Spring Cleaning: Simple Ideas to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

When the winter snow melts to show off the green of spring, it gives us one more thing to appreciate about Mother Nature. To show our appreciation, we’re always coming up with ways to preserve and protect our environment. This year, as we do our spring cleaning, we’re sharing with you a few simple ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle to make Mother Nature proud.

Every Day

water bottles isolated on white1. Just because an old water bottle can’t hold water anymore doesn’t mean it can’t hold something.With clever cutouts it turns into a gadget you didn’t know you need – a wall mount for your cell phone while it charges. It’s a brilliant way to repurpose the used, but not used up bottle.

Crafting

2. Save your cans. They’re the crafter’s dream material. Soup cans, coffee cans, paints cans: save ALL your cans. From lamp shades to biscuit cutters, there isn’t much you can’t do with a can.

3. Got something to stuff? That leftover pill bottle cotton can fill a sock doll. All of that dryer lint you toss in the garbage? You can stuff a pillow with it. No need to fill a landfill when you need to fill a toy.

Gardening

4. A milk jug is the gardener’s little helper. Jugs have many uses, but for the tomato gardener, it is heaven sent as a DIY trench watering system. Poke a few holes in the bottom and sides, dig a small trench near the plants and bury the jug about half-way. Fill the jug with water and it will slowly release water into the soil to keep it moist.

empty pallet on green grass5. How many times have you seen a discarded wooden pallet and thought “I know I could do something with that”? Well, a garden walkway is about the easiest thing you can do with a wooden pallet. It requires little more than pulling it apart and arranging the pieces along a dirt path. It’s so easy you’ll be kicking yourself for not having thought of it yourself.

Cooking

6. Cereal or cracker box lining can be used anywhere you might use wax paper or parchment paper. Cutting the ends and along one side you have good sized sheet. In baking, you can use it to roll out ice box cookie dough or to line cake pans. It saves money, time and waste.

tiered-server7. For the mismatched dishes you just can’t seem to get rid of, a clever way to make use of them is by making them into a tiered server. The project does require some tools and materials, but it will be worth it to see your plates in play again.

At The Lakeside Collection, we have all sorts of products and ideas to celebrate every season! Whether you need tips on making your spring garden more environmentally friendly or you’re looking for BBQ gadgets for your 4th of July cookout, shop Lakeside for inspiring products at reasonable prices.

Spring Sprouts: 5 Vegetables You Can Regrow in Your Garden

When you see a crokus popping up from the soil every few steps, you know spring has arrived! At The Lakeside Collection, those little flowers put us in the mood for planting — but not just the pretty stuff. This year we’re putting the idea of upcycling into our gardens. That means we’re re-growing a few plants that are already full grown. To give you an idea of what we mean, here are 5 vegetables you can regrow in your garden.

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes Potatoes are a staple in just about any culture. It’s a hardy vegetable that is eaten year-round, so you’ll be doing your meals and your wallet a favor by planting a few in your garden. When you see a potato sprouting eyes, it’s ready to grow. Cut the potato up and let it dry out for a day or two (like onions) before you put it in the ground. Holes should be about 6” deep and the pieces of potatoes should be planted with the eyes (sprouts) facing up. They love lots of sun and require a good amount of water to produce healthy spuds.

Basil Right now is the perfect time to start basil cuttings indoors to transplant in your garden. When you have your package of basil, make sure there are leaf nodes (they look like branches will sprout from them). With kitchen shears, cut just below the node and remove any leaves from the bottom two inches. Stick this in a clear glass of water and put it in a sunny window. Make sure to change the water every other day and it should be ready to plant in soil in about four weeks.

GarlicGarlic You need it for everything! In your salads, pizza, pasta, sauce — just about every type of culinary challenge requires garlic. Planting a clove or two is a sensible and money-saving project. Garlic can be planted in the fall or spring, but if you’re planting in the spring, put it in the ground as soon as the soil is warm and soft enough to be worked. They’re easy to plant — one clove produces a bulb and they should be planted about 2” down with plenty of organic matter mixed in with the soil. The only thing you need to be really careful of is drainage — too much water will cause rot.

Onions Just like garlic, you can never have too many of them — and they taste so much sweeter when they’re free! They’re pretty easy to grow — when you’ve cut up an onion, save the root part that you usually toss. It should be a little bit dry (calloused) before you plant it. When it’s ready, bury it in a sunny spot in your garden under an inch or two of soil and let it sprout.

Red romaine lettuceRomaine When we eat in the summer, we eat salad — and growing the lettuce in the backyard is a great way to cut costs at the grocery store! Romaine is not only easy to re-grow, but it’s also the most nutritious. Saving your stumps is a win-win-win!  To get it going, let the stump soak in about a half-inch of water that you should change frequently (every 1 to 2 days). Put it in a sunny spot and in just a few days you’ll start seeing growth. You can keep growing it just like this, but it’s better grown in soil and you can transplant it in your garden after a week.

At The Lakeside Collection, we’re all about saving you money. From ideas for growing a great garden on a budget to brightening your home with products at discount prices, shop Lakeside for all your home improvement essentials.

Spring Planting: 5 Easy-to-Grow Herbs for Your Garden

Spring is here! If you haven’t started digging in your garden, now is the time. If you’re new to gardening and don’t know what to plant, start small and start practically. By “practically,” we mean something you can use — and there are few things you can grow in the garden that are more practical than herbs. With that in mind, here are five easy-to-grow herbs for your garden.

Thyme twigsThyme Thyme is a good source of folate, calcium and dietary fiber. It’s also known to lower blood pressure as well as boost your mood. In the kitchen, it’s popular for our holiday dishes — Thanksgiving probably wouldn’t be the same without it! It brings out the flavor in mushrooms, roasted vegetables and poultry.

Rosemary There’s no shortage of health benefits from rosemary — it’s good for digestion, makes our hair and skin nice as well as boosts our immune system. In the kitchen, it’s fantastic roasted with chicken, infused with oil for salad dressing or it can add a layer of flavor to cocktails. In the garden, rosemary adds a unique aesthetic. It has leaves that are like soft needles with a piney fragrance. That fragrance is very relaxing — studies have shown that it can actually reduce hormones that make us feel on edge and anxious. If you put it on a garden path for people to brush against, it releases its scent to make your garden a sensory oasis.

chivesChives Chives are versatile for cooking — freshly minced, they add bright green to an omelet, give cream cheese a delightful zip or boosts a soup’s freshness. Chives are also rich in dietary fiber, packed with vitamins and an excellent source of folate. While they do so much for our food and bodies, they’re also easy on the eyes. When they’re in bloom, their wisps frame a delicate purple flower that some gardeners use as edging for herbs gardens.

Dill Dill can turn just about anything into a summer treat — mixed with Greek yogurt, it makes a fabulous sauce for grilled chicken, it stamps out bland in egg or potato salad and it’s the perfect addition to savory baked goods like scones. Dill is packed with anti-oxidants, vitamin C and folic acid, so you can’t go wrong by sprinkling it on your meal! In the garden, it’s feathery fronds peak out behind adorable yellow blossoms to add a little brightness to your herbs — it’s also a butterfly magnet!

Basil plant with green leavesBasil Basil is great on pizza, makes pesto perfect and helos a pasta salad stand out. There’s no herb that you’ll use more than basil! Basil is a great source of protein and vitamin E on top of being tasty. Basil plants are bright green and don’t stop growing if they have rich, moist soil and a good six hours of sunshine every day. They’ll be good to plant outside two weeks after the last frost.

Gardening is one of our favorite spring activities at The Lakeside Collection! Whether you’re looking for gadgets to make weeding a little easier or you just want some fun decor to make your yard more lively, shop Lakeside for all your gardening needs.

Lakeside Selection: Products Picks for Spring

There are just a few more days left of winter, but it’s already starting to feel like spring! With that in mind, we’re flipping through The Lakeside Collection catalog and picking out all of our favorite spring items. Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Products Picks for Spring.

youth-hammockRead, listen to music or just enjoy the fresh air on this Youth Hammock with Carry Bag. The sturdy one-seater hangs from a tree branch with a triangular wood bar and rope construction. The carry bag can store the colorful hammock during colder months. Weight limit, 150 lbs. Approx. 23-1/2″W x 18″D x 42-1/2″H, overall. Cotton, polyester and wood. Imported. For ages 6 and up.

drainage-rugSpruce up your porch with the Easy Drainage Outdoor Rug. It features small drain holes that allow water to pass through easily yet are invisible to the naked eye. Great for use on a patio or deck! Soft polyester face with PVC backing for slip resistance. Imported.

 

sheer-tunicWear this Women’s Sheer Summertime Layering Tunic over a tank or cami for extra warmth on chilly spring days and summer nights. The stylish tunic has a fun stripe pattern with a sheer look. The front has a kangaroo pocket and its V-neck has a frayed look along the edges. Polyester, rayon and spandex. Hand wash. Imported.

 

magnet-gemsPerfect for jazzing up your home or the office, this 18-Pc. Colorful Jeweled Magnet Set gives your fridge or file cabinet a dazzling look. It gives you 6 magnets in each of 3 different colors. Each magnet features acrylic accents on a chrome-finished base. Approx. 1-1/2″ dia., each. ABS plastic.

chair-planterCheer up your deck, porch or patio with a Flower Chair Plant Stand. The stand’s sturdy metal frame has a whimsical design with a weathered finish and can easily endure the elements. It holds up to a 7″ potted or artificial plant in the seat of the chair. 9″ sq. x 23-3/4″H. Easy assembly required.

7 Foods That Sound Bad but Are Good for You

Most of us struggle to eat well. It’s tough to include kale in every meal, but really we don’t have to. What’s even better news than that, is that not all food we think is bad for us is unhealthy. Here are 7 foods that sound bad but are good for you.

Rapeseed oil and flowers isolated over white.No Fear Fried Food Fried food not only tastes good, but it’s good for you, too. Sort of. It depends on what is being fried. Something like battered and fried broccoli isn’t so bad despite that it’s cloaked in fat. But foods that contain carotenoids and fat soluble vitamins like A and K need fat it helps the body absorbs the nutrients. What makes the frying bad is the type of fat. It’s better to stick to oils like canola and safflower that are made up of unsaturated fats and monounsaturated fatty acids which improve blood cholesterol levels and decrease your risk for heart disease. The bad fats like butter and shortening (trans fats) should be avoided. They increase cholesterol significantly.

Good Shape Guac The main ingredient of guacamole is avocado which is full of fat but it’s good fat that not only doesn’t contain cholesterol, but it can also help lower bad cholesterol. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin K, folic acid and vitamin E. In addition to avocados, guacamole also contains onions, jalapenos and tomatoes. Tomatoes are widely considered a super-food; they contain lycopene, vitamins A, C and E. Mix it all together and you have a cancer-fighting, heart-disease-battling dip.

Coffee cupCoffee Cure Coffee doesn’t just wake you up in the morning, it can give your brain a boost. It actually stimulates the release of dopamine and norepinephrine as well as improve your memory and cognitive function. But a cup of Joe can give your whole body a kick start as well. The long term benefits may include lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Fitness Fries Sweet potatoes are associated with carbohydrates which can scare away any dieter, but those orange tubers are packed with nutrients and they don’t contain nearly as much starch as rice or corn. Sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium, fiber and vitamin A (and Beta-carotene). Beta-carotene protects the body’s immune system and can lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. While adding fat through deep-frying isn’t ideal, in moderation the benefits outweigh the consequences. However, baked sweet potato fries are just as tasty as the fried ones.

Smoothie Strength Smoothies get a bad rap for being high-calorie sugar shakes, but if you use yogurt instead of ice cream, they won’t be so bad. They can actually be quite good for you. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants which prevents the production of cell-damaging free radicals. They’re also anti-inflammatories. Yogurt promotes intestinal health as it’s full of probiotics and the active cultures help prevent yeast infections. You can add banana for texture and potassium and orange juice as a sweetener and for some vitamin C. Just hit puree and you have a breakfast for cancer to contend with.

Cup Cake decorationPotent Peanut Butter  You got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got peanut butter in my chocolate! Together, they taste like strength. Peanut butter is a protein rich food that helps build and repair muscle. It also has cholesterol-lowering, healthy fats and it’s loaded with anti-oxidants. Wrapped in dark chocolate, this may be the perfect food. Dark chocolate can lower your blood pressure, improve your cognitive function and reduce the risk for stroke. A peanut butter cup made with the right ingredients does a body good.

Robust Rinds Deep fried pig skin. Sounds heart-stopping- deadly, doesn’t it? Well, unlike their potato counterparts, pork rinds contain no carbohydrates. The other good news: the bad fat in the skin is rendered off in the cooking process leaving behind almost pure protein.

Easter: Fun Recipes to Add to Your Holiday Dinner

Easter ham or a leg of lamb are the things we think of when we start planning our Easter dinners. But we don’t always have to follow our traditions. With that in mind, we put together a short list of fun recipes to add to your holiday dinner.tulip-tomatoesSpring Flowers How adorable are these tomato tulips? Surviving a Teacher’s Salary came up with these. And, because she’s a teacher, she’s a master at making things easy AND cute! The most work you have to do is cut the cherry tomatoes to make them look like tulips. From there, you just add the cream cheese filling and stems (chives) and you have an cute little appetizer worthy of an Easter spread.italian-easter-breadBreaking Bread Family dinners almost always include bread. In Italy, on Easter, they serve a sweet bread to showcase one of favorite Easter symbols: eggs. Seeded at the Table put together a step-by-step on how to make the bread to add to the beauty of your Easter table as well as your traditions.carrot-casseroleCarrot Cravings We love to eat carrots at Easter because of the association with the Easter bunny. While roasting or glazing carrots are the traditional methods for cooking carrots for Easter, there are other, more fun ways to serve it. Num’s the Word put together a recipe for carrots that include cheese! Carrots are plenty tasty on their own, but coupled with cheese, your Easter ham may go untouched!easter-pieEaster Pie Italians have a way with holiday food and Easter is no exception! On the Italian menu, you might find Torta Pasqualina (Easter pie). It is NOT a sweet pie, but it’s delicious! It has vegetables, cheese and eggs to cover your basic food groups in one dish! Cooking with Grazia shared her recipe on her blog. It’s a very involved process, but she includes pictures for each step that you can follow.Easter-basket-cookie-cupsDessert At Lakeside, we would NEVER forget dessert — especially not on a holiday! Though there are dozens of unique Easter sweets recipes on the internet to fill the dessert slot, but we picked these Easter Basket Cookie Cups because, well, they’re cute!  Lil’ Luna mixed up this recipe — it’s not much more difficult than making cookies, they just require a little bit more designing.

The Lakeside Collection has ideas and inspiration for all of your holiday entertaining! From Easter decor to ideas for pulling off an awesome Memorial Day cookout, shop Lakeside for great ideas and quality products.

Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Changing Seasons

Today might not feel like it, but change is on the horizon. Soon, the trees will start budding and little blades of grass will be popping up through the snow. We want to flow with all the renewal going on around us, so we picked out a few fun items for the new season. Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Changing Seasons.

spring-cardiThe Women’s Set of 2 Cardigan Wraps is a stylish addition to your wardrobe. Layer these comfortable cardigans over any tank top or dress for a flattering outfit. Each sweater features 3/4-length sleeves and an open front with extra long fabric for a draped effect. The front extensions can also be tied for a classic shawl look. Cotton. Machine care. Imported.

water-balloonsPrepare for an epic water balloon fight in minutes with this 2-pack Bunch O Balloons Water Balloons. Each pack contains 3 hose attachments, each with 35 pre-connected balloons for a total of 210. Add one attachment at a time to your garden hose, turn on the water, and the balloons will fill in seconds. When they’re filled, give the hose a gentle shake and that will tie up the balloons and disconnect them from the attachment. Be sure to do this over a container large enough to catch all the balloons as they drop off. Colors include pink, purple, orange, white, green and blue. Polypropylene and rubber. For ages 3 and up.

drives-of-a-lifetimePack your suitcase, load up the car and head for the open road with Drives of a Lifetime Book. For more than a century, National Geographic has been the best source for savvy travelers. If you’re dreaming of the freedom of the open road, let this book help you turn fantasy into reality. Inside these lavishly illustrated pages, you’ll find routes through the world’s most spectacular landscapes. You’ll also get ideas for quick getaways, journeys of discovery and challenging adventures. Whatever your taste and budget, you’ll find trips aplenty. 9-1/4″W x 12″L. Hardcover, 319 pages.

beach-blanketEnjoy your next picnic with the Hawaiian Beach Quilt with Bag. This vibrant accessory is an essential addition to a day at the beach, lunch in the park or other outdoor activities. This large blanket features a lovely floral print on one side that reverses to a solid color. It’s easily transported in the small matching bag. Beach Quilt, 74″ x 84″. Carrying Bag, 8-1/4″ dia. x 18-7/8″H, with a 9″ strap drop once cinched closed. Polyester. Machine care. Imported.

spring-garden-flagUpdate your outdoor or indoor garden decor throughout the year with the 13-Pc. Monthly Flag Set. This festive set features a flag for each month with lovely artwork and a cheerful greeting. It’s the perfect size to accent any potted or low-growing plant. Polyester and metal.

Pinteresting Picks for February

We can officially start counting down the days until spring — and that’s exactly what out Pinterest followers are doing! You can tell by what they’re pinning. Since we think you’ll like what they like, we gathered their favorite pins for the month. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for February (to get you excited for spring!).

sassy-wine-glassesSip your wine in style with the Sassy Quote Insulated Goblet Tumbler. Whether your reaching for a red or a white, this goblet is an ideal companion for the beach, pool or around the house. It has a no-spill, snap-on lid and straw, as well as a witty quote on the outside. Double-wall insulation keeps your beverage at a refreshing temperature. 12 oz. Plastic. Hand wash.

wood-lantern

This Wood LED Candle Lantern brings a oceanside touch to your home. Can be used indoors or outdoors. It has a wood frame with acrylic panels to withstand the weather. A thick rope handle and shiny stainless steel accents complete the look. The battery-operated plastic LED candle offers the glow of a real candle without the risk of fire or mess of melted wax. A hinged door makes it easy to access the candle. On/off switch. Requires 3 “AAA” batteries. Small, 6-1/2″W x 6-1/4″D x 16-1/4″H, with a 3″ dia. x 4-1/2″H candle. Large, 7-1/2″W x 7-1/4″D x 20″H, with a 3″ dia. x 6″H candle.

kimonoThis Kimono Fashion Scarf adds a feminine layer to any ensemble. It features an all-over floral print and is embellished at the bottom with tassel fringe. It’s lightweight and versatile and can be casually thrown over any outfit to add some easy style. Also works as a cover-up. 39″W x 71″L. Polyester. Imported.

pet-coverProtect your car from pet messes with this Camo Car Seat Cover. It’s perfect for after the dog park, beach or hiking trail. Prevents your pup from getting the dirt from a fun day outdoors on your car’s upholstery. It’s also great for everyday use to protect against shedding. Easy to install with 2 adjustable straps for over the headrests and 2 slots for the seat belts to slip through. 40″W x 56″L. Polyester with a water-resistant backing. Imported.

window-tie-backsA Set of 2 Window Tie-Backs creates a different look for your existing curtains. The design features a circle with a coordinating stick. Gather the curtain in one hand, lay the circle over the front, then push the stick in on one side, behind the curtain and out the other side. Works with any type of fabric without damaging it. Antique-style Bronze or Gold, 7″ dia. with a 10″ stick. Plastic. Thread-covered Chocolate or Ivory, 5-3/4″ dia. with a 7-3/4″ stick. Wooden.

Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Spring Decor

March begins next week and spring is definitely in the air! With the change of seasons upon us, it’s time for a little change in decor. Here’s this week’s Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Spring Decor.

spring-candlesThis lovely Tea Light Candle Garden Set lets you accent a focal point or create a centerpiece in your room or outdoor entertaining space. It comes with 3 spring-inspired candleholders, a coordinating tray and accent stones. Add your own tea lights to the graduated pillars to complete the look. Wooden, glass and metal.

burlap-flowersFill your home with bright flowers year ’round with this Set of 3 Burlap Wildflower Stems. This faux floral set decorates any room with classic country style. Each wire stem is bendable, letting you create a natural looking arrangement. You get 3 stems, which are 4-1/2″ dia. x 34″H, each. Metal.

spring-welcome-matWelcome guests into your home with this brightly colored Themed Welcome Mat. The vibrant colors and warm greeting will enhance your home’s entrance and make it more inviting. The mat will encourage visitors to wipe their feet before entering your home, helping to keep dirt out. Approx. 29-7/8″ x 17-5/8″. Polyester face with PVC backing. Imported.

vintage-throwThis lightweight Quilted Throw and Tote Set is perfect for summer picnics or snuggling on the porch. The tote and throw both feature vermicelli stitching to enhance the quilted look of the cute print. The throw tucks away nicely inside the tote for a portable set that’s easy to store. Polyester with polyfill. Machine care. Imported.

jeweled-flowerAdd visual interest to any room with this beautiful Jeweled Flower Wall Art. This large, 3-D wall sculpture is constructed of shaped metal petals and acrylic gems. The open design lets the background wall color show through. You can also hang it outdoors on a covered porch or patio. Sunflower, 16-5/8″ dia. Chrysanthemum, 17-1/4″ dia. Magnolia, 19″ dia. Assembly required; assembly hardware included. Hook on back for hanging.

 

St. Patrick’s Day: Crafts to Get Your Green On

Winter is on its way out (we hope) and that means that St. Patrick’s Day is just a few weeks away! While it’s too early yet for corned beef and cabbage, it’s not too soon to start fun crafts to celebrate the Irish holiday. Here are few St. Patrick’s Day crafts to get your green on.

pot-o-gold-hatLeprechaun Loot This is probably the most fun craft-turned-party-favor you’ll find for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a leprechaun hat that doubles as a pot of gold! A few plastic food containers, paint, construction paper, and a bag of chocolate gold coins will make you look like a crafting hero and entertainer extraordinaire. For a tutorial, check out Paper Plate and Plane’s blog.

felt-shamrockElegantly Green For easy pinch-protection, a felt shamrock is the go-to embellishment for any outfit! This is another craft that will make use of your heart-making skills. Splendid Amy guides you through a few snips, a couple of stitches and the tiniest bit of hot glue to make the sweetest shamrock to put on a hat, a headband or to wear as a pin! This craft will have you counting down the days to March 17!

3-d-shamrockHoly Trinity If you got a lot of practice cutting out hearts for Valentine’s Day, you’re primed for a fun and easy shamrock craft! Crafty Morning came up with a simple way for children to craft paper into a piece of 3-D art! All you need are green construction paper, glue, scissors and a paper mount for your masterpiece.

shamrock-menShowy Shamrocks If the idea of spring has you feeling a little whimsical, help your little ones change toilet paper rolls into little shamrock men! This will keep their hands and brains concentrated on carving shamrocks out of green construction paper to dress up the cardboard tubes for playful decor on St. Patrick’s day. Follow Sweet and Lovely Crafts detailed instructions for a craft-filled afternoon.shamrock-votive

 

St. Patrick”s Day Glow Extra jars or upcycled glass candle holders can be the object of a delightful St. Patrick’s Day craft! With craft glue and green tissue paper, your shamrocks will give your St. Patrick’s Day decor a warm glow! Mess for Less takes you through each step to make these simple yet classy crafts that children will love to make.

 

shamrock-cardShamrock Salutations For faraway Irish friends, send some shamrock salutations with homemade cards! A heart rubber stamp, glue, glitter, and paint turns a simple piece of paper into a St. Patrick’s Day keepsake for loved ones you want to reach out to on March 17. Child Made Tutorials lays out all of the instructions on how to make a heart into shamrock as well as shows you the sparkling finished product.

shamrock-braceletPlayful Pipe Cleaners When life hands you green pipe cleaners, make shamrocks! Lacy from Catholic Icing twists and shapes pipe cleaners to make adorable favors to hand out on St. Patrick’s Day. To take it a step further, turn the shamrocks into something wearable! Beinglds.blogspot.com has a sweet step-by-step on how to make shamrock bracelets with those pipe cleaners. With these awesome accessories, no one will get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day.

At the Lakeside Collection, we love a good party! Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or the 4th of July, we have ideas and products to help you celebrate every holiday!