Miles Kimball has the Cure for Summer Boredom

Everybody looks forward to summer, adults and kids alike. Not only do they all get to experience warmer weather together, as well as more quality time, but schedules are usually more flexible. With longer days, there’s more time for fun.

However, it seems like it doesn’t take long before the thrill of being out of school and work wears off. Boredom sets in. To ensure that the boredom doesn’t last for too long, there are some activities you might consider doing, and Miles Kimball is here to help.

Spend Time in Your Yard

One of the best ways to stay busy throughout the summer is to start a garden. This is something that everyone in the family can participate in and enjoy. A garden is a great way to get the entire family outside for some fresh air and sun. You’ll also feel a huge sense of pride knowing that you were able to grow your own delicious food. If you are wondering how to plant a garden, there are resources that can help with that endeavor.

If growing food isn’t your thing but you’re still looking for a way to get rid of summer boredom and make your yard look good, then you might consider planting some easy to grow garden flowers. You can add some color and dazzle to every part of your yard. With the right choices, you can also attract butterflies. Trying to catch them or just admiring their beauty is a great way to have some fun over the summer.

Keeping your yard looking immaculate and free of weeds is another great way to fend off boredom this summer — but the process doesn’t have to be back breaking. With the right yardwork tools, you can keep your property looking good without hurting your back, knees or hands.

Get Together with Friends and Family

Another sure-fire way to have fun this summer is to host get-togethers with your friends and family — and it doesn’t have to be a special occasion for everyone to party! Consider inviting them over at other times to get rid of boredom and give yourself something to do.

Having the right supplies is essential to ensure that your party is a success (and a portable hammock doesn’t hurt, either). You’ll want to make your backyard look good with table covers, and you’ll need to protect the food from insects. It’s also a good idea to have durable dishes that won’t break if accidentally dropped on your patio.

In addition to the practical items, another way to make your backyard look good for gatherings is to have the right lighting. This will allow your party to go into the night so that you can have fun all hours of the day. String lights, solar lights and hanging lanterns will add a special ambience to your backyard space and make it inviting and comfortable no matter who comes to visit.

While lighting adds something special to your outdoor space, it’s not the only thing you can use to decorate. Adding decorative yard stakes or other decorations to your yard is a great way to make your property stand out. You can even personalize certain items to really show off your style.

Bring the Fun Indoors

While getting outside during the summer is the ideal situation to get rid of boredom, there are some days when staying inside is necessary. Whether it’s raining or way too hot to be in the yard, having things to do inside will keep boredom at bay.

Having books can help with this endeavor. Adults enjoy coloring just as much as kids do, so having a variety of coloring books on hand can be beneficial. Spend some time at the kitchen table creating colorful images that can be hung on the fridge or even the wall.

If coloring isn’t everyone’s thing, then doing some word puzzle books will keep the entire family entertained on the days when they are stuck inside. Playing games can also get everyone laughing and help them forget about their boredom.

For kids (and even adults) who want to express their artistic side, having a paint set and easel in the house is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Another way to create items by hand is to sew. With the right supplies, everyone in the family can make something useful that can be used all year long.

Fun for All

Summer is right around the corner, and kids and adults alike are looking forward to the freedom this time of year brings. Of course, with so much time on your hands, you may find that there are moments of boredom. Thankfully, at Miles Kimball, we offer a variety of options to ensure everyone has fun over the summer and throughout the year. Check out our selection today!

Grilling and Summer: How to Make the Experience Delicious

One of the most appealing things about summer is the ability to cook outdoors. Not only does food from the grill taste amazing, but there’s also something fun and exciting about being in the fresh air, preparing food. Grilling is also a great way to bring family and friends together for fun and laughter.

To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your grilling experience, you need to have the right supplies. Don’t worry, at Miles Kimball, we have exactly what you’re looking for.

Make Food-Prep Easy

Before heading out to the patio to grill your favorite meal, you have to know exactly what you’re going to make and how you’re going to cook it. Sure, one of the great things about grilling is that you can make spur-of-the-moment dinner decisions, but the best and most delicious dinners take a bit of preparation and the best kitchen gadgets.

Whether you are taking care of the food prep inside or outside, make sure you have the best kitchen tools. Knives and cutting boards are essential. You can’t have hamburgers without offering tomatoes and onions as toppers, and getting these fresh and slicing them at home adds something flavorful to the meal.

Want to add some delectable cheese? Having a grater and slicer is imperative. You can also use this item to prep veggies for sides. It’s a multipurpose food prep tool that will make getting ready for summer meals quick and easy.

Have the Right Cooking Tools

Not only do you need the right tools to help you during the food prep process, but you need the right products while you are cooking. You don’t need much when it comes to grilling utensils, but you need quality items.

Having a high-quality spatula is essential. It ensures you’re grilling all sides of your meal to perfection. Need to add some flavor to your meat? Silicone brushes have the ability to withstand the heat, but also evenly and easily apply bastes and liquid seasoning concoctions to your food.

Silicone tongs can make it easy to grab, flip or serve any item that you might be cooking on your grill. They are heat-resistant and easy to clean, so they are ideal to use in just about any cooking environment, particularly outdoors.

Are you planning on cooking food that might slip through the slats of your grill? Using a copper grill mat ensures that your food gets cooked to perfection without the worry of it getting lost to the coals or propane flames. This item is also ideal to use on public grills in parks or campgrounds that are hard to clean.

Some sides can’t be cooked on a grill, and for those items, you should consider using an air fryer. The food will come out tasting delicious, and it will add something extra to the main dish that was cooked on the grill.

Serve Your Food with Flair

After you have grilled your food to perfection, it’s then time for your family and/or friends to enjoy what you’ve made. When serving food outside, you have a lot of things to contend with, including insects and other pests. To keep them from contaminating your food, you need to keep it covered with food tents or a food umbrella. These items are perfect for use in the backyard, but they are also picnic basket essentials that can be taken anywhere you travel outdoors.

You also want to make sure your backyard furniture looks amazing, so using table covers is recommended. These covers also make clean-up quick and easy while also protecting the furniture beneath.

Having the right utensils also keeps your family and friends safe while dining outdoors. Using plastic tumblers reduces the chances of injury if they are accidentally dropped — no glass to worry about and clean up! Having paper plate holders reduces the chances of plates bending and dropping food on the ground, which is sure to keep your guests happy and full!

Decorate with Style

Grilling outdoors means having the right utensils and supplies, but it’s also more than that: it’s about creating the right environment. If you’re looking for a way to make your backyard warm and inviting, then you should consider adding some decorations or outdoor lights.

Decorative yard stakes can help you express your style and individuality, and outdoor lightning can keep the party going long after the sun sets. Whether you’re looking for something sophisticated or whimsical, Miles Kimball has your yard decoration needs covered!

Take Your Grilling Experience to a Whole New Level

Grilling and summer just go together, and with the right supplies, you can take the experience to a whole new level. At Miles Kimball, we offer products that make food prep, cooking and serving convenient and easy. Check out what we have to offer today!

Get Your Outdoor Furniture Ready for Fall

There’s a scent of smoke in the air from a nearby fireplace, there’s a slight snap in the evening breeze and pumpkin spice is on the menu at your favorite coffee shop. These events can only mean one thing: autumn is getting closer. September 22 will be here before you know it; although 2020 has been a strange year, time continues to march ahead!

Regardless of whether or not you’re happy to bring out the sweaters and think about those winter clothing essentials, fall is the time to do a bit of cleanup in your outdoor spaces. In fact, fall and winter preparation chores may have already been added to your to-do list to complete before that first frost. Luckily, Miles Kimball and Kimball Corner have compiled some must-do chores to get your home ready for the fall and winter season, including chores that include your outdoor furniture.

Clean and Cover Your Outdoor Furniture

The wildly fluctuating temperatures can be tough on your outdoor furniture, grills and outdoor structures. When these items (which are sometimes a big investment) aren’t properly cared for and protected during the winter season, their lifespans are reduced considerably. If you’re like most Americans and can’t afford to replace your outdoor furniture on a yearly basis, fall is the time to winterize outdoor furniture in order to extend its life.

After a full summer, your outdoor furniture and your outdoor rocking chairs may be ready to take a break. Clean these items thoroughly with a pressure washer or a garden hose before saying goodbye to them for the winter. Sweep off debris, add some gentle detergent to a bucket, scrub with a good water broom and then rinse well with water. Clean the cushions and wash the covers, if possible. If you’re lucky enough to have a designated space in a shed or a garage where they’re covered, this is ideal. However, patio furniture covers are also a great option if a covered space is not available.

Patio furniture covers are also great to use even if you have a covered space. They add a bit more protection to your patio furniture during storage. Miles Kimball has many different styles of furniture and equipment covers in high-quality vinyl and in a variety of styles, colors and shapes that will protect your outdoor patio furniture and other investments. Shop Miles Kimball for chair covers, grill covers, table covers, HVAC covers and lawn mower covers that will fit your spaces perfectly.

Clean Gutters

Leftover debris, leaves and nests displaced from summer storms can also be left over in your gutters and downspouts and can clog your gutters. Ideally, gutters should be cleaned twice a year — in fall and in spring. Clogged gutters can lead to wet basements, interior and exterior damage, mold growth and other undesirable consequences.

Whether you hire a service to clean your gutters or you choose to do it yourself, Miles Kimball makes cleaning your gutters an easier task. It’s important to have a sturdy ladder that can be placed on a solid surface (not on landscaping rocks, woodpiles or other moveable objects). Also, wear a long-sleeved shirt, work pants and high-quality garden gloves. Miles Kimball has some great options available in our gardening tools, such as our NFL Sport Utility Gloves, our Gorilla Garden Hands and our set of two Garden Hands™.

While you’re getting up close and personal with your gutters, it’s also great to inspect the fascia boards, your shingles and the condition of the gutters you’re emptying. Note any cracks, splits or damage. Gather your tools (gutter scoops, trowels, buckets, garden hoses, fire nose nozzles, spray nozzles). Pressure washers are ideal for this chore. Even better? Look for special garden hose attachments that are designed specifically for cleaning gutters. Miles Kimball has a convenient home and gutter flusher tool and a telescopic gutter brush that will help make this job more convenient.

Caring for Hoses and Outdoor Spigots

Cold climates can also mean winterizing your outdoor water sources and spigots. Disconnect your hoses and other fittings that are attached to your outdoor spigots. Now is the time to inspect these spigots and other fixtures for leaks or drips and to completely drain them. To do this, shut off the water line to that space and then let the spigot open until all of the water drains out. It is important to remember to close the spigot after this step. Cover your outdoor spigots with tight-fitting, outdoor faucet socks/covers, such as our outdoor faucet covers and faucet sock sets. These insulated covers contain Thinsulate® insulation that help save and protect your outdoor faucets from damage that can occur in cold weather.

Organize and Tidy Outdoor Spaces

Grandma once said that “everything should have a place.” When it comes to getting your outdoor areas ready for fall and winter, this saying has never been truer. Tidy your outdoor lawn equipment: bring these tools inside, organize them with our garden tool organizer or corner garden tool rack and keep them secure throughout the winter to extend their lives. Miles Kimball has a great selection of outdoor storage and organization items to help get your outdoor spaces in top shape. Protect your wood piles with tarps and our set of four tarp clamps to keep your wood free from moisture and bad weather. Shop bungee cords and bungee cord sets at Miles Kimball that are great for multiple uses.

Fall Prep is Easy with Miles Kimball

Getting your outdoor furniture, tools and home ready for the fall isn’t hard when you know where to look for the right tools to help you get the job done quickly and easily. Miles Kimball has unique fall preparation items and goods — as well as the best outdoor lighting, garden décor and more that’s great to enjoy during the warmer months.

Stay Healthy and Hydrated This Summer

Ah, summer. It’s the time of year when we enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of the wonderful warmer months. It is also the time of year when increased outdoor activity means that we need to up our hydration game. We’ve all heard that we should hydrate well, particularly during times of activity. Staying hydrated for optimal health is easier than you think. Read on to learn more about hydration and your health.

Hydration and Your Health: The Facts

Water makes up about 60% of the adult human body. However, did you know that this percentage changes throughout our lives? In utero, our bodies are made up of 94% water; infants are 75% water. As we age, our body’s water composition changes: the average elderly individual’s water composition can drop to 50%. As we take a closer look into water composition, individual organs vary too. The organ in the body that’s made up of the most water is the lungs (83% water), followed by the muscles and kidneys (79% water), the brain and the heart (73% water) the skin (64% water) — even the bones (31% water)! Staying hydrated is vital for your organs to function properly. Hydration regulates your body’s temperature, acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord, helps with digestion, forms saliva and lubricates joints.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

We’ve all been told that we should drink about eight glasses of water per day; however, this is a myth. The truth is that our water needs change and depend upon a lot of factors. These factors include our activity levels, how much we sweat, the climate we live in as well as our overall health. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, need more water. Eight glasses of water or liquids per day a great starting point. Take into account your personal activity levels (and the other factors described above) when determining how much water to drink per day.

How Can I Tell If I’m Getting Enough Water?

You can always tell if you’re getting enough water by the color of your urine. Of course, if you’re rarely running to the bathroom to urinate (less than four times a day is a warning sign), you’re definitely not getting enough water. That said, the color of well-hydrated urine is light yellow. In addition to urine, your hydration level can directly affect how you feel. If you are mildly dehydrated, you’ll likely have a headache, have dry skin or bad breath, you’ll feel tired or you will be unlikely to focus. Sudden and unusual cravings for sugar can also mean that you’re dehydrated. This is because dehydration interferes with many of the body’s function, including its ability to gain access to those stores of glucose. More severe signs that you’re not getting enough water is feeling dizzy or lightheaded. You may feel increasingly thirsty; if you’re thirsty that actually means that you’re already a bit dehydrated.

What are Some Easy Ways I Can Up My Water Intake?

Luckily, it’s fairly easy to stay hydrated. Although good, plain water is the best, the good news is that many other things count as a liquid, including herbal tea, coffee, milk, soup, juice, smoothies — even fruit! Love watermelon? Cut up some watermelon and take advantage of this great source of water; make your melons fun to eat with our stainless-steel cookie scoops for some decorative and easy-to-create melon balls. All of these items can count toward your daily water intake. If you prefer, filtered water, check out our clear water filtration pitcher. Keep it in the fridge for cold, filtered water to sip on throughout the day in your colorful 16-ounce insulated tumblers. Drink your coffee or tea out of a special personalized mug. Miles Kimball offers our personalized tea bag mug or our popular personalized coffee mug. Have a favorite NFL team? Check out our NFL coffee mug from Miles Kimball. Freshly squeezed juice is easy to enjoy and helps with hydration. Our 16-ounce citrus juicer by Home Marketplace is a great way to enjoy fresh orange juice. Keep your drinks cold with ice cubes, made with our aluminum ice cube trays.

Do I Need Sports Drinks?

With their fun flavors, sports drinks are often a favorite among people — both young and old. These flavored drinks are made mostly with water. They are also enhanced with electrolytes (sodium and potassium), as well as carbohydrates, and may contain glucose, fructose or high-fructose corn syrup. Some of the newer drinks are enhanced with vitamins and protein. Some studies have shown that individuals who are continuously and vigorously exercising may lose a lot of electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, calcium, chlorine, phosphates and magnesium). Electrolyte depletion can cause cramps and heat illness. If you are exercising in warm weather and are sweating a lot, these sports drinks may be beneficial to you. However, experts also agree that water is still the best solution for high-performance athletes. Electrolytes can be replenished without the use of those sports drinks, which may include added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Instead, opt for bananas, coconut water, dairy and avocado to replace your lost electrolytes.

Hydration and Health

It’s important to stay hydrated, and we’ve explored the ways that you can stay hydrated and healthy this summer. Do you have some tips and tricks that you’ve found to stay hydrated and healthy? What do you, your kids or your grandkids do to make staying hydrated for health fun? Leave a comment below to share.

Ideas for Gorgeous & Electricity-Free Outdoor Lighting

During the warmer months of the year, your yard naturally becomes more of a focal point for activity and entertaining. Gardening and watching your flowers bloom is an enjoyable hobby, of course, as you proudly behold your efforts lead to a gorgeous, colorful yard display. If you have young children, chances are they’re playing in the back yard, so you find yourself out there with them much more frequently. It can be so satisfying and pleasurable spending time in an attractive, well-tended yard.

When the sunsets and all is dark, however, we may not be quite as struck by the beauty of our landscape. Fortunately, thanks to today’s advanced solar technology, there are many exciting options and ideas for lighting the front of your house, deck, patio, stairs and back yard. Not only can you be creative, but you can add illumination without having to worry about electricity costs and hazards.

Outdoor Solar LED Lighting Basics

With the development of LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs, especially ones that run on solar power, outdoor lighting possibilities have expanded enormously. LED’s produce light through the use of a semiconductor material filled with electrons. When an electric current hits this semiconductor, the electrons move to fill electron “holes” in the material, and energy is released in photons of light. Basically, LED technology has made it possible to produce light using much less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.

Outdoor lighting using solar-powered LED bulbs is comprised of a solar panel, battery, control electronics and a light fixture. During the day, the battery collects energy from the sun’s rays, which is stored in the battery. After the sun goes down, the electronics trigger charging to stop and the light to go on. The fixture will radiate light until either there’s no charge left in the battery, or the sun comes up.

With these lights, which don’t rely on electricity and therefore need no plugs or outlets, you can basically place them wherever you want that’s accessible to sunlight. Areas that receive several hours of direct daytime sun are ideal. Outdoor lighting ideas include using them to light the walkway to your front door, illuminate special features of your yard, or add of touch of art to your garden and patio, as discussed below.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas

1. Sparkling StringsSolar LED String Lights are an excellent way to bring more light to your yard and patio after nightfall. They come in an assortment of hues — many are designed to automatically rotate among a menu of colors — and are made with a weather-resistant battery and solar panel, thereby affording electricity-free outdoor illumination. When used as pathway lights along the walkway to your doorstep, they not only look elegant, but help make it safer for anyone visiting in the evening. They can also be used at the base of the riser or under the nose of any steps outside your door, making for a safer stairway climb.

Another way to add accents to your yard with solar string lights is to place them along the top railing of a deck, raised patio or enclosed hot tub. It’s surprising how much ambience is added by these softly lit strings when you’re enjoying a warm summer evening relaxing in your back yard.

2. Sophisticated Stakes – Another type of outdoor solar LED fixture that comes in a variety of designs — traditional, modern and everything-in-between — are stake-mount path and accent lights. With the versatility of these electricity-free fixtures, you can highlight just about anything you like in your outdoor landscape, including walkways, plant-bed borders, koi ponds, unique plants, outdoor sculptures or other artwork. Have some fun being creative and experimenting with lighting effects.

For those who like a more dramatic look, try installing solar-powered spotlights aimed at higher-profile features of your property, such as unusual trees, boulders, and large fountains or sculptures. Spotlights can be strategically placed in front of these structures to provide artistic silhouettes against an exterior wall, like the front of a residence. Other types of fixtures provide all the art themselves in the form of eye-catching, multicolored light displays.

3. Dazzling Drops – Try using strings of droplet-shaped LED bulbs to add a delightful, whimsical appearance to trees, trellises or pergolas. Most solar LED strings, including this type, automatically switch on at night and return to charging mode during the day. However, there are some that include remote controls to adjust brightness and timing.

4. White Light Warning – Besides being decorative and preventing slip-and-fall accidents, outdoor lighting can serve a very important security function. Illuminating areas of darkness deters thieves or vandals, who depend on shadows and low visibility to mask their criminal activities. With solar-powered LED convenience, fixtures triggered by motion detectors shine bright light on outdoor areas — which unlit, would leave you and your valuables vulnerable to theft.

Other ways to combine outdoor illumination with added protection against unwanted visitors are solar-powered fixtures made to deter nighttime animals or insects. Equipped with motion detectors and ultra-sonic frequency dischargers, animal-repelling fixtures discourage foxes, cats, pigeons, rodents and other animal trespassers using light and high-frequency sound. Solar-powered LED insect zappers concurrently emit white light to enhance visibility for people, and purple UV light to kill pests.

By exploring today’s outdoor lighting options, you can affordably highlight the most attractive features of your garden or patio. So, when blazing hot summer days cool down to more pleasant evenings, you can unwind on your patio surrounded by enchanting illumination. Better yet, share the de-“light” by inviting family or friends over for an evening get-together.

How to Pack for a Picnic with Essentials from Miles Kimball

It’s a gorgeous summer Sunday. Your plans to get some housework done today fade as soon as you look out the window and see the sun playing on the softly rustling tree leaves. No, this is a day for a picnic with your family. A few phone calls later, you have a plan to meet your sister and her crew at the park by a nearby lake. Now, the question is, what picnic items will you need? Fortunately for you, you’ve been a devoted Miles Kimball fan for years, so you have everything on-hand for a perfect afternoon outdoors.

Your Picnic Checklist

Because a picnic is essentially a “moveable feast,” your thoughts turn to the food you’ve agreed to supply: your famous potato salad, hot dogs and buns, and a cake (chocolate, your spouse has insisted). You head to the kitchen, and pretty soon, the whole family is down there with you, risen from their beds by the smell of boiling potatoes and rising cake batter in the oven.

In a couple hours, the food is ready, and the family is — well, on their way to being ready. Now for the “moveable” part of that feast you’ve prepared. You already have hot dogs, condiments and buns handy, and you pull out your Bun and Hot Dog Keeper Set, one of your first Miles Kimball purchases. Next comes that spectacular potato salad, the recipe for which you keep top secret. Into the largest of your cheery, summer-themed 6-piece Strawberry Mixing and Storing Bowls it goes. These bowls are perfect for picnics, with their plastic snap-on lids. You start whistling as you pack the picnic lunch. This is getting fun.

Now your cake is ready to frost, and your youngest insists on helping. You hesitantly agree, wondering how much of that frosting will go onto the cake versus into her mouth and all over her chubby little 4-year-old cheeks. Oh well. Once the cake is ready, you pop it into your Miles Kimball 12” Cake Carrier. Check.

It’s time to start packing up the car with the help of your spouse and oldest son. Good thing you purchased that trunk organizer last summer, which included a cooler to keep perishable items fresh. You know how important it is to keep food items cool in the summer heat, especially things like your potato salad. Hopefully your sister will also remember her picnic essentials, like that Miles Kimball Double Decker Insulated Food Travel Tote you gave her last Christmas. She loved it, of course, since you had it personalized with her name.

More Picnic Items to Have On-Hand

Everything seems ready, but you wrack your brain trying to think of anything else you might have forgotten. That’s when your little girl comes outside carrying her Melissa & Doug Cutie-Pie Butterfly camp chair, and you can’t resist sweeping her up in your arms and kissing her, she’s so adorable. The sight of her little chair also reminds you of a few more items for your picnic. You run into the garage and grab the deluxe picnic table cover with cushions, which will make it so much nicer for everyone to sit at those public picnic tables and benches, which can be so dirty sometimes. You know your niece Jenny will especially appreciate this, since she’s always excessively paranoid about microbes.

But wait. What if there’s not enough room for everything on one picnic table? Or worse, what if there’re no picnic tables left? What time is it? We better leave soon, you think, before all the tables get taken. Suddenly calm is restored as you remember you actually purchased two of those amazing red folding picnic tables from Miles Kimball a couple years ago, since they were so handy and reasonably priced. We can always use those, you think, if we miss out on getting a picnic table. Plus, we could set them up right on the shore of the lake, in any pretty, shady spot of our choice. You recall that the folding tables even have special beverage holders for your brother-in-law Eddie to put his favorite beer. Your heartbeat returns to normal as you fetch the efficiently compact tables. Thank you, Miles Kimball.

Un-Pestered and Grateful

Finally, everyone is in the car and you’re backing down the driveway. You decide to text your sister once more to remind her to get ice for the 5-Section Condiment Server she’s bringing. Your mouth is watering as you already anticipate a hot dog with onions, relish and mustard. Just as you’re pressing “Send,” an annoying fly lands on your wrist. Gross. But then, the one last thing you forgot flashes through your mind. Stop the car, honey. You get out and return to the kitchen, where you grab your Picnic-Size Food Umbrella. There is no way insects are going to ruin this delightful picnic.

Your kids laugh and play in the back seat during the drive to the lake. It’s one of those moments of joy and exhilaration, and gratitude is your attitude. You consider how lucky you are — a wonderful spouse and children, a beautiful day ahead, and everything to make it enjoyable with the help of Miles Kimball.

How to Use & Care for Vinyl Patio Covers & Tablecloths

When temperatures start to rise and summer is in sight, there’s an excitement in the air you can’t help but sense — it’s that spring thing. The back yard, perhaps covered in snow just a few weeks prior, begins to poke through in small green shoots. And after being indoors most of the time during the colder seasons, you can’t wait to be outside again gardening, playing with the kids, or having friends over for a barbeque on the back patio.

An Ounce of Prevention

First things first, however. Your patio furniture or picnic table has been sitting through the long, chilly days, out of sight and out of mind. Whether you live in a region where it snows, or simply gets cold and rainy for part of the year, any yard furniture is at the mercy of the elements. Even during warm months, it can be damaged by dirt, tree sap and UV deterioration from the sun.

That’s why it’s smart to use yard furniture covers when you’re not using your back yard, either for a couple days or an entire season. Durable, waterproof covers are available not only for yard and patio furniture, but for grills, air conditioning units, condensers and even lawnmowers. Constructed of vinyl, a type of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), these covers can weather whatever the environment has to dish up. Well-designed covers are easy to slip on and off, generally wipe clean easily, and are elasticized around the bottom so they stay secure.

A Little History of PVC. Furniture covers are only one product among countless others that are constructed of super-versatile PVC, which was first invented back in the early 1920s by a rubber scientist named Waldo Semon. Due to the durability and versatility of PVC — it’s easily moldable, and by addition of various chemicals, it can be made rigid or flexible — it is the top manufacturing material for dozens of industries, including construction, automotive, aerospace, communications, health care, textiles and retailing.

Vinyl, a type of PVC, is the third most used plastic in the world. About 75% of all vinyl manufactured is used in construction because of its strength; resistance to moisture, corrosion and abrasion; ease of maintenance; and low cost. According to the Vinyl Institute, life-cycle studies of PVC/vinyl show that this material actually helps protect the environment, taking into consideration low greenhouse gas emission, and conservation of resources and energy.

Vinyl Furniture/Table Covers and Tablecloths. Just as the benefits of vinyl make it the perfect material for use in outdoor furniture covers, it is also ideal for outdoor (or indoor) tablecloths. Soon during the growth of plastics manufacturing, it was found that vinyl could be coated on the back with a synthetic, non-woven backing. With its cloth-like consistency, protective and long-lasting characteristics, ease of cleaning, and ability to be imprinted with all kinds of attractive colors and patterns, vinyl is indeed a natural for tablecloths.

Vinyl Cover and Tablecloth Maintenance

While vinyl is easy to care for, there can be issues with vinyl covers or tablecloths staining, wrinkling or becoming moldy. Here are a few guidelines for caring for your vinyl tablecloth, which will help keep it clean, attractive and usable for years:

  • To prevent staining, always wipe up spills from your vinyl tablecloth/cover quickly, using a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge.
  • Outdoor dirt or food stains can be removed using a combination of dishwashing detergent and water. An antibacterial kitchen cleaner can also be used, especially if there was raw meat on the tablecloth. If the cleaning product instructions direct, wipe down afterward with a damp cloth.
  • Isopropyl (or rubbing) alcohol works well to remove grease and ink from a vinyl tablecloth. Dampen a white cloth with the rubbing alcohol and rub the stain from the outside toward the center to prevent it from spreading. A stain from a food-based dye can be removed using a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water. Let the solution work on the stain for several minutes before wiping with a damp cloth. If the stain remains, try using full-strength hydrogen peroxide.
  • Vinyl tablecloths should occasionally be given an overall cleaning, especially if one side is lined with a woven material. For this, you can use a tub, large sink or washing machine. Wash in cold water with mild detergent, and if desired, a non-chlorine bleach. After washing, the tablecloth can be placed in the dryer with other items, and dried at a “low” setting. Monitor the tablecloth in the dryer every 5 to 10 minutes, and remove it promptly when dry to avoid wrinkling.
  • For wrinkles in your vinyl tablecloth, try ironing it on a low heat setting with material, such as a damp towel or cotton/polyester cloth, placed between the vinyl surface and the iron. Use quick strokes while ironing, being careful not to apply enough heat to melt the vinyl.
  • To store your vinyl tablecloth, roll it up on a sturdy cardboard tube rather than fold it, to prevent creases.
  • If mold grows on your vinyl tablecloth, spread it out in the direct sun for several hours. The UV rays of the sun actually kill any active mold. After this, wipe it clean using dishwashing detergent and water, or a kitchen cleaner. Then, rinse the tablecloth with water, and wipe it down one more time with white distilled vinegar to remove any remaining moldy odor.

Your Guide to Decorative Garden Stakes

Decorative yard stakes are a fantastic way to add a little something extra to your lawn or garden. You can use them to celebrate holidays, welcome the seasons or let your neighbors know some of your interests. Take a look at these fun and cute garden stakes ideas.

Holiday Stakes

Decorative garden stakes are perfect for celebrating holidays, especially the less prominent ones. Christmas and Halloween involve a lot of decorating to begin with, but what about all the other holidays that pop up throughout the year?

Easter is a holiday that usually isn’t decorated for, but Easter yard stakes can bring some more color to your garden or lawn. With pastel colors and cute characters, they’re sure to catch the eye of anyone passing by. Check out these Easter bunny garden stakes that can be used to greet your guests. 

During July, you can show your patriotic side with some red, white and blue. Garden stakes are a great way to show your pride and celebrate America. You can go a more lively route with something like these patriotic dog stakes or you can choose something on the sophisticated side like these banner star stakes (to the right).

For St. Patrick’s Day, you can bring the luck of the Irish to your house with a personalized leprechaun stake with your last name on it. No matter the holiday, you can find the right garden stake to celebrate with.

Seasonal Decorative Plant Stakes

You can decorate your front yard with garden stakes that fit the season. Spring yard stakes are the perfect addition to your garden because they let you have flowers on display while waiting for your own to grow. Some good choices are tulip stakes or daisy stakes. They will bring some life to your garden and be a preview of what’s to come. If you don’t want flowers, some hummingbird stakes (to the left) will look beautiful in front of your house.

In the summer months, dress up your lawn or garden with beachy garden stakes like these summer boy and girl stakes. They’re a fun way to welcome the warmer months and kick off beach season. If you’re into a summer sport like golf, you can get this golf cart stake featuring solar power headlights that automatically turn on when it gets dark.

For autumn, this harvest truck stake will bring some fall flavor to your yard with the bright pumpkin a red truck bed. Plus, the wheels on the truck spin in the breeze for extra fun. You can swap this yard stake out with an adorable witch stake around Halloween. 

Garden Stakes That Light Up

If you want to add some extra light outside your home, solar-powered decorative plant stakes have you covered. These stakes soak up energy from the sun during the day to power their bulbs once night begins to fall. 

A set of solar balloon stakes can make your yard more festive. Place them along a walkway to light up a path for visitors and guests. You could also go with a color-changing butterfly stake (to the right). It comes with four butterflies that you can adjust with its flexible wires. Best of all, the butterflies put on a show by changing colors. For something more rustic, this metal tractor stake will provide a soft glow with its solar headlights.

Yard Stakes with a Car Theme

Garden stakes can also be terrific decorations for car enthusiasts. There’s no better way to show off your love for classic cars than through some lawn and garden decor.

This antique car stake not only features the font view of an antique car, but it also comes with solar-powered headlights and a welcome sign on the stake. It’s a fantastic way to greet anyone who might stop by your home.

For a sleeker design, a classic car stake is a good choice that will bring some nostalgia to your yard. This stake comes in a beautiful light blue color and the solar headlights turn on automatically at dusk.

The vintage car stake has an iconic yellow design that everyone will recognize. It’s a sturdy decoration that will help you remember the good old days every time you see it. 

CHAPTER 1. Loomings

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time tozz get to sea as soon as I can.

Animal Garden Stakes

Some of the most popular garden stake designs include animals. With choices from farm animals to pets, there’s something for everyone. 

You can stick to the classics with options like a cow yard stake. This stake will look right at home on your lawn. It also comes with a back hook so you can display it on a wall or fence. Another option is a set of duck family stakes. The momma duck comes with three little ducklings, making this decoration perfect for your human family. 

You can go more fantastical with this raincoat cat stake. The whimsical design features a cat standing on two legs in a yellow raincoat and holding an umbrella over its head. As a bonus, this yard stake doubles as a rain gauge because the cat holds a little glass jar to collect water. 

For those with a flair for the dramatic, a gorgeous peacock stake will take center stage in your lawn or garden. This brightly colored stake will draw the attention of all your neighbors and have your yard looking great. 

Other Yard and Garden Decorations

Don’t stop at just garden stakes when it comes to decorating your yard. At Miles Kimball, we have a wide selection of outdoor decor to help you make your home look its best. From birdbaths to garden flags, we have what you’re looking for. 

Welcome Feathered Friends by Feeding Birds During Winter

Enjoy the beauty of nature by creating a welcoming space for your local avian wildlife with bird feeders and baths from Miles Kimball. Birds of all feathers will flock to your outdoor area, drawn by the promise of a refreshing dip and satisfying snack.Whether you’re a dedicated birdwatcher or you simply enjoy the company of feathered creatures, a bird feeder or bath can be a fun addition to your patio or backyard. Our bird feeders and baths are an excellent way to add a touch of style to your outdoor space, all while building an appreciation for your local wildlife.

There are many benefits to feeding birds, especially during the winter months. First, you’ll be offering a helping hand during the cold season by providing your neighborhood birds with a reliable source of nourishment. By nurturing your backyard habitat, you’ll be making a positive difference in the environment. Additionally, birds can return the favor by assisting with natural processes like bug control and flower pollination, helping you make the most of your outdoor space. Finally, many people get significant enjoyment from the company of these “outdoor friends,” as they notice the return of regular feathered visitors over time. Our selection of bird baths and feeders includes pieces of all sizes to fit your outdoor décor style.


Choose specially-designed products to attract certain types of birds, such as hummingbird feeders and nest material.  If you’ve already added bird feeders and baths to your outdoor area, Miles Kimball also offers inexpensive products to care for and maintain them. Our bird seed catcher(pictured left) will help relieve the stress and pain of having to refill your bird feeder constantly. With our variety of well-priced, high-quality items, you can easily create a beautiful, bird-friendly outdoor space on a budget that will offer enjoyment for years to come.

Celebrate Your Neighborhood Pride

Lawn Essentials


Transform your outdoor spaces into a garden oasis with the full range of unique lawn essentials available at Miles Kimball. From beautiful displays and decorative pieces for Insect Repellent Braceletyour yard to original products to keep you bite free such as an Insect Repellent Bracelet, we’ve got you covered at Miles Kimball.  We offer everything from creative standing baskets and hanging planters to lawn care tools to keep your outdoor spaces beautifully manicured.

Check out the vast array of artificial flowers and planters that add color without requiring ongoing maintenance. Say goodbye to allergy irritation with stunning arrangements and bushes such as the vibrant Impatiens Bush by OakRidge™. From hanging baskets to flower sprigs to dot in with natural plantings, you’ll find everything you need to keep the neighborhood guessing at Miles Kimball.

Whether your environment celebrates all four seasons or you enjoy a warm climate year round, Miles Kimball has the gardening tools, lawn care, and pest control you need for Portable Hose Caddyworry-free maintenance of every outdoor space. You’ll also find innovative storage options like a Portable Hose Caddy that saves you time so you can spend more time soaking up the sun.  Our budget-friendly assortment helps you enjoy all your surroundings with everything from zippered umbrella screens to extend your dining space outdoors to instant garage door screens for enhanced ventilation.

From a wheelbarrow water bag to transport water to a unique weed removing tool, you’ll find something for every job, décor, and budget at Miles Kimball. Browse our complete lineup to discover inventive ways to bring your lawn and garden to life without breaking the bank.