Living Poolside

Plants That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Thu, Apr 25, 2019


Tags: Outdoor Furniture, Hot Tub Or Spa, Time To Open The Pool, new ides for cookouts, Healthy Lifestyle, Poolside entertaining, Pool Q&A, Celebrating Poolside, brunch by the pool, swimming pool opening, Outdoor Living

How To Choose A Swimming Pool Builder

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Thu, Mar 14, 2019


Tags: Master Pools Guild, Gunite swimming pools, swimming pool trends, Outdoor Living, Building A Swimming Pool

25 Reasons To Own A Swimming Pool!

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, Jun 15, 2018



We believe you will find this list of 25 reasons to own a swimming pool useful.  Whether you are in the process of adding a swimming pool to your home or just beginning to consider the idea AND, we believe of few of these interesting facts may surprise you!

Family & Friends - Always Our No. 1 Consideration.

  1. Teach your children to swim!
  2. Pool toys for kids of all ages (new floats are amazing for adults relaxing!)
  3. Stop the “We are bored” for the summer.
  4. Encourages family togetherness.
  5. Making memories in & around the centerpiece of your outdoor living area.
  6. Pool parties for all ages: child, teenagers, adults!
  7. Your backyard is the hangout for #6 keeping everyone close!
  8. The best place to fire up that grill.
  9. Date night under the stars.
  10. With the use of heaters, chillers, fireplaces & today’s pool houses, the pool area is useable 12 months a year – year round resort living!
  11. Pools are an entertainer’s paradise!
  12. Today’s technology makes owning a pool practically maintenance free while controlling your total pool environment with a swipe of your thumb!


Health & Wellness Always A Close 2nd!

  1. A good investment in a more active & healthy lifestyle.
  2. Swimming is a life skill and a lifetime sport.
  3. One of the best ways to keep your children safe in & around water is to teach them to swim at an early age.
  4. Swimming is proven to increase self-esteem in children.
  5. The perfect place to relax & unwind.
  6. Swimming is easy on the joints.
  7. Swimming can help you sleep better.
  8. Beat the heat of the summer.
  9. Benefits your immune system.
  10. Benefits your brain!
  11. Great exercise for those who need activities easy on the joints.
  12. Slows the aging process.
  13. Swimming utilizes/exercises almost every muscle in the body.


Want to hear more or looking for a resource to answer your specific questions?  Check out our associate locator & find a Master Pools Guild member builder near you!

We wish you a lifetime of memories and active, outdoor living poolside!!!!

Family dinner beside swimming pool

Tags: swimming pools for fitness, Healthy Lifestyle, Family Time, Master Pools Guild, Family Fitness, Outdoor Living

What Is The BEST Way To Stay Hydrated?

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Wed, Aug 17, 2016

Summer has many of us exploring new options for making sure everyone is staying hydrated and infused water is a terrific option.  But which fruit provides the best benefits?


One of the best sources of hydration can be found in the watermelon. 

  • The fruit is 92% water making it one of THE highest water content fruits available.
  • It is also rich in calcium, magnesium & potassium - known as rehydration salts.
  • The salts enable the fruit to hydrate you more effectively than water or sports drinks.
  • Watermelon infuses quickly into water making the process FAST! No waiting!
  • Watermelon is one of the few fruits that you can really enjoy as a snack after consuming the beverage.
  • Low in calories.


Cut slices or cubes of watermelon and place in center of infusion chamber or directly in pitcher or glasses.  Add water (sparkling is an option).  Let sit 10 minutes and voila! Enjoy!

Here's to staying cool & hydrated poolside!


Tags: Infused water

Summer Reading List

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, Jun 24, 2016

    16 Summer Reads  For Time Spent Poolside 


  • The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer - Part travelogue, part history, part geopolitical tract and part thriller - the writer tells the remarkable story of a librarian who oversaw a plot to smuggle ancient manuscripts out of Timbuktu, Mali, in an effort to save them from war.
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead - A fast read set on the beach with lots of shimmery cocktails and simmering family resentments....enough said.
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter - Set in Italy, near Cinque Terre, in 1962 when an innkeeper meets a beautiful, dying actress.  They fall in love and then the book weaves back and forth in time.  From Italy to Hollywood taking the reader on a beautiful escape.
  • The After Party by Anton DiSclafani - Set in 1950's Houston where the men are rich, the women are young and beautiful and the parties glitter and last all night.  A story of friendship, loyalty and betrayl that makes The After Party perfect poolside reading.
  • The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore - Drawing on a wide array of Russian sources, the writer paints an unforgettable portrait of characters - magnificient palaces, elegant balls and a culture that included Pushkin, Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy.  Romanovs both capable and insane struggled with what the author calls "the distorting effect of absolute power."  A book of intrigue making for a great summer read.
  • The Summer Before The War by Helen Simonson - Readers mourning the end of "Downton Abbey" will find solace in this novel.  Set in pre-World War I England in the coastal village of Rye.  The writer's amusing dialogue coupled with a compelling story line that highlights classic, Edwardian sensibilities regarding gender, money and class.
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub - Set in Brooklyn, a group of close knit college friends, now nearing 50, are forced to take a hard look at their relationships and their families and family friendships as they begin to enter a new era in life.  Could it be that the time to grow up has finally caught up with them?
  • The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeny - It is said the literary world was abuzz in 2014 when Ecco snapped up the rights to this book reportedly paying seven figures to this author for this, her first book.  The story follows the Plumb family, a set of wealthy New England siblings who are months away from receiving a massive payout from their joint trust fund they refer to as "the nest."  Their black sheep brother however crashes his car while drunk also crashing their plans and putting "The Nest" in jeopardy.
  • Lessons In French by Hilary Reyl - "A perfect beach read: slim, sexy, and young at heart.  There is so much tenderness and wit in this debut novel; it will make you nostalgic for your year abroad even if you never had one." Joanna Hershon, Novelist
  • The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim - The story begins with an advertisement in The Times addressed to "Those Who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine." Four very different English women answer all excited to spend the month of April in a miniature Italian castle. Their stay begins with disagreements over rooms but they soon find the sunshine and surroundings begin to thaw hearts and grow friendships.
  • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler - Simon Watson, a Long Island librarian, discovers a dmanaged diary once belonging to the owner of a traveling circus.  One of the many mysterious entries tells of a circus mermaid who drowned.  Fearing this could somehow be related to the drowning deaths of his mother and grandmother, Sim is desperate to solve the riddles of the diary before his sister (also a circus performer) meets a similar fate.  
  • The One & Only by Emily Griffin - Set in a small, town in Texas where football is everything and the main character finds herself facing difficult questions about love and friendship.  She has lived her entire 33 years here in this college community - will a tragedy change everything?
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - A group of four friends who are called "The Liars", one of which is from a mysterious family.  
  • The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel  Pie Society by Marie Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - Set in the 1940's it shares the tale of a quirky town and its people who are serviving a war as best they can.  
  • Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close - Three friends in their 20's find themselves going to wedding after wedding while trying to find their way thru changes in their own lives.
  • All Summer Long by Benton Frank - The perfect book for the hopelessly romantic - follow this couple who move from New York to South Carolina finding themselves at odds along the way.

So here's to a summer of relaxation & good reads....poolside!

6 Plants That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, Jun 10, 2016


Natural mosquito repellants have long been a topic of conversation among those who live an active, outdoor lifestyle.  The conversation has increased with the recent publicity surrounding the Zika Virus (& the West Nile Virus) as most of us would prefer to keep our outdoor areas pest free without using commerical insect repellants.  While we realize there are some areas where enclosing the pool to combat insects is a necessity, there are many areas where the pool area can benefit from the use of other options.

Enter a list of plants that provide a deterrent to mosquitoes naturally.  

The Challenge: Many swimming pools do not have landscaped areas close enough to the pool for the plantings to work effectively.  The Solution: Use decorative planters!  These can be strategically placed in areas around the pool to offer protection.

Here are 6 of the most effective mosquito repelling plants 5 of which can actually go from containter to kitchen for consumption!


  • Woody schent that keeps mosquitoes away (as well as some moths & flies)
  • Thrives in containers
  • Great for hot & dry climates
  • Can be pruned into all sorts of shapes - make great decorations
  • Safe for use in cooking


  • All forms of Basil (Basil comes in many varieties) repel mosquitoes & flies
  • Thrives in containers - keep damp with good drainage & lots of sun
  • Can be combined in containers with other plants & flowers (Just make sure they all have the same needs i.e. moisture, sunlight etc.)
  • Safe for use in cooking


  • Essential oils in the plant are natural repellants for mosquitoes
  • Thrives in containers - need full sun & good drainage
  • Endures most climates but loves warmer weather
  • Safe for use in cooking - make sure you are using "Culinary Grade" plants to insure safety for consumption.

Lemon Balm:

  • Member of the mint family (also known as Horsemint & Beebalm)
  • Thrives in containers - tolerates shade well - drought resistant
  • Safe for use in cooking - dried leaves can be used to make herbal tea.


  • Repels mosquitoes
  • Thrives in containers - actually best for this plant as it spreads/grows rapidly
  • Safe for use in cooking - fresh mint leaves are a nice addition to the iced tea

Citronella Grass:

  • Known for its distinct smell & natural mosquito repellant properties
  • Thrives in containers - VERY low maintenance
  • Loves warmer climates and can handle direct sunlight
  • Best varieties for this purpose:  Cybopogon nardus & Citronella winterianus

Now all that is left is for you to decide on planters & plants!  Here's to many summer days & nights spent this year living poolside - hopefully, pest free!

Banana Split Classic or With A Twist

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Mon, May 23, 2016

The swimming pool season is upon us!

Summer is just around the corner & now is a great time to prepare for days and nights spent Living Poolside.    Nothing says summer is hear like the classic, tried and true snack/desert the banana split.  Here are a few tips for having this classic summer treat on hand for kids and a grown up version for the adults.


The Classic Banana Split - ingredients:

Bananas & Strawberries

Chocolate, vanilla & strawberry ice cream

Whipped topping

Chocolate Syrup

Marachino Cherries


The Modified Banana Split - ingredients: 

Consider adding Pineapple, Peach, Kiwi to the classic Bananas & Strawberries

Ice cream can be replaced by sherbet or frozen yogurt

Whipped topping & chocolate syrup can be options

Candy sprinkles or coconut flakes

Maraschino cherries can be omitted

One of the great things about a banana split is that kids enjoy making these themselves so sit your ingredients out buffet style and let them get creative - just don't forget table coverings (Beach towels work great - they lend to a festive atmosphere & once the creating & consuming is done just toss in the washer).


Adult Mini Split Beverage - ingredients:

Vanilla ice cream

Baileys - we like Baileys Chocolate Cherry but the choice is yours

Whipped topping

Maraschino cherries

Chocolate syrup - optional


In a parfait or short glass place a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.  

Pour  a shot of Baileys over the ice cream

Next add the whipped cream 

Drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired

Top with a maraschino cherry

Enjoy with the adults poolside!  Here's to countless days of easy, poolside entertaining this summer!


Tags: Poolside entertaining

Why Consider A Plunge Pool?

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Mon, May 09, 2016


It may be the luxurious feel of soaking in absolute privacy or possibly the convenience of not having to fight for the perfect lounge chair or the pristine blue water calling to you night and day with the relaxing sounds of water in motion.  Whichever appeals to your senses most, it is clear that the plunge pool has graduated from a luxury perk at exclusive resorts to the focal point of many top properties.  


In new home construction as well as home remodels,  the plunge pool is a sought-after feature known to enhance the indoor-outdoor lifestyle.  It is often a critical component of large-scale renovations integrating with entertainment spaces and visible from as much of the interior of the house as possible.


Contributing to the rise in plunge pool popularity is the challenge of space for many homeowners. Today's backyards often lack the space needed to accommodate larger pool designs.  But bigger pools don't necessarily mean they are more beautiful.  We are finding that homeowners often like to leave space in their backyard to add other outdoor living options - outdoor kitchens and larger outdoor living spaces for entertaining.  Smaller pools, like the plunge pool, can make room in one's budget to opt for upgrading pool and hardscape materials...i.e. addition of water features, upgrading lighting etc.  Add a "swim against the current" system in your pool and therapy jets - your plunge pool becomes a fitness and therapy pool - functional and beautiful and uniquely designed to add a new level of luxury and convenience to your every day.  


There is no denying the ambient beauty and the tranquility of a body of water, and innovative and stylish home design that taps into that resource serves to enhance a home's aesthetics, functionality and adds a unique level of luxury.   Advances in engineering, technology and design have forever changed the plunge pool's place and purpose and has today's homeowner opting to take that plunge. 



Tags: Swimming Pool Design, swimming pool trends, outdoor designs for small spaces

What Do I Get Mom For Mother's Day?

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, Apr 22, 2016


Mother's Day celebrations throughout the world may vary in tradition, but all are focused on honoring and celebrating Mom.  In North America, Mother's Day is often celebrated by presenting mothers with gifts and flowers.

This year, we have a gift idea suggestion guaranteed to make the recipient feel pampered and appreciated with gifts she can enjoy poolside.


A Mother's Day Tote

Step 1:  Find a great tote bag for Mom (found easily in several sizes, colors and price ranges)

Step 2:  Fill with several favorite summer essentials from this list:

  • A good book she's been longing to read
  • A favorite magazine or two
  • Sunscreen
  • After sun lotion
  • A great lip balm - sunscreen
  • Flip flops
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle - we love the ones that have inserts for fruit infusion
  • Pool towels

Step 3:

Assemble those goodies in the tote & voila! A Mother's Day gift she will love!

All you need to add is a card and "gift her" the day to relax and spend poolside!

Here's to many days of Living Poolside for moms this year!  

Tags: Mothers Day Gift Ideas

How Should I Clean My Outdoor Furniture?

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Tue, Mar 01, 2016

*Always check for the manufacturer's recommended care instructions on your furniture and on cushion tags.  Those instructions should always be followed first.  Your furniture company's website may also provide resources for cleaning and care.


Spring is right around the corner and many of us find ourselves looking at our patio furniture as a project.  A refresh or at least a good cleaning may be in order.  With that said, we would like to share the following guidelines:

Cast Aluminum:

Cover the furniture pieces from top to bottom with all-purpose cleaner and rub with a soft, nylon scrub brush.  Next, wipe with a microfiber cloth removing all cleaner as well as debris.  For an added layer of protections, finish with a coat of car wax.


Combine 1 quart of warm water, 1 teaspoon of dish washing detergent and 1 tablespoon of Borax in a bucket.  Using a sponge, scrub the cushions on all sides.  Let the solution soak in for 15 minutes and rinse with a hose.  Stand each cushion on its side to dry.


Hammocks collect a great deal of debris so washing a hammock several times a season is recommended.  Place the hammock on a clean tarp and spray with a hose.  Using a soft brush scrub with warm water and liquid dish washing soap.  Rinse and repeat on the other side.  Allow to dry in the sun.


Spray down plastic furniture with a hose then scrub with a warm water and baking soda solution.  Rinse with the hose and allow to dry in the sun.


Whether your teak is natural or sealed with a protectant, the cleaning method for teak furniture is the same.  Combine a 50/50 mixture of dish or laundry detergent and warm water (boat owners swear by Wisk laundry detergent).  Apply using a soft bristle brush.  Allow the mixture to sit on the wood several minutes then rinse well with clean water using the brush to help push away detergent and dirt.  Towel dry.

*Although teak is highly durable, never use steel wool or  pressure hose on teak.  Steel wool can break off and become embedded in the wood and a power washer will strip away the wood's natural protectants.


Using a water hose rinse off the umbrella thoroughly.  Rub a wet, soft bristled brush across a bar of soap then, working from top to bottom, use the brush to scrub the umbrella going back and reapplying soap to the brush as needed.  Rinse with the hose and leave umbrella open to dry.


Use your vacuum's crevice attachment or a dry paint brush to dislodge any debris.  Next, wet a clean, microfiber cloth with a multipurpose cleaner and wipe over the entire surface.   Rinse with a clean, damp sponge.  Wipe with a dry fiber cloth to prevent any mildew.

Wrought Iron:

Mix warm water and mild dish detergent in a bucket.  Use the mixture to wipe down the entire surface.  Rinse with clean water from the hose.  Towel dry.

Here's to a bit of a refresh for us all!  We wish you and your family and friends many hours of time this spring, outdoors enjoying life poolside!  - your friends at the Master Pools Guild

Tags: Outdoor Furniture, Master Pools Guild, swimming pool opening, spring cleaning