April 12, 2013 by Jenn
Now that spring is here, everyone is posting ideas on fun ways to make planters or DIYs for gardening. The problem is that no one really explains the boring part of gardening, the actual specifics of the plants and how to plant them properly. There are certain things that everyone should know in order for your plants to be their best.
1. Pick out your plants.
I picked two different succulents, a tiny fringe palm, and a zee zee plant. I chose these types of plants because they’re all typically indoor plants that don’t require a lot of light or water. The zee zee plant that I’m going to show you how to pot is actually called the eternity plant because they last a long time.
When deciding what plants you should buy think about your living situation. Are you putting the plants indoors or outside? Do you have a busy schedule or do you have the time to cater to finicky plants. Since mine were going to be inside my apartment which is usually pretty warm, I chose plants that thrive on indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. Once you decide which plants you want, there are a few more things you need such as a nice aerated potting soil and planters. Why aerated soil? In nature rocks and bugs and other roots all play a part in aerating the earth’s soil. Since your plant will be inside a pot and not exposed to natural elements, the soil needs to be aerated to insure the plant is absorbing water properly.
2. Prepare the plant for the planter.
I picked the zee zee plant first. In a separate container I mixed my potting soil with a few sticks and small rocks I found outside. The soil was already aerated with bits of materials but I add extra. Once your dirt is ready you’ll want to remove the plant from the container it came home in. Gently. Very gently. Plants are alive and they get stressed out just like people or animals. It’s important to be gentle when moving them around. Twist the plant a little to separate the sides from the pot and then lift it out.
3. Clean the plant.
Once the plant roots are exposed, remove the dirt that is clumped onto them. Expose as much of the roots as you can and very gently separate the roots from one another. You want the roots to go into the new dirt being able to spread out, this’ll help your plant thrive as it grows. The more the roots can expand, the higher your plant will grow. Be sure to make sure there are no tangles in the roots as well.
Now you’re ready to put it into the planter. I added a few inches of soil and set the plant on top. Next I filled in the sides. It’s important to remember: DON’T pack the soil. You want water to be able to reach the roots properly and packing the soil will make your pot like a brick. Make sure all roots are covered and place a little extra soil on top and done!
Most plants come with a little stick inside that tell you the name of the plant and how much water/sunlight it requires. If you’d like to go the distance, take the Latin name of the plant and google it for even more information. Good luck and happy planting!
April 6, 2013 by Emily
Jenn has talked before about quick and easy ways to update small elements around your home or apartment, injecting some of you personality without spending a lot of cash!
I’ve been wanting to replace our icky beat up mailbox since we bought our house, and THEN I unpacked my spray paint… quickest facelift ever:
A few coats of paint and I have a brand new mailbox, and one that has a pop of color that you wouldn’t find in a mailbox bought new from a hardware store!
To remove wall mounted mailboxes like these all you need to do is lift up and off the screws (yeah, you don’t need tools!) I wiped off the grime and went to town with my spray paint! I chose to go with a hammered metal paint finish because I knew that the texture would cover any pitting on the surface of the metal, if you want a smoother paint job just lightly sand off bumps and your good to go.
Now instead of spending $20 to $150 on a new mailbox, I spent pennies to give what I already had an awesome facelift!
February 17, 2013 by Jenn
This is the time of year when people’s resolutions start going out the window. Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t accomplished some of the goals you had for staying neat and tidy. Rome wasn’t built in a day, AMIRITE? My big goal for this year is to de-clutter, as you can tell by some of my other posts. Here are a few quick tips for how to stay on top of the mess.
1. Conquer the closet. I recently got rid of a lot of things but keeping closets clutter free is an ongoing process. Go in your closet and turn all the hangers the wrong way. You’re probably saying “what? huh? that’s crazy!” but it works. If all the hangers are backwards and as you use things, you put them back the right way, after 6 months you’ll see what you don’t wear! It’ll make it a lot easier to give old clothes the boot when you are 100% sure you never wear them.
2. 1 thing in, 1 thing out. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book but I’ve been doing it for about 6 months now and it work so well. If I bring 1 thing into my home, 1 thing has got to go. Accumulation is no longer a problem.
3. Scale it. Make yourself a scale of 1 to 5. 1 being that you don’t need an item and 5 being that you just have to have it or you’ll die. I have a tendency to go to thrift stores and purchase way too many things. Ill tell myself “It’s only 2 dollars so I have to get it, I’ll find something to do with it!”. Reality? No I won’t. It will sit in my house forever until I forget about it. When shopping, scale it. How much do you really love/need this object? Can you afford it? Is the price in sync with how much you want it? (That dress is 30 dollars, it’s cute, but is it 30 dollars worth of cute?)
I hope you find these tips helpful! If you’re mindful of the shopping choices you make and if you really want to live a less cluttered life you will not only be saving money but you’ll feel better too!
February 13, 2013 by Jenn
Constellations are everywhere right now. I’ve seen some pretty expensive wall art featuring stars and things but they’re just out of my price range. I decided to make my own night sky with a light box I had lying around and some poster board. My lightbox came from a photography shop so I could check out my 120 negatives but if you aren’t planning on using a lightbox often, it can seem like an unreasonably expensive purchase. If you don’t have a light box you can always make your own! All you have to do is buy an inexpensive picture frame that is 8×10 in size and tape a string of white Christmas lights to the inside edges of the frame! The poster board will be covering the front so you won’t be able to see the lights through the glass. This DIY is a fun and simple way to add character to any of the rooms in your home, especially your bedroom.
Let’s get started! You’ll need:
- Light Box (store bought or home made)
- Black poster board
- Exacto knife
- Constellation reference
1. Print off photos of your favorite constellations, I chose Gemini not because I am a Gemini but because I love the story of Castor and Pollux. (The story is a sweet one which would make this a nice Valentine’s Day present as well!) The great thing about this project is that you can make many different constellations and change them out as you get bored with them.
2. Measure your light box and cut your poster board to cover the entire surface. Then use a colored pencil to mark all the spots where you will cut out stars. You just need a basic outline to follow.
3. Use an exacto knife (carefully) to cut out stars where you have made all of your marks. Don’t worry if some of the stars are not perfect. (I actually think it looks better this way.) Once you’ve cut out all the stars make small cuts in the paper connecting the stars. Now hang your light box onto a wall and attach the black paper with a small piece of tape. Turn on your light box and turn off the lights in the room. Now you have a night light!! So easy!