Category Archives: Holiday Ideas

Dip into Summer with our Memorial Day Savings!

memorial day sale


Don’t forget that we are having a special Memorial Day sale on all our website items starting today, May 24th until Monday, May 27th! Decorate your space with beautiful bamboo products, thatch products, fountains, artificial rocks, and garden and yard products that will update your look!

If you have ANY questions please contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff via online chat or call us at (866)222-1422.

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Work Break or Mini Vacation

My favorite thing to do on my lunch break is to get outside and look at the world around me. It is easy to feel isolated at work because you have so much focus on your own feelings but when you get outside, you can see that there are other people living life just like you. You may get overwhelmed on some days but you will always have your break to look forward to.

Meeting up with a friend is also another good idea. Friends make time go by quickly because you have so much to talk about but save the work talk for another time. Your break is to relax and have a good time so use that to talk about your plans for the weekend or something exciting going on in your life.

If you just like to relax on your break then I recommend a walk on the beach or just simply sitting by one, it can cause sudden relaxation because of the unpredictable waves. If you don’t have the time or location to get to a beach then the next best thing is a nap in your car. It’s a great way to regain energy after a long day already of work and will help you see the end of work as not so far away.

If that sounds to relaxing to you then you can always take a trip and visit your local bookstore where you can drink a coffee and have a wide variety to read and you won’t even have to by the book.

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Happy Fourth of July!

Everyone knows that the fourth of July is a day of celebration and fireworks but some fail to realize what we are celebrating. July fourth, also known as Independence Day, is a day where we celebrate our rights in America “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We gained these rights because in 1776 at the 2nd Continental Congress declared the separation and independence of the 13 American colonies from the Empire of Britain.

There are many ways to celebrate this day of independence such as pool parties, BBQ, etc. but most choose to celebrate with fireworks. It’s only natural to think of fireworks when you think of the fourth of July because they are lighting up the skies every year but have you thought of where you will go for fireworks this year. The most convenient way is to find a school near you that is celebrating this day. Most schools will have an hour+ showing on their field.  Another way is to find out what is located near you by searching it online. My favorite place to watch the fireworks is to sit by the beach and see the fireworks from SeaWorld. Or avoid all the traffic and watch it on the TV.

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Summer Is Here!

Summer is here and we are full of cheer.
We are going to make this a good one and we know you will too because there is a lot to do wherever you are. A great way to kick off the summer is by going to your local beach or better yet one that is a little farther away that you rarely visit. Make sure to invite your friends or family along for the ride and each pack your favorite foods to bring along and share. Also be sure to pack some fun sports and water gear because the water will be warm and inviting.

If there is no beach located near you then you can always head down to your local pool or Jacuzzi because we all know that there is nothing better on a long day than relaxing in a hot tub.
Although this option is not free, it may be the best on the list. Two words, Water Park. There are more than 1,000 water parks in North America alone. They are filled with so many things to do whether you want to just sit and relax in the lazy river or are looking for adventure on a giant slide.
Some other ways to stay cool this summer is to visit a museum; this is both fun and educational so you can stay smart outside of school. Also visit the movies this year because summer movies are always the funniest.

If you are looking for a little more adventure this year, go to a state park and take one of their many trails but be sure to bring a lot of water and a hiking buddy. If it’s too hot to finish the trail, then don’t. Only go as far as you can before you need to get into that air conditioning we love so much.

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Make a New Year’s Resolution that Sticks

January is the one month of the year where we all have something in common: we get a fresh start. Whether your new start is real or imagined, we all share in the sense that the new year will bring new and exciting experiences, more organization, less procrastination, a leaner body and more time spent with friends and/or family. Of course, we are speaking of the New Year’s Resolution. So whatever yours is this year, here are a few tips on how to make and keep your resolve.

1. Be specific. Vague resolutions like “meet new people” or “get organized” are typically doomed to fail from the start. Your Resolution needs to be specific so that you know not only how to accomplish it but also when and if you have. So instead of “meeting new people,” resolve to join a new club, learn a new sport or organize a community event. Rather than purporting to “get organized,” decide to clean out the garage or dedicate yourself to keeping an up-to-date planner.

2. Be realistic. Resolutions like “losing weight”, “getting in shape” or “driving less” are all great in theory however, they need to be practical. By setting a realistic (and specific) goal, you will keep your motivation and avoid frustration and burn out. Therefore, decide you want to lose 25 pounds this year and thus stay away from crash dieting and unnecessary stress by allowing yourself the time to accomplish an achievable goal. Instead of “driving less,” calculate how many miles you drive per week normally and try to cut this by 5-10 miles a week.

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Give That Old Christmas Tree New Life This Year

Now that Christmas is over and we’re feeling the let down of gifts given, visitors come and gone and turkeys carved, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with that beautifully smelling tree in your living room. While most of us will be sending the tree to a recycling center to be mulched, here are some more fun, do-it-yourself options for disposing of the tree.

Recycle It Yourself. Cut the branches and trunk into smaller portions and put them in a wood chipper (or borrow a neighbors). Use the mulch for increasing the health of your soil in flower beds, around shrubbery or in your garden. Additionally, you can use the wood for kindling in your outdoor fire pit. Average sized trees can provide up to 13 pounds of firewood. Remember, do not burn evergreens inside because they are highly flammable and full of sap.

Make a Bird Sanctuary. Attract the local wildlife by building a Christmas tree-sized bird feeder. Decorate it with homemade popcorn garland, orange slices and pinecones or stale bread smothered in peanut butter and birdseed. Secure the tree to a support with wire or twine to keep it from blowing over and use stakes in the ground for extra stability. The birds will come for the food and stay for the refuge in the branches.

Perfume Your Home. Allow the needles to dry out and brush them off the branches. Separate them into small, decorative bowls or cups and mix them with cinnamon sticks, cloves and dried flowers or fruit. The result will be a creative, eco-friendly and aromatic potpourri that will leave your home smelling of the holidays even after the tree is gone.

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Wrap Without Waste

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Hopefully, everyone has completed all their holiday shopping, decorating and organizing. Now it’s time to wrap!! In our traditional “green” spirit, we have come up with suggestions to curb the another wasteful holiday habit: tossing tons upon tons of the wrapping waste in the garbage. Countless rolls of dyed wrapping paper, non recyclable tape and tissue paper are thrown out every year during the holidays. We believe that if we are committed to going green throughout the rest of the year, there is no reason that commitment should waver during the holiday season.

We all have stacks of newspapers, magazines and various scraps of paper lying around. Give these odds and ends that are now useless to you a new life. The comic section is colorful and adds a bit of humor to gift giving. You can really use anything to wrap with – old calendars, wallpaper samples, last years greeting cards, children’s art work. We can all admit to hoarding things for sentimental value that wind up just taking up space in our closets and garages. Make this year the year you go green AND create more space in the attic.
Remember when we had to use maps to navigate? Now with smart phones and GPS, we always know where we are and also where all of our Facebook friends and acquaintances are at anytime of the day or night. But what happened to all those colorful maps that were all but required on any road trip? They are sitting in the backseat of your car, in your glove box and in that drawer under the sink just waiting to reincarnated as creative wrapping paper.

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Decorate for the Family and the Planet

As we decorate for Christmas this year, we are reminded of the joy of togetherness, the fond memories of Christmases past and the love we feel for all the friends, family and opportunities in our lives. However, we can also get carried away with the stress of hunting for presents in the overcrowded malls, scheduling and attending dinners, parties and other events and making sure the house properly reflects all of our Christmas spirit. Here are some ideas for Christmas decorating that can double as quality family time and your karma points for saving waste from the landfills.

Got old cardboard boxes laying around from a recent move or from shipping Christmas presents? Convert this thick paper into ornaments using a stencil, sharp scissors and some creativity. Cut out stars, snowmen, reindeer or even Santa shapes and decorate them with scaprs of paper, ribbon, glitter and paint. Your tree will be most creative and eco-friendly on the block! Additionally, you can make your own ornaments with odds and ends from around the house. Wrap a tennis ball with colored twine for an original family ornament or sring together old spools of thread to create a hanging Christmas tree shape. With a little imagination, there is really no end to the things you can convert into decorations.

Rather than buying the same old gift tags and place cards, cut up old greeting cards. Cut cards into small pieces and tape them to gifts as name tags. Use Hallmark’s sparkle and glitter over and over again rather than buying new tags every year. Additionally, you can use them as place cards for big family dinners. No need to throw all last year’s Christmas cards away or leave them collecting dust in the garage – give them new life this year.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day!! As we (well…most of us anyway) prepare for a glorious four day weekend, visions of oodles of home cooked food, quality time with loved ones and traditional football matchups have already begun dancing in our heads. While all these things are the components of a wonderful holiday weekend, we wish to remind you what the holiday is all about:

Take a moment this weekend to take pride and comfort in the little things that make life worth living. Remember how much your family loves you and all the times the special people in your life were there for you when no one else was. Take pride in your accomplishments, your successes and the way in which you have positively influenced other people’s lives. Thanksgiving is time to take a day off from being hard on yourself and to take stock of all the blessings in your life. So what if you haven’t paid off that credit card yet? Or if you have yet to finish all the schooling you would like to? Or if you haven’t landed the job you know you deserve? Just for today, stop beating yourself up about it. There is plenty of time to do that in the future.

So Happy Thanksgiving Backyard X-Scapes fans, customers and readers. Give yourself the day off and celebrate the positive things. You’ve earned it.

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Have a Hauntingly Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween Backyard X-Scapes readers! Today is the day when ghosts, goblins and ghouls break out of their usual haunts and roam the streets in search of a candy and an opportunity to cause a fright. So whether your dressing up as a frighteningly fantastic Furby, blending in with the pumpkins on your front porch waiting to scare trick or treaters or generously doling out candy to the princesses and pirates heading your way, we hope you have a one-of-a-kind and special holiday.

As usual, we remind you to be safe in your celebrations. Make sure your younger trick-or-treaters are supervised and stay in well lit areas. Always inspect your child’s candy for signs of tampering before they are allowed to eat it. This year, authorities are urging parents more strongly than ever to thoroughly inspect candy because of a new concern that some candies may be laced with marijuana. Though there have been no reported incidents of marijuana laced candy being “accidentally” distributed to children, police have seized many seemingly normal food products like candy, cookies and soda that contain the drug.

So take your kids trick-or-treating, go to that costume party and distribute candy on your porch, just remember that a great Halloween is a happy and healthy one.

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