Category Archives: Home and Living

Moving Around

Children are often a blessing. That is, until they decide that everything in the bedroom and other rooms in the home should be moved to another location of the home. One of the ways that you can make moving items a little easier on the back and the legs is by using theater casters. These are small wheels that are easy to place on just about anything so that you save time while moving objects as well as the energy exerted from the body.

One of the ways that you can use casters is by putting them on a toy box. You can move the box to the living room during the day so that you can keep an eye on children while they play with toys and while you get some of the chores around the home completed. In the evening, you can move the box back to the bedroom so that others in the family can enjoy the living room. If you have girls in the home, consider making a small closet with dress-up clothes that can be taken throughout the home.

Another option is to create a storage rack for books and board games with casters on the bottom. Children can take the rack anywhere in the home so that family members can read a book or enjoy a game together. This is a way for the family to be a little closer, especially after a busy day at work or school. You can use the casters on a box that has been turned into a theater so that children can present musicals and plays for family and friends.

Consider putting casters on small chairs. Children can roll them into various rooms so that they can read a book, watch television or talk with others in the home. Casters can be used on beds that you might need to move to another room if you know that company will be staying over. As long as you have the wheels secure, then you can make almost anything in the home for children movable so that there is extra space and so that children have an environment that is suitable for their needs and desires.

DIY Ways to Remove Ugly Stains and Algae from Your Roof

While you may spend time in the spring and summer weeding your lawn, planting new flowers and cleaning off your siding, you probably don’t give as much thought to your roof. As spring arrives, birds and other small animals build nests in your gutters. Those animals may bring along seeds that sprout up and begin growing across your roof. Whether you notice ugly stains on your shingles or tiles, see patches of algae or even find that ivy grows wild, you can still use some DIY methods to clean your roof.

Chlorine Based Products

Professionals use chlorine based products to kill plants and vegetation growing on your roof. A high concentration of chlorine or bleach can cause significant damage to your home. It can stain the roof, eat away patches of your shingles, disintegrate tiles and kill plants growing near your home when the liquid runs off the roof. The biggest benefit of these products is that a small amount can completely kill all plants on the roof down to the root line. If you decide to use bleach or a similar product, make sure that you mix it according to the guidelines on the package and use lots of fresh water to dilute the chemicals.

Water Alone

Going green is so hot right now that some roofers and contractors now use water alone. As long as you have a hose long enough to reach your roof, you can use this method too. You generally want to use a hose with a spray attachment, which lets you direct the water to all parts of the roof. The high speed of the water helps break up any vegetation on the roof, and that pressure does a good job of pushing debris off the roof too. Always make sure you wear the proper safety gear to prevent slips and falls while working on the roof.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is yet another method you can use to clean your roof. This involves using a high speed washer that has more pressure than an ordinary garden hose. Be careful not to use too much pressure, which can knock the tiles or shingles off your roof. If you have any concerns about doing the job yourself, or you worry that you might damage your roof deck system, hire a contractor to clean your roof this spring.

Tips For Choosing Chair

When choosing office chairs is essential to find a quality piece as a bad seat in addition to being uncomfortable, can compromise our health. So by opting for a chair should not only pay attention to its design, there are many more aspects to consider.

The chair is one of the essential elements in a job on the computer. In choosing a chair must take into account a number of criteria ergonomics, understood as the study of biological and technological data applied to problems of mutual adaptation between man and machine. You may found lots of shop to buy chair but you need to know what you should consider before buying a chair. You may check eames chair replica shop as an example of good shop.

Criteria to consider
although not injure a chair directly, it can cause poor posture over time, and the daily and prolonged use may result in injury to the user.

Seat: It is adjustable and allows modifying their placement relative to the backrest. In terms of size, must be wide enough so that the user can sit comfortably in the middle and having space around it.
The front of the seat should be tilted down so you do not press the back of the knees or hinder the movement of the legs, and the depth of the seat should not hinder the use of the back.

Backup: You should stick to your back and provide support in the lumbar area. It is advisable to be adjustable tilt and you can adjust the firmness and fixation or mobility support.
The height should also be adjustable and be long enough for at least the entire back.

Armrest: They must allow the user to maintain a comfortable position, arms at an angle of 90 degrees and serving as support on the elbows and forearms. They are also useful to facilitate the incorporation and must be resistant.

They should not in any case push the wearer’s hips. Nor should prevent you stand beside the table or into the desired position.

Base: The wheels on the base allow greater convenience to the user to change position or move. The base must be 5 points support or be stable.

Skin: It should be breathable and be designed to withstand continuous use. It is also advisable to choose a color and material that can be easily cleaned. It is desirable to have a tapestry fabric that allows the passage of moisture, avoid heat and easy to keep clean.

Generally used cotton fabrics, but accumulate dust and are more difficult to clean than other options. The tevinil and other synthetics, however, are easy to clean, but accumulate moisture and heat can cause. It’s a matter of thinking well and chooses the best option for your particular case.

Simple Steps to Warmer Winter Floors

Autumn is upon us, and winter is right around the corner. If you live in a place with marked seasons but have tile or wood floors in your home, the cold season for you might mean freezing toes for months at a time. Here are some ways to warm up your winter floors.

Check for Drafts

You might think that cold air is likely to come from cracks around your front door or windows, and you are correct. However, there’s a good chance drafts can be coming from around the perimeter of your floors as well, especially if you have an older home or one where carpet was removed to reveal hardwood floors. If you didn’t install quarter-round molding around the baseboards, you might be letting cold air in.

Crawlspace Cold

If you feel cold temperatures or even drafts radiating from your tile or wood floors, you may have a crawlspace under your home that is not properly sealed. You can solve this problem by covering the ground with a heavy plastic sheet held down by rocks or bricks. Resist the urge to close vents, though. You need good air flow to prevent significant water damage.

Ceiling Fans

It may seem counterintuitive to think about ceiling fans during the winter, but by changing the direction of their blades during the cold season, you can make sure they are pushing warm air that has risen up to the ceiling back down to heat your floors.

Carpet Comfort

You installed tile or wood floors because you wanted to get away from carpet, right? That’s cool, but in the winter time you can make rooms more comfortable by putting down area rugs in walking paths or spaces that see a lot of use. They don’t have to be there permanently; when spring comes around you can roll the carpets back up and stow them until the next winter.

Vent Verification

If your home has central heating, you likely have floor vents that spread warm air from the ductwork into your rooms. First, make sure your furniture or other items are not blocking those. It may be tempting to place wet shoes on top of vents, but that’s not going to benefit the occupants of the room. You also can consider vent covers that push the warm air across the floor and into the space instead of shooting it all up to the ceiling.

Doing a little investigation and taking a few simple preventive steps can save you money on your energy bills this winter while making your home more comfortable.

Options for choosing specific designs for the Outdoor Sunroom

For sitting at the outdoor location, it is always preferable that you choose the garden and porches, but if you spend your time in the garden you might get drenched by rainwater or heavy amount of sunlight disturb you mostly. In such regards you can make a sunroom above you house or you can build it at your garden yard also. The wall and the rooftop of the sunroom are mostly designed with glass or Pyrex which are totally transparent and you can enjoy the rain and the sunlight by sitting in this room. If you are wondering what this room is meant for, well, having a sunroom in your house means you can enjoy the warmth of the sun throughout the year. Like any other rooms, sunroom designs should be chosen wisely. If you are confused about choosing a particular design for the sunroom, this article can be really helpful for you.

The perfect sunroom designs

You can customize the sunroom designs as much as you want or simply opt for prefabricated ones that are easily available in the market. Regardless of the thing that you do, always out emphasis on having a sunroom that blends well with the rest of your house. You will find plenty of options available- from conventional to contemporary.

Let’s take a look at different aspects of the sunroom in details:

Windows for the sunrooms: Sunrooms are all about glasses; therefore one should give importance to the windows of the room.

  • It is wise to choose windows that have sunroom with high R-value and have draft proof seals. You can either choose single pane windows or double pane windows for the sunroom.
  • While double pane windows are argon filled and energy efficient, single pane windows are cost effective.
  • Many people opt to use the Solex glasses that ensure complete protection to your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays, but this kind of glass is quite expensive to buy.

Window shades:

Having the right kind of shades is of ideal importance, regardless of the type of window in your house. Using the window shades, not only block most of the UV rays but also keeps the inside temperature quite in control. You will get plenty of different shades in market, which can be chosen based on your budget and convenience. There are a lot of designer home catalogues and you can also consult interior designers for building outdoor sunroom designs.

Flooring of the sunroom:

You can choose any of the vinyl flooring options you have in hand. You can mix and match different vinyl flooring option to create a unique design that suits you most. Vinyl is mostly used by many people, because of its cost effectiveness. Wood can also be chosen as the ideal flooring option. If you do not want to spend much on the flooring, you can simply put a carpet or any sophisticated outdoor mats within the floor to beautify it further.

Electrical requirements:

Like any other rooms of your house, sunroom also has some electrical needs. You can use wall lights or chandeliers within the room, along with fans. It is better to avoid air conditioning in the sunroom, but fans are needed for sure. You can also opt for some extra wall outlets.

There are no hard and fast rules for the home decorations; therefore you can make use of your imagination to make it the most relaxing space in your house. If you like you can use some plants to make the place livelier. There are many plants such as Dianthus, Allamanda are such that can easily thrive even in the sunroom. If you like you can also add some flowering plants as well.

Hope you get all ideas through this article when you choosing a particular design for outdoor area. If you like to know more and see more outdoor sunroom designs then visit here.

5 Creative Ways to Make the Home Look Occupied

Going on vacation should be a stress-free experience. The last thing you want to worry about is someone invading your home. While having alarm system monitoring services are ideal, you can still make the home look lived-in while you’re away. Instead of traditional methods of prepping a house, being creative with it can make the illusion more real to the criminal element.

Power Timers

Keeping the lights on in various rooms can be deceptive to those looking to break into the home. However, someone watching the house over the span of a few days may realize that the light is always on. Using power timers to turn on and off lights and other home electronics may give the property an appearance that someone is home.

Neighborly Parking

Ask a neighbor if he or she can park in your driveway while you’re on vacation. This can help give the illusion that someone is in the house. An empty driveway can be attractive to the criminal element as the absence of a vehicle may mean there is an absence of the homeowner.

Interior Sensor Lights

Movement sensors can be used to turn on lights, but they can also be used to power a socket. Using a screw-in power socket on an outdoor sensor light, you can use an extension cord going into the house to power a lamp. If someone gets near the property, it looks like someone inside just turned on the light.

Living Sounds

Record several hours of normal household noises through your computer using an omni-directional microphone. Create this as an MP3 and have it play on a loop while you’re on vacation. Once you turn up the volume, this can help give the impression that the family is home. If you have a few extra dollars, wireless audio units can play these sounds from virtually anywhere in the house.

Silhouettes

Set the timer on the TV to turn on and place silhouettes of people sitting in the living room. At first glance, it will look like someone is home watching TV. This can be done with simple cardboard and a few markers. It doesn’t have to be overly detailed, especially when looking through a window with drapes.

Home invaders more often look for the easiest targets. They don’t want to burglarize a home that has too high of a risk involved. Along with advertising the monitoring service you use, implement strategies that make the home less appealing. Enjoy your vacation without constant worry of someone hosting a party in your living room – unless they are made out of cardboard.

4 of the Most Expensive Items of Furniture You Could Ever Buy

Have you ever walked passed a furniture store and been shocked by the price of a piece of furniture? If you have then you are about to have your eyes opened even further. In the world of the super rich no price is too much for the right piece, and to be honest with you, why should it be? Here are some examples of furniture that comes with a hefty price tag, but also come with a quality and kudos that makes them worth every cent.

Floating Bed

This may seem an incredible price to pay for somewhere to sleep, but as the bed itself is incredible it is only fair that the price is. Costing $1.6 million this bed designed byJanjaarRuijssenaars floats 40cm above the ground and works using the opposing forces of 2 industrial strength magnets. This really is the coup de gras in the battle for the ultimate in bedroom furniture. Being able to accommodate a total weight of 900kg it should be able to sleep even the largest couple.

Floating-Bed

If you like to soak away your troubles in style, this copper bathtub by Archeo is the way to do it. Costing $67,550 It was built by the company the restored the torch on the statue of liberty, so you know it should be as classy as it gets. Made of solid copper and measuring over 5 feet, this is a truly beautiful piece of bathroom furniture. It may take 270 liters of water to fill, but I doubt if the water bill is going to worry the person soaking in this stylish bath.

The TufftTable

The previous two examples were examples of new furniture, but now we are going to step back in time. One look at the tuft table takes you back to and age of elegance and refinery. Designed and built in Philadelphia in the 1800s by Thomas tuft, this delicate looking table has lasted 200 years. This is down to the exquisite craftsmanship, along with its caring owners. The table stayed in the family until sold for $4.6 million at Christie’s in London in 1990. This table really is an example of craft meeting art.

TufftTable

The Dragons Chair

This single chair sold for the incredible price of $27.8 million when it was sold in 2009. This price even shocked Christie’s who gave it a pre—auction estimate of 2.5 million pounds. Designed by Eileen Gray in 1917, this hand built example was owned by Yves Saint Laurent, and perhaps that explains the unbelievable price. Even though this is a beautiful chair, and not only beautiful to look at, but incredibly comfortable, the price does seem unusually high.

The Dragons Chair and the Tufft Table are antiques and will no doubt hold their value, but the floating bed and copper bath may not. However, buying these items is not about the cost of the item, it is what they mean to you, as the purchaser, in more than monetary term. Perhaps you think they are beautiful, or perhaps you feel they are the ultimate accessory for your home. Whatever the reason for the purchase, I’m sure it is considered money well spent.

Dragons-Chair

Settling In

We’re finally in our new house and settling in. It’s been a little crazy these last two weeks with the traveling, last minute packing, more traveling (with four kids and three dogs), waiting for the moving truck, and finally the process of unpacking.

We’re no where near finished with unpacking. The little boys’ room is a disaster with almost all of their things still in boxes, and we have no bed yet. BUT, the kitchen is completely done, and that makes me really happy.

My kitchen…I could wax poetic on it all day long. It’s by far the largest kitchen I’ve ever had, and the one with the most usable counter space. Did I mention the GIANT island with the butcher block top? I’ll make sure to post photos soon.

Woman Labeling Packed Box_shutterstock_66379999

We spent the whole first weekend cleaning up outside. My kids are real troopers, I tell ya’. They mowed 2 acres of grass with two push mowers over a period of two days. The good news for them is that we do have a small riding mower coming from my dad. The bad news is we had a lot of rain the last couple days, and it’s going to need to be mowed again before that mover gets here.

We’re all finding that we have some adjusting to do. Even though we’re living our dream, it’s so different from what we’ve lived for so long. How odd is it to not be able to walk to the library like we did when we lived here before or hop in the car for a quick 5 minute drive to Target like the last place we lived.

Here, the nearest large store is a half hour away, and it’s a 5.5 mile drive to town. I’m sure it’ll be easy for me to fall back into the routine as that’s exactly how it was when I was growing up. The kids–not so much. I’ve already had to tell them ‘No’ several times when they’ve asked to do something simply because the drive alone would cost more than the trip would be worth.

Then there’s the issue with internet. We don’t have it at our house (and most likely won’t in the foreseeable future), and our cell phones haven’t been working at all. Sadly, I find myself getting just as frustrated with that as the boys. It only makes me realize that this move couldn’t have happened at a better time for all of us.

In my last post, you may remember me talking about how I was thinking of going back to work. A week ago Monday, right after we closed on our house, I had an interview for a position that would allow my family some financial freedom and relaxation on the fiscal front.

I haven’t heard back from them yet. I did follow up with them yesterday and was told they’d be making a decision very soon. I’d love to say that I’m confident the job is mine, but having been out of the job market for 6.5 years now, I’m not confident at all. I know that whatever happens will be for the best. And, if I happen to not get the position, at least I will have gotten my feet wet with the interview.

My husband and I have set some pretty ambitious goals for ourselves and our little homestead. The first thing we’ll be doing is fixing up a room in our corn crib for our chicken flock. We were going to to get some chicks this week, but it just so happens my dad got some laying hens last week and realized he may have gotten a few too many so I have 10 chickens headed my way.

We found that we have a small asparagus patch, rhubarb, and raspberries. I’ve never done much with rhubarb, but it looks like I better start.

We did get a small existing garden patch tilled up (Sweet Pea did an excellent job of this). However, it rained buckets before we could get the potatoes in the ground. Hopefully the soil dries out enough for us to plant those this weekend. They are already growing. There are also raised garden bed plans in the works to accommodate the rest of the things we want to grow this year.

We are continuing with our money saving efforts here. I am going to be making all our bread again as well as branching into other things such as tortillas. They can’t be that hard, can they? I’m also ramping up efforts to replace more things with homemade versions. Anyone have any luck with homemade dishwasher tabs?

So that’s where we’re at here. How have you been doing these last couple of weeks? Anything new with my Homies?

Stockpile is the Word

Everybody’s talking about stockpiles…stockpile your groceries, stockpile your necessities, stockpile, stockpile, stockpile.

I’d been discussing this with my husband for a while. Money always seemed too lean to put much towards extra things though.

Then I came across the show Extreme Couponers or whatever it’s called. Dang! Those people STOCKPILE…some to the point of hoarding imho. I mean for realz…what’s a 19 year old guy doing with 10 cases of diapers and 40 boxes of tampons? That’s just weird.

Their savings intrigued me though. Could I possibly begin my own little stockpile of products that would then take those things out of the budget for a while? We live on a pretty tight food budget, and all our household supplies (paper, hygiene, medication, etc) comes out of that line item. Being able to insure that those things wouldn’t have to be purchased for quite some time sure would take a little pressure off.

I began my research in the most obvious place…blogs! I’ve got some kick ass blogger couponer/stockpiler friends.

And then it happened…through my blog reading, I discovered the honey hole of savings that is CVS.

Oh CVS, where have you been all my life? CVS offers these things called extrabucks® (ECBs) on certain items each week. Basically, it’s like an in-house rebate coupon that you can use on your next purchase. [Here’s a quick side-note: It’s important that you keep track of these (and their equivalent–Balance Rewards at Walgreens) because they are NOT put on your card. You need the actual register receipt coupon.]

With five males living in my home, you can only imagine how much soap and deodorant we go through (that is of course if I can get the boys to take baths/showers. What is it with getting them to bathe?? Gross.), so I felt that was a good place to start.

Please spare me the details of how I’d save even more money making my own. They won’t use coconut oil/baking soda or milk of magnesia on their armpits (What? It’s a real thing. Check it out.), and the last time I attempted to make homemade soap, it molded. Compromises, people. We all have to do it sometime.

First, I got on CVS.com. I have an ExtraCare ® card from years ago, so I created an account with that. They post not only their current ad online, but also a sneak preview of the next week’s ad. I strongly recommend activating an account because you’ll receive special coupons in your email (like the $2 off coupon I received this week) as well as personalized offers (like the $2 off when I spent $8 on deodorant).

Next I visited several coupon websites to see what was available. I printed out anything that would be good for the next month so I would have a good selection but not have a huge coupon inventory. We’re not really brand-loyal people which is a good thing. It makes it easier to catch the good prices.

Then it was time to match the extracare® deals and manufacturer coupons. This is where the magic happens.

Using this week for example, CVS had Right Guard Antiperspirant on sale for 2/$8. I’m certainly not going to pay $4 for pit stick. So, I dug out a $1/2 Right Guard products coupon, a percentage off CVS email coupon, and a $2 off deodorant CVS web account coupon resulting in two Right Guard sticks for $3.54 including tax.

Now do you want to know what the BEST thing about that was?? After it was all said and done, I came out AHEAD on the deal because I also got $4 ECBs!

Here’s a helpful hint: Bring your ECB coupons with you! Here’s another one: Don’t wait until the last day of the sale to shop. The branch I normally shop at was out of several of the things on my list, so I made another quick run after lunch to finish up my errands and stop at another CVS in our town. There I purchased 2 body washes (2/$4), 2 shampoos (2/$5.50), 2 conditioners (2/$5.50) , a pack of M&Ms for Jeremy ($.75), and a 4 count package of razor cartridges ($16.79).

After using manufacturer coupons for each of the items purchased except for one shampoo (that would have saved me another $1 and I messed up not taking all my coupons with me so I could grab another one), the 20% off email coupon, and the $18 ECBs from my previous purchases, I paid $10.06. I also received $4.75 ECBs back.

Walgreens had a BOGO sale on Right Guard products this week. I used 4 $1/2 Right Guard products coupons to purchase 2 body washes and 6 deodorants and 4 $1/1 coupons for 4 bottles of mouthwash. I paid $24.40 and received $4 Balance Rewards.

Kmart also had a killer sale this week. I shopped there with manufacturer coupons and added almost 600 points to my Shop Your Way Rewards card (available through Kmart and Sears) that I’ll be able to use toward a future purchase. I spent $21.79 there after using coupons in conjunction with sales.

Here’s a rundown of what I purchased for $83.61 over the last two weeks between Walgreens, CVS, and Kmart (and don’t forget I still have $4.75 ECBs and $4 Balance Rewards for next time):

  • 10 body washes
  • 8 deodorants
  • 9 mouthwashes
  • 5 shampoos
  • 5 conditioners
  • 1 lotion
  • 1 Gillette Fusion Proglide razor
  • 1-4 pack of razor cartridges

I’m very pleased with that amount even if it’s no where near those crazy savings of the extreme couponers. Those are things that won’t have to be purchased out of our food budget (all of our household and hygiene supplies come out of the food budget) for the next several months to a year.

And, if we’re ever broke, I know that we’re not going to smell.

Overall, I feel that the better deals are to be had at CVS. I actually paid less out of pocket for the things I purchased at Kmart, but if I take the ECBs I received from CVS into consideration,CVS wins hands down. The benefit of shopping at Walgreens is that they offer store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons.

As I wrap this up, here’s a word of warning: Shopping CVS is like a game, and it’s very addictive. Even after only two weeks, I found myself pouring over scenarios of how much money I’d have to spend to receive so many ECBs, and on what I’d have to spend that money on.

There’s no savings in spending money on things you don’t need (paper towels and toilet paper in my case) considering I would have had to spend $12 to receive $5 ECBs.

I think too it’s important to know when to stop. I could keep adding these same things to my stockpile every single week for little money, but really…how many bottles of  body wash and mouth wash does a family need? I’ll keep an eye on the adds for something to use my ECBs and Balance Rewards for before they expire, but other than that our hygiene needs are pretty much met at the moment.

In the comments below, tell me how you save money on personal hygiene products. Do you make all your own? Perhaps you only buy the cheapest on the shelf? Do you have any advice for me to save even more money?