Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

We are so glad that you have stopped by for a visit! We encourage you to look through some of the great posts shared by our readers and then take the time to read those that interest you. If you are adding to our list, thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us. It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings. We hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us.

 

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Sandra at Clearwater Farm – Facebook – Pinterest – Instagram

Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook
PinterestTwitter

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

Our most-visited post from last week’s hop was:
Canning Tips & Tricks

 

 Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.



Nancy On The Home Front

 

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.


Let’s start hopping!


home additionsIf you want to put your property on top of the list, you need to be willing to make the necessary adjustments and renovations. This, in essence, means additional investment. If you are on a tight budget, you’d want to make sure your money goes to the right projects.

 

For that to happen, you need to know what home additions can actually pay off. To help you out, below are some ideas you can consider.

Extra bathroom

Having an additional bathroom in your home just before putting it on sale can definitely add to its value. However, if you want to make sure your investment pays off, you have to be strategic when it comes to the placement of your extra bathroom. If you are unsure about it, you can consult a professional. It can entail a few more dollars, but it’ll help you plan properly.

 

If the budget can’t accommodate professional help, then consider setting up an extra bathroom for every floor you have at home. You can remodel an existing space or expand it. In case a full bathroom isn’t possible, a small washroom will do.

Central heating

Getting a central heating might sound like a luxury. But, in reality, it’s actually one of the things buyers look for.

 

A central heating system does a more efficient job in maintaining your desired temperature at home. It’s also a lot safer, compared to space heaters. In addition to these benefits, it can also save you money in the long run.

 

While you are upgrading your system, it’s a good idea to assess your property and fix anything that can make your heating system a lot less effective. Make sure to seal off drafts in your doors and windows and replace your windows as necessary.

Porch furniture

A lot of people focus on their home’s’ interior when upgrading and remodeling. This often causes them to overlook one of the most important areas that can attract buyers- the exterior. To boost your property’s value, you have to make them feel really excited and eager to get inside.

 

One good way to do that is to consider your home’s curb appeal. Add a furniture in your porch that will complement the overall look of your home. Make the area look as inviting and welcoming as possible.

 

You can also add a few plants, mow the lawn and trim any overgrown bushes. Having dead trees in your lawn will never add value to your home.

 

Storage space

Not having enough storage space in your home can actually put off buyers. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, utilize every space as possible. Repurpose understairs space, the area above your sink and the concealed spots in your corridors. The more space you can offer, the more it can positively affect your home’s value.

 

Apart from building more storage space, you also have to know how to properly stage them. Depersonalize the spaces as much as possible. Take off your personal items, such as your clothes, pictures and toiletries, to help potential buyers identify with the house. Don’t fill them up, too. Leave them empty or half empty so buyers can easily see how much space they can work with once they made the move.

Home security system

Comfort isn’t the only thing buyers look for in a house. They also consider security.

 

If your home doesn’t have an existing system yet, now is probably the right time to consider getting one. However, before you actually purchase or sign up for a home security system, it’s a good idea to scout for the best one first.

 

Since you’ll be selling your home, you should consider the systems’ flexibility. You should be able to transfer its ownership to the buyer easily. Apart from that, consider the payment terms, too.

 

The right system for your home should be easy to operate. You should be able to show potential buyers how the sensor works, how to properly set them up and how to control the system with ease.

 

And while you are upgrading your security, think about getting a carbon monoxide and smoke detector as well. Your potential buyer will appreciate that you’re taking security and safety seriously. Plus, it’ll give you peace of mind, too, knowing that your property will stay safe even if it’s already in the hands of a new owner.

New door

One of the first things potential buyers will notice when they see your home is your front door. If your existing one looks worn out, outdated or its paint is already fading and chipping, you aren’t likely to seal a deal.

 

To make your home more welcoming, consider getting a new door. One that’s made from steel or fiberglass makes a great option since they last longer and are more secure. They are also more energy efficient and doesn’t require a lot of work to maintain.

 

Get a new garage door, too. It’s an easy and cheap investment but it can elevate the look of your property. It can also make you feel more secure.

 

Old garage doors, particularly those that work with fixed codes, are relatively vulnerable to burglars. They can sit outside your garage and decipher your code without you noticing them. Old garage doors that work with chain drives are noisy, too. They won’t only be unattractive to your potential buyers but they can also annoy your neighbors.

 

Author’s Bio:

 

Specializing in reviewing top home security systems, Rose Cabrera spends most of her time testing systems after systems. When not working, you’ll find her hanging out with her little dogs.

For many of us, the garden is a relaxing place where we can go to get a little peace and quiet. However… there is such thing as a garden being too quiet.

 

The truth is that a generic garden design, while it may provide classic comforts, can also make the appeal of a yard wear off really quickly. On the other hand, a yard that excites and invites has the power to lure you outdoors to actually enjoy the space more often.

 

That’s why I believe that a yard is a place to play with color and design, to create a bold and irresistible space. Here are 5 easy ideas that will amp up your garden design:

 

High-contrast mulch

 

The difference between a polished landscape and a slapdash affair is often the mulch. With mulch, you can create an amazing contrasting color on the ground, which sets off your foliage to great advantage. Some of the most popular mulches are a mild brown so that they don’t change the look of the yard much. However, choosing a dark brown/black or a vivid reddish color can give your yard more sense of dimension and provide the perfect frame to offset a statement plant that you’ve thoughtfully incorporated into your yard.

 

As an added bonus, using mulch in your yard has numerous significant benefits, offering more nutrition and protection for delicate plants.garden design

 

A statement wall

 

Statement walls are one of the most recent trends in garden design. While there are many ways to decorate your statement wall, the easiest way to make it a showpiece is to cover it with a strong, eye-catching color. After that, you can place potted plants in front of it, hang plants in sconces on it, or add some traditional decorative elements like ironwork or mirrors.

 

Statement walls make a great anchor for your outdoor living space. Simply putting a bench or some outdoor chairs in front of it will make it the main stage of your yard.

 

If an entire wall full of a bold color feels like too much for you, consider using bright colors on yard accessories instead. A bench, some pots, a fountain, or even pavers can have surprise pops of color that will draw the eye. You might even choose to use a section of your fencing as something of a “statement wall” and hang plants on it or install elements below it to make it more decorative. See this article for more ideas.garden design

 

Arbors

 

I love so many things about arbors. For one thing, they give a really classic twist to a yard, hearkening back to days of Italian villas and the gentry taking a turn in the garden. They also offer natural shade. However, the best thing about them design-wise is that they allow you to bring color up above the ground level. Many of our flowers populate the ground, but arbors allow us to put entrancing splashes of red, purple, and yellow up to eye level. Try planting roses or wisteria at the base of your arbor and give the flowers time to climb. If you want less aggressive vines, you might also try out sweet pea or morning glory.garden design

 

Empty space

 

One of the most important elements of design is white space. This means that not every corner has to be full of something. Instead, judicial use of blank spaces makes the words or pictures that you do have more impactful. The same principle can apply for your yard. Not every single space has to be occupied. However, consider the fact that your “blank space” in a yard isn’t going to be blank: it will instead have neutral elements, like mulch, grass, or paving. Use these spaces to best effect by subduing them in response to other features nearby, or including subtle elements that give more texture and contrast to the overall impression.

 

Unique showpiece plants

 

There are some plants that might be considered the divas of the plantae kingdom. They bring their own drama; all you have to do is give them a chance to shine. Here are some ideas:

 

  • Allium: These tall purple globe flowers look like something straight out of Dr. Seuss.
  • Sunflowers: Certain species of sunflowers grow at a ridiculous rate, and dominate a space with their generous yellow blossoms.
  • Firework pennisetum: This decorative grass looks very much like other decorative grasses… except that it’s red! It looks just like its namesake, bursting to life in otherwise dull corners of your yard.
  • Spider mums: These expansive flowers will put the average petunia to shame, bringing interesting shapes and colors to any flower bed where you decide to include them.
  • Bird of Paradise: These plants do best in warm climes, but if you can manage to grow one in your zone, you’ll soon learn where the name comes from.
  • Guest post by: Christine H.

 

Veggie FlatbreadVeggie Flatbread

I’m always looking for tasty, quick dinners. Finding a quick dinner that is both delicious and healthy is a win-win. This Grilled Veggie Flatbread fits the bill; you use a pre-made crust and load it with whatever veggies are in season. The flatbread is spread with a mixture of ricotta and herbs and then topped with your vegetables. The flatbread can then be cooked on a grill or in your oven. Before serving top the flatbread with arugula or spinach and a little Parmesan. We enjoyed half for dinner and ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. I’m already looking forward to having it again with a different mixture of vegetables!Veggie Flatbread

 

Grilled Veggie Flatbread

 

Ingredients:

 

¾ cup Ricotta cheese

½ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives, divided

¼ tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 12 inch refrigerated unbaked whole grain flatbread crust

2 Tbsp. olive oil, dived

1 small bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 can artichokes hearts in water, drained and patted dry.

1 tomato, thinly sliced

3 cups baby arugula or spinach

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

 

Preheat your oven to 425 or prepare your grill for indirect grilling. In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, basil, 2 Tbsp. olives, black pepper and pepper flakes. Place the flatbread o a baking sheet and brush with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the top.

 

Arrange the bell pepper, artichoke hearts, tomato and remaining olives over the ricotta on the flatbread. Bake on the baking sheet or place directly on the unheated side of the grill. Bake or grill until the flatbread is crisp on the bottom and the vegetables are heated, about 12-15 minutes.Veggie Flatbread

 

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. Olive oil and top with the Parmesan cheese. Cut into 8 wedges and serve. Makes 4 servings.Veggie Flatbread The original recipe can be found on cleaneating.com.

 

Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

We are so glad that you have stopped by for a visit! We encourage you to look through some of the great posts shared by our readers and then take the time to read those that interest you. If you are adding to our list, thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us. It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings. We hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us.

 

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Sandra at Clearwater Farm – Facebook – Pinterest – Instagram

Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook
PinterestTwitter

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

Our most-visited post from last week’s hop was:
On Demand Water Heater, the good, the bad and th- WHY IS THE WATER COLD!?

 

My Favorite Post:
Fresh Strawberry No Churn Ice Cream

 

 

 Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.



Nancy On The Home Front

 

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.


Let’s start hopping!


Have you noticed fewer bees in your garden recently? If so, then you’re not the only one. Bee populations of pretty much all kinds are in decline all over the world, and this could spell disaster for the long term health of our planet. This might sound a bit drastic, but when you consider just how important bees are to the pollination of so many plants, trees, fruits and vegetables, it could become an incredibly serious issue.

 

So what is it that’s causing our bees so much hassle? There are a few things really. Habitat destruction, disease and parasites (like the varroa mite) are three common problems, but one of the main causes of declining bee populations has been shown to be a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short.

 

Neonics are used to treat pests on crops, plants, turf, etc, but they’re also incredibly harmful to bees. The pesticides (of which there are several types) affect every part of the plant, including pollen and nectar, so when a bee comes along to visit, it also becomes effected.

 

And these neonics do not agree with bees at all. They have a dramatic effect on their homing ability, breeding, memory, foraging skills, and more, eventually leading to their death. Some types of neonics have been banned in parts of Europe and the UK, but there are still some types being used, and many countries around the world have no restrictions on them at all.

 

The following infographic from Sun Leisure delves a bit deeper into the issue of neonics, detailing what and why they’re used, how they affect bees, and what some of the alternatives might be. It also looks at just how important bees are to us and the huge effect their extinction would have on the world.

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