The Porch Swing Store

Guest Post: Alicia Van Maanen Sausage Ramen Soup Recipe

Guest Post: Alicia Van Maanen Sausage Ramen Soup Recipe 0

Sausage Ramen Soup 

10 hour work days on Wednesdays are always fun.

I came home tonight, seriously exhausted, to an empty house. Took a bath (it was glorious), did the dishes and cleaned a bit, and decided that I was starvin marvin and couldn’t wait for supper until hubby got home.

I was going to make this sausage gnocchi soup that I had planned on my menu, and then I realized that the spinach in the fridge had water in it and the mushrooms… well they didn’t look good either. So those got put in the garbage and I decided to get creative 

I had turkey breakfast sausage that I had browned the night before so I needed to use that (before that went bad too )… and I felt like soup and something warm and cozy-feeling.

So here’s what I made… I really didn’t know about it. Like seriously I was putting it all together fully preparing to make a frozen pizza afterwards.

Then I did my mandatory taste test… OMG you guys. It made my heart happy.

Here is the recipe 

  • 1# breakfast sausage (browned)
  • 1 bag oriental/stir fry veggies (broccoli, peppers, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (I use the kind in a squeeze bottle… its bomb)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp (ish) soy sauce
  • 1/2 c (ish) teriyaki sauce
  • 2 bags ramen noodles, minus the seasoning

Throw some olive oil in a pan and saute the bag of veggies with the garlic and ginger for a bit.. until they are about at the point where you want to eat them.

Cook the ramen noodles in some water. Throw away the ramen seasoning.

Add the cooked ground breakfast sausage, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce. Mix it all together.

Add the ramen noodles (with the water) to the veggie mix.

Do the required taste test and add things like salt and pepper and whatever else your heart desires.

This made 4 adult sized meals 

  • Jordan Van Maanen
What’s the Big Deal About Adirondack Chairs and Porch Swings?

What’s the Big Deal About Adirondack Chairs and Porch Swings? 0

Adirondack chairs are older than sliced bread- they are a piece of classic Americana. Created in the early 20th century, they were comfortable, cheap, and easy to make. They were a hit and have remained, in the minds of many, to be the very definition of “patio chair” or “outdoor chair.” The adaption to porch swings was obvious- what’s simpler than hanging America’s favorite outdoor chair by a couple chains?

The Origins of America’s Signature Chair

Most people today have seen the iconic Adirondack design- with the rounded back and curved seat. They may not be able to call it by name, but everyone knows someone with a chair like this.

The success of the Adirondack was its simple comfort. The contoured seat, wide arm rests, and angled recline gave everyone a way to relax and read, chat, or roast marshmallows around a campfire. Over a hundred years later, they are still the standard for outdoor furniture and sold all around the world in a diversity of colors and sizes.

What do you need to know about buying them?

Buying an Adirondack chair or porch swing isn’t hazardous or dangerous- but you’re likely to get what you pay for. Use these rules when you’re looking to get your own Adirondack:

  • Cheap isn’t always better. Treat the price like what the seller wants you to pay, not what it’s worth. If two products are made of the same materials have the same design, the cheaper one will do.
  • Materials make a difference. Swings can be made of many materials: recycled plastic, treated wood, untreated wood, cedar, pine, etc. We recommend recycled plastic for its safety, ease of maintenance, and resistance to fading color.
  • Pick a place to hang your swing before purchasing. Depending on the level of assembly and shipping, getting your porch swing functional may be a hassle. Take measurements and guarantee everything will fit where it’s meant to BEFORE your place your order.
  • Don’t overdo it. There are a lot of chairs and porch swings out there. Don’t let the diversity of designs, materials, sizes, and colors distract from what you’re looking for. You can find the clean, classic look anywhere.
  • Trust the reviews. There are no experts on porch swings and chairs. The people who have bought them before you, whether they’re friends, family, or strangers on the internet, can often give you the best judge of value for the product.

What do we offer?

We offer products with durable value- comfortable, fashionable, and resistant to wear. Our commitment to quality, long-lasting furniture is the basis for all our work with our vendors. Here are a couple of our premium Adirondack products:

Our LuxCraft Adirondack 4ft Recycled Plastic Porch Swing is one of our best-sellers. It is designed to be maintenance-free and customizable in plenty of colors. Assembly is easy, and the swing is resistant to fading, bugs, and bacteria.

The LuxCraft Royal Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chair has all the same benefits you can expect from the recycled plastic and Adirondack design, but with almost double the number of colors to choose from. Getting a set of these to put in your backyard will be as inviting as the sweet smell of BBQ.

Check out more of our Adirondack products here, or contact us today if you have a request or suggestion, or if you’ve purchased one of our products and you’re not satisfied.
  • Jordan Van Maanen
The Porch Swing Store For Business

The Porch Swing Store For Business 0

Porch swings may hold the key to a better business

That title may be reaching- but the lesson isn’t. Customer experience reigns supreme in today’s business world. How you treat your customers or clients says just as much, if not more, about your business than your products or services. Porch swings may not be the “next big thing” for selling lawn mowers or hamburgers- but if you are considering buying a porch swing for your business, you’re on the right track.

Value has changed for the consumer

Whether we’re buying or selling, you may have already seen this shift. Every product or service has a baseline expectation of quality. Anything bought and sold must adhere to certain standards set by the government, marketplace, or the people. And now virtually every business is obligated to meet those demands for greater value.

This is the new wind blowing in sales and marketing and it’s picking up steam because it’s making a lot of customers happy. And when customers are happy, business owners are happy. Amazon, internet retail giant, has enjoyed tremendous success on that premise with their free two-day shipping. There is nothing more efficient than free, and their online marketplace offers such an easy and comfortable way to buy things. Competitors are struggling to keep up, and it’s no surprise why.

What does any of this have to do with porch swings?

Porch swings offer only an experience. There’s no piece of the porch swing to take home. There’s no porch swing operator to hire. Buy it, install it, and let it swing. Whether it’s for employees, customers, or the public, you’ve made a deliberate investment in your location- an investment in a better experience.

One of our latest sales, to The Good Samaritan Society, benefits the members of their communities and their families. Porch swings are not a necessary component to what they do- but now there is more comfort in the experience they offer. Comfort, ease, and convenience are easy ways to cater to your customer without breaking the bank.

How does The Porch Swing Store handle customer experience?

We sell porch swings, like thousands of other businesses across America, including some of the largest companies in the world. But we offer value in our process just as much as our products.

  • Our website is designed to simplify finding exactly what you’re looking for. On desktop computers, we’ve provided a chat window to accommodate that search.
  • We offer discounts to businesses looking to populate their apartment complexes, campgrounds, or public spaces with high-quality outdoor furniture.
  • Our newsletter keeps our customers informed on promotions and new additions to our inventory, so they have a reason to stay tuned in after their purchase.
  • We offer financing on larger purchases because investing in your outdoor space shouldn’t break the bank.

A porch swing is just a start but focusing on your customers’ experience is always a lesson worth learning.

  • Jordan Van Maanen
How my first home-buying experience was made complete by a porch swing

How my first home-buying experience was made complete by a porch swing 0

I bought my first house in November. Mounted to the ceiling of its front porch was an old wooden swing dangling by rusted chains. My wife was ecstatic at its discovery- despite the age the swing showed. Her morning love for reading her books and drinking her coffee would be complete with a gentle rocking. To our surprise and dismay, the previous owners took the porch swing with them before we moved in. My wife was devastated.

The house needed work and winter was coming, so the swing was not our most pressing issue. As our tasks were checked off, one by one, we found ourselves swingless closer and closer to spring.

April showers soon rained down on our covered porch and like a tireless itch we began looking for porch furniture. Dozens of emails were sent back and forth suggesting possible replacements for the rickety old porch swing. As our last paint job dried- the final home improvement project- it became time to scratch the itch.

Lots of porch swings left a lot to discover

Neither of us anticipated the remarkable diversity of porch swings offered to us by the internet and local sellers. Should the new swing be mounted to the ceiling, like its predecessor? Should it glide, resting on the ground? Cushions? Wood? Plastic? We struggled to answer these questions as we were more likely to be met with sponsored content or reviews rather than an informative voice telling us what to look for. Prices varied from a hundred dollars to a thousand yet we found little help in understanding the range of value. We wanted quality. Buying a swing only for a low price felt like we would receive a cheap, low-quality product, but we didn’t know any better.

Quality: what we looked for and how we found it

We compared wooden and plastic swings and found that high-quality, properly-treated wood swings like oak or cedar were just as capable of surviving the elements as plastic ones. Wood swings, however, offered a more authentic look, while plastic ones would appear more modern. Cedar swings, for instance, show their age by greying in a very natural way while still maintaining their sturdiness.

We decided we wanted a glider. We could get a very sturdy recycled plastic glider that matched the color scheme on our front porch at a price comparable to a wooden one. We avoided mounted swings because we didn’t trust the mounts installed by the previous owners and weren’t comfortable installing our own. It also meant there was no setup or installation- only delivery. We bought it and finally scratched the itch.

Our life with the porch swing

Getting a porch swing was more than just satisfying our nostalgia- it was granting us a new way to love our home. Inundated with technology, it’s easy to be distracted from seeing the full value of your own home. Sitting on our new porch swing with no phones or laptops redirected our focus to our local neighborhood, full of houses like ours. It captivated us. We had a new room on the ground floor, free of distractions. It offered a front row seat to enjoy a rainy day. A place to relax and read. And for that, it made my first home-buying experience complete.

  • Jordan Van Maanen

Why Quality Furniture Matters 0

Finishing with Furnishings that Last


Deciding on the right furniture for your home is just as important as deciding on the home itself. Consider a timeless style that you can enjoy for years to come over trendy furniture. While trendy furniture can still be well built, for your pocketbook you want to purchase something you will not want to replace a few years down the road. It is best to buy quality furniture rather than discounted furniture. You might spend more on it, but you will not need to replace or repair it as often as you would for inexpensive furniture.


How can you tell if you are buying quality furniture?


While some people might think doing research on furniture seems a bit silly, it really isn’t! The majority of people research cars before making a purchase and it should be the same for expensive furniture you will use for a long time. Quality furniture can last longer than a car you researched and bought. Here are some tips on how to tell if you are buying quality furniture:


  • Read reviews about the products and manufacturer
  • If the furniture is light weight it could be cheaply made
  • Check where the furniture is made – buying local (made domestically) can ensure that it is higher quality versus being imported from overseas
  • Handcrafted furniture it is likely to be quality furniture
  • Read what materials are used to make the product
  • Price – high quality furniture will not be at the bottom of the price range


Protecting Your Investment


When buying new high quality furnishings it is important to learn how to take care of them to ensure that they last as long as possible. This might consist of purchasing covers for outdoor furniture to protect them against winter weather or buying other products that will help repair tears, stains or scratches. These ‘extras’ are a small price to pay to keep your furniture looking, feeling and working well for the long haul.


Buying furniture can be expensive. However when you consider the lifetime of the furniture, usually spanning longer than a decade, it is an investment in your quality of life and the lifestyle you choose.

  • Jordan Van Maanen
How to decorate your porch for fall in 4 steps.

How to decorate your porch for fall in 4 steps. 0

How to decorate your porch for fall in 4 steps.A porch is more than just an entrance to a house- it’s an entrance to a slower, more intentional life. Whether you’re in Texas, Pennsylvania, or Alaska, it is an American tradition to treat your porch like an introduction to your home and by extension, your family. Welcome mats, stars in the windows, potted plants, and wicker furniture are just a few of the ways that millions extend a warm invitation to their home.

Sidewalks are populated by more than just joggers and dog-walkers. Your porch is where you meet your community. Soon, people will grace their stoops with pumpkins, halloween decorations, and (you know it’s coming) string lights. So how can you make your porch stand out, and what will keep visitors coming back?


It can be difficult to bring splashes of color to your porch without replacing your table set, porch swing, or glider. Flowers offer the opportunity of a porch trifecta- shade, sights, and scents. They’re more than just a conversation piece. Flowers and plants offer two insights to your would-be guests. First, plants don’t last forever! The homeowner wants people to see and smell them before they’re gone, and so they’re welcoming in nature. Second, flowers often need watered on a weekly basis. Tending to them demonstrates the investment you’re making to keep your porch a delightful destination. Here are a few flowers you can use to bring some color to your porch:

  • Oriental Lilies - Pink Accents
  • Chrysanthemum - Orange Accents
  • Nippon Daisies - White Accents
  • Celosia - Fall color accents (yes, all of them!)

Embrace a theme.

When we consider the home decor of our living rooms, dining rooms, or kitchens, we wouldn’t imagine doing it without a theme or color scheme. But when we approach our porches, it’s often treated as a loosely-coordinated and budgeted endeavor. Patterns in your pillows and contrast on your cushions are just a few ways to make your porch more inviting! Check out this list for suggestions to bring the entrance to your home a fresh look.

Adorn your door.

Your front door is how your guests get their first look at your home. For instance, a colorful wreath in the center of the door with short, slim trees potted on the ground introduces them to a well-kept and organized home, which makes a great first impression for the rest of the house.

  • Make the space appear larger by spreading out your porch decorations.
  • Give your guests a cozy feeling by tightening the space between the door and your porch decorations and using a larger door decoration.
  • Leaving the door’s window panes open is becoming less popular, so finding a set of blinds that transition from your porch to your entrance space is a great look.

Hang wind chimes or a bird feeder. For You.

Decorating your porch isn’t always for an audience. It’s your porch, and you spend the most time there. Wind chimes and bird feeders are for when you’re alone or with your family. Hearing the birds sing or the chimes play can turn your time on the old porch swing from a pastime to moments of bliss. They encourage the most important element of your home to be present on that porch: you.

  • Jordan Van Maanen