7 Air Freshening House Plants That Are Easy to Grow

This is a guest post by Michael from ThinkCrucial.com, a home improvement brand that helps people save money on replacement parts.

As we all learned in elementary school, plants play a crucial part in the planet’s ecosystem. As animals breathe in oxygen and let out carbon dioxide, plants absorb that carbon dioxide and process it back into oxygen. Plants within the home can be put to the same task, providing your home with fresher air. Not only that, but many plants can actually clean toxins out of the air, and make your home a better place to live and breathe in.

Of course, not everyone is a natural gardener, and some plants are harder to keep alive than others. Here is a list of seven plants that are not only best at keeping your home’s air clean, but are also the easiest to take care of!

Florist’s Chrysanthemum (chrysanthemum morifolium)

mums-indoors

In NASA studies, the florist’s chrysanthemum, also known as the garden mum, was the best performer out of all of the plants tested. The studies examined a number of plants in their effectiveness in removing five toxins:

  • Ammonia
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Xylene

The garden mum was capable of dealing with all five in their experiments. Not only that, it’s very easy to tend to. Simply put it in direct sunlight and water it a light amount every other day. It is a perennial flower, however, so it only flowers for six weeks, and it only filters when it’s flowering. Once it is done, you’ll have to wait until next year, or else simply go out and get a fresh one. It is poisonous to pets, however, so be wary of keeping one in a home with pets, and take yours to the vet immediately if they consume any.

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Backyard Renovation Ideas for Your Home!

Well, folks, we survived Hurricane Irma! Thank God! (And I’m not saying that jokingly at all – there were many who did not. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the families of those who were lost!)

We took an almost-direct hit from the storm – the worst Central Florida has seen since 2004. It packed quite a punch. I won’t lie, as I was sitting against a barricaded window in the twins’ room while they slept and the storm roared outside, for a minute or two, I started to panic. But we were very very blessed. The worst we had to deal with was our power being out for 4 days. (And can I just say that I do NOT recommend camping with 1-year-old twins?! MERCY!)

Anyhoo, trying to get back to normal over here. One of the negative effects of the storm has been a LOT of standing water on our property. We live on just over an acre, and about 25% of it is under water right now, so that’s a little bit of a concern for us. The hubby and I were outside brainstorming the other day, trying to think of something that could help with the water. I stand by my idea that creating a “dry creek bed” element in the backyard would help to funnel some of the water out, and LOOK pretty neat, too! Something like this…

HE thinks that will probably mean a lot of work for him…so he’s hesitant. (He’s probably right.)

So when Zachary Whatule sent me over a post chock full of backyard renovation ideas, I really got to dreamin’! You’ve got to see what he suggested!

The backyard to any home can hold a lot of potential. Maybe you would like yours to be an oasis of relaxation, or maybe you like to entertain a crowd. Either way, there are plenty of things you can do to turn a plain backyard into something wonderful.

Check out these renovation ideas for a little inspiration!

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Just Sharing Some Tools for Success!

Most anyone reading this knows that we recently became parents. Well, I guess we’re still considered recent, right? The girls are almost a year old – does that count us as “new” parents still? Golly, it sure does feel like it some days!

As sweet and cute and wonderful as our 11-month-old twin girls are – I mean, seriously – aren’t they the cutest?!

Twin girls 11 months old

(Let me explain the expressions here: Bug (left) was OVER the photo shoot. She was tired of being made to jump through hoops. That’s about it. Boo (right) was hot. And a little tired. But mostly just hot. Lots of sighing coming from her. Don’t worry. This was the last picture we took before I took off their headbands and popped them into their shady stroller with bottles of water. They lived to laugh at this photo. As they laugh at all photos of themselves.)

Anyhow…slight rabbit trail…

As sweet and cute and wonderful as they are, I’m still constantly looking for answers about them. Answers about what makes them tick. Answers about what foods are best for them right now. Answers about their behavior. Answers about their milestones.

And I happen to be pretty picky as to who I take my advice from. I’m just sayin’! There are a LOT of answers out there, but are they the RIGHT answers?!

In the end, there’s one thing I already know.

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Preparing Your Garden for Spring

I love Spring! Well, other than the incredibly high pollen count that sends my allergies into a frenzy, that is.

This young woman sneezing into a tissue either has a cold or really bad allergies.

This year I’m still a bit preoccupied with two tiny humans, so I won’t be doing a Spring Garden, but when Morgan from Craig Manor sent over this infographic, it was almost enough to make me reconsider! I think by the time I have everything ready it would probably be Summer, which isn’t at all helpful!

All the same, I figured I’d share it with all of you! I’ll just have to follow it myself next year!

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The Essentials of Backyard Sun Protection

Before his 30th birthday, my husband had three skin cancer surgeries. THREE. Now, we’re both pretty fair-skinned and pretty sensitive to the sun, but mercy, that’s a little bit of an overkill eh?

As a result of those skin cancers, he’s awful cautious about anything having to do with the sun. He’s religious about sun protection for himself, and we both have now focused in on making sure the twins are well-protected from the sun, as well. 

But what we’ve run into is: the twins LOVE to be outside! Which is great! But we have NO shade in our yard. Which is not great. So we’ve been looking at ways to change that.

In the midst of our search, Lillian Connors sent me over the PERFECT guest post! She sure did! Essentials of Backyard Sun Protection! It’s a nice follow-up to last week’s “6 Beautiful and Family-Friendly Backyard Ideas”!

Perhaps the greatest perk of owning a house is having a backyard. It makes a perfect chill out zone, especially during the summer. Relaxing after a hard day at work, having a party with your friends, or grilling a Sunday lunch for your family – a backyard has multiple purposes. However, you’ll need something to protect yourself from the sun and the harmful UV rays. Of course, sunscreen is a must, but creating a shade is even better so here are the essentials of protecting your backyard from the sun.

Go creative

If you’re into the interior and exterior design, you’ll probably see your backyard as an extension of your home and you’ll want it to be just as trendy as your living room and kitchen are. Do you practice yoga and meditate? You can make your own meditation pavilion as a getaway from the everyday buzz. All you need is a wood or steel construction and some colourful sheer fabric to provide protection from the sun. Vertical gardening is a major hit lately and flowerpots hanged around your backyard can provide you with some shade, too. The simplest version of this is to purchase a pergola and train vines to grow over it. Decorate with string lights or lanterns and your backyard will look amazing even when the sun goes down.

Play it safe with permanent structures

For a good, old sun protection, purchase a patio umbrella, an awning or any other protective structure. Look for dense materials since they block more UV rays and provide a better protection. Hard materials like metal or timber provide 100 percent protection, but various kinds of textiles will do just fine, too. Permanently installed structures are more durable and can withstand outdoor elements. Besides, if you opt for an awning, it will provide shade not only for your backyard but also for some parts of your house and help control the temperatures in the dog days of summer.

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