Monthly Archives: November 2013

Creating Meaningful Spaces: 5 Elements to Include When Decorating Your Home

Creating Meaningful Space- 5 Elements to Include When Decorating Your Home

 

The following is a guest post:

Home decoration is not just about making your home look like a magazine. It is also about designing a space that fits your unique tastes, preferences and lifestyle and that is meaningful to you. After you have arranged furniture for function and painted to reflect your tastes, add meaning to your space by incorporating these five elements into your design.

1. Family Pictures

Displaying family pictures is one of the easiest ways you can add meaning to your space. Print and frame your favorite photos of your children, your brothers and sisters at their homes in Utah. Surround yourself with your favorite pictures and remind yourself everyday what is truly most important in your life.

2. Travel Mementos

Displaying travel mementos in your home is a great way to remember the excitement of your travels every day. Save beach sand from your vacation and use it to fill clear glass lamps. Turn travel brochures into a custom lamp shade. Frame a map of one of your favorite places and use it as the focal point in your room.

3. Reminders of Special Moments

Special moments are too fleeting. Decorate your home with reminders of them and you can relive them every day. Use your wedding centerpiece as a kitchen table centerpiece. Cross-stitch a wall hanging that includes all of your family’s important dates, including the date you met, the date you married and the dates your children were born.

4. Meaningful Quotes

If there are any quotes that hold a special significance for you, frame them and hang them on your walls. Whether you need to remember to relax, to be courageous or to savor the moment, there is a great quote out there to remind you. By incorporating them into your design, you can be inspired by them every time you walk through the rooms of your house.

5. Reclaim Heirlooms

Using family heirlooms in your design is a great way to add meaning to your space as well. Use an antique dresser and a television stand. Turn your mother’s baby clothes into a beautiful and meaningful patchwork quilt. Have one of grandma’s famous recipes printed poster size and frame it over your mantle.

A meaningful space is one that has been designed to best showcase the unique life of the family living in it. Use these five elements and you will have a meaningful space that is uniquely yours.

 

Author Bio:

Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

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Febreze Holiday Collection Review

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I was so excited to be chosen to review the new Febreze Holiday line. I love Febreze products and I love holiday scents so yes I was a very happy girl.

I received the Febreze NOTICEables warmer and a duel scent, Cranberry Frost and Apple Cider, along with a Scent and Refresher with apple cider scent. I also received a really cool scent stories book. My niece and nephew really enjoyed playing with it.

The Febreze NOTICEables warmer is amazing! We have a large open floor plan and it scented the whole thing, even though it’s plugged in on one side, not in the middle. I love walking into my home at both doors and I love that I only have to have one plug in to make my home smell amazing! It’s so easy to set too, there is just a small lever on the top and you set it to your preference. I have it turned up kind of high since we do have such a large room.

I really love the Scent and Refresh. I put it in our utility room where my cats litter box is and it’s so nice! I don’t smell cat anymore and it’s really much better to be in there when I need to be. I also love that this one I can set to what I need it. When I change the litter box I don’t need as much scent so I only take it to one click, but after a day or so I need one more. Even having scoopable litter, there still is a smell after a while even when I clean it daily!

You can get the following Holiday Scents

  • Winter Frost
  • Glistening Pine
  • Falling Leaves
  • Cranberry Cider
  • Sandalwood and Sooth
  • Apple and Spice
  • Fluffy Vanilla

What scent are you excited to try?

Disclosure: I received these products from Febreze because of my affiliation with SheSpeaks. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own unless otherwise stated.

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Five Fun Holiday Decoration Ideas You Have Never Tried

Holiday Decoration Ideas

 

Christmas time is the perfect time to let out your creativity. Anyone can put some garland on their staircase and add some ribbons to their front porch. But you can find some fun and unique ways of decorating your home that your friends have never seen. You can do this by finding new ways to use your existing decorations both inside and outside this holiday season.

Outdoor Christmas Trees

Who says that only pine trees deserve some lights? Take your maple trees, cherry trees and any other trees in your yard, add some lights and turn those trees into makeshift Christmas trees. You can even wrap empty boxes as gifts and place those fake gifts under the trees. Be careful if you want to add a significant amount of holiday lights to your home. You might even consider calling electrical contractors for help. They can help you ensure your home is up to code and can handle the extra lights.

Preparations on Display

Instead of tucking away your wrapping paper, ribbon and tape in a drawer, put your preparations out on display. Use an old card catalog or a toolbox, fill the spaces with everything you need to wrap your gifts, and place the display in a useful place that visitors would also see. You’ll have everything you need on hand, but you’ll also create a fun and festive display too.

Ornament Chandelier

Turn old ornaments into a fun chandelier for your home. Wrap small pieces of wire around the hook on the top of each ornament, and hang those decorations from the existing lighting fixtures in your home. You can also string those ornaments onto ribbon to add some more color to the room. This is a great way to display ornaments you worry might get broken on your tree, as well.

Santa Pots

Make those planters and pots on your front porch fit with your holiday theme. Spray paint the pots with a few coats of red paint, and wrap a black leather belt around the midsection. If you don’t have any spare belts on hand, make your own from a few silver buckles and leather pieces.

Ornament Trees

If you have an old window screen on hand, you can make your own ornament tree. Hang a single ornament at the top of the screen, and arrange other ornaments on the screen, making each subsequent row slightly wider. Use a few brown or black ornaments at the very bottom to represent the base of the tree.

Why settle for the same decorations that you use every year? With these fun tips, you can incorporate some new and unique decorations into your home this holiday season.

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Do You Need Some Winter Weather Cleaning Tips?

This post brought to you by North American Property Services. All opinions are 100% mine.

Winter is here, and it’s a great time to do some deep cleaning to help keep your home germ-free. North American Property Services, one of the top janitorial service companies in the United States, has ten key tips for cleaning your home this winter:

Winter

1. Be extra careful about hand washing with soap so you do not spread germs from room to room.

2. Routinely disinfect high touch areas such as door handles, TV remotes, and keyboards for all devices, such as tablets and laptops. Don’t forget all of your phones, including the landline and cell phones.

3. Dust carries germs and grime, so wiping down with disinfecting solutions will not only make your house cleaner, but it will remove germs that can cause the common cold and flues. Look for places that dust settles, such as fan blades, window ledges, and walls to wipe away germs. Don’t forget to clean your light bulbs, which has the added benefit of brightening the house on these short winter days. Another thing to clean is the dust balls under furniture and in the corners of floors.

4. Dust more often, as your heating system circulates dust, dirt and germs.

5. Keep mops handy to dry-mop floors regularly, especially around high-traffic areas of the house.

6. On warmer days, clean interior windows, another germ collector in your house.

7. Deep clean your carpets every year to eliminate grime and germs. A good time of year to do this is after the holidays so any spills from your holiday celebrations will be washed away.

8. Scrub the grout in your bathroom with a powerful disinfectant to remove germs that spread between family members.

9. Take your shoes off at the door. Think about all the places you walk and the germs that hitch hike into your home. Taking your shoes off will greatly reduce indoor pollutants.

10. The best winter floor care program is to continue to clean and maintain floor surfaces with extra mopping and scrubbing around the entryways.

Social Media Information so that you can learn more!

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Sometimes I think I will never get my cleaning done during the winter, but I think if I keep these tips in the back of my mind I will be able to get a little more done this year then in the past!

Do you have any winter cleaning tips you would like to share? Please leave them in the comments below.

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Five Home Updates That are Worth The Money

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The following is a guest post:

When deciding to invest in your current home, you should consider a number of different factors, including how long you intend to keep it, the likelihood of recovering your investment and the price that homes sell for in your neighborhood. Some home investments are recognized as being helpful to resale value and are usually worth the money in the long run.

Five Home Updates That are Worth The Money

New Roof

If the roof of your home is twenty years old or older, you may be thinking about getting a new roof. This expense can be worth it in the long run in resale value. Many homebuyers must scrimp and save to make their first purchase, and the prospect of a big expense like a new roof can scare them off from considering your property. A new roof reassures them that they will not have to worry it for many years to come. A new roof is also a sign that you have cared for the home and that other systems are probably equally maintained.

Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling bathrooms can often be a good investment in your home for a variety of reasons. New buyers are always concerned about the condition of bathrooms in older homes and the expense of updating fixtures, plumbing and other items. A remodeled bathroom will increase the value of the home and reassure attract potential buyers.

Kitchen Update

Even today, the kitchen is the heart of the home. When looking at homes to buy, women always inspect the kitchen carefully to determine how functional it is. Updated appliances, convenient counterspace, easy-to-clean flooring and good lighting all factor into their ability to picture themselves preparing meals for the family. When you spend money to update your kitchen, you increase the desirability of the property as a whole.

Building An Addition

Many people build onto their current homes in order to avoid the costs of moving to a larger living space. If the project is done well, this action can immediately add to the value of the home and garner a higher resale price for the extra bedroom, family room or home office.

Home Security System

Installing a home security system can help to make your home more desirable for potential buyers. A home security system expert said, “home security systems are now more affordable then ever. You can customize a plan and asystem that will work with your budget and your needs.” Having one is becoming a standard feature in many neighborhoods and can help persuade potential buyers to consider your property.

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Five Tips for Making Your Home More Habitable

Five Tips for Making Your Home More Habitable

The following is a guest post:

Home is where the heart is. It’s also where you hang your hat, your coat and a million other items. Creating a home environment that is warm, welcoming and comfortable takes a bit of elbow grease. Follow these basic tips to help you make your home into a cozy place that makes you smile each time you enter it.

A Place for Everything

Many busy families complain of the constant clutter filling up the house. It’s easy to start feeling like it’s a full time job keeping up with daily loads of clutter. Establishing a place for everything helps tame the clutter. Show your kids exactly where to hang their backpacks, put your purse in the same place every day and place your car keys in a spot near the door. Enlist the whole family to help put things in their places instead of letting the clutter have a life of its own.

Keep It Up

Maintaining your home takes a little work each day so it doesn’t become a big, looming job waiting for you every weekend. Take as little as 15 minutes a day to tackle household chores. Pick one room for each day of the week, or assign family members to a space. Set a timer, crank the tunes and go wild in your space for 15 minutes. This will ensure you do a little bit each day to keep your home habitable, but you won’t feel overwhelmed by it.

Add Your Style

Adding a bit of you to your home reminds you of the things you love. Maybe it’s a particular color that always makes you smile, a print you fell in love with or a painting you couldn’t live without. Add a touch of your unique style throughout your home to make it feel like your sanctuary.

Designate Your Spaces

Clear boundaries within your home ensure it stays relatively clean and tidy. If you have kids, for example, make sure all food items are kept in the kitchen. Vow to keep coats, hats, boots and shoes within a specified entry area to avoid things getting strewn about the house. Tame your laundry with designated baskets throughout the house and a laundry station near the washer and dryer. It’s easy to spot items that don’t belong in the designated spaces, making clean-up a breeze for you and your family.

Maintain a Positive Atmosphere

A reliable security company like Vivint in San Francisco, CA, can help you create a habitable home with a safe and positive atmosphere by putting your family first. Treat your home like a sanctuary for love, communication and peace. Establish and maintain positive attitudes by treating family members with love and respect. The rest will fall into place.

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Less Utility, More Personality – 5 Ideas for Updating Your Bathroom

Less Utility, More Personality - 5 Ideas for Updating your Bathroom

 

Modern bathrooms are more than merely utilitarian. They can be a showcases in and of themselves. Here are five tips to update your bathroom and make your guests gasp in admiration.

Personal Care Containers

Creating personal care areas for the household not only makes the bathroom tidier but is an efficient way to tend to personal matters. You can assign everyone who uses that particular bathroom a colored basket or plastic organizer in which to put the items they have most need of. A woman can place her makeup, creams and lotions in one basket, while her husband can place his shaving accessories in another. These containers can look surprisingly attractive. They’re certainly more attractive than everything being strewn over the top of the vanity!

Brighten Up Your Bathroom

One way to brighten up a bathroom is to turn a wall sconce so that the light is pointing down. This is a great and cost-free way to add some task lighting and to make the room brighter than it is. Also, it’s important to keep the lightbulbs clean so they always give maximum light. Another way to brighten the room is to add shiny surfaces like mirrors and brilliant chrome towel bars and fixtures.

How To Buy A New Toilet

If your toilet has seen better days, make sure you measure the space first before buying another. Toilets don’t come in one standard size and a couple of inches can be the difference between a bathroom that’s roomy and a bathroom that’s cramped. Also, a round seat saves more space than an oval one.

New Tile, New Grout

Grout doesn’t have to be drab. It can now come in many colors, so consider this if you’re doing a re-tiling job. You can choose a grout that closely matches the color of the tile to make the job look more uniform. Or, you can choose grout that contrasts with the color of the tile to make the tile stand out more.

Hardware

If you’re bored with the old hardware that came with your vanity, you can always change. There must be thousands of types of drawer pulls and knobs, from cup pulls to cut glass balls to Queen Anne type pulls. Another tip is to match the hardware with the other hardware in the bathroom like towel racks and light and sink fixtures.

Updating a bathroom doesn’t have to bust the budget. Some things can be done for very little money and even for free!

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Five Tips For Keeping Your Home Healthy and Clean

Five Tips For Keeping Your Home Healthy and Clean

 

Keeping your home healthy and clean can help with reducing allergens, sickness and other illnesses that can easily spread and be passed on to family members and visitors in the house. When you want to keep your home healthy and clean, there are a few tips and tricks available that are low-cost and will keep all of the members of your household as healthy as possible at all times.

Create a Cleaning Schedule

Creating a cleaning schedule on a daily basis can help with keeping it clean and healthy, especially when cleaning is done regularly. Be sure to set specific days for heavier cleaning to ensure you do not miss any large cleaning projects, such as washing the floors or walls. You can also create a cleaning schedule that includes all members of your family to get everyone in your household more actively involved in maintaining a well-kept environment for them to live in.

Sweep and Dust Throughout Each Day

Sweeping and dusting throughout your home each day is another way to keep it as clean and as healthy as possible. The more you sweep, the less you will have to sweep when you are doing larger cleans of the house. Sweeping frequently keeps dust from accumulating while ensuring anyone who is walking throughout your home is not tracking additional dust and dirt into various areas.

Hire a Professional

If you have had infestations in the past or if you want to prevent them from occurring in your home in the future, consider hiring a professional exterminator to keep your house as healthy and clean as possible from rodents, bugs and other insects. Working together with Artesia exterminator company is a way for you to pinpoint any problem areas in your home to ensure all entrances and exits are properly blocked to keep bugs and insects out completely.

Invest in New Air Filters

Investing in new air filters can help with reducing the amount of dust, allergens and other chemicals you may have in the air throughout your home. Air filters and items can be placed within your actual vents or purchased as separate machines that can be set in any area of your home.

Use the Proper Cleaning Products

Ensuring you are using cleaning products that work will help to keep your home healthy and clean at all times. Be sure to test different products and read reviews before making a decision to ensure all floors, counter tops and all items in your bathroom are as clean as possible.

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Don’t Get Caught In The Cold This Winter! 5 Home Checkups Before The Snow Comes

Don't Get Caught In The Cold This Winter- 5 Home Checkups Before The Snow Comes

The following is a guest post:

The days are getting shorter. It’s time for the annual autumn checklist of things to do to prepare the house for cold weather. Before winter settles in, run through these five checkups to make sure your house is ready.

1. Clean the Gutters

By the end of autumn, gutters become clogged with dead leaves. Water will collect. As it freezes and melts repeatedly, you risk ice buildup and roof damage. Clean and repair the gutters. See that the rainspouts are not blocked or broken. Make sure they run water away from the foundation. While you’re up there, look for loose shingles to tack back down and any other signs of potential problems.

2. Inspect the Furnace

Furnaces build up soot, dust, mold and other impurities over time. Have your furnace checked before the cold weather sets in. There’s nothing worse than the heating system being down for repairs when it’s below freezing outside. HVAC services can also check the ducts and repair any leaks. Make sure your fuel delivery dates are locked in. If you have a wood stove, buy and stack your wood before the snow falls.

3. Add Insulation

Heat rises, and most heat is lost through the ceilings and roof. You should have a foot of insulation in the attic. If you’re adding layers, make sure there is no paper or other backing that could act as a vapor lock and cause moisture to collect under the roof. Look for mold, which results from condensation and inadequate ventilation. Any water stains you see may indicate a roof leak.

4. Cover the Windows

Windows can be a major source of heat loss. Put up storm windows if you have them. Check that thermal panes fit tightly, without leaks. If you have windows with single-pane glass, buy clear plastic by the yard at the hardware store and cover the windows snugly. You can also buy window insulation kits, which include all necessary hardware and detailed instructions.

5. Check for Drafts

Walk through the house on the first cold, windy day. Wherever you feel a breeze, trace it back to the source and stop the leak. Use caulking or weatherstripping on door and window frames. Buy door sweeps to cover the gaps at the bottom of doors. Pay special attention to window frames.

The best time to deal with winter emergencies is before they happen. Do the maintenance now. Then you can settle back and enjoy a snug, warm home.

Brionna Kennedy-twitterAuthor Bio: Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

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Six Cost-Effective Ways You Can Update Your Home

6 Cost-Effective Ways To Update Home

Home is where the heart is, but the heart gains a new sense of vigor when the home looks fresh and clean again. Sometimes it seems that when money is tight, there is nothing you can do to improve the aesthetics of your living situation, but that is not the case! Whether you’re trying to increase the value of your house in order to sell it, or you simply want to freshen up your atmosphere, there are dozens of inexpensive ways to spruce up your home. Try these few cost-effective ways you can update your home:

Entryway

The first thing you see when you walk by or enter a house is the entryway, as it is appropriately named, and there are many things you can do to enhance its look. Repainting or refinishing your front door offers a nice first impression right away, and a fancy door handle replacing the old simple doorknob implies elegance. Adjusting the outdoor lighting and adding a healthy variety of plants to either side of the doorway will please more than just your vision as you walk into the house – it will make you feel comfortable and at-home.

Kitchen

We often don’t do as many updates in the kitchen, but the family actually spends more time in the kitchen than you might think. Spice up your family dinners with fresh cabinets and matching appliances. Rather than replacing the entire cabinets themselves, simply replace the doors and drawers, or even just the handles, to create an updated look. A new faucet will be nice and shiny as well as functional. Also try specialized cleaning products that will take stains off your faucet and handles to improve the appearance without spending too much money.

Paint

The paint job in your house may be the way it shows its wear and tear the most. Scuff marks on the walls and spots of spackle from repairs take away from the cohesiveness of your home. A fresh paint job is a very simple way to restore brightness to your house.

Carpeting

If your neutral colored carpet is in good condition, a nice cleaning can make a big difference. If your carpet was neutral colored but is now decorated with splotches of unattractive colors thanks to spills, you can cover them up with inexpensive area rugs. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you’re trying to sell your house and your wall-to-wall carpet is in rough shape, don’t replace it – let the new owners choose what to bring in instead.

Lighting

When you’re trying to change the appearance of your house, lighting is an incredible tool, suggests professionals who specialize in residential electrical services in Houston. Spotlights can direct people’s attention to conversational pieces or fixtures that you have on display, and accent lighting can really set the right mood. If you want to do something about your ceiling fan and light but you’re on a tight budget, simply repaint or replace the blades of the fan. You can also add versatility to any room by having having professionals install a dimmer switch in a few rooms. Changing the lighting can also save you on utilities.

Headboard

You can tell a lot about a person by their bedroom, so express yourself with a beautiful and creative headboard. Decorative pillows are one thing, but a customized headboard that gives insight to your personality is a creative way to add your own personal touch to your room. You can make a headboard out of most anything, so your options are limitless!

If the thought of your aging home makes your heart grow weary, don’t stress. These are just some of the ways that you can reinvigorate your home and family.

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Add Some Sophisticated Style with Wall Maps

Modern interior.

Are you looking to create a “WOW” effect in your home? Maybe your looking for a more sophisticated style in your home. If this is something that you worry about or really are excited to jump into you want to take a look at these amazing wall maps from wallpapered.

What I love about Wallpapered is that they not only have this amazing collection of Wallpaper Maps, but they also help you learn how to hang the maps and other wall covering products they offer. Yes there is a lot more and I encourage you to visit the website for yourself!

As you can see from the pictures you have a lot of wonderfully stylish maps to choose from and so many different ways you can use them. A world map would be great for decorating a children’s room, not only does it look cool, but they will learn so much about the world in the process.

Comment: Where would you use wall maps in your home?

Wallpapered.com_VintageMapOfEurope

 

Wallpapered.com-Sepia-world-map

 

Wallpapered.ocm PastelWorldMap1

 

modern interior office table and chairs

 

Wallpapered.com Greenworldmap

 

Wallpapered.com VintageWorldMap

 

Wallpapered.com world map d

 

Wallpapered.com world map wallpaper2

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Invest in Christmas: 5 Christmas Items that Your Family Will Treasure for Years to Come

 christmas items to treasure

 

Images of a wintery countryside with tall, snow-laden evergreens, and sparkling icicles seem to bring back joyful Christmas memories even for those living in tropical climates. A large part of what this holiday means to you depends on your family’s traditions. So it makes sense to invest in your Christmas and make thoughtful purchases of items your family will treasure for many years to come.

 

A Good Artificial Tree

Today’s artificial trees come in a selection of heights and widths to fit any space, pre-lit with white or multicolored lights, and even flocked or frosted to put you in a festive mood. In fact, by using a set of flocked Christmas trees or pencil Christmas trees and a small bench, you can easily set up an enchanted grotto in the corner of your living room as a special surprise.

 

Detailed Nativity Scene

Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday or a cultural one, you will find that investing in a beautifully detailed nativity scene can benefit your family in several ways. It can not only help you in explaining little ones the origins of the holiday, but it can also be passed down through generations as a family heirloom.

 

Recordable Books and Cards

Remember those great bedtime stories grandma and grandpa read for you? If you are of an older generation, you probably wish you would have recorded them in some way. Now it is possible to preserve these cherished moments for a lifetime with recordable story books and Christmas cards.

 

Christmas Village Decoration

You do not have to be a collector to enjoy a particularly fetching Christmas village decoration. If you have small children, go for the ones with built-in movements and melodies, such as a multi-tiered tabletop Christmas tree or scenes depicting village events. Children, and children-at-heart, will spend hours poring over them, and these ornaments never lose their novelty as you display them only during the holidays.

 

Solar Christmas Lights

Christmas might be your favorite holiday, but the cost of presents and entertaining adds up quickly. Why not invest in solar lights for your garden and outside decorations? They cost the same as traditional lights, come in a variety of designs to fit every taste, and they have no operating costs.

Christmas is a great time to carry on old traditions as well as to create new ones. Try out new decorating ideas that can help bring your family together and make your Holidays meaningful for years to come.

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