Monthly Archives: December 2009

Time to Plan for Your Outdoor Entertainment

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Werever Products Inc. All opinions are 100% mine.

Outdoor space is now not just something you need to care for year around, it’s now an extension of your home and livable, usable space. Using your outdoor space for entertaining is always a great way to impress your guest and keep the inside of your home clean. Creating an outdoor space is also great because so many people entertain outside, if you stuck inside your away from all of the fun and miss so much.

You can start by planing an outdoor kitchen these are a very hot trend right now and I see this lasting a long time, even in colder climates people love to grill outside all year around. Outdoor kitchens are practical, useful and really add value to your home. They are great if you entertain a lot and helpful for those outdoor kids parties and playtime.

Outdoor-tvYour outdoor space could also include an entertainment area complete with outdoor tv and lounge area. Now I know your thinking there is no way that you can put a TV outside, but there is. It’s a great cabinet product from Werever Products Inc that will protect your TV from the elements, giving you that outdoor family room you have always wanted. Just think your sitting there out in the sunshine watching the game, or in my case the race, and your kids are playing in the pool. Meanwhile someone makes ribs on the grill and pizza in the pizza oven. It’s a great setting and one that can make your home seem more complete and fun to be in.

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2010 Home Decor Trend: Simplicity

Keeping things simple and clean my sound like a dream come true, but we all know it’s much harder then it looks. Sometimes people get involved with their lives and lose the time to keep thing simple. Well with this trend being very popular there are many products out there to help you.

The following are my Make Your Home Simple Tips

  1. A closet organizer is a great place to start your simple theme. They not only help to organize things, but make your home feel like it’s clean and fresh without a ton of work.
  2. Lighten it up. Use light paint, light looking furnishings and you will create that zen look very easily.
  3. Use glass. Nothing says simple like glass. Not heavy ornate glass but smooth glass that you can fill with calming elements like stone or sea shells.
  4. Use splashes of color to draw interest into a room. It’s simple but still gives you some element of fun.
  5. Flowers and plants are a great way to bring the outdoors in and using a simple two or three bunch bouquet is a great focal point for any table or room

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Homebuyer Tax Credit Makes a Great Time To Buy

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Coldwell Banker. All opinions are 100% mine.

Right now is a great time to buy a home, not only are prices down, but with the homebuyer tax credit you can get money back for that home. I love that they have changed some of the rules forĀ 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credits to include people who have already owned a home. This credit really did help boost the real estate business and get many homes sold, but everything was for a first time buyer, now move up buyers have their incentive.

* For first-time homebuyers, or those who have not owned in the last three years, can receive up to an $8,000 tax credit.

* Homeowners who have lived in a current home consecutively for 5 of the past 8 years can receive up to a $6,500 tax credit when purchasing a home.

* There may be no future extensions, so all qualified homebuyers are urged to act and have a written, binding contract by April 30, 2010 (close by June 30, 2010.)

* Income limits are now $125,000 for singles, $225,000 for married couples with a $20,000 phase-out of the credit for both.

Now if you fall into the eligible category you will want to do some research before you try to buy that home. If your a first time buyer look around at homes you like and find out how much they are really worth. Yes many homes have come down in price, but that doesn’t mean that you can really afford your dream home. Take a look at this video for some very good and helpful information regarding the homebuyer tax credit.

Remember now is the time to buy a home, fix it up and love it for years to come. Have fun hunting!

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De-clutter Start Your New Year Fresh

This week I will be working on cleaning, organizing and more. It’s a great time to do this as you will start the new year fresh and ready to go. I always try to spend this time of year getting ready for the new year. It may mean painting, cleaning or buying something new for my home. Sometimes it’s something simple like donating all of my old things to charity to start the year off right.

My tips for de-cluttering

1. Start in one room and work into others. Even if you cant get to every room in your home before the new year, having a few completed will still give you a feeling of accomplishment.

2. Take a before and after picture. It’s a great way to see what work you really have done.

3. Keep what you really need, toss or donate everything else. Christmas brought you a bunch of new things, now you need to make room for them by giving up older items.

4. Get help if you can. Kids may not love to clean but if you tell them your going to donate things or that they will have more room you may be able to talk them into it. Just don’t bribe them to help.

5. Make sure you have a pot of coffee, water and a snack ready when you start cleaning. Taking a break to get these things can keep you from finishing your task.

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Get Ready To Care For Your Lawn

Winter is here, but soon you will start to see grass growing again and you want to be ready for it right? Well now is a great time to start researching that new lawnmower. Not only will you know what your shopping for when it’s time to go get one of those lawnmowers, but you will also be able to hunt for the best deals and take your time deciding what mower is right for you.

Maybe for you a bosch rotak is what you will need, maybe you live in John Deer country like I do or maybe you just need a small push mower as you only have one inch of green on your lawn and you don’t care who makes the mower. No matter what type or size mower you need you want something that works for you and keeps working.

My family has been though four lawnmowers in the last four years. We bought cheap and paid for it. Sometimes cheap works, but if you have a large lawn, a bumpy lawn like we do or a lawn that requires a lot of mowing because the grass grows like weeds, you may want to spend a little more on a lawnmower that has the backing of a company with good service. Start looking now and the research and time will pay off.

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7 Tips To Help Set Your Holiday Table

I promised I would write up this post and though I am later then I planned I think you will find that my 7 tips helpful.

1. Classic is not boaring, it’s classic. If you love the read and green colors of christmas use them.

2. Contrasting colors are a great way to add drama to a table. Use White and blue to make a cool statement

3. Plants are your friend, freash plants are great, but don’t forget to keep them fresh so that you don’t have a fire.

4. Use candels at each setting to make your guest feel warm and cozy. Use led candels for kids.

5. Don’t worry about folding napkins, roll them up and use christmas hairties or ribbion to hold them in place.

6. Skip the pointsettas, use evergreen or even fake gifts as a centerpiece

7. Get the kids involved. Christmas is a children’s holiday after all, who better to help you pick out the table decor.

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Plan Early and Save on Air Conditioning

Yes, it’s December and I am talking about air conditioning. There is a reason for this and it’s simple, you should start looking soon for air conditioning service so that you are ready when the hot weather hits. One way to research is to use Google local to find what you are looking for, Lets say you type in Arizona air conditioning, what you will get is a lot of results for air conditioning services in Arizona, now this may help you, but do you really want to pay for someone to come from over 50 miles to your home? I don’t, so lets say you refine that search to phoenix air conditioning, there you will come up with more local results and save yourself some cash.

Now of course if your not looking to search for air conditioning Phoenix this exact search will not help you, but you get the point that you need to look up your city. When I look up a local city here I find at least 10 business I can use. Now I live in the country and needed to do this, but because I was willing to take a look at some business that are within 30 miles of me I found some great deals and even free instillation. I have air conditioning so that’s not helpful for me, but when I searched in my area again and using my town name and air conditioning repair I found a few more business that were helpful.

I know that it’s cold out and the last thing you want to think about is cooling your home, but you do really want to start looking at what your going to need this summer, prices for air conditioning services are usually lower in the winter and you can save a lot of money by planning ahead now and having the work done in the next month or two.

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Simplehuman Trash Can Review

This is a compensated review I received a product from Simplehuman to review and express my opinion on. All thoughts and ideas are my own.

Recently I was given the opportunity to review one of the Simplehuman trash cans. I had never used their products before but was very interested in what they have to offer. They have many products for the home including recycle bins, shower accessories and kitchen organizers, just to name a few.

stainless steal trash canI expected to get a small trash can, what I got was one that I could use in our kitchen just fine if I wanted to. I put it in my bedroom as this is the place where our dog likes to try to get into our garbage the most. The one in our kitchen is under a cabinet so she can’t get to that. The waste bin did keep the dog out so that was good, but it also made my life a lot easier.

I do all of my school work in my bedroom so I can spread out and not be in anyone’s way. Being able to have a trash can that I could use without my hands was wonderful. All I had to do was push the button with my feet and then the lid on the bin closed on its own so I didn’t have to worry about it and I didn’t have to touch the can with my glue covered hands.

I also liked that the trash bag is held in place without having it show around the edge of the trash can, it looks much cleaner and make your room look more organized. I do love that the stainless steal finish is finger proof. I don’t have children, but I have two nieces and a nephew that visit a lot and they are always touching everything. Even they could not manage to get a print to stay on this finish!

I am so impressed with this product that I will be buying another smaller one that I will be able to use in my office.

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Window Blind Recall

If you have bought window blinds that are Roman Shades and Roller shades you will want to look into this recall. Children have been killed because these products are not safe for them. The problem is mostly in the loops that allow you to pull up the shades. You can watch this video from Good Morning America to get ideas on how to fix your blinds or how you can use blinds that have no cords attached.

Some of the stores participating in this recall are Walmart, JcPenny and the most of the companies in the Window blind industry are also involved. You can also call the Window Covering Safety Council for information on the repair kit at (800) 506-4636 or visit windowcoverings.org.

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Spend Your Holiday’s In Style With Stud Box

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of RI Media Group. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love it when I can shop online, find great deals and get stylish furniture that’s delivered directly to my home all in my sleepwear! That is why I am suggesting you check out StudBox an online style store, in my opinion, that will give you the look your home needs at tablea price you can actually consider.

The set I have pictured here is a 5 piece set for around $800. It’s modern, stylish and kinda fun. I could see this is a young couple or young families home easily. It’s approachable, yet shows you have taste and care about how your home appears to other people. If your looking for a great table for your holiday entertaining this one may just be the one for you.

Of course if your not looking for a table you can find other great home products here and since they are having a ton of specials for the holiday season you are sure to find something affordable that you actually like. They have comforter sets to help keep your overnight guest warm and cozy and they have appliances and sets that will help you entertain with style and ease. I love the fondue set I found for only $64. What are you looking for for your home, did you check out the site, what did you find?

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2010 Home Design Trends and You

house-in-handI have to say I am really looking forward to 2010 when it comes to home design. I just finished reading a great article about the new 2010 trends over at Cyberhomes.com and I agree completely that the 5 design trends they list are going to be must haves for most home buyers and something that everyone is going to think they need to have done to their home to make it perfect.

What they are saying is that green and small will be in. Gone are the days of extravagant homes and way too much space. Open floor plans will still be a must and more people will want home offices as more people will be working from home. Now one thing I do agree, but at the same time do not agree with is the outdoor space idea, yes I’m sure in sunny warm climates outdoor space will continue to be a big deal and everyone is going to want outdoor kitchens and a pool. In the colder areas of the world outdoor space means nothing as you can really only use it for about 4 months, then you have to pack it up and clean up the mess. This is why I want to move to a warmer climate, I want to be outside, but it just won’t work where I live.

What about you, do you think these are the hot 2010 home design trends or is there something else your going to look for in your must have home?

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Spring Will Come Plan Your New Deck Now

One thing I love about winter is that you can spend a ton of time planning your spring and summer projects. It doesn’t have to be anything too crazy you could plan out a garden, a new tool shed or you can go a little crazy and add on a new deck.

Decks are a great way to improve the value and usability of your home. If you don’t have a deck you may really want to look into getting one as it really does help turn the outdoor space you have into an outdoor room. I love our deck, even though it is very small it’s still nice to go out there in the summer and watch the scenery. The kids play in the yard and the birds hang out near the pond and life just seems to move a little slower.

You don’t have to add on a huge deck but you do want to make sure the deck is a good size for what you plan on doing out there. Here is a short list of things you should think about when designing and building a deck.

How often do you plan on using it

Will you have a table, chairs and a grill on the deck

What areas of the yard do you want to see

What areas do you not want to see

How many people will be using the deck on a regular bases

Do you entertain a lot

How high do you want or need the deck railing

After you ask these questions its time to take a look at the type of deck you want. I love the new stain resistant decking materials as they look amazing and they stay in good shape for a long time. They tend to look better then real wood decking mostly because it’s a smoother service. If you like the more rustic look of real wood, go for it, but remember you will be doing some maintenance on it to keep it looking good. With some of the new types of decking products you won’t have as much to worry about as these products can be scratch, stain and wear resistant. It’s a great time to do some research into new deck products and I encourage you to check them out anywhere you can. Having a deck can really change how you feel about your home.

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Recycle Your Things and Get Some Color

I have been going though all of my things over the last few weeks and I’m finding that I have just too much. They are things I don’t use or hardly use that may be helpful to someone else, so I’m donateing them to our local good will store and a few other places and wishing them well. One of the best ways to make your home feel freash is to get rid of old junk.

This time of year I try to donate everything. I do have a few things I will sell as they are worth more then I’m willing to part with. These are a spare computer, tv and other electronic type items that I know I can get a little for. For me the money is going tward bills, but if your okay in that department you can use the money you get now to get a freash look for your home for the new year.

Some great ideas are calm colors that will help you stay relaxed as the new year starts. I suggest cool pastel greens, blues and yellow. It will help you move out of the darker holiday colors and will also work well for spring. As these are a few of the hot colors for that season. You can also use beige colors and highlight it with your favorite dark splashes of color.

Winter is a great time to work indoors, what do you have planned?

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Give The Gift Of Timeless Style With A Grandfather Clock

Howard Miller Grandfather ClockSometimes the best gifts are a gift of great home style. A safe and classic way to go would be to check out a grandfather clock as a gift for your loved one. Grandfather clocks are timeless and classic and since they really never go out of style they make the perfect gift. There are also so many different styles of grandfather clocks that you really can find something for every taste.

A great type of clock to get is a Howard Miller Clock. The clock I have shown is a Howard Miller and it’s a very great clock with a wonderful warranty. This means that for a gift this type of clock is a really good bet. My favorite part of this clock is the the wood detail. It’s really very good and shows the craftsmanship of the brand. This clock makes a statement without being too overpowering.

I love clocks with storage too and there are many of those available. All you have to do is take a good long look around the internet and you are sure to find a clock that is perfect for someone, of course you do want to watch out, you may find a clock that you like for yourself instead.

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Holiday Decorating Made Easy Part I

Decorating for the holidays is a long hard task for many people, but there are some great ways to make holiday decorating very easy.

The first is to decide your color scheme. Are you a traditional red and green decorator or do you love the idea of blue and silver? If your not sure, I have a small list of some great color combination’s for christmas that go beyond these 2 holiday decorpopular themes.

Maroon and silver
White and purple
Blue, teal and cream
Black and white

Almost anything works for christmas decorating it’s that time of year where festive colors are in and we feel so much better about everything. Now once you decide on the colors you need to decide if your going to use real or synthetic materials for trees, wreaths and swags. If you decide to use real I would suggest making sure you are ready to take care of it. The last thing you want is a huge fire hazard.

The next step is to decide what rooms you are going to decorate. Many people only do one or two rooms, others do every room in the house. My suggestion is if you have to spend more then $200 a year decorateing your home it’s too much. Now if you have no decorations $200 is not that bad, but after that inital buying spree keep it to about $100 or less. Decor looks best when it’s simple. Use that $100 to buy new led lights if you don’t already have them and update to new colors, this could also be part of your “real plants” budget. Other then that many decorations you already have are fine.

Lights are the next step and really it’s pretty simple. Use lighting with synthetic garlands to create a warm look you can use over and over. Use candles on the christmas eve and christmas day or whenever your family gets together, to create a warm cozy and scented look that will make everyone feel wonderful and loving the holidays.

Well that’s it for part I, The next section will deal with table decor!

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Find Good Home Remodeling Estimates

Right now is a great time to remodel your home. You can’t buy a new one so your stuck in the one you have and there is nothing you can do about it. If you have enough money to redo a bath, add one on or maybe remodel your kitchen or add a deck. You may want to do it now. Not only will it help with resale but it will give you more space and could make you love the home you already have. Now that is a great win win situation.

Home remodeling estimates are actually easy to find and compare with the internet. You can contact different companies by filling out forms or find websites that will allow you to fill out one form and send it to many companies. I have done this myself for a few people and they have loved the results. It’s easy and simple most of the time. Doing the research before you buy is a must as I always say and good research will get you the service you are looking for, without the hassle of finding out first hand that the person you picked is not that great.

You could also look up quotes for custom replacement windows that will not only make your home look better, but will help save you money on heating and cooling cost. You could get bids for roof repair service if you need roof work or a whole roof replaced. The best part about finding many companies to look at and compare is that you get the best price. Also if you check out review sites you can then pick from the cheapest and best reviewed companies this is great because you get a great deal and good work.

So what home improvement jobs are you thinking of doing for you home?

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Hot Trend: Iron Entry Doors

Sometimes you really just want something that is amazing different and fun. Well if you follow one of the hot trends today you will find yourself looking at a brand new iron entry doors for your home. Okay, so it’s really an old hot trend that keeps coming back to wow us, but it works every time!

Iron DoorsOf course you don’t have to have just an iron entry, you could also add wrought iron railings to areas in your home to add a more classic touch to your design. Railings can be used to define a space, keep a stair safe or to frame in a balcony outdoor walking area. You could even add iron to your windows, but lets keep the iron bars in prison. You should find find a nice accent iron piece to put above or just inside the window frame.

I personally love the look of iron. It reminds me of the past, where you had style, grace and not so much synthetic material. When I think of iron I think European design with the iron railings on balconies and staircases or iron gates guarding a castle or huge historical home. Iron is very versatile and really will go with any look from modern to classic to somewhere in between. I have seen iron accents used on tropical islands, in snow covered northern states and in the south. It’s really everywhere.

Now you can find affordable iron doors by looking online, at your local hardware store and even at estate sales. I would suggest you find a style you like as there are many to choose from. I really love the more modern looks that have come out recently, but if your into the more classical designs you can find those too. I have seen many iron doors with an art deco look, a Tuscan look and of course the classic Renaissance look. What look would you like to have on your home?

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