Category Archives: Misc Home

Stretch Your Holiday Decorating Budget with Swagbucks

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Now that the holidays are in full gear, a lot of people are already getting started on decorating their homes for the season. If you’re in that same boat, you can get great deals and cash back for shopping through Swagbucks! Just go here and see all of the great cash back you can get from some of your favorite stores. Here’s how it works:

1. Click here to see the stores offering deals and cash back.
2. Click through to the store(s) of your choice and do some shopping!
3. Get cash back in the form of points (called SB) that you can redeem for free gift cards so you can stretch your holiday (and decorating) budget even further!

As an extra bonus, if you’re not a Swagbucks member and join through my link (or you’ve joined through my link this month), you’ll get an one time 200 SB bonus when you spend $25 or more in any of the Swagbucks Shop stores before December 1st! Swagbucks is a great site where you earn SB points for doing every day things online like shopping, discovering deals, taking surveys, watching videos, searching the web, and more. The SB you earn, the more gift cards you can get, which are a HUGE help this time of year.

I love using swagbucks as I am able to earn points for gift cards that allow me to decorate my home in amazing styles that I may not be able to afford without the program. It’s a great way to get those extra things you want, without feeling guilty about spending the money!

What would you buy for your home if you redeemed a $50 gift card with swagbucks?

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Show your American Pride With a Flag

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Summer in the United States brings Memorial day, the 4th of July and Labor Day. All of these Holidays celebrate American pride. Yet, many people don’t even have a flag in their yards! Yes, a simple flag and it’s not complicated you can get them at any local store or you can buy them online.

If you already have a flag or your looking for something different and unique. There are many fun ways to display your flag or your patriotism in another way. I found a few on Pinterest that I just had to share with you.

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This one is so easy to make, just some paint and a pallet. You can check out your local stores to see if they are selling or getting rid of any broken ones.

Here is another fun way to show off your American Pride.

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And the last one

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Image Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/287597126179759796/

Do you have a unique way to show your American pride? Share it with us!

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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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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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Cut Your Water Bill Down! Top Tips for Homeowners

No homeowner wants to pay huge bills for basics like water. However, when the bill comes, a lot of people are surprised by the big number. That’s especially true in the summer months when you need more water to keep your plants and grass happy and healthy. If you have a swimming pool you already know how big your bills can be.

Just because you need water regularly doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of cash though. Use this guide to help you lower your water bills. You probably won’t even notice the difference once you’re done and you wont have to go searching for professional plumbers in cambridge ma

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Replace Old Toilet Fixtures

You probably don’t realize how often you use your toilet fixtures in your home, but most homeowners use theirs at least a few times per day. If you have a big family you’re likely hearing toilets flush all the time.
Over time, that can lead to you spending a whole lot of money on water if you have old fixtures. The old fixtures tend to use a whole lot more water each time they flush, and over the course of a month that could result in 100 or more gallons of water wasted.

Switch to low-flow toilet fixtures around your home. Many water and power suppliers even offer rebates if you switch to low-flow toilet fixtures to help offset the cost.
Most low-flow toilet fixtures don’t cost very much money these days anyway, and the expense will be paid for by water savings within a few months in most cases. You’ll also be doing something good for the environment by limiting your water usage, so it’s definitely worth doing as soon as possible for most homeowners.

Check Plumbing Regularly

Going outside and checking your pipes isn’t going to be a whole lot of fun, but it’s something that you need to do. Outdoor pipes can easily start leaking in the summer months because of UV heat or in the winter because of the cold weather.

One of the other great things you can do to keep leaks at bay and make sure everything is working as it is supposed to is to hire professional plumbers in Cambridge MA to provide regular home inspections. Most companies have a service plan where they’ll come out once every six months, and that can save you a lot on repairs.

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Choosing the Right Wheels for a Pallet Jack

Pallet jacks are a necessary tool for virtually every business that sells mass quantities of goods to the public. These jacks help employees to move the product from the delivery truck to the shelf quickly and easily, without having to take multiple loads with a small cart. Keeping the wheels in good condition on these jacks is very important. Bad wheels can reduce productivity, cause damage to the pallet jack, and can even result in injury for the employee. With the many types of wheels available, it can be hard to decide which kind is best.

Standard Caster Wheels
If a simple replacement option is all that is necessary, then the standard caster wheels will probably benefit the purchaser the most. These are best for pallet jacks that are not under heavy use and operate over short distances. These wheels usually consist of a strong cast iron core, with 95 Shore A Polyurethane on the outside of the wheel for traction. These are the no frills, run of the mill wheels for pallet jacks.

80 Shore A Polyurethane Coating
These wheels are very similar to the standard caster wheels. The difference between this upgraded wheel and the previous is that it has a slightly different coating on the wheels. The wheels are made up of an 80 Shore A Polyurethane coating instead of the 95. These pallet jack wheels provide the user with better traction when moving the pallet jack during deliveries. It also allows for a smooth ride, reducing noise and shaking.

Heat Resistant Wheels
There are specially made wheels for pallet jacks that see a lot of moving as well; they have a unique cooling compound within the wheel. This is especially useful for large stores, warehouses, and other businesses that require moving pallet jacks over long distances with heavy loads. This compound will reduce the build up of heat within the wheels, which can ultimately cause significant damage to the pallet jack over a period of time.

Since pallet jacks are a required tool when it comes to moving heavy loads quickly, it is imperative that they are taken care of. The wheels face daily abuse from the strenuous loads, and if the wheels are in poor condition they can cause further damage to the pallet jack or the goods that are being carried.

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Keep Your Home Hot with Art

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If you are looking for a great way to keep your home warm this winter you will want to check out this amazing product Hot Art from BRZ Brands (www.brzbrands.com). Hot art is a far infrared heating system that doubles as a beautiful piece of art. This 24" by 40" (60 cm x 100 cm) piece of art is now available for pre-order through Kickstarter, starting at $279. I love the idea of this product because it allows you to heat the areas you use every day in style. You don’t have to worry about ugly heaters and you can save yourself money by only heating the areas you actually use in your home.

BRZ Brands 2

Hot Art uses infrared heat to heat the space you place it in. You can customize it to fit your space and style so that moves it way up on my amazing products list. You can also use your own photos and have a great family photo to place in your room along with heating your space!

 

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Key features and benefits of Hot Art include:

  • Choose Your Design – With hundreds of styles and designs (including sleek white) to choose from, Hot Art blends seamless in any home. Or, by using your own image, create a Hot Art original.
  • Control Options to Fit Your Style – Hot Art can be controlled with a simple on/off switch, by traditional thermostats and smart thermostats, and most home automation systems. 
  • Rapid Heating – Far infrared rays produced by Hot Art radiate outward, heating all nearby objects, producing a widespread effect, almost immediately.
  • Portable – Hot Art can be easily taken to different areas of the home – inside or outside – as needed. 
  • Cost Efficient – A 600-watt piece of Hot Art will generally heat the same area as a 1500-watt traditional space heater, resulting on average 60 percent savings. Additionally, since Hot Art is used for zone heating, there’s no need to heat an entire home.
  • No Harmful UV Rays – Hot Art uses the same principle as the sun’s warming light, without UV rays, for optimal heating that’s comfortable and safe.
  • Ideal for Allergy Sufferers – Most heating methods use fans to disperse heat, which often stirs up existing dust and allergens, Hot Art does not have any fans and operates silently.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Hot Art (when combined with a non-combustion power source) operates without any carbon combustion, no toxic by-products of combustions, no open flame, and no fuel lines to leak.
  • Perfect for Outdoor Living – Hot Art is not subject to breezes or drafts, providing highly efficient heat. Sleek white panels or decorative panels can also be mounted on ceilings for use year-round.
  • No Dry Heat – Unlike conventional heaters that draw moisture out of the air, Hot Art does not produce dry heat, avoiding itchy eyes and throat.
  • Long Life Expectancy – Hot Art can last more than 30 years, creating a very low cost of ownership.
  • Maintenance Free – With no ducts and filters to replace or keep clean, or fuel to refill, Hot Art units can simply be cleaned with a damp cloth.

 

What do you think of this new way to heat your home? I personally love it and will be looking into getting one very soon.

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A Green Refrigerator That Takes Green to a Whole Other Level

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You all know that I am very into green building, design and product for your home, but really this one is green to the extreme and I personally love the idea, though I am not so sure about storing my food in green, or any other color for that matter, goo. Still this is a great concept that looks really cool.

green goo fridgeThe refrigerator itself is made of a non-sticky goo that keep your food cold. The goo also does not smell so you don’t have to worry about it smelling up your home. The plus side in my opinion is that you will know when your food starts to go bad and you can find everything. I wonder though does the goo trap in the smell of bad food??

Personally I think this could lead to some very cool design concepts as this looks like it’s not as deep as a normal refrigerator, it could be put in some very interesting places in the kitchen and other spots in your home. My only worry is what about the big stuff? Would this be useful in a family home or would it be better suited to a bachelor pad where the person doesn’t entertain often and eats out a lot. For me it would never work as I love to cook and bake. You just cant store a huge cake or a roast in this refrigerator, so that keeps the classic safe for now.

 

What do you think of this new green goo?

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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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Don’t Wait For Spring Cleaning: Four Jobs to Get Done This Fall

Don't Wait For Spring Cleaning - Four Jobs to Get Done This Fall

 

Many people associate spring with getting annual household chores done and doing spring cleaning. Spring is a great time to deep clean your home, but you will likely be spending more time indoors this winter, so fall is the perfect time to get your home in shape by performing maintenance on a few appliances.

Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal should be cleaned several times per year so that it doesn’t become clogged and smell terrible. There are several things you can do to help this appliance run smoothly. One is to grind up a few cups of ice cubes to sharpen the grinding blades. Washing vinegar and baking soda down the disposal drain will get rid of any lingering odors. It’s smart to do this periodically to keep odors down. Your garbage disposal will run its best if you only use it to grind food scraps and other biodegradable waste.

Washing Machine

The washing machine is another appliance that most people rely on several times per week. The machine can be cleaned by filling it with hot water and detergent and running the regular wash cycle. You can clean the inside with vinegar if you have an issue with mildew or soap buildup. Taking the clothes out of the washing machine as soon as possible after the wash cycle has ended is the best way to prevent mildew and mold from becoming an issue.

Vacuum

Your vacuum helps keep your home clean, but it requires regular cleaning and maintenance. The canister or bag should be emptied regularly and the filter should be cleaned or changed. Clean the beater bar if your vacuum still has one and make sure that all the attachments and hoses are clean and free of clogs. Some surfaces might require professional cleaning by companies like American Clean & Seal Home Cleaning to minimize the dirt and dust that your vacuum has to suck up, and ensure a good, deep clean.

Dishwasher

Vinegar is a must when you’re cleaning your dishwasher. It’s best to fill a plastic tub with vinegar and water to soak your dishwasher filter, grate and arm. This mixture can also be used to wipe the inside of the washer to remove deposits. Put the parts back into the dishwasher after they have dried. Running the dishwasher on a light cycle while it is empty and using vinegar instead of soap will freshen the entire machine. You can do this step about once per month to keep it smelling fresh and running efficiently.

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6 Awesome Ways to Organize Your Home and Get Things Done

Here are a few interesting ways to Ways to Organize Your Home and help you with home improvement projects. Enjoy!

Organize Clothing

Organize cords

Fix wood dings

Painting Tips

How To Clean a Shower Head

Orgainize Cables

 

Images taken from Twistedsifter.com

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PR Announcement: Holiday Decorating Guide

Welcome to all of you PR people. This year on Home Style Tips I am looking forward to bringing my readers a Holiday Decorating Guide. This Guide will start in late September and go though the beginning of December.

Holiday Decorating Guide

 

The guide is already up and running. I am still accepting pitches for holiday decorating items.

Check out my Holiday Decorating Guide Here

This will work similar to a holiday gift guide, but for holiday decorating!

Options for being included in the Decorating Guide:

  • Review Only (Free with minimum product value of $50) Under $50? Please contact me to discuss.
  • Review and Giveaway (Free with minimum product values of $50)
  • Giveaway Only ($50 fee made payable via PayPal)
  • Sponsored Post ($75 fee made payable via PayPal will remain for lifetime of blog)

Items included in the Decorating Guide will receive the following benefits:

  • Dedicated post to include detailed review (when applicable), pictures and/or video of the product, links to where the item can be purchased and your social media sites (if desired)
  • Promotion on Home Style Tips social media networks multiple times throughout the end of 2013. Advertising will start in September.
  • A 10% discount on banner advertising for a year placement on my sidebar. (Limited availability, first come first serve.)

Request for inclusion in the holiday decorating guide must be made by September 10th for Halloween décor and October 15th for Thanksgiving, Christmas New Years and Hanukah Decor ( I will also accept décor for other holidays that take place during this time). Products for Halloween must be received by September 20th for all other October 20th to be included. Any items received after this date may not be included. Exceptions are sponsored post I will accept  sponsored post until November 25th. They will be published on or before December 5th.

 

All items pitched must be home décor related. Gift cards will also be accepted.

All items will be considered for the Holiday Decorating Guide but all items may not be  accepted due to time constraints. 

No items included in the Holiday Decorating guide will be returned after the review is complete.  Any items received will be considered as payment for the time taken to review and promote your brand. Sponsor is responsible for shipping any products. Sponsor is also responsible for shipping any giveaway products to the winners of said giveaway.

To inquire about having your product or brand included in Home Style Tips Holiday Decorating Guide, please email Holly @ Homestyletips.com with the subject 2013 Holiday Decorating Guide so I can maximize the time your brand is being promoted.  The sooner you secure your placement, the more your advertising and exposure will be maximized!

Thank you so much for your consideration in participating in Home Style Tips Holiday Decorating Guide!  I look forward to working with you this holiday season!

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Use New Homes for Inspiration

I always love to check out new homes that are going up in the areas around me. I currently live in farm country and there’s not much here, but taking a trip to the city or checking out new homes when I’m on vacation is always a great way to inspire me to design something new, change my style or just plain and simple remind me of why I love interior design.

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Let say your on vacation and you decide to check out some local home. Search something like New Communities In Martin County and bring up some great new homes in the area. Now why new homes? Because most of the time these homes are going to feature the latest and greatest or at least the latest of what normal people can afford. Also many times new communities hire designers to help decorate and sell the model home to people coming in. That means they are up on selling trends along with making the home look amazing. I do suggest visiting model homes if your selling your home also. You can really get some amazing ideas that will really help you sell.

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But lets say your not selling. Checking out these homes could give you some amazing ideas for your next kitchen or bath remodel. Maybe you want to add on and are not sure how to do it or maybe your looking forward to summer and an outdoor retreat like the one above. Well, these homes may just give you that light bulb you have been looking for and the inspiration for your next home improvement project.

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Preparing Your Home For Holiday Guest

Having family and friends over for the holidays can either be a cherished or stressful for all parties involved.

You made sure the food will be perfect and that everyone has a place to stay. Even with all the planning and cooking you do; it can still get crowded, uncomfortable and even boring.

If you are hosting the events at your house this year, a few additional steps can make the holidays a lot more enjoyable.

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Extra Comforts

Between couches and blow up mattresses, you can probably give everyone a nice place to sleep. If you want to ensure everyone sleeps comfortably however, you should stock up on extra blankets and pillows.

Most of us sleep with multiple pillows and layers of blankets. If you have plenty of extras, you will ensure everyone sleeps well and is in a good mood for the holidays. Pillows will also help supplement sinking couches or bad backs throughout long days of sitting and talking.

If you are still low on places for people to sleep, look into a company like Aerobed, for air mattresses that will fit on the floor.

Keep Food and Drink Accessible

In our culture, it is polite when staying with someone to wait until you are offered food and drink to take any. Instead of constantly asking all of your guests if they would like something, maximize your kitchen so that everything is out in the open and looks like it is meant to be taken.

Leave snacks on trays, covered by a see through wrap and leave cups and ice buckets out and ready at all times. If your family usually has drinks, keep your drink cabinets open and consider buying a cooler for beer so it is obviously set out for them.

To keep a selection of wines close at hand, purchase an in-cabinet wine rack from a company like Wine Logic.

Keep them Entertained

Television is a blessing and a curse. It is almost impossible to find programming that will entertain everyone you have over. If you have a second TV, set it up in another room with seating and a video game system or DVD player and all of your movies.

TV is not the only way to keep your guests entertained though. Pull out all of your books and board games. One or two of each are sure to get some use. If you know everyone that is coming, you probably know the types of things that entertain them. If you don’t have everything you need to keep them entertained, borrow a gaming system or some books so that everyone can have a good time.

If the weather isn’t too bad, a fire pit or outdoor games can provide a way for them to get out of the house as well. The Driveway Games Company makes a selection of outdoor games.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

cause-of-anger-unexpected-events.1Nothing would ruin a holiday like a power outage or a dropped main course for dinner. Being prepared with backup plans for food and outages can turn an unexpected event into nothing more than laughs and a good story.

It isn’t necessary to double up on all your food plans, but a frozen lasagna in your freezer won’t put you out very much money. Besides that, flashlights and candles added to the board games and extra blankets we spoke about before will all help.

If you have the extra money, buying a generator for a company like Briggs and Stratton, means you don’t have to worry about winter storms shutting down the power.

A few simple steps and purchases can go along way to ensure a happy holidays for everyone. Make sure to give everyone a tour when they arrive and a hug when they leave.

Author Bio: Dusty Kelley is experienced at hosting a large family for the holidays and organizing special events. His day job involves working with St Louis Weddings.

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Keeping Your Home Bed Bug Free

The following is a guest post

Having a bed bug infestation in your home can be stressful and embarrassing. There is a stigma of dirtiness associated with bed bugs, though it may not be deserved. The pests are highly adaptable, able to easily hide in the smallest of places and capable of moving unnoticed from an infestation spot to an area that is not infested. Once in a home, they can be difficult to remove. It is far easier to take the proper steps to avoid an infestation in the first place than to try to eliminate one.

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Keeping bed bugs out of your home

Once thought to be nearly extinct, bed bugs have been making a real comeback in the last couple of years. This has largely been due to the fact people have not had to deal with them, as well as the ease with which people can travel vast distances. The bugs often hitchhike in the luggage of travelers and return home with them. Here are some tips to help keep them out of your home.

*When traveling, take the proper precautions. Before you book, research the hotel for any previous complaints. Try to avoid having luggage mingle with the bags of others during transportation. If it can’t be avoided, wrap the suitcases in plastic to prevent the bugs from being able to move from one piece of luggage to another. Upon arrival at the hotel room, thoroughly inspect the quarters before unpacking the luggage. Make sure the bags remain off the floor during the inspection. When leaving, check the bags again. Upon returning home, launder all clothing that was taken on the trip at the highest temperature possible to kill any bugs that may be lurking. Store luggage as far from bedrooms as is possible. Ideally, they should be kept in a garage.

*At home, remove as much clutter around the house as possible as the pests will use the piles as hiding places. Create a regular schedule to vacuum all the carpets around the house regularly to remove any bugs or their eggs before they get a chance to multiply, and remember to empty the vacuum after each use.

*Take a walk around the outside of the home and seal any openings with caulk. Do the same for the inside, looking especially for cracks along the bottoms of the walls.

*If used furniture or clothing is purchased, check it over before bringing it in the house. Bed bugs are very flat and can hide in the smallest seams or folds of clothing or upholstery. It might also be a good idea to run a steamer over the items as a way to kill any bugs that might have been missed.

Bed bugs are highly proficient at moving from one place to another. Though they have been associated with places that are not clean, they can find their way into just about any residence. Keeping them out of a home is the best way to avoid having to deal with an infestation. Doing so means taking certain precautions when traveling and proper maintenance at home, but by taking a few simple precautions you should be able to avoid an infestation.

Karen Barnes writes for a website where you can read more about bed bugs and learn how to spot signs of an infestation.

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DIY Pest Control Gone Bad

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(Image Via http://www.makerbot.com)

In todays cash strapped world, an increasing number of us are choosing to ‘do it ourselves’ when it comes to jobs around the house. Anything from painting and decorating to laying flooring, to building extensions – it appears we can do pretty much anything we set our minds to.

However, there are a few jobs that are best left to the experts, one of those being pest and vermin control, especially jobs that require the elimination of stubborn pests and vermin, such as bed bugs, rodents and termites.

There are several online tutorials and ‘how to’ guides talking you through the process, which sound relatively easy and effective. However, they often leave homeowners out of pocket and injured, usually without even fully sorting the problem.

Here are some examples of DIY pest control gone very bad:

Hot Topic

In 2010 a woman and her mother tried to take the fight against bed bugs into their own hands. Bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures, so the two women decided to try to heat the bedroom to sauna like conditions using a camping grill. This resulted in a fire and an unscheduled visit from the fire department, who couldn’t quite believe their eyes.

The crazy idea was formed from some advice the pair read on the Internet, which seriously backfired. And guess what? They still have bed bugs!

Fogger Disaster

A lady in North Carolina was so frustrated with having bed bugs she bought 18 cans of fogger to try to eliminate them. However, if not used in the correct way, fogger spray can cause serious injury and in some cases even death. Sadly, this lady died shortly after administering them around her home without the correct protection.

Squirrel in the attic

A British Man was recently fined a significant amount of money for drowning a squirrel he had caught in a cage trap. Another was fined for incorrectly setting a squirrel trap and inadvertently trapping and killing a woodpecker.

Glue Boards

Glue boards are frequently seen as quick and easy solutions to vermin and pest problems. However, it’s worth noting that professional pest controllers will only use them as a last resort. There have been numerous incidents where cats, kittens and owls have been caught on a glue board, causing unnecessary suffering and trauma.

So it’s pretty clear to see that DIY pest control may not be the great, cost effective method of eradicating pesky bugs you think it will. More often than not people end up spending more money on DIY pest control than if they had just called the experts in.

The pest control industry is heavily monitored and regulated and puts it’s employees through extensive training before attempting to operate in people’s homes. Young children and pets are particularly at risk when chemicals are misused or overused by amateurs in the home.

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Dealing With a Stressful Move

The following is a guest post

One of the most stressful parts of a person’s life can be moving to a new location. Even if you are just moving across town, moving can still be a taxing experience on one’s mind and body. To help your move go as smoothly as possible, here are some tips that you can follow:

1. Hire a moving company

Hiring a moving company is essential if you are moving a few hours away or outside of the state. A moving company does all of the heavy hauling, so you do not have to do this hard labor. You will want to make sure that a moving company has insurance in the event that anything is damaged during the moving process. If anything is damaged, then the moving company will be able to replace the item at no cost to you.

2. Get friends to help

Perhaps you are only moving a few minutes away. Even in this event, you should ask some friends to help you on the day of the big move. If you are living alone, moving all of your heavy furniture and other belongings can just be downright stressful. Having some friends to help you move into your new place will make the process a little more light-hearted and allow you to enjoy some good company. Friends may also have access to equipment that makes the move much easier for you, such as a moving truck or bins for your dishware.

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3. Make a list of all belongings

Before you move into your new place, make a list of everything that you are bringing with you. This will make it easier for you to locate something if it happens to get lost during the move. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you forget a couple of boxes in your attic or accidentally leave something with a friend. Having a list will just make you feel more psychologically secure during the big move.

4. Settle into your home.

When you finally do get everything moved into your home, make sure you take a day or two off of work to enjoy your new place. Allow yourself to mentally settle into your new place in life and enjoy the next chapter. You will likely only move a few times in your life, so you deserve to have your moment and enjoy it!

Remembering these tips will help you have an easy and smooth move. You will be able to relax and take it easy if you remember these tips!

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Protect your Home with Lifeshield

You spend a lot of time and money making your home look good and feel welcoming. How would you feel if someone came into that home and destroyed all of your hard work. Taking your items with them and leaving you with an empty shell? Luckily you don’t have to worry about that with LifeShield.com. This is a great inclusive home security service.

Some of the monitoring they offerapps-lg

  • Alarm monitoring
  • Smoke and Fire
  • Medical
  • Environmental

They of course offer a little more then just those I’ve listed. Lifeshield works with protection 1 and has centers not just in large cities, but in smaller towns too. I know many people believe that there is no crime in the suburbs and the country, but there is and it’s a growing problem. Having good security is really a must for anyone in this economy. They not only provide instillation and monitoring though their centers but you can also hook up the monitoring to your phone or access it online. This service is called lifeview and it’s really perfect for us tech types that love to play with our gadgets all day! With this service you can arm and disarm your system, see crime in your area and a whole lot more!

LifeShield also makes it very easy to Buy Security Alarm for your home. All you have to do is check out there website and pick a package that interest you. I love how there site actually gives you information on the products, and they don’t just give you a little bit, they have a ton of information about each package and you can also get advice from a pro in case your not sure what you really need. Really it’s a great service and I found so much information online that all of the question I had were answered by just browsing the website. How is that for a great company?

 

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Lifeshield.com though my membership with BlogFriendlyPR. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

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5 Tips for a Restful Home

The following is a guest post

With most of us leading hectic work schedules and active social lives, the home is becoming more and more of a sanctuary from the outside rigors of daily living. When you come home from a busy day, do your surroundings encourage you to relax and let go of stress? If not, then these valuable tips could help.

Clutter is chaos.

Any space where there is a lot of mess can cause stress. If you would rather not spend hours dusting and cleaning your home, then it’s time to get organized. Get rid of unnecessary knickknacks and other items which don’t serve any important purpose. Use shelving and cabinets to store items instead of just leaving them out in plain sight. You can also organize your personal space and closets with baskets and clear plastic bins, so that finding something you need is much easier and convenient.

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Let in fresh air and natural lighting.

Exposing your home to natural light and fresh air can instantly lift your mood. During the cooler hours of the day, lift up your shades and allow sunlight and air to come inside your house. At the very least, this will allow stagnant air to get out, so that your home will not have a musty, closed-in smell.

Play it light.

Browse through any interior design magazine and you will see that zen interiors typically use light colors and neutrals, such as white, grey, taupe, and beige. That’s because these colors help open up a space, so that it seems bigger than it actually is. No matter how big your home is, designing in dark and gloomy colors can dwarf it so that it appears more confined. Aside from using light colors, using other elements like streamlined furniture and minimalist décor can increase the zen appeal.

Create a personal haven.

Every now and then, enjoying some privacy and quiet can significantly keep you grounded, no matter how busy you get. For most people, the bedroom serves this purpose. Aside from being a place where you sleep, your bedroom should allow you to let go of worries and other concerns—if only for a few hours at night. Strive to design your bedroom so that it looks as appealing as the best rooms in the house. A beautiful space is more conducive to rest and relaxation.

Invest in quality.

Some people who would willingly spend thousands of dollars on a designer couch but hesitate to make the same investment in a bed. This is actually a foolish economy, considering the fact that we spend roughly 1/3 of our day in our beds. When it comes to sleeping needs such a beds and mattresses, it is always wise to buy the best that you can afford. A quality bed will not only last you for years; it can also directly affect the quality of your rest, which in turn, affects your mood and performance. Mattresses should be ideally replaced every five years or so, so that they can provide optimal support and comfort in various sleeping positions.

Author Bio- Patric Seeley is a Global Brand Manager at MattressNextDay.co.uk -The UK’s no 1 best supplier of beds and mattress. Mattressnextday stocks a LARGE assortment of beds and mattresses, probably the largest collection on-line today!

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