What a difference a new hair style can make!

A hairstylist with 24 years experience has shared before and after photos to reveal just how much the right hairstyle can transform a person’s face shape and highlight their best features.

Slide 1 of 16: A hairstylist with 24 years experience has shared before and after photos to reveal just how much the right hairstyle can transform a person's face shape and highlight their best features. Jurgita Malakauskaitė, from Lithuania, posted the images on Bored Panda. Scroll through to see the incredible transformations...
© Daily Mail

Cutting this woman’s long locks to just below the shoulder helped to accentuate her neck and cheekbones. The hairdresser said she also took into consideration her complexion and the proportions of her client’s body.

Slide 2 of 16: From unruly mane to gorgeous curls! Jurgita said she considers not only a person's hair colour, but their eye colour, hair texture and face shape when cutting a client's hair - and the results can take years off.
© Bored Panda / SelfStation

From unruly mane to gorgeous curls! Jurgita said she considers not only a person’s hair colour, but their eye colour, hair texture and face shape when cutting a client’s hair – and the results can take years off.

Slide 3 of 16: Jurgita also divides her clients into four categories - named after the four seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. Winter people have dark hair colour but light eyes, while a summer person has light eyes and ashy tones in their hair, like the woman pictured here who updated her look with a new colour and shorter crop.
© Bored Panda / SelfStation

Jurgita also divides her clients into four categories – named after the four seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. Winter people have dark hair colour but light eyes, while a summer person has light eyes and ashy tones in their hair, like the woman pictured here who updated her look with a new colour and shorter crop.

Slide 4 of 16: From honey blond to platinum: Jurgita said she pays particular attention to a person's eye colour to make sure their hair pops. This lady's shorter, slicked back look shaved years off her.

From honey blond to platinum: Jurgita said she pays particular attention to a person’s eye colour to make sure their hair pops. This lady’s shorter, slicked back look shaved years off her.

Slide 5 of 16: This client went from straight and tired to shorter, wavy and chic. Jurgita, who said she thinks of herself as a kind of hair architect, explained: 'It's like creating a painting. You first analyse what colours you'll "paint" with. And only after you have all of your colours ready, after you know your client's type and look at the shape of their face and hair texture, only then do you start "painting".'

This client went from straight and tired to shorter, wavy and chic. Jurgita, who said she thinks of herself as a kind of hair architect, explained: ‘It’s like creating a painting. You first analyse what colours you’ll “paint” with. And only after you have all of your colours ready, after you know your client’s type and look at the shape of their face and hair texture, only then do you start “painting”.’

Slide 6 of 16: Jurgita said cutting hair was not just about trimming, but bringing her client's personality to the forefront. She transformed this client's hair from mousy brown to pale pink, and gave her a much shorter crop.

Jurgita said cutting hair was not just about trimming, but bringing her client’s personality to the forefront. She transformed this client’s hair from mousy brown to pale pink, and gave her a much shorter crop.

Slide 8 of 16: Jurgita said cutting and colouring a person's hair is like choosing the right colours for a canvas. This woman's jawline appears sharper following her chic bob cut.

Jurgita said cutting and colouring a person’s hair is like choosing the right colours for a canvas. This woman’s jawline appears sharper following her chic bob cut.

Slide 9 of 16: The hairdresser said she believes it's her calling to bring out people's inner beauty and help them feel confident enough to experiment with their looks, enabling them to find what works best for them. This woman's new ash blonde style accentuates her hazelnut eyes.

The hairdresser said she believes it’s her calling to bring out people’s inner beauty and help them feel confident enough to experiment with their looks, enabling them to find what works best for them. This woman’s new ash blonde style accentuates her hazelnut eyes.

Slide 10 of 16: Making women happy and connect with their femininity is at the core of what Jurgita does. This woman's new style and highlights give her a younger, more edgy look.

Making women happy and connect with their femininity is at the core of what Jurgita does. This woman’s new style and highlights give her a younger, more edgy look.

Slide 11 of 16: While every person's hair is different, Jurgita said she always had a knack at seeing which cut would best suit a client. She mellowed this woman's blonde hue with honey highlights and gave her a chic bob.

While every person’s hair is different, Jurgita said she always had a knack at seeing which cut would best suit a client. She mellowed this woman’s blonde hue with honey highlights and gave her a chic bob.

Slide 12 of 16: Jurgita said she likes to see her clients make-up free to see their natural features, so that she knows how best to accentuate them. This woman looks younger thanks to a darker shade of strawberry blonde.

Jurgita said she likes to see her clients make-up free to see their natural features, so that she knows how best to accentuate them. This woman looks younger thanks to a darker shade of strawberry blonde.

Slide 13 of 16: Jurgita is not afraid of trying bold styles, like adding these purple highlights for a more fun, individual look.

Jurgita is not afraid of trying bold styles, like adding these purple highlights for a more fun, individual look.

Slide 14 of 16: Her haircuts bring structure to the face by faming her client's features. This woman's jawline and cheekbones are more accentuated after cutting her hair at the shoulders.

Her haircuts bring structure to the face by faming her client’s features. This woman’s jawline and cheekbones are more accentuated after cutting her hair at the shoulders.

Slide 15 of 16: Jurgita said she wanted to help women find confidence in their own femininity by picking the right colour for them. She opted for a platinum blonde and a bob for this client which suits her chic look.

Jurgita said she wanted to help women find confidence in their own femininity by picking the right colour for them. She opted for a platinum blonde and a bob for this client which suits her chic look.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/beauty/what-a-difference-hairdresser-shares-before-and-after-photos-to-show-how-a-new-style-can-transform-people-s-face-shape-and-highlight-their-features/ss-BB15XogW?ocid=msedgntp

ESL Fourth of July Lesson

Fourth of July Fireworks for Independence Day

by http://www.elcivics.com

The Fourth of July is also called Independence Day. It is a federal holiday. Schools, banks, post offices, and government offices are closed on the Fourth of July. The Fourth of July is our most important national holiday because it celebrates the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence announced America’s independence from Britain. It was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thomas Jefferson was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence. (3 pages)

Fourth of July CalendarWhen is Independence Day?
It is on July 4th.It is also called the Fourth of July.
Declaration of IndependenceWhy is it an important day?
It is an important day because it is the day the American colonies declared their independence from Britain.
Thomas Jefferson Statue, WilliamsburgWho wrote the Declaration of Independence?
It was written by a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson.Thomas Jefferson became the third president of the United States.
Boy Watching a ParadeAre there parades on the Fourth of July?
Yes, there are.Many cities have parades.
Hot Dog, Hamburger, and Chips on Red, White, and Blue PlatesWhat foods are popular on the Fourth of July?
Hot dogs and hamburgers are popular foods.Many people barbecue hot dogs and hamburgers in their backyards.
Watermelon Eating ContestWhat are these men doing?
They are having a watermelon eating contest.Watermelon is popular on the Fourth of July.
Fireworks StandWhat is this?
It is a fireworks stand.People buy fireworks for the Fourth of July.In some cities it is illegal to use fireworks.
Kids Watching Fireworks on the StreetWhat are the children in this picture doing?
They are watching fireworks.Be careful with fireworks.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Source: https://www.elcivics.com/esl_fourth_of_july.html

Bargain backyard makeovers: before and after

Slide 1 of 39: Over the last few months, we've really come to appreciate the great outdoors. From large lawns, to teeny balconies and concrete courtyards, having an outside space has become a must-have for many. Yet not all backyards are made equal. Once shabby, dysfunctional or downright ugly, these yards have all been completely transformed on a shoestring budget, thanks to some rather creative DIYers. Pretty and imaginative, these bargain glow-ups are sure to add fuel to your next project. Click or scroll for more...

 © @negi.at.home / Instagram

Gorgeous garden glow-ups that really inspire

Over the last few months, we’ve really come to appreciate the great outdoors. From large lawns, to teeny balconies and concrete courtyards, having an outside space has become a must-have for many. Yet not all backyards are made equal. Once shabby, dysfunctional or downright ugly, these yards have all been completely transformed on a shoestring budget, thanks to some rather creative DIYers. Pretty and imaginative, these bargain glow-ups are sure to add fuel to your next project.

Slide 4 of 39: During lockdown, Paula realized her children had nowhere to play in their hometown of Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Restricted to a single hour's exercise a day, she knew it was time to turn her redundant driveway into a space the whole family could enjoy. "The boys needed a nice, safe place to play," says Paula. "And I needed somewhere private where I could sit outside." 

Before: old shabby driveway

During lockdown, Paula realized her children had nowhere to play in their hometown of Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Restricted to a single hour’s exercise a day, she knew it was time to turn her redundant driveway into a space the whole family could enjoy. “The boys needed a nice, safe place to play,” says Paula. “And I needed somewhere private where I could sit outside.” 

Slide 5 of 39: The project was straightforward yet effective and her cramped and boring driveway is now a chic and stylish 'yarden' that oozes Scandinavian appeal. Paula bought some faux turf and a pastel lounge set, adding lanterns and plants to her newly decorated space. She also installed new fencing and painted it in a cool slate tone. As for Paula's children, they love their new outdoor space. "Hearing the boys giggle and laugh as they play out there genuinely brought me happy tears," she says. 

© @homebypolly / Instagram

After: stylish Scandi sanctuary

The project was straightforward yet effective and her cramped and boring driveway is now a chic and stylish ‘yarden’ that oozes Scandinavian appeal. Paula bought some faux turf and a pastel lounge set, adding lanterns and plants to her newly decorated space. She also installed new fencing and painted it in a cool slate tone. As for Paula’s children, they love their new outdoor space. “Hearing the boys giggle and laugh as they play out there genuinely brought me happy tears,” she says.

Slide 8 of 39: To keep themselves occupied during lockdown, Jemma Evans and her partner decided to take on a DIY project that would see them transform a vacant and rather uninviting space in their backyard. Usually used for family barbeques, Jemma wanted to turn the small patio area into the ultimate alfresco kitchen.

© Jemma Evans

Before: crying out for a revamp

To keep themselves occupied during lockdown, Jemma Evans and her partner decided to take on a DIY project that would see them transform a vacant and rather uninviting space in their backyard. Usually used for family barbeques, Jemma wanted to turn the small patio area into the ultimate alfresco kitchen.

Slide 9 of 39: Costing around $370 to create, Jemma's husband took on the construction work using posts and joists from a previous project. The pair already had a small decking area, so they simply expanded it to make room for a barbeque and a pizza oven. Since shop-bought pergolas can cost thousands, Jemma's partner decided to make one from an old sail. A bamboo furniture set finishes the space beautifully.

© Jemma Evans

After: alfresco kitchen

Costing around $370 to create, Jemma’s husband took on the construction work using posts and joists from a previous project. The pair already had a small decking area, so they simply expanded it to make room for a barbeque and a pizza oven. Since shop-bought pergolas can cost thousands, Jemma’s partner decided to make one from an old sail. A bamboo furniture set finishes the space beautifully.

Want to see more once shabby, dysfunctional or downright ugly yards that have all been completely transformed on a shoestring budget? Click below!

Article by Jen Grimble of Love money©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/bargain-backyard-makeovers-before-and-after/ss-BB15XQlf?ocid=msedgntp#image=1

7 Sophisticated and Festive July 4th Outfit Ideas

Slide 1 of 7: Don't own much blue? Don't stress, you can totally keep the color out of your outfit. In fact, any combination from the trio (blue with white, red with blue, etc.) will look just as festive without being quite so on the nose. Shop similar styles: All Saints top ($55; $22); Summersalt pants ($80); Banana Republic clutch ($70; $41)

 © Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

1. Pick Two Out of Three

Don’t own much blue? Don’t stress, you can totally keep the color out of your outfit. In fact, any combination from the trio (blue with white, red with blue, etc.) will look just as festive without being quite so on the nose.

Shop similar styles: All Saints top ($55; $22); Summersalt pants ($80); Banana Republic clutch ($70; $41)

Slide 2 of 7: Primary colors can be a bit much. Rather, focus on an understated print (with some addition of red, white or blue) that you can pair with white sneaks. Shop similar styles: Beach Lunch Lounge dress ($78); Keds sneakers ($75); Furla bag ($398)

© Georgie Hunter/Getty Images

2. Go for Muted Tones

Primary colors can be a bit much. Rather, focus on an understated print (with some addition of red, white or blue) that you can pair with white sneaks.

Shop similar styles: Beach Lunch Lounge dress ($78); Keds sneakers ($75); Furla bag ($398)

Slide 3 of 7: Oh, your floral dress already happens to be blue and red? Add a handbag in any of the three patriotic hues and call it a day. Shop similar styles: Yumi Kim dress ($258); Rebecca Taylor dress ($297)

© Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

3. Give Florals a Patriotic Spin

Oh, your floral dress already happens to be blue and red? Add a handbag in any of the three patriotic hues and call it a day.

Shop similar styles: Yumi Kim dress ($258); Rebecca Taylor dress ($297)

Slide 4 of 7: Swap stars for leopard spots and switch stripes for plaid; so long as you stick to the OG color scheme, you'll fit right in with all the flag-adorned folks while watching the fireworks. Shop similar styles: Paige shirt ($159); AG jeans ($188); Reike Nen handbag ($380); Nine West heels ($89; $70)

© Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

4. Try some Unexpected Prints

Swap stars for leopard spots and switch stripes for plaid; so long as you stick to the OG color scheme, you’ll fit right in with all the flag-adorned folks while watching the fireworks.

Shop similar styles: Paige shirt ($159); AG jeans ($188); Reike Nen handbag ($380); Nine West heels ($89; $70)

Slide 5 of 7: An easy denim jacket or classic-cut blazer is always a good idea. You know what else is great? A bright red lip. Shop similar styles: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna ($18; $13); Sephora Collection ($15); Marc Jacobs Beauty ($32; $16)

© Brian Dowling/Getty Images

5. Use Makeup to Your Advantage

An easy denim jacket or classic-cut blazer is always a good idea. You know what else is great? A bright red lip.

Shop similar styles: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna ($18; $13); Sephora Collection ($15); Marc Jacobs Beauty ($32; $16)

Slide 6 of 7: Bold lipstick not quite your style? Tie a red and blue scarf around your ponytail to transform your favorite LWD from simply cute to really ready to celebrate America's birthday. Shop similar styles: Coach scarf ($95; $48); ASTR the Label dress ($128; $64)

© Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

6. Ditto for accessories

Bold lipstick not quite your style? Tie a red and blue scarf around your ponytail to transform your favorite LWD from simply cute to really ready to celebrate America’s birthday.

Shop similar styles: Coach scarf ($95; $48); ASTR the Label dress ($128; $64)

Slide 7 of 7: So you actually have the perfect shorts for such a specific holiday? Tuck in a structured button-down and take your look from costume-y to classy. Shop similar styles: Gap blouse ($60; $36); Shein shorts ($8); Sole Society bag ($60) RELATED: The Only Basics You Need to Complete Every Simple Summer Outfit

© Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

7. Keep it Streamlined

So you actually have the perfect shorts for such a specific holiday? Tuck in a structured button-down and take your look from costume-y to classy.

Shop similar styles: Gap blouse ($60; $36); Shein shorts ($8); Sole Society bag ($60)

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/fashion/7-sophisticated-and-festive-july-4th-outfit-ideas/ss-BB15VY4g?ocid=msedgntp#image=1

How to treat a bee sting, and what to do if you have an allergic reaction

a close up of a flower: Bee stings will usually resolve on their own within a few days. Ervin Herman/Getty Images
© Ervin Herman/Getty Images Bee stings will usually resolve on their own within a few days. Ervin Herman/Getty Images

Bee stings are one of the most annoying parts of summer. But in most cases, they’re easy to treat at home. 

If you get stung by a bee, a normal reaction can include redness, swelling, and pain near the wound. These symptoms should subside within a few hours, and you can use ice, anti-itch cream, and Advil or Tylenol to help relieve them sooner. 

But if you have an allergic reaction to a bee sting, you may want to seek medical attention. Here’s what you should know to treat your bee sting. 

How to treat a bee sting

Bee stings are typically more of a nuisance than they are dangerous. Most people have a mild reaction that doesn’t last longer than a few hours. 

If you experience a normal, localized reaction, you should be able to effectively treat your bee sting at home, says David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

First, it’s important to immediately remove the stinger from your skin, if it’s still there. You’ll see a small black dot at the sting site, if so. 

Some types of bees — like honey bees — have barbed stingers that remain in your skin. Other types — like carpenter bees, or venomous insects like wasps — have smooth stingers that stay attached to the insect, and they can sting you multiple times before flying away. 

You won’t need to remove a stinger if you’re stung by a wasp, hornet, or carpenter bee. But if a honey bee stings you and the stinger remains in your skin, it can continue to pump toxins into your body, which will make symptoms worse if it’s not removed. 

Here’s how to remove the stinger: 

1. Use a scraping motion with a flat, blunt object like a credit card across the affected area to remove the stinger. 

2. Don’t try to pull the stinger out with tweezers or your fingers — this could result in even more venom squeezing into the skin. 

3. Once the stinger is removed, wash the site with soap and water. 

After you remove the stinger, you can use a few remedies to treat the pain, itchiness, and swelling that can accompany a bee sting:

  • Apply ice or a cold compress at the sting site for about 20 minutes every hour to ease pain and reduce swelling. You should wrap the ice in a cloth or towel to protect your skin.  
  • Use hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to help reduce itchiness at the site. 
  • An over-the-counter antihistamine like Zyrtec or Claritin can also reduce itchiness.
  • Pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen) can help reduce pain, swelling, and general discomfort. 
  • Spray or creams that contain an anesthetic, like Solarcaine, can also help ease pain or itchiness. These are widely available over-the-counter. 

Other natural remedies like applying honey, baking soda, or apple cider vinegar to the sting site might help some people, Cutler says, but there’s not much scientific evidence that these treatment methods are effective. 

What to do if you have an allergic reaction 

About 5% to 7.5% of Americans will experience an allergic reaction to an insect sting at some points in their lives, according to the Journal of Asthma and Allergy

Signs of an allergic reaction from a bee sting include:

  • Hives
  • Excessive itchiness that persists past a few hours 
  • Swelling in other areas of your body, in addition to the sting site
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Dizziness

According to Cutler, most allergic reactions are mild or moderate, and can still be treated at home with antihistamines and ice. But some allergic reactions are more severe. 

In fact, about 3% of adults who experience insect stings develop a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which does require immediate medical attention. It’s estimated that 90 to 100 Americans die every year due to anaphylaxis from an insect sting. 

Signs of anaphylaxis can occur within minutes of a sting and include:

  • Trouble breathing 
  • Chest tightness
  • Swelling of tongue or throat  
  • Difficulty swallowing 

In the case of anaphylaxis, you must be treated with an adrenaline injection, known as epinephrine. This counteracts the hormones your body releases in response to the sting and prevents your body from going into shock, Cutler says. 

If you’ve had a mild or moderate allergic reaction to an insect sting before, you should discuss this with your doctor, as this may increase your risk for anaphylaxis in the future. Those at risk can get a prescription for an epi-pen, which allows you to administer epinephrine yourself if you have a severe reaction.

When to see a doctor 

Most of the time, you should be able to treat your bee sting at home. However, it is still important to monitor symptoms and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of anaphylaxis, like difficulty breathing or lightheadedness.

And if you do experience a moderate allergic reaction to a bee sting, you should discuss it with your doctor afterwards, because you could be at a higher risk of having a more severe reaction if stung again. 

Written by insider@insider.com (Erin Heger) for Insider ©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/how-to-treat-a-bee-sting-and-what-to-do-if-you-have-an-allergic-reaction/ar-BB15VOA5?ocid=msedgntp

4th of July Activities to Keep the Family Entertained All Day

Everyone will have a blast celebrating Independence Day.

Like almost everything in 2020, the 4th of July is likely to look a little different in this age of social distancing. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t break out your best 4th of July party ideas. Even if this year’s 4th get-together is just limited to immediate family, you can still create a photo-op worthy day—complete with Instagram-friendly 4th of July captions. We’re talking grilling assorted meats, making s’mores, waving sparklers, and camping out in the backyard.

But what about if you have major traditions—like visits to community pools or park-side fireworks? We know. It’s tough when everything is so uncertain. The long and short of it is we don’t know what will happen in July, so why not amend your plans and focus more on family this year? In lieu of a parade, go on a family bike ride (with bikes decked out in 4th of July party decorations). Instead of heading to the ballpark, consider putting together a baseball game in the front yard, or skip the theater and set up a backyard movie night to watch The Sandlot. You can also give everyone in the family a dish to make and a summer party idea to execute. This holiday will still be one for the books thanks to any one of these family-friendly 4th of July ideas.

table filled with delicious treats made from fresh berries including whoopie pies, a tart, and refreshing drink
BRIAN WOODCOCK

Throw a Family-friendly Fourth U-Pick Party

After visiting a berry picking farm, head home and turn the fruits of your labor into some fruity desserts. When the baking is done, head outside to enjoy the sweet treats—like blueberry whoopie pies— under blue skies.

Get the recipe.

4th of july activities family bike ride
GETTY IMAGES

Take a Family Bike Ride

No neighborhood 4th of July parade this year? No problem. You and your immediate family can have your very own private parade by decorating your bikes with flags, streamers, and ribbons, and setting off together for a few casual laps around the block. The ride will help everyone work up an appetite before the celebratory barbecue.

4th of july activities fun games
DAVID TSAY

Play Patriotic Games

Spark some fun family competition with Independence Day-inspired games, like stars-and-stripes tic tac toe or tossing red, white, and blue water balloons. Should the weather not pan out, you can also keep kids entertained inside with a round of Go Fish—from a patriotic card deck, of course.

There are a whole lot more 4th of July patriotic games to play. Just click below:

Source: Country Living https://www.countryliving.com/entertaining/g4463/4th-of-july-activites/

How to Plant and Care for Bee Balm Plants

When it comes to planning your garden, bee balm is a perennial that offers both aesthetic appeal and function: Known scientifically as monarda, bee balm blooms with tube-shaped petals in shades of pink, red, violet, and purple, and certain varieties can even be used to make tea. The plant also turns your yard into a haven for critically important pollinators. “Bee balm is a great native perennial in the northeast U.S.,” says Marshall Green, nursery manager and co-owner of Primex Garden Center. “Bee balm is a fantastic nectar source for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and makes a beautiful display in a perennial border or sunny area in any garden.”a close up of a flower: This pretty flower does more than just add color to your garden.© Getty / skhoward This pretty flower does more than just add color to your garden.

Where to Plant Bee Balm

Bee balm thrives in a spot with “sun, sun, and more sun!” says Green; look for an area that receives six hours or more of full sunlight every day. Most types grow best in well-drained soil, though you’ll find that some types of bee balm have more flexible growing requirements. “Rich soils with sufficient organic matter will produce healthier plants, but some species, such as M. punctata, can tolerate sandy soils,” says native plant expert Mikaela Boley, horticulture educator for University of Maryland Extension Office in Talbot County. “M. didyma, or scarlet bee balm, prefers moist, loamy soils.” Native species can grow as high as four feet and, as a relative of the mint family, will spread quickly, making them best-suited to in-ground planting. Even so, Boley says that smaller cultivars can grow in a container without overwhelming their dedicated space.

How to Care for Bee Balm

Bee balm is generally considered to be a low-maintenance plant. “If monarda is happy it requires very little care,” says Green. “Deadheading will improve the overall look of the plant and may prolong its bloom time but will not promote another bloom cycle.” The plant is susceptible to a disease called powdery mildew, which is easily treated by planting in full sun to ensure the leaves dry properly, thinning the plants to improve air circulation, or cutting it back and letting it regenerate. “While somewhat unsightly, powdery mildew rarely is detrimental to the plant and does not affect its’ herbal properties,” says Boley. To prepare the plant for winter, Green recommends cutting it back to the ground after a hard frost—usually in late October or November—and lightly mulching it. Another option, says Boley, is to allow the stems—either at full height, or cut back to 12 to 18 inches—to remain until the end of the winter. “This provides shelter, food, and overwintering habitat for birds, mammals, and insects. Many of our beneficial insects overwinter in plant material, and by cutting back and removing that material, you take away those resources.”

What to Plant with Bee Balm

The distinctive tube-shaped flowers, vibrant colors, and dramatic height make bee balm a pretty complement to other common backyard plants. “In my opinion it looks great with taller summer flowering perennials like black eyed Susan, echinacea, or garden phlox,” says Green. Boley suggests planting bee balm with “other prairie or meadow-like species,” including butterfly milkweed and rough goldenrod. “The key strategy is to plant a variety of plants that will bloom at different times throughout the year; this provides a greater variety of nectar and pollen source for our pollinators,” she says. Since bee balm spreads so efficiently, it might also ward off invasive plants or weeds. “For those with plenty of sunny space, bee balm will fill in nicely and create a very natural-looking landscape,” says Boley.

Article by Blythe Copeland for Martha Stewart ©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/lifestyle-buzz/how-to-plant-and-care-for-bee-balm-plants/ar-BB15VorE?ocid=msedgntp

7 Ways to Conserve Water in the Garden

It’s possible to reduce outdoor water use by 20 to 50 percent with a few easy changes. To keep your water bill low and plants looking perky, try these tips from the National Garden Bureau and Gardener’s Supply Company.

a close up of a green plant in a pot
© Guido Mieth/Getty Images

Check out these Genius Gardening Hacks You’ll be Glad to Know:

Family HandymanGenius Gardening Hacks You’ll Be Glad to KnowThis collection of gardening and landscaping handy hints will give you effective new techniques to get the beautiful garden and backyard you’ve always wanted.

Improve the Soil

Supplement your soil with compost, chopped-up leaves or composted manure. These organic materials increase soil’s water-holding capacity. A good rule of thumb is to add one inch of compost per year. Check out these 10 amazing backyard compost products.

Water Deeply

Give your plants a solid soak. While sprinklers do the job, a soaker hose works even better. It applies the water directly to the soil by the roots, so up to 90 percent is actually available to plants. Here’s how to build your own self-watering planter.

Just Add Mulch

Spread mulch. It prevents weeds from growing and soaking up all the water you add to the planting area. A layer of mulch provides the most bang for your buck. Organic mulches are best; try grass clippings free of weedkillers, evergreen needles and shredded leaves.

Save Rainwater

Be extra frugal and capture all the free water you can. Place rain barrels or a cistern at your downspouts. A 1,000-square-foot roof collects about 625 gallons of water from just one inch of rain. Learn how to plant a rain garden.

Prepare the Garden Site

Know the characteristics of your planting site, such as the amount of sun and shade it receives, soil type and wind conditions. Make a plan to group plants with similar needs, like these drought-tolerant flowers.

Read Plant Tags

Shop with drought-tolerance in mind. Some plants get all the water they need from rain, so once established they require less attention. If you’re looking for perennials suited for drought conditions, your best bet is usually native plants that are adapted to your climate and soil type. Check out these drought-tolerant ground cover plants.

Remove the Competition

Keep up with garden chores. Healthy plants mean less work! When you stay on top of tasks such as weeding, thinning and pruning, you add to the health of your plants and in turn need to water less frequently.

Timely article from Birds & Blooms Editors 

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/7-ways-to-conserve-water-in-the-garden/ar-BB15STW7?ocid=msedgntp

This Husband Transformed an Unfinished Attic Into His Wife’s Dream Closet

a large room: Remodeling & Design LLC created this impressive closet.

At House Beautiful, we love a good before and after home transformation, and this one will make you rethink the current state of your attic. On June 21st, Joserin Cabrera (Twitter user @yagirljoss) tweeted “anyways my dad built my mom a closet in the attic” along with four photos that showcase the incredible transformation. Maryland-based company Remodeling & Design LLC created the closet, which can be seen in a room tour on their Instagram account. We spoke to Rodolfo Cabrera, the owner of Remodeling & Design LLC, to learn what inspired this transformation, and how it came to be.

The process began with a “clean up [of] the attic since it was dirty,” then, Cabrera and his employees “did the framing, electrical, hanging up the drywall, plastering, and doing the ceiling design with the LED [lights].” They also installed built-in shelves and moved furniture from the master bedroom into the closet. Clearly, Cabrera’s “creativity just took over.” The materials used were “2×4 woods, drywall, insulation, electrical wire, LED strip light, recessed lights, and paint.” Wood was used “to make the shelves and laminate for the floor. A split AC unit was also installed so we didn’t have to run ducts all the way up there,” says Cabrera.

The most challenging part was “doing the stairs since they are only attached to one wall so we needed to add as much support as we could to that one side.”

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Well, we love this metamorphosis so much that we might just look into transforming our own attics!

Article by Mary Elizabeth Andriotis for House Beautiful ©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/this-husband-transformed-an-unfinished-attic-into-his-wife-s-dream-closet/ar-BB15UPdE?ocid=msedgntp

Tired of watching some Netflix shows ? Remove them easily.

Netflix and other streaming services have been a saving grace during coronavirus quarantines and lockdowns, with subscriptions spiking as we all settled in to Netflix party and chill while watching Tiger King. Chances are if you tried a bunch of new shows on Netflix, not all of them captured your attention enough to keep watching. The problem was that those shows would still appear in your Continue Watching section, making it harder to scroll to find the shows you actually did want to binge.

a black and red box: Angela Lang/CNET
© Provided by CNET Angela Lang/CNET

Now Netflix has a new feature that allows you to remove those shows from your Continue Watching row. The feature is live across all Android phones and tablets , and will come to iOS devices on Monday. 

Here’s how to remove a show from your Netflix Continue Watching list on your phone or tablet:

Step 1: Tap the three dots at the bottom of the tile of the show you want to remove. 

Step 2: At the bottom of the list, tap Remove From Row

Step 3: Tap OK to remove the title.

That’s it! That same three-dot menu is also where you can find more episodes and information, downloading and liking or disliking options. 

Thanks to Alison DeNisco Rayome of CNET ©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/remove-the-shows-you-dont-want-to-watch-anymore-from-your-netflix-dashboard/ar-BB15USGV?ocid=msedgntp