March 11, 2013

Black Thumb Gardening, Part II

In gardening circles, they call it having a black thumb: that innate talent for killing any plant you come into contact with. Well, they don't all have to die! While you're unlikely to exchange your black digit for a green thumb, there are some plants that just about anyone can grow with a high change of success.

Last time, in Part I, we covered some of the hardier flowers, like four o'clocks and pansies, and houseplants such as Devil's Ivy and Screw Pine. All of the above take a determined effort to kill. But what about plants for the pot? Well, let's see...

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February 18, 2013

Black Thumb Gardening, Part I

Some of us (and your Humble Writer may be included) seem to have a black thumb instead of a green one -- that is, just about every plant we try to grow keels over and dies on us, no matter how well we care for it. And there goes all that investment in time, effort, and gardening supplies, right down the drain.

Maybe it's just that we can't follow the directions right, or don't really water enough, or water too much...or maybe we've just got the touch of death when it comes to green growing things. Well, if you haven't had any luck and are about ready to give up and try plastic flowers... well, don't throw in the trowel just yet.

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January 21, 2013

How to Save on Heating Bills

It's always a good idea to save on heating. Not only will you help the environment and reduce emissions, you'll save a lot of money on heating bills. Depending where you live, winter can be a very expensive time -- and the longer it lasts, the more frustrating those sky high bills become.

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November 1, 2012

How to Save On Bills

We all want to save on bills. If you're anything like me, your heating and electricity bills surge out of control during the winter months, and you'd do almost anything to get them down. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on your household expenses, and if you put them into practice, you'll have a much easier time managing your budget.

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October 7, 2009

Leaves are Falling! Time to Break out the Leaf Blower

Leaves, leaves everywhere! This can mean only one thing -- time to break out the leaf blower. If you've never used a leaf blower before or you are in the market for a new model, here's a review of the different types available along with their pros and cons.

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October 5, 2009

Choosing the Best Vacuum Cleaner

How do you choose the best vacuum cleaner when there are so many on the market in such a wide range of prices? Easy. Follow these guidelines and you will soon know which type of cleaner best fits your needs.

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September 30, 2009

Can Air Purifiers Kill the Flu Virus?

With flu season upon us and the continuing threat of the H1N1 virus, many people are fighting back. In attempt to kill the virus in their homes and businesses, different methods and devices are being tried. One of these devices is one you are already familiar with -- the air purifier. The question is, "Can an air purifier kill the germs that cause the flu virus?"

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September 3, 2009

Need to Get Closets Organized? Follow These Tips

Do you risk life and limb every time you go into one of your closets? If so, a closet organizer may be just the thing you were looking for. If you are contemplating getting your closets organized or a special loved one has been strongly hinting that you get your closets under control, here are some tips before you get started.

Choosing a closet organization system can be tricky. There is more to it than a quick trip to your local home improvement store and buying a closet organization system. Closet organization takes a little more thought and planning. Let's start with the basics.

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July 15, 2009

Thinking About a Small Bathroom Makeover? Avoid These Mistakes

5 top mistakes to avoid when doing a small bathroom makeover

Do you have an outdated, cramped bathroom? Thinking about a small bathroom makeover? If you are, take the advice of many others who have gone before you. Bathroom makeovers are one of the top home remodeling job homeowners attempt -- and one of the most difficult.

Here are the top 5 mistakes and how to avoid them.

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July 13, 2009

Need Help Choosing the Best Kitchen Countertop?

5 tips for choosing the best kitchen countertop

Choosing the best kitchen countertop is a mind blowing decision. What are the best things to look for? And how can you be sure you are picking the best one? Follow these tips to help make the decision a little bit easier.

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June 4, 2009

Portable Air Conditioners -- Are They Worth It?

Learn the pros and cons of portable air conditioners before you buy

Portable air conditioners are becoming more and more popular. With their small size and portability, they seem like a good idea. But are they? Before you make any purchase learn the pros and cons about this product.

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May 28, 2009

How to Choose the Best Showerhead

Discover which model of showerhead is best for you

Choosing the best showerhead can be tricky. It's easy to be swayed by the more stylish designs that look good, but disappointment follows when it comes to performance. To avoid disappointment in your new showerhead, follow these tips and choose the right one.

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May 6, 2009

Choosing the Best Toilet Paper

Think before you flush

Finding the best toilet paper isn't something you talk about around the dinner table at home or the water cooler at work. It is, however, a fact of life and choosing the wrong toilet paper complicates your life, is more expensive, and creates more work for you.

Here's how.

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April 29, 2009

Choosing the Best Flat Screen TV

Learn the features of LCD and Plasma for the best flat screen TV

Choosing the best flat screen tv can be tricky. Even after you get past the overwhelming and awesome display of flat screens at your local store, you still need to wade through tons of information and pros and cons before you can choose. Here are some features of LCDs and Plasma to help you choose the best flat screen tv for you.

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April 24, 2009

Can a Tankless Water Heater Save You Money?

Learn the pros and cons of buying a tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters -- You keep hearing about them but quite frankly, you're a little skeptical. A never ending supply of water? Lower electric bills? Lower water bill? Could all of this be true?

Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of tankless water heaters before you make your decision to buy.

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April 21, 2009

Get the Gas Grill You Need

Questions to consider before choosing a gas grill.

If your gas grill has seen better days and you're itching to get one of those big, shiny grills with all the bells and whistles, here are some questions you need to ask yourself to make the best possible choice and get the gas grill you need.

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April 14, 2009

Money and Time Saving Tips for Lawn Care

Use these tips for lawn care and take back control of the time and money spent on your yard.

Lawn care tips, sales on flowers, specials on lawnmowers and fertilizers, and pesticides.'s that time of year. Spring brings with it a sense of new beginnings and with it are our hopes and dreams of a beautiful lawn. Who wouldn't want to have a lawn that looks like a golf course green? Just about everybody would. But who wants the lawn to monopolize all of your time and money?

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February 27, 2009

What Ever Happened to the Low Doc Mortgage

Did the Low Doc Mortgage Go the Way of the Dinosaurs?

Go ahead and ask your average lender about a low doc mortgage. You'll get a variety of responses. Some laugh, others smirk and there are yet others who will reminisce about the days when mortgages were much easier to approve and low doc loans weren't just wishful thinking. Is it true? Has mortgage lending gone back to the stone ages? Here's what you need to know...

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December 26, 2008

Is Bigger Always Better When Choosing A Snowblower?

Choosing The Best Snow Clearing Machine

With the snowing season rapidly approaching there comes a time in our thoughts when we think "How much work is it going to take this year to clear the snow?" With that in mind, many of us may be wondering about going out and getting our first snowblower or a new one to replace the old one. If you've reached this point the question really becomes "How big or how small of one do I really need?"

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December 8, 2008

Home Winterization: Is It Really Worth Your Time?

Should Home Winterization Be on The top of Your Priority List?

When cold weather hits we all start to feel the pinch on our wallets, and home winterization becomes a topic of interest. Truthfully, it doesn't matter whether your living in a one-hundred year old farmhouse or a well-insulated new construction -- cold weather will find its way into your living space. What steps should be take to insure that you are getting the most value for your heating dollar? Here are some tips...

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October 23, 2008

5 Simple Ways to Cut Back Your Energy Bill

Easy Steps for Getting Your Energy Bill Under Control

After opening a surprisingly horrendous energy bill this month, I decided we could all stand to benefit from revisiting a few tips to help us save energy in the upcoming months. If you're like me and could use all the energy-saving tips you can get your hands on, here are a few that will definitely help cut those beastly bills back some...

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September 3, 2008

Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

A Few Winter Weather Preparation Tips

Winter weather brings an entirely new set of challenges to homeowners. Responsible homeownership requires that you take the necessary steps to both weatherize your home to prevent excessive heating bills and stock up on essentials to help your family ride out weather that makes it unsafe to leave home. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

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August 12, 2008

What Every Parent Should Know About Child Safety

A Few Words About Child Safety

It's a scary world we live in and most parents are quite concerned with child safety. With statistics quoting that a child goes missing every 40 seconds and stories like Caylee Anthony's and Coralrose Fullwood's hitting the media, it's enough to drive a parent mad. Before you lock your kids in a bubble-wrap padded room, there are some things to consider...

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August 2, 2008

The Next Generation Of Home Alarm Systems: Wireless Monitored Home Security

These Aren't Yesteryear's Home Alarm Systems

Many of the older monitored home alarm systems relied on access to a landline telephone to transmit warning messages to the central monitoring station. What happened when the phones were down or a line was cut? You were out of luck. Fortunately, in today's wireless era, analog and wired systems are rapidly becoming antiquated.

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May 6, 2008

The Secrets the Makers of Popular Fruit and Vegetable Juicers Aren't Telling You

Not All Juicers Are Created Equal

If you're thinking about buying one of the many juicers available on the market, there are some facts that may surprise you. You've probably already figured out that some juicers aren't as good as others, but did you know that some can actually negate the benefits you receive from juicing your fruits and vegetables? Before you run out and buy a juicer of your own, there are some things you need to know.

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April 26, 2008

Tornado Season is Upon Us - Are You Prepared?

4 Things You Can't Live Without This Tornado Season

Tornado season has arrived, and with it the need for preparation. What would you do if a tornado were to hit your area? Would you be ready? Would you survive? Whether you live in tornado alley or not, you need to be prepared should a tornado hit. Here are some things that can ensure your survival.

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February 22, 2008

Are Falling Home Prices The Ruin of the Future?

What You Need to Know About Falling Home Prices

There's no way to deny it, many areas in America are facing falling home prices. Is this just a temporary set-back, or a darker picture of things to come? If you bought your home when the market was booming, there are some things you need to think about.

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November 25, 2007

Is Being a Stay At Home Mom Financially Feasible?

How To Decide Whether or Not to Be a Stay At Home Mom

If you're wondering whether or not you can make it as a stay at home mom, you're not alone. Many parents spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not they can get by on one income. Unfortunately, there's no cut and dry answer. Here are some things to keep in mind when weighing this monumental decision...

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October 19, 2007

Apples to Apples Tips This Apple Season

Great Ways to Use a Pound of Apples

What are you going to do with all those apples this year? Perhaps you went apple picking on the weekend, or maybe your grocery store was having an incredible sale on apples, so you came home with five pounds. No matter how you ended up with so many apples, we have just the right tips to make sure you don’t waste any apples.

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October 14, 2007

Want Some Alternatives To High-Priced Long Distance Service?

Long Distance Service Options

Ten years ago, all-inclusive long distance service plans didn’t exist. Consumers had to pay per minute for long distance service, and it was usually very pricey. Nowadays, however, increases in competition has resulted in many great long distance phone options. If you don’t currently have an all-inclusive long distance phone plan and you make a lot of long distance calls, then you definitely need to look at your options.

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October 7, 2007

How to Clear the Clutter Without Spending a Fortune

Clear the Clutter and Cut Costs

Are your dresser drawers stuffed to the brim? Is your basement overflowing with three generations worth of belongings? If so, then you might have considered enlisting the services of a professional organizer to clear the cutter. However, you don’t want to take that leap until you read what we have to say.

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September 24, 2007

Taming an Unmanageable Electric Bill

How to Keep Your Electric Bill Under Control

I'm a pretty conservative guy when it comes to spending money and I don't like to see money flying out the window, which is why my latest Electric bill about gave me a heart attack. I'm on the monthly budget plan and I”m paying $75 a month more than I did last year. That's why, when this month's electric bill arrived, I was shocked to see a $800 balance settlement. If you don't want to be consumed with ridiculous energy costs, here are some money-saving tips.

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September 19, 2007

5 Simple Halloween Safety Tips

Easy Advice for Halloween Safety

Believe it or not, Halloween is right around the corner and it's time to discuss Halloween safety. Yes, I know it feels like summer shouldn't even be over yet but Halloween is right around the corner whether you like it or not. Let's make this one a safe one. Here are some Halloween products and tips that will keep your little ones safe this trick or treat season.

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August 17, 2007

Are FSBO Listings The Way to Go?

What You Need to Know About FSBO Listings and Selling Your Home

So, you want to sell your home but you're not sure whether to hire a full-service broker or go by the way of FSBO (for sale by owner) listings? When it comes to the world of real estate, you can't take anything at face value and many things aren't what they seem. If you're considering a FSBO listing to sell your home, there are some things you need to know.

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June 18, 2007

Have You Considered Satellite TV Lately?

Advantages of Satellite TV

Satellite TV has several advantages over cable and on-the-air broadcasting. Sure, the satellite TV of yesteryear had its problems, but those have almost all been eliminated. If you haven’t considered satellite TV lately, you may not realize what you’re missing.

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June 11, 2007

Negative Equity: What Every Home Owner Needs to Know

Home Ownership and Negative Equity

Not all home ownership is created equal, and when it comes to buying a home or taking out a home equity line of credit you need to be careful, lest you fall victim to negative equity. If you don’t know if negative equity is something you need to worry about or you’re not even sure what it is, there are some things you need to know.

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June 5, 2007

Is the More Expensive Vacuum Cleaner Always a Better Option?

Helpful Tips For Buying the Right Vacuum Cleaner

If you have carpet in your home or office, you have to invest into some type of vacuum cleaner. If you take a look at retail selection of vacuum cleaners, you will notice huge price differences in the available models. So is the most expensive vacuum cleaner the best? You might be surprised.

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May 23, 2007

Checklist For Selling a House

Must-Take Steps For Selling a House

Buying a house can be stressful, but selling a house can be even worse. Selling a house requires a lot of work if you want to get a top dollar for your property. There are several things that you need to do as a seller to entice a potential buyer into making an offer. This article will explain the obvious and not so obvious steps you should take to ensure that your house fully presentable and will command top dollar.

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May 19, 2007

What You Should Know Before Buying a Lawnmower

Tips for Buying a Lawnmower

The green grass will soon be growing wild, which means buying a lawnmower is on the top of many a consumers list. Unfortunately, buying one isn’t always as easy as running to the store and grabbing what looks best. Everyone’s lawn is different in size and slope and the best lawnmower for one is the worst for another. Worry not. We have some tips that every lawnmower shopper can use.

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February 3, 2007

Moving the Right Way

What are Your Options When You are Moving?

If you’re thinking of moving in the upcoming year or two, now would be a good time to consider options for moving your possessions. Moving isn’t cheap, and there are multiple options on the market. Depending on your preferences and lifestyle, you might be better suited for one moving option in lieu of another. Below you’ll learn about different moving options and how to determine which option is right for you.

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February 1, 2007

Are You Drowning in Kitchen Appliances?

Which Kitchen Appliances Do You Really Need?

From enticing displays in the housewares section of your local department store accompanied by the vocal sales associates manning their stations to countless infomercials about the latest kitchen appliances and gadgets, you’re probably overwhelmed with confusion about what kitchen appliance you really need and what ones you can live without. If you want to learn more about kitchen appliances, read more below.

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December 24, 2006

Tips on Selling a House

When Selling a House, Don’t Neglect the Outside

If you plan on selling a house, there are some important things you need to keep in mind. Making your home look appealing is very important to the final sale. Experts recommend “staging” your home in order to create an inviting environment that will encourage prospective home buyers. However, if you only have a limited budget to work with for hiring a staging expert you will want to keep the following in mind. When selling a house, staging the outside is somewhat more important than staging the inside.

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November 26, 2006

Home Improvement Projects that Add Value to Your Home

The Kitchen and Bathroom Should Be Your First Home Improvement Efforts

There are some home improvement projects that are beneficial to do and really increase the value of your home. If you have a limited amount of money to spend on home improvement projects, devote that money to a project that will add value to your home.

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October 25, 2006

Is It Okay To Buy A House Without A Real Estate Agent?

Why You Should Never Buy a House without a Real Estate Agent

Are you planning to buy a house in the near future? Have you decided to do so without the help of a real estate agent? If so, you may want to rethink your decision. Home buyers who buy a house without the assistance of a professional real estate agent may be setting themselves up for financial disaster.

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August 18, 2006

Hiring Household Help: An Agency or An Ad?

What You Need To Know Before Hiring Household Help

Recently my wife and I found ourselves in the situation of needing to hire a nanny/housekeeper. We’re both extremely busy and we thought it’d be a good idea to have someone come over for three to four hours a day during the week. Well, little did we know that our decision to hire household help would become one of the most overwhelming experiences of our life.

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June 1, 2006

House Hunting: Four Things to Keep in Mind

Four things you should always remember when house hunting.

House hunting can be an overwhelming task and it’s no surprise that it’s been rated as being one of the most stressful situations a person as to endure. However, house hunting doesn’t have to make you pull your hair out. By following a few helpful tips you’ll be able to hunt for houses with the best of them, and will likely come out a winner in the house hunting game.

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March 22, 2006

Can You Really Buy a Home with No Money Down?

No money down programs really do work.

You see the ads all the time, promising that you can purchase a home with no money down. The questions is, is it a gimmick or can you really get into your own home with no money down? Believe it or not, you can indeed get a home with no money down. It’s just a matter of knowing how to go about it.

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Energy Bills: Overcoming the Nightmare

How to save money on your energy bills.

If you find yourself falling into a state of shock when your energy bills arrive each and every month, you’re not alone. Millions of people are experiencing the same exact thing when they see the cost of their energy bills. Energy costs have skyrocketed and if you’re anything like me, you want to do everything you can to cut down on your energy costs. Not sure what to do? We’ve got some great answers for you.

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