02 AM | 30 Jun

Healthy Lifestyle: Don’t Let Your Teenagers Overdo It

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy LifestyleThe popularity of health trends among young people provides a remedy to the hazards of the digital age. The number of conflicting facts and healthy tips, however, may lead to a lifestyle that harms them rather than benefits them.

It falls into your hands as a parent to look after the choices they make.

Balanced Diet and Supplements

Herbal-Powers.com says supplements with the nutritional factor of citrus bergamot and similar fruits serve to make up for nutrients missing in a person’s diet. For teenagers who make the effort to eat right, though, taking supplements improperly puts them at risks of vitamin overdose.

The excessive intake of nutrients may be toxic to the body, so everyone needs to be very careful. Unless prescribed by a healthcare professional to help deal with illnesses, you should guide your teenager when it comes to taking supplements.

Unnecessary Medical Tests

Medical tests, when done frequently and for superfluous reasons, harm a person. Too much exposure to radiation in tests like CT scans and X-rays may lead increased risks of cancer. If your teen worries about an underlying disease behind any discomfort they feel, consult the doctor first and let them decide whether they need to undergo tests. Some symptoms subside after a month and may only be an effect of an activity or other things unrelated to serious illnesses.

The Fear of Germs

The fear of acquiring germs and contagious diseases taught people to wash their hands and sanitize frequently. The false security in these actions, however, could prevent the body from benefitting from germ exposure.

The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ theory claims that people —especially children — need a certain exposure to germs for the immune system to fight inflammatory disorders such as asthma and allergies. Tell your teens to stop fearing every dirty surface. Apart from the mental relief it brings, it may also strengthen their responses against diseases.

You want your teens to live healthy lives; hence, the importance of teaching them the right way to do it. Being healthy, after all, does not usually involve as much stress as taking too many supplements, scheduling medical exams, and clinging to sanitizers.

11 AM | 25 Jun

Your Body Will Thank You for These 3 Important Renovation Projects

House renovation

House renovationHave you ever looked at your house and thought it needed a makeover? If your partner has thrown a casual remark about the creaking cabinets in your kitchen, perhaps you should both consider a renovation project for the three most important areas in your home: your bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. Payless Kitchen Cabinets shares more information below:

Bedroom
Why Renovate

Are your bedroom walls practically crying for a new paint job? Have you developed lumbago from that lumpy mattress? You should prioritize sleep and rest if only for your health’s sake. After all, you spend a third of your life asleep. Even if you’re not really awake in your bedroom for the majority of that precious third, you should feel safest, most relaxed in your bedroom.

Ideas

If you’re not comfortable in your bed anymore, think about how deep your sleep will be if you invest in a new mattress. Get pillow covers and blankets with 1000+ thread count, too, if you’re up to the challenge. Paint your walls with cool colors to train your mind to relax when it’s sleepy time.

Bathroom
Why Renovate

One word: hygiene. Regardless of your shower time, you use the bathroom to clean yourself and it’s important for that room to be clean in and of itself.

Ideas

Does your bathroom have icky tiles now? Check statement floor tiles and the latest bath tub designs in the market. Match taps and sinks and maybe even put up another vanity mirror for your wife for when she prepares for date nights. Invest in thick towels, too.

Kitchen
Why Renovate

Does your filthy kitchen counter complement the clogged sink? If food preparation has become a bother to you, if it has become a dirty chore, you should renovate and replace old appliances now.

Ideas

Storage is essential in the kitchen as in other rooms in your home. Hide those coffee makers and toasters when not in use and provide a bigger space for your knives and pots and pans. Ask experts in kitchen cabinet refacing to give more character to your pantry. Put indoor plants in the corners for a more lively cooking space.

Home renovation need not be a boring task. Remember that you’re doing this for your family’s comfort and health. Look for trendy home renovation ideas online and you’ll see the how you can enjoy this project.

06 AM | 15 Jun

Not Just for Men: Why Your Carpet Has Bald Patches

Brown Carpet

Brown CarpetHave you ever noticed any bald patches on your carpet—or noticed little bits of what look like shreds of wood near the patches?

Your carpet is not naturally going bald, and neither is it disintegrating. This might freak you out a little, but small insects known as carpet beetles might be living in your carpet.

What are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are common household pests that look like small fuzzy worms or small dark beetles. They can usually be found in and around carpeted areas. You also know that these little things do not just feed on carpets; they also consume leather, silk, fur, and animal hair, which means they can also infest curtains, clothes, pillows, coats, and blankets. Carpet beetles rarely attack synthetic fabrics, but they may still feed on them when stained with food, oil, and perspiration.

Dealing with a Carpet Beetle Infestation

Call on a professional carpet cleaning company if you think you have a carpet beetle infestation. A professional will first thoroughly vacuum all the areas, which will get rid of the insects. You might also want to put in a good dose of insecticide to eliminate the insects for sure. To make sure those beetles do not come back, set hormone-based glue traps around crevices, cracks, and other locations near your carpet.

Carpet beetles insects enjoy dark corners and spaces under your furniture, with adult carpet beetles most likely to lay eggs in these areas. When the larvae hatch into beetles, they leave their casings behind, hence the bits of wood-like or paper-like shreds.

One good way to prevent those insects altogether is to vacuum regularly, especially in the corners and areas under the furniture. It can be daunting, but using a crevice tool on your vacuum when you are cleaning up the carpet edges will really keep them at bay.

Carpet beetles may be small, but you do not know what these miniscule insects are actually capable of. Practicing good housekeeping is one of the most affordable and effective ways to keep these pests from infesting your home.

03 AM | 15 May

British Trees Act as ‘Early Warning System’ for Plant Pests and Diseases

Trees

Trees‘Beyond our Borders’, a Chelsea garden shows how British trees can serve as an ‘early warning system’ to detect invasive plant species, pests, and diseases that may harm the environment. Paul Beales, the head of Plant Health Public Engagement at the Animal and Plant Health Agency says that ‘the garden represents the need for us to work together and share information and knowledge on an international scale.’

Sentinel trees

The garden is divided into three zones with their own climate; specifically being Australasian, Tropical, and Arid climates, and are separated by water features that act as ‘ocreans’. The three zones are filled with native plant species and a single British tree foreign to the environment right in the middle of the native plants. The purpose of putting these trees is to act as ‘sentinels’ and an early warning system for new plant diseases and pests. These trees are being monitored for damage by pests and other organisms only native to the specific zones, and will help provide important details relevant to plant health.

Some of the things this simulated garden addresses includes finding out possible threats to a country’s native plant species before being introduced, and limiting the introduction of threats to the health of plants brought about by quarantine lists. Additionally, ‘Beyond our Borders’ will also address and help improve eradication or control programs of new plant diseases and pests that can possible attack and even wipe out native plant life.

A simulation of pests and diseases

The design of the garden ‘Beyond our Borders’ is set to emulate how diseases and pests emerge and disappear so that decisive action will be taken to curb or wholly eliminate them. Within the garden’s three zones, there are colored springs and coils that represent plant diseases and pests. They appear and disappear periodically, and some are stretched across the ‘oceans’ in such a way that it creates a wave motion over the waters. Apart from the visuals, this is said to represent how diseases and pests that affect plants move between each zones in real life. The design shows one way governments are working together in an international setting that will protect each environment from pests and diseases alien to the biosphere.

‘The issue of the increase in the arrival, establishment, and spread of plant pests is a global one’ Paul Beales said, ‘largely due to international trade and travel, and needs to be tackled as such.’

In UK alone, a range of new plant diseases and pests have appeared that poses a great threat to trees and plant species native to the country, with the notable ones including the Oak Processionary Moth and the Ash dieback. These pests are not considered that grave of a threat in their home regions, and finding out which one can prey on these ‘sentinel’ trees is crucial to know what to watch out for and when to not bring plants back from abroad.

03 AM | 15 May

Linglestown Celebrates 250 Years with a Home and Garden Tour

Garden

Linglestown, the Lower Paxton Township in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year with a home and garden tour of over twelve properties this coming June. Aside from the scenic self-guided tours, visitors will also be able to sample drinks from the locality’s wineries.

Thomas Lingle founded Linglestown back in 1765, laying out eighty plots of land he owned that is now part of the Lower Paxton area. The home and garden tour is just part of the historic celebration, but is arguably the highlight of the entire event.

Enchanting themed gardens

GardenThe celebration’s highlight is the guided tours of twelve of Linglestown’s featured properties, some of which feature a certain theme to their garden and decorations. Sheri North, owner of The North garden features not only a stylish garden replete with fancy plants, containers, and even a gazebo; it also features a rather enchanting Wizard of Oz inspired garden complete with ruby red slippers, and a whimsical yellow-brick road leading to the emerald city. Others homes and gardens, like the ones who own the Male garden and greenhouse have a reoccurring theme to their garden’s look, Orchids in this case, being the centerpiece of a botanical garden thirty-eight years in the making.

Some other interesting highlights of the tour include The Minsker Fire Garage, which features historic firehouse memorabilia, and the historic Serhan garden, a property dating back from 1979 that features over 2,200 bricks from Harrisburg. Visitors should also make sure to visit The Hummel garden, which is home to a range of uncommon plants, as well as a smartly designed garden that features an outdoor kitchen and lounge.

The Livelsberger home and garden is also a property to not miss out on. This 4,000-square foot home is located on four landscaped acres and features interesting accents and highlights, such as a home theater and art studio and a wine room. The garden boasts a huge collection of pretty flowers, such as hydrangeas and shade perennials. Courtesy of the Susquehanna Hosta Society, the first two-hundred visitors will also receive free hostas, shade-tolerant plants that are not only versatile garden plants, but are also very hardy.

The Linglestown home and garden tour is just part of the community’s greater celebration of its 250th anniversary. Locals and visitors who are looking for ideas on how to decorate their homes and gardens can pick up a few things from the tour.

03 AM | 15 May

Doing Away With Outdated Home Designs

House

The New Year comes with new design trends that will make your house look good, but there are also some designs that you should leave out to history.

HouseLess brass, more gold

One of the most common trends back in 2014 were brass hardware of all sorts, from simple things like utensils to bigger house fixtures. IlyceGlink, an award-winning and nationally syndicated columnist says that this is because ‘homeowners are always looking for inexpensive, easy ways to increase their property’s value.’

These trends, as she notes, ‘often translate to bigger bucks when it comes time to sell a home, while others can actually drag the value down. Brass is just one of them since even though it is visually appealing; it is still inexpensive and is sorely outdated. Fortunately, it only takes a screwdriver and the knowledge of what to replace brass with to do some much needed updating.

Many experts like Petrie of Mother Hubbard’s Custom Cabinetry also note that replacing brass hardware involves ‘choosing a size that will cover the footprint of whatever it is currently installed.’, and these should be replaced with brushed or satin nickel hardware. Gold is also a fast-becoming alternative to economical materials like brass, although the popularity of silver and steel is still strong even in the New Year.

Mirrored and metallic

Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab says that accents such as metallic and mirrored furniture are ‘overdone’ and should no longer be the staple or ‘red lipstick’ of interior design. Shiny fixtures and accents should be minimized and a house’s rooms should have a mix of wood and furniture made of other materials. She also notes that ‘pops of indigo blue or deep navy will become a staple in home design this year.’, citing that the natural hues are the perfect match when set together or against warmer colors and earth tones like Marsala, which is this year’s Pantone Color of the Year.

Bringing in the old modern

The new year is not just about getting rid of old trends, many are actually making a comeback as experts from Zillow Digs points out with modern design elements from the good old 50’s and 70’s. The old couch or wall fixture that you may have seen back in those old sitcoms are surprisingly trendy and fitting when matched with more modern design elements. They caution though that these designs ‘shouldn’t take over the house’.

Keeping up with the trends is important, and many of the ‘in’ designs of 2014 are no longer applicable today while some, like retro designs from the 50’s and 70’s are making a solid comeback.

02 AM | 15 May

Garden Designer Dan Pearson Reveals Plans for London ‘Garden’ Bridge

Garden Bridge

Garden BridgeRenowned flower designer and horticulturist Dan Pearson reveals new details and images about his planned project, a ‘Garden’ Bridge spanning the Thames, all the way to the Inner Temple area to the Southbank’s cultural center due to open in 2018. Pearson plans to create a ‘magical place in the center of London’ and a natural refuge within the city.

A bold project

Pearson is planning to utilize plants that will showcase the best of London’s native landscape. He says that ‘What we are planning to do is create a garden, which is a center of horticultural excellence in the epicenter of London.’ He wants it to be accessible to all, and something that Londoners ‘can be really excited about.’

Pearson describes the transition from informally placed plants from the Southbank as reflective of the environment around it. The Southbank was once marshy area full of willow beds, and the garden emulates this; with the plants and the trees on the Southbank side being planted more informally.

As the bridge reaches the north bank, the plants and trees will become more diverse, which reflects how the northern area was full of intricate gardens of the law courts full of exotic plants and award-winning specimens. He says that plants will include many species that once thrived in central London, such as birch, primroses, honeysuckle, and willows. He notes that ‘these will be coppiced on a rotation, which will give this end of the bridge dynamism and a sense of regeneration.’ The bridge will feature five different zones – Southbank, Scarp, South Glade, North Glade, and North Bank all culminating to the arrival at the Inner Temple gardens.

Not without criticism

The Garden Bridge was conceived as early as 1998 and it has received many opponents due to the cost and scale of the project. Despite most people’s reaction being positive, Pearson’s ‘Garden’ bridge has met with criticism, with many saying that the bridge will be a ‘blot on the landscape’. The proposed bridge is actually just 300 meters away from neighboring Waterloo Bridge, which is the best area to view Saint Paul’s Cathedral at the east and the Houses of Parliament on the western side. Many are complaining that when the bridge is finally complete, people will no longer be able to see the cathedral, the view having already been compromised due to bright Blackfriar’s Bridge.

The cost of building London’s ‘tiara’ is also of note, with aprojected amount of £175 million. Although the Garden Bridge Trust says that the bridge will ‘improve the quality of live of everyone in London’, many locals believe that the project is too extravagant and ambitious. The Garden Bridge is also drawing comparison to London’s High Line, which is as impressive as the proposed project and was built at almost half the cost. Many are also wondering how such an expensive bridge can be paid off if visitors and locals are given free rein to cross the bridge at a whim. Only time will tell if this ambitious project will really blossom or simply wilt.

02 AM | 15 May

Aquaponics Turns Fish Waste to Fertilizer in Wairakei Primary School

Aquaponics

When Wairakei Primary School closed down its pool, no one would have thought that they could make a sustainable garden out of using fish. The New Zealand school announced the official opening of their won aquaponics unit this week, which turns waste produced by farm-grown fish into fertilizer.

Sustainable gardens

Diana Fitzsimmons, the school’s enviroschool leader along with representative Amandao Jones worked together and raised $13,000 to create the unit, which is now housed where in the school’s old pool. Jones notes how supportive the community was for their project, noting that many people gave time and donated goods to help make the school’s first aquaponics a success.

AquaponicsAquaponics is a more organic and sustainable form of cultivation which involves using plants and animals such as fish within a water tank. Instead of pitting mixes, water is used and is essentially a ‘soilless’ form of gardening. Jones said that she was ‘excited that people are able to see the fish because no one really knows what aquaponics is, so it’s a little confusing and what makes it so super cool and exciting is the fish.’

The system relies only on the natural ecosystem the fish and the plants create within the water tank, with the only thing needing replacement is water that has already been absorbed by the plants or evaporated in the air. The fish’s role is to provide the nutrients that plants need via their waste, and they in turn depend on the plants for oxygen. Since the plants are in the water, herbicide is also not necessary.

The school planted the first vegetables almost five weeks ago, and some are looking ready to harvest. They note that the process is speeding up the longer the aquaponic unit runs, and they are expecting their lettuces to mature in as little as twenty-one days.

An educational process

The students will be learning more about the aquaponics unit and how it works, such as feeding and looking after the fish and caring for the crops. Fitzsimmons notes that the students will be the ones feeding the fish, as well as doing water testing to see and checking if the water is viable. Jones hopes that the success of their aquaponics unit will grow in popularity in other schools and areas that are looking to decommission their pools, which she notes as becoming ‘very common.’

Supporters of aquaponics notes that this new method is perfect for people looking to grow consistent crops without having to invest on too big of a space for planting.