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Spring DIY: 5 Tips on Making Your Garden Magical

Spring DIY: 5 Tips on Making Your Garden Magical

If you have always admired other people’s gardens and have found yourself wanting to create your own piece of paradise (but somehow you never had enough money to do so), perhaps it’s time to stop waiting for the perfect moment and do something about it – with minimal investment.

People let their time go by them, waiting for the perfect moment. The truth is that it will never come unless you create it on your own. Handy or not, new to DIY or a real pro, you should stop waiting. Roll up your sleeves and take things into your own two hands.

The projects I have listed below mostly require your time and effort – but in the end, you’ll know that you crafted it all by yourself and you will enjoy every magical inch of your victory.

1. Lay Down a Nice Base

Cleaning is in order – I know this doesn’t sound very magical, but doing any kind of work in a messy environment will only require more work later. What you need is a blank canvas so that you can create your very own art from scratch.

If you have any bigger plans for the future, like changing and resizing your garden or building a pool, you should be clearing space in preperation. You don’t want to start a project that gets in the way of other projects you have going; this will only limit space and resources, and you can end up with a great big mess.

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If your garden has any overgrown plants and an overall wild appearance, get to that first – all you need are garden gloves and any kind of saw. The next step is dealing with uneven parts of the ground – a nice shovel will do the trick.

While conducting heavy work, you’ll be able to identify if any pest issues. Naturally, they need to be gone before you even start creating your paradise, so pay attention to nasty roaches and other small beasts that can easily cause you nightmares.

2. Placing Stone Paths

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    When you’re done with cleaning, it’s time to sketch out and design your garden. Before you even start planting grass, you should create different sections by creating pathways. The least expensive way to do so is by placing stones. Your options are limitless, really – your paths can consist of same-sized cubes, large or small, or you can make it fun by building it out of stones in different shapes and sizes.

    The greatest thing about this idea is that stones are very simple to come by. Make a day out of it – invite your friends and family to a picnic and have them help you with your stone-finding quest.

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    3. Plant Flowers

    There’s no such thing as a magical garden without flowers – we can all agree on that. A majority of people who are complete strangers to botany consider taking care of flowers to be a full time job and a difficult task – which is not true! Although flowers do need care (which you will love doing, by the way), it’s not like having a baby.

    If the soil isn’t nutritious enough, you should enrich it by adding fertilizers. This is a matter you should take to your local florist – I’m sure they will be more than happy to help out.

    The planting process is rather simple – find flower seeds that will comfortably grow in your climate. My suggestion is to get resilient ones for starters.

    Put on your garden gloves. Make sure to mark those areas you plan on working in by using ropes or small stones so they don’t get stepped on. The rest is simple – create evenly distant holes, about three inches deep, and carefully place the seeds. The only thing left is to water them according to the instructions.

    4. Craft Your Furniture

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      It’s not necessary to get the latest garden furniture in order to make it look magical – on the contrary. You’d be surprised with what you can do with just some sandpaper and paint.

      For starters, visit your attic (or basement) and see if you have any pieces of furniture that you’ve forgotten about. Visit your neighbors and offer them a symbolic amount of cash for the pieces they don’t use. Gather them all outside and see what you can do with them – creating a furniture set where all pieces are from different sets usually turns out to be a great idea.

      Now, get those gloves back on and wash the pieces thoroughly. Remove the old paint by using rough sandpaper – this may take a while but it’s a stress relieving action that is simultaneously a great exercise. Now, you can introduce some order to your new furniture by coating all the pieces using the same color (if you have any OCD issues, this is what I recommend). Or, you could create a playful garden by painting them all differently – it’s your choice!

      5. Introduce Magical Lighting

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        It’s time for another trip to your attic/basement and, this time, we’re looking for Christmas decorations, lights and old lamps in particular. Even if you don’t have any, getting them when it’s nowhere near holiday season will turn out to be a cheap investment.

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        This is where your creativity should kick in – wrapping these lights around your trees, using a glue gun to create a flower or a heart or any kind of shape on your fence or coming up with another way to liven up your garden will all have the same result – a magical garden. A fresh layer of paint on old lamps will give them a completely new look and, once again, it’s up to you to do whether you want.

        You have an idea of how your garden will look like, don’t you? I’m sure you now see that you don’t need an exterior decorator or expensive materials to create your piece of heaven right in your backyard – all you need is to be willing, to invest your time and to be persistent. Enjoying it when you’re done is worth absolutely every second you’ve spent working on it, believe me.

        Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/Alexas_Fotos-686414/ via pixabay.com

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

        Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

        Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

        Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

        1. Stress Eating

        I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

        While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

        I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

        If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

        How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

        2. Nail Biting

        Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

        People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

        Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

        For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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        3. Hanging out with Naysayers

        We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

        Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

        Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

        4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

        Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

        While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

        Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

        Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

        5. Smoking

        Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

        In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

        Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

        Smoking risks

          6. Excessive Drinking

          All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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          According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

          • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
          • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
          • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
          • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
          • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

          If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

          If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

          7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

          Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

          If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

          A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

          “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

          And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

          While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

          Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

          Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

          8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

          There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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          In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

          Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

          Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

          9. Watching Too Much TV

          I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

          Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

          Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

          It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

          10. Being Late

          Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

          Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

          Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

          11. Being in Bad Relationships

          Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

          I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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          Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

          12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

          Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

          Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

          Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

          By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

          Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

          13. Focusing on the Negatives

          In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

          Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

          Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

          And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

          The Bottom Line

          So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

          Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

          Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

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