A place to pay bills, check your email or work from home is a must for any home, especially these days. Ideally, you have an entire room dedicated to your home office. For some even if they have a spare room, they would rather just have a desk in the master bedroom or tucked into the corner of the kitchen or even living room. If your home office is a desk in another room, it should be a stylish addition to the room that works with the room’s existing décor.
A workspace can be a designated desk with drawers and file space or it can be a beautiful table. Traditional writing desks have a few small drawers under the top but open legs. Your furniture choices don’t have to feel like a traditional office outside the home. Choose what works best for your needs!
Reminder: For chairs with casters, a hardwood floor or a mat over the carpet makes movement easier and protects your floors. For chairs without casters, be sure to put felt protectors on the bottom of the chair legs or feet.
When decorating your stylish desk, consider a pair of lamps that make it feel like a console table. A mirror would be a nice addition above the desk to reflect light and break up the cream expanse of the wall. Or you could hang a framed artwork above the table to add color and pattern to the wall. The possibilities are endless!.
Have you noticed that rooms in magazines have everything perfectly lighted? Special architectural photographers may spend an hour or more setting up a shot and lighting it, and then take dozens of shots from different angles to find the perfect way to show a decorated room at its best.
If we want our homes to look more like the magazines, we need to pay attention to lighting the way professional photographers do.
Photo-shoots combine lights with reflectors. In your home, walls, ceilings and floors can act as reflectors, and windows can serve as lights. You need your living area to look good both during the day and in the evenings. For good daylight in a room, choose window coverings that can open or be raised during the day and closed at night for privacy. If windows get full sun, you may want to consider one of the new adjustable translucent window coverings that can be positioned to bring in light while keeping glare to a minimum.
In the evening, use a combination of overhead lighting, lamps and ceiling spots to create an inviting mood. A plain overhead light may work from a task-lighting standpoint but doesn’t really contribute to the ambience of a room. Look for table lamps and up-lighting from torch lamps to create the look you want.
Mirrors can also distribute light. Positioned opposite a window, mirrors can increase natural light in a room. Choosing light walls or flooring will also brighten a space. Look for shiny or metallic surfaces to reflect light also.
Your home may not be able to match those well-staged photographs in lifestyle magazines, but you can use light and reflections to highlight your home’s best features and create the mood and style you want.
Tartans have a long history as a pattern for textiles. Also known as plaids, these historic patterns trace their lineage back to Scotland where each clan has its own tartan. Some clans have multiple tartans for dress or every day. Each tartan is named for a specific Scottish clan. Tartans are still proudly worn by these ancient families but are loved the world over for their graphic pattern and color combinations.
In home designs, tartans have typically been used on blankets and upholstery. A tartan covered sofa can look great in any style home whether it is a traditional English country home inspired interior, a Fulton home in Arizona or a modern California ranch style living room. Tartans can also be found on wallpaper, curtains, and area rugs as well as throws and pillows.
Tartans can range from subtle tone on tone patterns, like the one pictured here, to larger pattern that employ contrasting colors along with white and black. The size and color of each tartan pattern makes it unique and easy to identify. Tartans are different from plaids although the two are similar in pattern. Tartans are specific to the clans of Scotland while plaids can be in any number of sizes and color combinations.
If you have Scottish heritage, you can bring a bit of your history into your home with a tartan of your ancestral clan. Even if you don’t have Scottish blood, decorating with tartans will add color and pattern to your floors, walls, and furniture. You can be as bold or as subtle as you’d like and best suits your personality when decorating with tartans.
In an attempt to eat fewer processed foods, it becomes clear that it is best to make homemade bread rather than buying loaves at the grocery store. Below is an easy bread that can be made in a slow cooker without having to buy an expensive bread maker. This recipe only requires four ingredients!
3 Cups White Flour
1 and ¾ Tsp. Kosher Salt
1 Tsp. Dry Yeast
1 ½ Cup of Hot Water (around 110 degrees F)
Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a large spoon or spatula to mix the ingredients. Knead the dough into a ball using your hands. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. If the dough is too dry add a small amount of water (a teaspoon at a time). Once your dough is mixed and kneaded well, line your slow cooker with parchment paper and place the dough on the paper.
Cook on high heat for an hour and check the bread and then every thirty minutes after that. The interior temperature should be checked with a meat thermometer. The ideal temperature is 190-200 degrees.
If the top of the loaf isn’t crusty enough for you. Place bread in the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Make sure you keep a close watch on the bread so it doesn’t burn.
Staying on top of the laundry can easily be a tough goal to fulfill. There is an efficient way to manage it and accomplish a large pile that has built up. Read further for our tips on the quickest way to stay on top of this constant chore!
The first step is to gather all of the dirty laundry in the home. Place it near the washer and dryer so you can assess the situation and start sorting.
Next, sort laundry into groups by the type of water used to wash each. Make piles for light, dark and delicate clothing. This will allow you to wash full loads and get through the laundry faster. If you have very large loads, separate clothing by weight as well. Jeans should remain together, towels could have their own load, perhaps another for light-weight t-shirts. Bedding items can all go in together.
Finally, sort the clothing during the folding process, keeping separate piles for each person in the home. This allows all clothing to be pooled together during the wash rather than individual loads per person. Fold and put away as they come out of the dryer so that the clean laundry never piles up!
In order to make the chore of laundry easier in the future, place designated hampers in areas of the home that make it simple for family members to discard dirty clothing. Searching for dirty laundry and gathering it up takes quite a bit of time. This can save you ten to twenty minutes each time. The bathroom is a great place to locate hampers. This is the place where dirty clothes come off and where they can be easily collected.
We hope these tips will make laundry day more productive!
If you look at the color ranges of farm fresh chicken eggs, you’ll see that even amongst white there are many shades. Shades of white can range from nearly pure white to whites subtly tinted with color. when you look at the spectrum of colors in a paint chart you can see the range of white that on its own look purely white but when placed side by side show their undertones of different shades. When choosing white for walls, floors or furniture, there is a white for everyone and every room.
Creamy whites can be easier to live with than pure whites. Whites that have undertones of cream or yellow lend a warmer tone to a room. Off whites that have a slight tan or brown undertone can also warm up a space and are good choices for slipcovers and furnishings. Pure whites are better in hard surfaces like trim and cabinetry that can be easily cleaned. A pure white rug or carpet will show dirt more than a rug that is more off white or slightly tinted with neutral undertones. White slipcovers can be washed and even bleached, check with your slipcover’s labeling before bleaching.
Many people are afraid of using white in their décor. If this is you, take a look at those white paint chips or even farm fresh eggs. You’ll see that white can be more blue, or pink, or even green. Finding the right undertone to the white will make it work for your interior. Whites can also be layered to create a subtle palette that has just a hint of color.
When it comes to making turkey for holiday dinners the number one challenge is making sure to allow enough time for anything you want to accomplish. Among the most time consuming tasks is thawing a frozen turkey. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure the food is safe. Food safety must be a top priority when preparing to serve a large group. Meat is very susceptible to bacterial growth if the temperature is not well managed. Being prepared is also the best way to ensure that you don’t forget about it entirely and wind up with a still-frozen turkey on the big day!
Remove the turkey from the freezer and leave it in its plastic wrapper. Place it in a shallow pan to catch the juices. Calculate roughly 24 hours of thawing for each 4 pounds of the turkey. We’ve included a simple guide:
4-12 pounds = 1-3 days 12-16 pounds = 3-4 days 16-20 pounds = 4-5 days 20-24 pounds = 5-6 days
You can allow an additional 1-2 days in the schedule to store the turkey in the fridge after it thaws.
Cold Water Method:
This requires more work than just letting the turkey sit in the fridge for a few days. Remove it from the freezer and leave it in its plastic wrapper. Place it in a deep pan of water so that it is submerged. You can also use one side of the kitchen sink or a drink cooler. Plan to let it soak for 30 minutes per each pound of turkey. Important: Change the water every half hour until the bird is thawed completely. We’ve included a simple guide:
This is the time of year when eggnog is especially popular. Sometimes accidents happen and they tend to be more prone to happen when there are holiday parties and gatherings. Below are a few tips just in case you end up having to clean eggnog out of your carpet this season.
Use a non-flammable spot removal solution or dry cleaning solvent. Do not directly pour solution onto the carpet.
Use a detergent solution by mixing ¼ teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent solution per one cup of lukewarm water. Never use a stronger concentration.
Do not use a laundry detergent.
Rinse solution thoroughly to remove all residues. You may have to rinse several times to achieve this. Lukewarm tap water can be used for rinsing.
Using a vinegar solution by mixing one cup of white vinegar per two cups of water
Make sure to soak up all of the excess water when you’re finished cleaning
Always be sure to check with your manufacturer’s cleaning suggestions or consider calling a professional if you are unsure. We hope you have a great holiday season, filled with a lot of celebrating and less cleaning!
It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to keep your child busy. All that is required is a little creativity on your part! If you are creative your child will learn to think outside of the box and learn to have fun with what they have.
Bubbles are so much fun for kids and adults. A large container of bubbles cost around $1. Making your own is possible but not recommended. Buy bubbles that are non-toxic and safe to play with. Use a paint tray to fill with bubble solution. Make your own bubble wands out of objects around the house. You can use wire coat hangers and twist ties. Have fun making different sized bubbles.
Sidewalk chalk is so much fun. There are many different types available for purchase. The multi-colored chalk is a favorite among kids! This activity will keep little ones busy for a while; or until they run out of space on the driveway! Make a Hop-Scotch course and play Tic-Tac-Toe. Incorporate game play with creative drawing!
The water hose is always a success. After you rinse down the driveway to clean away the sidewalk chalk, have fun spraying your little ones and let them spray you too! If you have a sprinkler, this is the perfect time to bring it out! This might be a good time to wash the car as well. Kids seem to love washing cars. Make a game out of it to see how clean you can get the car!
Build a fort using blankets and pillows. This is a fun activity for rainy days. Make a fort by covering furniture with blankets. Add pillows to the interior and read some books together. Pretend you are camping and talk about what sounds you might hear while camping.
Be creative and look for things around the house that can be used as toys. Coming up with fun activities sparks creativity within the child. It teaches them how to pretend and entertain themselves without phones, TV or the internet.
Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.
Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.
Vinegar Solution – Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.
Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.
Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.
When in doubt, call a professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. Carpet and Rug Institute – 1-800-882-8846.