Surprising Uses of Fireplace Ashes

fireplace ashesAshes, or wood residue, from the fireplace may be unpleasant at times, but they can also bring a variety of benefits. If you aren’t sure what to do with the pile of wood residue your fireplace produces, the following ideas might give you a different perspective and may prove helpful

Remove Skunk Odor from Your Pets – Curious pets can come home quite smelly. Fortunately a small scoop of the snow-like dust from your wood fireplace can help deodorize animal fur.

Spruce up Your Lawn – Certain lawns and soils can greatly benefit from a little wood residue. Small amounts of ash added to a little water can liven the grass and even promote its growth. Keep in mind, however, that adding too much can be toxic rather than beneficial.

Help Your Trees and Plants – Trees can also benefit from the white mess your fireplace produces. Hardwood ash produced in your fireplace can be spread at the tree’s base to help improve the nutrition of the tree and the surrounding soil. The potassium within helps plants to bloom and flower. If you plant tomatoes in your garden you may want to add a little of the white powder inside the hole with the seed to improve growth.

Remove Stains – Have you ever spilled paint on concrete? Perhaps you have stubborn water spots or stains on your favorite pieces of furniture? Just scoop a little of that lovely white mess out of your fireplace and add a little water to make the problems disappear. For paint spills, simply put it on top of the spill. For marks on furniture, add a little of the white powder and water to a soft rag and gently scrub the surface before wiping it off with a clean, non-abrasive rag.

Avoid Insects and Rodents – You aren’t the only one who doesn’t like the product that builds up in your fireplace. Insects and rodents don’t care for it either, which makes it a great repellent. Spreading an even layer in your garden and flower beds will help to keep snails and other pests from ruining your harvest.

Melt Ice – It has been said that a little sprinkle of ash from your wood burning unit can help melt icy pathways. It may track indoors if used in high traffic areas, but to help unfreeze gardens and other areas, a light layer can help to defrost icy places.


Three Benefits of Natural Landscaping

As the term implies, natural landscaping aims at achieving a natural look for your backyard or front yard. The latter makes use of only those elements indigenous to your region or location. These include natural rocks and structures, trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers. Natural landscaping comes with many benefits. They are as follows.

Cost effective – Of course this type design isn’t free, although the majority of what you put into it is the time and labor that goes into creating and maintaining any scheme. Financial output should be significantly lower with a natural look, but just because you decide to go with a natural area, this doesn’t mean there will be no financial output at all. It does, however, mean the cost could be significantly lower. Since you’ll be using plant life indigenous to your area, you will be able to acquire them at a much lower cost, or even free if you transplant, keeping down the cost of initial development.

Less efforts – Since you’ll be using pants, trees, and other plant life already adapted to your region, they will be less susceptible to disease and will require less pampering in order to survive. Once you’ve established the plant life in your landscape, they will be able to survive under natural conditions without the need for additional irrigation or soil enhancements. After all, these plants are already “at home. ”

Improvement of the Eco-system – It also contributes to the well-being of the eco system. You’re creating an environment that is desirable for local wildlife and that doesn’t require any alteration of the natural ecosystem of the soil. By keeping your garden and property natural you are keeping the symbiotic relationships of plant, earth, and wildlife intact.


Quick Tips on Purchasing Baby Products

Different baby products are available in mall, in supermarkets and even online today. They come in varied colors, design, sizes and prices. The greatest challenge for us moms would be choosing the most durable and safest products for our babies’ use.

Most of us fall into the trap of rooting for the cutest items we see in the store. This is especially true when we are choosing one as birthday, christening or holiday gift. There are certain things which we must keep in mind regarding this.babyproducts-big

First and foremost, never decide to buy an item based on its appearance. You must care to hold it and scrutinize every part of it. Are you buying feeding bottles? Visit specialty stores that sell the best baby products if possible. In here, you can ask for an actual demonstration of the performance of the item you are eyeing on. Perhaps, you are purchasing them from the department store. Ask permission from the sales agent for you to feel the feeding bottles in your hand and inspect its entirety.

Moving forward, read the product labels or ask about the materials which were used for the manufacture of the baby items you have at hand. They have to be safe for our little ones. If you are clueless about the reputation of a brand that you are considering, you can check its track record through useful websites which advocate against dangers among kids. Better yet, take time to read baby product reviews before going to the nearest store for your purchase. Most of the time, these reviews recommend items that have passed the standards of organizations conducting tests and awarding seals of approval.

It is also ideal that you have at least three brands in mind to choose from. This will enable you to compare and contrast the features and prizes of each item. Thus, you can choose the best one not only according to your needs but also to the budget that you have at hand. Doesn’t it sound like great savings without sacrificing quality? Do not go for the first product that will come your way. There might be more advantages waiting for you from the other items available.

Lastly, you must be aware of recalls so that you can purchase only the best baby products that your child needs. Certain websites provide free recall database which adults can use for reference. These listings can give you the exact name and description of the items recalled and the date and place they were on sale. They also show the cause of the recall and the solutions that the manufacturers are taking to solve the issue.

Mouth Guards – How They Can Solve Common Dental Issues

Athletes popularized the use of mouth guards. So, many people thought that mouth guards are only for the exclusive use of athletes who are engaged in very physical sports. While it is true that  athletes are the common wearers of these, common people with dental or oral problems can also wear them.


This piece of treatment has two kinds – the pre-made or OTC guards and the prescription or made-to-order guards. The first kind is made out of plastic or thermoplastic material. Because of which, they can be simply molded once heated in boiling water. As this kind is typically industrially produced for general use, it doesn’t cost much. Just as predicted, they function by holding teeth in static position while you’re sleeping. Consequently, your facial muscles are stopped from gnashing your teeth.

A dental mouth guard needs time to be made or customised. It is because it should be thoroughly molded to match the wants of a particular patient. A consultant first crafts a plaster cast of a patient’s teeth from which a guard is patterned. Prescription guards are made in a dental laboratory and they do not need extra boiling or molding when they are finished. They are frequently utilized by patients with hard-to-fit mouths or braces on.

Teeth grinding compels your facial muscles to move while you are asleep. A dental night guard works in a way that when you bite on them, your teeth are spared from touching one another. The grinding action doesn’t stop when you are sleeping. With a little help from this piece nevertheless , the grinding doesn’t come into full action.

Stress, hysteria, dental conditions and certain types of medicine are the prime reasons for teeth grinding. If your anxiety and stress causes your teeth to gnash at bedtime, then, you definitely need psychotherapy or a stress control training more than the utilisation of these dental pieces. If certain medicines trigger that phenomenon in your mouth, ask your doctor for a replacement that may relax your facial muscles when you’re asleep.

Typically, a dental mouth guard can relieve chipped teeth, protect gum wounds, calm sore neck and temperomandibular joint pains. But it isn’t the sole solution to bruxism. To better understand what causes it in your case, consult your doctor about it.

The Importance of Maintaining Your Lawn All Year Round

While keeping your lawn clean and visually appealing could be an added value to your property, doing so may take much of your effort and time. Every season will definitely require a different type of caring. Hiring a professional carer for your lawn can make everything easier for you. If you’re not convinced about this idea, the following benefits can help you decide sooner than later.

#1 Good sale – Say, you are putting your property on sale. Let it be a reminder to you that potential buyers will not only scrutinize the interiors of your home or property but also its exteriors and landscape. Once they see that your garden is well-kept, they will have a good impression on how you take care of your possessions and consider your property as a good buy at the price you have set.

#2 Great landscape – A healthy lawn is definitely achievable with constant watering and application of fertilizers. However, making it stand-out with grandiose in your neighborhood needs expertise and hard work. This is something that lawn maintenance services can provide. The good thing about this is that most provider companies have a set of unique designs that can match the overall theme of your household. Thus, creating a more homey atmosphere for your family and visitors.


#3 Great savings – Hiring a professional to care for your lawn allows you to save a lot of money. You can get an appropriate irrigation system installed to your lawn. While this won’t lower the lawn mowing prices you will be presented with, it can reduce your expenses on use of electricity and water. As we all know, sprinklers and sprinkler systems are a must for the healthy existence of your lawn.


Marathon – Is This Sport for You?

We often see moms running marathons in order to manage their weight and keep their bodies in top shape effectively. For sure, you once thought of running a marathon too for the same reasons. Before putting on your running shoes and hitting the race tracks, read the following marathon information first so you can decide whether this sport is for you.


The two terms that we often hear when it comes to running talks are sprints and marathons. Sprints are the shortest races ever practiced that aim to glorify the athlete of greatest endurance and speed. Because they only last for a few seconds, sprinters are trained to cover the entire set distance at their fastest time. Usually, it is ten seconds.

Sprinters can engage to short sprints, middle distance races and long distance races according to their interest and running skills. The shortest sprints are in between 60m to 600m. The middle and long distance are at 800m to 300m and 5,000m to 10,000m respectively. They both can be completed in ten to 40 minutes. Because of the distance and time details, they barely hold the term sprint.

While sprints are still known these days, marathons are the ones that are gaining much popularity from professional and occasional runners. These running events are no longer held as sole competition of strength, speed and endurance. They turn out to be an enjoyable way to promote a cause or lose weight. It has been observed that marathon participants in general are more inclined to finishing the race leisurely and out-beating their personal bests.

Just like sprints, it has three types that are according to the distances they cover. Marathons may be described as half, full or ultra-marathon. To begin with, let us understand what a full marathon and we’ll use it as a key point to understanding the other two types. A full marathon covers 26.2 miles running distance. From it half marathons were designed which entail around 13.1 running distance. Ultra marathons, conversely, is almost double of it. Half marathon training programs are ideal for beginners who primarily want to manage their weight and can’t follow a strict training schedule.

For those ready for high volume training programs, a full marathon is a perfect choice. If you desire to run a good full marathon, you must keep yourself fit for running at least 20 miles weekly as it is the minimum mileage in competitions under this category. Whether or not they win the prize, full marathon runners are esteemed higher than the half marathon runners.

Consequently, ultra-marathon runners are hailed heroes of the sport. Their stamina makes them finish a usual ultra-marathon of 100 miles in no time. Besides the said distance, elevations and rough terrains are the added challenges for this race type. Some ultra-marathons last for many hours or even for more than a day. And what makes them hard to complete at times for the participants is the presence of violent weather changes during the entire race.

Best Ways for Moms to Combat Loneliness

Do you find yourself lonely lately and you just don’t know the reason why? Personal failures, frustrations, memories that burn and sorrowful situations could just be very for moms to bear. This is especially true for new moms or for moms  who are rearing their kids on their own. Here are simple steps that you can practice each day to feel lighter and happier.

Create goals daily – A bulk of projects and tasks that remain undone could be the most depressing sight to see. In fact, it can cause concerned people anxiety and stress as they try to get these things accomplished. Setting goals that are in accordance with your skills and time can help tremendously. As you have a daily plan of the work that you need to accomplish, you would be able to finish your deliverables in no time. Being to create or achieve something is certainly one of the ways to be happy.

Stick on an action plan – A plan cannot get you anywhere if it remains to be a plan. In short, act on it. It is advisable as well to look for people who can keep you motivated as you are starting with your endeavor. Include some tools to that can make things a lot easier for you.

One of the challenges that will come your way is procrastination. It kills happiness because it presents you as a person who cannot achieve anything. Strive to start with your plans and strive to finish whatever it is that you have started. You will definitely get encouraged as you things written on your checklist accomplished one by one.

Enjoy the presence of your kids and go out with your friends – People get drained of all their energies easily when they do not know how to rest. It is good to break away from work and breathe in fresh air once in a while. Getting in touch with your family and friends is one of the tried and tested ways on how to find happiness. Do activities with them like eating a meal or listening to some music together. Share each other stories and some laughs and you will definitely feel relieved of your burdens.

Make no room for negative thoughts – Things that can make us feel bad about ourselves and about lives are just around. If we give them the opportunity to crawl in our hearts and minds, they can rob us of every reason we have to live. Hence, we must gear ourselves with positive thoughts that can counter these poisons. Start with the maxim ‘everything is achievable’. This can make you overcome even the biggest challenges.