4 helpful gardening tips

If you’re new to gardening and you want to take it step by step you need to understand that owning one is not only about having flowers that need to be watered from time to time. It takes patience to achieve your goals and you need to treat each plant just the way you nurture and take care of your family and children.

Structure a plan

Before making any attempt to start the gardening process, you should establish a plan. Just like with every new domain of interest, you need to understand the basics. Therefore, it’s better to find out how big the plants you intend to get will grow and how to space them according to their needs.

For example, it is a known fact that perennials live more than two years so they need to be positioned approximately 18 inches apart in order to have room for a new growth. Plus, it makes the garden look filled even from an early start.

It’s vital to gather information about how high your plants will grow. The rule of thumb is that shorter and creeping plants should be put in the front and edges of the garden while the taller ones, all the way in the back.


Start with ‘easy’ plants

If you’re not sure what plants to get and which are easier to take care of, you should opt for vegetables. Because they don’t need much time to fully grow, they are a great option, especially for beginners.

You can choose sunflower because it grows fast and really tall or opt for ferns. Once you see the first signs of success you’ll feel more confident and move on to more complicated species that need more attention and all sorts of fertilizers.


Don’t throw away fall leaves

Most people clean their gardens when autumn arrives and it’s a shame that they don’t keep the falling leaves for other purposes. Instead of throwing them into the garbage, use them wisely. Chop the leaves and make them compost ingredients.

From time to time, you can pulverize the leaves and help the lawn boost. Moreover, after a hard winter, you can take 3 to 6 inches of shredded leaves and make a small dormant for the perennial plants that need warmth. In the spring, make sure to remove that mulch.

Set up a calendar
It’s recommended to have an idea of what gardening task you must engage with each season. For example, in the spring you should start to fertilize all the plants and do this operation every 6 weeks until the fall. Furthermore, never plant during the summer because it’s too hot. In the fall, prune the trees and add bulbs or other plants that you want to grow next year. Lastly, during the winter season cut the woody plants before the first frost.

3 productivity tips that have helped me over time

If you have often found yourself thinking you do not have enough time in the day to get everything done, you definitely have a productivity problem. The good news is, you are not alone. One way or another, every one of us has thought the same thing.

It’s not easy to stay productive, efficient, and profitable in life and business. There will always be something else begging for your attention while completing another task. Here are three tips to keep the ball rolling in your productivity level.

Have the needed clarity in what you need to do

While most people are busy, only a few of us are ever really that productive. A huge difference exists between the two. Undoubtedly, people will always claim to be busy, with their calendars full of meetings and tasks that need to be done, and with deadlines to boot. They run to lunch meetings, coffee meetings, regular meetings, and video conferences.

The working moms need to pick up the kids from school, attend PTA meetings, go to parent-teacher conferences and fund raising activities, the list goes on and on. Wow, you’d think, if they’re that busy, when do they ever get the time to breathe?

On the other hand, you will find productive people who are perennially busy but they always have a crystal-clear vision of those activities that deliver the needed results in their everyday lives. Productive people can afford to turn meetings down simply because those have nothing to do with what is more important for their work tasks.

Anything, such as coffee meetings, that does not provide a 100 percent congruence with their beliefs, vision, and end goals is inconsequential and does not deserve the time of day for them. Once you know exactly what your life and business should be like, you can plan an entire 90-day period or up to 6 months in advance, which is critical to a productive existence.

You won’t need to have a bunch of stuff going on in your calendar. What you want are results-driven activities, nothing else. Anything that doesn’t match the vision should be pushed off your plate.


Stay Solo-focused

It basically takes you up to 7 minutes to get back where you left off for every minute of distraction. This is a sad fact that many of us who are perennially busy realize too late in the day. Multi-tasking may be nice to see, but not giving any task your full attention can only fuddle the brain and encourage poor thinking habits.

Switching tasks will not reward you with a lot of dopamine, which is the feel-good hormone. Completing tiny tasks one at a time in optimal time is better than switching from one task to another and not really finishing up on anything. Maybe you are satisfied with short bursts of dopamine, but this provides a risky feedback loop.

That loop makes you feel like you’ve done a ton of work when in actuality you are not really doing much of anything that requires plenty of critical thought. This is precisely why the addiction to Facebook/Twitter and email checking continues unchecked.

Just focus on a solo task and just move to the next after completing the first.


Stay away from an in-boxed existence

Force of habit: you open your computer and the first thing you do is check your emails. That is what most people do, this writer included. However, when I read somewhere that this is the worst thing to do first thing in the morning, I got to thinking, is it ever really worth it?

Checking your emails immediately after you’ve switched the PC on places you in the mercy of someone else, i.e., those who have emailed you and demand your attention, from spams to the newsletters from your subscribed sites, etc. Pitiful right? Simply put, you’re conditioning your brain that you need to address every single email first in the fastest time possible.

The next thing you know, you’ll be three hours into your workday and all you’ve done is check and reply to your emails.

The better thing to do prior to opening your PC is to write down on a stick-it note what you need to accomplish today. Then you can open your emails only at two different times of the workday. This keeps your email addiction at bay.

How to get rid of the nasty smells in your fridge


You know how they say that it’s better to be safe than to be sorry? I couldn’t agree more. Back when I was younger, cleaning my apartment wasn’t a very important thing in my life. I used to hate spending time vacuuming the floors and carpets, and worst of all, I lived in rent so I didn’t want to damage anything. Even though I didn’t like it, I had to clean once in a while.

When I got older, things started to change. I understood that keeping your working and living environment tidy is very important if you’re trying to be productive. While I make a big deal out of cleaning our house on a regular basis, I do the same with our fridge. It’s often that leftovers are the cause of a pesky problem, meaning that nasty smell that everyone dreads and that seems to be seeping from every corner of the refrigerator.



Obviously, keeping things nice and organized is key. I’ve bought several containers where I store the leftovers so that if I forget to check on them, I can’t smell a thing. Removing the source of the odor is the first measure, if you find that your fridge stinks. That doesn’t mean that all of your problems have gone away. However, it’s often that all the shelves and the other groceries you might have stored in your refrigerator have borrowed part of the scent.

In this case, what you need to do is unplug the fridge and clean and sanitize everything in it. It would be a great idea if you had a cooler with some ice to store your foods while you take care of the cleaning. Also, if you haven’t bought a refrigerator, you might want to know that getting one with loads and loads of shelves might be counterproductive. Who knows when you forget something in there and you have to clean your fridge all over again?



Some of the models I came across have built-in deodorizer cartridges that are capable of absorbing some of the smells. My family loves eating pasta, for instance, and I make the sauce with a little bit of garlic. I always make a big deal out of storing it properly, though, because the smell of garlic can get into everything. If I were to open my refrigerator and be faced with a garlicky scent, I’d be overwhelmed by my gag reflex. That’s one of the things I absolutely loathe.

To avoid using cleaning substances that are somewhat toxic, I recommend relying on lemon juice. Mix it with some water and salt or vinegar and clean your shelves thoroughly. This mix is very good if you are trying to keep your fridge out of germs’ way.



Several appliances that can help you keep your home clean


A clean home is a healthy home. Although we can’t possibly know every name of every microorganism that can breed in a dirty home, we certainly know how critical it is to have the proper appliance for every home cleaning application we can think of. With the right kind of cleaning appliances, it can be easy to keep a good cleaning schedule.

To keep a clean and organized home, these are the appliances you will need to invest in:



A good laundry pair

If you have a particularly large family, the laundry is sure to multiply rapidly in your home. Mothers of large families complain how letting a day go by without doing at least a load of laundry will result in the clothing piles adding up too quickly to become nothing short of unmanageable. We wouldn’t want that, would we?

We all need a good-quality washer and dryer to handle the family’s clothes, linens, towels, etc. On most days, you might choose to do two loads but as a rule, at least one load is good enough for a large family. Ask everyone to chip in and take the time to fold the clean laundry and put it away. A pile of clean clothes lying around the house is just as bad as a pile of dirty clothing.



A good electric broom

You might want to relax for the evening after you have put all the kids in bed, but if there are toys and other items that need to be picked up and put away and the house really needs a quick sweep, you ought to do what you can in the time left before you go to bed to ensure that everything has been picked up, including any dirt on the floors.

To be able to do that quick sweep, get yourself a good electric broom. More lightweight and just as efficient as a full vacuum cleaner, an electric broom picks up the light dirt that comes with daily living. Read more electric broom reviews to ensure you know what to look for in this kind of appliance or exactly what to get for your home.

It is nice to be able to relax at the end of the day knowing you’ve done a good sweep of the floor. Some electric brooms even have a detachable head that lets you handle the couch pillows or the curtains for a neat-looking home.



A Full-size vacuum, stick vacuum, and a handheld vacuum

For heavy-duty carpet cleaning, a full-size vacuum cleaner is your best bet. A handheld vacuum is great for the quick cleanup of small messes. There are three-in-one stick vacuum cleaners that feature a crevice tool and a removable floor nozzle. Choose the cleaning machine that best suits your needs.