Spring Is Almost Here – Get Your Garden Ready Now!

Planter

Planning can make all the difference between a garden that blooms and one that falls flat. Check out these great tips to jumpstart your spring and summer garden to enjoy produce and flowers all season long!

Start Composting

The first step for any garden begins with the soil. Soil quality is the single most important aspect of any garden, especially organic home vegetable gardens. You can easily upgrade your soil quality with a little homemade compost, and it is virtually free! All you need is a big trashcan, yard waste, and food waste from the kitchen. Make sure this combination has plenty of air, warmth, and is regularly mixed.

Make a Blueprint

Remember what you did last year? Did it work? Did you like how it looked? Draw up a blueprint of what you did last year and make appropriate and necessary changes for this season. Figure out the best way your flowers, bushes, vegetables, and fruits grow in your designated area by looking at last year’s notes and doing a little research online. Once you’ve compiled all the information, you can create a final blueprint for this year’s garden!

Add Garden Accessories

What garden is complete without garden accessories? Stock up on wind chimes, garden statues, benches, and more to really spruce up your garden this year. Tuck a funny little garden gnome in between bushes, or place a cute statue in the center of your flowerbed. Find fun and interesting accessories you love and place them creatively around your outdoor area!

Start Plants Indoors

If you really want to kick-start your spring 2014 garden, check out which of your planned plants can be started indoors. Some plant perform best when started in a pot indoors, while others need a lot of space for roots to take hold. You can start small with herbs, lettuces, and peppers, and see what other produce and flowers you can fit inside before the season officially begins.

Upgrade Your Gear 

One of the most excited parts of any project is the chance to upgrade some of your older tools and outfits! Now is the time to start thinking about those new gardening gloves, that old leaky hose, and the rusted wheelbarrow. Take inventory of your tools and gear and start looking for replacements for items that won’t last another season. Treat yourself to comfort items like kneepads and waterproof gardening pants, and consider upgrading from your old baseball cap to a full-coverage sun hat to keep sunburn at bay!

Home Organization 101

The start of a new year always feels refreshing, and it’s a time we all feel extra motivated to get our lives on track. Organization is one of the keys to a comfortable and successful year, so we’ve got you covered with these great tips to help you get started on a more organized life.

Organize-pegboard

Identify Clutter Culprits

Whether you’re a Feng Shui fan or not, we can all agree that a cluttered home can feel much more cramped and demotivating than an organized one. Start by identifying the areas of your home that are prone to attracting clutter, such as the entryway, the laundry room, your dresser, or the kids’ play area. If you’re low on space, think outside the box a little with hanging organizers, or repurpose items meant for a different part of the house.

Use Magnets For Small Objects

Sure, that fridge of yours might be a bit of an eyesore, with all the random magnets and yellowing receipts you saved so you could return something, but magnets don’t have to be the problem. You can use a magnetic strip in your bathroom to organize small metal items like bobby pins and nail clippers, or as a place on the fridge to organize your spices. (TIP: Use old baby food jars for spice organization by placing the lid-side against the metal fridge.) You can even use a magnetic tin rack in the bathroom to organize these items, which is even better than the strip because the tins will hold non-metal items as well, including hair clips and bands, studded earrings, cotton swabs, lip gloss and more.

Get Cords and Cables Out of Sight

Cords and cables are a huge contributor to a messy home, but luckily people all over the web have come up with hundreds of ways to keep them organized and out of site. You can roll them up nicely and organize them in toilet paper rolls, or clamp an office clip to the edge of a table or nightstand and run your charger cord through the end, letting it rest perfectly in sight without falling to the ground or getting tangled.

Another option when using a surge protector for multiple electronics, such as behind the television or under the desk, is to mount the surge protector in an accessible area, then wrap up the slack cords and secure them with a rubber band. Everything will stay organized and out of sight. Finally, if you have no good way to hide a messy surge protector in furniture, get a decorative cube box with a lid (wooden looks good) and cut a hole in the back. Place the surge protector inside and run all cables through the back hole. This is great for cube storage entertainment systems or standing desks.

Hang More Things

Do you have too many earrings and necklaces to fit in your jewelry box? We all know they’ll just turns into one big metal knot, with you heading to the store to stock up on more necklaces and dangly earrings. Instead, organize them by hanging them individually on a mesh jewelry holder or a large metal rack. You can also use this as a place to store decorative items like photos, as well as useful things like coupons and receipts. Another option for hanging is a pegboard. You can get numerous hooks to organize anything from kitchen utensils, pots, and pans, to outdoor garden tools, power tools, and anything you keep in your garage. They’re also great for hanging brooms and mops, or organizing your laundry room.

Buy More Space

No, this doesn’t mean you need a bigger home, it just means you should be willing to spend a little money on organization sometimes. Sure, if you’re great at DIY projects, you can make most organizers, but those of us who attract clutter also have a tendency to procrastinate on projects (which is where a lot of that clutter comes from). Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and spend a little time online or make a trip to one of those amazing stores with organization ideas for everything. With the right inspiration, you can double your home’s storage space and free up the kitchen table for things like eating together as a family.

Image Source: Brit.co

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

electric pet matIt’s time for Lakeside’s favorites, and we’re focusing on those last-chance winter items that everybody loves. Sure, things are warming up to a balmy, um, 8 degrees Fahrenheit across the Northeast, so most of us are still freezing! While you’re thinking about those ice-cold toes and noses, check out these great winter items at crazy discounts.

Electric Thermo Pet Mat

If you’re cold, your pet probably is too! Which is why we absolutely adore these heated pads for your pooch. The mat is reversible and the cover is removable and washable.  It’s basically a heated blanket for your cat or dog, and a great way to keep them warm for the remainder of the winter.

 

fleece sheetsFleece Sheet Sets

Have you ever slept in fleece sheets? You think it’s going to be excessively warm and maybe too static-y, but you are wrong! They’re so soft and warm and cozy that you will have no trouble falling asleep on even the chilliest of nights. You might not want to get out of bed in the morning, but that’s a separate issue. Seriously, snag some fleece sheets before winter ends and you’ll never be cold at night again!

 

Women’s Hooded Contrast Trim Jackets 

Warm coats are a must-have item for the winter season, but it’s pretty difficult to find a fashionable coat that’s actually warm and cozy. Then you’re layering sweaters and cardigans and scarves under your leather bomber jacket wondering how you’ll be able to move your arms for the rest of the evening. That’s why we really love these women’s hooded jackets. They’re cute and fitted, making them a great day or night coat, but they’re so warm and cozy you can even wear them lounging around the house.

 

footed pajamasWomen’s Licensed Footed Pants

These are just FUN. And everybody needs a little fun! When it comes to bedtime, they’re not the most practical pajama pants, because who wants to sleep in slippers, but if you’re lounging on a Sunday afternoon, there’s nothing better. They’re like footie pajamas you can wear to go get the mail and they’re amazing. Who doesn’t want a pair of pants with slippers attached? Now is the best time to investigate these slipper-sweats as retailers start swapping over to spring styles.

Cable Knit Slippers

And these are for the men and women who can’t get behind the awesome footed pants. You want to wear slippers with your jeans, and we get that. We haven’t left you in the lurch though. These cable knit slippers are super cozy and they’ve got rubber soles, meaning you can actually wear them to the grocery store or that morning yoga class. It’s okay, we won’t judge!

 

Lakeside Selection: Our Weekly Favorites

Jewelry adds panache to any outfit, but it often has a deeper symbolic meaning that makes it even more precious. A wedding band’s unbroken circle, the timeless sparkle of a diamond engagement ring or a locket worn close to your heart is more than just jewelry; it’s a declaration of love. This week, take a look at what else you can say with jewelry when you shop the Lakeside Collection.

watch

Clip watches are popular with anyone who needs to keep her hands free. These Stone Inspirational Clip Watches combine the practicality of a clip with the natural beauty of stone. Each stone coordinates with the watch face and has a deeper meaning attached to it. Choose rose quartz to symbolize love, turquoise for protection, purple amethyst for calm or elegant onyx for strength. The back of each watch bears the inspirational message the stone signifies, giving you a psychological or spiritual lift whenever you check the time. Perfect for teachers and nurses, these watches feature a sweeping second hand and a sturdy carabiner clip.Not every message your jewelry sends has to have a deep meaning.

NFL-watch

Wear your NFL team affiliation on your sleeve with Lakeside’s NFL Watch and Wallet Gift Set. These officially licensed watches feature your team’s logo in full color across the watch face and a sporty leather-look strap in stylish black. Handsome silver-tone finishing on the watch bezel and buckle goes with anything from a team jersey to your favorite dress shirt. This set would be a great gift if it were just the watch, but with the bi-fold team logo wallet included, it’s a fantastic present for commemorating a playoff run, celebrating Valentine’s Day or marking a favorite fan’s next birthday.

Birthstone-necklace

Charm jewelry carries many different meanings as unique as the one who wears it. This gorgeous Cupcake Birthstone  Necklace features a lucky birthstone as its focal point, but the other sweet charms make it even more special.The cupcake represents a celebration to honor your birth. The 15-inch chain has a secure clasp and an extender to make it versatile enough to work with any neckline. Whether you wear it with a jewel neck, a turtleneck or your favorite T-shirt, it always makes a beautiful statement.

Family-bracelet

What could be more meaningful than the names of the people closest to you? Lakeside’s Personalized Family Bracelet has room for six linked names to encircle your wrist in sleek stainless steel, gold-tone or black. A generous 8 inches long, the bracelet will drape gracefully on the wrist and complement any ensemble. A genuine one-point diamond accentuates the bracelet’s clasp, adding a touch of sparkle to a deeply meaningful piece of family jewelry.

Whether your jewelry tells a story about yourself, your family or your favorite team, what you wear speaks volumes. With Lakeside’s jewelry collection, you’re never at a loss for something beautiful to say with your accessories.

Lakeside Collections: Our Weekly Favorites

This week we’ve compiled a list of four items for a room that sometimes needs the most help: The bathroom. We’ve come up with four of our favorite items that will help you keep the room you get clean in, clean and cozy. Because the last thing you want in your bathroom, is the feeling of being some white-walled sterile operation room.

Toliet-paper-holder

Our first item is the Toilet Roll Storage Stand. Never have that worrisome moment again where you’re not sure how many rolls are left, or where they are stored, or worse, if there’s any left at all. With this handy stand, you’ll always know when you need a refill. Also the chrome finish lends a modern finish to your bathroom.

Bath-mat

The bathtub can get slippery. So bathmats are always a good idea, especially if you have children. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be a boring white, or beige color that’s eventually going to show all of the dirt that gets washed away. Our Microfiber Tub Mats provide great suction so that they’ll stay in place. And these won’t cause mildew or store an odor. Typical bathmats are made of don’t stay in place, and therefore are susceptible to bacteria build-up underneath. Take advantage of a bathmat that won’t get your kids or pets sick and will match the décor you have in place. Add some color and personality to your bathroom with these mats, and have peace of mind knowing that everyone is safe.

Soap-dispenser

The Kountry Krystal Soap Dispenser is another great way to add some personality to your bathroom. With its homey, vintage vibe, this soap dispenser will give your bathroom a cozy feel.These pieces are perfect for the holidays and if you are going to have any guests over at your place. The vintage of appeal comes from its resemblance to a jar and its country feel.

Santa-toilet-cover

There are a lot of ways to decorate your home. Most people look to decorate their tree and stay away from anything not related to their family rooms and outdoor areas. However, for those extra festive folks, it can be amazing to take the decorations into the bathroom as well! This festive, fun santa toilet seat is sure to be a simple delight to all of your guests, and a source of joy for all of your family. The design fits just about any type of toilet, and was built for standard toilets. Also, it is a perfect addition to kid-friendly décor. Set them up in any bathroom in your house and listen to their reactions

Take time to decorate one of the smallest, yet most important rooms in your house. That’s one of the best ways to celebrate the holidays, friends, and family during this month. The bathroom décor trends you set this month can carry out throughout the next year and set the theme and tone for 2014. As we wrap up this year, make sure to take advantage of the opportunities to come up with some of your own great bathroom décor.

 

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

About 50 million people will travel to visit friends and family over the Thanksgiving weekend. While the celebration is great once you get there, the trip home isn’t always as much fun, especially if you have antsy kids in the car. This week, we have some suggestions to make travel easier on you and your family. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, you’ll find these travel-ready items to be must-haves for future holiday trips. Christmas isn’t far off, and you’ll be glad you prepared for the drive!

snack-trayChildren need to stay in car seats for safety’s sake, but being strapped in with nothing to do can be dull – and a bored kid is a cranky kid. With this On-the-Go Fun and snack tray, your little ones have their own personal play space for toys, books, art or whatever tickles their fancy. The soft foam sides keep everything on the tray, and it attaches easily and safely to any standard car seat. It’s also ideal for keeping crackers and raisins from tumbling out of a child’s hands and under the seats, so it keeps your car cleaner for the next trip you take.

NFL-CoolerFootball and Thanksgiving are synonymous in many households, so why not show your team spirit while on the road with Coleman® Coolers for your next long drive? The soft-sided case readily folds for easier storage when you reach your destination while its insulated sides keep sodas, juice and water cool for hours. For game-day parties when you know you’ll be staying put, it’s also great for beer and other chilled drinks. Stow sandwiches, coleslaw or anything else that needs to be kept cool in the case if you don’t need room for two dozen cans. A shoulder strap makes transporting the nylon case convenient, and the stylish case’s gray body sets off any team’s colors beautifully. At Lakeside’s prices, you can get two or three and have the perfect gift for the NFL fan who has everything.

auto-tredsOne of the best gifts you can give yourself or someone you love fits in the trunk of a car. These Snow Escape Auto Treads could mean the difference between being stuck in snow for hours and getting out quickly. Unlike kitty litter or boards, the Snow Escape tracks take up almost no space in your car’s trunk. The set of two treads is just the right size to fit behind a tire and supply the traction your wheels need to get out of the snow or ice and back onto the road safely. Made of sturdy plastic, the 26-inch treads are reusable yet take up almost no space in your car because of their flat design. Make winter driving safer for you and everyone else on your holiday shopping list this season. At these prices, you can afford to give every driver you know a stocking-stuffer.

Whether you’re coming back from a Thanksgiving reunion with the folks, going to the office Christmas party or taking off for a well-deserved vacation, having these travel necessities will make your trip a more pleasant one.

Lakeside Selection: Our Weekly Favorites

Now that November is here, it’s sweater weather for everyone, including your beloved pets. When you’re chilly, you can pull on a pair of favorite socks or adjust the thermostat, but your pets have to rely on their own fur and feathers to stay warm. This week, we’re taking a look at ways you can pamper your pooch and coddle your kitty with a holiday-friendly twist.

Pet-cave

As anyone who has ever enjoyed sharing a blanket with a pet can tell you, cats and dogs gravitate to enclosed areas. They like to feel protected on all sides, a habit left over from the wild when they looked for hollow logs or small caves to use as dens. Dragging a hollow log into your home isn’t really practical, but this adorable Santa’s Hat Pet Cave gives dogs or cats the protected nest they crave with a little holiday whimsy for you. For cats, the Santa’s hat bed is even more fun; the pom-pom attachment makes an irresistible toy for playful kittens. The red velveteen fabric readily sheds pet hair while the fleecy base has extra cushioning to keep your pet cozy on chilly winter nights. This Santa-themed pet bed is cute enough to be a decoration all by itself, but with your pet’s sweet, furry face at the opening, it’s too adorable to miss.

Pet-sweater-set

Even with a fur coat, pets sometimes need an extra layer or two to stay warm. When it’s snowy outside, keep your pet cozy on walks with this merry striped hat and sweater set. Ideal for short-haired and medium-haired dogs, the machine-washable set has a soft fleece lining and stripes of red, green and white. The matching hat has a sweet pom-pom top and a comfortable elastic strap to hold it secure and protect delicate ears from chilly weather. Long-wearing acrylic is dye-fast and water resistant to help keep your pup comfortable even when sleet or snow is falling. Make walks more fun for you and your pet with extra protection from the cold. Available in small, medium and large, it also fits cats, although not all of them will be as fond of hats as the Dr. Seuss character.

Stuffing-free-dog-toys

Pets don’t always pay much attention to the holidays unless they’re smelling a turkey in the oven or attempting to sneak treats during parties, but they always appreciate new toys. This Christmas, give your pet this set of Stuffing-Free Dog Toys and enjoy playtime without the worry of sending stuffing bits flying. In Santa, reindeer and snowman themes, the toys have squeaky inserts in the tops and feet, giving your dog another reason to love these colorful characters. Each polyester fabric toy has a fleecy exterior that’s easy for you to clean and is appealing for dogs to chew. The only stuffing you want your guests to see is the kind that goes with the turkey, so choose these un-stuffed fabric toys for your pet’s Christmas celebration.

Even if you don’t have pets, you’ll warm the hearts of people who do when you think of their furry friends this holiday season. Everything in this week’s collection also makes a fantastic gift, so surprise someone with a little something for the family pet.

Lakeside Selection: Our Weekly Favorites

Although October’s usual colors are black and orange for Halloween, we’re thinking pink for this week’s Lakeside Selection. There’s a perfect pink for every skin tone, and it looks equally good on a little girl’s ribbons or on Helen Mirren’s hair. Sweet, approachable pink is the color of romance, blushes and strawberry cupcakes. Someone who feels wonderful is said to be in the pink of health. The rosy color brings a sense of well-being to everyone who sees it. If you have a passion for this lovely color too, take a look at our favorites of the week and see which ones tickle you pink!

Pink-Sheet-Set

Because it’s a universally flattering hue, pink linens for your bed are great for anyone who wants to wake up feeling beautiful. A pale ballet-slipper pink is sophisticated; a bright pink is cheery. These Pretty in Pink bedsheet sets have touches of pink in printed motifs that have lots of personality. Choose from mellow peace signs, elegantly stylized acanthus leaves or sunny ’60s-style flowers. These pretty sheet sets go well with a pink comforter, but they’re versatile enough to work with other hues or neutrals too. Each Lakeside Selection set includes a fitted sheet and a flat sheet in twin, full and queen sizes.

Scarf-with-Pendant

The Pink Ladies from “Grease” knew it, and so do we; pink and black is a winning combination. Sweet pink takes on a little bit of an edge when you pair it with black, and that contrast always looks sensational. If you’re as enamored of this perfect partnership as we are, you’ll love matching a pendant fashion scarf in pink with your favorite black sweater — or try it in black with your favorite pink top. Either way, it’s a supremely flattering color match-up that looks right for any occasion. With these pendant scarves, you won’t need any other jewelry; the dramatic pendant makes enough of a statement by itself. When you want a more casual look, take off the removable pendant and wear your scarf with jeans.

Tapestry-Throw

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink ribbon loop has become synonymous with breast cancer awareness and support, and you’ll find it gracing many items in the Lakeside Collection. One we especially love is this soft, warm tapestry throw that features words of strength and inspiration. The washable cotton-polyester blend feels cozy on chilly October nights while warming hearts with its message of support for breast cancer survivors and their families. This throw is more than just a beautiful household accent; a portion of the manufacturer’s sales of each throw will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and assist in searching for a cure. Buy it for yourself to show your passion for the cause or give it to someone special to show your support.

Be in the pink this October and enjoy its sweet romance in your wardrobe and home decor. Whether you wear it to proclaim your support for breast cancer research or just happen to love this cheerful hue, pink is perfect for fall.

Weekly Lakeside Favorites: Light Fixtures

As fall days are growing shorter, we thought this would be the perfect week to shine the spotlight on lighting. From candle accents that add a warm glow to your home to task lighting that lets you see every detail clearly, the right lighting choices illuminate your life. We’re showcasing some of our year-round favorites this week, but don’t forget the special place holiday lighting plays in your seasonal decor. You’ll find a wealth of ways to light it up with Lakeside!

Led-Tealights
Be the star at your next backyard gathering or dinner party with these twinkling Hanging Star Candle Holders. Available in red, green and gold, these antiqued metal and glass holders hang suspended from decorative chains for a celestial effect in any indoor or outdoor space. They’re unlike conventional light fixtures yet they are enchanting when hung from tree branches for an evening garden party or in windows for a festive touch. The holders open in the back and can fit standard tea lights or LED everlasting candles with ease. Each star is 10 inches wide, so they’re large enough to make a dramatic statement by themselves or in groupings of two or three. Choose a single favorite shade or create a beautiful play of hues with stars in all three vibrant colors.

Magnifier-Floor-Lamp
Lighting takes a practical turn when you use our illuminated floor stand magnifier lamp for everything from detailed hand sewing to reading small print with ease. The stand adjusts for easy positioning while its flexible gooseneck design lets you bend and tilt the generous magnifying lens anywhere you need it. A dozen bright white LEDs on the back of the magnifier’s frame cast clear, shadow-free light on your craft project or art, letting you see every detail. Perfect for miniature painters, embroiderers, fine artists and avid readers, this stand-alone frame lets you keep both hands free while sharpening your vision. The screen is lightweight acrylic, so it’s easy to move and reposition. Once you see how much of a difference glare-free lighting and magnification makes to your next project, you will wonder how you did without this craft essential.

Adjustable-Wall-Lamp
In your master bedroom, guest room or den, light fixtures can be both pretty and practical when you choose our exclusive adjustable wall lamp. Clean-lined, contemporary styling goes with any decor, and the lamp height adjusts to fit over your bed, sofa or favorite easy chair. The graceful curve of the lamp’s metal body ends in a classic white shade for maximum light with no glare or eye strain. Because they mount to the wall, these lamps free valuable real estate on end tables and nightstands, giving you more room for decorative objects, books or a glass of water. Each individual light fixture accepts up to a 40-watt bulb and casts plenty of light for reading, crafting or sewing.

With the right lighting, shorter days feel warm and bright even as the weather turns cooler. Let Lakeside light up your life with essential task lighting, light fixtures, practical reading lamps and decorative candles to create special effects throughout your home!

Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas

Quick-LunchWhether you’re packing a meal for the kids, brown-bagging it to the office or looking for something tasty to make at home, lunch doesn’t have to be a big production to be delicious. Too often, you might skip lunch to save time or money, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired by mid-afternoon. Your body needs fuel for the latter half of the day, and a wholesome lunch is essential. With some planning, you can enjoy varied, healthful and delicious lunches that won’t take a big bite out of your budget or your busy day.

If you think of the typical brown bag lunch as a soggy sandwich and a limp salad, think again. New ideas in portability and temperature control keep foods separate until you assemble your fresh sandwich or salad at your desk. Crisp lettuce, juicy tomato slices and crunchy bacon are perfect on a couple of thick-cut slices of bread, and with the Lunch Cube, you can enjoy a fresher BLT. Each cube has a larger compartment for bread and three smaller sections for toppings and sides. Store the container in the refrigerator or in an insulated tote until it’s time for lunch; then, relish a sandwich as fresh as one you’d make at home.

When making sandwiches, get creative with your fillings, spreads and breads to keep them from becoming ho-hum. Mustard and mayonnaise always work, but if you’re ready for a healthy change, try spreading your bread with hummus or Greek tzatziki. Sweet flavors go well with some sandwich fillings, too; a few slices of last night’s roast pork, for example, take on new depth with a thin layer of tangy mango chutney or cranberry relish. Pita bread, focaccia rounds or sandwich wraps also give your lunches more range without costing you extra effort.Sandwiches offer great convenience, but they aren’t the only option for lunch.

Salads are another delicious choice, and they can be as light or as hearty as you like. A fully loaded chef’s salad with eggs and sliced cold cuts is substantial; a green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing is refreshing. Keeping ingredients separate until just before eating is key to making a great lunch salad. Pack everything the night before and store it in the tote you’ll be taking to work or school for an easy, rush-free morning. An insulated lunch totewith divided compartments is a perfect travel companion.

The best salads have a range of textures and tastes, so think about how flavors will play off one another in the finished salad. If you use a creamy dressing, choose crunchy toppings that will stand up to it. A salad with salty cheese benefits from a few sweet bites such as slivers of pear or dried berries. Did you recently enjoy a taco night? Save some of the meat for a lunch salad the next day. These tortilla bowl bakers give it an authentic touch.Great lunches start with creativity. By using what you already have in your kitchen in novel ways and storing everything properly so that it remains fresh by noon, you can be the envy of your lunchroom.

Image Credit: homemadesimple.com