Delicious Veggies and Herbs You Can Plant in Your Garden this Spring

Spring is quickly approaching. Though flowers are usually planted in fall, and you might think spring is a time of blooming only, there are some items you can plant starting in March! You can plant a good deal of your summer veggies and herbs in spring. Roll up your sleeves and we’ll explore what you can plant. Don’t have tons of space for a garden? These ideas lend themselves perfectly to container gardens as well.

The best place to start is to find out when the last frost in your area occurs, or the average temps in your area. The USDA and The Old Farmer’s Almanac usually have maps that portray this info and will help you find the best time to plant based on where you live. Some plants can handle certain temps, and others can’t.

A consumer-help magazine recommends planting veggies that don’t have to be repotted – so the hardy varieties. Get started with:

  • Beans
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Asparagus (come back)
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Kale
WellnessWeek_Herbs_013.jpg
Herbs are beautiful, fragrant, and easy to care for!

These are the major players and the most low-maintenance veggies you can add to your garden in spring. Let’s see what herbs the best are:

  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Basil (late spring)
  • Chives
  • Sage

We hope your kitchen is filled with fresh ingredients now, due to spring planting. Now go on and check out some recipes to use up those herbs and veggies! Make some marinades, dressing, and sauces to share with your friends.

Learn More!

Why You Need to Consider Thermal/ Wind Zones When Purchasing a Used Manufactured Home

When purchasing a used manufactured home it can be easy to forget to check that the home is built to the specifications required for the location where you’re moving the home to. Manufactured homes are built to satisfy certain construction requirements based on the geographic location of where the home will be sited. This means, while one can enjoy the convenience of a mobile home, you must also consider to what standard it was built.

Make sure the home you’re purchasing was built to meet the wind zone requirements for the location where the home will be installed. There are 3 zones as you can see below. You can move a mobile home of a higher zone to your location, but you cannot legally have a home of a lesser zone placed in a higher zone location. For example, If I live in Tallahassee, FL, I am in a location within wind zone 2. Say I’m trying to purchase a mobile home from Northern Alabama that was built for that Alabama location in zone 1. I wouldn’t be able to move the Alabama wind zone 1 home to my location in Tallahassee because my location requires a home that can withstand 100 mph winds and a zone 1 can only withstand 70 mph winds.

Wind zones updated mk.jpg
Understanding wind zones is vital to the placement of your mobile home.

Next, you want to be sure your thermal zone equates to the area where your home will be located.  Thermal zones are broken down into 3 zones, the most Southern coastal areas being a lower number 1 and cooler Northern areas being a zone 3. Thermal zones are based off of u-values, which gauge how much heat passes through different building materials. However much those materials “leak” measures how well the materials insulate the home. U – values are based off thermal zones and the interior temperature being a constant 70 degrees Fahrenheit. All of this complicated definition to say thermal zones are like wind zones in that they need to match or be a higher u-value to be placed in lower numbered zone. For example, a home in Michigan is a thermal zone 3 and can be moved to Texas, a thermal zone 1, but the opposite cannot happen.  Homes designed and constructed to a higher thermal zone can be installed in a lower thermal zone, but a thermal zone 1 home cannot be installed in either a thermal zone 2 or 3 area.

thermal-zone-map
Thermal Map from MHI.org

We hope this was helpful in defining what wind and thermal zones are as well as helping you consider them  before you purchase a home and have it moved. Be sure you know what your location allows and needs in terms of a manufactured home being moved to a piece of land.

Get More Homebuyer Tips!

 

Oakbur Quill Co.

Entertaining Small: How to Make Your Single-wide the Life of the Party

Sometimes a small space can make you feel like celebrations and parties aren’t for you. But that’s just not true, sure it might be a little cozier, but we think that’s even more fun! Find a way to organize what you’ve got well, plan ahead, and stylize your place just the way you want it.

Let’s find the best ways for your mobile home to be the life of the party!

Have a place for coats and bags. Borrow a coat rack, use over the door hooks, make your bed so people can put coats and purses there, or you can even set a laundry basket by the door. This gives people a flow when they enter your home and it cuts back on clutter.

Open up the floor. Move items out of the center of the room so there is space to mingle. It’s even wise to move tables to the edge so they take up less room.

Move food to the edges. Use the length of your single-wide to your advantage. Limit your spills, take advantage of outlets, and create a better flow by keeping food on outside tables, built-ins, mantles, etc. If there’s a free space by the window or in a nook – use it! Again, this leave space for people to travel freely through the middle of your home without a traffic jam.

Football_Party_Lifestyle_2018-12
Make your space flow well!

Bring the lawn chairs. There’s no shame in it, I’ve done it! No one has enough chairs for that, so ask friends to bring lawn chairs and set up some of your own if you have them. In the warmer months this can split your crowd to so some people are on the porch or outside in the lawn.

Call it a potluck. Cooking food for a lot of people can get expensive fast, ask guests to bring sides to help fill up the table and split the cost. Plus, it will take a lot less time to prep and your friends can show off their cooking skills, too!

Set out the power strip. Keep your electrical outlets from shorting out and have more options for food and decor with more outlets.

Now you’re ready to start hosting parties! You don’t need a big space, you just need some thoughtful and hospitable forethought. We hope you take these ideas and share your wonderful mobile home and maybe make some new or stronger friendships blossom!

Prep Your Home With a Deep Clean!

Beat the Winter Blues and Get Ahead with These 5 Ideas

Winter is hard for a lot of people. While I personally love it, I know myself to be in the minority. Winter is a time of sickness, being stuck in the house, and early nights for many people. Many experience seasonal depression, weight gain, or overall feelings of boredom and sadness. To remedy this, or perhaps in spite of this – let’s focus our efforts on warmer days, literally and metaphorically.

While you’re getting snowed in and relaxing, start doing these things and see how much easier the rest of your year runs.

  1. Plan and decide what you’re doing with your potential tax return. If you’ve got debt, say a medical bill, loans, etc. Why not put it towards those, or paying off one with the most interest? Sounds like getting ahead to me! At a different place financially? What about splitting it up between your kids for future education expenses? You get the idea.
  2. Donate and organize. It’s too cold outside to do much so work up a sweat inside! After Christmas it’s good to replace old with new and also get rid of things you don’t use or you’re not going to use. Organizing is a great way to take inventory of what you have. You might realize you can donate half your clutter and have more space and better efficiency.
  3. Try a new hobby. Hobbies can be hard to start because we’re always looking for the time to learn about them initially. Now is the perfect time to research, go to workshops, and get comfortable with a new hobby before the business starts back up.
  4. Plan a summer vacation that will cost way less. If you book things far in advance they are usually cheaper. Plus, if you plan what you’re doing, rental cars, and the like early you can look around for deals and do the best research for the cheapest rate. All of this will also help you get excited for sunshine! P. S. if you love winter you could also plan a vacation now and save because it’s off season!
  5. Start a fitness plan from home! There are so many video tutorials online you hardly have to go to a gym or have equipment anymore. As long as you have a little space that’s all you need. Burn some calories, get fit, and enjoy the extra energy. Then you can enter the warmer days already fired up!

We hope these ideas help you bust the blues and give you less to do during the busy times! Remember, down time is the best time to get ahead. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed each summer, try these things today. That way you’ll be ready, and you won’t be bored in the winter!

Get Ahead With Your Finances!

7 Ways to Keep Your Mobile Home Interior Efficient and Fresh

There’s plenty out there on how to keep the outside of your mobile home maintained. From roof coating, to checking to see if the home is level – you’re encouraged to protect the outside of your home. So why not do the same with the interior? Let’s look at things you can do to keep the inside of your home in great shape, too.

  1. Bust the dust. Dust can happen on your vinyl over gypsum covered walls like clockwork. Keep those walls fresh with a wipe down every month. Check your ceiling fan blades, air filter returns (if accessible), and corners for dust and cobwebs as well. Stuck on dust is annoying to clean. Catch it before it gets worse!
  2. Protect those floors! Vinyl flooring can be impacted most by water and indentions. Keep them safe by always mopping/wiping up after spills. Also, check appliances for leaks and deal with them immediately. To avoid scuffs, put soft felt rounds on the legs of furniture. Rugs can also help preserve your floors.
  3. Keep your lighting eco-friendly. Lose those old bulbs and swap them out for some more cost-efficient ones. You’ll pay more on the front end but it’s worth it and they won’t get as hot as those others!
  4. Change the position of your furniture.  Don’t leave that couch in the same place for five years, welcome a little change and relieve those floors as well as clean a place that you haven’t cleaned in a while. This is a great way to keep carpet from getting permanent indentions.
  5. Protect those pipes. Especially in the winter! Open cabinet doors so warm air can reach pipes at night, leave water dripping slightly, and keep thermostat level. No burst pipes make for a happy home!
  6. The Classic. Change your air filters monthly! This gives you clean air and helps your system stay clean.
  7. Clean vent hood over oven. Wipe it down every now and then or take it down and soak it for an easy clean. You might even try your dishwasher.

There are more items on the interior of your home to address, these are just the basics. Maintaining your home could build your equity if other factors play in and your home is attached to land. Improve your investment by keeping your home tidy! Learn more about how the condition of a home can impact you in the long run!

Tell Me About Equity!

How to Display Décor on Your Mobile Home Walls

We assume slapping a few photos and heavy items on the wall will be easy, however you need the right kind of hooks and screws. When I became a homeowner myself, I just started in with a hammer. I didn’t understand drill bit sizes or the different kind of reinforcement a heavy item needs. I soon figured out if I want things to stay up I’d have to be a little more knowledgeable.

Determine the weight and what you need. If you’re hanging something lightweight or flat, you can probably use adhesive strips and your items will stay in place. If the item has some weight to it, you’ll want to consider something like a thin wall anchor.

Installing thin wall anchors. Be sure you have the appropriate size drill bit for your anchor (toggle bolts also work well for mobile home walls).

  • Once your drill bit is fitted (5/16” recommended) you can mark and drill the hole. Mobile home walls are thin so be gentle, take your time, and always use appropriate anchors.
  • Thin wall anchors open up once inside the wall, so be sure you poke the plastic middle of the anchor (if it’s open) vertically, so it’s open horizontally.
  • Then you can push the anchor into the hole you’ve drilled open. Next, you’ll push a “key”, a thin or dummy nail in so the anchor opens up (after being inserted into the wall).
  • Lastly, you can use a handheld screw driver to hang your item from, or screw in your external hook to hang the item from.

Hang items from a hook or string. This can help balance whatever your hanging and redistribute the weight of it. It also can help you center or hang something that otherwise demands a flat, difficult area to hang it from.

Skip it and try leaning it. If an item is too big or just annoying to hang, try propping it up against the wall or setting in on a table or shelf and leaning it against the wall. This gives you a fun, modern look without all the hassle and measuring.

Want help with hanging a shelf, too?

Learn More!

7 Easy Ways to Protect Your Mobile Home During the Holidays

It’s a true, but unfortunate thing – the brightness of the holidays can also mean elevated theft in many areas across the country. With people leaving their homes to see loved ones and new items entering the home it opens up opportunity for theft.  The good news is you can do a few things without spending any more money to make your home less of a target. Nothing is guaranteed, but why not do your best to protect the place you call home? Below are some smart ways to keep your home looking lived in and help keep burglars away.

  1. If you’re an online shopper you want to be sure your packages are delivered to you and not to someone walking by. Have mail delivery place packages on a closed in porch, at a back door, or somewhere more concealed than your front stoop if possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a stuffed snowman in the box, thieves will just grab the package and find out what’s in it later.
  2. Keep trash and recycling concealed. If you just got a flat screen, don’t put the box by the road. Empty boxes let people know what you’ve got or that you’re moving in. Break down boxes and throw them in the recycling or trash bin.
  3. Leave some lights on or the tv when you’re gone during the day or evening. With apps or timers, this can be automatic. Leaving an interior overhead light on and outdoor lights on is a good way to ward off burglars. Having your tv on is also a good theft deterrent because potential burglars will assume you’re home and that may thwart them from breaking in.
  4. Keep windows locked. This seems easy, but you’d be amazed how many windows you “thought you had locked” but didn’t. Burglars don’t want to leave a mess or a trace – they’ll always look for the simplest way in. If it’s hard to enter your home, it may scare off thieves.
  5. Maintain your yard/exterior. Nothing tells an outsider you’re out of town or inattentive like a yard left in a mess. Keep up with seasonal maintenance and don’t leave broken items to rot. Give your home some love and attention.
  6. Don’t share your travel plans on social, or wait till you get back home to share. Sharing that you’re on vacation on social media is an easy way for someone to plan to steal from your home. They don’t have to be your friend or follow you either – the internet is an open place. Think before you post.
  7. Befriend your neighbors. A good neighbor will watch out for your home and you can return the favor.  Neighbors can be great people to help get your mail or turn lights on and off at your home while you’re gone. It may be smart to start a neighborhood watch or participate in it.

Don’t just protect your home, protect your finances, too! We’ll help you get started!

 

Protect Your Finances!

 

Easily Replace Screens on Your Mobile Home Windows

There’s really no need to have to buy new screened in windows or live without a breeze during the warmer months. Fixing the screen on a window frame is quite easy and inexpensive. You can take an afternoon and fix all the windows on your mobile home! Let’s look at how easy the process is!

You’ll first want to decide what material you want your screen to made of. There are tons of different types of screen roll you can purchase, the most common material for mobile home windows is fiberglass. Be sure to measure the frame to get the roll that will fit the area, over compensate if it’s close, as you can always cut excess.

To begin you’ll want to remove the frames that need repairing and clean off a flat surface to work on. This will help you add the right amount of tension and have the space you need for the project.

The most common mobile home window sizes are 30” by 60”, 36” by 60”, and 36” by 54”. Sizing will depend on the year of your mobile home and the manufacturer. You’ll want to measure to be sure. Using a flexible tape measure may be easiest.

First, you need to remove the spline (the black rubber tubing) this holds the screen in place. You may need to use a tool to remove the spline, a flat-edged screw driver will do the trick. Just be careful as you may have to dig a little to get the spline out. Don’t use a knife or anything sharp. As you do this, you’ll also be removing the damaged screen.

Next, you can roll out your screen over the frame and cut it to fit the frame. You want to overlap the frame by about a half inch. If you cut it too short there’s no good way to fix it. But you’ll need extra so you can fit it into the grove and add the new spline.

It can be helpful to place something on the screen to add tension. This may also make it easier to place the spline correctly. You don’t want your screen to be loose.

With the help of a thin roller or a rolling tool without a sharp edge you can easily roll the spline into the cracks, sealing the new screen to the window. You can trim the edge after it is locked into the window frame. Using something like a utility knife is probably the best bet. Again, exercise caution!

There are plenty of other tips and ways to do this well! You can also easily preform the same for a screen door. If you’re looking to make your own screened door, you can purchase or make the frame and cover the holes with your screen roll.

Keep the holidays bright by keeping up with your home! Give your mobile home the gift of an upgrade!

Get Upgrade Ideas!

References

  1. Clayton Home Blog. 27 November 2018. Whether Manufactured Home Exterior Door and Window Sizes are Different. https://blog.claytonhomes.com/are-manufactured-home-exterior-doors-and-windows-different-sizes.
  2. Family Handyman. 27 November 2018. Screen Repair: How to Fix a Window Screen. https://www.familyhandyman.com/windows/window-repair/how-to-fix-a-window-screen/view-all/.

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Some of the most sentimental and meaningful items I have are gifts that friends have made for me over the years. Sure, fancy gifts are fun sometimes, but homemade gifts endure through time. It’s also nice to be able to pick one idea and make it in bulk for a lot of people. It also is a good way for you to stay in budget! Make something your family can join in on and enjoy less stress, and less useless spending this holiday. Below are ideas you’ll be sure to enjoy giving!

Make a holiday blend! Place a small blend of each of the below in small glass jars, baggies, or decorative wrap. Then you can boil it with some water on your stove top for a great smell all day! Water will evaporate so keep adding water. There are also other options, such as wax warmers, that can fill your house with holiday smells too!

Christmas_Decorating_Blog_2016_076.jpg

  • orange slice
  • cinnamon sticks
  • cloves
  • bay leaves
  • cranberries
  • lemon slice

Make a round of candles! Who doesn’t love getting a candle? Especially, one you make. We recommend using soy wax that can be melted down. Soy takes the longest to burn of most common candle ingredients. All you need are few ingredients!

  • soy wax
  • container for candle
  • wicks
  • something to melt the wax in (microwave)
  • candle scent/natural oil

Make a keychain! Everyone needs their keys, why not add some personality to them! You know your friends. Make a keychain in the theme they’d like. Getting creative is easy! Choose your style are get started with these great ideas!

Make magnets! All you need is some magnet tape or rounds, your favorite cut out items, and clear overlay stickers. You can also use bottle lids, stickers, or anything you think of really!

Make a set of coasters. Grab some thick cork and cut into whatever shape you want and seal it with mod podge for an easy seal. If your good at sewing you can make your own pattern, or you might even use felt and cut out fun patterns and layer it to reinforce it.

Wrap That Gift in Style!