Your March Home Maintenance Checklist
Spring is in full swing, and when spring arrives, many of us get the urge to clear out the cobwebs of winter by bringing the glow of the new season into our homes. Here are some April DIY projects you can do for under $100.
Get Moody with String Lights - String lights give most outdoor spaces instant mood lighting. Hang them over your porch, patio, or create a gathering spot in your backyard by hanging them from fences or trees. Spaces lit by string lights often become an "extra room" during summer entertaining.
Hide an Unsightly Meter - Your neighbor with the perfect front yard may be hiding a secret. If a vent, pipes, or meter detracts from the natural beauty of your garden, consider disguising unsightly attributes with large, faux rocks that fit snugly over the top to keep your garden looking award-worthy.
Update Your Kitchen Hardware - Replacing your kitchen and bathroom hardware is inexpensive, simple, and can be done with a small budget. Replace cabinet handles, doorknobs, pulls, and rods in each room for a fresh new look. We often overlook the hardware we use every day, but replacing tired drawer handles can freshen up a room in no time.
Install a Pot Rack - Pot racks are both beautiful and practical. Consider a half-circle option that takes up minimal wall space and can be easily installed with only a few screws; just be sure you find the studs!. The true benefit is the time you will save by not digging through cabinets and drawers trying to find the right pots and pans.
Switch Up Your Shower Curtain - This is a "no-brainer." A quick, cheap purchase that can dramatically change the look of your bathroom.
Double Your Porch Mats - Give your porch a new, luxurious look by layering a standard porch rug - like a welcome mat - beneath a large, outdoor area rug.
Swap Out Your Shower Head - Install low flow showerheads. They can save as much as 14,000 gallons of water a year which, in turn, helps you save big on your energy bill. There are tons of options, so look for the WaterSense label. A WaterSense label assures the showerhead uses no more than 2 gallons per minute.
Paint Your Front Door - Painting your front door doesn't cost much and can make a significant impact. Experts find that homes with charcoal, smoky-black or jet-black front doors sell for a premium.
Replace Your Mailbox - Consider updating your old mailbox. Your mail carrier will thank you for it, and it’s another little touch that will make a big difference to your front porch. Most are relatively inexpensive and now come in unique, fun, and beautiful styles.
Replace Your Registers - Many of us stare at the same heating and AC floor registers for years without giving them a second thought. If your floor vents are beaten up, broken, or scratched, switch them out for new ones. Floor registers are available in many styles and finishes, from decorative steel to wood
like oak and maple - and will give your place a quick upgrade in no time.
Let Your Compressor Breathe
April is a great month to check the vegetation around your AC compressor. Compressors require airflow in order to run efficiently. Make sure to keep at least two feet of space between the unit and plants and structures. You should also allow enough space for a technician to have access to your AC unit if necessary. Finally, keep at least five feet of clearance between the top of the unit and any trees above.
Tips for Storing Kitchen Tools and Utensils
For most of us, our kitchen utensils fall into two categories: cooking and dining - with both types being used by the family daily. Here are a few tips to help you spend more time in your kitchen cooking and less time hunting for things.
1. Drawers - Organize cooking utensils in shallow drawers. There's no need for dividers as long as you organize the utensils in shallow drawers. Deep drawers just create a jumbled mess.
2. Custom drawers - Custom drawers are an optimal solution and might use two levels of storage.
3. Pot rack hooks - Use hooks for hanging cooking utensils that you go to often. Hooks are also a great spot to hang your most-used spatulas, large spoons, and other cooking utensils.
4. Wall hooks - If you don't have pot rack hooks, simple wall hooks can do the trick.
5. Countertop utensil holders - Countertop solutions are best for those with abundant counter space. Countertop utensil holders are super easy to access - and can even add color or flair to your kitchen.
6. Portable kitchen island - Again, if you have floor space, islands are the perfect place to store both silverware and cooking utensils.
Spring Vegetables and Egg Ramen
• 1 leek
• 6 pieces of fresh sliced ginger
• 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic
• 1/2 cup of soy milk (optional)
• 6 cups chicken broth (fresh or store bought)
• 4 servings ramen noodles
• 2 cups of corn
• 4 eggs
• Salt & Pepper
• Olive oil
• Sesame oil for drizzling
For garnish (optional) Pea tendrils, scallions, squash blossoms
1. Cut 1 leek into fourths and then halves. Sauté garlic, ginger, and leeks with olive oil over medium heat until dark brown about 20 minutes.
2. Add 6 cups of chicken broth (fresh or store bought) and simmer together with the sautéed
3. For a perfect medium boiled egg, gently add eggs to a boiling pot of water and cook for 7 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath for 4 minutes, making sure it is completely cool before removing it. Peel and then slice.
4. Cut scallions as desired.
5. Sauté two cups of corn (or your favorite vegetables!) with olive oil and a little sea salt. Other
vegetables that we like to use are spinach, pea tendrils, sliced onions, and bean sprouts.
6. Cook ramen noodles until they are slightly firmer than the final consistency you want, since they will continue cooking after you remove them from the water. Final texture should be not to hard and not too soft.
7. Assemble bowl! Add noodles, broth and finish with toppings such as scallions, pea tendrils, squash blossoms.
Recipe courtesy of: Food52.com