Prep your Pool for Summer

MB-0184-Blog-052918-coverThis summer is going to be the hottest one yet. Don’t be left outside without your pool being ready to party. It’s already in the 90’s and spring isn’t technically over yet. Oklahoma sure does love its heat waves. Be prepared for the worst or best case scenario and have your pool ready for those in need of cooling down.

The first step is to clean your filtration system and baskets. Clear out any debris from filters. You want to make sure your pumps and filters are in working order before you take the plunge, figuratively and literally speaking.

After the pump is in functioning order then top off the water levels, if the water levels are too low then the pump won’t be able its work its magic. Fill it with the water hose until within about 6 to 12 inches of the top.

. If you don’t have a pool cover then think about investing in one. It will save you much hassle when reopening for the season. It keeps leaves and debris out and saves you from draining the pool, which you don’t want to do in case of the possibility of the pool popping out of the ground since it doesn’t have the water weight holding it down.

We all hope that we uncover the pool hoping that its clear and beautiful but this is never the case. Always keep a few bags of Shock on hand because you of all people know that often the pool is green from rainwater and bacteria growth. Yuck. Shock will instantly bring the chlorine levels up killing anything you don’t want living in your sacred summer water. It will be crystal clear in no time.

Wait until the water is clear to take your first dive. Although I agree that it is tempting, the chemicals have not completely done their job unless you can see the bottom and there is no murkiness. Once that’s finished then your summer is now set up for success.

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Best Memorial Day Bash

MB-0181-Blog-052218-coverThe weather iswarm and the pools are starting to open. It is time for the spring and summer festivities to begin. Memorial Day is here and its time to gather with friends and family in the backyard as we remember those who have served to allow for us to have parties. We eat and drink well in their honor. Here are some ways to please the crowd that is celebrating with you this Memorial Day.

A party has to begin with the perfect appetizer. The most American pre-dinner delight is a Crack Dip. This easy dip takes only a few minutes to prepare. All you need is 16 ounces of sour cream, a package of Hidden Valley Ranch mix, 2 slices of bacon cooked crispy and finely chopped, and one cup shredded cheese. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and top with chopped scallions. Refrigerate for 24 hours and serve topped with scallions and a side of chips. What’s more patriotic than Ranch?

If you want to spice up your traditional kebab recipes, use smoked sausage instead of chicken or shrimp. Chop up zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and squash along with your sausage and place them on your skewers with small portabella mushrooms. Cook 10-15 minutes on the grill while coating with a lime vinaigrette and flipping every few minutes. When all cooked top them with chopped cilantro. This dinner will be sure to disappear quickly.

For a little fun entertainment for the little ones or the young at heart, have a station set up with containers filled with sparklers, snappers, and individual bubble bottles. Each jar is labeled snap, crackle, and pop accordingly with signs or chalk labels. The kiddoes will have a blast making noise and waving sparklers when the sun goes down.

For a sparkling light beverage combine sliced strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, lemon juice and a sparkling juice or clear soda. To create an adult experience you’ll use 2 bottles of white wine, 1/2 cup of berry vodka, 1 cup of triple sec and ½ cup simple syrup for refreshing sangria.

Take these terrific ideas and run to your local grocery store to throw the greatest Memorial Day par-tay yet.

Planting To Prevent Pests

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It is well into Spring and time for your garden to flourish. Despite all our best efforts oftentimes pests still come to call on our poor plants and can end up destroying all our hard work. This year we will play it smart and plant things that will prevent those bugs from biting. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on harsh chemicals. A few household plants may just do the trick.

Basil is common and easily tended to. Its fragrant leaves will deter a variety of flies and hornworms from tomato plants. It does well in moist soil with 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Space them around your tomato plant within 21 inches for best results.

Citronella grass is used in many ways to prevent bugs and mosquitoes. I bet that you’ve become extremely familiar with its pungent scent in the Summer while trying to get relief. It is often used in oils and candles to ward off the buzzing critters. You can place a small terra cotta pot planted with the grass on your table or use the clippings from your garden to place in a glass at the table for best prevention methods.

Petunia’s are a colorful addition to your outdoor space that doubles as a “nature’s pesticide.” They repel aphids, beetles, hornworms, squash bugs, and leafhoppers. They do best in lots of sun and can be planted in the ground or potted for convenience. They’re a great way to have color and protection in your garden.

Lavender is a beautiful and soft way to say “good riddance” to pests. They are a natural deterrent to mosquitoes. They have a gorgeous delicate purple bloom and the oil from it can be used on the skin for extra coverage. You can plant these in clusters to the entrance of your garden or around your seating area.

Rosemary is a perfect summer heat plant because it likes to stay dry. It will ward off offenders and add flavor to your dishes. That is a two for one deal I’d say. They can be planted in containers or as a full hedge.

Mint can repel winged beasts and be added to your beverage as a refreshing treat. Its scent is delightful to us but disgusting to small creatures. Keep your mint in a small pot and frequently tend its leaves to keep it maintained. It will keep flies out of the house. It also is great indoors all winter.

Have a chemical and pest free garden this year. All the fragrances will give your space a summer feel without the miserable winged visitors.

Get Your Home Ready For Market

 

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Selling your home can be a stressful experience if you are unprepared or unorganized. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the preparation and work that goes into it. Something you should keep in mind before selling is giving it a quick and tidy makeover. These are simple and quick ways to make your house more appealing to buyers.

Make a list of repairs in the home that need to be done. Then assign each task to a family member or hire a serviceman to come out to fix it. Repairs to look for should include caulking that needs replacing, all door hardware is working and not squeaky, ceiling and wall cracks, chipped and broken tiles, update light outlet covers and switches if needed, clean carpets. Those are the major items that need attention.

As for visual appeal, you want to neutralize the home as much as possible. You can remove distracting curtains and keep simple blinds or shutters. Keep furniture light and neutral colors. Move the furniture around so as to create a more wide-open space as well as arrange mirrors to brighten and create an open frame. If you have a ton of crammed furniture in the house, consider moving some to the garage while in the process of showing the house. Define each room with a purposeful space. Do not let buyers know you have a junk room. Each space should have a clear use such as craft room, living room, dining room, bedroom, or guest room.

Remove as much clutter from shelves and counter spaces as possible. You may even want to pack up personal items and pictures because the buyer wants to imagine it as their home. It is distracting to them if they are focusing on all the memories you have already made there. Keep what’s on the shelves to a minimum with cute accent items.

Make the front door and entry inviting with a sign and welcome mat, maybe even décor with the home’s numbers painted on… Place planters or a couple of flowers along the walkway. Don’t make it too personal such as your name or initials but just a little something to say that this place not stark and sterile and that it’s ready to become someone’s dream.

Moving and selling can be difficult but setting your home up for a successful sale doesn’t have to be. Start with these few items and you will be more prepared than anyone on the block to sell quickly and you may impress your realtor.

 

 

Memorable Mother’s Day Present

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Mother’s are anticipating the day of the year where their family comes together to be thankful for the one who raised them. This Mother’s Day give your favorite mama something that will make the occasion memorable. It doesn’t have to be expensive or a grand ordeal; just a little something to let them know you’re thinking of them and love them to pieces.

This year don’t just buy your loved one a bouquet, make it yourself. Will Roger’s Gardens is having a flower arrangement class on May 12th from 9am-11am. All ages are welcome so even the kiddos can get in on some arranging action. All the materials are provided to create one you can take home. Your mother will be shocked and awed when she learns you made that beautiful bouquet all by yourself.

Make a personalized book for mom on Love Book. Customize each page with illustrations, text, and characters. You choose the skin tone, hair and eyes to create your own mother and daughter or son characters. You can fill the pages with little cartoons and stories or quotes that remind you of her or tell your story. I challenge your mother not to cry.

A thoughtful gift that is priceless and meaningful is a gratitude jar. Decorate a mason jar of your choice and fill it with 365 slips of paper telling her why you are grateful for her as your mom. She will know you appreciate her every day of the year that she pulls out a slip to read before her day.

Buying her a plant doesn’t always have to mean flowers. Last year my mom wanted to decorate her garden for spring like she normally does every year but didn’t have the time or energy. So I brought the garden to her. I got her a few of her favorite potted plants like Boston Ferns and Elephant Ears. She was thrilled with her makeshift garden and it gave her house a little spruced curbside appeal before she could get around to completing her garden.

A precious gift that is a cute way to share your relationship is framed pebble art. If you are crafty then you can easily make your own with some hot glue and a few pebbles. The goal is to create portraiture out of them in the likeness of a mother and child. If you don’t have a crafting care in your body then you can find them on Etsy.

Mother’s don’t need a lot to be happy. All they need is a little affection and appreciation to make their day a little brighter. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way.