Modern alternatives to Christmas tree skirts

 

Chiffon Bridesmaid Dresses uk

I’m really excited about Christmas this year. You see, it’s my first winter in my house and that means it’s the first time I can have a fresh tree for Christmas. My apartment before (and most here in Michigan) did not allow them because of the fire hazard. In my jolly excitement, I’m trying real hard not to go overboard with ornaments, lights and the whole mess.

As I’ve enjoyed decorating my own home for the first time, I have had a real interest in minimalism. I am trying to incorporate that into my holiday decorations. I have an excellent vintage tree topper, some hand-me-down glass bulbs from my parents and the perfect hand-knit stockings. Simple and classic, that’s what I like. But there is one element, that for some reason, I cannot agree upon. Tree skirts.

I just don’t like them; and while I realize I can scrap the detail all together, I would like some element under the tree.

A few months ago we started working with an awesome manufacturer, Bungalow Flooring. Aside from their innovative photo-realistic rugs and padded floor mats, they make some really cool Christmas pieces. If you hadn’t already guessed, my favorite is fit for your tree. Buy Bridesmaid dresses NZ at discount price at Topbridal.co.nz

The Bungalow Tree Mat is a round rug designed to protect hard floors from tree stands. Available in multiple designs — and each in 19 different colors — these mats are a great modern alternative to your mama’s old tree skirt.

Patterns include snowflakes (at right), little Christmas trees or reindeer.

You can choose colors from purple to orange, from teal to yellow; my house is all reds and teals so I think I’m gonna go with the basics and opt for the bright, cheery red.

A polypropylene front and rubber backing is skid resistant as well as resistant to mold, mildew, rot, cracking and other wear. The wide border helps contain any spilled water and dirt, keeping floors clean.

Measuring 35 inches in diameter, this protective floor rug is great for any area of the home. Now that I can do a fresh tree, I just may consider adding one in the master bedroom too. Imagine waking up to the wonderful scent of blue spruce every morning. Does it get any better?

Better yet, Bungalow Flooring manufacturers all of their products right here in the United States. I love these mats and it makes me even happier to support a U.S. manufacturer.

 

 

 

Wind chimes create a soothing outdoor escape

The delicate sound of garden wind chimes creates the perfect at-home escape from the busy world.

wind-chimes-2We are constantly adding new collections to our site and recently we found this excellent wind chime manufacturer, Woodstock Chimes. This family-owned business is based out of Hudson Valley, New York. Woodstock Chimes creates and produces high quality, unique pieces that are sure to provide a sense of calm and joy to any age with their world-famous sounds.

When the catalog of wind chimes hit my desk, my first thought was, “but summer is over!”

How wrong I was. Gentle autumn breezes create the perfect environment for these timeless melodies. Crisp air and the traveling twinkle of wind chimes is the perfect setting for carving pumpkins, picking apples, and enjoying warm cider and donuts.

Here are of my favorites:

Habitates

  • Plays the notes found in the patriotic song, America the Beautiful.
  • Playful, light melody will have your soul soaring on the breeze.
  • Named to honor the role nature’s habitats play on the eco-system.
  • A lifetime tuning guarantee is offered through the manufacturer.
  • Hang the wind chimes out in the yard using the ring at the top.
  • Creates a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere – perfect for relaxation.
  • The wind catcher displays a carved dragonfly, butterfly, or owl.
  • Antique copper finish and steel plated constructed wind catcher.
  • Chime tubes are crafted from bronze-finished, recycled aluminum.
  • Top piece and clapper are made from Bubinga-finished ash wood.

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  • Offers a relaxing atmosphere to your backyard garden or seating space.
  • The chimes move with the breeze to create random patterns of sound.
  • Hand-tuned to a universal five-note pentatonic scale for rich notes.
  • Rich and deep musical notes are created as the wind ruffles the chimes.
  • A lifetime tuning guarantee is offered through the manufacturer.
  • Use the top ring to hang the wind chimes from any outdoor hook.
  • Tubes are crafted from durable, recycled aluminum material.
  • Clapper, wind catcher, and top piece are made from ash wood.
  • Comes in several color combinations to blend into any space.
  • Makes a unique gift for the music lover on your holiday list.
  • Named for the third planet in our system we call home; Earth.

Find these products and more at StacksandStacks.com.

Enjoy this summer’s herbs all year long

One of my favorite things about summer is fresh herbs. Even when I was in an apartment, I had all my pots lined up on the deck, boasting fresh bunches of oregano, basil, cilantro, rosemary and more.

Towards the end of the summer, when a distinct chill starts to creep through the air, I always debate what to do with my remaining herbs. I never have the space to bring the pots inside and keep them going – beside, I’m pretty sure my cat would just dig them up.

This year is different. I am prepared with loads of ideas to preserve and utilize all my leftover herbs.

Cubes

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Photo courtesy thekitchn.com.

herbs-1Yes, you can freeze fresh herbs. They actually last way longer this way and the flavors are so well preserved. There are lots of ways to go about this, but my favorite so far is freezing them in olive oil with an ice cube tray. I love this tray from CasaBella the best. The cubes are small and square so you can get good oil to herb ratio, plus the silicone makes it super easy to pop out the cubes without breaking them.

To do this, roughly chop up herbs and place them in the cube tray using equal amounts in each mold. Fill the molds with olive oil (or a different oil of your preference — coconut oil works well too, but I prefer the flavor of olive for cooking.) Freeze the trays and add a cube to recipes as you cook. You can remove the cubes from the trays after a day and throw them all in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag to free up the molds for other projects.

Oil

herbs-6Skip the freezing all together and create your own oil infusions. Glass oil bottles are inexpensive and easy to store. Slide bunches of your favorite fresh herbs into the bottles – maybe one with basil, another with rosemary or get creative and mix different flavors in one bottle – fill them with oil and leave them in a cabinet to infuse for no more than three months. Just like the cubes, this oil can be added to cooking and baking – or better yet, mopped up with some nice, crusty bread.

Butter me up

Photo courtesy goodlifeeats.com.

Photo courtesy goodlifeeats.com.

If you prefer to enjoy those fresh herbs sooner rather than later, compound butter is a great, inexpensive and almost effortless way to utilize them.

I’ve yet to meet a compound butter I will turn my nose up at. There are tons of recipes online, but the idea is so simple you can do whatever you want.

Throw two sticks of very, very soft butter in a bowl and set aside. Mince one tablespoon each of your favorite herbs — I love mincing up some fresh garlic as well. Throw in your herbs and mix with the soft butter until completely combined. Roll out some plastic wrap and scoop the butter on top. From there, form a long roll with the butter and roll the warp around it, twisting the ends. Let you fresh butter set in the fridge before using. Now you can add this tasty butter to baking and cooking – or snacking.

Outside to in

herbs-2If you do want to keep you herbs inside for the colder months, there are a couple easy transitions you can make.

herbs-3

Photo courtesy domestically-speaking.com.

Bring the outside in by utilizing a cool window box indoors. The great thing about window boxes is that they allow you to maintain multiple plants in one pot, limiting clutter and mess. Even better, they typically come with mounting hardware and can easily be anchored to a kitchen wall, staircase railing, windowsill and other spaces.  Doing this allows you to tend to your herbs without hording space with multiple pots.

If you’re feeling a little more DIY creative, consider mason jar planters. These adorable alternative planters can make a great display piece for your kitchen. Mount a few to an empty wall or the side of your cabinets to create a playful spot for your herbs. The clear glass presents an opportunity to get creative too. Place rocks or cool glass stones in the bottom of the jars to accent your kitchen décor or color scheme.

Utilize these easy steps to enjoy your fresh herbs throughout the entire year.

Find these products and more like them at StacksandStacks.com.
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Tending: Photo-realistic rugs start a conversation

The search is never ending for that perfect rug. The size, shape, color, design, especially the price – all these factors go into, what is typically, a focal point of a room. Now that detail can be an explosion of personality and comfort in your home. The FoFloor rugs from Bungalow Flooring are the coolest new way to soften hard floors and create depth.

These rugs have been selling – pardon the cliché – but like hot cakes. And it’s not hard to see why.bungalow-4

These lively floor mats are made with woven polyester faces that capture near photo-realistic images and graphics, adding a distinguishable element of depth to any space. With a wide selection of a variety of images and sizes, you are sure to find something to bring out your personal style.

The image quality is what really makes these mats stand out. With a choice of anything from tile mosaics and cozy cabin wood, to stone walkways and graffiti walls – the choices are endless.

These rugs are built to last too. They’re manufactured from 4-mil neoprene, which offers low profile construction that also creates comfort when standing on hard surfaces. These mats are designed to eliminate bunching under doors, tripping hazards and the skid resistant backing will not curl or crack. These one-of-a-kind rugs stay in place on hard surfaces like wood, concrete or tile – although they are just at home atop carpeting in your living room or bedrooms.

Each pattern comes in at least three sizes, including: area ( 66 X 46 inches), runner (60 X 25 inches) and large (36 X 23 inches.)

If you love color, the Big Bloom is perfect for you. This vibrant, floral rug is the spitting image of a full garden bouquet. Pink and yellow daises as well as mums sit together to create a striking image, perfect for the bathroom, bedroom or craft space.

bungalow-1

If you have more of a classic style, either the Cottage print or Herringstone Path will blend in seamlessly with your décor. The cozy log cabin print of the Cottage rug is the perfect addition to any cabin, vacation home or just any décor of those who would rather be up-north.  The stone path print offers the same classic, charming characteristic.

bungalow-3bungalow-2

Crafters will love the Basket Weave print. This rug features an up close image of a standard bamboo basket weave. The large print is sure to pop out alongside any home décor.

And for those who dream of the beach, the Nautical print is ideal. An up close image of starfish and seashells on a clean, sandy beach adds the calming effect of lounging at your favorite water-side spot. Highlight nautical themes in the bathroom, master bedroom and more.

bungalow-5Finally, as if you need more reason, these rugs are American made. Strong, quality craftsmanship is a guarantee and Bungalow Flooring FoFloor mats are machine washable. So use them anywhere in the home and don’t worry about messes – simply throw them in the wash when needed.

Add style, comfort and what is sure to be a conversation starter to any area of your home with one of these fabulous photo-realistic rugs.

As always, find these products and more like them at stacksandstacks.com.

Ironing Board and Step Ladder, All in One Package

Ironing Board & Step Ladder ComboYou heard me right, this week’s featured product is two common household helpers packed into one design: the Ironing Board & Step Ladder Combo. It is great inventions like these that keep our homes tidy and clutter free. Whether you live in a studio apartment or a larger home but you simply want the laundry room to be tidier, this unique ironing board and step ladder combination helper is a wonderful tool you can have at your disposal. And the great design naturally takes space efficiency even further. Thanks to the extra weight from the step ladder, the ironing board can rest vertically against the wall when not needed, instead of leaning out into the room and taking up extra floor space.

What will they think of next?

Ever Seen a Shoe Rack like this?

Round Shoe OttomanIt’s a footrest! It’s extra seating! It’s…a shoe rack? The Round “Shoe” Ottoman with Removable Top takes sneaky sneaker storage to a whole new level! Ideal for a variety of settings in need of storage, this shoe organizer has endless benefits, style and uses:

Use this storage ottoman in the living room, office, or bedroom. Do you have a teen at home? This sturdy, modern style storage bin can hold their shoes and much more, right in their own room, while giving their friends and extra seat during study or play time.

Use it for more than shoes! Read more

The Dreaded Space Behind the Door… And What to Do with it.

Just when we thought we had every available space in the house expertly utilized, the makers of the Heidi Shelf go and prove us wrong! This patented, unique shelving system by Foremost makes use of what may be the last wasted space in the home: Behind the door. As you might have already noticed, the space behind any door is tapered when the door is open, making it impossible to fit any substantial shelf back there. But the Heidi Behind the Door Shelving System solves this problem by using a tapered design itself (down to 2.5″ deep at the corner), allowing it to fit seamlessly behind a door whether it is open or closed. Available in several colors and a junior size for the kids room!

Heidi Behind the Door Shelving System in Black:
Heidi Behind the Door Shelving System Read more

Two Valentine’s Sales…Just In Time

If you want to shop online for Valentine’s gifts, start now to avoid costly last minute shipping fees! We’ve got just the deals for you with these great promotions:

Red Vanilla Glassware: Elegant Glass Sets for both gals and guys! Starting at $35.49 with free shipping.*

Set of 6 Samba Martini / Dessert Glasses
Go modern with drinks, and classic for sweets! Set of 6 Samba Martini / Dessert Glasses – $38.99 with free shipping. Read more

The Smart Office – Modular Organizers for the Desk

Be the one with the smart office. By using modular organizers, such as the Stack & Style system from Empire Imports, you can customize your desk to fit your unique organizing needs at home or in the professional office. Available in two luscious wood finishes, these desktop organizers are perfect for guys and gals alike! Each piece measures 13.5″ x 11″ at its base and features rounded edges on top to interlock with other styles.

Stack & Style Desk Organizers Kit 1
The Stack & Style Desk Organizers Kit 1 shows just one of many possible desktop combinations, using some of the pieces shown below. Read more

Winter Closet Cleanup

CedarStow Standard Suit Hanging StorageWinter is a great time to organize the closets! Don’t believe me? Here is why, and how:

Why: You are stuck inside anyway. Why not make the best of that time by getting control of those inside areas of the home that drive you nuts the rest of the year?

How: Before you start emptying out your closet, have a thorough look at what’s not working in there.
1. Pay special attention to sagging clothes rods, hangers popping out towards you, items falling on the floor. Read more