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The Ultimate Garden: DIY Projects for the Frugal Homeowner

The Ultimate Garden: DIY Projects for the Frugal Homeowner

Buying garden decorations is a fleeting experience, but if you are making your own garden design, then the sense of achievement is far greater. Besides, if you make garden accessories out of materials you would naturally throw away, you will feel more resourceful. So, if you want to freshen up your backyard and already have a bunch of household stuff just lying around, you can try some of the following DIY projects.

Giant Xylophone

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    If you have kids and want to build something for their amusement in your front or back yard that is also decorative, then you can’t go wrong with a giant xylophone.

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    Here’s what you need: 90 x 35mm pine bars, 25 x 2.8mm galvanized staples, and 90 x 35mm pine bars. You will also need a paintbrush, handsaw, sandpaper, and some paint.

    First, you need to cut 9 pine bars to the length of 1200mm. Then, cut each bar by 75mm so that the first bar is 1200mm and the last one is 600mm. Paint those bars with two coats of paint. Just remember to wait for the first coat to dry before you apply the second one. Use one of the cut wooden blocks as a measure for the distance between painted bars.

    Next, cut enough rope to span them together and to have some left on both sides so that your xylophone can be tied to posts. Use two staples for each wooden bar on both the upper and lower half (so, four staples per wooden bar) to anchor the rope. Then, find a good place to tie your xylophone.

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    Pallet furniture

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      If you have tons of wooden pallets that you are not using, you can turn them into DIY pallet furniture. It looks really good and it basically won’t cost you anything when you want to redecorate. You can create garden paths with pallets, or you can craft a corner sofa on a patio. You can use them to store your gardening tools, or even to make planters.

      You can also use your pallets to create a suspended bed, a bed for your pet, or even a wooden fence. The best thing about this is that you won’t have to do much work — all you need to do is paint the wooden pallets and arrange them in a specific order.

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      Party Umbrella

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        This is an amazing decoration that goes well with the above-mentioned pallet furniture, and it will certainly come in handy during the summer. All you need to do is attach a few ribbons to lanterns, add some light-colored fabric, and combine them with your plain canvas umbrella. Whenever you want to freshen up your decorations, you can change the colors of the ribbons and fabrics.

        First, you need to measure the distance between the umbrella ribs and cut the fabric into rectangle shapes in order to fit inside the span between the ribs. Fold the long end of the cut fabric over the dowel and then use a hot glue gun to attach the fabric to the umbrella. Then, you need to glue short ribbons to the bottom of the glass lanterns and hang them using a fishing line. It’s really simple to make, and you can check it out here.

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        As you can see, all of these decorations are quite easy to pull off. You can make something for kids, or you can create your own furniture and awesome party umbrellas to go along with it. Make sure you go through the links that are supplied in the text in order to have a clear image of how the decorations should look. I hope you have a fun time crafting these items and that your garden will look as amazing as you imagined it.

        Featured photo credit: http://skitterphoto.com/?portfolio=summer-wine via pexels.com

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        SEO Consultant

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        How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

        How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

        Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

        But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

        Sight – Visual Stimulation

        The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

        1. Maximize your exposure to light.

        Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

        Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

        2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

        Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

        Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

        Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

        3. Take note of your environment.

        Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

        By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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        Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

        What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

        4. Engage in conversation.

        Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

        Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

        Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

        Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

        5. Listen to upbeat music.

        Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

        Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

        Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

        If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

        6. Work your nose.

        Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

        If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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        Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

        Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

        If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

        7. Have a good breakfast.

        Start off with the most important meal of the day.

        Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

        Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

        Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

        20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

        8. Drink lots of water.

        Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

        So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

        How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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        Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

        3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

        9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

        Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

        Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

        Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

        25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

        Touch – Tactile Stimulation

        Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

        10. Splash cold water on your face.

        Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

        This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

        5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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        11. Use acupressure.

        Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

        Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

        12. Get moving.

        Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

        And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

        You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

        Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

        Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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