Choosing Planters for Trees

Planters are a great way to add a touch of greenery to spaces otherwise limited on this feature. Trees add a much desired green flourish while creating a heightened landscaping appeal overall. When choosing the right tree pots, it may seem complicated. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.

  1. Know if you intend to transplant

The most important thing in choosing tree pots is knowing if you are looking for a starting place or a final place. Many people use pots to start growing a tree in a more controlled environment and then when the tree is strong enough to prosper on its own outside the tree is transplanted. On the flip side, some people plant trees in a pot with no intention of transplanting them to the ground. If you know you won’t be transplanting to the ground, this can help you pick the right pot based on the sizing needs of the tree.


  1. Choose the right trees for pots

If you intend to use the planter method for trees, it is important to note that certain trees are better suited to pots than others. Some trees require more root depth, space, and time to reach their full potential. In fact, if you plant certain types of trees in a pot when it isn’t ideal, it can lead to the tree reaching a certain growth stage and then dying or showing signs of unhealthiness. When looking for a tree capable of flourishing in a pot, here are a few popular choices:

  • Flowering dogwood
  • Italian cypress
  • Japanese maple
  • Snowy Mespilus
  • Olive
  • Persian silk tree


  1. Consider pot size based on root depth

Aside from knowing if you plan on transplanting and the matter of choosing pot-friendly varieties, the planter size is crucial in choosing tree pots. When you choose the type of tree you intend to plant, you should always find out the root depth the tree typically grows at so you can choose a pot with enough room. This matter will make it easier to choose the right pot for the growing needs of the tree to narrow down the search.

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5 Ways to Keep the New Car Smell

Everyone wants to keep the new car smell in their car as long as possible, right? I mean there’s not many things that are better – but what do you do when well, it gets a little funky? Here’s a look at 5 common causes of car odors and how you can remove them.

This post is sponsored by Falls Motor City

1. How to Check for Hidden Odors

I call this the “Mom nose” – you  check around the car to see if maybe there is something in the car that is causing the smell. Look under the seats, floor mats, glove compartment, the trunk. It could be an old baby bottle, or milk container (those are the WORST) moldy fruit, forgotten lunch or snack bags or something spilled on the floor. Be sure to throw away the culprit asap, and clean! Also remember, sometimes weird smells can come from the car itself, which may mean you need to get it into the body shop. It could be an issue with overheating, or maybe you need an oil change. 

2. How to Clean Car Carpet and Upholstery

If you can’t find the source of the stink, most likely you need to pull out the vacuum and steam cleaner! A lot of the time (and I know from experience) that the stink can be trapped in the upholstery, carpet or fabric interior of your car. Vacuum in every crevice using an upholstery attachment , and if that doesn’t seem to do it, break out the steam cleaner. There are car cleaning tools you can buy to attach to your current cleaner, or buy a small steam cleaner made for cleaning tight, or odd places. If you have leather, just use leather cleaner, and you should be smelling good as new! 

3. How to  Get the Smoke Smell Out of Your Car

If you smoke – or have a passenger who does – remember to empty the ashtrays on a regular basis. Cigarette smoke tends to ‘stick’ even in the vents. You can spray a car odor eliminator in the car and in the vents as well. Also be sure to open up all the windows and doors to air things out.
Remember, smoking leaves tar behind, which is sticky. So wipe down the inside of the car with a water/vinegar solution. If the smell is still there, try some Dawn Dish Soap as well (that stuff works miracles) and wipe dry.

4. How to Remove Puke/Sick Smell Out of Your Car

If you are a parent (to a child or pet) an accident of some sort is bound to happen. Even if you clean it up immediately, a deep clean is probably going to have to be done. If it’s already dried use the 50/50 water vinegar solution to re wet the spot and remove it with a wet/dry vac. You can even spread cat litter with baking soda as well on the carpet, to help absorb the odor.

5. How to Get the Mildew Smell Out of Your Car

Mildew can be an awful smell to deal with as well – a cracked window and a storm blows in, or a leak in a sunroof, there are many ways that a mildew smell can make your ride to work uncomfortable. But the clean up is pretty simple – use a wet/dry vac to remove any leftover water/wetness, and shampoo with a carpet cleaner. Good as new! 


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How and When to Check Your Tire Pressure

As you probably know, tires that are not inflated properly not only may wear excessively, lead to lower gas mileage, and can be a danger to you while driving. That is why it’s very important to know how and when to check your tire pressure. Here’s some tips on how to check your tire pressure, and more.

This post is sponsored by East Hills Jeep


Your vehicles recommended tire pressure can usually be found on a sticker inside your drivers side door. It will also be listed in the owners manual – (and if not either of these, you can usually find them online). Tire pressure is measured in pounds per square inch. (PSI)

You will also probably see that the sidewall of the tires list a tire pressure as well – that is the MAX pressure the tire is allowed. You really should go with what is on the door or in the manual, as that is ideal.


You will need a tire pressure gauge – you should check the pressure when the tires are cold, so don’t do it immediately after driving since driving causes them to heat up and affects the pressure. Check them first thing in the morning, or after the car has cooled down. (it usually takes about 3 hours).

Once you have the gauge, you will need to remove the cap from the air valve, and be sure to put it somewhere you won’t lose it (I usually put it in my pants pocket).
Read the air pressure gauge – the pressure will appear on the screen of a digital one (which is what I recommend).
Compare the number on the gauge to the recommended tire pressure
Adjust air pressure if needed, then be sure to replace the air valve cap


So if your tire is lower than the recommended pressure, here’s what you need to do:
Be sure to park close enough to the air compressor so you can reach all 4 tires with the hose
Like when checking the tire pressure, remove the valve cap
Press the hose nozzle down on the valve stem – air should automatically flow – you should notice the tire inflating and feel the air through the hose
Remove the hose fitting or release the inflation lever – check the air pressure again (as described above)
Repeat the steps on each tire until they are inflated correctly
Replace the valve caps

Be sure to listen, if you hear or feel air coming from the hose nozzle, you need to make sure that is properly connected to the valve. Also listen for any possible leaks in your tires.


Over inflated tires are just as bad as under inflated – in fact, you could be more likely to skid on the road, or even hydroplane.

If the gauge is reading more than the recommended pressure, here is what you need to do to release air:

Press the small dot or bead on the back of the tire pressure gauge into the center of the valve stem on the tire – you should be able to hear the air release.
Use the gauge again to check the pressure.
Repeat the steps until you are at the proper tire pressure


Honestly tire air pressure should be checked at least monthly – and more when the weather changes. The pressure usually rises in the summer because of the heat, and drops when it gets cold outside. Just get into the habit of checking them regularly, even if they look fine, and make it a part of your regular routine.

If they seem to be cracking, breaking, or losing air more often, be sure to make an appointment with the service center, as one or all of them may need replaced.


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What to Do if Your Car is Recalled: A Step by Step Guide

If there is a recall on your vehicle, you may not be sure what to do. But knowing that there could be a potentially safety issue with the vehicle that you drive yourself and your family in everyday, is concerning. So knowing what you need to do if your  car is recalled can help you feel a bit more at ease.

This post is sponsored by Winner Auto Group.

What Exactly is a Safety Recall?

So the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues a recall if they – or manufacturer – determines that a  vehicle or its equipment can pose a safety risk or does not meet motor vehicle safety standards. They can recall a vehicle over air bags, tires, or even the cars seat. Manufacturers are actually required to file a report that includes information such as the details of the applicable vehicle/equipment and number of vehicles affected, a description of the defect or compliance issue, why they are deciding to do the recall, the remedy they will use to fix it, and the schedule of the recall.

How Will You Know About the Recall?

After it’s been determined that there is a need for a recall, and the report is filed the NTSA requires that the manufacturers must try to notify all registered owners and purchasers of the vehicle by mail within 60 days. The letter will instruct the owner on how to get the issue fixed, and what time frame and when the repair is available, and how long it should take and who they need to contact if there are any further issues. It also will let you know that there is NO CHARGE to correct the problem.

If you are unsure, or think your vehicle has been recalled in the past,the NHTSA does provide an online tool that allows you to search for recalls using your vehicles Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

What Can Be Recalled?

Obviously normal wear and tear and issues that arise due to aging of a vehicle are not covered under recalls (or insurance). Pretty much it’s generally a defect that presents a safety threat that will trigger a recall. For example, maybe malfunctioning steering equipment, leaky fuel system, airbags that deploy improperly, wiring issues that could be a fire hazard, car jacks that may collapse, or an accelerator that may stick or malfunction. 

What Do You Do When Your Car is Recalled?

Once you find out a recall applies to one of your vehicles, getting it  fixed needs to be a priority. They don’t just recall for no good reason – this costs the company hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars – so don’t take a recall lightly. Usually they give you one of three options for fixing the problem:
Repair – the vehicle or part will be repaired by the manufacturer at no cost to you
Replacement – if a problem cannot be fixed, the manufacturer can provide you with another identical vehicle, or similar model
Refund – the manufacturer can choose to refund the purchase price of the vehicle, minus depreciation. 

The same thing goes for other types of vehicle accessories, like car seats. If you already paid to fix the problem that is being recalled, you should be able to be refunded the cost of the service.

No matter what the issue may be, remember that you need to contact the service center right away to find out what your options are. Yes, most of the time it is a precaution, but it does require immediate action. 


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What Do the Lights on My Dashboard Mean?

In today’s cars there are more dashboard lights than ever to alert drivers about possible problems – problems you need to take care of asap. If you are like me and don’t know much more than the gas light, here is a quick guide to common dashboard warning lights and symbols.

This post is sponsored by Rochester Hills Dodge Chrysler Jeep Dealer Troy, Pontiac


In newer cars the lit icon will look just like an engine; it means the vehicle’s computer noticed a diagnostic trouble code which means there is an issue. If it just occasionally comes on and off, it’s probably something not quite as urgent, and you can have them check it the next time you go in for an oil change or maintenance.
BUT if it stays on – that’s a problem. It could be something as simple as the gas cap not being closed tightly enough , or it  could be something major. If the light stays on – GET IT CHECKED OUT. If it flashes, it’s probably super serious and you need to get to a repair shop or mechanic immediately. 


Ok,I might know this one too. The dashboard lights look like a tire with an exclamation point which means tire pressure in at least one of the tires is low and needs inflated. Be sure to check the tire pressure asap


This dashboard light stand for the Tire Pressure Monitoring System and when it comes on there is an actual problem with the monitoring system. Probably a failed sensor on one of the wheels – this doesn’t necessarily mean that your tires need air – the TPMS just keeps track of the air pressure, so if the light is on, something in the tire needs fixed, so that when you do have low tire pressure, it can let you know.


If you see a dashboard light that looks like an oil can, you need to pull over ASAP. This signals the loss of oil pressure, which means you could be losing oil (which is never good). So be sure to pull over immediately and check.


A warning dashboard light that looks like a thermometer means the engines temp is beyond normal limits, and needs checked immediately. This light helps warm you so that your car doesn’t overheat. You will want to check the  coolant level and make sure the radiator cap is properly sealed, and also look for any coolant leaks. ALWAYS LEAVE TIME FOR THE ENGINE TO COOL DOWN BEFORE CHECKING or you could be burned.


When the dashboard light looks like a battery, that means your voltage level is below normal. Somewhere the vehicle’s charging system isn’t working properly, so you need to have the battery terminal and alternator and alternator belt checked. If it’s an older battery, it may need to be replaced.


The  dashboard light that looks like a circle inside a set of parenthesis with an exclamation point in the middle represents your brake system – and if it comes on while you are driving, you need to definitely pay attention. It could be triggered by driving with your parking brake on, or it  can mean you are losing brake fluid – both which are bad. If it comes off and on, and you don’t notice a difference in your brakes, just make an appointment with your mechanic or service shop as soon as possible. If it stays on , I would recommend having it towed to the repair shop. 



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