Category Archives: home

How to Start an Emergency Preparedness Kit

In Louisiana, the main weather event we have to be prepared for every year is hurricane season.  This lasts from June to November.  But, due to the nature of the weather we have been having all across the nation, I thought it would be a good idea to write about how to put together an emergency preparedness kit that will help you in a variety of situations.  I should note that this is based on my experiences from the last time we had a severe tropical storm that cut our power out for several days.  The list I am writing will help get you started but it’s highly open to customization.  For another option, you can purchase ready made kits from companies such as My Patriot Supply.

  • Bottled water, at least 2 gallons.  Add more if you will need it to make formula for infants.
  • Canned food that will be in date for the next 2-3 years
  • A manual can opener
  • Matches or lighter
  • A radio for hearing weather updates.  A weather radio is recommended since sometimes signals for broadcast radio stations can go down in strong winds.  A weather radio will ensure you can hear what’s going on at all times since it doesn’t use those broadcast stations.
  • Flashlights
  • A lantern
  • Candles, although I don’t recommend them if you will have toddlers around
  • Supplies for an infant–choose items that will keep for several months in the kit.  You can usually get formula with an expiration date of at least 6 months ahead.  Purchase diapers perhaps a size bigger than the one your child wears.  Wipes will keep for a long time and I would add plenty, because chances are they will be used by more than just the baby in your household.
  • On that note, if you have children, add something for them to do that does not require power.  I can tell you that my child is definitely one of this digital age, and he’ll get bored quickly.  A coloring book, a board game, cards, and small art set are all good ideas to add to your kit.  Try to put something in that your kids haven’t seen yet or in a while so it will be new to them.
  • Batteries for the things that need them, such as flashlights, lanterns, kids games, etc.
  • A first aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pet food if you have the need

Be sure to check your kit at the beginning of each season to make sure your supplies inside are still good and to see if anything needs to be added or replaced based on the needs of your family.  Getting kits from a survival supplier such as My Patriot Supply will ensure the items in your kit are exactly right to have you and your family prepared for your emergency situation.



Saving Money on Getting New Carpet

Installing carpeting throughout an entire home is costly, but there are ways for you to save in upgrading your flooring. How exactly do you go about doing this? What is the best way to install quality-carpeting, not compromise on the look you want, and save? Consider these tips.

Shop “bulk”
You can purchase the carpeting from a “bulk” or mass-retailer. Warehouses which sell to commercial companies , may also sell to homeowners as well. Not only is carpeting cheaper, you can also find commercial-grade, and industrial-grade (berber-type finish), which is durable, and will last for years to come.

Consider having the company you buy the carpet from do the installation work as well. There are often deals which include “free installation” with whole-home purchase, or discounts on flooring if you buy for an entire home. So, rather than hire two companies (one to buy carpeting from and another installation company), do it all with one specialist. Check out to get an idea of how much carpet fitting costs.

Shop online
Believe it or not, you can order carpeting online. And, you can compare several mass-retailers which offer free shipping, online deals, and installation. So, you will find various qualities, material-finishes, colours, and varieties, all for an affordable price. And, you can have it shipped and installed same (or next-day) with most of these companies.

Comparison shop
There’s no way around it. With any consumer purchase, you have to shop to save. And, the same goes with your home’s flooring. So, before you buy new carpeting, compare, get a few quotes, and consider all specialists.

You have options when it comes to new flooring for your home. Make sure you know all of them before you buy. When purchasing and installing new carpeting for your entire home, these are a few simple tips to save, and ensure you get the quality you desire.

How to Make Your Backyard a Place You Actually Want to Spend Time In

You’re wasting your backyard if you don’t want to spend time in it. Your backyard should be a place where you go to relax or to have fun. But for many people, their backyards are simply part of their property, and they don’t spend any time in them because they’re not fixed up. If this sounds like your home, here are a few ideas on how to fix up your yard, and turn it into a place in which you actually want to spend time.


Do Some Landscaping

First up, think about if your backyard needs some landscaping. Consider adding in some bushes, trees, a garden, or grass. You want your backyard to look alive, and adding colorful flowers or healthy plants is a great way to achieve this. You can do smaller projects on your own, but for larger work consider hiring a professional landscaper.


Add a Patio

Next, you’re going to want a place to sit within your backyard. Lawns are often uneven, so installing a patio is the best way to go. A patio gives you a flat space for things like chairs, tables, benches, and more. When done right, a patio is an excellent addition to any yard, and makes it more likely that you’ll spend time out there.


Set Up a Fire Pit or Fireplace

On chilly nights there’s nothing better than gathering around a fire. You can’t just set fire to whatever is nearby though. Digging a fire pit within the yard is one option, or you can purchase a fireplace for outdoors. Either option gives you a way to warm up on cold nights, and something to gather around. Now you can spend time outside at night as well as during the day.


Install A Water Feature

Another great add to any patio or backyard space is a water feature. One option is to install a pond, with a built-in fountain or waterfall. Ponds look great in almost any yard, and if you add a fountain or waterfall, the relaxing sounds add to the atmosphere. Another option is to use a pond-less waterfall. These are typically smaller in size, but still provide you with the relaxing sound of falling water. In fact, according to Paradise Ponds, a Colorado Springs based landscaping company, pond-less waterfalls are one of the hottest trends. Consider any of these options if you want a water feature in your yard.


Play Some Music

If you don’t want to listen to just water running, then add in some of your favorite music. With a portable Bluetooth speaker you can connect directly to your favorite device, and play whatever music you’d like. Speakers come in all shapes and sizes – some even look like rocks to blend in – so you’re sure to find something that works for your needs and budget.


Make it Comfortable

All of these additions to your backyard go to waste if you are unable to enjoy them. For that, you need some comfortable seating in the area. This could be as simple as adding some comfy chairs around a table, or you could install a swinging chair, or even a hammock. Lounge chairs are also another option if you want the ability to lay down. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s comfortable so that you are likely to spend even more time outside.


Keep Pests Away

Imagine you’ve done some of the suggestions above – such as adding in a relaxing waterfall on your patio, along with some comfortable lounge chairs. You’re outside enjoying your new space, when suddenly mosquitoes start to bite. This will quickly put an end to your relaxing time. When you’re working on your yard, take steps to keep pests away from the area. Candles can sometimes help, as can a fan. Also remove any sources of standing water nearby. For larger pests – such as mice – think about installing a fake owl to scare them away. If you want to know more, here are some suggestions for keeping pets away from your yard.


Give Yourself Some Privacy

Finally, if you’re going to be spending more time outside, either by yourself or with company, you’ll want some privacy. Unless you have a lot of space between you and your neighbors, you’ll likely want to put something up to block their view. One option is to install a fence, or you could plant some large bushes or trees. No one likes the feeling that someone is watching them, so give yourself the privacy you deserve while building up your backyard.


Don’t Let Your Yard go to Waste

If you’re lucky enough to have a yard at your home, you don’t want it to go to waste. By following a few of the simple suggestions mentioned above, you can turn your yard into a place you love to spend time. There are plenty of ways to transform a backyard, and once you get started, you’ll love the difference they make.

5 Creative Building Projects for Your Backyard

Once you’ve been settled in your own Sweet Southern Home for a while, the conversation on remodeling will probably present itself. Of course, whatever changes you make to the house, you’ll want to keep it as cheap as you can, but you can also take on building projects to freshen up your property that make less drastic changes. That, of course, would be projects for the backyard. It’s a space separate from the actual home so there’s no need to knock down any walls, but you’ll still get the satisfaction of building on and changing the place you call home.

Fire Pit

Everyone loves sitting around fires. It’s a classic camping activity that many bring to their backyard. It’s a social place and something everyone can be entertained and kept warm by. While many homeowners will just stick a metal fire pit in the backyard, if you want to turn heads, you can go the full nine years and build one into the land.

This is a good project because there’s a lot of ways you can take it. You could just make a circle of bricks sticking out of a hole in the ground, or you could get way more creative. Either way, as long as you’ve sealed it off from being catch fire to anything around it, then the hard work is done, making this one of the easier projects, while also being very creative.


Horseshoe Pit

For every backyard gathering, there’s always a great outdoor game. Horseshoes can be fun for anyone no matter how old you are so this is a great feature of any backyard. There’s a few different approaches, but whatever you decide it’ll be fun for everyone.

Most people just go with the simple two stakes in the ground, but this outdoor game building guide will show you the ropes to making one that takes the game to a new level. The backboards make finding the horseshoes easier and the whole setup is very pleasing to the eye. There’s plenty of other ideas for game areas you can build in that guide too, so you don’t have to stop at horseshoes.


If you have horses, or plan on owning them, then you want a barn. But, even if you have no interest in them, a barn is a great addition to a backyard that provides a ton of space and a great work area in general. Think of it as your huge shed, a barn is gives you a great amount of covered space to store whatever you want, and everyone can use some more storage.

You can take the traditional route and build a wooden barn. You could also go for the more durable route and build a horse barn. Building a barn in general is a huge task to take on, but luckily if you’re trying to build a metal barn you can get some help in that process. Elephant Structures is a company that will give you everything you need to build a metal barn. They’ll work with you to get all the features you want, and create a solid blueprint for it. They work with solid materials, and if you want they’ll install it for you, but since this is about building projects, they’ve got custom kits that can be delivered right to your home.


If you’ve got kids, then treehouses are great gifts for them. It gives them a place space and a sense of adventure. It’s also a great aesthetic feature to have a suspended structure like that. While everyone is socializing during your backyard gatherings, it would hard for that not to be a talking point.

This is also a great collaborative project, because not everyone can get up in a tree and start building a little house by themselves. Get a crew together, make your blueprint, and have a blast on this project.

A Deck

For number 5, it’s a pretty classic no-brainer. Building a deck gives a very level sitting area for any outdoor furniture you want. You can put stick the grill on there, table and chairs, whatever you want, it’s basically another open-air room.

This is great for any house that has the space because it sections off your backyard, making it a more complex space. That’s especially great for entertaining because you’ve got many areas that people can wander through that are all used for different purposes. It turns your backyard into the hot spot for the neighborhood parties automatically.

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