5 Reasons To Start Planning Your Spring Or Summer Garden Now

5 Reasons To Start Planning Your Spring Or Summer Garden Now

Gardening can help you create a healthier environment!

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Gardening is a time-consuming hobby. It may take hours just to weed and water all of your plants depending on your garden size. Not to mention going to the gardening store and spending money on soil, fertilizer and new plants to add to your collection. Many times gardening seems like something that would be better left out of your life or taken care of by a service. Despite the hassle of buying, tending to and spending time on your garden, being outside has a ton of benefits (and nothing can compare to the satisfaction of having a beautiful place to read, sunbathe or play with your dog in a space that you created with your own two hands)!

1. Stress relief

Gardening is a great way to promote stress-relief. Being outdoors is known to boost relaxation. Moreover, growing a vegetable garden can make it easier to maintain a healthy diet (which can reduce the effects of stress on the body).

2. Exercise

If you are lacking exercise, gardening is a great opportunity to get outside and get your daily workout. The best part is that you just have to go to your backyard.

3. Vitamin D

Being outside also allows you to get some much-needed Vitamin D. Vitamin D maintains calcium levels and helps promote healthy bones.

4. Horticultural therapy

Gardening is therapeutic. It does more than just relieve stress! Horticultural therapy is meant to improve the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life. A therapist leads gardening activities as a form of treatment.

5. Socialization opportunities

Lastly, gardening provides time to socialize. Many communities have local gardens that invite people to help harvest and plant. This allows you to meet more members of your community and be involved in volunteer work.

Gardening is hard work. It takes determination and requires the gardener to be prepared for winter to strip away their creation after summer has ended. However, it is all worth it for the benefits received from spending time outside and getting active. Start planning your garden now by looking up plants that fit your climate. Maybe even start simple with a little house plant to care for. It is obvious that time around nature is time well spent.

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15 Confessions Of A Dogaholic

14. You're just as happy to see them as they are to see you.
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I think all dog owners can agree that when you get a dog they change your life. They make you see the world in a different way and show you unconditional love. They don’t judge you or care if you’re rich or poor. They not only become a part of your family, but they become your best friend.

We all know those crazy dog people, like myself. We are the ones that take selfies with our dogs, talk about them like they're our children, and wish we could pick up the phone to check in on them when we are not home.

Whether you like to admit it or not, being a dog owner, we all become a little obsessed with our dogs. If you're a dogaholic like myself, you will be able to relate completely to these 15 confessions:

1. You develop "the baby voice."


Without even realizing it, once you bring your new fluffy friend into the family, you develop that annoying baby voice that you will only talk to your dog in. It'll go something like "oh what a good boy! hows my baby today?"

2. You ALWAYS have fur on your clothes.

Yep, this one is unavoidable. You can't cuddle your dog without getting fur all over you. Who cares, embrace it.

3. Fur becomes a condiment in your household.

Yeah sorry, you will definitely have a piece of hair in your food just because it floats around in the air.

4. You have conversations with them.

Sometimes you find yourself literally having a full on conversation with your dog and they just sit there and stare at you because they don't know what the hell you are talking about. But, they're the best listeners!

5. Saying goodbye is always hard.

Whenever you leave the house you HAVE to give them a million kisses and hugs.

6. You wish you could call them when you're not home.

"Hey, it's me, you're human. How are you? I miss you, I'll be home soon."

7. You show pictures of them to everyone.

You always have a picture ready on your phone and you show them off like they're your children. Your go-to conversation starter is, "Hey, wanna see a picture of my dog?"

8. Staying in and hanging out with them is always the better option.

"Hey, sorry I can't come out tonight, I'm hanging with my dog."

9. You take selfies with them.

You're not a true dog lover if you don't have a million selfies of you and your dog on your phone.

10. You have a million pictures of just them.

Your camera roll is filled with cute pictures of your dog, because you just HAVE to capture that picture of them sleeping because they are SO cute!

11. You have to say hi to every dog you see.

12. Your face when people say "I don't really like dogs."

13. Spending time with your dog always puts you in a good mood.


Had a bad day? That's okay just go home and lay with your dog, you'll feel better.

14. You're just as happy to see them as they are to see you.


15. They're your absolute best friend.


People are great and all, but...dogs are better.

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Melvin

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To The First School Pony I Ever Rode, And Still Love

Although its been around 9 years since I've ridden Change, I still remember all he taught me.

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Here's some background. It was my 4th birthday that started my love for horses. My parents and I lived in this house that had an acre plot of land, perfect for the best birthday parties. This birthday party, in particular, consisted of ponies.

My father rented one of those party organizations to bring a few ponies for my friends and me to ride, and that very day I said to my father, "I want to ride horses!" And the rest was history.

I started and still to this day ride at Level Green Riding School, a barn that became a second home to me at a young age. My first lesson, at the age of 6, was on this magical little pony, who now barely reaches my hips, Change. He was this fiery little pony who had some attitude but was incredibly patient with the young students.

I took my first few weeks of lessons on him and continued to on and off ride him for about two years after. Although we did little real work other than walk, trot, canter, then finally 18-inch jumping, I learned a lot from him.

So to my buddy Change,

Selena Spezio, 2009

Thank you for helping me grow my love for riding. Because of you, I have continued to pursue my passion for the sport. I have kept with it, even when I felt like a failure. There would be times when I felt horrible about a lesson, but because of you I keep with it and understand that there is always room for improvement.

Thanks to you, I understand that the horse is never to blame, but that I should reevaluate my position, attitude or technique to better my relationship with the horse I am on. The love I have for these animals stems from the small connection my young kind had with you.

I learned how to be humble. The little things we accomplished together, like my first time ever posting, where I looked like I was attached to a pole just standing up and sitting down, was a big moment, but I know it only happened because you helped me out. Image if I was on a wild pony who had an attitude and was out of control, those big moments would have come a lot harder.

The first time we jumped, oh what a joy. Although it was a small pile of poles at first, I felt free. I really saw what it was like to have a simple connection with a being.

Change, you taught me control, composure, and to have a great attitude no matter what. Those times when you were having a bad day and the first time you tried to buck me off, instead of being in fear, I just laughed and kicked you along.

You taught me the fun of this sport, and for that, I thank you with all my heart.

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