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The house-proud home owner needs more than one toolkit to keep up with odd jobs around the house and yard. These are the basics you will need to have handy in tool kits ready for jobs in the home, workshop and garden.

Household Toolkit

Your household toolkit should be kept in an easily accessible spot in the kitchen or den. It’s handy for making quick repairs around the home, hanging curtains, fixing loose doors and so on.

    • Retractable tape measure: You will use this a lot, so get a strong, well made tape measure about 25 ft in length. Retractable makes it easy to wind up and store.
    • Screwdrivers: You will need both flathead (straight edge) and Phillips (cross head). You will have both types of screws in your home. Get them in the most common sizes around your home and an assortment of replacement screws as well.
    • Utility knife: A good strong metal one with a retractable blade.

  • Duct and masking tape: One large roll of each.
  • Hammer: Get a good quality claw hammer, you don’t want the head flying off while you are working and causing damage or injury. Add an assortment of nails.
  • Pliers: Handy for a number of small jobs, including holding nails in place while you hammer (saves your thumbs!) Get a blunt nosed pair and a needle nosed pair. One pair should have a cutter.
  • Optional extras: A cordless electric drill, all purpose glue and small saw or hacksaw. A stud finder is a handy thing to have if you are putting up shelves.
Workshop Toolkit

Your workshop toolkit will be better equipped than your household toolkit, so you can get started on projects to improve your home and garden. Consider hiring extra tools that you may not use on a regular basis to help you finish a job. Also consider the nature of your projects – if you work mainly with wood, a welder may be an occasional hire item. If you work mainly with metal, a welder will be a necessity.

  • Variable speed corded drill: Able to cope with bigger jobs than your household cordless, also used for sanding and grinding.
  • Saw: What type of saw you have depends on what you will be doing with it. If it’s just for odd jobs, a hand saw will do. If you cut timber or fire wood on a regular basis, consider a circular saw.
  • Spirit level: Let’s get this straight – you will need this! You can get a spirit level built into a T square, combining two handy items.
  • Adjustable wrenches: For removing and tightening bolts and gripping anything that needs to stay still.
  • Assorted screwdrivers – Phillips and flathead: These you will tend to gather as you go along, in a variety of sizes.
  • Nails and screws in assorted sizes.
  • Wire cutter: Scissors do not do a good job. Have the right tool.
  • A good quality claw hammer: Always keep one in your workshop because it’s guaranteed you won’t be able to find the one you keep in the house.
  • Metal files: For coarse and fine work.
  • Ladder or stepladder: Make sure it is sturdy and firm. Safety first!
  • Goggles and masks: Again, safety first.
  • Optional or hire extras: Electric sander, welder, generator for stand by power.

Gardening Toolkit

There are a few standard items that are essential for good gardening. You gardening toolkit need never be any bigger than this.

  • Shovel or spade: Usually the first thing to buy and use. `Test drive’ a shovel before you buy. Make sure you are comfortable with its weight and height. Buy a good quality shovel with a good metal scoop. Anything else just won’t last.
  • Hoe: Again, test it to make sure the handle isn’t too long, or that it isn’t too heavy to be comfortable.
  • Rake: Metal lasts longer although cheap plastic rakes do the job. Bamboo or wooden rakes generally fall apart quickly.
  • Small garden set: A hand trowel, fork and weeder for planting out, removing weeds and aerating the soil around a plant.
  • Garden snippers: For pruning small branches, rose bushes and dead heading spent flowers.
  • Watering can: For spot watering and when water use is restricted.

by Gail Kavanagh

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DIY Homestead Spa – 10 Steps To Pamper Yourself At Home

A lush towel and robe. Aromatherapy. Soothing music. And some body pampering! Welcome to your DIY homestead spa. It couldn’t be easier! We’ll show you how. Take these 10 simple steps to completely relax and spoil yourself regularly.

DIY Homestead Spa Step 2: Essential Oil Diffuser and/or pretty candles to set the perfect mood.Step 1: Stay Hydrated With Lemon Water

Prepare a small pitcher of lemon water to drink while you soak in the tub (We’re getting to that). Lemon water is rich in vitamin C, hydrates you, aids in digestion, may improve skin tone, and even supports weight loss.

Step 2: Get That Essential Oil Diffuser Workin’

Diffusers are great for transforming the average bathroom into your own personal spa. Keep a handful of essential oils on hand that you find soothing and great for relaxing. Yes, you can use candles instead. Better yet, light some unscented candles even if you a diffuser to create the perfect atmosphere for your homestead spa.

DIY Homestead Spa - Use a soft cloth to remove your face mask.Step 3 : Prepare Your Bath

Not just a plain bath! Step up the spoil factor with a bath bomb, liquid bubble bath, an herbal pouch, etc.

Step 4: Play Some Tunes

I love sound therapy for my homestead spa time. It’s so relaxing! You choose whatever music or sounds give you a sense of calm and help you enjoy the entire experience. Remember, it’s all about you, gorgeous farmgirl!

DIY Homestead Spa Step 7: Soak in a bubby, scented bath.Step 5: Face Mask Time

As the bathtub fills up, deep clean your face and neck with a seaweed mask. This is especially important to do if you’ve been out in the sunlight all day. Put your hair up in a towel or bun and gently smooth on the mask. If you don’t have seaweed mask handy, that’s okay. Use what you’ve got! Clay masks are also fantastic for removing toxins and smoothing the skin. Even a mashed avocado makes a great face mask!

Step 6: Deep Breathing

Take a deep breath in, allowing the abdomen to expand gently. Hold it for a moment or two before exhaling. Repeat 5 times. This will lower your blood pressure, relax your muscles and prepare you for the goodness to come. This is YOUR homestead spa time. Your “me time.”

DIY Homestead Spa Step 3 - Prepare your bath with salts, bombs, or herbal soaks.Step 7: Sink Into Your Luxurious Bath

Remember to relax and take your time. Don’t think about anything but the scents, sounds, and the way your body feels. Exfoliate with a loofah or sugar scrub. Use a bath pillow to lay back and be absolutely still for at least 5 minutes before rinsing. For the best results soak for about 20-25 minutes. Pat yourself dry, but don’t rub all the moisture off! You’ll need it for the next step.

Step 8: Moisturize Your Skin

Immediately choose your favorite body butter fragrance or natural lotion. Your moist skin will drink it in and leave your skin softer than ever. Massage the body butter or lotion in, especially in any areas showing cellulite (Yeah, I’m there with ya). Don’t forget your feet and hands. We farming, gardening gals are on our feet and use our hands a LOT. That’s why we call it a homestead spa. Now wrap yourself up in the warmth of a comfy bath robe.

Step 9: Remember That Face Mask?

Wash off the mask gently with a soft cloth and warm water. Some like to finish with a splash of cold water to close the pores. You do what works best for your skin, but don’t forget to moisturize and use an anti-aging serum.

Step 10: Finish Your Lemon Water

Before you re-enter real life, finish your lemon water! This keeps the cycle of detoxifying in motion, and you’ll be hydrated from the inside out. Slip into bed. Read a book, magazine or write a passage in your journal. What a restorative evening!

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