We teamed up with
ZYRTEC® to encourage going all out this spring in your backyard and doing it all without the fear of allergies getting in the way.
The past year taught us to never underestimate outdoor space, whether it's your home's backyard or the neighborhood park, more than ever before: they gave us extra space to breathe, helped us feel a bit more normal, and ultimately became an expansion of the living room. In fact, (in not-so-surprising results)
90 percent of Americans now say their outdoor living space is more important than ever before.
As the winter season fades away, it's the perfect time to turn these spaces into your own personal oasis. That doesn't necessarily mean making a major renovation or expensive purchase — a few simple upgrades can absolutely do the trick. And to make sure you don't spend all your time outdoors sneezing, have
ZYRTEC® handy to keep allergies at bay with powerful, 24-hour relief. Keep reading for six easy backyard tweaks, and then head outside!
Start a container garden.
Spending time surrounded by greenery has so many benefits, from boosting your mood to lowering stress levels. A container garden can help re-create that, even if your "backyard" is a small balcony or front stoop. For shaded spots, ferns are easy to care for, while herbs like basil and mint can do well together in sunny spots (not to mention the added benefits for your cooking!). As for the container, you can disguise a large plastic nursery pot with a wicker basket, or upcycle jars and tins for smaller plantings.
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Bring out a blanket and cushions.
Adding seating is one of the simplest ways to upgrade your outdoor space, but full patio sets can be expensive — and are likely to be one of the most popular buys this spring. Instead of shelling out for a formal table and chairs or waiting months for them to deliver, invest in outdoor blankets and cushions in coordinating patterns and colors.
The cozy, casual look will bring a relaxed boho vibe to your space at a much less expensive price point. Just remember to bring them indoors if the forecast shows rain or wind, and give them ample time to dry if they do happen to get wet to avoid mold.
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Make a picnic lunch.
Sure, packing a picnic to bring to your local park or along for a hike is great for weekends, but you can enjoy a picnic right in your own backyard — and even do it in the middle of the work week if you happen to WFH. Instead of bringing out a whole meal, put together a personal charcuterie board by gathering your favorite cheeses, fruits, and nuts. Melamine dishes are best for outdoor use thanks to their durability, and many can even go in the dishwasher — so there's no need for single-use paper plates or plastics.
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Get outdoor movie night ready.
While many of us have spent a lot of time in front of the TV in the past year, there's something about setting up some outdoor drive-in vibes at home that takes run-of-the-mill movie nights up a notch. A blank wall, simple white sheet, or even the reverse white side of lightly colored wrapping paper can work for a screen, as long as it's secured properly. Just make sure to remove them once you're done viewing. Budget projectors start as low as $60, with many options in the $99 range, too — and they connect to your phone or laptop for easy setup.
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Pour your own citronella candles.
Nothing spoils a picnic or outdoor hang like uninvited guests (looking at you, mosquitos!). Keeping bugs at bay doesn't need to be a battle or involve lots of bug spray. Citronella, which is a plant similar to lemongrass, can deter them naturally — and you can give those pest-fighting powers an extra boost if you use it in a candle (the smoke will repel bugs, too).
DIY outside and have a citronella candle-pouring party. Gather all your craft supplies out on the lawn or backyard picnic table. All you need is soy or paraffin wax (or reuse wax from plain unscented candles), citronella oil, wicks, and a few recycled tin cans. Secure the wicks to the bottom of the can with hot glue, melt the wax and mix in your oil, then pour. Once they're set, you'll have perfect mood lighting and a bug-free backyard for the rest of the evening's activities.
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Set up a fire pit.
Fire pits may feel like the ultimate outdoor luxury, but with a few materials from the local hardware or garden center, you can totally
DIY your way to backyard s'mores. After choosing a location that's away from trees, dig out a small hole about eight inches deep. Then, line it with two to three rows of concrete retaining wall blocks, which are designed to be stacked easily. Fill the bottom of the cavity with crushed gravel and you'll be ready to make your campfire — just add marshmallows.
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Check out the video from ZYRTEC® showing clever and fun ways people went all out in their backyards
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