Ready to buy some annuals for your yard? Here are four factors to consider when choosing plants that will complement your landscaping.
1. What the plant needs
Check the soil and evaluate the environmental conditions in your yard. The drainage, pH and amount of sunlight available should all be factors when you choose plants for your garden.
2. The size of the plant
3. When the plant blooms
Enjoy blossoming annuals from May to October. Choose plants that flower at different times to have an ever-blooming yard.
4. The color and shape of the plant
Choose annuals that look good together, and aim to get plants in a variety of shapes, colors and textures. Opt for a well balanced color scheme by selecting either cool or warm tones for the entire yard.
If you have perennials in your garden, don’t forget to take them into consideration when choosing your annuals.
4 types of patios to enjoy this summer
When the sun’s out and the weather’s mild, luxuriating on an outdoor patio is an irresistible indulgence. To make the most out of this summer pastime, be sure to try out these four types of patios this summer.
You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world from the peak of an office building or hotel overlooking the town. Take in the magnificent view, have a drink or two and enjoy chatting with friends.
Swilling back beers while listening to live music at an outdoor music festival is a great way to spend a day. Many shows even include covered patios for concertgoers to get out of the sun.
Visiting a local winery with friends is a great way to spend a summer afternoon, and the idyllic setting will undoubtedly make the wine taste better. After a tour of the vineyard, settle on the patio for a bite to eat and a glass or two of your preferred vintage.
No matter which venue you choose, patio dining is invariably a delight. Be sure to enjoy this summertime pleasure freely and frequently.
Keys to nautical home design
Both classic and contemporary, the nautical look is never dated. Here are a few keys to perfecting this style.
• Nods to the sea and sailing. Lanterns, model ships, anchors, nautical maps and prints of sea creatures are among the many decorative elements that are well suited to nautically themed rooms.
• Wood elements. Decorate with weathered wood that recalls the docks and buildings of coastal areas. Alternatively, choose furniture made of shiny teak that’s reminiscent of a well-maintained captain’s cabin.
• Knots and ropes. Ropes are omnipresent on most ships and are considered a must-have item in nautically themed rooms. To incorporate them, use interesting wall hangings or other decorations made with natural fibers like hemp or sisal to show off your nautical style.
• Blue and white stripes. Blue and white stripes have long represented the sea and sky, making the combination a key part of any nautically themed room.
While the nautical theme can work almost anywhere in your house, it really shines in bathrooms and kitchens.
Fathers in film have changed over time
It’s the month that celebrates Father’s Day, which makes it a good time to reflect on the ways fathers have been portrayed on TV.
Dads have traveled quite the route, starting with the 9-to-5 businessman who steered the household, steady and secure. The family around him provided most of the antics, while Father was the straight man — think Ward Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver.
Then there was Andy Griffith, which introduced a single father into the mix. The widowed and wise Griffith was sheriff of the sleepy town of Mayberry and had a young son, Opie. As good a guy as he was, however, Griffith still needed a woman’s influence and help in raising Opie; he lived with his Aunt Bee.
By the 1970s and 1980s, TV saw a mix of fatherly styles, from the ranting Archie Bunker of All In The Family and the put-upon George Jefferson of The Jeffersons to the more serene Mike Brady (again, a widower) and the blended family dynamics of The Brady Bunch. There was also the dual income family with Heathcliff Huxtable as the goofy-but-paternal father in The Cosby Show.
The 1990s brought us the bumbling, even somewhat miserable dad — with Al Bundy arguably kicking off the genre in Married With Children — and the clueless guy. It also introduced the uncle who steps into the father role, with Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Fast-forward to the 2000s and we’ve got a mix, including same-sex couples (Modern Family), stay-at-home dads (Parenthood), and wisecracking but lovable dad of The Last Man Standing.
Summertime child-care options for working parents
The end of the school year has some working parents scrambling for child care for the summer. Luckily, there are a number of places where your kids can have fun and receive the care that they need during the warmer months. Here are some options to consider.
Most municipalities offer day camps all summer long. There are also private organizations that have specialized camps, but these tend to cost more than city-run services. Some parents opt to mix things up and register their kids in an affordable day camp for the bulk of the summer and a specialized camp for just two or three weeks.
If you live close to your extended family, they may be able to watch your children over the summer. If you decide to go this route, make sure to have a clear agreement with your family member regarding the precise schedule and whether or not you’ll pay them.
Partner with other parents
Team up with other families to create your own camp. Parents can take turns watching all the children while the others are at work. Your kids will have a great time hanging out with their friends all summer.
Finding child care for the summer doesn’t have to be stressful, it just takes a little planning and foresight.
Quarterly taxes due
Friendly reminder: quarterly taxes are due June 15.
Those who file estimated quarterly taxes can do so via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or EFTPS, which is accessible for individuals or businesses to pay federal taxes.
You must file if you are a sole proprietor, partner, S-corporation shareholder, and/or a self-employed individual who expects to owe tax of $1,000 or more when you file your return.
The estimated tax pays income tax as well as self-employment tax and alternative minimum tax.
4 great reasons to let your kids be bored this summer
Do your kids complain that they have nothing to do? From a young age, modern children are barraged with an onslaught of stimuli and experiences (electronic and otherwise), which may then result in them failing to develop the skills needed to engage their own minds. It’s this conditioning that’s likely behind your kids’ summertime declarations of boredom.
While it may be tempting to fill the vacuum of your children’s discontent with activities and excursions, it may be better to let them be bored. Here are four reasons why you should allow your kids to find ways to entertain themselves this summer.
1. Boredom builds confidence. When kids are successful at finding ways to occupy themselves, it boosts their self-esteem. Being bored makes it more likely they’ll try new things and test their limits, which is also ideal for building confidence.
2. Boredom improves creativity. Having nothing to do encourages kids to use their imagination to invent games and find ways to amuse themselves.
3. Boredom helps kids discover their interests. Studies have found that unstructured playtime lets kids develop decision making skills and discover their own interests.
4. Boredom forms friendships. Playing with other children helps little ones learn to communicate and read body language. When given time and space to play freely, they’ll begin to negotiate and create games together.
Bored kids are good for parents too. By letting your kids fight their own boredom, you’ll have more time to complete your own tasks, and maybe even get bored yourself.
In recent years, scientists have started taking a closer look at boredom. Their conclusion? Boredom happens when a person wants to be stimulated but can’t connect with their environment. Interestingly, researchers have found that modern children are especially susceptible to boredom (a phenomenon their parents are largely familiar with).