A Germ Free Winter

Tired of that seemingly endless winter cold season? We all know that good winter health starts with washing your hands. Even better than that, you can avoid many germs all together around the home by using automatic or hands-free appliances. Here are my top picks – especially good if you have kids in the home!

Wall or Counter Touch-Free Soap Dispenser
Great for the bathroom or kitchen, no greasy grimy hands to germ up the soap dispenser!
Read more

Festive Tables for Years to Come!

quilted cotton dish protectorsSetting a festive holiday table is the perfect way to get everyone in the holiday spirit. From napkin rings to serving dishes there are all sorts of tabletop essentials. Aside from setting the table, sometimes the biggest problem is finding all the elements you need. That’s why having the proper storage is key for keeping everything organized and easy to find. There’s all sorts of china storage especially designed for holding silver flatware or fine china, all you have to do is find the right pieces to fit your collection and your storage space. Read more

Something for the Birdies

Believe it or not, bird houses are actually great year-round gifts for many parts of the country. These have to be some of the most adorable birdhouses I have ever seen in my life. The birds may or not appreciate what they look like, but you sure will each time you step out into the garden. Here are some of my favorites:

Christmas Wren Cottage
Would look beautiful among green pines!

Hobbit House
Can you say "adorable" with me?

Victorian Manor
Only for the Finest Birds.

 Pine Shingle Roof Dream House Feeder
An open, airy feel.

Rapunzel House
Perfect for wall mounting outside.

Special Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale going on right now on select bird houses and feeders from Home Bazaar! Give your friends and family a gift that will bring them joy and little friends year-round!

    Shopping Guide:

  • Christmas Wren Cottage
  • Hobbit House
  • Victorian Manor
  • Pine Shingle Roof Dream House Feeder
  • Rapunzel House
  • Bring your Accessories to Order!

    scarf-hanger.jpgOver the years I’ve experimented with different ways to store accessories so I get the most use out of them. I’ve tried keeping them in drawers, but they usually end up turning into a jumbling mess. Then I’ve added drawer dividers that help keep things sorted, but I still wasn’t getting a lot of use out of what I had since I didn’t see them on a daily basis while I was getting dressed.

    Now that the weather is getting colder there are all sorts of accessories I can’t wait to wear again and I’ve finally found storage solutions that help me keep track of what I have. I’ve got tights in all sorts of colors and patterns, so when I added a hanging closet organizer with clear pockets for storing each pair it became much easier so see what I had. Read more

    Tips For Organizing Cosmetics

    cosmetics organizer Have a drawer full of loose lipsticks and mascaras? I know every time I buy a new lipstick I come home to find one just like it in my bathroom makeup drawer. Sometimes it seems easier to buy a new eye shadow than dig through bathroom drawers to find the one you already have. Makeup also doesn’t last forever and making sure cosmetics are up to date can seem like a daunting task. Using cosmetics storage that keeps everything sorted and easy to find is the best way to keep track of what makeup you do have and what makeup you need to buy. Read more

    Tips To Get Your Kitchen Ready For The Holidays

    holiday cookingWith the holidays on the way it’s the perfect time to get your kitchen prepped for all that entertaining. Get a head start and whip that fridge and those cabinets into shape by ensuring storage is organized and everything is easy to find so you don’t have to make any last minute trips to the grocery store.

    Making sure you have everything needed for a big family dinner can be daunting, but by stocking up in advance on the things you can you can means you’ll have less to buy at the grocery store right before the holidays. Read more

    Shed Organization For The Non-Handyman

    fall garden shedOne of my favorite leisure-time activities is maintaining my garden and landscaping the spacious yard that surrounds the house. Unfortunately, winter-time in my region is not just hibernation time for bears – my yard tools and gardening supplies too have an extended stay in the shed awaiting them from October to March.

    While I have the good fortune of owning a home on a large piece of land, my property only has one shed to store all my tools. Our home does not include a garage; it only has a carport that is built into the house, storing extra tools there was not an option because they would be too exposed to the elements. Read more

    Cedar's Your Best Friend For Clothes Storage

    western red cedarFall is here and as temperatures cool it’s the perfect time to bring out those warm sweaters and cozy coats. Transitioning your wardrobe to fall can be easy as long as cold weather clothes have been properly protected when not in use. With the right storage you don’t have to worry about finding your favorite sweater full of moth holes or in desperate need of a trip to the dry cleaners. Read more

    Getting the Guest Room Ready for Holiday Visitors

    sofa bedLet’s face it, most of us do not have a room that is dedicated just to guests. More often than not, our guests are sharing a space with a computer, a treadmill, toys, or some combination of those items.

    During the holidays in particular, guest-stays tend to be longer and you want them to be comfortable, assuming you want them to come back, of course.

    Here are solutions to some common problems that plague the guestroom: Read more

    De-Stressing Holiday Travel

    fall road tripFor many people, the decision to hit the open road for a long road trip during the fall season can be a double-edged sword. As I mentioned before in my last post, there is typically less construction during the fall and the weather tends to be more bearable (as in the weather is not too hot – I’ll get into the reverse of this later on). On the other hand, there are quite a few drawbacks to traveling during the fall and winter months. Some of these include the likelihood of inclemently-cold weather and devastatingly brutal pre-holiday traffic in October and November – not to mention the typical issues you deal with on a road trip during any time of the year. For me, the best way to stay cool, calm and collected during a long road trip in the autumn season is to prepare ahead of time. I ensure all of the organizers and travel comfort items I need are packed away, a key to successful travel. Read more

    Incorporating Fall Colors into your Home Decor Scheme

    fall decorOf all the seasons, fall has the most distinct, recognizable color palette, by far. It also happens to be one of the most soothing and user-friendly color palettes, a cinch to incorporate into one or more rooms of the home.

    Whether you are wanting to make long-term changes to your room’s decor scheme or just simply want to get in the mood for autumn and the upcoming holidays, I’ve got some great picks and ideas for you! Read more

    Getting Into The Fall Spirit

    cozy fall tableEvery time the season changes, I like to throw a party to celebrate it. Not necessarily on the actual date, but when it really starts to feel like that season. As we all know, winter tends to drag on, spring pushes itself as far as it can, and summer (especially this year) just can’t seem to let go. So right now I’m making plans for my “welcome” party for fall. And boy is it welcome! I am so ready for a change. Fall’s party is always really exciting for me because it’s my favorite season change. By this time, I’m sick of sunny days and warm weather. I’m tired of hearing that monotonous drone of the air conditioning unit. I don’t need another backyard barbeque! Read more

    Tips For "Cozifying" Your Home

    Tavola Cherry Electric Fireplace by Holly & MartinFall may have officially started already, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to prep your home for what’s to come: shorter days, cooler weather, and finding pleasure indoors. I have a word for this, and it is “cozify”. I just got started on cozifying my home, even though it still feels a little like summer. What I do is introduce cozy items to my surroundings like plush fabrics and pull out appliances like the slow cooker and electric tea kettle. To me there is nothing like a cup of hot tea, a comfy chair, a warm blanket and a good book on a rainy autumn day. Read more

    Winterize Your Home – Part 2

    mulcherNow that we’ve had our fun in the garden, it’s time to get serious about winterizing our homes.

    But don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple.

    We are not going to cover some of the more serious items, like pipes, as you may want to turn to a professional for those important items. Instead, we will focus on what the average person can do to get ready for winter. Read more

    Lifestyle solutions – Wilshire Bedroom sets – sale ends 10/12/12

    Lifestyle solutions - Wilshire Bedroom sets - sale ends 10/12/12Get a great deal on the Wilshire Bedroom Set from Lifestyle Solutions while supplies last. This collection features a hardwood construction with a luscious 8-step cappuccino finish.

    One of my favorite things about this bedroom collection it is that it is 100% gender-neutral. Ladies and gentlemen happily agree on this set thanks to its clean, modern lines and dark brown espresso-like finish. Dress it up with linens of any kind to match your bedroom decor style!

    Available as a Four Piece Set for $50 off and as a Five Piece Set for $149 off (Queen or Eastern King).
    An easy update for your bedroom before the holidays kick into gear! Sale ends October 12.

    Walker Edison Furniture Up to 15% off thru October 22nd

    Walker Edison Bunk BedsSelect Bunk Beds from Walker Edison are on Sale! (Plus a few other pieces for around the house). Bunk beds are pretty hard to beat when it comes to organizing small bedrooms. And, contrary to popular belief, they are not just for kids rooms. Bunks are also a great choice for the guest room, especially this Metal Futon Bunk Bed which is running $50 off and has a twin bunk on top with a fully functional futon below.

    Another choice is the Full Bunk Bed at $30 off which has a twin on top and full on the bottom, perfect for tweens and teens. Other deals from Walker Edison Furniture include a solid wood TV stand reduced by $30 with a chic, transitional look to match any home decor.

    Outfit your home with new affordable furnishings with these easy deals! Sale ends October 22.

    Oars Up! Holiday Cooking Time is Rapidly Approaching

    fall cookingFall is officially here, and the holidays are just around the corner! Do you have all the tools and gadgets you will need in the kitchen to whip up your favorite meals? Now is a great time to organize those cupboards and take stock of what you have and what you will need. If you keep a detailed list on hand, you can take advantage of those great grocery store sales as they pop up over the next few months.

    Get Your Kitchen in Order Read more

    Fall Furniture Finds

    WB-1609 Washington 68Fall seems to be the time to update your living room, at least that’s what furniture manufacturers seem to think! To prove it, there is an array of living room furniture sales going on throughout the weekend, including these fun modern sofas and seating pieces from Diamond Sofa which are up to 10% off, but only through September 30th!

    If you like a look that is just a touch more classic, check out these deals: Read more

    Summer Clothes Storage 101

    summer clothes storageOne of the most well-known and oft-recited laws in the world of fashion is, “Never wear white after Labor Day”. Of course, this strict rule of thumb begs the question: Where does one keep all of those white garments during the fall and the winter?

    While some fashionistas are blessed with walk-in closets that provide ample amounts of space to store your off-season outfits, the vast majority of us have to make do with what we have and find a way to squeeze those out-of-season duds into what available space we have left. Read more

    Setting Up Your Dorm for Learning

    desk lampsWhat an exciting time it is, moving away from home and starting your new life away at college. But don’t forget that you are there to learn and study, not just play all the time! When you are setting up your desk area or “office” at the dorm or apartment, keep in mind some of the following strategies for learning success!

    Quiet – Anyone who has lived in the same house (or room!) with two other people knows that it is virtually impossible to study through a bunch of noise. Roommates should set up a block of time (or two) each day that is reserved for quiet studying only. That means no cell phone chatting, TV watching or loud music.
    Read more

    Cooking in the Dorm – Yes, You Can

    small-appliances-blendersI’ve seen some pretty creative uses for a George Foreman grill, mostly while I lived in the dorms. Cooking for yourself in a dorm is possible, and actually it is a great way to cut down on meal plan costs during that first year of school. Freshman dorms don’t typically come with kitchens. All you are going to have in your room is a sink (if you’re lucky) and some electrical outlets. But add a few small appliances to the mix and you can cook many meals from your home away from home! Before moving in, contact your roommates and see if anyone can bring any of the following items with them.

    Here are some ideas to get you started: Read more

    Dorm Room Cooking 101

    Easy-Grip Silicone/Wood Handle 14Dorm room cooking doesn't have to mean peanut butter sandwiches and ramen soup for dinner every night. Having just the right kitchen essentials can make it easy to whip up a meal just like mom makes but in the comfort of your own dorm room kitchen.

    No kitchen is complete without a nonstick skillet on hand. Perfect for making a stack of pancakes on the weekend or scrambled eggs before running off to class, a non-stick pan makes it easier to keep food from getting burned and, obviously, stuck, making it a must have dorm accessory. The Stainless 12" Fry Pan – Nonstick combines the best of both worlds, with a sturdy stainless steel base and durable non-stick coating. Read more

    Waste Cans As Decor – Who Knew?

    Pebblz Wastecan by InterdesignA small dorm room can be a difficult space to add your own personal style to. Since dorm rooms usually come outfitted with beds and desks it takes the right dorm accessories to bring a one of a kind look to the cookie cutter dorm room. With so little space it's important to add functional items, like desk lamps and bed linens, but that doesn't mean they have to be boring! Use these functional pieces as a way to add a fun color or texture to the room.

    If you're looking to inject a little fun and color, try the vintage style of the Retrobin. With a foot peddle design this trash can is perfect for keeping trash contained and also has a sleek bullet shape that gives it some style. Read more

    Clip-On Lamps – A Dorm Necessity

    clip on lampsIt might be the start of the semester, but it won't be long before midterms and late nights studying are here. Having a comfortable and functional workspace is key for cutting down on stress. The right lighting is necessary for keeping tired eyes from getting strained. Whether you have a dorm room with lots of space for a large desk or a compact work area, a clip on desk lamp is a convenient way to add adjustable lighting wherever you decide to study. Read more

    Coffee Makers – A Back To School Money Saver

    Farberware Stainless 2-4 Cup Percolator“I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon” – Ronald Reagan

    Perhaps as the president of the United States, Ronald Reagan was able to find time to take a nice long afternoon nap, but as a returning college student, you know sleeping through Philosophy 322 is just not going to get the job done (or the degree earned!). For many students that are preparing to head back to college for the semester, a piping hot cup of Joe can be the perfect antidote to a monotonous Geology instructor with a penchant for using the scientific name of every mineral. Read more

    Easy, Quick Lighting Ideas

    White+Toucan+Frosted+Glass+Smart+SconceOne of the easiest ways to give any room, inside or out, a makeover is to simply switch up the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important, and often one of the most overlooked, parts of a room’s decorative theme. Thankfully, it is also easy to tackle yourself, and very affordable.

    Here are some easy, quick ways to freshen up the lighting around your home without the help of a contractor. Add one of these projects to your DIY short list for the summer! Read more

    Window Box Planters Tips

    Nantucket Window BoxFor me, nothing says summer like gardening. In the same way that fall would not be the same without raking leaves, summer would not be the same without watering, weeding, deadheading and fertilizing. Not surprisingly, container gardening has surged to new levels in recent years, as many people rediscover the joy of gardening. Gardening in pots and larger containers, like this large raised garden, has many advantages over ground level gardening. One of them is water conservation. Read more