Home & How-To

Home and How-To Content

April is National Garden Month and whether you’re an avid gardener, king of your landscape, or just thinking about a small vegetable garden, keep in mind that you don’t have to have a big backyard to enjoy the benefits of gardening!

Jar Baking

Apr 1, 2016

Canning Jars are great for a number of things, but because they’re built to withstand tremendous heat for the boiling required to can fruits and vegetables, they’re also really good for baking!  Make a single serving portable cake by starting with two and a half cups of fresh seasonal fruit and divide into four half pint canning jars.

Easy Houseplants

Mar 31, 2016

Unfortunately, not all of us have a green thumb, so keeping plants alive can be stressful.  Nevertheless, here are a few houseplants that are surprisingly easy to maintain.

Hanging planters are great for indoors and out, and if you have a few old t-shirts, you can make your own colorful macramé hanging planters.  Start by cutting eight pieces of material three to five feet long, depending on how long you want the planter to hang.

Home Refresher

Mar 29, 2016

The great thing about your home is that you can always change things up when you get bored.  Here are a few ideas to refresh your living space.

Whether you’re new to homeownership, or you’ve been in your home for years, your house probably didn’t come with an owner’s manual.  So here are a few tips to keep in mind when things aren’t going as you planned!

DIY Summer Shorts

Mar 25, 2016

The warm weather is the perfect time for wearing shorts, but instead of buying new, try making your own trendy shorts at home.  With a few materials and some easy tips, you could be showing off your stems in style and save money at the same time.

We’ve been talking this week about ways to take your workout outdoors and enjoy the sunny weather of South Carolina.  Mountain or trail biking can be a nice break from that stationary bike at the gym, but before you buy expensive gear, borrow or rent until you know what your needs will be.

South Carolina offers abundant parks and public places for recreation, but for runners every surface is a possible personal record.  With mountain trails, miles of beaches, and sunny weather calling your name, it’s time to get off that treadmill and head outdoors for your next run.

 Now that the warmer weather is coming on strong, it’s a great time to get outdoors for your daily exercise.  South Carolina offers a number of lakes, rivers, and beaches for swimmers to strengthen that backstroke.  There are some things to consider before hitting the water, so keep these tips in mind.

The temperatures are perfect for getting outdoors for your daily workout routine.  And if you’re a yoga enthusiast, there are some studios that offer outdoor classes.  But you don’t need a class to grab your mat and head to one of the many beautiful locations in South Carolina.

  Spring is finally here, and your home may have had as rough a winter as you did!  So, here are a few things you can do to help your home recover from the winter and prepare for the spring.

Homemade Bath Salts

Feb 26, 2016

Taking a soothing bath can relax those achy muscles, but why buy bath salts when you can make your own at home?  Combine 1 cup of Epsom salt with half a cup of kosher salt in a large freezer grade resalable bag.  Then add food color one drop at a time and shake until you reach the desired color.  Adding more than one drop at a time can melt your salt and make it clump.  

Sticky notes are so handy in the office or at school, but they can be pricey!  So make your own with a few recycled items!  You’ll need a glue stick, preferably one that is washable, a stack of recycled printer paper, some scissors, some recycled card stock quality paper, and some all purpose glue.  

Reuse Milk Cartons

Feb 24, 2016

Most of us have juice and milk containers left over at the end of the week.  While recycling them is a good idea, think about ways to reuse them instead.  A cardboard milk carton could be cut down and used to create suet to feed the birds in your backyard.  Or cut the sides out of that cardboard juice jug and glue in rice paper to create luminaries.  

Reuse Aluminum Foil

Feb 23, 2016

Invented in 1825, Aluminum Foil has become a staple in many homes because it’s terribly useful.  And once used, can be recycled or re-used.  Here are a few ideas for ways to re-use your aluminum foil.  Cut it into strips and hang it in your vegetable garden to deter birds and wildlife from eating your plants.  

If you’ve got an old wooden spice rack you’re not using anymore don’t pitch it out with the trash!  Save it and re-purpose it.  You could use that spice rack to hold paper craft items, acrylic paints, buttons, beads, glitter, yarn or thread in your craft corner.  Use it in the bathroom or by your vanity to hold perfumes, nail polishes, colognes, face wash or make-up.  

We’ve been talking this week about healthy smoothies that will rev up your metabolism and boost your energy, and today’s vegan strawberry vanilla milkshake recipe is no exception.  The first step is to make the ice cream and to keep it dairy free, blend 2 frozen bananas with three teaspoons of vanilla extract.  You can use fresh vanilla bean if you prefer.  Set this mixture in the freezer while you one quarter cup of almond milk with half a cup of fresh strawberries. 

We’ve been talking about smoothies this week and not only are these cold treats a great way to energize your day, but they’re packed with all the great fiber, antioxidants and nutrients you need to keep your body fit and improve your mood!  Today’s recipe may be an unexpected combination, but this low calorie high fiber mixture is sure to please! 

Here’s a smoothie recipe that is a sweet, tropical treat!  Combine one apple, one frozen banana, half a cup of pineapple, half a cup of orange juice and a quarter cup of almond milk in your blender or food processor and puree until the mixture is smooth.  If you want a little more tropical flavor add mango or coconut to the mixture.  Smoothies are a great way to get fiber, vitamins, and a good start on your daily fruit and vegetable count. 

Today, it’s all about berries!  Try this Berry Bliss smoothie to give you a nice energy boost while satisfying that insatiable sweet tooth!  Start with one cup of blackberries, one cup of raspberries, a frozen banana, half a cup of almond milk, and a quarter cup of orange juice.  Combine ingredients in your food processor or blender until you reach the desired consistency and enjoy! 

A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away, so this week, we’ll be talking about fruit smoothie recipes and easy calorie burning tricks to help you stay on track and lose a few inches.  We’ll start with a mean green vegan smoothie packed with iron, fiber, potassium and antioxidants.  Get your blender or food processor ready and combine two cups of spinach, one cup of frozen pineapple, half an apple, one frozen banana, and one cup of orange juice.  Blend, and enjoy! 

National Soup Month

Jan 15, 2016

It’s no wonder the coldest month of the year is also National Soup Month.  And to keep you warm through the winter, here is a warm and hearty idea for Butternut Squash soup.  Start by melting three tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot.

Aging Successfully

Jan 14, 2016

Successful aging can mean more than good health.  It can also mean taking charge of your personal well-being so that you can continue to live an energetic and independent life well into your golden years.  Aging successfully requires a personal commitment to living an active lifestyle.

Winter Blues

Jan 13, 2016

Short days and long nights can lead to a problematic case of the winter blues!  With less sunlight people tend to have less energy and are more prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder or winter depression.

Winter Water Usage

Jan 12, 2016

We tend to use less water when the weather is cold, and that’s why this is a good time to check your home for any leaky faucets and fix water problems before the spring.  Did you know that a leaky faucet can waste up to eleven thousand gallons of water a year in your home alone?

Radon Action Month

Jan 11, 2016

You may not be aware of this, but January is National Radon Action Month.  What is radon?  Radon is a radioactive gas that is emitted when uranium in soil decays.

When you start thinking about all the possibilities, reusing what you already have becomes a fun game.  For example, those large black binder clips can be clipped to your desk and used as electric cord keepers for your computer or even your cell phone charger.

We’ve been talking about ways to reuse items you already have, so here are a few more ideas to keep you thinking.  Those plastic containers and milk jugs can all be modified into handy scoops, dust pans, and garden trowels.

Reusing items you already have is the best way to save money and help the environment.  Recycling is great, but it’s not energy neutral.  However, finding new uses for everyday objects is, so with that in mind, here are a few ideas to get you started.