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How to Install Laminate Floors

Posted by Alyssa on September 30, 2017

laminate floors

If you can learn how to install laminate floors you will be able to save yourself a lot of money. My husband and I moved into a fixer-upper for our first home and knew that we wanted to swap out the old teal carpet for new flooring. Laminate floors matched the look we were going for, but we didn’t have room in our budget to pay for the installation and the flooring. Luckily, we found out that installing laminate floors isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds, and we were able to do it ourselves! Keep reading to find out how we (my husband) did it. 

How to Install Laminate Floors

laminate floors

Our living room before we installed the laminate floors. The hardwood floors under the carpet were totally trashed and we had to replace them with new flooring. Notice all our attempts at trying to find the perfect gray

First, it’s important to know that if it’s your first time installing laminate floors it’s going to take you longer than professionals who do it on a daily basis. There’s definitely a learning curve, but once you get into the swing of things it goes much more quickly. According to my husband, the key is patience. 

laminate floors

Getting started!

You’ll need a few tools to get you started, so make sure you have them handy. You can rent most tools you don’t own, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the budget to purchase everything you need.

Tools:

Tape measure

Jamb saw

Chop saw

Hammar

Utility knife

Clamps

Nail punch

Carpenter’s square

laminate floors

The finished product

Laminate floors need a fairly flat subfloor, so make sure whatever surface you’re installing it on will work before you get started. We had a pretty big dip in the subfloor near one of the doors, but we used self-leveling concrete to get everything even and it worked great. Don’t skip out on the prep work if you want your floors to look nice longterm.

For the actual installation, check out the video below. Like I said, it’s pretty simple once you get going. One last tip! To quote my husband’s grandpa, measure twice and cut once. This is a project that is worth taking your time.

 

 

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RC Willey Works With Stuart Edge!

Posted by Alyssa on September 29, 2017

We were so glad we could help the famous YouTuber Stuart Edge pull off his latest prank! Surprising deserving people is always a blast - remember when we gave away an Xbox and TV to a helpful stranger? Or when someone stood up to a “thief” and got a new laptop? What about that time someone returned a “lost” iPad and we gave it to them as a reward? Anyway, a good prank is always fun. Watch what we were able to help Stuart Edge pull off below! 

How do you think you’d respond if you found an old item at a yard sale and by the time you paid for it and was ready to load it up, it had been replaced with a brand new one in its place? Check out some priceless reactions below!

It’s always so much fun working with Stuart Edge and we are so glad we could help him pull off this prank! The last time we worked with Stuart he looked a little bit different…

Wouldn't you love to be one of the lucky people at this yard sale?  

 

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5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Have a Positive Body Image

Posted by Andie on September 28, 2017

The statistics are alarming.  In our society, children, especially girls, start to feel pressure very early on that their bodies should look a certain way.  According to the Center for Disease Control and National Association of Eating Disorders, by age 6, girls start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. Additionally, around half of elementary school girls are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat.

While it's easy to blame it purely on the media (which is obviously at fault), we as parents have more sway than we think.  The painful truth is that we are partly responsible, whether we realize it or not.   It's important that we start being honest with ourselves and take a long hard look at our own behaviors and how they might be affecting our children negatively when it comes to their own body image.  None of us are doing it perfectly, but there is certainly always room for improvement.  Here are 5 ways you can teach your child to have a positive body image....

 

1. Stop Criticizing Yourself about your Weight or size.

I first became aware of the sheer impact I could have on the way my children view their own bodies when my three year old son walked into the room and said, "Mom, do these pants make me look skinny?"  All the times I'd been getting ready to go out and I had so-called innocently asked my husband if the pants I was wearing made me look skinny came flooding back to me.  I felt horrible.  As a mother, I want my children to love their bodies unconditionally, and I realized that I needed to start loving my own body unconditionally if I ever wanted that to be a real possibility for them.

In order to love your own body, the first thing you need to do is stop critizing yourself about your weight or size.  Stop talking about how you still need to lose x amount of pounds, how your thighs are so big, how you never were able to lose all of your baby weight,  or how you wish you could fit into that dress you wore a few years ago.  I'm not saying that you can't think these things, or that losing weight to get healthier isn't a good thing.  But I am saying that it's best to keep these thoughts to yourself.  Negative talk breeds negative thinking, and it can turn into a vicious cycle.  Stop talking negatively about yourself, and as a result you'll probably start loving yourself more.  Children are perceptive, and whether good or bad, they absorb the messages around them.  If they hear you talking about our flabby arms, they are going to start worrying that they have flabby arms too. 

2. Stop talking negatively about food.

It's important to teach your kids how to make healthy meal and snack choices, but it's another thing to talk negatively about food.  We all do it!  "I can't have that piece of cake because it will go straight to my thighs!" "I really need to do a juice cleanse after eating that pasta!"  "I can only have x amount of carbs per day and one cheat day a week."  This kind of talk can set up a shame paradigm around food and allows some foods to be seen as moral and healthy while others are the opposite.  Teach your children moderation when it comes to food.  You don't need a donut every single day, but donuts are not inherantly bad!  Children shouldn't be counting carbs or calories, and they don't need to know the in's and out's of any diet plan.  

 

3. Stop obsessing about numbers on the scale, and start focusing on health!  

Scales are so bogus.  Every body type is different, and measuring your health solely by a number on the scale is foolish. Focus on nutrition and health instead of the number you read on the scale!  How do you feel?  How do your clothes fit?  Consider getting a physical to test your BMI, cholesterol, etc and set more specific goals to improve your health.  When your children ask you why you're eating healthy and exercing tell them you want to take care of your body!  Skinny has become a bad word in our home.  My daughter watches me work out every morning, and I try to reinforce the fact that I work out so that I can be STRONG, have lots of energy, and feel my very best.  Forget your scale, and focus instead on making healthy choices purely to be healthy so that you can be around for a long time:)  

 

4. Compliment your children on what they do, not what they look like.

While it's easy to compliment your children on how cute they are physically, resist the temptation to make this your primary focus.  Instead, make sure you are praising your children for the things that really matter.   Compliment them on WHO they are (dependable, kind, smart, silly, a good friend, etc) and WHAT their bodies are capable of ("You can ride your scooter so fast!", "You've really improved on the soccer field!", "You can jump so high!").  We need to make sure our children know that we love them regardless of what they do or don't look like.   

 


5. Talk about the media. 

If we don't sit down and have crucial conversations with our children regarding the unrealistic expectations the media is putting on us when it comes to body image as a society, then who will?  Be honest and upfront so that you can have a comfortable and ongoing open dialogue.  



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How to Choose Carpet

Posted by Alyssa on September 27, 2017

carpet

Carpet is a big investment in your home, and knowing how to choose the perfect carpet for you and your family is important! With so many types, colors, and styles of carpet available, it can be difficult knowing what will work best in your home. We’re here to help you out! Keep reading below for tips and ideas of how to choose carpet. 

How to Choose Carpet

BEFORE YOU BUY

There are a couple of things you need to think about before you decide on what carpet you will put in your home. Think through some of these questions to help you narrow in what type, color, and style of carpet will work for you.

  • What room is this going to be in and how is this room used?
  • What is the foot traffic like in this room?
  • Does this room have an exterior door that leads straight to the carpet?
  • Will kids or pets who might make a mess be using this room?
  • Is this a more formal or a more casual room?

Knowing the answer to these questions will make a huge difference in what carpet you choose.

carpet

PICKING THE COLOR

Deciding on the color of carpet can be tricky. There are so many options that it might seem overwhelming. When it comes time to choose the color, bring in samples of the paint color and fabrics that are in the room so you can see how everything will work together.

You’ll also want to think about the room itself. Small rooms can feel bigger with light colored carpet and larger rooms can feel cozier with darker carpet. Rooms that have a lot of foot traffic or that lead directly outdoors should avoid light or white carpets, and any room that will have pets or kids playing in them should have a stain-resistant carpet to keep them looking nice.

TYPES OF FIBERS

Wool - Wool carpets are durable, hold dyes well, and cleans up quickly. However, wool carpets are not hypoallergenic so anyone with wool allergies may want to avoid this option.

Acrylic - This fiber is meant to look like wool and resists stains or bleaching. It is a harder carpet option to clean.

Nylon -  The most durable, resilient, and easy to maintain carpets are made of nylon. This is a great option for anyone who wants their carpets to last a long time or for families with kids and pets.

Triexta - A newer fiber similar to polyester, triexta is stain resistant and extremely soft.

Polyester - Polyester is stain resistant, soft, and has lots of color options. Because it is harder to clean and not as durable as nylon carpet, this is a good option for low traffic rooms.

Olefin - Olefin resists fading and is strong, although not quite as resilient as nylon. This is a good option for high traffic rooms.

carpet

WHAT IS THE CARPET WEIGHT?

Carpets come in as wide a range of quality as they do in color and style. You’ll notice that carpets have a “weight” assigned to them. This is referencing the number of ounces of fiber per square yard. The higher the number, the better the quality. You want at least a 35 oz weight to your carpet.

CARPET PILE

The carpet pile refers to fibers that you can see on the carpet. The pile determines the look and feel of the carpet. There are four different styles of pile.

Level Loop Pile - Short loops of fabric that are even across the surface of the carpet. This is an easy to clean carpet style that makes it perfect for high traffic areas.

Cut and Loop Pile - Combined low loops and higher cut piles create patterns and textures in the carpet.

Multi-Level Loop Pile - Loop heights vary in this carpet, which gives a random texture look to the carpet.

Cut Pile - Loops that are all cut to the same height. This style is the most common and has a variety of styles within it: Saxony (straight up piles), Plush/Velvet (smooth and soft), Textured (tightly twisted and straight up), Frieze (highly textured), and Shag (longest, shaggiest pile)

CARPET PAD

A good carpet pad will extend the life of your carpet and the wrong pad will cut the life of your carpet in half. A good carpet pad is determined by density, not thickness. Each carpet type will have a carpet pad that will work for it, so make sure you check what kind you will need. A good test to see the quality of your carpet pad is to squeeze it hard between your fingers. If it flattens easily it is primarily made of air and might not be the best quality.

Check out all of RC Willey's carpet options to find exactly what carpet your home needs!

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Piano Decoration Ideas

Posted by Alyssa on September 26, 2017

piano

Your piano doesn’t have to be a huge eyesore in the middle of your living room. Rather than just ignoring it or putting up with it, embrace your piano and incorporate it into your design! If you’re stuck or wondering how to come up with piano decoration ideas, I’ve collected seven piano inspirations for you. 

Piano Decoration Ideas

piano decoration

via The Everygirl

piano

via French By Design

piano 

via Domino

piano

via Sarah Woodrow

piano

via Front + Main

piano

via Right Up My Alley

piano

via Emily A Clark

How have you decorated around your piano? 

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Refrigerator Buying Guide

Posted by Alyssa on September 25, 2017

refrigerator

Seeing as refrigerators can last up to 13 years, it’s important to know exactly what you are looking for when you buy a new one. Knowing what you need and want will help you sort through the countless options available and end up with the best refrigerator for you and your family. 

Refrigerator Buying Guide

BEFORE YOU BUY

Determine Your Needs

Assess your current situation and ask yourself some questions. Do you eat out a lot and have little fresh food to store at home? Do you make most of your meals at home with fresh food? Do you eat a lot of frozen foods? The answers to these questions will impact what refrigerator style you will want, so it is important to know your needs before you buy.

Determine Size

Refrigerators come in all sizes and configurations. General guidelines suggest having 4 to 6 cubic feet per adult in the household, although if you buy food in bulk you may want more space.

Measure Your Space

Measure the depth, width, and height of the open space from a variety of locations to make sure there are no cabinets, chair rails, or baseboards that could impact the fit of the fridge. Determine which direction your fridge door will open and make sure there is at least 2 inches of extra space for the hinge to work properly. You will also need at least 1 extra inch of clearance around the top, back, and sides for airflow, so be sure to factor that in when measuring your space.

Not only does the fridge have to fit into the space, it also has to fit through your door and around islands, counters, and interior doorframes to get to it’s spot. Make sure the refrigerator you buy will fit the pathway you’ll be taking to the kitchen so you have a painless delivery and install.

TYPES OF REFRIGERATORS

Freezer on Top

fridge

This is one of the least expensive refrigerators with the most space for it’s size. As you may have guessed, the freezer is on the top of this fridge with the fresh food storage beneath it. The shelves in this refrigerator are wide and can fit large platters or trays easily. This style of refrigerator is great for people who use a lot of frozen foods, as the freezer storage is easiest to reach and getting things out of the fridge requires bending over or crouching down.

Freezer on Bottom

refrigerator

Fresh food storage is at eye level with a freezer on bottom refrigerator, which makes it a great option for people who use fresh foods more than frozen. The shelves of this fridge are wide, easily fitting platters and trays. Look for a freezer that has a drawer with baskets to keep things organized and visible as finding food in the freezer can sometimes be a challenge.

Side by Side

refrigerator

This refrigerator is made up of a freezer on one side and a refrigerator on the other. Because the narrow doors don’t open wide, it easily fits into smaller spaces.  For a family that uses a fridge and freezer equally, this is a good option as there are equal amounts of space for both the fridge and the freezer. This is also a good option for someone with physical limitations who can’t reach or bend for the freezer. The shelves of this fridge are narrow, which makes storing wide or oversized things a challenge. If this style is your choice, make sure you get the largest option you can fit, so you can have the most storage possible.

French Door

refrigerator

The french door style, two narrow doors on top and the freezer below, is a very popular option right now. The narrow doors need less room to swing open, meaning it can fit in smaller spaces easier. Because you only need to open one side of the fridge when getting what you need, this is an energy-saving refrigerator.

 Four Door

refrigerator

This refrigerator has two doors on top for fresh food storage and two doors below. While one of the doors is a designated freezer space, the other door can be used as a freezer or fridge depending on your needs. When the bottom door is used as a refrigerator, this has the most cubic space for fresh foods.

Built-In

refrigerator

This refrigerator is made to fit flush with cabinets and counters. If you have space requirements, this may be a good fit although these refrigerators are generally the most expensive. This is an appealing option from a design standpoint because panels can be fitted to the front of the refrigerator to match the kitchen cabinets giving it a hidden look.

 

Counter Depth

refrigerator

If you want the look of a built-in for a more budget friendly price, you may want a counter depth fridge. This is a shallower fridge that doesn’t stick out past the countertops, mimicking the look of a built in. The shelving of this refrigerator is not quite as deep as other options, but it creates a sleek look in your kitchen.

Compact or Mini

refrigerator

Just as the name would suggest, these are small refrigerators perfect for a kitchenette, dorm room, or office. The temperature performance may vary, so be cautious when storing perishable foods. This fridge is best for drinks, sodas, and snacks.

REFRIGERATOR FEATURES

There are many extra features available in refrigerators, so consider which ones are a priority to make purchasing easier.

  • InstaView Windows - These refrigerators have a glass panel on the front door that, once you knock on it, will light up and illuminate the contents inside. This technology helps you to quickly get what you want without leaving the door open longer than necessary.
  • Exterior Touch Screens - With an exterior touch screen you can organize your calendar, create a grocery list, listen to music, or look up recipes from your refrigerator. You will be able to connect it to your mobile devices as well.
  • Interior Cameras - By connecting your refrigerator with your phone, you’ll be able to check and see what is in, or missing from, your refrigerator wherever you are.
  • Filtered Water and Ice Dispensers  - Having a fridge that dispenses cold or hot water and crushed or cubed ice made from the ice maker in the freezer can be extremely convenient. These dispensers can be found in almost every style of refrigerator now and are very popular.
  • Door in Door - An exterior door will open only a small portion of the fridge allowing for easy access to small, often used items. The inner storage portion allows for storage of larger, less often used items.  
  • Temperature Control - A dial or panel that allows you to control the temperature of the refrigerator. Note: recommended temperature for refrigerators is between 37°F - 40°F and freezers between 0°F - 5°F
  • Shelves and Drawers - Shelves can be moved, adjusted, folded in half, and removed completely to fit your needs. Bins are able to be removed as well. Look for shelving with a spill-proof lip to keep messes contained.
  • Door Alarms - An alarm that will beep if fridge door isn’t completely closed. This not only helps prevent food waste, but also aids in conserving energy.  
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Trend Alert: Victorian Modern

Posted by Andie on September 24, 2017

 

Mininimalism has been the "It" style for a while now in the design world. ...... I for one love certain elements of the style: white walls, clutter-free book shelves, and streamlined furnishings.  But I'm ready for something a little more exciting.  Are you?  I kind of thought minimalism would never go away, but it looks as if it might get dethroned real soon.  The culprit is so unexpected I can hardly believe it myself: Victorian Modern!

Say, what???

Yes, you read that right.  Victorian Modern!  Traditional victorian is a style that can fall under the umbrella of maximalism, which is literally the exact opposite of everything that minimalism stands for!  To give you a taste, think: everything in excess, dark, moody colors, florals and small, intricate patterns, luxurious materials and textures (velvet!), ornate and grandiose furnishings, and lots of attention to the littlest details.  Everything is larger than life!

If you're hating how this is sounding, hang tight.  The best part about this seemingly up and coming trend is that it is not just plain victorian- it's with a modern twist!  It's taking what you love about Victorian, and mixing it with the things you appreciate about modernism/minimalism.  It might sound crazy, but I actually think the results are pretty cool.

 

via my scandinavian home



via pinterest

 


via pinterest




via pinterest

 

via pinterest

 


McGee & Co via pinterest

 


via amber interior design



What do you think??

 

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How to Get Gum Out of Carpet

Posted by Alyssa on September 23, 2017

carpet

The last thing you want to see is a piece of chewed gum ground into your nice, clean carpet. Knowing how to get gum out of carpet will save you a lot of time, money, and heartache. Don’t pull out the scissors to get the gum out and ruin your carpet at the same time. Check out our tips for keeping your carpets gum free instead! 

How To Get Gum Out Of Carpet

FREEZE IT OFF

If there’s a glob of gum on your carpet, get a plastic bag full of ice and put it on top of the gum. After the gum has frozen, you’ll be able to use a butter knife to gently scrape it up. You might need to use some carpet cleaner to get any remaining residue up.  

This works best if the gum hasn’t been rubbed into the floor too deep. Make sure you are careful when you start picking at the gum that you don’t ruin your carpet fibers.

 

MELT IT OFF

When you see the gum in your carpet, grab your hair dryer. Aim the heat directly at the gum, but make sure you are watching it closely so you don’t melt the gum all the way. As soon as you see the gum start to slightly melt, use a plastic bag to lift up the gum. The gum should stick to the plastic and lift off the carpet. You’ll need to use a carpet cleaner to finish cleaning up anything left behind from the gum.

 

USE GOO GONE AND CARPET CLEANER

Watch this video below to see how a professional gets rid of gum with things you probably have at home.

How have you gotten gum out of carpet?  

 

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Wood Floors in Kitchen Pros and Cons

Posted by Alyssa on September 21, 2017

kitchen

There are so many benefits of hardwood floors in your home, but are they right for your kitchen? With tile or laminate as the go-to flooring type for most kitchens, it might be a hard decision to change directions and go for hardwood floors. Don’t be afraid! Hardwood floors in kitchens are completely doable, as long as you keep a few things in mind. Below we’ve listed all the pros and cons of having wood floors in your kitchen. 

Wood Floors in Kitchens Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Hardwood floors are beautiful and can add great value to your home. It’s a timeless look that won’t be going out of style anytime soon.
  • There are so many different types, colors, and textures of wood available that you will be able to find something that works with any style of home. If you’re worried about dents or scratches, pick a wood floor with a higher texture and it should conceal most imperfections.
  • Wood floors are extremely comfortable to stand and walk on. Unlike tile, which is cold and can be hard on your back and feet if you stand on it too long, wood floors are a warm and cozy flooring option.
  • Certain wood floors can simply be clicked into place when installed. This can be a lifesaver if you need to replace boards - just swap out the damaged board without having to tear out the entire floor.

kitchen

via

CONS

  • Standing water on hardwood floors can warp or damage the boards, so leaks from sinks, refrigerators, or dishwashers can really wreak havoc on your floors if you don’t clean up the water as soon as possible.
  • Hardwood floors are some of the most expensive flooring options available and you will need to sand them down and refinish the floors about every 10 years to keep them looking nice.
  • Because hardwood floors are softer than other flooring types, dropping heavy objects can dent or scratch the boards.

 

When it comes down to it, you shouldn’t be afraid to put hardwood floor in your kitchen. You’ll need to be a little more aware of how you’re taking care of your floors to keep them in good shape, but as long as you sweep and clean the floors regularly, and use rugs or mats to protect from leak or dents, your floors should look great!

What do you think? Would you want hardwood floors in your kitchen?

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Smoke an Apple Pie on Your Traeger

Posted by Andie on September 20, 2017

 

 

Everyone can't stop talking about pumpkins around this time of year.  Don't get me wrong, I love pumpkins..... but I don't think apples ever get the credit they deserve!  Fall is for apple picking and baking apple pies in my book!   While I grew up watching my mom make apple pies, in my own family my husband has sort of taken on the roll of apple pie maker at our house.  Obviously I'm thrilled about this!  A few years ago he experimented one day and cooked an apple pie on our Traeger grill.  Needless to say, we haven't baked a pie in our oven since then!  Smoking a pie on the Traeger takes a little more time than simply baking it in your oven, but the results are so worth it!  You get everything you get by cooking it in your oven, plus more!  There is a perfect hint of smoke that you can taste on the pie that is really almost too good to be true!  

My husband has tried several different recipes, but always seems to go back to Grandma Ople's apple pie.  Make the pie as directed, and place in a skillet to bake.  Instead of baking it in the oven, throw it in your Traeger for a couple of hours, and VOILA---- you've got yourself a delicious smoked pie.  It'll change your life.

 

And if you don't already have one, check out RC Willey's awesome selection of Traeger grills , and add it to your Christmas list!  It's a game changer! 

 

 

 

 

 

Excuse my iphone pictures, but you get the idea!

 

 

 

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