May 2012

Cheap landscaping

Decorating with different, scavenged objects.

Warm weather pulls me out into the yard, where a million projects await. Unfortunately, my budget is nowhere near as large as my landscaping dreams! Fortunately, I'm a skilled scavenger and have managed to completely landscape my backyard for nearly free.

My favorite places to find landscaping materials are through my local Freecycle group and Craigslist. People are constantly tossing out pavers, wood and planters and you can pick these up for free. We built six raised beds out of old cedar decking we received for free if we would just haul it all away. We also built a raised terrace by our driveway from discarded patio pavers. The extra pavers were used to create a border for our fruit trees and a retaining wall around a pond.

Decorating a impermanent apartment

... pointers for making a small apartment look like an adult and comfortable living space

Like most young people, I have lived in a series of small and impermanent apartments with a roommate (or two). While people over thirty remind us to enjoy this time in our lives, it’s still difficult to create a living space that doesn’t consist of a bunch of Ikea cast-offs—or doesn’t reek of it. Here are a few tips to make Ikea, hand-me-downs and Goodwill-thrifted finds look good in a small place of your own:

Enjoy summer - outdoors

Keeping summer simple.

In winter we can't help but lock down the windows and doors, draw the blinds and snuggle under blankets. We try to wrap ourselves in a warm cocoon, nesting in our homes to avoid the cold and generally yucky weather outside. But on the first truly spring day, the windows are thrown open and we gradually begin living outside more than in.

Before tossing open those windows, check your screens. Some may need replacement or patching to keep out pesky insects. You also want to check the seals around exterior doors, otherwise ants and other insects may make their way into the home.