   

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7 Ways to Stay Clean & Organized This Month

Have you been skating through 2018 so far and accomplishing all of your goals. . . for everything?  If so, my dear friend, you are on fire!!! 🔥🔥🔥 Woo Hoo!  Good for you. 😊

If however, you are like me, and for whatever reason, your year is just not going the way you thought it would be going, and you STILL haven't managed to meet ANY of your organizational or cleaning goals yet this year, this post is for you.  Here are several ideas from other bloggers for organization around the home.  Some of the sites offer free printables to keep you on track.  Some of the printables might be a bonus if you sign up for their email.  I printed out a couple. Now, I just need this year to "normalize" so that I can get some stuff done!  😉 Between snow days and illnesses in January, and an impromptu trip home to FL and then MORE illnesses in February so far, it's been a challenge!

I probably need these organization ideas and helpers now more than ever!  Hope you find them helpful.

8 steps to an organized kitchen. Once you get the proper systems in place, it takes very little maintenance to keep it that way!

All moms need a schedule, especially stay at home moms. Time blocking creates the perfect schedule to allow moms to accomplish all the homemaking and home management tasks!

Work from home routine

Free Printable Labels

Are you in need of some genius small space bedroom storage ideas? Well, you're in luck! Click through to see 15 unexpected Ideas For Bedroom Storage: Since there's a fine line between style and function, bedrooms can often present a real challenge when it comes to storage. Trust me, I know. #bedroomstorage #bedroom #smallbedroom #bedroomorganization #organization #organized #bedroomhacks #storagehacks #hhm

I do not have an instant pot yet, but I've heard of many, many, many people who have them.  The chart below might be helpful for you! 

instant pot measurements and cooking times printable

What do you feel your biggest organization or cleaning issue is right now?  

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How to Save Money When Decorating Your Home

Decorating your home doesn’t have to break the bank; in fact, there are several ways you can save when redecorating the space. These are some things you can do to create the ambiance you desire, without overspending to do so.
DIY it –
Why not build a bench or refinish the table yourself? If you are willing to do some work, from installing new knobs on the cabinets in the kitchen, to installing your own mirror and vanity, it will cost a fraction of the price you’d pay for a contractor to do the same work. There are some jobs, though, that might better be left to professionals, for example changing a light switch. Most electrical and plumbing jobs would require getting a qualified tradesman in to complete the job.

Reuse it –
Worn out table? Dated knobs? Why not refinish them? You can paint, sand, varnish, and perform several other modifications to items you currently have in the home, so you don’t have to buy new. You’ll get that vintage charm and feel, minus the high price tag of buying brand new items. Need to update your couch?  Why not sew some new throw pillows to add new life.

Paint –
Paint some rooms yourself; don’t hire professionals, especially if they are smaller spaces or areas. You can even get the kids involved. They can have their own space and choose their own colors for their room.  You'll save money, and a lot of kids actually enjoy being able to do the work to decorate their own spaces.

Use tight spaces –
Have a little crawlspace under the staircase? Use it for storage. An old file cabinet can make a great chest or cabinet with a new mirror. Find new purposes/uses for items you have, rather than getting rid of stuff and buying everything new.

You can achieve the desired look and feel in your home when redecorating, without having to overspend to do so. These are a few simple tips any homeowner can use, which will achieve the intended purpose, and do so for a reasonable price that you can actually afford to pay when you are redecorating the home.

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How to Make Your Future More Manageable

If you are trying to plan out your future, or make a change which will better your life and the life of your family in the long run, then it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. The chances are, you may feel even more stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of making a change, rather than actually going ahead and following your plans through. You may be one of those individuals who dream of making concrete plans but will jump at the chance to postpone making any changes or developments as you are scared of change. However, it’s time that you get ready to face your future.

As scary as it may seem, it’s essential that you look into ways to make your future more manageable. You could begin by brainstorming which areas of your life you are most worried about, and start writing down the thoughts and feelings that these generate in you. Once you have a plan down on paper, you can start to make a few key changes in all areas of your life. If you’ve been putting off writing that list, then keep the below tips and hints on hand to help keep you on track with your planning.
Stress and mental health

Stress is a silent killer, and it affects thousands of Americans nationwide. The frightening aspect of stress is that it can affect your overall health and well-being, including your digestive system, immune function, and even your mental health. If you want to make your future more manageable, then its time to give your current levels of stress some attention, to ensure that you remain in the best of health for many years to come. If you usually fly off the handle at the smallest inconvenience, then take time to check in with your current mood or any aspects of your life that are causing you to feel anxious or depressed. Practice techniques such as Mindfulness that enable you to live more in the now, and manage any negative thoughts, so that you can prepare yourself to start making any long-term plans. You could also try fitting in a Yoga or Pilates class to slow down and help boost your energy levels and overall mood. Investing in your mental health now will benefit you in the future.

Your Career

Whether you are just starting out, or have been in the same job for a few years or even a decade, it’s never too late to start planning any future developments or goals for your career path. When it comes to your job, it’s never too late to make a change and rethink what you truly want to be doing. Begin by asking yourself if your career is making you happy? Is your job causing you to feel stressed and worried? Do you find it hard to get out of bed and into work in the mornings? If you can’t answer these questions positively, then you need to give your career some attention. Schedule a visit to a career advisor to talk through your current role, and to better get an understanding of which areas your skills and experience will be welcome in. It could be a question of taking an evening class to boost your future career plans or brushing up on your skill set to ensure that you can progress in the direction that you aspire to. If you’ve always dreamed of setting up your own business, then it might be the right time to make a change that will better your future.

Your Family and relationships

It's important to factor your family and relationships into any plans that you make for your future, as your loved ones will have a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Begin by addressing any current arguments or differences in opinion that need managing and resolving. If you want to have kids in the future, but haven’t discussed this with your partner yet, then its crucial that you have serious conversations about what you both want in life. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and let out any pent-up emotions. It will enable you both, to be honest, and adult about your future together. If your parents are getting older, then its time to starting thinking how you can incorporate them into your future in a manageable way. Don’t shy away from discussing how your parents will cope in later life, and do remain realistic. Be sure to discuss life insurance and health insurance options with them so that they can feel secure and supported well into their later years.

Your Finances

Remember that any future plans will require the correct level of finances to fund them, so it's important that you consider different saving options or ways to build credit. If you aren’t sure where to start, then begin by making an appointment with a financial advisor to discuss your options and review your current credit score. If you don’t understand any terms or conditions fully, don’t be afraid to highlight these. Money is a part of your life that you will always need to retain control over, so it’s important that you fully understand before signing into any schemes or loans. Remember that it's never too late to begin saving and planning for your future, and you can start small by saving a few dollars each month.

If you want to make your future more manageable, but struggle to know where to start, then worry not. Making a change for the better is easier and simpler than you might think. First, check your current stress levels and make sure that you manage your mood before you risk letting your health suffer. Be honest and realistic about your current and future career choices. Don’t neglect to have important conversations with your partner about your future, and that of your family. Finally, give your finances and savings some attention to ensure that you can fund your future plans. 

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