Even Better than a Weed Eater for Christmas!

So I've spent the better part of last week in bed with a cold. Which is not good. What is good is that I got to spend some time with a few books that I've really been meaning to get to for months.

Although I had a few novels ready to go, I found myself flicking through a gardening book that I got last Christmas. It was a gift from my mother who, tired of hinting to me time and time again that I really needed to tidy up the front yard, finally took a different approach and gifted me a book.

It's called Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass and is written by Liz Primeau. When I opened the gift I wasn't sure if it was a joke, or a genuine gift from the heart.  I'm still not sure, but I have to say I really love the book!

My attempts at keeping order in the front yard have, to this point, consisted on wandering around with a weed eater, taking out anything that was above a certain level or didn't look like grass. The motor, which was always a bit feeble and spluttery, gave out at the end of last summer, leaving me to contemplate actual weeding. The real hands and knees, get dirty sort of weeding.  Of course I didn't go there – after all, what on earth is RoundUp for?!

Anyway, this book has totally changed my way of looking at my ugly patch of dirt and weeds. In Front Yard Gardens, Liz gives concrete examples, and plenty of them.  She illustrates how front lawns (and even some more along the lines of my own that can't honestly be called that) can be transformed into beautiful gardens that insects and butterflies flock to.

Liz Primeau talks about childhood memories from the fifties that revolve around neighbors' well-tended lush green lawns. I think this has been my problem too – feeling as though I had to create just this, and then giving up before I even started as the idea just didn't excite me!  

Primeau challenges this almost universally held belief that areas in front of the house should be mainly lawn, and a well tended one at that, with an optional border of flowers and/or shrubs. For a bit of variety, and central garden bed is acceptable. Realizing that it didn't have to be like this was a such a relief. I'd been approaching it all wrong!

While there's a fine line between a natural garden and a wild meadow, Primeau seems to be able to deliver the former while keeping the good components of the latter. She talks about creating space that is pleasing to the eye, attractive to flying creatures and as low or high maintenance as you want to make it.

Anyway, I'm full of inspiration and energy for transforming my front 'lawn' into an amazing front garden. I have ideas and scribbled diagrams, a long list of flowers and shrubs and and even longer list of gardening tools.

While I'm confident that even I can pull this off, if the whole project does fall in a heap, I'll resuming my old approach and be on the lookout for a new way of taming my front yard.  A more powerful weed eater!

Excellent decorating books to help you to revamp your home

When it comes to decorating your home – take some advice from the experts. These books are a fab way to inspire and help you get the look you’ve seen in the glossy magazines.


Kitchen And Bathroom Faucets: Choosing One That Works And Looks Great [Kindle Edition] by Michael Cimicata

Don’t underestimate the power of attention to detail – choosing the right bathroom and kitchen faucets could be the making or breaking of your design. Michael Cimiata offers great advice on various brands, styles, models, and types to consider, when remodeling either of these two important areas of your home. Great advice for faucet finishing touches!


Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy by Deborah Needleman

The team at Domino magazine have done a fantastic job of passing on the know-how to creating a stunning room design. You’ll learn how to approach every room in the house – including the home office and kids’ rooms. The photography throughout is stunning – really helping to inspire and visualize each room’s the final look.


Fresh Paint: Fun & Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home (The Fresh Paint Series) by Glenwood Sherry

‘Fresh Paint’ focuses exclusively on the painting aspect of decorating – with images of the room from a wide-angle perspective, rather than a close-up swatch – this is very helpful. The paint effects and colors throughout the book are fresh, vibrant, and wouldn’t look out of place in any family home, modern apartment, or even a minimal designer loft.


Use What You Have Decorating by Lauri Ward

Excellent book for anyone on a budget, Lauri Ward advises taking advantage of all the great stuff you already have – transforming it using color, different layout, and by adding some reasonably priced materials and items. She’s a great advocate to developing your own personal and unique style – after all it’s you who’s going to have to live with the end result!


Decorate: 1,000 Professional Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home by Holly Becker

Lots of interesting and fresh ideas to kick start your creativity and get you well on your way to a breathtaking, yet very personal look for your home. Author, Holly Becker, highlights a superb range of styles such as, modern, earthy, bohemian, minimal, second-hand, floral, and urban.


The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well by Deborah Needleman

‘The Perfectly Imperfect Home’ is about creating a comfortable and relaxed home, yet at the same time being super stylish. Deborah Needham reveals how to certain well-chosen and placed items, can make all the difference to the feel of your home.

There are lots of wonderful how-tos and styling tips to help you create a look that appears effortless, beautiful, and inviting.


Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living by Matt Maranian

If your looking for something a bit more hip and trendy – Matt Maranian provides the low-down on how to create a style that’s packed with your own style and flare. All the projects contained in the book are affordable and cover all aspects of the design process including, mirrors, lighting, plants, and paint effects and finishes.

Pad even goes beyond designing to offer lifestyle and entertaining advice – there’s even some theme ideas and recipes for that party to launch your re-styled home.


Second Home: Find Your Place in the Fun by Better Homes

This one’s definitely for the wish-list – how to find and decorate your ‘second’ home or weekend getaway. The photos alone make this book worth having – just awesome and truly beautiful. And even though having another home may be pie-in-the-sky at the moment – all the decorating and design tips can equally be applied to your current abode.

5 Best e-Book Reader Apps for Android

E-book readers are available for people who enjoy downloading and reading novels, works of fiction or non-fiction material. Individuals can purchase an e-book reader in order to read an electronic book. They can also download an e-book reader app for their android devices. Consumers with an Android tablet or smartphone can download an e-book reader app for their device that will allow them to read their favourite materials from different e-book distributors.

Kindle App

Kindle is one of the biggest e-book sellers on the market. This organization has its own line of Kindle e-Readers and it is also supported by Amazon. Kindle also has its own downloadable app that people can use to add to their own tablets for reading Kindle publications. Once a person downloads the app they can read free e-book, sample books, borrow books from the library and sample e-book before they buy. They can even customize their reading by altering the size of the font, their screen for brightness, changing background colour and adjusting the orientation of the material. The Kindle app is available for free in the Android market.

Google Play Books

The Google Play Book app allows Android device owners to read materials that are available from this e-book distributor. Once the app is downloaded users will have access to offline materials, elegant 3D page turns and they can write down notes for the material that they are reading. The app allows users to highlight text, bookmark pages and to sync reading material across their phones, tablets and computers. Users can alter their reading modes by changing their reading mode and they can upload EPUB or PDF files to their collection. This app also has a text-to-speech feature that allows readers to listen to some materials as opposed to just hearing them. Users can also rent or purchase textbooks with this app. The Google Play Book app is free.

Nook

Nook is another highly rated e-book publisher that offers over 1 million titles. They provide users with samples and free e-book and they allow people to have access to magazines and newspapers. This app features an app dictionary that allows users to look up words inside of a particular title. Users can also add notes, read in different modes such as portrait or landscape. They can also change and alter the background of their material and read materials over their own photos or a pre-selected background. The Nook app even features an up close panel mode for comic books so that people can read each individual panel of the comic. Users can can purchase this app free from the Nook store, or download it as an APK file and manually install from http://www.apkfreedownload.org/

Aldiko Book Reader

The Aldiko Book Reader was created by Aldiko Limited and its an e-book reader app that serves millions of people from around the world. Readers can view EPUB, PDF formats as well as Adobe DRM encrypted eBooks. The app allows users to make adjustments for size, font types and background colours, alignment, line spacing and brightness. Users can even read in areas with dim light because of the night-time reading mode. Users can even use a global-text feature to search for books from different parts of the world. Aldiko Book Reader is free for use from Kobo.

Kobo

Kobo is an e-book reader that is free from Android and it allows users to read in a variety of different languages. Users can create a social experience with Reading Life when they can track how long it takes for them to read a book and even earn awards with other users. Facebook integration is also available from this app for a social experience. Text and background pics can be edited and people can even use Kobo to share ideas to figure out what others are reading with Kobo Pulse. The app allows content such as newspapers articles, comics and magazines and users can add titles from their email, from the internet or their DropBox account.

Making Extra Money from Blogging

Maybe you have been blogging for a long time, and wonder if there is a way to turn your hobby into a source of income. Or perhaps you’re looking to earn extra cash working from home. Regardless of your motivation, it is possible to earn money through blogging. Blogging probably won’t be a cash cow for you, but here are some tips to maximize your chances of earning income from your blog. So hopefully you won’t have to sell your grandma’s jewelry for cash.

First, consider your competition. One study counted more than 180 million blogs in America. The vast majority of these bloggers are not becoming wealthy in the process. Chances are, you are not the first to blog about your chosen topic. You will need to work to create quality content and promote your blog to readers and advertisers if you want to stand out among the competition.

Don’t expect to earn money from your blog overnight. If you are between jobs or having financial trouble, don’t put all of your energy into blogging. Instead, search for jobs that can provide more immediate and stable income while you develop your blog platform. Freelancing can be a great way to get a quick influx of cash so that you can pay your bills. Sites such as eLance and oDesk are good places to start looking for work. Even Fiverr can be a good place because it is quick and easy to sign up for and start earning money.

Look for ways to build traffic to your blog. Follow blogs with similar themes and topics, and comment regularly on other posts. Try finding a popular blog that accepts guest posts, and write an article there. Or, invite a popular blog author to write a guest piece on your site. Either way, having a link to your blog from a high-traffic site will help increase your readership.

Make sure you are posting regular, quality content on your blog. Choose a topic that you know well, and write about things that will provide value to your readers. You want your readers to follow your blog and visit it regularly, which they will be less likely to do if your postings are sporadic or filled with errors.

Most bloggers who earn money are doing so by selling advertising space on their blog through ad networks. There are a variety of companies to work with for this, the most popular being Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. It is fairly easy to set up advertising on your site, but you will need readers to start earning money. Most ads pay bloggers at a set cost per thousand readers. Today, the rate is usually $2 to $3 per ad per thousand views.

If you have very high readership on your blog, you may do well by selling advertising space. Remember, however, that there are also costs. You will have to pay a commission on the ads, as well as fees for internet hosting, and taxes on any income you earn.

Finally, remember that blogging can be challenging. Even though you will have the freedom to set your own hours and work from home, maintaining your blog will be time-consuming. You will also need to consider the time you will spend reading other blogs, commenting, and asserting your presence within the blogging community. If you are committed to creating a top-quality blog, you may start to see results.

Tips on Writing a Successful Blog About Home Remedies

Not everyone has the time or the money to go to the doctor. Plenty of people are also nervous about making medical appointments. There are plenty of minor ailments that can be addressed through home remedies. No one needs to visit a general practitioner for cold sores: home remedies for cold sores will work just fine. Naturally, plenty of people surf the Web looking for possible home remedies for all kinds of conditions.

Plenty of people are suspicious of modern medicine in general, particularly for conditions that are not life-threatening. Other people simply recognize that almost all chemically-based medications have side-effects that range from mild to severe, and that home remedies can be a reasonable alternative. More broadly, some people simply want a quick solution that is right at hand and that they can create at home in a few minutes with supplies that they already own. It’s no wonder that home remedy blogs can have such a broad appeal among people from all walks of life.

Creating a Great Home Remedy Blog

One of the most important characteristics of a good home remedy blog is readability. Many people that consult home remedy blogs in the first place are looking for something that they can absorb quickly and efficiently. Home remedy blogs are a time-saving option for a lot of people, and it’s important for home remedy bloggers to use that fact to their advantage. Know Your Remedy is an example of a site that is very easy to read and understand.

Bloggers need to think the way their audience members will think. Their audience members will search for home remedies according to the condition, first and foremost, and then they will probably search according to the nature of the home remedy itself. Organizing the blog using that system will help people navigate the website that much faster. However, there are plenty of navigation systems on a blog that will make for easy reading. Bloggers should try to set up their own and then test them. The important thing is not to make it random. Even using alphabetical order can help.

The use of internal links can keep people on a blog for longer. One home remedy page can link to another home remedy page on a similar subject. For example, when talking about cold sores or fever blisters, there may be one page for each but both page link back to the homepage. Visit this page to get an idea on how it should look like. Visitors can get more information and absorb all the relevant material that much quicker.

Importance of Good Content

Home remedy bloggers should obviously talk about the steps involved in creating a given home remedy for a given condition. Many visitors are going to want the relevant step-by-step guide. It’s also helpful if they spend some time talking about the theory behind a particular home remedy. For instance, baking soda has plenty of home remedy applications. Bloggers could spend a little time talking about the chemistry involved and why baking soda is useful for teeth whitening, as well as useful for skincare.

Bloggers that are able to provide instructions as well as explanations will seem that much more informed to potential visitors. Home remedy bloggers need to project a certain degree of authority, but they also need to seem down-to-earth and accessible. It’s a balance that many talented people can strike.

Best Place to Read a Novel is on a Comfortable Mattress

Reading a book, especially a novel, is an immersive experience that literally takes the reader to a whole different dimension where they can live another life full of its own quirks and details. As an avid novel reader, I will be the first to admit that the surroundings play a crucial role in the level of immersion one can reach while reading a book.

 
Tips for great reading
 
Here are some tips to make your novel reading experience a thoroughly enjoyable and captivating experience:

  • Get comfortable.

It is quite possible to read a book while travelling in a bus or an airplane – but it is nowhere near as enjoyable as reading the same book while casually resting on your bed with its comfortable mattress, plenty of pillows and, most importantly, lack of small bumps that make it so difficult to focus on the sentences. Besides this, reading on hard furniture such as a chair or a bench is also an unpleasant experience that takes away much of the immersion factor.

  • Let there be light.

It is quite impossible to read in a continuous and trouble free manner in dim light. Of course, some of the most hardcore novel fans will attempt to painstakingly pursue their hobby even when there is little light available – it will be a far from ideal experience filled with squinting and misreading words. This is the reason why your favorite reading corner needs to be adequately lit so that you can go through your novel effortlessly and contiguously.

The choice of lighting – natural or artificial – is entirely dependent on the individual’s personal taste. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the cold glares cast by fluorescent overhead lamps, you can go for warmer diffused lighting sources and, in the daytime, nothing beats a shaft of sunlight entering through a window and illuminating the room.

  • Keep the noise down.

External noise is one of the biggest impediments in tasks that require concentration and reading a novel is definitely such a task. Think of it this way – you are totally absorbed in a fantasy novel where the author is painting a picturesque view of a valley and it feels like you’re almost there, walking beside the characters – and suddenly, you are uncourteously brought back to the real world by loud music from your neighbors. This will be a most frustrating experience for a fan of novels and it is made worse by the fact that once the sound interrupts you once, there is no way you will be able to get back to your book. It is, therefore, advisable to pick a secluded corner of your house, preferably with thick walls and as little interference as possible for pursuing your reading hobby. You won’t be bothering anyone and no one will be bothering you.

 
Last words
 
It is my own experience, as a dedicated novel reader, that the best way to enjoy your hobby is to have a separate room in your house where you can read at leisure times. I got a quality, affordable mattress, after reading about some good ones at http://www.mysleepresource.com/what-best-mattress-money/, to go in my private reading room.