11 Trees Not To Plant In Your Yard

There are certain types of trees that you probably don’t want to be planting at your home. Roots, stability, or tremendous upkeep can all be major problems that might be overlooked when picking a tree to plant. Houselogic experts explain the 11 different trees not to plant in your yard, and why they are such a hassle.

Lowe’s and Home Depot are a great place to find the perfect tree for your yard. Before you go, get discounted gift cards for Lowe’s and Home Depot online and you can save up enough money to update your living room as well.

1. Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

Big, fast-growing, and a dandy shade tree, silver maple is widespread in eastern states and the Midwest. Unfortunately, the speed at which the tree grows makes for weak, brittle wood that may break during severe storms. The shallow root system invades sewage pipes and drain fields, and is notorious for cracking driveways and walkways.

2. Ash (Fraxinus)

Sturdy and tough, the many varieties of ash that populate North America are some of our most beloved trees. Professional baseball bats are made from its wood — how American is that? But the venerable ash is threatened by the emerald ash borer, a tiny beetle that’s on track to wipe out the species. If you’re looking for a long-term tree for your yard, look elsewhere.

3. Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

The aspen is found in northern climes and higher elevations. Its white bark and gently vibrating leaves are attractive, but its root system is insidious, sending up dozens of suckers that relentlessly try to turn into new trees. Once established, it’s war. In fact, the largest living organism in the world is a Colorado aspen root system called Pando. It weighs 6,600 tons and is thought to be 80,000 years old. Try digging that out!

4. Hybrid Poplars (Populus)

Hybrid poplars are created by cross-pollinating two or more poplar species together. The result can be a fast-growing tree that looks good in your yard — for a while. Hybrid poplars are especially susceptible to diseases, and most won’t last more than 15 years. This poor fellow is dying … quickly.

5. Willow (Salix)

With its long, slender branches that hang down like Rapunzel’s tresses, the willow is one of the most recognizable of all trees. Beautiful on the outside, yes, but the willow has an aggressive, water-hungry root system that terrorizes drain fields, sewer lines, and irrigation pipes. The wood is weak and prone to cracking, and the tree is relatively short-lived, lasting only about 30 years.

6. Eucalyptus

Imported from Australia and popularized for their speedy growth — some varieties will shoot up 10 feet in a year — the eucalyptus has a bad rap for suddenly and unexpectedly dropping big, heavy, resin-filled branches. In some areas of Australia, campers are warned not to pitch tents under eucalyptus trees. Its showy bark peels off annually and adds to seasonal maintenance chores.

7. Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana)

The Bradford pear was imported to the U.S. from China in the early 1900s as replacement for orchard trees that were dying. With its compact shape and profusion of spring blossoms, the Bradford pear became a suburban favorite — until folks realized that it was highly prone to splitting and cracking when it reached maturity. And those blossoms? They’re on the stinky side of the fragrance scale.

8. Mountain cedar (Juniperus ashei)

Stay away from the mountain cedar in late winter. This bushy tree, native to the south central U.S., releases massive amounts of pollen during the cooler months, causing severe allergic reactions in many people. Even if you don’t have allergies, planting one in your yard may affect your neighbors.

9. Mulberry (Morus)

Big surface roots, lots of pollen, messy fruit, and shade so dense that grass refuses to grow underneath. What’s to like about the mulberry? If you’re a silkworm, the answer is: Plenty! The mulberry is the silkworm’s only source of food. Silkworm farmers should plant away! Otherwise, you’ll be happier with a different kind of tree in your yard.

10. Black walnut (Juglans nigra)

Native to North America, this well-known shade tree produces prized cabinet- and furniture-making wood. It also produces pollen and plenty of fruit that’ll drive you, well, nuts when you have to clean it all up in the fall. It’s true sinister side, however, is that it secretes growth-inhibiting toxins that kill nearby plants, wreaking havoc on flower beds and vegetable gardens.

11. Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii)

These fast-growing evergreen trees are favored for their ability to quickly create a living privacy screen. However, they require constant upkeep and trimming to keep them healthy, and as they get taller they’re increasingly likely to uproot during storms. The center of the tree forms a mass of dried twigs and branches that are considered such a fire hazard that many communities officially caution residents against planting them.

5 Ways To Be a Financially Secure Woman

Being financially secure means different things to different people but we can all agree that saving money and smart money spending decisions can lead to financial freedom. By taking advantage of options that are available to you such as websites like giftcardrescue.com, that allows you to buy and sell gift cards at a discounted price, you can purchase your everyday necessities for less!

Mary Beth Storjohanna certified financial planner, from DailyFinance explains ways to be a financially secure woman in todays world. 

1. Knowing Where Your Money Is Going — and Coming From

Whether you’re a full-time employee or self-employed, it’s impossible to create or build a plan around your finances if you don’t know what’s happening with your money first. Use a website like MintYou Need a Budget, or Manilla as a starting point for tracking your money and build a spending plan. If you’re on a variable income, it’s even more important for you to get a handle on things. Once you’re synced up, you’re going to see the areas in which you’re over- (or under-) spending and where you need to make adjustments. Take note on what’s going towards saving for your future self and how much is going towards debt pay down.

2. Saving Routinely –- Set it and Forget it

Since women are known to live longer than men on an average basis – it’s even more important to build up an adequate cushion for those extra years. Saving on an ongoing, automatic basis sets you on a direct path to a healthy financial future. And not only are you training yourself to treat your savings like a bill payment, but you’re also taking advantage of compound growth along the way. If you’re using your savings account to fund your lifestyle when your checking account balance gets low, or throwing money aside “if” you have some left over, break those habits. Start saving routinely for emergency funds, retirement, and future goals.

3. Using Credit Wisely

Knowledge is power when it comes to the difference between good debt and bad debt. Student loans and mortgages are typically on the good end, while credit card and other consumer debt are on the bad end. Saving money into a “splurge” account to use instead of whipping out the plastic for impulse purchases is a great way to curb credit card use. Get into the habit of checking your credit score annually and being responsible by paying balances off in full each month or more than the minimum due to save interest build-up and reduce stress.

4. Knowing When to Say Yes and No

Saying no to items that can derail your financial plan, like last-minute vacations, dining out and impulse purchases. I’m not saying you can’t do these things. Savvy ladies just have a plan for these expenses. Say yes to career and educational experiences that add to your value and ability to earn an income. Women still earn less than men, on average. Your most valuable asset as a young professional is your ability to earn an income (human capital). Taking continuing education classes, reading personal development books, seeking out a mentor and staying current on trends and developments within your industry will enhance your earning power and ability to save.

5. Having Protection

As a powerhouse young woman, having the right kinds of protection in place will guard you against potential future income loss. Check on your disability, life, health, auto and home or renters insurance annually or when there are changes to your situation. Ensure you understand coverages, premiums and deductibles. Disability insurance is a big one. If something happened to you, taking you out of the workforce for an extended period, what would you live off of? Is your income protected? Also, having an estate plan in place if you’re over the age of 18 is just plain smart. Get a will and powers of attorney in case something happened to you. Communicate with those you designate powers to and make sure your wishes are documented. This habit makes it easier for you –- and your family and friends as well.

6 Foods That Are Going Extinct

You might want to start saving your favorite chocolate bars and wine, according to Steve Holt from takepart, both are on the list of foods that are going extinct! Climate change might seem like an issue that is far from affecting your everyday life, however, by as soon as 2030 we could start seeing changes in common commodities. Take a second, if you want to raid Sam’s Club get a discounted gift card to save you some cash!



Many species of fish, as we report frequently here, are diminishing rapidly because of overfishing and climate change. Salmon and trout, which depend on the cold of streams and rivers for survival, are especially susceptible, but so are fish that never leave the ocean.

Already, larger fish are not growing as big as they used to, measuring up to 25 percent smaller, because warmer oceans result in less dissolved oxygen. Other species are evading fishermen as they migrate to warmer seas. A solution, as with vegetables, is to look to traditionally less desirable species for food.


Did you know that more than half the world’s chocolate is produced in Ghana and the Ivory Coast? Scientists predict that rising temperatures in chocolate-producing regions owing to climate change are affecting the growth of cocoa, chocolate’s main ingredient, and that chocolate production will be significantly diminished by 2030.


Will the PB&J, an American staple, go the way of the dodo? Peanuts are rather “fussy plants,” according to a government report, needing particular growing conditions to thrive, including just the right moisture and cool underground temperatures. Well, increased temperatures and historic droughts in peanut-growing regions now threaten this baseball-game favorite (and the delicious butter it makes).

Maple Syrup

Aunt Jemima, symbol of fake syrup, must be pretty pleased. Pure maple syrup, produced across the cooler northern regions of the United States and Canada, is losing its sweetness and may go away entirely. Researchers in New Hampshire have been studying the effect of climate change on syrup’s source, the sugar maple, and have found that warmer temperatures are resulting in shorter and shorter sapping seasons and less sugary sap. Here’s the scary part: If New England—which is 2 to 4 degrees warmer than it was 100 years ago—gains another 6 degrees in average temperature, sugar maples could disappear completely.



Get your climate-changing hands off my cuppa joe, global warming! Alas, scientists report that even a half-degree temperature increase can negatively impact the coffee crop around the world. What’s more, an increase in warming-induced rain events has already cut crop yields—for instance, production in India declined by 30 percent between 2002 and 2011.


Wine country may be moving north or closing up shop altogether. The ideal climate conditions that have benefited wine-producing regions of the world such as France and California are changing, reducing grape yields and even altering the quality of the wines the regions produce. Prolonged high temperatures can devastate a vintage, for instance, by diminishing a vital ingredient in a quality wine grape: organic acid.

“[Traditionally cooler] regions of the world, like the U.K. and the Midwest, will likely have better harvests as a result of higher temperatures,” says Nierenberg of Food Tank, “but other wine growing regions may suffer.”

Vacations Under 100 Dollars Per Night

May is the time to get away before the summer prices and tourists hit your favorite destination hotspot. Need a little escape without breaking your bank account? Discounted airline and gas gift cards for up to 5% OFF will make vacations under 100 dollars per night easier than ever! HuffingtonPost tells us 5 best vacations under 100 dollars per night.


Why we love it: This is a gorgeous, warm American beach that’s a road trip away for most Easter Coasters.

What to do: Relax! Miles of warm sand and gentle surf are perfect for families or girlfriend getaways. Nightlife includes oceanfront seafood buffets, local micro-brews, and boardwalk rides (like the Twist ‘n Shout roller coaster) that turn grownups into kids.

Where to stay: Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort includes beach access, a heated pool, and a kids-eat-free policy (from $75/night).


Why we love it: A super-stylish new Norwegian Cruise Line mega-ship is hitting knockout destinations like St. Maarten and St. Thomas — and you can totally afford it.

What to do: The brand-new mega ship Norwegian Getaway (featuring chic Miami-themed food, entertainment, and decor!) departs from Miami and leaves plenty of time for you to explore the beaches, open-air markets, and shops of St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Nassau.

Bottom line: This seven-day cruise starts at $449 (that’s less than $65/day!).


Why we love it: “All-inclusive” means you may not have to reach for your purse the entire stay! And unlike some resorts, this place pours top-shelf cocktails for no extra charge!

What to do: Hang a do-not-disturb sign on the door of your thatched-roof lodgings! Or indulge in cuisine that includes Brazilian, Mexican, and international menus. Lounge on the beach or beside the massive pool, or get adventurous with kayaking or diving lessons in a tropical paradise.

Bottom line: The Iberostar Costa Dorada, just 10 minutes from Puerto Plata, completely renovated its 500+ rooms in 2011. All-inclusive lodging, three a la carte restaurants, and top-shelf drinks from $75 per person per night based on double occupancy.


Why we love it: With world-class food, theater, and art, the Windy City is second to none in style!

What to do: Enjoy the peerless art collection at the Chicago Art Institute (including Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte”); see a great play at Steppenwolf Theater; have a ball on the classic Navy Pier (one of Budget Travel’s“most awesome boardwalks in America”); take a cruise on the Chicago River; explore some of America’s most noteworthy architecture (including some of the highest observation decks in the world!); and take your pick of cuisine — from heaped-high hot dogs to an under-$30 lunch at the fantastic Café des Architectes restaurant.

Where to stay: Hotel Blake is in a lovely 19th-century building a short walk from the upscale shops and boutiques of State Street, from $95/night when booked via Expedia.


Why we love it: Step back in time in an 18th century fishing village. Enjoy the friendly locals, freshest seafood EVER, and a European feel right here in North America!

What to do: Old Town Lunenburg is a lovely 18th-century century heritage site in Nova Scotia. Stroll past brightly colored wood-framed houses painstakingly preserved by Lunenberg’s citizens. Buy a $10 ticket to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and its wharves to behold floating replicas of famous trawlers and schooners. Grab an amazing bowl of chowder and traditional Lunenburg fish cakes at local favorite, The Knot Pub.

Where to Stay: Quaint and cozy, the Smugglers Cove Inn is right by the docks. For $5 a night, you can even rent a Beta fish, which the hotel calls “a free ‘therapy’ session to help you relax.” (From $99/night)

5 Smart May Travel Tips

The travel bug is in the air. May is the perfect time to get out and spend some time abroad, go on a family vacation, or take a road trip. Whatever the occasion, winter is over and it is time to adventure. Read up on your smart May travel tips and purchase Discount airline gift cards that will save you money on your next ticket purchase and get planning!



1. Go abroad

May is the perfect month to plan your tourist vacation. The summer weather hasn’t hit yet, crowds are still manageable, there are plenty of spring festivals, and everything that closed for the winter has had time to reopen. Use Adioso.com to find a last minute destination for an affordable price!

2. Get a international friendly credit card

If you do enough traveling to make signing up for a credit card, with no international fees, worthwhile, check out Chase Ink Plus or Chase Sapphire Preferred. Many credit cards charge a 3% fee for foreign purchases, while the alternative is to pay an annual fee, it could be worth looking into.

3. Never pack more than 2 bags

no matter what the size of the bags, packing more than two is a recipe for disaster. Keeping track of all your backs and hauling them around will not be your idea of fun when you get to your destination.

4. Be Flexible

If you are flying on memorial weekend, beat the crowd and find cheaper tickets by flying out on Saturday and returning on Tuesday. This will probably be your last chance to get away before the summer airline prices increase in June.

5. Get your phone ready

Never leave the country without checking with your phone carrier about foreign rates. You could get yourself in a mountain of data charges and international texting fees. Most carriers have inexpensive options that allow international travelers to have access to their phones for a small increase in price.

8 Secret tricks for Perfect Brownies

Who can turn down a perfect  brownie ? The preparation and cooking of brownies is crucial for an ideal outcome, HuffingtonPost brings the instructions for that forever illusive perfect brownies. Discount gift cards can reduce the cost of baking materials and save you money on groceries every month.



Don’t completely fold in the flour.

Folding in the flour completely will overdevelop the gluten. And too much gluten will make your brownies dense and chewy. Instead, fold in the flour until there are some streaks of flour left in the batter so that you can be sure you haven’t overstirred.

Use room temperature eggs.

Cold eggs can result in a denser texture than desired. And, they won’t mix together as easily. Let your eggs sit out of the fridge for a half hour before baking.

Check on your brownies before the final time suggested by the recipe.

There are so many variables to consider when baking — oven quirks, type of pan you’re using, etc. — that you’ll want to be sure to check your brownies at least five minutes before the recipe says they’ll be done. Because just one to two minutes in the oven too long can be the difference between great and “eh” brownies.

Use a timer.

If we need to explain why, there’s just no helping you.


We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Most ovens are off temperature-wise. Whether it’s by 25 degrees or more, it makes a difference — especially when it comes to brownies. You can get one for as cheap as $3, and your brownies will thank you.

Understand your bakeware.

If you’re baking brownies in a metal pan, they will cook faster. In a glass dish, it will take longer. Every minute counts people.

Use parchment paper.

Or wax paper. This not only helps prevent the brownies from sticking to the pan, but it also makes it easy to get them out of the pan.


We know those brownies look and smell SO GOOD when they just come out of the oven, but give them time to cool. The texture and flavor of the brownie will be at its best when cooled.

10 Amazing Brownie Recipes

Brownies. Where to begin… The creamy chocolaty goodness mixed with, a potentially endless amount, of complementary ingredients is hard to beat. Now that you want to drop what you are doing and make some brownies check out tricks to getting that perfect brownie to get your own amazing brownie feast. Why not make all of these amazing brownie recipes, then create your own and post it below!

To get the best deal on ingredients and cooking utensils discount Walmart and Target gift cards are perfect. Save money on groceries everyday!

 1. Peppermint Pattie Brownies

Peppermint Brownie

Peppermint Pattie Brownie recipe from How Sweet It Is

2. Buckeye Brownies

Buckeye Brownie

Buckeye Brownies recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

3. Fudge Mint Chocolate Brookies

mint brookies brownie

Fudge Mint Chocolate Brookies recipe from Averie Cooks

4. Nutella Brownies

nutella brownies

Nutella Brownies recipe from Gimme Some Oven

5. Stout Chocolate Brownies

Stout Brownies

Stout Chocolate Brownies recipe from Foodie Crush

6. Puppy Chow Brownies

puppy chow brownies

Puppy Chow Brownies recipe from Gimme Some Oven

7. Black Bean Brownies

Black bean brownies

Black Bean Brownie recipe from Huffington Post

8. Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Cookie Dough Brownies

pb cheescake cookie dough brownie

Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Cookie Dough Brownie recipe from Table for Two

9. Loaded Fudgy Candy Bar Brownies

Loaded Fudgy Brownie

Loaded Fudgy Candy Bar Brownie recipe from Averie Cooks

10. Gluten Free Brownies

Gluten Free Brownie

Gluten Free Brownie recipe from elana’s pantry

12 Unconventional Ways to Spend Your Tax Return

You have extra cash in the bank! And if you found all the ways to increase your tax refund you received a nice hunk of play cash. While saving it all might sound like the best option, try one of these ways to spend your tax return this year that ChaCha suggests. If you plan to take a vacation with your extra money, purchase discounted airline gift cards for a cheaper vacation.


 1. Fly Your Own Plane

You don’t need a whole flight school to fly a plane. There are many smaller airports that offer quick lessons and single flights where you get a chance to take over the controls.

2. Rent a Private Island

Don’t tell your accountant about this one! All across the United States, you can rent an island for a day, a week, or however long you can afford. The islands vary, offering banquet halls, pure wilderness and your own private beach.

3. Bobsled Racing

Don’t let the Winter Olympians have all the fun! There are many tracks in the United States and Canada that offer Bobsled racing for tourists. The tracks are fast and your time is accurately clocked on every round.

4. Drive a Sports Car

Your online tax filing may not get you enough back to own a sports car, but you can definitely get behind the wheel of one. With sports car experiences, you get to drive over 100 MPH in luxury sports cars and enjoy the full speed and power.

5. Wilderness Survival Course

Portion that tax money and learn to survive with as little as possible during a wilderness survival course. Cook. Build. Eat. Explore nature the way it should be.

6. Helicopter Tours

New York. Las Vegas. The Grand Canyon. See the United States in a whole new perspective with a helicopter tour. Fly high and close in these amazing machines that offer a completely different experience than a regular plane.

7. Go Sandboarding

Sandbaording is a new craze that’s gaining steam. If you love the thrills of snowboarding, but hate the cold then you will love the thrill of sand beneath your feet.

8. Mystery Dinner Cruise

Don’t just go out to dinner; go to dinner on the water… and with a murder involved. They may seem cheesy, but a Mystery Dinner Cruise is actually a lot of fun. You enjoy a great meal, get to witness the live events and make a whole night out of the fun.

9. Shark Diving

An aquarium is very limited with a shark experience. When diving down in a cage, you can see the animals act naturally, feed them and watch in awe as they swim at you.

10. Zorbing

Relive the glory days of rolling down a giant hill, but now you have the protection of a giant plastic ball. It makes look silly on the outside, but the Zorbing craze is huge and you can take trips all over the United States.

11. Food & Wine Tours

Enough of the fast food. Use that extra cash to splurge on the finest dining and drinking you can have. With a food or wine tour, you have the ability to eat and drink at multiple locations all within a couple of days.

12. Tandem Hang Gliding

Skydiving is too dangerous for many, but there’s a safer alternative that will get you cruising off the ground. With tandem hang gliding, a professional instructor takes you up in the air, glides around, and often lets you control the flight to your liking.

Top 10 Earth Friendly Cities

In celebration of Earth Day

Care2 has given the top 10 earth friendly cities. As we go  through life, seemingly insubstantial things we do to the Earth add up. Taking effort to do your part in reducing your carbon footprint is crucial for the improvement of our planet. Some ways that you can do your part are: Reuse products, re purpose unneeded objects into useful products, compost everything organic, fix things that are broken opposed to buying new, don’t use disposable products, don’t support companies that aren’t eco friendly.

1. San Francisco, CA




2. Oakland, CA

3. San Jose, CA


4. Las Vegas, NV

5. Raleigh, NC

6. Columbus, OH

7. Seattle, WA

8. Kansas City, MO

9. Denver, CO

10. San Diego, CA

7 Outdoor Substitutions For Your Gym Workout

As spring emerges, finding outdoor activities to replace your gym routine might seem like a better option. Here is a list of outdoor substitutions for your gym workout. For all your outdoor needs use discounted gift cards for your favorite stores.

To gain a healthier diet to pair with the outdoor activities you have planned, incorporate more vegetables into your daily diet.

Playing your favorite sport

It is time to collect a band of your friends and head to the park to play some basketball, tennis, or soccer. You will be caught up in all the fun that you won’t even need to motivate yourself to continue exercising. You will have more fun and you are more likely to burn more calories than you would at the gym.

We Heart It

We Heart It


Working on your feet, bending and pulling, shoveling and trimming, are all activities that are included in gardening. While digging works your thighs and glutes , hoeing trains your upper arms. Using a push mower will get your cardio up as well. A half hour of gardening can burn up to 150 calories while soaking up some Vitamin D.

We Heart It

We Heart It


Whether you are in a pool, lake, river, or ocean, swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for your body. It is a full body workout and who doesn’t want to spend time in the water when it is hot out? Look forward to burning around 410 calories per hour with this warm weather favorite.

We Heart It

We Heart It

Wash your Car

It needs done and the sun is shining, instead of paying to take your car to get cleaned, get down and dirty yourself. You burn about 108 calories every 30 minutes that you are washing your car. For a more intense workout; deep clean your car. Scrubbing carpets, vacuuming, and washing the paneling will all add work and build up those calories that you are burning.

We Heart It

We Heart It


Spend a little r and r with nature while you get a workout. Get lost in the woods or go find a peaceful trail to hike. Alone or with friends, hiking is a great way to relax and detox from the demands of everyday life. A half hour of hiking burns around 204 calories however, most hikers enjoy their walk and end up staying out longer.

We Heart It

We Heart It


Strap your feet into wheels and you are stuck exercising. A great way to get those toned legs you’ve been trying for all year, rollerblading will bring you back to your younger years. One hour of inline skating can burn around 840 calories and works the same muscles as running.

We Heart It

We Heart It


Kayaking is an intense workout, which can have great toning effects on your arms. You usually burn around 350 calories per hour while ocean kayaking. Nothing beats sitting at the row machines better than paddling your kayak to new and exciting destinations.

We Heart It

We Heart It