Creating The Ultimate Night Time Garden

You go to great lengths to create a beautiful garden. You spend money on lovely plants, plan your plantings carefully, and work hard to make your vision come to life. Then, you have a party on your deck to show off your beautiful garden and it gets dark and nobody can see it. There are solutions to this problem, though. In fact, there are so may solutions for night time lighting in the garden that you’ll have a hard time choosing which to use. You may just have to try them all!


Lit Planters

You can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, with lighted planters. Some people resort to glow in the dark paint on the outside of their planters, but that wears off quickly and doesn’t give a very even light.

However, lighted planters can solve the problem easily. While not the answer for large areas, lighted planters will illuminate the immediate area. This makes them invaluable as attractive accents on your deck or patio. An illuminated planter on each end of the step up to your deck will increase the safety of your guests while adding ambience to the area.

In addition, they can create lovely depth in the garden at night time. By placing illuminated planters in different areas of the garden, you can bring light to paths, create a play between light and shadow, and make your guests feel like they are in a larger area than just the deck.

Up Lighting

Up lights are crucial for creating drama in the garden. By placing an up light at the base of a shrub or vine with a lot of branches you can draw attention to the intricate tangle, adding visual interest to the dark garden.

An up light placed about ½ way up in a large specimen tree will draw attention to the foliage and branching patterns. This can add a sense of wonder to your surroundings. This type of lighting also adds to the amount of perceived light in the garden, reducing the overall gloom that the dark of night can bring.

Rope Lighting


Rope lighting is good for long areas where you want to make sure your guests know their footing, or where food is being served. Stretching rope lighting under the lip of each step will help to create a depth of field so that people will know how far down steps are. Run beside walkways, they can create a river of light that is decorative as well as safe.

Placed along the edge of a counter, they will illuminate the surface so that people can find their drinks and plates. Overhead, they can be attached to structures to provide area lighting without adding to clutter.

Gardens are usually known for their colors, floral displays, and design. Unfortunately, these are not visible at night. You can get the most out of your garden, however if you add various forms of lighting to capture the textures and shapes.

Dance School: A Great Way To Meet People

In the age of the internet, and when everyone has a cell phone, it seems that many people feel more isolated than ever. Some may look at fellow diners in a restaurant who are absorbed in their cell phones, and think that is part of the problem. Others find that they expand their sphere of acquaintances because of the internet. There is a lot of talk these days about dating sites. They are touted as a way to meet the love of your life and find permanent companionship. Others just follow celebrities on Twitter, seeking a sense of belonging to a group – something that is bigger than themselves. There are many different ways to meet people, but here is one you may not have considered: dance school. You can meet people with similar interests to you in dance school.



First of all the kind of dance you enjoy may be based on the type of music you enjoy. Whether classical, country, or jazz, joining a dance class in that genre is bound to put you in contact with other people who love the same type of music. This can lead to great evenings with a new friend or significant other enjoying concerts and other performances of your favorite type of music.

Physical Activity


People who dance usually enjoy some kind of exercise. Either they are working to get back in shape, or are already in pretty good shape and want to stay that way. It’s like having a workout buddy or personal coach, except a lot more fun!

How to Sign Up

Most people turn to the internet to find dance schools. When you look for them in your area, you should be able to drop in and visit to see what it looks like. Many of them will let you sign up online. Another way is to ask friends. Referrals are still one of the best ways to build business, and that is true with dance studios, too. Ask friends, neighbors, and coworkers about dance studios they would recommend.


You don’t have to get fancy with your clothes when you take up dance, but it sure can be fun! Just as with any sport, the right clothing  from Weston Dance Wear can make your activity more comfortable and help to reduce risk of injury.

Shoes, for instance, will vary according to the type of dancing you wear. Bloch Dancewear has a full line of dancing shoes for every skills level and genre of dance. You can also find dancewear on their site. As you become more skilled in your dance, you can graduate to shoes and dancewear that will hold up to increasing demands of your activity.

Porselli is another great online resource for dancewear and shoes. You’ll find every type of dance represented, from classical ballet to jazz and hip hop.

You’ll make friend and maybe even romance when you take up dancing. Give it a try!

Seasalt Clothing Perfect For Any Season

Summer is in full swing in many parts of the world, while autumn is approaching already in other climates. At the same time, many regions have found the transition from winter to spring to be somewhat nebulous, with record low temperatures and unexpected rainfall. Whatever the weather in your neck of the woods, you can find Seasalt clothing perfect for any season. Your favorite line of clothing is not just for winter. You can enjoy every season with some of the best fashion on the market. Here are some pointers for selecting stylish apparel, regardless of the season.

Cornwall Design


Seasalt clothing is designed in Cornwall, and shipped all over the world. Lightweight sundresses, waterproof jackets, and lovely, spring dresses all grace your closet and transition to your daily wear.

Seasalt has over 200 employees and in-house designers. Graphic designers and artists work closely with textile designers to develop the newest looks.

Fashion Today

This year, crinkle cotton and prints are going to be on every beach and boardwalk. Prints range from stripes to florals, in both bold and pastel prints. Popular looks include a solid white top with bold print Capri pants and a coordinated cardigan. This look goes from the beach to the mall. All you have to do is change shoes, which you can also find at Seasalt.


Denim and chambray are also still the fad, with both rubbed finish and dark indigo rocking the catwalk.

Casual tops are rocking the retro, with an almost 1960’s vibe to the silk-screened florals and graphics. Spaghetti strap camis are also popular this year, in both prints and solids. Couple a print cami with a solid cardi, and you have a comfortable look that will get you through chilly mornings and into sunny afternoons.


T-shirts with every kind of neckline are also big for the summer. Whether V-neck, ruche, boat-neck, or embroidered scoop, your T-shirt can be comfortable and dress up or down as you desire.

When it comes to jackets, you have a wide choice of styles and functions. Rain jackets are available in every color, coordinating with the bold prints popular this season. They come with toggle closure or zipper. Other jackets have retro styling, such as the Pack-It Jacket that looks much like the car-coats popular in the 50s. the Bodinnick Jacket has the nautical look that never goes out of style, as does the Cocoa Jacket.

Most women will be happy to know that leggings are still in style. Seasalt Clothing has a wide section of leggings that coordinate beautifully with the jackets, tunic tops, and dresses that will make up this season’s stylings.

In addition to leggings, most women will be glad to see that shorts are not the baggy board shorts of the last decade, nor the short “hot pants” of several decades ago. They are a nice, mid-thigh length that is both comfortable and styish.

Even sweatshirts have received a remodel with this season. Unique styling and original color schemes make this season’s sweatshirts all the rage.

Why Use Feather Edge Cladding?

Whether you use feather edge cladding or not, the cladding on your structure will determine the overall appearance. The cladding you put on your storage shed, workshop, or home should not only look great it, it is the final layer of protection against weather and pests. There are many different kinds of cladding available, in as many styles and colors as you can imagine. Tongue-and-groove cladding, for example, has a very classic look for a cottage or cabin style. With feather edge cladding, you can achieve a number of different looks. There are, however, even more reasons to use feather edge cladding.

What is Feather Edge Cladding?


Feather edge cladding is an affordable, easily installed cladding used on both exterior and interior surfaces. The name comes from its shape, which is similar to that of a feather – it is thicker on one side, just as a feather is thicker in the center, and thinner toward the outer edge.

When it is installed, the first row is nailed or screwed across the bottom of the surface to be covered. The fastener goes into the thicker edge, which is stronger and more stable. The thinner edge is at the bottom. As you install the next row of cladding, the thin edge overlaps the thick ones that have already been fastened. This waterproofs the fastened sections, and sloughs the water off rather than letting it seep in. This is very uh the way singles work on a roof.

Since there is no ledge to catch water, this design works very well for waterproofing the sides of a structure. However it will not be effective on a roof for that same reason – the water must run off, rather than pool.

Why choose Feather Edge Cladding?


The looks of this type of cladding that will last a lifetime. The classic lines lead the eye horizontally across the structure, adding to the visual impact. It can be purchased in many different colors, and can be made from many different materials. However,  feather edged cladding is the most popular and versatile. It can be painted or stained very effectively. The only upkeep it needs is a powerwashing once a year, and a fresh paint job or stain application every 2 or 3 years.

Furthermore, this type of cladding is very affordable. It can be purchased in different sized lots, depending on the size of project you are building. It is also available at most home improvement and timber supply stores.

This is also one of the most universally requested types of cladding because of the protection it offers the structure. Any good construction will have a sturdy frame, to which plywood sheets are attached. Then, especially in structures that are intended as shelter for people or animals, the structure will be wrapped in a moisture barrier and insulation. Then, the cladding will be installed. Feather edged cladding can be the attractive, affordable solution you your building needs. See for yourself, at your home improvement store.

How To Install Exterior Wall Cladding

Installing exterior wall cladding on your home or business is usually a job for experts. Mistakes in measurements can quickly increase the costs of your project, so unless you are a handyman, putting cladding up could be overwhelming. With that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re learning how to install exterior wall cladding.


Choose Your Material

Wall cladding comes in many different forms. Some of the materials are finished upon installation, while others, such as stucco or plaster, are spread on after you complete the cladding job. To select the type of cladding, consider your budget, your skills level, and your property value. Some cladding materials add value to your home, while others, if they are not up to neighborhood standards, may decrease the value of your home.

You can choose from any of the following:

  • Brick
  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl
  • Cement boards
  • PVC
  • Stucco
  • Plaster


Taking measurements for your cladding can make the difference between having enough material and not having enough. Measure all four sides of each wall to get a round number, but don’t forget the eaves. Triangular eaves, particularly, can be a challenge to measure. Also, be sure to be clear whether or not you are going to replace soffits and trim.



Sheathing is important to the installation of any cladding. The sheathing is usually plywood or some other type of quality board to which your cladding will be attached. It should be sturdy so that screws and nails will not strip out, causing failure of your cladding.

House Wrap


House wrap creates a vapor barrier, for starters, and also serve to help keep out bugs. It is also an insulation that helps to make your home more energy efficient. Quite often, people doing their own cladding jobs will skip this step because of time and money. But, if you will take the time, the money will come back to you in just a few years with savings in energy bills. Usually, the house wrap goes on first, then the insulation is fastened on top.

Start the Cladding

When you are ready to start the cladding process, begin at the bottom. This is your “starter row”, and serves to keep your lines straight. Go the entire length of the wall with your starter row, being very careful to keep it level.

Overlap Rows

Most strip cladding will need to be overlapped. In some cases, the upper row of  shiplap cladding will hook into the lower row, others simply lie over the top 1/3rd of the lower row. If you don’t do this, water will seep in behind the cladding and rot it from behind, causing structural damage to your house, as well.

Finish the Walls

It can be very tempting to skip the finishing touches. However, without the finishes of corner pieces and J channels, the cladding is subject to moisture and bug infestation. Finish out the walls, then install trim.

Treating Your Lawn for Summer

Summer is on its way, and it’s time to get your lawn ready for the change of seasons. The soil needs to be prepared to encourage quick, healthy growth, weed seeds have already germinated, and who knows what kinds of bugs are whetting their appetites for the tender shoots of your grass blades And newly formed roots. When it comes to treating your lawn for summer, you can do the work yourself or hire a lawn treatment service. Either way, here are some of the preparations that can get your lawn off to a great start.



There are undoubtedly sections of your lawn that need reseeding. These areas may be bare because of any number of reasons. Grub worms eat the roots of grass, leaving spots of dead grass scattered throughout the area. Once the roots are gone, the grass dies and is worn off. Other areas are sparse because they do not get enough sunlight during the summer. Heavy traffic areas will need reseeding, too. This is especially true of pet owners whose pets wear trails in the turf. Each of these areas will need reseeding and, in most cases, amendments made to the soil. It’s a good idea to check with a lawn treatment service to see which seeds you need for each of these spaces. Some fescues, for example, are very tolerant of shade, and will fill in nicely under trees and in areas in the shade of your house. There are even ornamental grasses that can turn barren traffic areas into lush green spaces.

Soil Amendments

Ok, what about that section of your lawn that simply will not thrive? It is entirely possible that that the soil in that particular spot is damaged or sub-par in some way. In our case, a barren spot in our lawn was due to clay that had been dredged up when the neighborhood pond was built. Our house was built afterward, and topsoil spread over the clay. The solution was a soil amendment made of ground and powdered oyster shells. It is spread over the soil and watered in. The powder works down into the clay, increasing the quality of the soil and keeping it from packing down.



By all means, fertilize your lawn for summer. Add a “green maker” rather than root stimulator, because the roots have had all winter to grow. As the fertilizer starts to work, the grass wil spread, covering the ground more quickly with richly colored grass. As you go into the heat of summer, there are fertilizers you can use to help the lawn grasses deal with heat without becoming stressed, but for now, a green maker will feed that lavish underground root system for a great start to the summer.

Preparing your lawn for summer is one of the first outdoor activities for the year. That first glimpse of a green summer carpet makes it all worthwhile.

The Benefits Of Going To A Health Farm

Some studies have shown that by the time a woman in the UK is 45 years old, she has tried 61 diets. In fact, most of the time, at least 25% of people in the UK are on a diet. Weight loss still ranks very high on the lists of priorities in most people’s lives. However, losing weight can be an elusive goal. Cultural patterns, habits, genetics, and busy lifestyles all work together to create an atmosphere in which it is hard to accomplish weight loss. It can be even harder to maintain weight loss. That is why it might be a good idea to go to a health farm. Spa retreats and health farms have come a long way from the exclusive, outrageously expensive resorts of bygone days. Today, a health farm or spa retreat may cost little more than a regular hotel. But, the benefits can far exceed even enthusiastic reviews.

Don’t Worry About Dining


Perhaps one of the best things about attending a health farm is that every meal is provided. Most of them are all inclusive in their rates, so that 3 meals a day are planned ahead. These meals are based on a healthy menu, often prepared by chefs. Contrary to the stereotype of being restricted to “rabbit food” when at a health farm, these retreats often include whole foods, holistic cooking, vegan cuisine, food for diabetics, menus for people who are lactose intolerant, and just about any other special dietary needs. Not only that, health farms often feature produce grown right on the farm, itself. They also use products from neighboring farms and markets.

Food at health farms is designed to be delicious and filling. Most of these spas offer cooking classes so that you can go home and take skills with you to maintain your new, healthy lifestyle.

Exercise at the Right Rate

As people try to lose weight, they always try to add exercise to their schedule. This is often difficult because when a person is out of shape, it is easier to get muscle strains and harder to get in shape. At a health farm, however, physical activity is carefully planned and supervised. Experts in the field will offer advice in yoga and aerobic exercises, gradually easing each person into a physical regimen that can be maintained at home.

Most health farms offer outdoor activities that add enrichment and variety to the daily routine. Kayaking, hiking, biking, and other activities are fun, and can build a love of the outdoors that encourages a person to seek out fresh, new activities at home.

Get On the Right Track


Going through detox routines means purging toxins out of the body. This can be difficult when a person has to maintain his or her regular schedule. At a health farm, however, this can be done more naturally and successfully, helping a person get on the right track to lose weight when he returns home.


How Plants Can Affect Your Mood

Some people consider plants to be the planet’s way of reaching out the life living on the surface. These cultures reverence nature, in some cases elevating it to god-like stature. That may be a bit extreme for other people, but the facts remain that plants can affect not only your mood, but your health as well. Here are some ways in which plants can affect your mood and your health.

Personalize Your Space


Your office, your rental, or your home office can all be personalized with plants. Do you get tire of the sterile atmosphere in an office? Or maybe you rent your home, and can’t hang pictures the way you would like. You need something to make the spaces feel more homey, more like you. Plants can do all of this, and more.

What is your favorite color? Get some flowers that bloom that color, and place them where you’ll see them every day. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. If you can’t find any indoor plants in your color, select a planter that will do, and put some pretty flowers or greenery in the planter. Simply having something else around you that is alive will make you feel much better. You could even buy a stone plantpot or something stylized that will give your office environment a personalized look.

Noise Control


Offices can be especially nerve-wracking, with noise coming from other cubicles. People sniffing, drumming their fingers, clicking their keyboards, talking on the phone – all can drive a person crazy! But, a few plants in your cubicle can deaden the noise and give you some relief. Try a dracaena or a fig tree. The more leaf surface the plant has, the more sound it will deflect, giving you a little more privacy.

Purify the Air


Plants have a well-known ability to purify the air around them. In fact, a leafy plant can purify the air in an entire room. Different plants will absorb and disperse different chemicals. For example, some plants will “feed” on formaldehyde found in carpets and other fabrics, releasing oxygen back into the room. There are many VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, in the air, especially indoors, and house plants can filter most of them out. Not only do plants improve the quality of and the amount of oxygen in the room, they also help to humidify the spaces.

Plants Outdoors Affect Your Mood

Even plants outdoors can improve your mood. A planter with your favorite flowers, placed right out of your bedroom window, can greet you every morning with cheery blooms, getting your day off to a great start. Well-maintained gardens are a balm to the hurried soul, and specimen plants remind us that life transcends the day-to-day drudgery we often face.

Turn your garden into a welcoming retreat with some plants carefully placed in colorful pots. If you can, cultivate a planter bed with ground covers and a specimen plant. Making something grow is good medicine, and you’ll make your surroundings prettier, too.

Plants can make you feel rooted – pun intended. Add the symmetry, texture, and color of a plant to your surroundings, and you’ll see for yourself.

The Best Business Startup Ideas

With the United States economy beginning to show some signs of recovery, many entrepreneurs are considering making their move. Starting up a business at any time is risky, but in an economy is barely moving, it can be more difficult to grow. With that consideration, here are some businesses that make great startups, and offer services or goods that people need, regardless of the economy.



Even in an economy in which people lost their homes and had to surrender their pets, the bet business in the U.S. was over $40 BILLION each year. People who kept jobs often added more hours to keep ahead, and couldn’t care for their pets as they wished.

If you love animals, then pet care may be a profitable business for you. A pet sitter, for instance, can make $50 an hour. Dog walkers make plenty of money, too. Many people just need someone to go by their apartment and take their dog out for “walkies” while the owner is at work. Or, they need someone to stop by and administer medicine while they are away at work.

Other clever entrepreneurs have developed mobile dog grooming businesses that come to the person’s house. This saves the pet owner travel time, and reduces stress on the pet.
There are also generic labeled pet care products that can sport your own logo. Many people have developed nation-wide business ventures with such products, selling supplements and food with their own brand. Most of these products are produced without chemicals and considered to be organic in nature, which is always a good selling point.

Online Marketing


When ordering via internet was first introduced, people were very wary of it. However, it is not commonplace. People have become accustomed to having their credit card information stored away on various ordering sites such as Amazon and EBay. The market is already in existence, and just right for you to begin an online marketing business. Many companies do not know how to go about marketing their goods and services online, and you can step into the void. I’ve seen people create brilliant startup ideas for instance, online personal training, and not have a clue how to market and get their brand out there.

While most companies, these days, do have a website, they do not know what to do with the internet beyond that. If you have any skill with social media, and understand how PPC and PPV advertising works, you can move those companies into the 21st century with your online marketing skills.

Private Security


Believe it or not, private security can be a great startup business. If you like the idea of something a little more dramatic, private security may be for you. You can get security training in many places, and do anything from being a night guard to close personal protection, depending on your physical abilities and taste for risk. The private security industry is booming right now, with the high unemployment rates presenting more of the population willing to steal and loot. You can learn to protect people, and their properties, too.

Learning Another Language’s Culture

Cultural diversity training is a commonly requested topic, but not often sought after by someone simply learning a new language. However, training in the culture in which you are learning a language can be crucial to truly understanding the language itself. This is especially true if you are intending on translation as a form of employment or public service.

Cultural Taboos

Each culture, even in the most “advanced” countries, have certain taboos. While most of the leading nations attempt to eradicate taboos, sometimes they simply cannot be avoided. As you learn the language of a certain country or culture, learn about their customs, religions, and taboos, as well.

Cairo book fair

For example, in certain parts of the Middle East, a woman must keep her head covered at all times. This may be as simple as wearing a scarf in public. However, in other countries in the Middle East, women must cover every inch of their bodies. You also should not ever offer to shake hands with a member of the opposite sex if you are in the Middle East. Women should also walk behind the man who is accompanying them. By understanding these customs, you will be able to understand the language better because of references that are made throughout a conversation. It will also help you if you are translating this is one purpose for cultural diversity training.

“Turns of Phrase”

Regional speech patterns can create “turns of phrase” can wreak havoc with communication, especially with the person for whom the language is not a first language. For example, in the USA, one foreign car executive had its car company name its small, economical car the “Probe”. This was seen by women in the U.S. as obscene, and the car was a very poor seller, considering that it was intended for the female market.

Traveling Abroad

Some people are so enamored of a country that they learn the language just so they can travel there. The dream is to spend time with the natives, absorbing the culture, food, and scenery for weeks at a time. However, without an understanding of the culture itself, you can make your trip more difficult. You can inadvertently offend an innkeeper, and find yourself with no reservation. You may find yourself dropped off by the cabbie before you reach your destination.

Even the volume at which you speak may be offensive in some cultures. Americans are often accused of being very loud in their speech. Study the customs of the different areas you plan to visit. While some cultures are naturally loud and boisterous, then a big-voiced American may get along just fine. However, find out what the culture prefers, and try to fit in. Simply the volume of your voice can make a difference in how you get along in a culture.

Proximity, or personal space, varies from country to country, too. Some people feel offended if you are too close, while others feel snubbed if you are not close enough.

Learning another language’s culture can make your holiday more enjoyable, and may make your efforts to serve as a translator more useful and profitable.