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What is Amazon Fire TV Stick?

Posted by Alyssa on October 30, 2017

amazon fire

If you’ve been looking into purchasing a new streaming device, you might want to consider getting an Amazon Fire TV Stick. If you aren’t sure what Amazon Fire TV Stick is, watch the video below to get all the information you need about what Amazon Fire TV Stick is, how it works, and whether or not it’s worth the money. Check it out!

 

 

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Where To Start When Furnishing A New Home

Posted by Andie on October 28, 2017

Moving into a new home is an exciting, nerve-wracking, happy, exhausting and draining process.   So much physical laboring goes into packing, cleaning, moving, unpacking, etc.  Not to mention all of the emotions that are involved when you pick up your life and start it over in a new place- even if that place is right down the street!

Bottom line: by the time you're actually unpacked (for the most part, at least) and functioning from day to day in your new place, you are most likely spent.  After months of work, unless you have superhuman powers, you are at the very end of your rope.  As much as you want to make everything come together and look polished and curated and beautiful, you kind of just want to forget about it and go to bed for a month.   It can be incredibly overwhelming to begin the process of furnishing and decorating your new home, especially if you are gaining square footage and are starting out with a lot of empty space and rooms.  Where do you even start?  Here are some tips to help simplify the process, and keep it fun...

1. Be Okay With Blank Space
As much as it might kill you, resist the temptation to fill every wall and furnish every room right away.  Good things take time.  Keep your walls bare in the beginning, and let them slowly speak to you.  Don't hang things just to hang them, or buy furnishings right away because you want to complete the job.  Be mindful, and the right things will find you!  It's definitely not a race- it might take months, or even years until the task of decorating and furnshing your entire home is finished, and that is just fine!  


2. Figure Out Your Design Style
If you aren't already sure about what your style is, take some time to figure it out!  Cruise pinterest, houzz, and look through as many magazines as you can.  What styles and colors do you seem to gravitate to?  What do you hate?  What can you just not live without?  If you have a sense of your likes and dislikes before you start the shopping process, it will go much smoother.  

3. Create a Budget
You might be thinking, well duh!  But it's easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole and spend way more money than you want to or can afford if you aren't specific in the beginning about setting up a budget.  

4. Prioritize, and Make a Plan
You can't expect to furnish and decorate your whole house in a day from a financial or also simply from a time standpoint.  Think about each of the rooms in your home and which ones are most important for you to finish in a timely manner.  It will be different for every family, and what is first on your list might be last on someone else's.  Do you like to entertain and have people over often?  If so, you will probably want to focus your efforts first on the gathering spaces in your home.  If you aren't social, but a calming bedroom is your cup of tea, start there!  Make a plan and prioritize which rooms come first.  

McGee & Co via Pinterest
 

5. Hire a Designer for a Consult
If you have the funds to hire a designer to help you from start to finish, this is a great option.  Even if don't hire a designer to furnish and decorate the whole house, hiring them for a one time consult will be well worth it.  They can take a look at your home and how it functions and give you some practical professional advice on where to start.  

6. Only Buy What You Love
Be selective about the furnishings, accessories, and decorations that you purchase.  Don't buy things just because they are on sale or you're getting a killer deal-- if you are patient and only purchase what really speaks to you, your home will be original, authentic, and a place you can't wait to get home to!

 

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10 Things to Give Trick-or-Treaters Besides Candy

Posted by Andie on October 27, 2017

As a kid, the worst thing ever on Halloween night was making your way up to a doorstep in an uncomfortable costume, waiting patiently after ringing the doorbell, and squealing "Trick-or-Treat" once the door swung open, only to have someone drop a lousy toothbrush into your bucket. NOOOOOOOO!  A toothbrush??! You wasted two precious minutes of your night on a house passing out toothbrushes??!  What a travesty!  At that point you silently vowed never to go trick-or-treating to that house for the rest of your life.  Then you started sprinting to make up for lost time in your race to get the most candy ever in the history of Halloween night.   

Aren't I right though?

I understand that trick-or-treating is more complicated than it was when I was a kid.  For starters, many people are concerned about food allergies.  Also, I agree that a bucket full of candy isn't exactly good for our children (or their teeth!), but to this day, years after my own trick-or-treating career, I am still asking myself the same question: Who thinks kids are going to like you if you give them a toothbrush on Halloween?  If handing out candy isn't really your thing, here are 10 things to give trick-or-treaters besides candy that will still bring a smile to their face......

1. Coloring books


via amazon

 


2. Glow sticks

via amazon

 


3. Slime

 


4. Stickers

 

via amazon

 


5. Stamps



via oriental trading company

 


6. Squeezies

 


7. Dracula Fangs


8. Play-dough

 

 


9. Spare Change 





10. Soda

 

 

 

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How To Remove Wax From Wood Floors

Posted by Alyssa on October 26, 2017

wood floors

If you’ve spilled a candle and have wax all over your hardwood floors, don’t worry! There are a couple of different ways to remove wax from your floors without doing any damage. We’ve listed some different ideas below of how to remove wax from wood floors so you don’t have to worry every time you light a candle. 

How To Remove Wax From Wood Floors

MELT IT OFF

If you’ve only got a small drip or two of wax that has already dried, gently scrape away as much of the wax as possible without scratching the wood itself. When you’ve gotten as much off as you can, use a hair dryer to melt what’s left and then wipe up the melted wax with a clean rag. Add a few drops of vinegar to the spot where the wax was and you’ll be able to pick up any leftover residue. Good as new!

FREEZE IT OFF

If the wax is still not completely dried and you’re afraid of rubbing it deeper into the wood, grab a plastic bag full of ice and set it on the wax until it has hardened. You’ll then be able to gently scrape off the majority of the wax and follow the melt it off solution to get what’s left over.

The key with anything involving your hardwood floors is to make sure you aren’t scratching the wood or leaving water sitting on top. The last thing you want to do is damage your beautiful floors!

Have you figured out a different way to remove wax from your wood floors?

 

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Benefits of Nature for Kids

Posted by Alyssa on October 25, 2017

nature

Benefits of Nature for Kids

There are so many benefits of having your kids spend time in nature. Fresh air and open spaces are lacking in so many kids lives, which is a shame when you consider how important being outside in nature is for a child’s development. With the beautiful fall weather, now is the time to get outside! Here are five different benefits of kids in nature from this article listed below. 

Limits Screen Time

Kids spend more than 7 hours a day in front of a screen! This is not healthy or good for a child’s development, and by stepping outside and spending some time at the park or riding a bike will get them away from a screen and boost their overall health. In our family we have a no technology outside rule - if you’re out in nature, enjoy it!

Increases Self Confidence

As stated in the article, “kids exposed to the natural world experience a greater degree of self-control, peace, and disciple.” Dealing with the real world and with the things around them gives children a chance to show how capable and strong they actually are.

Improves Social Skills

Without having a screen, game, or text to hide behind, kids will be able to interact and connect with others around them. The freedom that comes from unstructured playtime outdoors teaches children to collaborate, make friends, and come up with new games to play together.

kids in nature 

Health Benefits

Kids who spend more time outdoors are sick less often than kids who only play indoors. Their immune systems get a boost when they are exposed to the great outdoors. Kids who are active outdoors are also less likely to struggle with obesity and weight issues.

Problem Solving Skills

Being outside teaches kids what risks to take and how to think creatively when it comes to solving problems. This will translate into everyday life when they are faced with stressful situations.

 

For more information on the benefits of children spending time in nature, read this article from Best For The Kids and let me know what your favorite outdoor activities are!

 

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Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring

Posted by Alyssa on October 24, 2017

floors

Drop any preconceived ideas you have about vinyl and laminate flooring! More and more people are choosing to save money and install laminate or vinyl flooring over more expensive options like tile or hardwood floors. Both vinyl and laminate come in a variety of looks, colors, and styles that simulate real wood, tile, and stone and both vinyl and laminate are durable, easy to maintain floors. So how do you choose? We’ve listed everything you need to know about vinyl vs. laminate floors so you can make the best decision for what you need. 

Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring

VINYL FLOORS

vinyl floor

Luxury vinyl floors are an affordable flooring option that looks much more realistic than the bold patterned vinyl from the 70s. Vinyl is a softer option than laminate, which makes it more comfortable to stand on and absorb sound better than laminate. This also makes vinyl more forgiving of uneven subfloors because it will have more give than laminate floors. Like laminate, vinyl flooring can come in interlocking tiles that make it extremely easy to install. Unlike laminate, vinyl flooring is completely waterproof. This makes it a great option for laundry rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

LAMINATE FLOORS

laminate

Laminate floors come in so many options that you’ll definitely be able to find something that works in your home. Like vinyl, you’ll be able to install laminate floors yourself. Laminate planks are very hard, which makes it important to have an even subfloor. If your subfloor is uneven your laminate floors could crack or break. Because they’re so hard, laminate floors are harder and can be louder than vinyl. Laminate floors are not waterproof, so it is imperative that these floors don’t get wet! Water will seep down into the planks and can seriously damage the floors, so you need to make sure whatever room the laminate floors are in will not have leaks or standing water.

When it comes to vinyl vs. laminate. which flooring type would you pick? 

 

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If you Want to Change The World....

Posted by Andie on October 23, 2017

 


Have you seen this?  It's an excerpt from Naval Admiral William H. McRaven's, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Commencement Speech at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014.  The speech was given a few years ago, but recently has been making waves.  It's incredibly inspiring.  Give it a watch, and I can gaurantee one thing: You'll definitely make your bed tomorrow morning:)  

 

 

 

 

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Affordable Art

Posted by Alyssa on October 22, 2017

art

Finding affordable art will make your bare walls feel warm and cozy, and won't break the bank! I’ve found some of my favorite affordable art I thought I’d share below. 

Affordable Art

ballet

via RC Willey

woman

via ClareElsaesser

buffalo

via RC Willey

giraffe

via 20x200

art

via RC Willey

art

via blancucha

Check out our other Affordable Art post here and tell me which one is your favorite? Where do you find your affordable art? 

 

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How To Use Apple TV

Posted by Alyssa on October 21, 2017

apple tv

Now that you’ve set up your Apple TV, it’s time to learn how to use all the apps and perks that come with your new streaming device! You’ll definitely want to watch the video below to pick up some tips and tricks on how to use your 4th generation Apple TV. It’ll change how you stream TV and movies! 

How do you use your Apple TV? Did he miss any tips or tricks? 

 

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21 Spices Every Kitchen Needs

Posted by Andie on October 20, 2017

It's that time of year when I actually start cooking again! There's something about the crisp air in the fall that just lures me from a summer of hiding back into the warm kitchen.  I just can't help myself.  Lounging around in an oversized sweater and slippers while a pot of stew simmers on the stove is pretty unbeatable.  

I opened my spice cabinet the other day and decided that it needed a little [read: a LOT] of help.   I should probably be embarassed to admit this, but I literally still have several spices that we got as wedding gifts...... ummm yeah.  We got married in 2009.  For those of you that aren't exactly quick with math, that was a solid 8 years ago!  This got me thinking: What spices does a well stocked kitchen really need?  Which spices do people buy, and then actually use?  I gave it some thought, and am pretty confident that I've nailed the 21 spices every kitchen needs. Without further ado (and in no particular order).....

1. Oregano
2. Thyme
3. Rosemary
4. Garlic Powder
5. Onion Powder
6. Basil
7. Parsley
8. Crushed Red Pepper flakes
9. Smoked Paprika
10. Nutmeg
11. Cumin
12. Ginger
13. Cinnamon
14. Chili Powder
15. Cayenne Pepper
16. Sage
17. Kosher Salt
18. Sesame Seeds
19. Bay Leaves
20. Cilantro
21. Allspice

What do you think?  Do you agree with my list?  If not, what would you add or take away?

Also, I just learned that spices lose their potency after about 6 months to 1 year.  For this reason, it's wise to buy 1-2 oz. at a time.  If you're unsure if they are still good, smell them before use.  If and when they stop giving off an aroma it's definitely time to replace them.   

Spices sold at the grocery store work fine, but thanks to the fact that they start out in a warehouse, and then sit on a shelf for who knows how long, by the time they get to your grocery cart there is a very good chance they are stale.  Plus, the FDA doesn't require suppliers to list add-on ingredients found in many spices (flour, salt, rice, etc), and spices are not required to be free of contaminants.  Purchasing whole spices and grinding them yourself ensures that you are getting the purest, highest quality spices available.   Sure, it's a little more work and a little more money than buying pre-packaged spices from the grocery store, but in the long run it could take your cooking to the next level!

 

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