5 Garden Accessories for an Easy Backyard Upgrade

garden accessoriesIs your garden looking a little sad or tired?

Even if you have a great collection of perennials and annuals that give your garden style and color, it might still be lacking a certain something.

You might feel inclined to pack in some more perennials and annuals, but take a pause and read on. There’s something else you can do. And it’s much easier.

This job calls for garden accessories!

Garden Accessories Give Your Backyard Real Personality

And you don’t even need to spend a lot of time or money to do this. Just try out any or all five of our suggestions below to give your garden a little (or a lot of) extra zip!

The Joy of Succulents

You can create small bucket planters, wreaths, shadow box wall hangings, even entire walls with succulents. It’s plant artwork.

And they’re the perfect “material” for these projects because they grow slowly and have low water requirements. They come in a wide variety of colors and textures so you can mix them to create amazing and impressive patterns.

Unlike some of the showier annuals, you won’t need to spend a fortune on these plants either. Head to the nursery or your local farmer’s market and you’ll see how affordable they are.

Flea Market Finds

Of course, you can find actual garden furniture and the sort at flea markets. And that might well be your thing. There’s something delightful about an old school patio set straight out of the 1950s.

But if you’re up for stretching your imagination, and your dollar, you can transform unconventional pieces into something amazing. Grab your trusty gardening tools and turn that old metal cooler into a planter. Or perhaps flip over that dilapidated wire crib frame and throw on some pillows to create a makeshift outdoor couch.

The possibilities are endless.

Totem Birdhouses/Birdbaths

Give your garden an additional splash of color without adding any more plants.

Building a totem birdhouse or birdbath isn’t tough. Just pour through your cupboards or your local thrift store and gather up various household dishes and glassware. Pick shapes and colors you find appealing.

Then, using a long-lasting and durable adhesive, stack them to build your own unique totems. Place cups and saucers at the top to give birds a place to bathe.

If you choose, you can even mount a small birdhouse up there too – giving the birds a house with a view and a pool!

Vertical Gardening

Just like with that wall of succulents, you can also experiment with vertical gardening.

Incorporating vertical structures like arbors, arches, pergolas and gazebos can give the sensation of an outdoor garden room. They’ll also add height and depth.

And vertical vegetable gardens are all the rage these days. Aside from the many benefits – plants receive more sun, harvesting is easier, less potential for rot, safety from critters – they can be really beautiful too.

Garden Art

There is so much garden art to be found at art fairs these days.

You’ve seen it – whimsical flowers made from clay, animals sculpted from scrap metal parts, wind chimes of colored glass and beads, etc. A few of these small simple pieces can add huge personality to your backyard.

Or if you’re the crafty type, you could even make your own art with recycled water bottles. It’s really easy!

So Go Ahead and Jumpstart Your Garden’s Wow Factor

You’ll love the results and have a garden you’ll be proud to show.

And keep an eye out for future advice right here on thrifty gardening tips. If you have any garden accessories or tips of your own you’d like to share, feel free to comment below!

How to Save Money on Independent Health Insurance

Independent Health Insurance Saving money on independent health insurance can change your life for the better, especially when it saves you money! Although the hunt for a cost-saving plan can be a tiring one, it is well worth the energy.

Whether it’s a covered Fresno resident or an LA native, finding the right independent health insurance plan doesn’t always mean it has to be the most expensive.

There are a number of ways to save money on independent health insurance. Here are some of the most effective:

Do the Research

Don’t just settle for Google searches or chat forums. It’s so important to talk to friends, relatives and trusted third parties. Listen to their experiences and gain insight that will benefit your search for the best plan.

There is no better resource for finding the right independent health insurance than people in your network who may require the same care you do.

If you have a good relationship with your primary care physician, don’t hesitate to take the conversation into their office. Receptionists, nurses, and doctors are all people, too. And, they might have insider tips to help you save more money!

Shop Around

Go a step further by chatting up insurance agents from different companies. Keep notes about each provider, and be prepared to compare differences in coverage and cost.

If coverage from one provider is the same as another but has a bigger price tag, talk about it! Ask questions, and see if there are other options that can match or reduce the cost you’re looking at.

Keep notes about each provider, and be prepared to compare differences in coverage and cost.

If coverage from one provider is the same as another but has a bigger price tag, talk about it! Ask questions, and see if there are other options that can match or reduce the cost you’re looking at.

Cut Costs Even More

Using these tips, you can save beyond the price of independent health insurance.

Non-insurance options

These types of discounted plans can be offered by banks to customers or unions and nonprofits to their members. Contact a representative to find out what the qualifications are.

Find a local dental program

Schools and dental academies are always looking for patients to practice on. And don’t worry, everything is supervised by professional educators. The cost of these services is extremely low, and the quality of the service can sometimes be better than a regular dentist office.

Visit clinics instead of the ER

Trips to the emergency room can rack up a lot of money. Unless the situation is an actual emergency (if it is, go to the emergency room!), opt for an urgent care clinic instead.

Use free screening services

Use the state website to find low-cost or free preventative screening services. Find out the ones closest to you here.

Keep tabs on medical bills

Sometimes the administrative personnel at hospitals or doctors can make mistakes. Watch bank account statements to ensure that you are not overcharged for visits and services.

Mix it up

If someone doesn’t need medical, dental, and vision insurance, weigh different options. Maybe medical and vision are crucial, but dental work will be sufficient with dental school visits. There are always options. Weigh them, and pick the best combination for the lowest cost.

One of the key takeaways is to always ask questions. Ask insurance agents any and everything that comes to mind.

After all, the more someone knows, the more they can save!

Check out more beneficial tips here at our blog!

Is Hemp Protein the Secret to Improving Women’s Health?

hemp proteinThere’s never been a better time to focus on great health. Science has made it easier for all of us to find an exercise routine that works well for our individual needs.

And new research and advances in nutrition are allowing each of us to get the nutritional help we need from unexpected sources.

The negative side effects of poor nutrition include heart disease, hypertension (or high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. In addition, many of us know firsthand that nutrition is tied into having healthy energy, positive emotions, and overall well-being.

But did you know that hemp protein may just be the dietary solution for women’s health issues? Everything from calcium to protein is supplied with hemp protein.

Here are some great reasons you may want to add hemp protein to your nutritional plan:

Hemp Protein Is a Complete Protein

Many of us recognize the importance of protein in our nutritional plan. Adults need 60 to 80 grams of protein a day on average for their nutritional requirements.

With more evidence against eating red meat, hemp offers an alternative. You’ll get the protein you need without the health risks.

Lose Weight and Look Great

If you have been stepping on the scale and not loving the feedback then there are other reasons hemp protein may be perfect for you.

Research has shown that hemp helps subjects lose weight and gain muscle. If you have a sweet tooth that won’t quit there is some good news for you in hemp.

Hemp protein has been reported to reduce sugar cravings as well. When you make a list of great foods to start your day don’t forget to add hemp seeds or hemp oil.

Plus, the fiber content in hemp also makes it a great aid for losing weight.

A Great Source of Fiber

Fiber is a key component for losing weight for many people. But you also need fiber in your diet to promote overall well-being and great health.

Your digestive health depends on fiber which in turn helps all components of your dietary needs and nutritional plan. Fiber relieves constipation as well.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you watch the news then you know that omega-3 fatty acids are one of the keys to a healthy heart. The fats found in this nutritional component allow your heart to beat at a steady clip and promote positive heart functions.

Heart disease remains one of the leading cause of death in America. Hemp protein provides Omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent heart disease.

In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of a second heart attack in patients.

Reduce PMS Symptoms

If you struggle with PMS every month you are not alone. There are many symptoms that are awful to contend with when it comes to PMS.

These symptoms include:

  • depression
  • breast tenderness
  • irritability
  • swelling
  • bloating from fluid retention

GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, has been shown to reduce every one of the PMS symptoms listed above. One of the other reasons that hemp protein has unique benefits for women is the ability to reduce PMS issues.

Hot Flashes and Menopause

If you are struggling with hot flashes it’s time to give hemp a try. The omega-6 fatty acids in hemp are shown to reduce hot flashes in patients as well.

Pregnancy

The requirements of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in women’s diets extends to your nutritional needs when pregnant.

A diet with hemp included in seeds or oil may help your mental ability and processing ability. But for pregnant moms, you will be doing your child a favor as well.

Your children could have lower IQ’s, dyslexia, and behavior problems if they don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acid from sources like hemp.

This absorption starts during pregnancy so make sure your diet is helping both you and your baby.

Beautiful Skin

You may not know that hemp is probably a part of your beauty regimen already. Many beauty products use hemp oil in some form because of its positive effects on your skin.

If you have dry skin or eczema then hemp protein could help the condition of your skin in ways other dietary changes cannot.

Researchers note that hemp oil relieves atopic dermatitis in case studies. Itching, dryness, and other symptoms are greatly improved by introducing hemp oil.

Calcium

While everyone needs to get a recommended daily allowance of calcium we all know that women especially are susceptible to disorders like osteoporosis.

It’s estimated that 8 million women have osteoporosis and another 44 million have reduced bone mass. This issue puts nearly half of all Americans who are over 50 at risk for broken bones.

The women I know all want to look their best and lose weight to be healthy. But you definitely don’t want to lose bone density and mass.

Calcium can help keep your bones strong. Hemp milk can actually provide more calcium than cow’s milk.

While the variety of hemp nutrition varies between hemp seeds, hemp protein, and hemp milk, the calcium in hemp can be a big boost to your diet.

Plus, if you are allergic to soy, hemp is a great alternative.

Obstetrics and Gynecology

There are many scientific studies that show due to the nutrients involved and dietary benefits hemp protein can help people live healthier lives. But women’s health issues are unique for a number of reasons and hemp can also address those specific needs.

Historical studies of cannabis have shown the plant to be a treatment for women’s health issues for hundreds of years. The herb has been used to provide safe anesthesia for child birth, treatment for pain and bleeding, and a variety of other gynecological applications.

Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Women especially will see that adding hemp as a source of protein and nutrition can help nearly every aspect of their health. Hemp also reduces the pain associated with arthritis and treats ADHD, diabetes, and MS.

Make sure you are using hemp to promote every part of your healthy lifestyle.

Not sure where to begin? It’s easy– just substitute some hemp seeds or hemp oil for other ingredients in your favorite recipes.

Why don’t you start with some of my favorites? Click here now for a list of frugal recipe ideas you can try at home.

5 Incredible Rooibos Tea Benefits For Ultimate Health

rooibos tea benefitsMmm, rooibos!

You may be pouring yourself a mug of rooibos tea as we speak. Perhaps you’re looking for a new tea to add to your collection that has amazing benefits.

When it comes to teas, there are some incredible rooibos tea benefits that make this earthy, delicious tea one of the healthiest on the market.

Check out the list of benefits below, and then cozy up to some rooibos!

5 Incredible Rooibos Tea Benefits for Ultimate Health

1. Antioxidant power

Rooibos tea really is the best tea in the world. Why? It supports your immune system with a host of antioxidants every time you take a sip.

Certain antioxidants protect your body against free radicals, which have been identified as the sources of a lot of terminal illnesses like cancer. They can assist in fighting more common sicknesses like colds and cases of the flu.

Rooibos tea has more antioxidants than green tea, believe it or not.

2. Anti-inflammatory qualities

When it comes to rooibos tea benefits, this is one of the most useful.

Inflammation is the root of a lot of pain and can lead to disease and chronic discomfort.

If you’d rather not reach for some Tylenol or Advil to reduce common inflammation, then choose a mug of rooibos tea. The compounds in rooibos tea can cut inflammation and promote healthy antibody production.

3. Promotes a healthy heart and circulation

Having a healthy heart is critical to so many things, particularly if you are a significantly active individual.

Drinking rooibos tea can lower your blood pressure and reduce the likelihood of heart disease. It also has been said to improve the body’s circulation.

Improved circulation and lower blood pressure can promote healthy sleep cycles, effective exercise routines, and a stronger heart overall. Rooibos tea may also assist in helping you lose weight more effectively.

4. Strengthens the skeletal system

Your bones need attention just as much as your heart does! Did you know that rooibos tea actually supports your skeletal system?

Rooibos is packed full of minerals that are essential for bone health and growth. These include magnesium and manganese, minerals that may be hard to obtain in certain diets.

This benefit is especially critical for women approaching or undergoing menopause and those who are at risk for osteoporosis.

5. Leads to healthier skin

We all want beautiful skin. Drinking tea may be your easy answer to clear and healthy skin.

Alpha hydroxy acid is a compound used in many anti-aging creams. It is found naturally in rooibos tea.

Regular consumption of rooibos tea may prove more effective than consistent application of artificial creams when it comes to improving skin.

The Amazing Powers of Rooibos

Rooibos tea benefits are the kind that keep on giving.

When you drink rooibos tea consistently, you are giving extra love to your heart, bones, and skin. You’ll also reduce your risk of heart and chronic disease, ease inflammation, and boost your immune system.

When paired with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, drinking rooibos tea can drastically improve your odds of living a full and disease-free life.

What are you waiting for? Stock up on some rooibos tea today and start noticing the benefits that come your way.

5 Amazing Plants That Stimulate Breast Growth

breast growthHave you been struggling with low self-confidence and feeling unhappy about your body? Have you ever felt like increased breast size may be the solution for you?

There are primarily two ways to prompt breast growth. If you are looking for a fast and significant increase in your cup size, breast augmentation may be the solution you are looking for. Or, if you prefer a more natural and holistic approach, taking herbal supplements or incorporating foods rich in phytoestrogens into your diet would be the way to go.

Phytoestrogens are a source of estrogen which occurs naturally in herbs and plants. They are similar in structure to the estrogen hormone humans produce. There are three main types of phytoestrogens. These are Isoflavones, Lignans, and Coumestrol.

In this article, we will examine some natural ways to encourage breast growth. In no particular order, here are 5 plants to incorporate into your diet/lifestyle that can assist in stimulating growth in your breasts.

Focus on Phytoestrogens

1. Savor Soy

Soy is one of the most well-known isoflavonoids, a type of phytoestrogen which is found primarily in legumes and beans. There are many foods and dietary supplements rich in soy.

For example, there is soy milk, which is primarily composed of isoflavonoids.
Other soy-rich sources include edamame, miso, tofu, and soy sauce.

2. Fill Up On Flaxseeds

Lignans are another common type of phytoestrogen. Flaxseeds are among the richest sources of plant lignans in the human diet.

Incorporating more flaxseeds into your diet is one way to stimulate breast growth. Flaxseeds can be stirred into hot oatmeal or sprinkled atop cereal in the morning. It’s a quick, easy way to add more lignans into your diet!

3. Help Yourself to Hops

Hops, as you probably know, are primarily found in beer. What you might not know, however, is that they, too, contain phytoestrogens.

Additionally, hops are considered to be an anti-androgen. Anti-androgens can be defined as “any compound that has the biological effect of blocking or suppressing the action of male sex hormones such as testosterone within the human body.”

A reduction in testosterone can help promote increased production of estrogen. With a reduction in the testosterone hormone and increased production of estrogen, you’ll be on the path to hormonal breast enhancement in no time.

Add more hops into your diet with ease by sipping on a double IPA.

4. Find Some Fennel

Fennel has long been used in herbal medicine. It’s been used to treat lactation problems, infertility, and many other issues. It can also be used for breast enhancement.

Fennel supplements, which are often promoted as a natural breast enhancer, are another option for those looking to increase their cup size.

5. Spice It up with Sesame

Sesamin is a type of lignan which is found exclusively in sesame seeds. Both sesame oil and the seeds themselves are a rich source of the lignan phytoestrogen.

Sesame seeds can be sprinkled atop dishes like sushi or salad. Sesame oil can be added to dressings and sauces. These are just a few more easy ways to add additional hormones to your diet.

Tell Us!

Have you tried adding any of these phytoestrogens into your diet? How did you feel they worked for you? Leave a comment about your experiences below!

5 Ways to Save Time (and Money) Moving Out of State

moving out of stateAre you moving out of state? Dreading the costs of packing your home and moving to a new location?

From truck fees to mover fees, there are a lot of expenses. Let’s not even talk about the time it takes to pack your whole life into boxes!

But, moving doesn’t have to break the bank. It also doesn’t have to consume all of your time!

Want to make moving less stressful? If so, keep reading!

We’ll discuss 5 ways to save time and money when moving out of state.

1. Sell What You Don’t Need

Over time, we all buy things we just don’t need. If you’ve got items in your closet that you’ve never used, why pack them?

Moving out of state is all about new beginnings. There’s no need to bring items that you haven’t touched!

Go through your closets and spare bedrooms. Find things that you don’t need anymore, such as clothing, kid’s toys, and other items.

Sell or donate your stuff! In turn, you may earn some real cash. Your donations may also equate to a tax deduction.

2. Move Early in the Week

Timing is everything. When moving to a new state, you want to plan your move accordingly. To save time and money:

  • Avoid moving on a weekend
  • Don’t move on a Thursday or Friday
  • Avoid moving during rush hour traffic

Moving earlier in the week saves money. Most people move later in the week when truck rental fees may be higher.

Save some cash and put those Monday blues to work!

3. Optimize Utility Shut-Off Timing

Depending on your moving date, you may end up paying for utilities even though you aren’t living in the home. To avoid dishing out money, be wise about utility shut-off.

While you need water and electricity, chances are you can go without cable for a few weeks.

4. Compare Costs of DIY vs. Professional Movers

You may be quick to assume that professional moving services are overly expensive. But, the items needed to DIY your move can be just as expensive.

Shop around for a professional moving company. Gather quotes from at least three local companies and learn more about their services.

When looking around, don’t hesitate to negotiate.

Moving companies may be willing to drop fees in exchange for your business. Without you, their company is missing out on profit.

If DIYing your move is the cheapest option, avoid moving in rush hour traffic. You’ll also want to avoid overloading the moving truck. A weighed down truck has even poorer gas mileage.

5. Don’t Pay for Boxes

You can’t move out of state without boxes. If you’ve shopped around for boxes, you’ve probably seen just how expensive they can be. Companies know they are a must-have item so they charge super high prices for them.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay for boxes at all! You can easily get your hands on free boxes.

To find boxes:

  • Ask friends and family members who have recently moved
  • Ask a local liquor store owner
  • Use empty boxes from work, such as printer-paper boxes
  • Check Craigslist’s free section or Freecycle

Saving Money is Our Specialty

Want to save money in all aspects of life? Looking to live frugally?

If so, ThrifyMommaRamblings is the website for you.

We provide all sorts of thrifty living and business tips. From working from home to money-saving showerheads, we help keep money in your wallet!

Now’s the time to be a frugal consumer. Check out our website today to get started.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or comments!

5 Essential Tips for Buying New Home Furniture

home furnitureFurniture really does tie a room together, doesn’t it?

You may be moving into a new home very soon. Or, you may be feeling a little blah about the current furniture you have in your home.

Whatever the case, buying new home furniture can be fun and exciting. It gives you the chance to explore a fresh decorative theme in your home and transform the experience of each room.

When buying new home furniture, it’s important to keep several things in mind. Read on to discover our pro tips for your next purchase!

1. Think the Basics

Furniture really is essential for so many aspects of living.

Think of your bed for example. You spend a third of your life sleeping!

When buying home furniture, write down a list of essential pieces you know you cannot live without for an extended period of time. This may include a bed, kitchen table, dining room chairs, and an office desk.

Prioritize these in your search. Choose pieces you know will last you a long time, and ensure you feel comfortable having them for a long time.

2. Inspect Quality

Your furniture, whether found locally or at Any Assembly, should last you as long as you want it to last.

When purchasing, make sure you fully inspect the quality of each piece. This doesn’t mean a quick glance over. Identify where the furniture piece was made, what it was made of, and the finish.

Talk to the store owners or support team selling you the furniture to get the lowdown on any satisfaction guaranteed policies they may have, or any extra knowledge they possess about the furniture’s quality.

Don’t buy unless you are convinced the furniture is of the highest quality possible.

3. Buy from a Place You Trust

This goes hand in hand with the previous tip.

Make sure the place you are purchasing from is reliable and trustworthy. Inspect customer reviews of the store or furniture piece before buying.

Also, assess the level of customer service. If it doesn’t satisfy, move on to another dealer.

4. Look for Deals

Believe it or not, buying new furniture can be part of frugal living!

Ask if there are any discounts, coupons, or other deals available for the items you’re looking to purchase. There may be a discount if you spend a certain amount or buy furniture in a set.

Also, consider purchasing less-essential furniture pieces second-hand, or building them yourself.

5. Make Sure You Know Who’s Moving It

Moving furniture can be a pain.

If you’re investing in a lot of new sets, make sure you have a moving team to assist with the transition from store to home.

Sometimes certain stores will offer delivery services. If you order furniture online, you’ll be able to receive the package at your doorstep but need to assemble the piece yourself.

Make sure you’re clear on the moving terms before purchasing your new furniture.

Buying Home Furniture: The Takeaway

When it comes to furniture, expressing your style is everything. The good news is that you can do this while also saving money and being smart about your next furniture purchase.

It’s key to think long term. Choose high-quality pieces and make sure you purchase from a place you trust. Don’t forget to check out existing deals!

Happy furniture hunting, and once you make the purchase, don’t forget to come back and share your experience with us!