Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Create Your Own Fall Decor

Decorating for Fall doesn't mean spending a fortune on new seasonal knick-knacks or expensive pre-made arrangements. You may have items around your home that just need a little touch to make them Autumn ready!  Here are some ideas.

Set of 3 Hand Painted Mason Jars Autumn by MidnightOwlCandleCo:

Mason jar vases - just add some paint in using Fall hues!

Eat. Sleep. Decorate.: {DIY} Cheap & Easy Fall Decorating Ideas:

Neutral Fall Decor: Glue or tie some sticks to a plain votive vase to make an awesome Autumn candle holder!

DIY - Perfect Fall Potpourri - #fall #potpourri #fallpotpourri: Incorporate plaid scarves into your Fall decor - until it gets cold enough to use them of course!

Don't forget to set the season by incorporating smells!  Make some homemade potpourri by simmering apple, orange, cloves and cinnamon!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Create a Workspace at Home

Whether you work from home full time or just need space to get away and write out your thoughts in peace and quiet, a home office is a great addition to any home. A home office can be a designated extra bedroom or a corner of the upstairs loft.  No matter how big your space there are a few things to keep in mind when planning a workspace.

1. Think about your primary activities - will a desktop or laptop computer be necessary? Do you need a landline? Will you need a printer, router, or other space-taking equipment?

2. Ensure there is plenty of lighting - both overhead and lamp light. Take advantage of any and all natural light.

3. Sketch out your room before moving any furniture in. Include windows, electrical outlets, cables and doors or closets. It's much easier to sketch before moving furniture in or out! Try to position your desk where you have a view - near the windows!

4.  Use vertical space to your advantage.  You don't need a lot of square footage for a good office space - take advantage of your walls for filing or storage with bookcases and floating shelves.

5.  Add your own unique touches! Yes an office is for work but it doesn't have to be cold and sterile. Decorate with photos of loved ones, inspirational quotes and plants or fresh flowers.  Make the space somewhere you want to be!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Seasonal Home Maintenance

A new season is a great time for change - new clothes, new decor, and new ways to prepare your home for the upcoming Fall and Winter weather.  It may seem hard to believe now but the temperatures will drop, the humidity will dissipate and your home will need to adjust to the colder months of the year.  The moderate temperatures make Fall a perfect time to get outside and do some prep work for the following year.

1.  Examine the outside of your home for any visible cracks along the foundation or where piping goes in and out of the home. Use caulk to fill in those cracks where possible.

2.  Check all exterior doors to ensure weather stripping is still in place and creates a tight seal when closed.

3.  When it's time to turn on the heat inside, change the direction of your ceiling fan to pull heat upwards.

4.  It's important to change the batteries on your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. The change of seasons is a good time to do this and easy to remember.

5. When you are done with mowing the lawn for the year, drain the gas from your mower and trimmer before storing for the winter.

These 5 steps can prepare your home and yard for Winter's chill and protect the investment you've made in your home.

What else is on your Fall maintenance list?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Football and Fun

The countdown is over! It's football season! Whether you cheer for the local team, your home team, or just any team that's playing - football season is a great time to get together with family and friends.

All a party really needs is the fellowship of family and friends but if you do want to get a little more involved there are so many great ideas for football theme food and decor.

A little green and white icing can go along way to making cupcakes into game day dessert fun!

Set up some cheese, crackers and pepperoni in a strategic football shape for a little fun!

Shop at the local party story for football theme decor and plates.

Construction paper and glue can make regular paper bags into fun party favors.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Planning Your Guest Room

Entertaining is one of the great benefits of being a homeowner. Whether you have good friends from across the country or family visiting for the holidays - a guest room is an essential part of your home. Here's how to extend your hospitality through your accommodations in the best way possible.

Guest Room Essentials:

  • Fresh bedding and extra blankets
  • Lighting and alarm clock close to the bed
  • Trash can
  • Fluffy towels
  • Space for suitcases or hanging clothes
Nice Extras:

  • A creatively display with the wi-fi network and password information
  • Candles and matches
  • Bottled water
  • A luggage rack
  • Magazines or books
  • Tissues
  • Fresh flowers or plant
What do you have in your guest room? Any ways to make them feel extra welcome?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Don't Overlook These Hidden Costs!

One of the more talked about reasons against buying new is the higher price tag. Typically buying new does cost more than a used home.  But as we'll see below - there is good reason!

The major systems and appliances in your home have a lifespan.  While you may pay less with a used home up front - you could end up paying each year to repair and replace appliances that would have been brand new! Plus the majority of appliances and systems in a new home come with warranty protection!

Here's an idea of how long most systems and appliances last.
  1. Air Conditioner - Typically lasts 10-15 years and can cost $4500-$5500 to replace.
  2. Dishwasher - Lasts around 9 years - $400-$600 to replace
  3. Toilet - Life expectancy of 10 years - $300-$400 to replace
  4. Refrigerators - One of the most expensive appliances lasts about 15 years - thousands to replace
  5. Hot Water Heater -Lasts about 10 years costs over $700 to replace
Have the systems and appliances in a used home been maintained properly to ensure maximum life expectancy? Do you have money saved for when these appliances need repair or replacing?  These are important questions to consider when deciding on a new or used home.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Home Organization for Back to School

Goodbye summer and hello new school year! It seems to sneak up on us faster and faster each year but it's time to put the flip flops away and get out the backpacks.  You've survived the tax-free shopping frenzy and are ready to build a new routine to help your kids do their best this Fall.

There are ways you can organize and prepare your home to help with the transition back to school. Here are just a few ideas to make the new school year a stress-free and fun time for the whole family!

1. Use closet space wisely by choosing all your child's outfits for the week on Sunday and hanging them up in a separate area of the closet. This will make picking out clothes for the day one less battle that needs to be fought on those busy mornings.

2. Set up a command center with room for all the school papers, homework assignments and reminders as they come in the house.  

3. Use hooks and baskets to store backpacks and misc school items when your kids first come in the door. Keeping everything in one place will make it easier to find on the way out the door.

4.  Create a homework station somewhere quiet with all the necessary supplies including paper, pens, sticky notes and snack tray!

5.  Pack up lunch snacks and drinks in advance the weekend before.  Use baskets to organize sweets, snacks, utensils and drinks.  The only night before prep needed will be the sandwich!

What do you do to help your child prepare for back to school?