Tuesday, December 3, 2013
If there is a perfect time to prepare your spring garden, that would be now... when there is still some bit of warmth in the air and lots of sunshine, at least according to the weather forecast for the week. It doesn't matter how large your garden may be, if you have a backyard or just a balcony with pots. You can still create a spring garden bursting with the wonderful colors of tulips, crocusses, and hyacinths if you put your heart and mind into it.
So what should you take note of when preparing for your spring garden?
Good soil. Make sure you are planting on good soil. It must be loose and rich with nutrients. You can fertilize the soil yourself, compost is the best fertilizer there is. If you have a balcony garden, just make sure you replace the soil in your pots with fresh, garden soil. Most of the garden soil sold in garden centers are already with compost.
Good seed. You need not be a gardener to grow your own spring garden. You just need good seed, ones that are easy to grow and easy to maintain, like the ones sold at YouGarden. If you are looking to buy seeds, look for those that have instructions in them, or better yet the "Tried and Tested" logo or something like that.
Good nutrition. Just like any other living organisms, seeds and plants need the proper nutrition to grow. They need water, carbon dioxide, and NPK (elementary nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) among others. Be sure to water the pots or your garden beds on a regular basis and follow instructions on whether they should be placed in the shade or exposed to sunlight. Now that you are preparing for your spring garden, watering need not be as frequent since seeds at this time are also in the "hibernating" period. Once a week will do. Be sure that you are not soaking the soil in water.
So there it is. Just be patient and come spring, your little bulbs of narcissi, tulips, crocusses and hyacinths will be blooming and bursting with colors.
For me, Christmas officially started on the first Sunday of advent so last Sunday after church and lunching with friends, we decorated our home. This year we decided it will just be a simple Christmas for us. That would mean no tree and just simple table and wall decors.
|Advent wreath: a simple symbol of our anticipation for Christmas.|
One of the things that I can never go without during Advent is the advent wreath. The one in the photo is from our previous Christmases and I just added some little reds from our Christmas tree trimmings. The white candles are from the Christmas market.
|They light up in the evening... just make sure you have extra tea candles |
for when the light burns out.
I also made a tray with Santa Claus and moose figures adorned with cinnamon stalks, pine cones, walnuts, etc. The figures are like tea light candle holders so you can also light the candles up in the evening for a warmer Christmassy feel. They now grace the table that was meant for the Christmas tree.
|A bowl of Christmas balls and native materials give it a festive look.|
The Christmas tree balls I placed on a bowl and arranged them with native materials to make it look more festive. It would have been better if it was a clear glass bowl though.
|My little girl is one excited Christmas helper. She hung the socks up!|
Then of course the Christmas socks. Nikolaustag is coming... on Friday to be exact and they are supposed to be filled with Christmas gifts. I wanted to add a more personal touch to the socks by sewing in our names. I just didn't the time to do it yet though. Perhaps this weekend. Crossing fingers!
So that's it! What's missing is the little manger... I just haven't found the pieces yet... I have yet to search them out. I have always wanted a manger set made of wood or hand-painted ceramics. Let's see what the Christmas market has to offer... :D
Friday, November 29, 2013
Looking to add a little flair to your dining or sitting room? Changing the lights can bring a remarkable change within your home without the price tag of heavy renovations. Here are a few fresh, fun alternatives to traditional light fixtures.
Once the domain of castles and kings, modern-day chandeliers, like the ones available from Crescent Harbor Modern, are usually made on a smaller scale for 21st century homes. What they lack in size, however, they make up for in grandeur. None of your guests will be able to pass your chandelier without a second look, so don't be afraid to splurge and buy one that looks really impressive!
Clappers have come a long way from the plain, utilitarian models that first appeared on the market in the late '80s. They now come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs, and their hardware can be fitted to almost any electrical unit, making them a easy and convenient option for everything from kids' playrooms to senior citizen bathrooms.
Unlike flush or semi-flush mounts, hanging lights dangle freely from the ceiling, bringing artistry and a certain kind of style to the rooms that they decorate. You can buy them in beaded, spiral or wind chime designs; they might be made of gold, silver or even crystal material; their sizes will range from small foyer fixtures to impressive dining room centerpieces. If you're looking for a unique way to change the atmosphere of a room, a hanging light can make all the difference.
I attribute the success of my weight loss program mainly to a healthier lifestyle: exercise, a balanced healthy diet, and a good and positive outlook. Currently, I am just maintaining my weight (I have lost about 19 kilos in total since I decided to have a healthier lifestyle in April of this year). I still go to the fitness studio whenever I can and try to eat more vegetables and fruits and protein-rich foods. I try to stay away from sweets and salty snacks. Instead of snacking on chips and fries and chocolates, I opt for sliced fresh fruits or the dried ones. I also see to it that my main dish has lots of vegetables in it, especially during dinner time as I don't include rice during supper time. I try to inform myself about the health benefits of various fruit and vegetable varieties, nuts and seeds. Which ones have high antioxidants (like kiwi), high vitamin C content (like apricots and oranges), high protein content (like almonds and cashew), high fiber (like kale, brocolli and spinach), etc. I also try to look for the best bitter raw apricot and other healthy products, opting for organic products because they are more stringently controlled albeit they are more costly.