Growing a garden when you have no yard

Living in today's digital world, where screens are an ever-present part of our lives, taking a leisurely stroll through the park is becoming more a rarity than a past-time; playing Frisbee with friends is considered a throwback experience; and sitting on the veranda to watch a sunset is something only old people do. Yet, as humanity allows itself to continue being held hostage by electronic devices, there is a growing movement to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. And one of the first places that comes to mind for "digital refugees" to flee is the back yard garden. Yet, what if you have no yard? Is it still possible to have a garden?

Yes! Just because you don't have a sprawling garden plot on Route 66 doesn't mean you can't have a proud garden on floor 66. The secret it to garden using containers. Here's how to get started:

(1) Get pots that fit the crop

Don't underestimate the amount of space your plants need to grow. Plants need enough room for roots to deeply take hold. For example, if you were to plant bell peppers, a quart-size pot will suffice. However, if you were to plant corn (which is possible to do indoors in a pot), you'll need 5-gallon containers for each plant.

Avoid unglazed clay pots. Unglazed clay pots tend to get brittle over the course of a season. Instead, opt for plastic pots. If you insist on using a clay pot, at least consider layering by having your plants in a plastic pot that is then inserted into the clay pot.

(2) Maximize sunlight

Your plants want and need sunlight--a full day's worth every day. Keep your plants in rooms that receive enough sun. If you need to move your plants during the day, that's ok. It's one of the benefits of container gardening!

(3) Use potting mix

Don't use plain old dirt. Use potting mix in your containers. Potting mix is specially formulated to hold moisture better and usually comes with the appropriate blend of nutrients necessary for your garden to thrive. Also, you'll never have a weed problem because potting mix is bagged weed-free!

(4) Get a hose that connects to your sink

This can be fun. When buying your high-rise apartment, you probably never thought you'd need a garden hose. Yet, you'll find a short garden hose to be very convenient in keeping your container garden watered each day.

You can connect a garden hose to a sink by using an adapter typically available at any home improvement store like Ace, TruValue, or the Home Depot.

If you'd rather not have a garden hose, that's ok. You'll just have to make repeat trips with a watering can.

(5) Consider adding hanging baskets

There's more to your apartment's space than just floor space. Use the air space to potentially DOUBLE the amount of crop production. Some plants, like tomatoes and many kinds of herbs, grow very well from hanging baskets. Not only will hanging baskets increase your production potential, but they can also be very beautiful.

(6) Use eco-friendly household cleaners around indoor plants

With an indoor garden, you'll want to be very sensitive to the kind of cleaners you use. Many household cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can harm or even kill plants. Furthermore, once your plants start producing fruit for consumption, you'll definitely want to avoid spraying anything harmful around your garden. Melaleuca products are all eco-friendly as are products available from eco-friendly stores like Natural Grocers.

Upgrade Your Dining Room With These Four Tips

 A dining room can be focal point in the home -- a place where the family gets together, leaves behind the worries of their busy days, and shares both a meal and an experience. And this is precisely why creating a dining room that is both beautiful and comfortable is so important. Read on to discover four useful tips for achieving just that!

1.Add lighting options. Far too many dining rooms (or far too many rooms in general, to be honest) depend on one single, harsh, and un-adjustable overhead lighting solution. This tends to create an overly-bright center while casting dark shadows and eliminating the possibility for mood-based adjustments. Adding extra lighting options to your dining room will make the space more welcoming and versatile, and all at a very reasonable cost.

2.Try mismatching. A perfectly uniform dining room might seem like an idea from the magazines in theory -- but in practice it oftentimes comes off as overly formal and uptight. A few mismatched furniture pieces, on the other hand, can create a more homey, lived-in feeling that most families would prefer.

3.Choose defining features. A large painting hung on the wall. A distinctive rug that delineated space. Or a couple sets of tableware to set the mood. Oftentimes, one highly noticeable accent feature can add more to your space than a dozen tiny details -- and this applies to living rooms and bedrooms just as much as it does to dining spaces.

4.Upholstered dining furniture. Make hard, uninviting wooden chairs a thing of the past by investing in customized and upholstered dining furniture from The Sofa Company! Our diverse selection of stylish and comfortable dining furniture is sure to have the right chair for every taste and every budget -- so visit us online today to learn more!

Protecting Furniture: ( Party or Get-Together )

 Nothing beats a killer party or a super-fun family get together -- at least not until it’s time to clean up and you realize that your most treasured furniture has been damaged in the fray! Here are a few tips that can help you ensure that this nightmare doesn’t become reality.

  • Furniture Covers. As you will see when you browse the Sofa Company’s extensive selection of furniture accessories, furniture covers have come a long way in recent decades, and are now more stylish and more comfortable than you have ever imagined possible!
  • Change the Layout. Don’t leave your most delicate or most valued furniture in high-traffic areas -- this is just asking for a spill. Instead, rearrange in order to ensure that fold-out chairs and older furniture is used most, while your prized possessions are relegated to more intimate and lightly used areas.
  • Clean before and after. Cleaning before your event may seem counter-intuitive, but it is important to take psychology into account here. People are much more likely to treat clean, well-cared for furniture with a great deal of respect than they are to value dirty, seemingly unvalued furniture well. Of course, cleaning after the party is also very important, as it prevents any spills or stains from becoming permanent fixtures in your furniture and in your home. Melaleuca products, from glass cleaners to furniture polish, are effective, non-toxic, safe for your guests, and leave a pleasant fragrance.
  • Provide Tables. It is a simple and straightforward solution that will have amazingly effective results: make sure that tables are always available next to every piece of furniture, and the likelihood of a spill or accident will go down significantly.

Online Company Review: Glass Door

Glass Door is an online business that specializes in business reviews. Their web site,, allows employees to hop on and share honest, anonymous reviews about the companies they work for. Former employees can also leave reviews.

Glass Door has been around for about nine years now, and employees have been able to write online reviews since 2008. Reviews consist of ranking the overall company (zero to five stars); rating the CEO (on a scale of zero to 100); listing the pros and cons of the company; recommending the company (or not); and offering "advice to management."

All the major companies in the U.S. have thousands of reviews. There are also many other smaller companies with only a few hundred or so. Overall, there have been millions of Glass Door reviews posted about thousands of organizations. Let's take a look at how a few companies fare on Glass Door

1. Procter & gamble reviews
• 3,804 reviews
• 4.0-star rating
• 93% approval rating for CEO David S. Taylor
• 85% recommend the company to a friend
• Sample pros: "Great co-workers, challenging technical issues to solve." "Stable environment focused on icon brands."
• Sample cons: "Not sure how much they value employees." "Paperwork is a little much. Workload can get overwhelming. The time it takes getting new equipment through financing and in the door and up and running is too long."
• Sample advice to management: "You should really listen to the people who execute the work before you throw in a new strategy." "Please remember to keep your best people even when they fight for your employees at work. Please keep us protected but also let the people you hired do the job that you hired them for. Continue to support us and we will continue to support you too."

2. Melaleuca reviews
• 156 reviews
• 4.0-star rating
• 82% approval rating for CEO Frank VanderSloot
• 81% recommend the company to a friend
• Sample pros: "Fast-paced, high-energy, mission-driven, CUSTOMER-centered, EMPLOYEE-built, privately-held company approaching $2B in annual sales with a 32 year growth record. An amazing and challenging environment perfect for personal and team growth and development."
• Sample cons: "Performance based income, need to really work hard and put in a lot of time to make a significant income."
• Sample advice to management: "Invest in your people." "Hire people because they know what they are doing. Then let them do it. Pay them well so that they won't ever leave."

3. Wendy's reviews
• 2,086
• 3.2-star rating
• 68% approval rating of CEO Emil Brolick
• 54% recommend the company to a friend
• Sample pros: "Great co-workers, awesome General Manager, easy to move up." "I like the culture here."
• Sample cons: "District Managers are pets of the company and some have very little concern for a work/life balance."
• Sample advice to management: "I thing they can make things way better by getting bigger and really get to know people before they actually get hired in."