Best patio trees

When we were designing our backyard patio, we took a lot of inspiration from first of all pinterest, and then from our experiences dining al fresco at some of our favorite restaurants.  One of the things we noticed that made an outdoor dining patio absolutely beautiful was when they built the stones and pavers around trees.  When using trees as accent pieces almost, it provides a sort of “in-nature” feel, with the trees acting as small umbrellas of scattered shade.   The types of trees we observed to be the most appealing in this type of setting were usually the ones that were not tiny but maybe 6-8 inch thick trunk that did not grow too tall but could be trimmed to create a sort of wide and low reach, mimicking an umbrella.  When taking into account how were were to design our patio, we definitely wanted to include one or 2 beautiful low trees that would create a lovely natural and curated ambiance to our backyard.  We are still in the planning and saving stage, but at least we have this one part decided! Tree selection is going to be a challenge, and we have to take into account that any tree will probably grow a bit, so stones must not be placed too close to the base of the tree, possibly even build a small wall around to protect the tree as well. A good tree service near me will probably help give good input.

We took a trip out to wine country in California a few years back, and there were many beautiful courtyards and patios there with amazing landscape and hardscape ideas that were almost reminiscent of Tuscany with the use of vines, small trees, stonework, and shrubs to create lovely and inviting spaces outdoors that would make you want to sit and sip wine and enjoy the view for hours on end.   What better way to spend a weekend than in your own slice of heaven.

Caftans are so cool

Are you going on vacation or planning to hit up the pool this weekend? Add some style and make a statement by wearing comfortable pretty and flattering cover up over your most favorite bikini or swimsuit such as a caftan or kimono.

A gorgeous Caftan and/or beach kimono screams style and can be the most comfortable thing you’ll ever wear.
Wearing a cover-up is a great way to add color or style comfort warmth and protection from the sun while you are out having fun.
Sometimes a cover-up can help you go from the beach to the bar without having to change your whole outfit.
If you have an hourglass figure or wider in the hips throwing on a beautiful Kaftan can be very flattering for that body type.
Beach cover-up or Kafton that has either a wider neck line or a deep V-neck can be very flattering sexy and feminine as well.
You can opt for a Kafton that is shorter mid thigh length which will expose your gorgeous legs or you can go for a longer caftan which will add visual length as well as draw the eye upwards.
By opting for loose flowing fabrics or flared style that isn’t fitted but gently falls away from your shape it won’t add any extra bulk and won’t feel restricting.
Some caftans come in a beautiful solid color and have embellishments around the neckline which can be very slimming and flattering for many body shapes. And yet other beautiful captains come featured with lovely prints and patterns which can also help create a slimming effect.
You can’t go wrong adding a few different cover ups, caftans and open beach kimonos to throw into your wardrobe when heading out to a tropical location. Caftans can be very versatile be worn as a dress or over your swimsuit to the beach and shorter Caftans can be worn over a cute pair of jean shorts with a bikini top underneath for a more casual and fun flirty look.

Windshield Care Tips and What to Do if Your Windshield Breaks

Windshield Care Tips and What to Do if Your Windshield Breaks

You are driving along to work, listening to those cool tunes, and Wham, it struck… almost like a meteorite, but it wasn’t, just a small pebble.

Problem is, it caused this crack in your windshield…and whether large or small, you need to pay attention and fix a chip, crack or windshield break almost immediately. Driving around with a cracked windshield is unsafe and in most states illegal.

Unfortunately, chips and cracks are a part of owning a vehicle, and they can happen to anyone. But more often than not, drivers often ignore these cracks and chips because they seem minor. Even so, driving around with them can put your safety at risk, even more so if the windshield crack is large or when it breaks out completely. The windshield is part of the vehicles structure, and when it chips, cracks or breaks, it debilitates the structural strength of the vehicle, making it more vulnerable in the case of an accident.

Is It That Big of a Deal?

Auto glass companies and law enforcement agencies both confirm that a cracked windshield is dangerous. The windshield is a part of the structure of a vehicle and causes the structure to be less safe in the case of an accident. Besides, most states enforce windshield safety laws.

The Law

There are safety laws regarding cracked or broken windshields. These laws vary by state, but most states implement a cracked or broken windshield law as one of the most important rules of the road. Drivers cannot drive vehicles without windshields, and many states enforce laws against cracked windshields. The reason is simple. The windshield offers a clear and safe view for the driver. Cracks, chips and brakes impair that view, so ultimately repairing or replacing the windshield can prevent your getting an expensive fine.

What to Do

When you notice a chip, or worse, a crack, call your insurance provider. Most comprehensive auto insurance policies cover the cost of stone chip repairs. But even if your insurance company does not cover the cost, take it into an auto glass repair shop to get it repaired or replaced. The cost of a glass chip repair is substantially less than the cost of replacement.

If your windshield suddenly breaks while you are driving, follow these steps.

  1. Get to a safe place to stop.
  2. Wear gloves before brushing the glass out of the car.
    Dispose of the glass in a way that is safe and label the container.
  3. Vacuum up small pieces.
  4. Notify your insurance provider
  5. Call a qualified windshield replacement company to replace the windshield

These are immediate steps to take when you notice a stone chip, crack or break in the windshield:

  1. Call a qualified windshield replacement company. Most of these companies also specialize in chip repair.
  2. Get an estimate of the repair service from a windshield repair provider.
  3. If the cost is above your insurance deductible, call your insurance provider to see if the fix falls under coverage.
  4. Expect the auto glass repair company to take a few hours or even up to a full day to repair the chip.
  5. Plan the repair work for a day you have off from work or select an windshield repair company that is close to work so you can drop off early and pick up your car after work.

Bottom Line

Protect your car for as long as you can. When something as minor as a chip or crack in the windshield comes along, fix it. You are not overreacting. This tiny problem can quickly develop into a full windshield break.

For the Love Of Trees

When is tree removal necessary?

Trees provide many wonderful benefits such as supplying oxygen, counteracting pollution, and conserving energy. Homeowners with trees can enjoy their beauty while also benefiting from higher property values. But there are some instances when removing a tree is vital, especially for safety reasons. Being aware of the following signs can help determine whether you should contact a tree removal professional.

From the ground up

When examining trees, professional arborists often say it’s best to start at the roots. Is the bark chipped or peeling? Are there hollow areas in the trunk or dead branches? A hollow tree with a damaged trunk is also a telltale sign. Then, work your way up and inspect the tree for other symptoms such as loss of leaves and browning, brittle branches.Try to size up the entire tree by viewing it from a distance. A canopy inspection, in which the high, remote areas of the tree’s leaves and branches are examined, can be performed by a certified arborist.

If more than half of a tree is damaged, it is probably best to cut it down. There are some cases where you may be able to keep a dead tree in the yard, if it is judged to not be a hazard. But in most cases, a dead tree should be removed immediately after you notice it. Prolonging removal will only lead to more decay, and it can make the tree specialist’s job more dangerous. If you really wish to avoid removing a tree, try to contain decay by pruning damaged areas. Monitor the tree carefully, and watch for signs like bark falling off, dead branches, and areas of the crown that are dead or leafing out much more than the rest.

Proximity of trees

When considering tree removal, another important consideration is how close together trees are growing. Too much clustering can be detrimental for trees’ overall health, stunting or impeding growth. In some cases, you may find two trees joined together at the base, potentially weakening one of the trees. In these cases, you should prioritize the tree that is the healthiest and most likely to survive.

Trees can at times be invasive, blocking sunlight, damaging driveways with their roots, or leaning into a house. A far-leaning tree can be dangerous, or one that is growing too close to power lines. The aftermath of a storm can also be a reason for tree removal, especially if the tree was irreparably damaged.

It is also important to evaluate how tall your tree can grow. Some trees can grow extremely tall so they may need to be transplanted if they are too close to your house. As a rule of thumb, large trees should be about 20 feet from your house, while smaller trees can be as close as 6 feet from the house. In these cases, you may be able to transplant the tree somewhere else.


Some types of trees are considered to be less desirable than others. Species such as willows, poplars, and Siberian elms are susceptible to breakage, shallow roots, or infestation by disease or insects. Thus it is important to plant wisely and strategically. If you inherited this type of tree on a new property, you should inspect it closely.

When it comes to the actual procedure, tree specialists are trained to tackle the gnarliest situations. While some people want to take a hands-on, DIY approach, arborists have the expertise and equipment to safely remove a tree. They know that cutting the tree too close to the top can eliminate more than half of a tree’s crown, which is how a tree nourishes itself.

Rather than getting rid of the debris of the tree, you can be creative and repurpose it. Specialists like tree removal in Framingham can chop the tree into firewood or wood chips. You can also make beautiful tabletops with certain kinds of trees such as sycamores. The remaining trunk of the tree can either be removed, or converted into a unique planter for flowers, a bench, or a stand.

Removing a tree can be a difficult decision, especially if it has sentimental value for you and your family. If you are unsure, you can always contact a certified arborist to help you address your questions.



Take Time to See 

One of the most entertaining past-times for me is people watching. Or just observing the humanity around me.  I’ll plant myself on a park bench downtown and study the individuals that pass by.  From clothing styles, to hair-do’s.. those well kept to those that prioritize other things in life besides their personal appearance.. you can tell a lot about someone from the way they look. Though we are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, there’s not a lot of judging going on when I observe people.  I’m looking at their stride, if they show confidence, worry, happiness.. and I wonder what thoughts go through their heads as they walk with purpose, or slowly glide along their way.  Some seem to not have a care in the world.

I find it refreshing to spend time during my week to take a break from my busy life and check out the world around me.  Of course it’s not great to be caught staring, but I’ve gotten pretty good at looking like I’m just daydreaming, and not glaring at folks.  It’s almost become my own form of meditation in many ways.  I find myself distracted from my own problems, and more interested in acting as a sort of Sherlock Holmes.. breaking down clues of sorts.  If I’m lucky I’ll overhear some chatter and get more clues as to their occupation or lifestyle.  If I’m getting ready to start on a new project, sometimes taking a few minutes to relax my mind first will clear my head before launching into deeper thoughts.

Take time to look at the world around you, you’ll learn a lot!

Inspiring Cape Cod Paint Shades


Ten Paint Shades for a Cape Cod Vibe


For many New Englanders, Cape Cod evokes fond memories of long summer days at the beach. The quintessential Cape Cod cottage charms locals and tourists alike with its unassuming yet tasteful design. But now you can recreate the vacation mood in your own home all year round with beautiful, beachy paint colors.


When creating this look, opt for colors that mimic the breezy Cape atmosphere. Natural colors that reflect the shades of sky, sea, and sand are ideal for a beach home interior, but you can work in some bolder colors as well. Here are our top 10 colors for a Cape interior.

  1. The exterior of a classic Cape house is often painted in neutral tones that pair well with its natural setting, such as soft beiges, grays, and blues. Take the same approach with your interior with Benjamin Moore’s Pirate Cove’s Beach, a soft off-white tone that recalls the pleasant Cape shoreline.
  2. Pastels bring airy brightness to a room without overwhelming it. Choose a sunny yellow like Cambridge Heights by Benjamin Moore to enliven any room in the house, especially a shared space such as the dining room or living room.
  3. Even if your urban living quarters lack the weathered wood of a Cape house, you can draw inspiration by using a color such as Benjamin Moore’s Monterey White, a burnished shade that recalls sand and driftwood. Use it in a smaller room to create the illusion of space, or alternate it from wall to wall with a soft grey for a more modern look.
  4. Natural colors such as greens and blues are an obvious choice to bring the seaside getaway into your home. Choose an airy blue like Sherwin William’s Tradewinds to have your own piece of summer sky. This can be particularly nice for a bedroom as a peaceful color.
  5. Just like dipping your toes into the ocean on a hot summer day, a mellow green like Sherwin Williams’ Watery envelops you in aquatic calm. It pairs well with creamy white curtains, furniture, or other accents.
  6. Beyond neutrals and natural hues, rich colors add character to a home. For a Cape-inspired look, try nautical hues such as blues and reds. A rich, deep blue like Sherwin Williams’ Loyal Blue emulates beloved sea tones.
  7. While bold, vibrant colors are less common for Cape houses, they can liven it up and give it a modern look. Add a punchy shade like Benjamin Moore’s Mexicali Turquoise to a bedroom or bathroom for an exotic beach feel.
  8. One of the most picturesque aspects of the Cape is its beautiful, grass-covered dunes that stretch for miles along the coast. With earthy, grey undertones, Benjamin Moore’s Dune Grass is the ideal shade for a sunroom or living room, that makes the windswept shores seem that much closer.
  9. The Cape’s neighboring islands have their own unique style and charm. The quaint gingerbread houses that dot Martha’s Vineyard are known for their varied colors. Pinks and bright blues give a nod to the Vineyard’s style. Try Sherwin Williams Memorable Rose, a deep shade of pink, for sweet island charm.
  10. Nantucket has long been another favorite summer escape. With their chic yet relaxed beach style, the houses embody the Nantucket aesthetic. Add your own touch of summer chic by using a rich Nantucket red. Imitate Nantucket’s preppy Reds Pants, a symbol of island life since the 1960s, with Benjamin Moore’s Milano Red. 


When considering interior painting in Boston, painting professionals can help you achieve the dream Cape look for your home. Professional painters are well equipped and efficient, and they pay attention to small details that you may overlook.