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Give Your Driveway and Front Walk Some More Curb Appeal

Give Your Driveway and Front Walk Some More Curb Appeal

The curb appeal of your driveway and front walk is really important in creating a good impression of your house. After a tiring day at work, a beautiful front walk is something which makes the entry to your sweet home refreshing. Also, if the driveway is damaged, the tires of your car can get damaged as well. So, here’s a guide on how to increase the curb appeal of the driveway or front walk of your house.

Get rid of the cracks.

Cracked asphalt on the driveway should be replaced by a new layer of asphalt. Stones and gravel that were previously installed may scatter up and need to be replenished.

If you are not willing to repair cracks at the moment, you can hide the cracks by using plants and bushes. The material that you choose for repairing the cracks or building the pavement depends on the place where you live and the durability of the material. If you are looking for long-lasting stuff, cobblestones and pavers would be the ideal ones to choose since they last longer. For easy installation, crushed stones and gravel work best.

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Asphalt, on the other hand, is suitable for use in cold environments, but it does not last long.

Decorate the edges.

If the asphalt is in proper condition, you may decorate the edges to boost the curb appeal. It can be done by using bricks, stones, and pavers. Tiny fences can also be used.

Look into doing a checkerboard style.

If you can’t decide which one to choose among pavers and turf, let’s have both! This can be done in various ways. The pavers can be placed diagonally over a grass lawn or in a grid pattern. Care should be taken to ensure the grass is properly trimmed from time to time. Otherwise, it does not do proper justice to the landscape of the driveway.

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Add some outdoor lighting.

There is a variety of entrance lights, such as tire lighting, globe lighting, and mushroom lighting, that operate on low voltage and can be used to light up the front walk of your home, making it more pleasant and visually appealing. Install the lampposts on both sides of the driveway, keeping uniform gaps between every two pairs of posts. You can do it on your own or appoint professionals for the purpose.

The wattage of your transformer should be a little more than the total wattage, which is calculated by multiplying the number of lights and wattage of each light. The cost of tire lighting is $9–$20 per unit while that of solar lighting is $13–$30. You can also install entrance lights within $10–$20.

Before you proceed, it must be kept in mind that the light must produce a shadowy, mysterious effect and should never be of the same intensity as daylight.

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Do a bit of gardening.

A touch of greenery can add a bit of beauty to the driveway or front walk. This can be done in various ways. The most common way is to dig out the border on both sides and plant bushy trees there. Low plantings and manicured lawns can also be added.

Alternatively, you could go for tall trees separated at a uniform distance that line up with the pavement. If you are choosing this option, light stands should not be there.  The trees should be trimmed from time to time and must be of equal height. Another idea is to plant trees in a pattern of increasing heights. So, the first tree should be the shortest and the one nearest to the house must be the tallest.

Thinking which tree to choose? For building an alley of trees, ornamental pear trees would work best. If bushy plants are your choice, Zelkova and Annabelle are the right ones to go for. Others include Fairy-tale rose, Germanium, Japanese Forest grass, Lady’s Mantle, Alyssum, and Barrenwort. Flowering plants not only add to the beauty of the driveway or pavement with their attractive hues but also attract butterflies, transforming your place to a heavenly paradise!

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Featured photo credit: Brick Staircase & Planters by Kay Ellen via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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