Get Your Garden and Cash Back

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Spring is a time for improvement! It’s a time for garden projects, and house painting. A time to get that amazing grill or fire pit you have always wanted. The possibilities are endless!
Improve your home and improve your finances, Right now with MyGiftCardsPlus you can do all the home improvements you want to do the while getting Cash Back* plus a 100 SB Bonus!

From now through April 24th you’ll earn Cash Back* plus a 100 SB Bonus when you purchase Bed, Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Sears, or The Container Store Gift Cards from MyGiftCardsPlus!**

*Cash Back is paid in the form of SB points good for popular gift cards or PayPal cash

**The SB Bonus Offers apply to one purchase per gift card listed above (Bed, Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Sears, or The Container Store). This offer expires at 11:59pm PST on April 24th. Your SB will credit when your electronic gift card is delivered.

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Get the right mattress with these 4 steps

mattress steps

When it comes time to purchase a new mattress for your bed, proper measuring must be done. If you do not measure your bed prior to purchasing a mattress you could find yourself with a new mattress that does not fit. Measuring your bed is a simple process and will ensure that you get a mattress that fits properly. Follow these tips for measuring:

1. Measure the length of the side board on your bed frame. If your sides are not even, measure the shortest side. Once you have this measurement you will need to subtract approximately 2 inches to get your true mattress length. The subtraction allows for bedding.

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2. Next measure the distance between the blocks that hold your side boards to the headboard and the footboard. If your bed does not have these blocks, simply measure the distance between the outside edges of the side boards at the foot and the head of your bed. Use the shortest measurement if the two widths are not the same. You will need to subtract about 1 inch, again to allow for bedding. This is the width of the mattress that you need.

3. Now you will need to measure from the top of your bed rails that are nearest to the headboard to the spot on the headboard where you want the mattress to hit. This measures your mattress and box spring height.

4. Once you have done all of your measuring, determine the proper size of mattress based on the size of your bed. If your bed is oddly shaped or oddly sized, you may need to purchase your mattress from a custom shop that provides bedding that is not typical in size. Mattresses typically run the proper sizes but there can be a variation of about ½ inch or so. As long as you have properly measured your bed, it should not be difficult to purchase a mattress that perfectly fits the bed.

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5 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Spring

prepare your home

 

Spring is on the way and one thing you want to make sure you do is get your home ready. Winters end means thawing and rain that could cause some huge problems to your home, yard and your belongings.

1. Clean out your gutters. This will prevent rain water from getting close to the house and eventually coming into your basement. You should also make sure your downspouts are clear and lead a good distance away from your home.

2. Walk around your yard and inspect the trees and other plants to make sure they will not come falling down on your home in a storm or high winds. You can’t prevent all trees from falling but you can trim them back to keep damage minimal.

3. Clean the inside of your home to get rid of dust. When spring comes we open up windows and air in our homes starts moving again. If you have not dusted in a while and have been neglecting your vacuuming you should get that done since the built up dust can aggravate your allergies.

4 Change your furnace filter, when it’s time to start using the air conditioning you will be glade you did. Air conditioning units use the same filter as your furnace and having a clean filter makes that wonderful electric bill much less.

5. Start working on that garden. Once the ground thaws a little and the rain comes, the ground is much easier to move around. Start getting that veggie garden ready, not only will you have good healthy food, but a home garden can save you a lot of cash.

 

Comment: How do you get your home spring ready?

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Update Your Kitchen with these 3 Easy Upgrades

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kohler for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have said it before and I will say it again now. Upgrading your kitchen does not always require a complete remodel. There are so many simple things you can do to make your kitchen look amazing on a budget. I’m going to share a few of them with you today.

Update your Kitchen Faucets

This is a big one that not only can change the style of your kitchen, but can also help in how you use your kitchen, yes a faucet can do all of that! Having a stylish Faucet can bring your home into a new trend, keep it classic or a little crazy.

Personally I love these new faucets from Kohler, they are only available at Lowe’s. So you will have to check them out in person there. Here are a few reasons I love them for a kitchen upgrade.

Cardale Kitchen Faucet

A very cool Stainless 1-Handle Pull-Down Sink or Counter Mount Kitchen Faucet.

  • A Sweep Spray (TM) that creates a forceful blade of water designed to sweep away stuck-on food from your dishes, who doesn’t want to make washing dishes easier!
  • Temperature memory that allows the faucet to be turned on and off at any temperature setting.
  • 2-function spray head with touch control, Sweep(TM) spray, and aerated stream settings
  • DockNetik(TM) that ensures a secure spray head fit
  • Kohler Scratch Shield (TM) finishes that resist corrosion and tarnishing, exceeding industry durability standards over two times.
  • Left or right handle installation and 360° spout rotation
  • A 10-1/2-in (267 mm) escutcheon plate and soap dispenser
  • 1-Piece, self-contained ceramic disc valve that allows both volume and temperature control

Elliston Kitchen Faucet

A polished Chrome 1-Handle Pull-Out Sink or Counter Mount Kitchen Faucet.

  • Kohler Scratch Shield (TM) finishes that resist corrosion and tarnishing, exceeding industry durability standards over two times.
  • Sleek, refined design that will complement your modern kitchen decor perfectly
  • MasterClean(TM) spray face that resists mineral buildup and is a snap to clean
  • High temperature limit stop that allows you to preset a comfortable maximum temperature to eliminate scalding
  • Optimal height and reach that provides plenty of clearance beneath the spout
  • Kohler ceramic disk valves crush and remove line debris, and exceed industry longevity standards by over two times, ensuring durable performance for life

As you can see these faucets will add a new look to your kitchen along with some great benefits for every day use, but why stop at a kitchen faucet?

Update your cabinet hardware

While your at Lowe’s buying one of those amazing faucets why not find some new cabinet hardware to match! Updating and matching your hardware is a great way to make sure that your kitchen looks clean and upgraded.

Create a new back splash

This one will require a bit more work but it will be worth it in the end. If you don’t have a backslash already creating one will give your kitchen a whole new look! Find some unique tiles that will create a focal point for your kitchen. Place them behind the sink and stove to create a look that is unique to you.

What other kitchen upgrades have you done? Share them with us!

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Studying For The Exam

Becoming a contractor can lead to many adventures. It gives you an opportunity to go into business for yourself. You can hire others to work under you instead of doing all of the work on your own. After all of the classes that you need are completed, you will take an exam to see how much you retained. If you pass the exam, then you can get the licenses that you need to begin contract work. There are a few tips that can help with the contractor exam prep so that you understand the questions and have a better chance at passing.

The best thing to do is to start studying as soon as possible. You will be given a date during your class of when the exam will be administered. This will give you at least a week or two to start making notes of all the information that could be on the test. Index cards are a good way to keep your notes organized. Start writing information on them through the course of the class so that you won’t have to cram for everything at one time before the test. On the day of the exam, you want to get to the testing site as early as you can. This can give you a few more moments to study. It can also help you relax before the test so that your mind is clear.

Ask questions about the exam. Talk to other contractors who have taken the test to find out how long it usually takes and the type of information that could be seen. You don’t have to get the answers to the questions, but if you have a general idea as to what to study for, then it can help you be better prepared, and you won’t spend a lot of time studying for material that isn’t covered. Most states require that you file an application before taking the test. You also need to find out about the location of the exam and if there is anything you need to have with you in the way of identification or course completion.

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Why led lights are bringing sexy back

sexy led

I originally wrote this post back in January of 2009. I found it by accident and thought it really does still apply today as most people have even now not made the switch to LED Lights. I’m going to tell you now, why led lights are bringing sexy back to your home.

I love lighting, I love how you can change the look of a room just by changing what light are on or where they are located. The best part about lighting with LED lights is the environmental benefits they give you.  LEDs or light-emitting diode are lights that can not only save you some cash they can also help the environment. Making your home the sexy environmental beast you want it to be!

Some of the benefits of LEDs are:
  • Save money on electricity
  • Produces light the color of daylight
  • Use only 2-10 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of incandescent or CFL)
  • Long lasting – up to 60,000 hour bulb life
  • Cool running (warm to the touch) – little heat compared to standard bulbs
  • Works with most dimmer switches
  • Instant on/off
  • Work in cold weather
  • Can sustain moderate power surges
  • Durable bulbs with no fragile filaments to break from shaking and rattling
  • Directional lighting generates less wasted light
  • Works with sensor activated lights

What exactly are LED lights? Well think of a children’s toy that lights up. those lights never die just the batteries right? Well those are LED lights, yes this technology has been around for a long time. The reason we have not seen more of these is because it has been expensive to produce. LED lights are extremely bright and run on much less power then other types of lights. They can also come so close to the light of the sun that they have actually improved moods and helped to keep winter depression at bay.

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When used for design purposes they are wonderful in the fact that they shine where you want them to. They are great for highlighting a picture on the wall or under cabinetry. Of course they are also great for use in any other part of your home as well. You can use them for Holiday decorations, I’m sure you have all seen the LED Christmas lights. They have become extremely popular and I find it hard to get anything other then LED Light for the holidays. What even better is there are so many other holidays they have made light for to. LED lights make all holidays energy efficient and affordable to light up!

Over the last 7 years I have seen the LED Lighting industry grow like crazy. I very happy to see this as not only do LED’s help our finances, but we use less resources and can create a better planet, trust me they are more then worth the extra cost.

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5 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Home in 2016

 

 

5 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Home in 2016

It’s a new year and with a new year comes a need to change, not just ourselves but our homes as well. We start organizing and cleaning and making ourselves feel better because we are getting rid of the clutter. It’s a great thing, but sometimes you need to do more then just organize, you need a refresh of your home, but you don’t want to do a whole remodel.

Here are 10 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Home in 2016

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1.  Paint Your way to a new look. Alabaster is the color of 2016. It’s a great simple white that really can update a space. If your not into white use one of Sherwin Williams Color Forecast colors of 2016 to update your home. Paint does not cost a lot and choose a color you love to give your home a cheap uplift.

2. Upgrade your faucets with something new. A new kitchen or bathroom faucet can really change the look and feel of a room. It also can help with your water bill depending on how old your current faucets are.

3. Replace curtains and blinds. Eventually these things become dirty, dingy and broken. Replacing them brings a fresh feeling to every room in your home. If you can’t replace your curtains at least make sure to wash them. Also putting them in different rooms can create a fresh look as well.

mainmenudecor24. Buy all new throw pillows. Your sofa, loveseat or chair may be comfortable, but does it still create that amazing feeling of style or is it now old and boring. Bring life back into it by adding some amazing throw pillows to create a new style and give your space a fresh look. There are so many different options you are sure to find one that will work for your home.

5. Replace all light bulbs with LED lights, not only are you going to save a ton of money in the long run, but LED lights are a great selling point for any home as well. Switching to these lights are a great way to move into 2016 with a feeling of empowerment over your finances. Yes, your home can give you that feeling again!

These are just a few easy ways to upgrade your home in 2016. How have you improved your home for 2016?

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5 Ways to Perk Up Your Home for The New Year

5 Ways to Perk Up Your Home for The New Year

The new year is here and now that we are into it a bit more you may find that your doing things just as you were last year. Nothing has changed and you are feeling less excited about the new year and thinking nothing will ever change. Well, you still have some time to make a few changes to your home that will help you feel refreshed and maybe help your metal state so you can ramp up those other new years resolutions!

1. Organize

This is probably the most important tip I have for you.. Not only does organizing help you to feel less frustrated as you can find things easier, but in general having an organized state in your home can keep you calm and focused.

If you don’t already have one buy a filing cabinet so that you can organize all of your important papers. This will also make tax time easier if you have a lot of tax paperwork. For the really important documents make sure you have a fireproof safe. This way if there is a problem and you have a fire your really important documents like birth certificates are safe.

If organizing your whole home seems like a daunting task, pick one or two rooms/closets to work on. Maybe your utility room is a mess or your kitchen has become overrun with bowls, cups and gadgets that need a place to go. Figure out the three most unorganized places in your home and get to those first.

2. Get Rid of It

While your organizing you want to also make sure to get rid of things you just don’t need, use or want anymore. Separate them into three different piles. Keep, Donate and Toss. Donating your items is a great way to get a good tax write off for next year. Do you know someone who could use something you have, give them a call before you donate it and see if they want it.

Black Flower Wall Tattoo

3. Paint

A great way to perk up your home for the new year is to paint it. Now maybe you don’t have time to paint the whole house, but pick one or two rooms that you use the most and paint them! Most people pick unused rooms to paint, because it’s easier, but it doesn’t help you to feel refreshed and new. You want to concentrate on the rooms you use, not the guest room you only use once a year.

You also don’t have to paint the whole room, if your paint still looks good then you may be able to just paint an accent wall or a border to change up the rooms look.

Add a wall tattoo for some added fun and color. They are easy to use and can change up the look of a room in just a few minutes!

4. Clean

This kind of goes along with organizing, but you also want to start thinking about how clean your home is. Clean the windows, dust and clean your TV and computer screens. If you spend a lot of time watching TV or on the computer you can actually cause stress to your eyes if your screens are not clean.

5. Host a home décor exchange party

This is one that many people I know have had success with. They get together every few months and have a party with home décor items they no longer want. (They also do this with kids toy’s)  Just get some friends together and find some items you no longer wish to decorate with! All you do then is swap it or as they do there is a raffle for the item. (They don’t charge for it) All you do is add your name to a cup that is in front of the item, the person drawn wins that item. You can only be drawn once per item you brought with you. So if you bring three items you can win 3 items.

Do you have any tips to perk up your home for the new year? Share them with us!

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Tips for Decorating for a Holiday Party

Tips for Decorating for a Holiday Party

If, like many other people, you plan to host a holiday party this year, there are some tips you should keep in mind about your décor. You have likely already considered things like the plates, glassware, the holiday theme of your home, and other usual décor elements. But there are some things you may have overlooked that can add greatly, not only to your party’s festive atmosphere, but also to your enjoyment of the party itself. Use these tips to get started hosting a great festive party that you will be proud of.

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Make Your Decor Shine

Sometimes we are so focused on the food for our holiday party that we forget to wow our guest visually, with amazing holiday décor! A great way to start is to choose your color theme are you going to go traditional with red and green or do a more modern take with white and blue or even purple and green. There really are so many options that you may never even think of, but adding that wreath to the door, that small holiday swag to the coffee or sofa table and providing some ambiance with candles is just the thing to put everyone is a holiday mood.

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Image from Lowes.com

Don’t Forget the Kitchen

Between preparing food and drink and cleaning up afterwards, Americans spend five hours of their own holiday parties in the kitchen, according to Yahoo.com. Add to this the fact that many party goers somehow always end up hanging out in the kitchen, and it’s easy to see that the kitchen needs to be just as festively decorated as other parts of your home. Try to think about ways to incorporate your holiday party décor into the kitchen so that you can enjoy your own party and so that guests who come into the kitchen will never have to leave the party atmosphere behind. If you are having a Christmas party, look for tiny Christmas trees that come with the lights pre-attached. You can plug a few of these in and arrange them on your counter tops for a fun décor that doesn’t take up much valuable counter space. You can also consider the ceiling of your kitchen as a frequently unused space that is prime for decorating. Hang tinsel or garland from the light fixtures in your kitchen, as long as you make sure that there isn’t any risk of fire. Adding décor to your kitchen will help you feel like you are still part of the party, even when you are in the kitchen preparing food or making drinks, or even when you are loading the dishwasher at the end of the night.

christmas-dessert-table-499x332-custom

Make Food Accessible and Festive

While you have likely considered the importance of décor for your serving plates, napkins, and glassware, you may have neglected to think about decorating the area where the food will be and what serving dishing you will use. Will you make it easy with disposable holiday plates or go big with fine china? Use folding tables to create a buffet style food arrangement that is easily accessible throughout the party. You can then use the space between dishes to add décor, like small figurines of the season or beautiful holiday colored tea light or votive holders.

You can even make an inexpensive and festive tablecloth by using holiday wrapping paper. Wrap the top of each table in the same way you would wrap a present. You can even wrap the table in a bow and make the bow the centerpiece of your table arrangement. This presents the food you have prepared as a gift to your guests. The added bonus for you is that you won’t run the risk of ruining a beautiful, expensive tablecloth with food stains, and cleanup will be super easy, as all you have to do is rip off the wrapping paper and throw it away.

Christmas table decoration

Create a Table Centerpiece that WOW’s

Besides decorating your buffet you will also want to have an amazing centerpiece for where your guest will actually eat their food. There is one tried and true rule that I always stick to when doing a centerpiece. DO NOT make it tall. Keep it under eye level so that your guest can all see each other. You don’t want people having to look around things when they are trying to talk.

Decorating for a holiday party is one of the most fun parts of the preparations. Just make sure that you don’t neglect some of the other areas of your home you might not have considered, like your food arrangement and your kitchen. Add special touches in other rooms, too, like a small lighted tree in the restroom or holiday-themed hand towels. Light holiday scented candles throughout your home with smells like evergreen trees or cinnamon. Finding special ways to add little festive touches to your party will enhance the experience of all your guests and will make your home more festive even after the party ends.

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The Benefits of Sauna Treatments

Many cultures swear by the restorative benefits of a sauna, but in other parts of the world, the idea of sitting inside a boiling hot building and sweating seems insane. However, there are a number of health benefits associated with saunas that can be helpful for everyday people.

Cleansing.
Because of the sweating they induce, saunas are able to cleanse the body of toxins. These toxins are flushed out through the pores of the skin — in many ways, a sauna session after a night of heaving drinking can help alleviate the hangover by flushing the toxins out. Care must be taken not to become dehydrated, however.

Weight loss.
Studies have shown that a 20 minute session in a sauna may burn as much as 500 calories. This is because the body’s metabolism speeds up to maintain the proper body temperature, inducing sweating to keep the body cool and having the same result as an intense workout.

Immune system.
The heat of the sauna triggers the body to begin producing higher amounts of white blood cells, which in turn fight to keep the body free of any outside invaders. This improves the overall strength of the immune system. Regular visitors to the sauna tend to get sick less often, and when they are struck by illness, they recover faster.

Endurance.
Athletes find that regular sauna sessions can help improve their performance and endurance, particularly during sports that require extended periods of intense activity. This is because their bodies have developed a tolerance to higher amounts of heat and will feel less fatigue as a result.

Less acne.
Chronic acne sufferers can benefit from sauna treatments. The regular sweating cleanses the pores and prevents infection inside the skin, which helps to alleviate symptoms and give the skin a more healthy glow.

These are just a few of the benefits of owning a sauna. There are many more, including a more youthful appearance, better hair, and a host of mental benefits. Saunas are a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to improve their health, but they do require maintenance. Learning the inner workings of a sauna and knowing where to acquire steam sauna parts is essential for keeping the sauna is proper working order.

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